Coffee Briefing, Oct. 19, 2021 – All the recent tech news; a podcast roundup; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from the rest of the editorial team!

Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

What’s new this week

Coding For Veterans program now includes spouses and Afghan interpreters

Source: Coding for Veterans

Canada’s Coding For Veterans (C4V) program has expanded this year to include military spouses and family members and, most recently, to support the resettlement of those citizens of Afghanistan who served alongside Canadian troops. It will allow Afghan interpreters who can safely immigrate to Canada to enroll and retrain for tech sector jobs alongside the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members they once served beside.

An intensive eight-month online program offered in partnership with the University of Ottawa, C4V is aimed at harnessing the skills and experiences of veterans who have served Canada by training them for second civilian careers as software and cybersecurity professionals. The tuition for the program is fully paid for qualified veterans by Veterans Affairs Canada.

The C4V career caravan is currently at the halfway point of its cross Canada recruitment tour. Now travelling throughout Ontario, its mission is to bring our troops from deployment to employment, even in the face of COVID-19. The tour will stop in most major military installations and training centres in Canada ahead of Remembrance Day 2021 – where it will make its final stop in our nation’s capital on Nov. 11.

New ServiceNow solution to help organizations activate their ESG strategies

Source: Kanizphoto | Getty Images

The American cloud computing platform company ServiceNow last week announced the launch of an integrated environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solution. Built on the Now platform, the integrated solution aims to help organizations plan, manage, govern, and report on their ESG programs and initiatives. It provides visibility and transparency across companies’ ESG programs and initiatives, helping them strategize, manage, govern, and report on these efforts on a single platform, the company explained in a press release. Key components of the solution include: 

  • ServiceNow ESG management and reporting enables companies to document material topics, establish goals and KPIs, track performance, collect and validate audit‑ready data, and create disclosures that align with major ESG reporting frameworks.
  • ServiceNow project and portfolio management helps build and maintain a company’s ESG roadmap, including strategy, planning, and budgeting tools plus ongoing tracking of costs, resources, and results. Companies gain visibility into their ESG investments and improve the scale and impact of their ESG efforts.
  • ServiceNow integrated risk management provides core governance capabilities and advanced risk assessments, continuous monitoring, AI, audits, privacy, automation, and more. It integrates ESG considerations and data into enterprise‑wide risk and compliance management with a real‑time view of ESG compliance and risk as well as analytics that improve decision-making and business performance.

Instacart expands footprint across Quebec

Source: Kanizphoto | Getty Images

The North American online grocery platform Instacart last week announced that it has expanded its footprint across Quebec to include 17 more municipalities, following the company’s initial launch in Montreal. The company first launched in Quebec in June with initial retail partners Costco, Les Aliments M&M and Walmart; its French-language experience in the province marked the first time the company launched products in another language.

As part of this latest expansion, Instacart has added four new key retailers – H&M, Pharmaprix, Sephora Canada, and Staples Canada (known as Bureau en Gros in Quebec). It will now reach 90 per cent of Canadian households, delivering groceries and essential goods from more than 40 retailers and 2,400 stores across Canada. 

CIRA partners with ScamAdvisor to safeguard Canadians against online scams

ileezhun | Getty Images

The Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA), which oversees the .ca domain, last week announced its partnership with the anti-scam technology firm ScamAdviser to safeguard Canadian families against online scams and fraudulent websites. It will integrate protection against fraudulent websites into the Protected and Family versions of the CIRA Canadian Shield, a free DNS service that prevents Canadians from connecting to malicious websites. 

As part of this partnership, the ScamAdviser Trust Score – an API that helps check the trustworthiness of a domain – will be added to CIRA Canadian Shield, allowing it to block websites with a high-risk score based on more than 40 scam cues. Some of these cues include the IP address of the web server, the ability to contact the website owners, the age of the URL, ratings on review sites, and more.

Vancouver-based data analytics firm strikes deal with Iceland’s leading shoe retailer to digitize its plastic gift cards 

Source: erhui1979 | Getty Images

Fobi AI, a Vancouver-based company that provides real-time data analytics through artificial intelligence to drive operational efficiencies and profitability, has announced the signing of a national Passcreator Wallet pass deal with Iceland’s shoe retailer S4S.

As part of the deal, Fobi, in collaboration with Iceland-based digital transformation agency Leikbreytir, will digitize plastic gift cards and paper-based credit notes from S4S that will be managed and redeemed via Fobi’s Passcreator Wallet pass. Fobi says it expects to generate immediate revenue through the licensing of Wallet passes to S4S through Leikbreytir.

More to explore

3 steps CIOs can take to prevent digital backsliding for business acceleration

The widespread drive to accelerate digital business initiatives during the pandemic has meant big changes in the way work gets done and decisions are made. Now as hybrid work becomes the “new normal,” it’s critical that businesses keep up this digital momentum. For CIOs, this means ensuring that non-digital behaviours and practices don’t creep back into processes and decisions that were transformed during the pandemic response.

Countries agree to ‘urgent action’ on ransomware, but issue few specifics

Government representatives of 30 nations including Canada have agreed to recognize ransomware as an escalating global security threat with serious economic and security consequences and have committed themselves to “urgent action.”

Dell announces Latitude 5430 and 7330 Extreme rugged PCs

Dell has announced two new rugged laptops designed to crunch the numbers in tough climates. The Latitude 5430 and 7330 laptops both feature various reinforcements for field researchers, warehouses, and first responders.

Google announces sustainability initiatives

At the Google Cloud Next ’21 conference last week, Google picked up its pace on tackling climate change with announcement of new sustainability initiatives surrounding Google Cloud.

Accelerator program to help Western Canada’s Black entrepreneurs

Alberta-based Black Business Ventures Association (BBVA) is launching the Black Seed Accelerator Program to provide support to Black tech-led startups in Canadian Prairies.

Channel Bytes October 15, 2021 – new ProSupport Suite; Herjavec Group grows; Free WebAuthn MOOC; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Grant Thornton and Xero partner to provide free custom cloud accounting solution to Canadian women-owned SMBs

Canadian accounting and business advisory firm Grant Thornton and global online accounting software company Xero have teamed up to launch the Business Boost program to help Canadian women entrepreneurs solve business problems with a complimentary custom cloud accounting solution.

Silicon Valley Bank opens its third Canadian office in Montreal

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a U.S.-based commercial bank that focuses on lending to technology companies and has helped fund more than 30,000 start-ups globally, yesterday announced its expansion in Canada with a new office in Montreal

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Google’s CEO warns we’re running out of time on the Climate Crisis, Facebook disputes a claim that says their AI can’t deal with hate speech, and Apple drops a new MacBook Pro.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This podcast reports on the value of ransomware payments in the US, a warning to cybersecurity researchers and the discovery of a phony ad blocker.

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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Her characters are bold and smart, but in real life, Pragya is afraid of going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the Yamuna River on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing professional who also prepares beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not.

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