My Experience at the One-Year Countdown to the TO2015 Games

What a day I had on Friday July 11th! I had the privileged honor of unveiling the Cisco TO2015 countdown clock which officially marked the one year countdown to the Pan Am games!

My day started off by bumping in to fellow Cisco colleague Ron Dekker, Cisco Canada VP, as I exited the elevator of the hotel. For those who know Ron, you will agree that his enthusiasm and high spirits got me more excited to be there than I already was before even entering Nathan Philips Square. I then met my fellow clock “unveilers” Melanie Hawkins, Canadian athlete, and Nitin Kawale, Cisco Canada President. To my amazement, Melanie had just competed in the Wheelchair Basketball World championships where Team Canada won the gold medal. Way to go Melanie! Nathan Philips Square was quickly filling up with kids, press, cameras and Torontonians eager to see the clock. The ceremony started, and after a few memorable speeches and a particularly inspirational speech by Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne, Nitin took the stage and introduced Cirque du Soleil. I was fortunate to have a front row seat to watch the amazing acrobatic display which ended with the clock being unveiled. We then all huddled together to take the official first selfie with the TO2015 mascot, Pachi!

First Official Photo

First Official Photo

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Increasing ethics training is the answer to cyberthreats

By Stephen Ibaraki

This article is an excerpt of a larger piece that appears on IT World Canada and is republished with permission.

Over 90 per cent of networks are compromised and this can happen in less than 20 minutes when exposed to the Internet.

Mobile is the focal point of this trend. With embedded computing, the Internet of Things forming the planetary nervous system, a total disruption or failure is possible. Imagine the global economy of 77 trillion dollars dropping to under 10 trillion. Compounding this are the growing privacy breaches and in the wake of HeartBleed, what other vulnerabilities are lurking?

These privacy and cybersecurity failures are one of the symptoms of the digital quake where there are wholesale changes of over 50 per cent of all enterprises and roles. All disappearing! Thus, there is an urgent need for growing professionalism and ethics training.

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Engaging Students in the Classroom with Video

Today’s generation of students are digital natives. Their lives outside the classroom are dominated by the non-stop rich media experiences delivered by video games, smartphones and the Internet. Education has to keep innovating to catch up with its students, particularly in the way it’s delivered, and technology will be one of the most powerful drivers of this evolution. In order to truly engage these students, their learning experience has to match the quality of their personal lives and devices. This realization has been our guiding light in the development of active learning classrooms, to improve classroom experiences for teachers and students. Learning in class should be fun, and technology can help.

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How clinicians can take better care of you using the Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything (IoE) can seem pretty nebulous at times (what are all those ‘smart bees’, ‘smart cows’ and ‘smart trees’ doing for us anyway?), but when you stop and consider a specific industry like healthcare and how the IoE can truly change your life (for the better), it is much easier to understand – and get really excited – about where the IoE will take us.

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Council of Canadian Academies Report Stresses Importance of a Connected Canada

On June 17th the Council of Canadian Academies issued a new expert panel report, Enabling Sustainability in an Interconnected World. The report features some excellent and fascinating insight into Canada and its relationship with information and communication technologies (ICTs), with a strong emphasis on how this will impact the country’s sustainable future.

In short, the report outlines the many opportunities that ICTs offer with regards to achieving economic, social and environmental sustainability, but cautions Canada still has some way to go before fully seizing those opportunities. Though the report acknowledges Canada has a well-connected society and is a global leader in ICT research and development, it also points out that many Canadian businesses still lag behind in ICT investment.

Similarly, the adoption rate of technologies among Canadian firms continues to be weak and the country does not rank high in terms of ICT penetration and diffusion among individuals.

Many of these findings are in line with what Cisco has observed over the last few years: Canada’s innovation engine has stalled and we are at risk of falling behind other countries when it comes to productivity and sustainability. Continue reading

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Using Technology to Stimulate the Economy of Small and Medium-sized Businesses in Quebec

There is much talk of delayed productivity in Quebec. This problem should not be taken lightly, since, in the current context of globalization, it has become important for Quebec to increase its exports and efficiency in order to get ahead in the game. This is particularly true for small and medium-sized businesses, the engine of our economy.

One of the safest methods for improving organizational productivity is to utilize information technologies (IT) to optimize business processes. Now, due to the omnipresence of the Internet, technology is within everyone’s reach, and small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of this.

There are a number of ways to use IT, but let’s look at four advanced concepts which, in our era, are virtually indispensable.   Continue reading

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The Ubiquity of the Internet has Opened up New Horizons

The proliferation of Internet connections and technologies offers a sure means of saving money and increasing the effectiveness of organizations. Québec, like everywhere, can take advantage of this in many ways. Welcome to the “Internet of Everything.”

The Internet continues to change up ways of life and doing business. Leading-edge concepts like cloud computing, mobility, and big data–to name just three–are combining to create a huge world of possibilities, thanks to the harnessing of the Web.

Network connections among people, processes, data and objects are giving rise to what can truly be called the most significant technological progress since the advent of the Internet: an environment in which practically everything is connected via networks. Cisco, seeing the immense potential hidden in these advances, has called it the “Internet of Everything,” or IoE. One major study recently carried out by the company concluded that in the public sector, the Internet of Everything can create economies, increase productivity, increase revenue (without raising taxes) and improve the services offered to citizens.

The value that the IoE can generate within Canadian government organizations over the course of the coming years is estimated to be 95 billion dollars (400 million in the private sector). For the global public sector, the estimate increases to 4,600 trillion dollars.  Continue reading

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The Reason Your Business Needs Video Technology

Recently I read a fantastic article titled “Let People See Your Face!” Although the message of the piece was to encourage coworkers and managers to pick up the phone or visit in-person with colleagues rather than over email, I couldn’t help but think of video technology as the happy medium (literally) in this scenario.

The article’s author makes a tremendous point, arguing – correctly – that decisions made face-to-face or over the phone take less time and build better relationships between employees than those made via email.  And because of this, they have a much greater, positive impact to a business’ bottom line than email communications.

But there is another way to meet with colleagues face-to-face. One that doesn’t require travel (and the subsequent hefty travel expenses) and can be initiated as easily as a phone call.

Video.

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Volunteer Day at Moisson Montréal and Moisson Québec for Cisco Employees

On May 7, Moisson Montréal and Moisson Québec welcomed volunteers from Cisco. Meeting at the local offices of both organizations, 39 of our colleagues got down to the basics and carried out tasks quite different from the ones we are used to doing on a daily basis.

Cisco is a sponsor of Moisson Montréal and Moisson Québec, and as part of our support our volunteers dedicate an entire day sorting fruits, vegetables and several other perishable and non-perishable foodstuffs. They also clean the tables and the containers in which the food is stored.

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Security Threats are Becoming More Common in the Financial Sector

Because they are facing cyber attacks planned by professionals, financial institutions must take extreme measures. 

As guardians of the assets of individuals and companies, the financial industry has always been a choice target for hackers. The year 2014 will be no exception to the rule; the security threats in this sector are more common than ever, according to experts.

In the past few years, the greatest danger to financial institutions has been the distributed denial of service (DDoS), but cyber criminals are now developing new weapons. Not only is the frequency of the attacks increasing, but so is their level of development. Also, the danger is probably greater than what is said or predicted, since many organizations are reticent to publicly discuss the incidents they have experienced.   Continue reading

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