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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The Countdown is on! One Year Countdown to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games!

Nathan Phillips Square will come alive with an exciting festival on Friday, July 11 as we kick off celebrations marking one year to go until the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. The festival will begin Friday, July 11 at 11:45am with the unveiling of the state-of-the-art Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock.

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We want YOU to be there! Cisco has redesigned the traditional countdown clock into an innovative social hub located in the heart of Nathan Phillips Square. It’s an Internet of Everything social portal with a number of exciting, interactive features that will constantly evolve up to, and during, the Games.
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Encouraging Girls in Engineering: Investing in our Future

WE MADE IT!

When academia and industry partner together you get “Feats of Engineering,” a program to encourage enrolment and career opportunities for young women in engineering.

On June 11th we had the privilege to host Youth Think Tank members Claire and Vikki and Ryerson student Stephanie at our Cisco Canada headquarters in downtown Toronto. We were just a little excited – here are the students showing off their new Cisco ICAN shirts with Associate Systems Engineers Alice Okundaye and Sam Yiu.

We Made It

After a short welcome and introduction to Cisco the students were put to work configuring a Cisco Telepresence unit. They used the same unit to have a videoconference with Cisco Engineer, Casey Kewais, located in our office in Kanata, Ontario. Continue reading

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The Cisco Email Security Appliance (ESA) is your Answer to the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL)

The recent introduction of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requires Canadian companies to verify whether individuals have given permission to receive messages that may be marketing or otherwise considered SPAM.

The Cisco Email Security Appliance (ESA) has several built-in features to help companies adhere to CASL guidelines. The Outbound controls on the ESA are focused on ensuring senders are not seen as a SPAM source and that messages to clients are validated against data sources. Optional settings such as Per-sender Throttling and High Volume Mail Detection can also assist in ensuring no unauthorized individuals can send bulk email. The following list details some of the built-in features that can be enabled for outbound mail.  Continue reading

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A Thousand and One Uses for Video Cameras in Cities

Video cameras are becoming more and more common in cities around the world. In fact, cameras are no longer reserved for the police, who traditionally use them to discourage criminal activity and assist investigations. They are used for many different reasons. For example, images obtained from cameras installed around a group of buildings can be useful to the Ministry of Transportation for managing traffic; to the highway department for optimizing snow removal; to municipal services for managing special events or optimizing the use of parking space…

The concept of a “smart city” calls for more use of video. Furthermore, a study conducted last year by IHS revealed that the video surveillance market will generate revenues of 20.5 billion dollars in 2016, an increase of 114% compared to the 9.6 billion reported in 2010.  Continue reading

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Internet of Things for Buildings (BIoT)

Almost nine years ago, I joined Cisco in its corporate real estate department. The team I joined was tasked to look at innovative ways to reduce the need and improve the utilization of slightly less than 20 million sq.ft of corporate real estate. I’d like to believe that this is where the Cisco Smart + Connected Real Estate practice was born. Now, almost nine years later and after several departmental and international job-role changes, I am still close to the transformation of the real estate industry.

My role has since expanded, but I am still passionate about the opportunities in front of us to help the construction and real estate industry embrace technology and innovation as it looks to improve productivity and efficiency in what is still a conventional industry.

I’d like to believe that we have taken the transformation to a whole new level in the Canadian marketplace, where I ended up settling after a few international stints.

One of the proof points for Canada’s success in real estate transformation, I believe, is the fact that the flight I am on from Toronto to Las Vegas is full of Canadians from the construction and real estate industry, and from the IT sector that supports the industry’s transformation. We are on our way to Realcomm.  Continue reading

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