By Peter Wolchak | June 19, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Gadgets
I still think of Christmas 2011 as “the one when Santa got me Batman: Arkham City.” That is the best game I have ever played, and I spent much of that vacation battling evil doers on the mean streets of Gotham.
In October of 2012, Treasury Board president Tony Clement took the stage at the WCIT in Montreal and announced very little. He did not launch a national digital economy strategy, a plan to address regional broadband issues or a unified funding initiative for Canada’s tech sector.
I don't have time to read flyers - print or online. But I do love specials! So I frequently sign up for companies' email newsletters to keep an eye out for good promotions or new products. Most corporate emails, however, are often dull and irrelevant. So I rarely make the time to read them.
For many organizations, CFOs either manage IT investments or at least have a heavy influence on how IT budgets are spent. Despite this financial focus at the executive level, however, most ERP implementations still fail to deliver expected return on investments on those initiatives.
Okay, you made the decision to switch from on-premise to SaaS ERP
. Terrific. But your work isn’t done. Now you need to decide which ERP vendor is right for your company. How do you determine that?
Effective demand generation is crucial for building interest in your organization’s products and services, but many organizations are confused about the key elements of building demand. This post gives you 5 top best practices for creating effective campaigns that interest your key audience, driving sales and ROI from your online efforts.
The recent news that the American government has been conducting sweeping surveillance of online traffic has set off a firestorm of concern.
By Peter Wolchak | June 10, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Gadgets
I own a lot of headphones. Most I have purchased, a few have been given to me over the years by tech companies. In my home, I have earbuds from Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung, Shure and others. I even have a really new pair that arrived recently with my iPhone 5. I probably have six sets of earbuds. So why did I today spend 15 minutes looking for even one of those earbuds, and why did I just order another set from Apple?
While attending Dell’s Enterprise Forum in San Jose this week, it was immediately obvious that Dell is serious about repositioning itself as an enterprise IT vendor. Dell greeters throughout the event sported bright green T-shirts with clever sayings such as “Fibre keeps my network moving,” “Wearer carries no cache,” “I’m with the bandwidth” and -- my personal favourite -- “I’m too hot to swap.”
For the past few years, there has been a lively debate
on the state of the Canadian wireless marketplace
. Consumer advocates and others have argued that Canadian market is not sufficiently competitive and that aggressive policy action is needed to foster greater competition and to adequately protect consumers until market forces can be fully relied upon.
It’s hard to miss all the buzz about cloud computing and ERP, but is this the kind of buzz you can ignore or should you really be considering a cloud ERP system
for your business?
I am going to put my conclusion at the beginning of this piece: I still don’t love Windows 8 but I like it now more than I did, and I have a better understanding of its place in the computing world.
“We’re putting the band back together.” CoreFour was named the winner of Backbone magazine’s 2013 Innovation Campaign in May. The formation of the company was a little like the reunion of a band epitomized by The Blues Brothers. The four founders, all employees of Nortel Networks in the ’80s, have been working together on and off for 28 years. And two members of the company are even brothers.
By Alan Brookstone | May 31, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: eHealth
Patient data is increasingly available to clinicians through a wide variety of tools and form factors. As high-speed Internet through Wifi and 4G becomes ubiquitous, access and speed are no longer an issue. In parallel, physicians are increasingly using EMRs as their primary tool to document, manage, and treat patients. As a result, it is not surprising that they should want to access clinical data using a mobile phone or tablet.
By Backbone Staff | May 30, 2013 5:15 AM | Categories: Tech events
World-class speakers descended on downtown Toronto to join business and tech leaders from across the country and around the world at the CDMN Canada 3.0 2013
The Internet is buzzing over a new report
from the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property that recommends using spyware and ransom-ware to combat online infringement. The recommendations are shocking as they represent next-generation digital locks that could lock down computers and even "retrieve" files from personal computers:
BLACKIRON Data is taking a leadership role in eco-friendly facility design by building one of the first data centres in Canada to be awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
I was reading an interesting blog post this morning from a major international research and consulting company. The blogger discussed a new index their company was promoting to measure people's need for mobile use. I left a comment on how interesting and useful this concept was. But that's not likely what got me in hot water.
By Peter Wolchak | May 27, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Gadgets
Microsoft’s Windows 8 has been struggling in the tablet space. With negative reaction from many reviewers and strong competition from Apple iPads and Android-based devices, Microsoft is firmly mired in third place.
Organizations that have implemented ERP systems have long complained that deployments are too costly, time consuming and risky, so it is pretty rare that organizations look at ways to leverage enterprise software to drive innovation. Indeed, without the right expertise and guidance, ERP implementations can be difficult, even without the grand ambition of driving innovation.
By Alan Brookstone | May 23, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: eHealth
One of the questions that I am frequently asked about EMR systems is to describe what I see as the future of EMRs in Canada. With many provinces now achieving a critical mass of EMR users, we will now be able to do things with EMRs that in the past were very difficult to achieve.
Suneet Singh Tuli explains the origin of Datawind's products; a vision for equality in education. After the first product presentation to the Indian government in 2003, the format of the product evolved substantially: from television add-on to tablet bundled with free Internet access! Videoed at CDMN Canada 3.0 in May 2013.
The Canada 3.0 conference wrapped up last week in Toronto with the announcement of the four winners of its inaugural CDMN Moonshot awards. The winners are:
By Michael Geist | May 17, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Trends
The examination of the proposed Bell acquisition of Astral Communications took place last week in Montreal with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearing from a wide range of supporters and opponents of a deal that only last year was rejected as contrary to the public interest.
Selecting and implementing a cloud ERP
solution is a long-term project which impacts every department in the company. It requires many different aspects of the company to come together and initiate changes to procedures and operations. As a result, there are a lot of ways that a cloud ERP project can get off track.
By Backbone Staff | May 15, 2013 10:45 AM | Categories: Trends
Don Tapscott discusses radical openness; the subject of a book he co-authored with Anthony Williams and a concept currently important in many areas of business and life. The interview was conducted at the Live Pitch-Off event of the 2nd Annual Backbone Start Me Up Innovation Campaign on May 6, 2013 in Toronto.
One of the statistical pioneers of Moneyball, Paul DePodesta, spotted ‘the tendency of everyone who played baseball to generalize wildly from their own experience. People always thought that their own experience was typical when it wasn’t.’ Might the same be true of B2B sales?
It’s often been said that 80% or more of ERP implementations are considered failures. In fact, one of the findings of our 2013 ERP Report
is that most ERP projects take longer than expected, cost more than expected, and fail to deliver expected business benefits.
By Alan Brookstone | May 10, 2013 9:45 AM | Categories: eHealth
In the past, I have written numerous articles describing the benefits and potential uses for EMRs for the management of patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and congestive heart failure.
By Backbone Staff | May 9, 2013 5:00 AM | Categories: Tech events
World-class keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops and mentoring opportunities are all good reasons for startups and mid-sized companies to attend CDMN Canada 3.0 2013
. And there will be a chance to connect with exciting ventures such as Side by Side, Girls in Tech and Startup Drinks.
One year ago, EidoSearch co-founders Xiao-Ping (Steven) Zhang and David Kedmey took to the stage after being named the first-place winners in the inaugural Backbone innovation campaign
. [Image: Winner John Myers, president of Edsby, with Steve Dietrich, Backbone
ERP solutions can be a huge boon to your business, streamlining operations and saving thousands over the life of the system. However, companies can also fail to realize the potential of their ERP solutions
, ending up with systems that are expensive while being only partially successful.
By Glen Farrelly | May 3, 2013 4:45 AM | Categories: Mobility
The ability for mobile devices to detect and respond to users' context is one of the most powerful features of mobile technology.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 27, 2013 as Your Information is Not Secure in Ottawa
As Canadians focused last week on the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and the RCMP arrests of two men accused of plotting to attack Via Rail, the largest sustained series of privacy breaches in Canadian history was uncovered but attracted only limited attention.
One of the interesting takeaways from our 2013 ERP Report
released earlier this year is the apparent confusion between the perceived success and actual results of ERP implementations.
They've each had tremendous financial success, with significant cultural impact: Groupon, Apple and Amazon. The secret to their shared success?
It has been 5 years since Howard Schultz came back to Starbucks, shifted gears and changed the future of the company. Starbucks is now bigger than ever and their revenue is still increasing at over 13% a year. Here are four reasons why Starbucks has had such a strong and successful come back, and why it is staying ahead of competitors in the competitive Quick Service industry.
The judges of the second-annual Backbone Innovation Campaign
have spoken. Below are the 10 most-promising tech start-ups in Canada.
By Glen Farrelly | April 23, 2013 5:00 AM | Categories: Mobility
In writing a paper on locative technologies, I found that the definitions of the key terms locative media (LM) and location-based services (LBS) out there are poor. Both academic and trade sources are either nebulously vague or miss the defining criteria and instead focus on the resulting effects.
Being an ERP consultant isn’t necessarily the most glamorous or well-respected career that one can pursue.
By Glen Farrelly | April 17, 2013 11:15 AM | Categories: Mobility Trends
In early April, I attended a seminar on mobile technology and Canada's economy presented by Backbone magazine and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.
By Michael Geist | April 15, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Trends
Soon after the publication of my column
on the digital divide in Canada, I received the following email from a reader, who lives just north of Toronto (FWIW, I've received similar letters from people within the City of Ottawa limits). The reader reacts to both the lack of access and the efforts of Xplornet to stop the government from supporting communities without access.
By Glen Farrelly | April 11, 2013 5:00 AM | Categories: Trends
The educational benefits of digital and interactive media are well established. Even considering this, I am surprised how seldom my young daughter has had the chance to use educational technology. Her schools have made spartan and prosaic use of computers. Even with me working in digital media, I haven't exposed my kid to that much tech beyond online and console games.
At the beginning of an ERP implementation, no one involved wants or expects to get caught up in a lawsuit. Despite the fact that, according to our 2013 ERP Report
most ERP implementations take longer than expected, cost more than expected, and fail to deliver expected business benefits, most organizations commence their projects with the best of intentions. Other than the occasional CIO or CFO who is afraid of losing his or her job, not many are thinking about ERP failure this early in the project.
By Glen Farrelly | April 8, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Trends
Last year at this time, I posted on the importance of recognizing Canadians working in digital media in both the content and technology sides. I urged people to nominate someone in the sector for Canada's Walk of Fame
. So far, it's been a complete shut-out for this sector - which inarguably has a huge impact on Canadian culture, identity, and daily life.
Much has been said about the demise of American manufacturing
. There is a general sense that manufacturing jobs are being moved overseas to China, India, and other developing markets, yet from what we can tell, U.S. companies and other developed multi-nationals are still looking for ways to leverage ERP systems
By Alan Brookstone | April 3, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: eHealth
How does one prevent snooping of patient records through a hospital, regional or local clinical information system?
By Glen Farrelly | April 2, 2013 1:15 PM | Categories: Tech events
Yesterday was the second and final day of the Digital Media Summit
conference in Toronto. I recapped my highlights from the first day of the conference on Webslinger
and the Twitter feed has useful highlights
I was going through my files and came across a mental map I did a few months ago about factors involved in online participation and social media, particularly related to participation in politics and government.
EidoSearch, the winner
of last year’s Start Me Up Innovation Campaign
, now has another milestone under its belt with the launch of a new product built out of its flagship financial data search engine technology.
Smartphone and camera makers all talk about how fast and easy it is to record amazing HD videos using their devices. With just a small device—that happens to be your phone as well— you can shoot a video that will amaze the world and make you a viral sensation on YouTube. Or maybe not.
Applications are flowing in from Canadian tech entrepreneurs for the second-annual Backbone Innovation Campaign
, and judges are gearing up for the tough job of narrowing the strong field down to a 10-best list and then, at our live event May 6, choosing one winner and one runner up.
By Peter Wolchak | March 22, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Trends
People are once again talking about Yahoo! Its new CEO Marissa Mayer recently decided to reel employees back into the office
, cancelling or curtailing the option employees had to work where and when they wished. This has left many grumbling as they say goodbye to home offices and hello to the daily grind of commuting to centralized cubicles.
By Glen Farrelly | March 21, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Tech events
I haven’t been to an industry conference in a long while, so it was refreshing to move from (generally stuffy) academic conferences to hear about the invigorating realm of digital media in the real world at today's Digital Media Summit
By Backbone Staff | March 20, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Security
Almost two thirds of Canadians will file their 2012 tax returns online this year, according to the Canada Revenue Agency, and security software company McAfee wants people to know that tax time is prime season for cybercriminals.
By Glen Farrelly | March 19, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Mobility
Despite a recent CBC study
which found that 82% of Canadians mostly use tablets at home, I still consider tablets a mobile device and thus under my purview. I also take an avid interest in Canadian innovations
in digital media. So I was really excited to attend a talk last week by James Wu of Kobo
on "Rethinking Tablet User Experience
If you’re still getting your head around the concept of the Internet of Things, I have bad news: there’s a new buzz term in town, and it’s even bigger and more complicated.
Canada’s federal government recently announced a Start-Up Visa Program
aimed at attracting international entrepreneurs to the country.
In it’s simplest form, eCommerce integration
is the coordination between an eCommerce site and back-end inventory and accounting (ERP) system. Having a fully integrated system that connects your back-end ERP software to your front-end eCommerce site is designed to streamline processes across all departments of your organization.
By Michael Geist | March 13, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Wireless
In the aftermath of the CRTC's hearing on a consumer wireless code and the government's announcement of its plan for future spectrum auctions, a debate has raged over the competitiveness and health of the Canadian wireless market.
By Jon Arnold | March 11, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Trends
Hot topic lately, and time will tell if old school work-at-your-desk policies will save Yahoo. Personally, I think remote working is great for certain types of people and situations, but for the masses, bad idea. Gee, can you tell that I work from home?
How can an established well-proven process be a liability to business productivity? Mateen Greenway deals with this perplexing question and others that business innovators face in today's technology climate.
By Michael Geist | March 7, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: General Trends
The movie Argo may have picked up the biggest prize in last week's Academy Awards ceremony, but it was the Best Documentary Short winner that had many on the Internet buzzing.
The world of IT employment has changed over the decades. When I graduated from Western University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, computers were new, networks didn’t exist as we know them now and there were plenty of full-time opportunities to be had.
To support its goal of expanding into the U.S. legal market, innovation contest runner-up TitanFile has naturally targeted top industry trade shows to attend in 2013. The first of these—LegalTech New York 2013—provided the start-up with “extraordinary” success, and also a number of lessons, according to Emily Barnes, community manager at TitanFile.
By Peter Wolchak | March 4, 2013 5:00 AM | Categories: Gadgets
I was in New York Feb. 20th for Sony’s PS4 launch. It was a fun event with lots of glitz and excitement. After all, Sony was unveiling its first new console in more than six years.
Do you run an early-stage tech company with less than $2 million in annual revenue? The second annual Backbone Start-Up Innovation Campaign - $100,000 in prizes - is a great contest for you to enter. Or if you know someone who could be our next winner, please pass the word along.
By Peter Wolchak | February 28, 2013 11:00 AM | Categories: Mobility Trends
There is a weird story unfolding right now centred on business negotiations between US network AMC and cable giant Rogers. It seems the two are in some sort of dispute, that the disagreement has dragged on, and that AMC has set a deadline for its resolution.
By Michael Geist | February 25, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Technology law
Hollywood crime dramas are infamous for the scene when an accused is taken to a local police station and permitted a single phone call to contact a relative or lawyer. While the storyline is myth - there is no limit on the number of phone calls available to an accused or detainee - a recent Alberta case
established a new, real requirement for law enforcement.
By Michael Geist | February 22, 2013 1:45 PM | Categories: Technology law
In a surprising and troubling decision
, the Ontario Court of Appeal has permitted a police search of a cellphone that was not password protected or locked during the course of an arrest.
By Glen Farrelly | February 22, 2013 5:15 AM | Categories: Mobility
My kid was away this weekend on a winter camp-out with her Brownie troop, so my wife and I used the opportunity to have some grown-up fun while she was away. So we invited friends over for dinner and planned a meal that was decidedly not kid-friendly (i.e. no grilled cheese).
Have you ever wondered what exactly siFR is or why you should use it? Have you ever had a burning question about siFR that you just never asked?
By Glen Farrelly | February 20, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Mobility
I've been recently researching the history of location-based services (LBS) and locative media. I previously blogged about the definition
, and examples
of these, but I have not examined their origins.
By Michael Geist | February 19, 2013 5:15 AM | Categories: Technology law
For the past month, business groups from across the country have waged an extraordinary campaign against Canada's anti-spam legislation.
EidoSearch, winner of last year’s innovation campaign hosted by Backbone magazine
, received news earlier this month that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allowed the pending claims in one of its patent applications.
Some of the most compelling pieces being used in B2B sales these days are visuals. Ones that help buyers and sellers come to agreement on what a buyer’s situation looks like and what might be done to improve it are especially effective.
By Michael Geist | February 13, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Technology law
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced yesterday [Feb. 11, 2013] that the government will not be proceeding with Bill C-30, the lawful access/Internet surveillance legislation:
By Glen Farrelly | February 12, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Mobility
I attended a talk yesterday that presented an inspirational model for the power of online mapping, social media, and mobile communications (much of the stuff I'm researching!). Rebecca Chiao co-founder of HarassMap, an online sexual harassment service started in Egypt in 2010, spoke at University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.
[Feb. 6, 2013] on the coalition of business lobby groups support for a spyware provision in the Canadian anti-spam law attracted considerable attention, with many shocked at the breadth of the proposal.
By Peter Wolchak | February 7, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Trends
Windows 8 is huge for Microsoft. It is a radical design departure, it is an attempt to unify tablet and PC interfaces (and by so doing make a larger statement on the direction of modern computing) and it is the pony Microsoft and its hardware partners are riding as buyers increasingly eschew traditional computers for tablets.
By Peter Wolchak | February 5, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories: Gadgets
One of the more impressive elements of the BlackBerry 10 launch was the size of the new BlackBerry World app store: we have 70,000 apps available today, CEO Thorsten Heins proclaimed, and soon it will be 100,000.
By Peter Wolchak | February 4, 2013 1:30 PM | Categories: Gadgets
A friend of mine is a successful business consultant and a long-time BlackBerry user. He asked me the other day about the new Z10: should he get one or switch to Android?
Much skepticism and uncertainty has clouded the ERP industry for the last several years. Bloated and ineffective implementations, high risk, ERP failures, lawsuits and cumbersome software have given many ERP vendors
somewhat of a black eye over the last several years.
Mobility is disrupting and transforming business, bringing new opportunities that also bring new demands on IT.
By Michael Geist | February 1, 2013 4:30 AM | Categories: Technology law
Canadians frustrated with ever-increasing cable and satellite bills received bad news last week with the announcement
that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will consider whether to require cable and satellite companies to include nearly two-dozen niche channels as part of their basic service packages.
It was a big day for Waterloo’s BlackBerry. Jan. 30 began with CEO Thorsten Heins officially dumping the name “RIM” in favour of “BlackBerry.” Heins then unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and launched the first BB10 device: the Z10.
Jan. 30, 2013, was a big day for Research In Motion. The company launched its much-anticipated and long-overdue BlackBerry 10 operating system and handhelds.
By Michael Geist | January 29, 2013 3:00 PM | Categories: Technology law
Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a myriad of posts and articles criticizing Canada's anti-spam legislation
. According to some posts - primarily those by Barry Sookman - the legislation will stop family members from sending commercial email to each other
, parents from promoting their children's lemonade stands, and discriminate against charities and schools
. Is this true
Putting something as business-critical as the company’s phone systems in a cloud environment must be done with serious consideration of the needs of your business.
In AntiFragile, Nassim Taleb explains what firms can do to lower their risks of catastrophic events, despite prevailing complexities and uncertainties. He describes such firms as the opposite of ‘fragile’ … ergo, Antifragile.
The Internet community has been reeling for the past week as it grapples with the suicide of Aaron Swartz, a prominent digital rights activist who left a remarkable legacy for a 26-year old.
Toronto-based company Artez Interactive has compiled a whitepaper on fundraising using Facebook.
In our top ten predictions for 2013 blog
posted last month, we highlighted mobile ERP systems as one of the key trends to gain momentum in the coming year.
By Backbone Staff | January 18, 2013 5:30 AM | Categories:
Andrew White has discovered that there's a kind of magic in entrepreneurship. With help from a program called VentureStart, he has seen the transformation of an idea into a product, with a demo unit at a lead customer site and sales forecasted to be $10 million over the next four years.
By Peter Wolchak | January 17, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Trends
Amazon Canada recently launched its Prime service in Canada
Primus Canada has spun its more-than-a-decade of data centre and managed services expertise into BLACKIRON Data—a division of the company made up of its eight Canadian data centres, cloud products and managed services.
By Peter Wolchak | January 16, 2013 12:45 PM | Categories: Social media
Facebook’s promised big announcement Jan. 15 was a new search service called Graph Search. Details are here
but basically this is a souped-up internal search engine that lets you find friends using complex queries.
By Peter Wolchak | January 16, 2013 5:15 AM | Categories: Security
In November, an employee at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) lost a USB key containing personal information on 5,000 Canadians.
The most critical issue for entrepreneurs is choosing the right people to work with.
By Peter Wolchak | January 14, 2013 5:45 AM | Categories: Gadgets
In the weeks leading up to Christmas I had conversations with four people looking for tablet-buying advice.
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is on the rise, and 2013 is the year to make sure plans and policies are in place.
Lesson #1 - Reduce your personal expenses - Get them down as much as possible. No new car, bigger house or fancy vacation.
By Alan Brookstone | January 9, 2013 3:30 AM | Categories: eHealth
Few technologies have had as much of an impact on health information as mobile phones. It is unusual these days to walk into an examination room and not find a patient on their mobile phone, looking up information, playing games, or communicating.
Musicians know it takes practice to perform at their peak. The authors of Practice Perfect stress that practice makes permanent
– so you had better get it right. So, based on what we’ve been learning with our clients, here are 7 rules for perfecting best practices in B2B Business Development:
Cloud ERP systems
are getting a lot of attention these days. SaaS ERP vendors – such as Salesforce, Workday and Plex Systems – and other cloud providers are demonstrating revenue growth that most traditional ERP vendors aren’t seeing.
By Glen Farrelly | January 4, 2013 3:15 AM | Categories: Mobility
I attended a talk recently by usability expert Steve Krug
. His book written in 2000 Don't Make Me Think
helped convince me in the early days of my Internet career of the importance of usability and the need to study it.
By Alan Brookstone | January 3, 2013 4:15 AM | Categories: eHealth
One of the challenges that physicians face in their adoption of EMRs is the need to use multiple clinical information systems based upon their location(s) of practice.
By Glen Farrelly | January 2, 2013 3:15 AM | Categories: eLearning
A few years ago, I was managing a website for a financial services company and wanted to take courses to improve my ability to use online communications effectively and strategically.
By Backbone Staff | December 21, 2012 1:15 PM | Categories: Cloud computing
Hosted or cloud-based PBX services can bring countless benefits over traditional telephony systems. And for many businesses, the time may be ripe to embrace it.
By Backbone Staff | December 21, 2012 4:30 AM | Categories: General
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Backbone magazine to you and your loved ones. We'll be back in the new year with the exciting 2013 Innovation Campaign, our annual predictions story, investment and technology trend news, and coverage of the latest gadgets.
Several months ago in a speech to the Economic Club of Canada, Industry Minister Christian Paradis promised
to unveil a Canadian digital economy strategy by the end of the year.
Early customers are not just a source of revenue for start-ups, but help hone the company’s development efforts through their feedback and iterative product development.
The past weeks have brought success to Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign award winner EidoSearch thanks directly to its recent focus on agile development
Yesterday at the Dell World conference in Austin, Texas, a colleague made an astute observation during a BYOD panel discussion. My tweet of his comment read “Good point from the audience: companies face a flood of BYOD devices on Jan. 7, once the presents come to work. #DellWorld
By Peter Wolchak | December 17, 2012 4:15 AM | Categories: Tech events
The big theme at Dell World 2012
is “transformation.” At least, that’s the message I am getting from founder Michael Dell.
Exciting features like scanning to the cloud
and mobile devices bring productivity, but Fujitsu’s ScanSnap family has at its heart a performance-enhancing feature it’s been building on for over 10 years: direct scan-to-PDF.
By Eric Kimberling | December 11, 2012 12:30 AM | Categories:
When it comes to ERP systems
, the word “customization” is one of the most dreaded terms that an executive hears. In fact, I would estimate that at least 90-percent of Panorama’s ERP selection
clients indicate a strong preference for zero or no customization. In other words, most CIOs and CFOs want to use the system out of the box without making any changes to the software code. There will always be configuration and personalization, which every ERP implementation
requires, but when it comes to heavy-duty changes to the software, most executives don’t want to hear about it.
Why is Canada's status as an innovation nation slipping? Why are so few Canadian CEO's using social media? It seems an obvious tool to use because it allows companies to build communities of trust and loyalty, says Peter Aceto, talking at a recent i-CANADA Summit.
1) How did you get involved with iNovia? Through relationships mainly. I have never looked for a "job" in my life. I truly believe that if you are passionate and driven about something, opportunities will arise.
By Alan Brookstone | December 5, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: eHealth
A number of years ago, while working with Vancouver Coastal Health on a primary care health IT strategy, I had the opportunity to lead a project to develop local peer support networks or physician user groups (PUGs). The principle behind the groups was to find a way to bring together clinicians with a wide range of skill sets ranging from none to highly skillful in relation to EMR use and health IT. However, as with many of these types of strategies, programs such as this are difficult to sustain over the long term.
By Glen Farrelly | December 4, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: General
Over the past couple years I have been interested in starting a Canadian and/or an Ontario Chapter of the Internet Society
. The Internet Society is an international, non-profit organization devoted to making the "Internet for everyone".
Purchasing ERP software
can be a complicated endeavor. In addition to functional fit, organizations considering a new ERP system need to think about things like technical fit, vendor viability, the business case analysis, organizational readiness, implementation planning, and a host of other variable that constitute an effective ERP selection
By Glen Farrelly | November 30, 2012 11:45 PM | Categories: General
Working with non-profit organizations, I am familiar with what a challenge online fundraising and e-commerce can be for an organization that doesn't have the specialization or budget to launch such services.
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology is changing our lives. It is now possible for us to turn up our home heating on the way home from work by using a smartphone or tablet, or activate the home security system to allow a family member in who mislaid his keys. Similarly, M2M technology is changing the way businesses operate.
There’s no question that start-ups need a long-term vision to succeed but, as recent efforts at EidoSearch prove, there is also a time to roll-up sleeves and focus on the short-term.
Canada has no shortage of brilliant minds and great ideas, but our innovators sometimes lack the gung-ho capitalist attitude seen south of the border.
Online portal 1DegreeBio connects 85,000 scientists worldwide. Working in a large biotechnology lab, Alex Hodgson noticed a strange duplication of cost and effort. Researchers were purchasing multiple versions of the same antibodies for their studies, because relying on a single source they could never be sure of adequate quality. “And you can’t do great research with crap antibodies,” says Hodgson.
We continue to see executive buyers prove, by their behaviors, their interest in engaging in sales conversations about the outcomes they’re after for their businesses. They’re curious to find effective ways to get outcomes that they’re after.
It’s hard to believe that 2012 is already drawing to a close as we all prepare for holidays, vacations and New Year’s celebrations. This last year was another interesting one for the ERP industry and its stakeholders, including Panorama and our clients as well as ERP vendors
and other ERP consultants. Here are just a few highlights from the past year:
By Glen Farrelly | November 19, 2012 5:45 AM | Categories: eLearning
I'm teaching a class next week on "Online research: New challenges & opportunities". In preparation, I was thinking of all the ways to study online (and by this I mean both Internet and mobile) phenomena and to use online methods to study other things.
Finding funds to maintain growth is almost always a challenge for start-ups, and that’s the case for EidoSearch, winner of the Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign. The company works with traditional investors and luckily has been able to tap into public sector grants to help it along.
Congratulations to Clifton van der Linden
, a finalist in the Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign 2012 hosted by Backbone
magazine, who has recently been named a 2012-13 Action Canada Fellow!
By Glen Farrelly | November 14, 2012 2:00 PM | Categories: Mobility Trends
I recently signed out magazines from my nearby public library for recreational reading on a flight. I still like reading print, but don't like spending the $6 or more magazine now costs. Granted they were a bit old, but applicable to my research interests.
More than a decade of debate over Canadian copyright reform came to a conclusion last week as Bill C-11, the fourth try at reform since 2005, formally took effect. While several elements of the bill still await further regulations, the biggest overhaul of Canadian copyright law in years is now largely complete.
By Peter Wolchak | November 9, 2012 10:30 AM | Categories: Security
The average Canadian carries almost 30 cards in his or her wallet. Loyalty cards, bank cards, credit cards, stored-value cards, library cards, driver’s licence, health card, and on and on. And that’s only the physical world. Online, we all have multiple user names and passwords. If you’re not very security conscious, you may have only a few online identity combinations; if you’re knowledgeable about security, you may have 10, or 20 or 30.
The benefit the cloud brings to business agility and cost reduction doesn’t begin and end at the data centre. In fact, the cloud is finding its way into almost every facet of business and technology.
TitanFile—the runner up in the Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign hosted by Backbone this spring—has completed a successful round of financing which it will use to advance its technology and spread to U.S. markets.
As someone who works in a University environment, in the past at Waterloo and Toronto, and presently at Temple (Philadelphia), and studies disruptive innovation I have a natural interest in how online education is going to change people's perception of the purpose of education, the role of the classroom, and the business models of universities. My interest is further heightened by the recent launch of VentureStart
an online program I recently developed for aspiring technology entrepreneurs, based on my work and teaching experience and research.
By Alan Brookstone | November 5, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: eHealth
With the launch of the 7.9 inch iPad mini
, Apple fired a warning shot across the bow of other hardware manufacturers with small form factor tablets, in particular, the 7 inch Amazon Kindle Fire
and the Google Nexus 7
. While these are competent devices and a little less expensive than the iPad mini (the Kindle Fire sells for $159 and the Nexus 7 for $199), the Apple eco-system is a tough competitor in the health care sector.
One of the common themes in conversations we’ve been having recently with business executives is how different things are today than they were 1, 3, or 5 years ago. Many say that sales which used to come predictably, and quickly [say, within 6 months] are now taking twice as long to close. In addition, for many, win rates are poorer than they used to be.
Sometimes there's a thin line between a start-up and a slip-up. Andrew Maxwell, PhD., knows this well, since he has helped many aspiring entrepreneurs get past that line without tripping.
Don Tapscott talks on the possibility of rebuilding our civilization’s institutions, which date back to the industrial age, around a new set of principles. His engaging anecdotes include the role of social media played in his neighbour’s search for gold.
By Michael Geist | October 31, 2012 5:15 AM | Categories: Technology law
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police renewed its call
for Internet surveillance legislation on Friday, urging the government to move forward with Bill C-30.
By Sue Ansell | October 30, 2012 5:00 AM | Categories: Tech events
Thirty-seven medal recipients were honoured in a presentation ceremony on October 21, 2012 at the i-CANADA conference in Montreal.
I think it’s fair to say that the “heat is on” in the Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service market in Canada with several significant developments.
By Michael Geist | October 26, 2012 10:00 AM | Categories: Technology law
Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro has raised the prospect
of government regulation of online anonymity, arguing that Parliament should address the issue of forcing people to identify themselves before posting comments online.
With the announcement last week, it was official. Microsoft Dynamics CRM
is getting serious about leading the CRM
market with highly advanced Marketing Automation upgrades.
By Michael Geist | October 25, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: Technology law
Earlier this month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission invited the public to help create a national code of conduct for wireless companies
such as Bell, Rogers, and Telus.
Over the past 15 years, I have seen my share of successful ERP implementations
. The Panorama team and I have successfully managed a number of complex implementations over the years — ranging from SAP to Oracle E-Business Suite, to Microsoft Dynamics to Tier II ERP implementations — and have the battle scars to show for it.
By Glen Farrelly | October 23, 2012 12:00 AM | Categories: Mobility
Last month, after three long years, my smartphone contract with Bell finally expired! This contract had me locked away from the exciting developments in the mobile device market. Although not completely cloistered and clueless, I really need help in choosing my next device and carrier.
By Michael Geist | October 22, 2012 5:45 AM | Categories: Technology law
Last week's Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications decision to reject the proposed Bell - Astral merger surprised most observers, as few predicted with much confidence that the deal would be flatly rejected.
By Alan Brookstone | October 19, 2012 5:45 AM | Categories: eHealth
The concept of a “Medical Home” has been around for a long time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) introduced the medical home in 1967 and later expanded upon the framework in conjunction with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American College of Physicians (ACP), and American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The current definition of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is “an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth and adults. The PCMH is a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients, and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, the patient’s family.”
You come across it all the time. You read it on the ERP vendor websites, you hear it from ERP software sales reps, and you see it in proposals: “Don’t worry about business process reengineering
– our ERP software will tell you how your processes should work.”
By Christine Sheppard | October 17, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: Cloud computing
The Cloud has been a ‘Hot Topic’ consistently now for a few years- and not just for technology geeks! There were early adopters that championed the movement to go Virtual – but this was no small flash in the pan.
By Michael Geist | October 16, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: Technology law
The Globe's John Ibbitson has a column
on Bill C-30, the lawful access/Internet surveillance bill, that he says dying a quiet death.
By Michael Geist | October 15, 2012 5:15 AM | Categories: Technology law
The government continues to drag its feet on bringing forward anti-spam regulations - Canada's anti-spam law received royal assent in 2010 but won't take effect until 2013 at the earliest - but the CRTC seems determined to move things forward.
By Michael Geist | October 11, 2012 5:45 AM | Categories: Technology law
Given the enormous popularity of social media, establishing a foothold on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other popular websites has become a top priority for most organizations. The same is true for the federal government, which last year released a lengthy policy document
that established the rules for departmental engagement with "Web 2.0" sites and tools.
By Michael Geist | October 10, 2012 5:45 AM | Categories: Technology law
A B.C. man has filed a lawsuit
against Google over the scanning of emails sent to Gmail users.
By Alan Brookstone | October 9, 2012 5:15 AM | Categories: eHealth
The following three-part series of articles have been written by a veteran software developer who has worked extensively in the EMR industry. The article series is published on his behalf. His comments are directed broadly at the industry.
There’s little question that recruitment can be a significant challenge and that hiring the right employees can have a huge impact on a small, growing company. Every hire made by any comes with an amount of risk, but for start-ups the risk and reward is much greater.
By Christine Sheppard | October 3, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: Cloud computing
The Cloud this, The Cloud that… the term gets thrown around loosely and vaguely causing a state of general Cloud confusion. Here’s what you REALLY want to know. How can I USE The Cloud to my advantage? How can my business benefit from it’s capabilities?
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority released the results
of its board of directors election yesterday and I was very pleased to be elected to the board with the largest number of votes of any candidate.
RIM shared some good news with the world recently. (The less charitable among us will characterize the news as “less bad than expected” but we’ll ignore those people for now.)
By Michael Geist | September 27, 2012 5:15 AM | Categories: Technology law
Ten years ago, sixteen experts from around the world gathered in Budapest, Hungary to discuss the how the Internet was changing the way researchers could disseminate their work. The group hatched a plan
to "accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge."
By Alan Brookstone | September 26, 2012 5:00 AM | Categories: eHealth
The hypothesis is as follows: By automating the care delivery process with tools such as EMRs and EHRs, we have the opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of care by decreasing duplication of tests and investigations, lowering errors through decision support tools and reminders and identifying diseases earlier, thereby treating patients in ambulatory practices vs. expensive acute care settings. However, what if the hypothesis is incorrect?
Creating a thriving business is about more than strategy and finances, business plans and spreadsheets. In most cases, success depends on a blend of hard and soft skills: a mix of solid business savvy with good interpersonal relations. Good corporate culture is difficult to simply implement, but is regularly one of the defining characteristics of what sets apart the best and most profitable ventures from the rest. Particularly for start-ups, establishing a positive workplace culture is essential. Happy, valued employees can often do more for the bottom line than all the business school lectures combined.
By Peter Wolchak | September 21, 2012 9:45 AM | Categories: eCommerce Trends
Our article “Ready to go cashless?
” (September 2012 issue
) is a good read and asks a good question: do Canadians want to get rid of their card-stuffed wallets and embrace electronic payment systems?
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the dot-ca domain, opens its board of directors election
at noon ET today. CIRA members are eligible to vote from September 19th until September 26th, with five seats at stake - two member-nominated seats and three nominating-committee seats. I am on the ballot for a member-nominated seat and would appreciate your support.
CFOs and CIOs of most organizations begin their ERP implementations
with the expectations that their businesses will be transformed along the way. Using the power and flexibility of ERP systems
such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and Tier II ERP software, executives expect material cost improvements to their supply chains, more effective interactions with their customers, and better visibility to operational information.
By Alan Brookstone | September 14, 2012 5:30 AM | Categories: eHealth
Consider the following clinical scenario: You are a family physician in an EMR-based practice. One of your patients (a 65 yr male with Diabetes, borderline renal failure and Hypertension) presents with atypical chest pain. An initial assessment does not reveal an obvious cardiac cause for the chest pain, however you decide to refer the patient to a cardiologist for further investigation. The cardiologist identifies early congestive heart failure and decides to increase the dose of one medication, adds a new medication and stops another medication entirely. (The reason for a lack of specifics regarding the medications is simply to illustrate a point. This scenario could be applied to any situation in which multiple providers share care for patients and modify or add new medications to a treatment regimen)
There reaches an inevitable point for a start-up when communicating its value and competitive differentiation more efficiently and widely becomes crucial. For EidoSearch, that time is now.
It is an important week for “infrastructure” in Canada. Starting today (09-10-2012), Regina will be hosting the second-ever National Infrastructure Summit. Hundreds of delegates from the public and private sector will come together to not only discuss the state of Canada’s infrastructure, but also to explore opportunities and solutions in finance, policy, innovation, and citizen engagement.
By Alan Brookstone | September 11, 2012 5:00 AM | Categories: eHealth
Technology for the sake of technology has limited value, particularly in health care. The initial phase of EMR and information technology implementation by medical practitioners has been primarily focused on getting the technology in place and making sure it is deployed as comprehensively as possible. Once the EMR has been in place for some time (1-2 years) and there is a level of comfort and familiarity amongst the users, there is usually a natural transition towards quality improvement and optimization. As with all adoption curves, there are always a small subset of users who tend not to progress in their use and remain 'stuck' at a very basic level.
In a recent presentation for Corporate Visions, Scott Santucci of Forrester Research noted that CEOs are increasingly worried that their selling systems are not adapting quickly enough to accommodate changing business strategies.
more often than not run counter-intuitive to lean concepts. While lean and Six Sigma cultures focus on reducing waste and non-value-add activities, most ERP implementations are bloated with inefficiencies and cost overruns.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis paid a visit to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto last week to deliver a speech
focused on the digital economy. As has been the case for months, the speech was short on specifics but filled with platitudes about a forthcoming digital economy strategy that "challenges our innovators" and "drives new technology."
By Alan Brookstone | September 5, 2012 5:45 AM | Categories: eHealth
September is always an exciting and interesting time from a work perspective despite notification [via the Labour day long-weekend] that summer is over. How will 2013 differ from previous years in terms of adoption and use of health information technology in clinical settings? Here are my Top 10 predictions for the year ahead.
As details regarding Knight Capital’s dramatic ERP failure continue to emerge, it becomes clear that organizations that don’t effectively handle their ERP implementations
can (and often do) end up paying a price almost beyond comprehension.