Coffee Briefing June 28, 2022 – Blueprint Software Systems fully embraces remote work; Klarna launches loyalty card; HCL Technologies unveils centre in Vancouver; 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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What’s new this week

HCL Technologies unveils next-generation engineering and R&D centre in Vancouver

Source: HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies, a global technology company, announced the opening of its new, next-generation engineering and research and development (R&D) services centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

The new facility will house a Customer Experience Center and focus on the development of futuristic digital technologies and next-generation products and solutions for HCL Technologies’ customers. Some of these solutions include full-stack engineering solutions, customer experience, and R&D services across different industries.

The company has also recently welcomed its first cohort of the HCL Technologies Apprenticeship Program in Vancouver. The program, part of the company’s Rise at HCL Tech early career and training program, gives high school graduates who do not have a formal college degree the ability to pursue a career in the industry, with focus areas in software development and testing, digital and cloud services, infrastructure delivery, and engineering.

“With this new facility, HCL Technologies can leverage its industry-leading digital engineering technology services and R&D capabilities to develop next-generation products and platforms for global customers. This facility will foster better collaboration across the Vancouver technology and education ecosystem,” said Vijay Anand Guntur, president of engineering and R&D services at HCL Technologies.

HCL Technologies employs more than 2,000 people in Canada, and has plans to grow even more, with an additional 1,000 hires in the next three years.

Blueprint Software Systems embraces remote work company wide 

Source: Blueprint Software Solutions

Blueprint Software Systems, a provider of cloud-based business process improvement software solutions, has announced that it will be fully embracing remote work across the company.

With a remote-centric workforce, Blueprint will adjust its physical office capacity in June, and relocate to a new location in midtown Toronto designed to house in-person collaboration and remote communication.

Employees will not be required to spend any physical time in the office and there will be no geographical restrictions on company hiring.

“Blueprint has helped organizations around the world run more efficiently and operate their process automation projects at a lower cost – all through a cloud-first, location agnostic approach. We decided to adopt these insights and apply them to our business,” said Dan Shimmerman, president and chief executive officer of Blueprint. “Covid made remote work a requirement for Blueprint over the last two years, during which time collaboration and productivity increased, so we’ve optimized our business accordingly to accelerate that trend.”

Blueprint currently has employees in 19 cities across North America, and is planning to grow throughout the year.

Toronto healthtech researchers using AI to accelerate rare disease diagnosis with new funding 

Source: Pentavere

Toronto’s Pentavere has secured C$200,000 in health tech funding from biopharmaceutical firm Takeda Canada to help identify new digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that support enhanced patient care in rare disease conditions. 

Pentavere Research Group Inc. is a clinical discovery company that has developed an AI engine called DARWEN, which accelerates discovery from vast amounts of clinical text. DARWEN unlocks value, insights, and evidence from clinical information which is impossible to analyze by human intelligence alone.

Additionally, Takeda Canada also announced that Pentavere has been awarded the first Takeda Canada Innovation Challenge, launched in January 2022 to accelerate partnerships in identifying new digital technologies and AI solutions that support enhanced patient care in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or rare disease conditions. 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Pentavere to leverage their AI technology within the field of rare diseases,” said Rute Fernandes, general manager, Takeda Canada. “Building strong partnerships across our healthcare ecosystem and leveraging data and technology is imperative to holistically address key patient needs, from diagnostics right through to personalized medicine. We would like to congratulate Pentavere on its successful submission and to thank all entrants for participating in the Takeda Canada Innovation Challenge.”

This partnership will give Pentavere the opportunity to collaborate and benefit from Takeda’s extensive international network.

Klarna launches new loyalty card feature

Source: Klarna

Klarna, a global retail bank, payments, and shopping service, has announced the launch of its new loyalty card feature in the Klarna App.

This feature allows app users to store and access their physical loyalty cards digitally. Users can collect all points and benefits at any merchant without the need to carry physical cards while shopping in-store. 

The feature supports more than 8,000 loyalty reward programs worldwide, spanning everything from technology and groceries to clothing and beauty, helping consumers collect points.

The company says this feature comes at the right moment; a Klarna survey revealed that 39 per cent of Canadians have avoided signing up for a loyalty program in the past because they were unwilling to carry another physical card. 

“At Klarna, we want to give consumers the world’s best shopping experience, no matter whether that’s online or on the high street…Klarna is now delving deeper into physical retail, helping consumers save time and money everywhere they shop. By equipping users with a digital space to conveniently collect their loyalty cards, we are raising the physical shopping experience to a new level of convenience and flexibility,” said David Fock, chief product officer at Klarna.

Canada to be a test market for Notes, Twitter’s new writing feature

Source: Twitter Canada

Twitter has chosen Canada as one of the test markets for its new feature, Notes. This feature comes via a new team at at the company called Twitter Write. 

Twitter Write is focused on building tools and community so readers and writers can get the most out of the social media platform. It will focus on enhancing the Twitter experience for writers, and will appeal to journalists, authors, bloggers, content creators, newsletter publishers, and comedians. 

The new Notes feature will give writers the chance to go beyond 280 characters for the first time, using a rich-text editor to capture articles and other kinds of content.

Starting last week, Twitter began partnering with a small group of writers from Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Ghana to test drive the feature.

Women in IT Channel award nominations open

Channel Daily News is now accepting nominations for Rising Star and Mentor of the Year awards, to be presented at the Women in the IT Channel recognition luncheon at the Art Gallery of Ontario on August 25, 2022. The deadline for submissions is July 8.

More to explore

SAS Hackathon 2022 winners decode real-world problems using data

This week, SAS announced the winners of its 2022 SAS Hackathon. From 70 qualifying teams from around the world and 50 business case submissions, SAS highlighted 13 teams for innovation using cloud-native SAS Viya artificial intelligence, Microsoft Azure, and other technologies.

When Two Hats are Better than One

Some leaders pay lip service to the notion of lifelong learning, opting instead to settle for what they already know. Bobby Singh was taught to learn something new every day and continues to follow this sage advice.

Canadian internet providers must block bad botnets, says regulator

Canada’s telecom regulator will create a mechanism that internet service providers will have to use to block malware-carrying botnets.

This week in Ransomware – Friday June 24th, 2022

A recent report from Telus noted that Cyberattacks are on the rise in Canada, with 98 per cent of Canadian organizations reporting a cyberattack in the last 12 months.

Channel Bytes June 24, 2022 – Cloudflare announces Zero Trust partner program; Ermetic automates JIT cloud access; new channel program from DoControl; 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.

RBC announces partnerships to provide clients with increased security and control over their financial data

RBC has announced partnership agreements with both Plaid and Envestnet | Yodlee as it looks to provide clients with better access, and control, and to allow them to securely share their financial data with applications outside of the bank.

Is Queen’s Park set to change health records rules? One expert thinks so

It was not a proclamation or even confirmation, but more of a hint that big changes might be afoot in Ontario when it comes to citizens being able to access their health records electronically.

Calgary’s mayor discusses what city is doing to build up tech sector

Jyoti Gondek, Calgary’s 37th mayor and the first woman elected to the position, says past mistakes made in attempting to build up the city’s technology sector will not happen again under her administration’s watch.

Tech in Calgary is thriving, says panel at Collision 2022

The Calgary Economic Development panel discussion held at Collision 2022 discussed the issue of attracting and retaining talent in its growing tech sector amid a time of turbulence and uncertainty.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Google searches for the ways to move to Canada surges, some models of the Apple MacBook Pro M2 have slower storage speeds than the previous generation, and some people will not pay for a streaming service if they can’t share passwords.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode reports on how a vulnerability in a VoIP system, nearly led to a ransomware attack, why files in open source registries should be handled with care, and a hacker is selling access to compromised Atlassian Confluence servers.

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

If you live in Quebec, 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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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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