Coffee Briefing Sept. 5 – IBM, Salesforce team up; CCTS reinstates ICA Microsystems; Government of Canada invests in EV parts manufacturer; 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’s editorial team!

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The CCTS reinstates ICA Microsystems after rectifying non-compliance issues

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) has announced that it is reinstating ICA Microsystems, a Mississauga-based wireless internet services company, following its expulsion in May of this year.

The company was expelled after it improperly billed a small business customer and failed to implement the sanction imposed by the CCTS in December 2022. 

The expulsion of any participating service provider from the CCTS puts it in violation of the CRTC’s mandatory participation requirement.  

The CCTS ruled that ICA has now rectified the issues by refunding the customer, cancelling the invoiced charges, updating its website to ensure its customers are aware of their right of recourse to the CCTS and paying its outstanding fees to the CCTS.

“This case underscores the importance of service provider participation in an ombudsman program  like ours, which offers a free, independent dispute resolution for telecom consumers in Canada,” said Janet Lo, assistant commissioner, Legal, Regulatory and Stakeholder Affairs, CCTS. “Consumers in Canada can feel reassured knowing that when we tell a provider what it needs to do to fix an issue, the service  provider must implement these remedies.”  

With ICA being reinstated, its customers can access recourse and submit complaints to the CCTS complaint handling services.

IBM and Salesforce team up to accelerate AI adoption

IBM and Salesforce have announced that they are partnering to help businesses worldwide accelerate their adoption of AI for customer relationship management (CRM).

“We see how the need to increase employee productivity while simultaneously elevating the customer experience with speed, personalization, and convenience has surged exponentially,” said Matt Candy, global managing partner, Generative AI, IBM Consulting. “Through our collaboration with Salesforce, we can help empower enterprise clients to scale and accelerate the adoption of generative AI that will support them to meet their business needs.”

The two companies’ shared clients can access the following via IBM Consulting:

  1. IBM Garage methodology, an operating model for business transformation, to guide clients through the adoption and deployment of Salesforce AI technologies.
  2. IBM watsonx, an enterprise-ready AI and data platform that can reveal the data locked in backend systems to help create dynamic user and employee experiences.
  3. IBM Consulting Managed Services for Salesforce, shared clients will have access to a suite of AI experience and implementation accelerators. That includes, for instance, IBM Data Classifier, an AI-powered application trained on industry-specific data models, designed to reduce the data mapping process.

Government of Canada invests $4 million to boost local EV and semiconductor supply chain

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has announced an investment of nearly $4 million for FBT Inc., a Niagara-based family-owned manufacturer of machine components and parts used in critical sectors like automotive, defense, EV, semiconductor, power generation and more.

Through this investment, FBT will be able to fulfill its growing orders, create 40 skilled jobs and support domestic manufacturing capacity for southern Ontario’s leading EV manufacturers.

The company is also upgrading its facility to adopt new robotic and automated solutions, designed to increase its machine components and parts production by 75 percent. 

“Ontario’s manufacturing industry is the engine that drives our national economy forward. Our government is investing in the people that make it run,” said FedDev minister Filomena Tassi. “By making smart investments in manufacturers like FBT Inc., we are working together to help these businesses grow, which will create good paying jobs for our communities, and ensure a healthy environment for generations.”

Since November 2015,  FedDev Ontario has invested nearly C$720 million in 340 manufacturing projects, creating over 9,100 jobs and maintaining nearly 9,000 jobs.

Eastlink’s service expansion in New Brunswick now live

Halifax-based telecommunications company, Eastlink has announced that its service expansion into the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick (NB) is now live. This comes after the company expanded its services into Miramichi and Bathurst in NB.

Last year alone, Eastlink invested over C$55 million to grow its mobile service into more communities

The company has also been building additional towers and small cell installations to complement its existing infrastructure in multiple sites in Nova Scotia, NB, Newfoundland and Labrador, Cape Breton, and PEI, with more to come. The company has indicated that, over the past year, it has also made significant investments in response to learnings from major weather events.

“Over and above our regular storm prep activities, we have improved our backup system capacity, adding 25 fixed generators at key sites (fuelled to last up to 2 weeks), which not only reduces downtime for those sites but also facilitates improved ability to reach other sites with our fleet of portable generators, which we have grown as well,” said Steve Irvine, chief technical officer, Eastlink. “This is a journey of continuous improvement due to the increase in frequency and impacts of climate-related events.”

Meeranda, “the Human-Like AI” announces acceptance in OVHCloud Startup Program

Privately-held AI solutions provider Meeranda has announced its acceptance into the OVHCloud Startup Program

The OVHCloud Startup program aids startups by providing them with support, infrastructure, and strategic guidance. It also facilitates networking between startups, mentors, investors and fellow entrepreneurs and enables participants to garner insights from industry experts.

Meeranda’s acceptance comes mere days after its enrollment into the Microsoft for Startups and AWS Activate programs.

“The great news just keeps coming. We are excited to take part in the OVHcloud Startup Program,” said Raji Wahidy, chief executive of Meeranda. “We are looking forward to leveraging all the resources which will be made available to us to further fuel Meeranda’s rapid growth.”

The Toronto-based company is best known for its Human-Like AI that intends to offer new personalized customer experience to combat the ongoing frustration of dealing with chatbots and what it calls “half-baked AI solutions”.

It began its seed funding round at the end of last month.

More to explore

International Women in Cyber Day: Slow progress

The prospects for women in cybersecurity in many countries are promising, but progress in Canada is disappointing, says the founder of International Women in Cyber Day.

Hybrid workers in Canada facing productivity loss, CDW Canada survey reveals

recent survey conducted by CDW Canada sheds light on the challenges that hybrid workers are grappling with in the realm of the digital workspace, highlighting the impact of IT issues on their productivity.

Panel examines the role humans must play living in a GenAI world

A panel last week at VMWare Explore 2023 probed the many twists and turns organizations must be prepared to take when it comes to adopting generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) initiatives.

Google expands AI compute offerings, partnership with Nvidia and more

AI stood at centre stage at Google Cloud Next this week, as Google announced TPU updates, virtual machine instances powered by Nvidia GPUsenhancements to Google Distributed Cloud and a premium version of GKE.

Navigating the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – from inclusion to belonging and beyond

During a keynote last week at the Google Cloud Next conference, leaders from Google delved into the evolving landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), emphasizing the significance of moving beyond inclusion to foster a sense of belonging across organizations and society.

Google adds AI-infused sustainability tools to Google Maps Platform

Google is equipping developers with three environment APIs for the Google Maps Platform to help them create new sustainability tools.

Channel Bytes September 1, 2023 – Cybersecurity insurance value to hit US$17.6 billion by 2028; Cisco and Nutanix partner to simplify hybrid multicloud; Last chance to sign up for the Canadian Computer Charity Golf Classic on Sept. 7; 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.

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Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

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Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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