Coffee Briefing, Sept. 28, 2021 – Amazon Connect’s new AI/ML-enabled features; Aptum’s Cloud Impact study; 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

Amazon Connect’s new features to help improve contact centre agent productivity

Source: AWS

Tens of thousands of Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers use Amazon Connect, its omnichannel cloud contact centre solution, to support more than 10 million contact centre interactions every day, says AWS. 

The company yesterday announced three new capabilities for Amazon Connect with the aim to improve contact centre agent productivity. AWS says these new features will help agents answer customer questions faster, provide fast and secure caller authentication, and make communicating with customers easier and more efficient. 

  • Amazon Connect Wisdom: To offer real-time agent assistance (now generally available), ingests and organizes content that agents need from homegrown databases and a company’s third-party knowledge repositories, with pre-built connectors to Salesforce and ServiceNow.
  • Amazon Connect Voice ID: Caller authentication (now generally available), delivers real-time caller authentication using machine learning powered voice analysis.
  • Currently in preview, the new automated outbound communications for calls, texts, and emails help contact centre agents scale to reach millions of customers daily through the predictive dialer feature that automatically calls customers in a list, but throttles outreach based on agent availability. It also uses a machine learning model to distinguish between a live customer, voicemail greeting, or busy signal to increase agent efficiency by ensuring agents only connect to a live customer. 

Payfare collaborates with Visa to offer discounts to DoorDashers

Source: Lesia_G | Getty Images

Toronto-based Payfare, a global fintech offering instant payout and digital banking solutions for gig workers, has announced its collaboration with digital banking solutions firm Visa to add Visa SavingsEdge to its platform, starting with the nationwide DoorDash DasherDirect card program.

The new Visa SavingsEdge gives eligible Visa business cardholders who opt into the program access to savings on qualified purchases at participating merchants, with merchant categories including fuel, auto parts, dining, and travel, the company noted. 

Visa Canada to grant select women entrepreneurs $10,000 each for business expansion

lemono | Getty Images

Visa Canada has announced the second round of She’s Next grant recipients, Canadian women entrepreneurs who will receive $10,000 CAD each and one-year of business coaching through IFundWomen to support, grow and expand their businesses.

The recipients span diverse backgrounds and industries from apparel, food & beverage and home goods, to professional services, non-profit and social good-for-profit, each offering innovative solutions and products. 


Visa Canada announces winners of IFundWomen grant program


Businesses recognize the benefits of DevOps and container services adoption, yet cloud-native practices remain low

LeoWolfert | Getty Images

Hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider Aptum has released the fourth and final part of its Cloud Impact study, which reveals that only 20 per cent of respondents are utilizing DevOps across all applications, and just 17 per cent use container services to develop and deploy all apps. 

One way organizations can unlock their cloud potential is through DevOps and container services, which speed up application deployment times, improve productivity through continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), enable easy and frequent patching, and minimize production cost. Despite the clear benefits, deployment of DevOps and container services remains surprisingly low.

The final part of the study — The Modernization Minefield — highlights these tools and techniques while evaluating organizations’ decisions to host certain workloads in different environments. Finally, the report reveals how CIOs and IT teams can optimize their workloads in alignment with their business objectives. 

More to explore

The cores of Alder Lake: Gracemont and Golden Cove

Intel’s next-gen Alder Lake processors are set to release later this year, bringing with them a new design philosophy on a new node meant to challenge AMD. But before its release, Intel provided a breakdown of its best features at Intel Architecture Day 2021 to answer one question: what makes Alder Lake tick?

Resourceful data: Alberta Energy Regulator

Alberta Energy Regulator has made it a point to tap into the power of data to help make energy-transportation safer.

Exchange Autodiscover design flaw creates security risk, says report

Microsoft is reportedly moving quickly to blunt the impact of a security issue with the Autodiscover protocol for automatic configuration of clients — such as Microsoft Outlook — in Microsoft Exchange, which could allow an attacker to access Windows domain credentials used to authenticate to Exchange servers.

Despite Meng deal, expert suggests that Huawei won’t get OK to sell 5G network equipment to Canadian telcos

Huawei Canada shouldn’t necessarily expect the resolution of the extradition case against CFO Meng Wanzhou to lead to the Canadian government approving the sale of 5G networking equipment to telecom providers here, says a security expert.

3 smart ways to adapt during IT supply shortages

Incorporating a few key strategies can help organizations during IT supply shortages. Read all about these strategies here. 

Ontarians are getting digital ID this fall: All you need to know

The Ontario government, in a virtual conversation with the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) on Ontario’s digital future, has finally revealed information about the technology and standards that the province will use to build its digital identity ecosystem.

Get ready for Windows 11 with these tips

The Microsoft Windows 11 release date of October 5 is looming, which means serious deployment planning is underway at many organizations, and there’s a lot to think about before diving into any new operating system. Here are a few things to consider before you start deploying Windows 11.

Channel Bytes September 24, 2021 – two new ways to get paid; new identity solutions; MSP conference goes virtual; 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.

Square launches Square Register in Canada to advance contactless payments

Square Register is an all-in-one payment and point of sale (POS) device for medium to large businesses. It is an extension of Square’s existing hardware, software and services and does not require an iPad, app, or software to manage the system. 

BlackBerry hires former McAfee president to lead cybersecurity business

BlackBerry has hired former McAfee president John Giamatteo as president of its cyber security business unit.

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Retail giants like Amazon can no longer punish workers unjustly under a new California law, Japan breaks the internet speed record, and Facebook denies that Instagram makes body image issues worse.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

A new ransomware group found, AlphaBay criminal marketplace is back and updates from Chrome and Apple to install.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)




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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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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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