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Is Your Phone System Killing Your Business?

By Anonymous  |  Categories: Business innovation Unified Communications

Three considerations to improve your voice communications. If you’re like many small business owners, you have probably not thought much about your phone system in recent years.


Grow Conference Offers Discounted Pricing for Advanced Bookings

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Business events Tech events
Advance booking can save you a bundle... the May price of $695 ends at midnight on May 31st and then prices increase to $795 for the month of June $895, for July, and $995 in August. The conference is once again being hosted in Whistler on August 19-21 for the second year in a row while being held in Vancouver for the first four years.  

Accessibility of Information Systems

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility
Last school semester I was working for a course on Information Systems at the University of Toronto. I delivered a guest lecture, Accessibility and Information Systems, that highlights the various issues, benefits, and resources for practitioners to consider to make their info system (whether it is a website, mobile app, self-serve kiosk, etc) more accessible to people of various abilities.

Five Ways to Achieve ROI in ERP

By Eric Kimberling  |  Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The other day, I was speaking with a CIO at one of our US-based ERP implementation clients. He shared that his concern was not realizing the potential benefits of the new system.

New Strains of Ransomware Are Catching IT Off Guard

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Security

As if the news that people simply don’t seem to be recognising Phishing attacks wasn’t bad enough, those attacks are becoming more sinister as the latest surge are leading to ransomware, according to KnowBe4, a provider of Internet security training solutions.

Mobile Devices Give Directions... TO HELL!

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility
I had some free time last night so I caught up on some shows saved to my PVR that I've been meaning to watch.  I used to be a big fan of the television show Supernatural - which if you haven't seen the show, the name pretty much tells you all you need to know. Now in its tenth season, I stopped watching religiously about two seasons ago.

Why the CRTC Fell Short in Addressing Canada’s Wireless Woes

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law Wireless
The competitiveness of Canadian wireless services has been the source of an ongoing and contentious debate for years. Last week, Canada’s telecom regulator concluded that there is a competitiveness problem, yet in a decision surprisingly applauded by many groups, declined to use much of its regulatory toolkit to address the problem. Instead, it placed a big bet on the prospect of a smaller wireless carrier somehow emerging as a fourth national player.

Are Canadians Taking the Phishing Bait?

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Security
Phishing attacks continue to become harder to identify, and a recent quiz-based study by Intel Security found people globally were unable to identify phishing emails, and not by some small margin of error.

How You Can Use Technology and Innovation to Add Value to Your Company

By Amy Klimek  |  Categories: Business innovation
If you have developed technological and creative competencies through your education or formal work experience, it makes sense to leverage them as much as you can in any new role that you apply for. The biggest challenge to doing so successfully beyond just applying your skills to the tasks that you perform is knowing how to win the cultural competency race.

Tracking The Trackers

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility
Having researched mobile locative technology for the past few years, I have often heard from people that they don't use such features on their smartphone that automatically ascertain and transmit their position as they are concerned about being tracked.

Debunking the Seven Myths of Business Process Reengineering

By Eric Kimberling  |  Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Through the treacherous years of manual processes, outdated legacy systems, inaccurate performance data and internal operational breakdowns, most organizations are ready for a heavy dose of business process reengineering (BPR)

Banking Study Highlights Importance of Digital Capabilities

By Lawrence Cummer  |  Categories: Trends
A new North American banking study conducted by Accenture has for the first time ranked online capabilities as the top criteria of Canadian bank customers, even more than branches and fees.

Learning Appreciation for Graphic Literature

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: eLearning Trends
Recently, I was invited to conduct a workshop for kids aged 8-12 on graphic novels and web comics at my local library. As you may be able to tell from the name of this blog, I am a fan of comics. When I was a kid I did not like reading and only read comic books and books in the Choose Your Own Adventure series (now I'm a PhD candidate so don't believe the criticism that reading comics makes you stupid.)

The Future of eCommerce

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: eCommerce Mobility
Another great conference hosted by VEF (Vancouver Enterprise Forum) this week! VEF always does a great job of bringing the local technology community together once a month to stimulate ideas, conversations and connections. This month was no different with panelists discussing all things eCommerce.

The Copyright Notice Flood: What to Consider If You Receive a Copyright Infringement Notification

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
For the past few months, I’ve received daily emails from people who have been sent a copyright infringement notification as part of Canada’s notice-and-notice system. Most of the notifications come from CEG-TEK, a U.S.-based anti-piracy firm. 

Leadership Communication: What to Say and How to Say It

By Eric Kimberling  |  Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
All business transformations require effective leadership buy-in and communication. The executive and management teams sponsoring a major change in an organization are tasked with an important mission: what to communicate to employees and how to say it.

In Defence of Stock Photos

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
Stock photography - that is a library of royalty-free photos - seems to be the subject of much mockery lately. Buzzfeed has numerous, hilarious pages involving the glorification of the cheesiness of stock photos.

Five Leadership Lessons from Successful Manufacturers

By Eric Kimberling  |  Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Manufacturers are critical to economic growth – even while commodity-based manufacturing is outsourced to other countries in exchange for the higher-value manufacturing currently experiencing a renaissance.

Security Researchers Identify Malware Threat to Virtual Currencies

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Security
INTERPOL cyber threat researchers, including a Kaspersky Lab expert, have identified a threat to the blockchain in virtual transactions that could result in them being embedded with malware or other illegal data, including child abuse images.

Careers in Corporate Digital Media

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Business innovation
I recently spoke to a class of university undergraduates on possible careers in corporate digital media. It was a short guest lecture to cover the basics to consider a career in this field.

CRTC, Competition Bureau Enforcement Actions Show Anti-Spam Law Has Teeth

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
As the launch of the Canadian anti-spam law neared last spring, critics warned that enforcement was likely to present an enormous challenge. Citing the global nature of the Internet and the millions of spam messages sent each day, many argued that enforcement bodies such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Competition Bureau were ill-suited to combating the problem.

Improving content marketing programs with agile methods

By Ben Bradley  |  Categories: Sales and marketing
Thinking about improving content marketing? By starting with the desired outcome and then working backwards (and keeping an agile mindset), you can always fine tune and find ways to keep improving your content marketing programs.

Toronto Startup Synaptop Succeeds on Dragons' Den

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: New technologies

Synaptop's successful pitch on CBC's Dragons' Den aired on April 2nd, 2015.

Does Your Business Need More Traction? Look No Further…

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events
On June 18th 2015 the Traction one-day conference in Vancouver will teach distribution strategies and tactics to get, keep and grow customers at scale. Learn everything from Content Marketing to Analytics, Testing, Conversion Optimization, Retention, Virality, Monetization, Sales, Partnerships and more.

Building a Solid Information Architecture for a Website

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Technology start-ups
I attended a working session recently to plan out the information architecture of an organization facing profound problems with their existing websites.

People First, Technology Second

By Eric Kimberling  |  Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Never equate activity with efficiency. Organizations have a long standing history of putting a high level of emphasis on the software being implemented and ignoring the people side of the implementation. In other words, organizations consistently value technology first and people second.

Building a Social Business

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Social networking
You’ve friended your clients on Facebook and followed your customers on Twitter, and maybe you’ve even linked to them all on LinkedIn, but does that mean you can call yourself a social business?

Before a Redesign, Try Website Landing Page Optimization

By Ben Bradley  |  Categories: Sales and marketing
A website redesign is expensive and time consuming. Before you leap into a big project, give some thought to testing various ideas with landing page optimization– a series of small A/B tests that can drive more leads as well as inform and fuel your future brand redesign. It can also help you  dramatically reduce your PPC advertising costs by optimizing traffic and eliminating traffic that will never convert.

Business Innovation Summit 2015 - Connect, Network, Learn

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Business events
On April 28-29, 2015, the Conference Board’s Centre for Business Innovation is hosting its annual Summit to help businesses and entrepreneurs accelerate the pace of their innovation and commercialization efforts—to reach markets faster and more profitably, in Canada and around the world.

Undergrad Students Predict Technology Trends

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
I have been working as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate e-business class for the Communication, Culture, Information and Technology program at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus, which gives me the chance to talk about some cool tech, trends, and their possible ramifications for business.

How to Run a Successful Startup

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Business innovation
By the time Cameron Herold is 15 minutes into the phone interview for this article, he has already unpacked his suitcase, arranged everything in his four-star hotel bathroom and neatly rearranged the chairs on the deck overlooking the ocean.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival: There’s An App For That

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Mobility Trends
At Backbone, along with all tech, we love apps and if they can add value to an already fun experience, even better. Whether you can or can’t get away from your desk and want to see what the cool kids are doing in Whistler next week, check out this new app!  wssf.com/WSSF-mobile-app

We Can’t Hear You: The Shameful Review of Bill C-51 By the Numbers

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law
The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security will hold its clause-by-clause review of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism bill, this morning. The government is expected to introduce several modest amendments thatexperts note do little to address some of the core concerns with the bill. 

Tips for Corporate Websites and Intranets

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
I'm lecturing to an undergraduate class this week on careers in the design and management of corporate websites and intranets. Having worked in the area for over eleven years, it's a subject I am quite familiar with.

New Keynote Speaker at THINK: Create Possibilities

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events
Dr. Dave Williams, Southlake Regional Health Centre president and CEO is the second keynote speaker at THINK this year.

Why Did the CRTC Mandate Pick-and-Pay? Because BDU’s Wouldn’t Do It On Their Own

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Trends
The CRTC released its TalkTV decision this afternoon and – as expected – it includes a mandatory basic service capped at $25 per month (which may include U.S. channels) and mandates a pick-and-pay alternative no later than December 2016.  Why did the CRTC conclude that it needed to regulate a pick-and-pay option?

See TED in Vancouver this week

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events

See FREE archived talks hereTED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) the global set of conferences is presently in Vancouver.

Training Tips for Software Implementation Success

By Sponsored  |  Categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
You don’t have to spend much time researching enterprise application software before you come across some pretty staggering numbers regarding failed implementations. Though the results vary, several studies have found around a two-thirds failure rate for enterprise relationship planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) implementations, and the same has been reported for content management systems (CMSs) and others. Why does this happen and what can you do about it?

Canadian Government Is Throwing Out Paper To Save Taxpayers Money

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Digital economy strategy Green technology
Want to hear about a government initiative that will impact your finances and contribute to Canadian taxpayer savings of $17-million dollars annually?

I Spy Spotify

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
This week, I got my invitation to try out Spotify as they have just now ventured into the Canadian market (after launching in 50+ other countries).

What Open Government Hides

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law Trends
Treasury Board President Tony Clement unveiled the latest version of his Open Government Action Plan last month, continuing a process that has seen some important initiatives to make government data such as statistical information and mapping data publicly available in open formats free from restrictive licenses.

Why Uber Has a Canadian Privacy Problem

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Mobility Trends
The mounting battle between Uber, the popular app-based car service, and the incumbent taxi industry has featured court dates in Toronto, undercover sting operations in Ottawa, and a marketing campaign designed to stoke fear among potential Uber customers. As Uber enters a growing number of Canadian cities, the ensuing regulatory fight is typically pitched as a contest between a popular, disruptive online service and a staid taxi industry intent on keeping new competitors out of the market.

Carol Todd on Bill C-13: 'What Happened to Democracy?'

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Social media Technology law
The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights continues its study later today [November 26, 2014] on Bill C-13, the cyber-bullying/lawful access bill that has already passed the House of Commons and seems certain to clear the Senate shortly.

A Webslinger Holiday

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
I spent a few days in Orlando Florida at their amusement parks and have come to two conclusions: 1. Mobile devices are invaluable for park visits and 2. I'm sick of simulated/3D rides.

Kid Reviews Mobile Game Tunnel Town

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Trends
I have a guest blogger for today's post, my young daughter.  She recently discovered mobile app game by the maker's of National Geographic's Animal Jam that she loves! It's called Tunnel TownIt's a free game available on Android and iPhones. 

Returning to Toronto's Tech Centre for Mobile HCI Conference

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Tech events
I spent much of this week [September 22-26] at a tech conference at the Hyatt hotel on Toronto's King Street near Toronto. I haven't been to this hotel for many years, since the height of the dot.com era. The hotel was a Holiday Inn back then. There wasn't much else of note in this area except parking lots and a few restaurants. Back then this former "fashion district" was increasingly populated by tech startups filling the old smallrise buildings left by banished furriers

DigiBC Shows Off BC’s Video Game Success Stories to Ministers

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Wireless
On the evening of November 24, DigiBC hosted a special event called “Game On 4 BC” at the Victoria Conference Centre. The purpose was to celebrate the diversity and ingenuity of video games (and similar entertainment) being created in our province, and to help educate the various elected officials about the abundant talent and companies working in this sector.

Ontario Provincial Police Recommend Ending Anonymity on the Internet

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Security Technology law
The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs began its hearings on Bill C-13, the lawful access/cyberbullying bill last week with an appearance from several law enforcement representatives. 

ITAC starts telling success stories loudly and proudly

By Karna Gupta  |  Categories: Tech events Technology start-ups
When Warren Roy took to the stage at the recent ITAC Ingenious Awards the audience was bewitched.

Putting Toronto on the Locative Map

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Mobility Trends
It seems that in tandem with the growing popularity of cellphones and then smartphones and tablets has been the criticism that they detract us from our world. Concerns that technology distances us from the real world and our real lives goes back as least as long as the Luddites raged against the machines 200 years ago. It seems that in tandem with the growing popularity of cellphones and then smartphones and tablets has been the criticism that they detract us from our world. Concerns that technology distances us from the real world and our real lives goes back as least as long as the Luddites raged against the machines 200 years ago.

Canadian Industry – Get with it

By Larry Wade  |  Categories: Economic development Canada
Everyone is interested these days in increasing Canadian employment, and we all realize that can be contributed to by exports. The emphasis on development here seems largely to be concerned with IT and high tech. However, it is depressing, at least to me, to see the extent to which we see on our store shelves manufactured products other than IT products, from other countries.

What you need to know to stay on top of tech

By Steve Dietrich  |  Categories: Trends
Technology: There’s so much innovation happening today that it's hard to keep up with it all. From new industries and organizations to business solutions and products, the array of choices for businesses and individuals is ever growing. 

It’s Time to Be Honest: Netflix Will Not Mean the End of Canadian Television

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Trends
The Globe and Mail’s Simon Houpt ran a column over the weekend titled It’s Time to be Honest: Netflix is Parasitic. The piece received some positive commentary on Twitter, with some suggesting that it provided a counter-view to the Netflix support that has prevailed publicly and politically for several weeks in Canada. Houpt uses some effective imagery (Netflix as a Wal-Mart or Costco behemoth that will lay waste to Canadian film producers in the same way that the retail giants take out “mom and pop” stores), but this post argues that he does not come close to making his case.

Closing the Facebook

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: Social networking
A few days ago, I signed back into Facebook after a month long self-imposed exile. In an effort to improve my work-from-home efficiency, I had my wife change my password and not give it to me. I did the same with my email and Twitter accounts (I still haven't signed back onto Twitter, but I couldn't live without email beyond a couple days.)

The countdown to iTech 2014 Calgary & Vancouver is on!

By Sponsored  |  Categories: Tech events
With the events taking place in less than three weeks, here is an over view of what you can expect at iTech 2014:

The CRTC – Netflix Battle: Could It Lead to a Challenge of the CRTC’s Right to Regulate Online Video?

By Michael Geist  |  Categories: Technology law Trends
Netflix just concluded an appearance before the CRTC that resulted in a remarkably heated exchange between the regulator and the Internet video service. The discussion was very hostile with the CRTC repeatedly ordering Netflix to provide subscriber and other confidential information.

Stand out among the flurry of innovation at the Energy New Venture Competition!

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events Technology start-ups
Are you an entrepreneur with an idea that will impact the energy industry? Are you a seed-stage company in the energy sector? Your share of $50,000 awaits.

CIPS INTERVIEWS: Chris Labrador, Director Concierge Service NRC-IRAP; World-Renowned Top-Ranking Executive in Business Innovation, Entrepreneurship and ICT

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Business innovation
INTERVIEWS by STEPHEN IBARAKI, FCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, MVP, DF/NPA, CNP, FGITCA. This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Chris Labrador.

Transmit Better Messages using Video

By Sponsored  |  Categories: Communications
Communication is the most important aspect of any sort of relationship, whether that relationship is personal or business oriented. Miscommunication causes some of the biggest problems in today’s world, just as it has caused some of the largest problems throughout history.

Backbone’s Annual Resource Guide, Ingenious Awards and Predictions Issue – Coming November 2014

By Backbone Staff  |  Categories: Tech events
Canada’s first ever annual Tech Resource Guide issue, our annual Tech Predictions story and the results of ITAC’s 3rd annual Ingenious Awards program – all in one big issue, publishing this November 2014.

Give MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) a Try

By Glen Farrelly  |  Categories: eLearning
Last week, I finished my first MOOC. No, it is not a sound a sick cow makes, rather it's a Massive Open Online Course  MOOCs are different from other online courses in that they are open. Open in that they are free to take and open to anyone, no perquisites required. Massive in that their free status tends to attract a very large number of students - with diverse backgrounds, locations, and subject-matter knowledge.

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