Canadian Business Travellers Look To Technology To Ease Concerns When Travel Returns: SAP Concur Survey

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 12, 2020 by itnerd

Although it is difficult to predict what the future of business travel will look like, one thing that’s certain is the key role technology will play in easing the concerns of business travellers.

A recent survey of business travellers by SAP Concur – a leader in integrated travel, expense and invoice management solutions – shows:

  • Mobile check-in is the most important mobile app feature (52%) Canadians want when travel resumes, followed by traveller safety information (38%,), the ability to book air travel (38%), andthe ability to view and manage their trip itinerary (36%). 
  • Canadian business travellers are looking for a breadth of on-demand functions, including loyalty programs (30%), the ability to automatically create and submit an expense report (21%), and even the ability to track and offset their carbon footprint (12%)
    • Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) also want automatic notifications for out-of-policy bookings or expenses.
  • 93 per cent of Canadian business travellers note some measures are critical for safely returning to the road, especially mandatory personal health screenings for travelling employees (40%), limiting travel to only the most critical trips (38%), and real-time health and safety updates (34%).
  • When travel starts, Canadian business travellers are most likely to start their booking with online travel agencies (24%) or directly with an airline or hotel website/app (22%). 

Additional findings:

Notable highlights of the 200 responding Canadian business travellers in the global study include:

·       Business travel plays an important role in the success of today’s enterprise:

o   Canadian business travellers expect their company to experience negative outcomes due to travel restrictions around COVID-19, including a reduced number of deals or contracts signed that require in-person interactions (51%) and declines in new business wins that require in-person meetings (44%).

·       Business travellers expect an increase in discrimination against certain groups while travelling:

  • Nearly 9 in 10 Canadian business travellers (89%) expect increased discrimination in the wake of COVID-19, especially against travellers exhibiting cold or flu symptoms (59%), travellers from countries with high infection rates (43%)—and even travellers of Asian descent (43%).
  • More than 1 in 4 Canadian business travellers (27%) also believe there will be an increase in discrimination against the elderly, as well as those wearing enhanced personal protective equipment (26%).
  • Health and safety are now top priority for business travellers when on the road:
  • Health and safety have become the top priority for 2 in 5 (43%) Canadian business travellers which is more than three times as many who prioritize business needs (13%).
  • Safety was only the second priority last year, but the effects of COVID-19 have exacerbated the issue from 24% to 43%.
  • Top concerns about returning to business travel also include infecting their families (69%) and getting sick themselves (68%).

·       Companies need to update travel policies to help business travellers return to the road safely:

  • 93% of Canadian business travellers consider some measures critical for safely returning to the road, including:
    • Mandatory personal health screenings for travelling employees (40%), limiting travel to only the most critical trips (38%), real-time health and safety updates (34%), and easier access to personal protective equipment (28%).
  • More than 9 in 10 Canadian business travellers (92%) believe they’d benefit from company training, especially, trainings on how to protect their health and safety during travel (50%) and how to maintain healthy habits while travelling (50%).

The full global white paper and Canadian findings can be found here.

LinkedIn’s Latest Data Indicates Canadians Aren’t Convinced On The Return To The Workplace

Posted in Commentary on August 11, 2020 by itnerd

As Canada’s businesses prepare a range of new protocols for reopening, how many workers would actually be willing to return to their physical workspaces? 

For LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence research, they asked participants across different industries and company sizes how they’d feel if they were allowed to go back – and what their top concerns would be if they did.  

One of the most notable findings indicated that Canadians working for the smallest companies with 1-10 employees (SMB) are the most confident about their employer’s outlook 6 months from now, while Canadians working for the largest companies with 10,000+ employees (enterprise) are by far the least confident about their employer’s outlook 6 months from now. 

Here are some of the major findings from the sixth edition of Canada’s Workforce Confidence Index: 

  • Compared to a month ago, the percentage of Canadians who think the ‘number of jobs they apply to will increase’ went up from 20% to 24% 
  • Similarly, the percentage of Canadians who think the ‘number of new jobs available will stay the same’ went up from 49% to 55% compared to a month ago 
  • Canadians working in Software & IT Services are the most confident (40), followed by Finance as second-most confident (39) and Construction as third-most (37) 
  • Employees in the education space are most likely to return as soon as possible (37) (though they may feel pressured to do so); Tech employees are most likely to continue staying away, with only (15) returning as soon as they are allowed 
  • Employees in Construction are least likely to have any concerns about returning to physical workplace (29); Consumer Goods/Retail employees are most likely to be concerned about working in close proximity to others (47) 

For the full results, visit here

Infographic: New Virtual Care Survey From Nanos Research x TELUS Health

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 11, 2020 by itnerd

Here’s new data on virtual care/COVID from Nanos Research and TELUS Health. The recent surveyof Ontarians has shown that close to half of Ontario residents report having delayed care for themselves or a loved one during the pandemic out of fear of being exposed to the virus in hospitals or clinics.

View the full report here.

UPDATE: TELUS Health commissioned this survey to get a better understanding of the virtual care landscape during COVID-19. They saw an uptick in the use of their virtual care solutions during the pandemic, particularly Babylon by TELUS Health. The service saw a tenfold increase in consultations since the pandemic, and is now available in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Dell Announces New Latitude Chromebook Enterprise

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 11, 2020 by itnerd

Chrome OS has accelerated its expansion within businesses amid the shift to work from anywhere. The new Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise, a 14-inch premium business laptop or 2-in-1 from Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), boosts productivity with on-the-go power, sophisticated security and fast connectivity features employees need.

With the Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise, Dell expands its Latitude Chromebook lineup – now offering a mainstream and premium option – to give companies more choice in devices without sacrificing enterprise-class scale, manageability and security. 

Work Anywhere: Designed for executives, mobile professionals and remote workers, the Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise includes innovative security and productivity features, allowing employees to power up quickly with no time wasted on setting up the device. Co-engineered with Intel as part of the Project Athena innovation program, the Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise offers LTE mobile broadband, Intel WiFi 6 and up to 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors to boost productivity and performance for bandwidth-intensive activities, such as working up to 8.6 times faster in Google Sheets.

Additional key features include:

  • First-ever 4K panel with Low Blue Light display available on a Chromebook Enterprise: The Latitude 7410 provides better readability and eye comfort with built-in 4K low blue light display technology. An expansive, four-sided narrow border display also provides more screen to connect with colleagues, and acoustic noise reduction features that enhance video calls.
  • World’s longest battery life of any premium Chromebook: With up to 21 hours of battery life, mobile professionals can complete tasks throughout the day. If they do need a charge, the device can charge quickly from 0% up to 35% in as little as 20 minutes with ExpressCharge Boost or get up to 80% charge in as fast as an hour with ExpressCharge.
  • Ease of use: Employees and executives pressed for time can rely on one-hand assist to power the Latitude Chromebook in less than three seconds simply by opening the lid. For extra flexibility, the device comes with the one of the broadest array of ports available in a premium Chromebook Enterprise. Simple app access is available locally or online through the Chrome Browser or the managed Google Play Store. Employees get peace of mind with an optional built-in privacy panel and camera privacy shutter.
  • Premium design: Professionals can choose between machined aluminum or carbon fiber on the world’s lightest 14-inch Chromebook Enterprise laptop. A new silver color is available on the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise to give more employees a modern look and feel.

Management and Security: As organizations prepare for long-term remote work, Dell Technologies Unified Workspace reduces IT complexity and allows IT leaders to secure, manage and support the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise. Available in more than 50 countries and with 14 localized language keyboards, companies can select and purchase various configurations to meet employee needs. IT can manage the devices with the same level of support, security and reliability they expect in a corporate environment, and have confidence in platform stability with the Intel® Stable IT Platform. They can service and upgrade storage and batteries and operate the same support model across their entire organization.

Availability and pricing:

The Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise is available now starting at $1,299.00 U.S. and will be available soon with Intel® Core™ i3 processors starting at $1,099.00 U.S.

New Report From Western Union Business Solutions Says That 5G Investment & Digital Tech Will Be The Biggest Catalyst For Economic Growth Post-COVID-19

Posted in Commentary on August 11, 2020 by itnerd

As the country moves towards economic recovery, new research out today from Western Union Business Solutions, a leader in international money movement and trade, shows that for Canada and other nations, technology is going to be a vital industry in helping a successful economic recovery after the pandemic.

The report explores the value of services trade and commerce to the global economy and forecasts an outlook for the next five years. Services trade, including technology, makes up more than half (55%) of all trade and includes non-physical values such as the exchange of expertise, business functions, and intellectual property.

The report shows that:

  • Canada is projected to increase its total services exports by $13bn by 2025, and digital services (technology, financial services and business-to-business) will contribute to over half (54%) of this growth.
  • 5G will be a huge part of that growth worldwide:
    • Operators are expected to invest around $900 billion worldwide in 5G networks between 2020 and 2025.
    • As the pandemic has highlighted the potential for remote interactions to replace geographic proximity, we can expect greater investment in digital infrastructure to take place in coming years, including faster adoption of 5G technologies.
  • Advances in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will help modernize trade across borders.

You can see more details by clicking here.

Google Home Speakers May Have Been Recording Sounds Without Your Permission

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 10, 2020 by itnerd

Your Google Home speaker may have been quietly recording sounds around your house without your permission or authorization it was revealed this week.

A Google spokesperson told Protocol that the feature was accidentally enabled for some users through a recent software update and has since been rolled back. But in light of Monday’s news that Google invested $450 million — acquiring a 6.6% stake — in home security provider ADT, it may be a sign of things to come for Google, as it hints at the company’s secret home security superpower: millions of smart speakers already in people’s homes.

There have been a few people on Reddit who have discovered this, and frankly this bothers me. And it should bother you. I can see how this could be a powerful feature. But I can also see how this could become a privacy nightmare. Google really needs to come clean in terms of this, and give users of these smart speakers the info that they need to give them the ability to have the privacy that they need.

TikTok To Sue Trump Over Impending Ban

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2020 by itnerd

On the to do list for TikTok this Tuesday is to sue the Trump administration over their attempt to ban them or force a sale to an American entity according to a source of NPR:

NPR has learned that the lawsuit will argue that President Trump’s far-reaching action is unconstitutional because it failed to give the company a chance to respond. It also alleges that the administration’s national security justification for the order is baseless, according to the source.

“It’s based on pure speculation and conjecture,” the source said. “The order has no findings of fact, just reiterates rhetoric about China that has been kicking around.”

I’m not at all surprised by this as you knew that TikTok were not going to take this lying down. And it will be interesting to see how the courts handle this. And you have to wonder what the Trump administration will do if it loses in court.

Get the popcorn ready.

Reddit Pwned…. Apparently In Support Of Trump

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 7, 2020 by itnerd

A massive attack has hit Reddit today after at least tens of Reddit channels (subreddits) have been hacked and defaced to show messages in support of Donald Trump’s reelection campaign:

The hacks are still ongoing at the time of writing, but we were told Reddit’s security team is aware of the issue and has already begun restoring defaced channels. A partial list of impacted channels (subreddits) is available below, according to ZDNet’s research: r/NFL, r/49ers, r/TPB (The Pirate Bay’s Reddit channel), r/BlackMirror, r/Beer, r/Vancouver, r/Dallas, r/Gorillaz, r/Podcasts, r/freefolk, r/StartledCats, r/TheDailyZeitgeist, r/Supernatural, r/GRE, r/GMAT, r/greatbritishbakeoff, r/11foot8, r/truecrimepodcasts, r/Leafs, r/weddingplanning, r/Chadsriseup, r/bertstrips, r/CFB …and many many other more.

Now I am not a Trump supporter. Far from it in fact. I am not American either. But this hack is so dumb that it feels like a massive false flag operation. But then again, the whole US political scene is such a clown show at the moment that I wouldn’t be surprised whether it is actual Trump supporters that are behind this hack, or the people behind this are trying to smear them.

Hazing Has Been Replaced By Hacking…. Which Means That Universities Need To Improve Their Cyber Defenses

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 7, 2020 by itnerd

School rivalry takes on a different meaning for university and college students this year, with cyber hackers advancing their methods of attack in the new normal. In the last three months alone, we’ve seen cyberattacks carried out against two of Canada’s largest universities, with both Western University and York University falling victim to a ransomware attacks.

Apparently, covering cars in shaving cream is so last century.

As the long-term shift to online learning becomes a reality, students and institutions alike will need to protect themselves when using tools such as Zoom, Slack and other platforms to complete studies online.

David Masson, Director of Enterprise Security at Darktrace had this to say about universities needing to up their game when it comes to their cyber defenses:

Universities work in an environment based on free exchange of knowledge and national and international cooperation. Threat actors know this and will seek to exploit the relative ease of access to networks provided by the nature of universities’ transparent approaches. 

Security teams who protect universities know that attackers will look to take advantage, and so they use training methods and technology to combat imminent cyber threats. Security teams also realise how difficult it is to defend themselves; it is difficult to have full visibility of their entire digital infrastructure and additionally being able to respond quickly to impending attacks. 

In order to deal with the quantity and quality of threats, which are increasingly complex and happening at machine speed thanks to attackers’ use of AI and developments in 5G, those defending universities need to embrace AI technology themselves to augment and support their security teams to regain the advantage on the defensive side in the cyber arms race.”

LG Velvet 5G Is Now Available On The TELUS 5G Network

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 7, 2020 by itnerd

The LG Velvet 5G is now available at TELUS, a bold new device featuring AI-optimized sound, sleek design and a 6.8” POLED display, all on the TELUS 5G network

A few key features include:

  • 48 MP camera to capture astonishing detail –  Every memory comes to life in high-res clarity and colour. Photos stay sharp, even when you zoom in. 
  • Immerse yourself in sound  With the LG 3D Sound Engine, AI recognizes what you’re listening to and applies the ideal setting. 
  • 5G-capable for unrivalled performance – TELUS 5G is connecting Canadians for good. Enjoy increased speeds, reliability and capacity with the LG Velvet 5G on the TELUS 5G

With all of the latest technology now at your fingertips, customers can also take advantage of TELUS’ Peace of Mind plans where they’ll enjoy endless data, endless fun without worrying about overages.