Blogs list

Bergen Wilde - Titus - Bergen Wilde

Classification as the Foundation for Information Lifecycle Management - Sponsored Article I was first introduced to information lifecycle management about 15 years ago when I was a sales rep for an SAP consulting company. Because SAP generates huge volumes of data that eventually clogs up the system, we helped companies archive the old data into offline document management systems for easy location and retrieval if/when needed. As I learned more about document management systems, I expanded my focus from just archiving solutions to complete content management solutions that would control the lifecycle of corporate documents – from creation, through revisions, approvals, archiving and eventual destruction. Document management solutions were meant to simplify this process – and they do – but they have never been able to capture all the unstructured data being shared both around the office and between organizations. As the cloud and mobile work world explodes, ensuring that all corporate records are input into the content repository becomes a greater challenge. Good information governance requires that all corporate records are properly managed, especially those that reside outside the content management solution (if only temporarily). Given that, another solution is needed. Data classification provides many of the tools necessary to properly govern information wherever it resides. Identification of data should begin immediately when the file is created to ensure the identity is not lost when the file is shared or moved. Identifying attributes, such as the classification, can be applied as persistent classification metadata. By embedding the identity as persistent metadata, users, security policies, and records management systems will have instructions on how…

Photo : Bergen Wilde July 11, 2016

Susan Wright - The Hillbrooke Group - Susan Wright

The Pitch Gets Harder - Sponsored Article You may think that your business or organization has a blockbuster story to tell, but try getting past the assignment editor of most Canadian media outlets these days. In the ‘good old days’, most of us in the communications business set aside time and resources to pitch stories to media about breaking stories, big events and milestones. Today, you’ll be lucky to find an editor or producer at their desk and they will be hard pressed to find someone to assign the story to. Newsrooms across the country have been gutted and countless papers have stopped publishing their print editions. Corporate mergers meant to ease the financial strain have, in fact, just added organizational chaos to the mix. Pay walls discourage open readership. Advertisers are less convinced that they are reaching their audiences. And there is nary a beat reporter to be found. Many of Canada’s most respected journalists took a buy-out when it was offered, probably because they could see the writing on the wall. The world they operated in has changed irrevocably. Fewer Canadians start their day with a broadsheet and coffee anymore. More and more readers access their news from news-aggregation sites such as Google News that draws together sources – wire services, video, infographics and social media links – from around the world. And they get it instantaneously on smart phones and tablets at home and at the office. Canadian businesses and organizations have hit the pause button and are considering what all this means for their own media…

Photo : Susan Wright June 27, 2016

Craig Adams - Titus-Craig Adams

My “Man Drawer” and Me - Sponsored Content We all have one… that place in the house or garage that becomes the container of last refuge (or even refuse) for those items we should file in the right place, but we haven’t quite gotten around to doing that yet. It could contain an old credit card, some bits of string, important mementoes or other innumerable items that you just don’t know what to do with but somehow can’t throw away. For me, it’s my ‘Man Drawer’—my little haven in the kitchen that much to my wife’s annoyance I don’t allow her to touch, let alone clean-up! I’m not quite sure what’s in it, what’s valuable, what I really should throw away or what I should put in a safer location. It just sits there as the place I stuff things into, and the first place I look when I can’t find something I need. In my experience, legacy data at most medium and large organizations is very much like my Man Drawer. The CIO knows that his team manages a lot of information, both structured and unstructured, which is spread across the organization’s storage infrastructure in different repositories such as file stores, email, and applications. It may even be stored up in the Cloud. But there is no way, other than a manual audit by the business, to discover and understand what the data is, what should be kept, what’s junk, and most importantly, what should be protected because it’s critical for compliance, audit, or operational reasons. But there is a…

Photo : Craig Adams June 06, 2016

Kyle Stout - Nelligan O'Brien Payne - Kyle Stout

When Is Late Too Late? Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Limits on Courts’ Jurisdiction to Backdate Orders - Sponsored Article On December 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its highly anticipated decision in a trilogy of shareholder class actions under the secondary market liability provisions of the Ontario Securities Act – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v Green (“Green”), Silver v Imax Corporation (“Imax”), and Trustees of the Millwright Regional Council of Ontario Pension Trust Fund v Celestica Inc. (“Celestica”) – reported as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v Green (“CIBC v Green”). At issue in each of the trilogy cases was whether the limitation period for commencing a statutory claim for secondary market misrepresentation under the Ontario Securities Act (the “OSA”) is suspended: (a) once the representative plaintiff files a statement of claim pleading an intention to seek leave to commence the statutory claim; or (b) only once leave has been granted.  The Supreme Court’s finding that the clock did not stop running on the limitation period under Section 138.14 of the OSA until leave was actually granted, is unlikely to have any major impact on future securities class actions cases in Ontario, given the 2014 amendments to the OSA, which provide that the limitation period is suspended when a motion for leave to commence the statutory claim is filed with the court.  More interesting, for those law or Latin geeks among the OBJ readership, are the Court’s findings regarding the courts’ jurisdiction to issue orders nunc pro tunc. Limits on the Nunc Pro Tunc Doctrine Nunc pro tunc, the Latin phrase “now for then” refers to the power of…

Photo : Kyle Stout May 16, 2016

Doug Snow - Titus - Doug Snow

When Did You Last Upgrade Your Data? - Sponsored Article What kind of month would it be if there was not another news story about a data breach? This time it is the “Panama Papers” – the leaked documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca. In an article posted to TechRepublic, James Sanders reviews how the outdated Fonseca IT infrastructure likely contributed significantly to the hack. With a 2009 version of Microsoft Exchange, a client portal (Dupral) from 2013 running on Apache from 2010, and finally a homepage built using a 2014 version of WordPress, the Fonseca infrastructure was enormously vulnerable to attack. Clearly, the Mossack Fonseca perimeter defenses were vulnerable.  But was it just the perimeter defenses that were behind the times? What about their data? Was their data up to date? The defense of data ultimately has to start with the data itself. Without knowing what the data is and how damaging it would be to your organization if lost, it is not possible to organize a strategic defense. Limited IT resources may mean it is not possible to ensure that all of your systems are immediately updated with the latest security patches. But even with limitless IT resources (oh, to dream!), it makes sense to focus data protection efforts on the most important information you own. So how do you upgrade your data? With identifying metadata. By adding additional details about the information to the file’s metadata, such as the classification, information lifecycle details, and applicable regulatory codes, it becomes possible to focus data protection efforts where they are needed…

Photo : Doug  Snow May 02, 2016

Jeff Harrison - MNP LLP - Jeff Harrison

Real Property – Too Good to be True? - Sponsored Article First - What is Real Property? Real property is any property attached directly to land, as well as the land itself. This can include not only buildings and other structures, but also rights and interests. Remember the old adage “if something appears too good to be true it probably is”? We see time and again, people and businesses find themselves in a difficult spot having bought or sold real property. It usually followed by the comment of ‘they were told’ GST did not apply. More often than not, these large transactions tend to move quickly. Reading the fine print or getting proper advice isn’t always top of mind. Being under pressure to make the deal leads to short cuts, only to find out they simply took the tax obligation away from the seller or the seller having to come back and ask for tax they forgot to collect. This can create difficult circumstances at the best of times, let alone receiving a large assessment from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Two general rules to always be aware of: First – real property is always taxable when sold until an exemption can be supported. Second – the seller has the obligation to collect the GST / HST unless the legislation puts the obligation in the hands of the purchaser in a taxable sale. It may also be the purchaser bought it exempt but, through a change in use, has triggered a self-assessment. Exemptions for real property tend to be tied to sales of used…

Photo : Jeff Harrison April 26, 2016

Janet Weichel McKenzie - The Hillbrooke Group - Janet Weichel McKenzie

The Value of Information: a Barometer for Change - Sponsored Article The release of this week’s Ottawa Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Ottawa Business Growth survey is an excellent example of how valuable information can be in helping determine organizational priorities. By surveying their business members, the Chamber of Commerce is able to find out first-hand what issues matter most to them. This includes topics such as the current business confidence in the city; access to credit and market expectations; and which industry has the greatest potential for growth in the National Capital Region. In addition to informing future priorities, information is also valuable for successful communications and marketing. It helps teams make informed decisions based on objective results rather than anecdotal evidence. A few key advantages of using information in your communications efforts include: Learn what’s working and what’s not Understanding how your communications efforts resonate inside and outside your organization is invaluable and can help teams improve the effectiveness of their activities. It can be achieved in many ways such as conducting a comprehensive survey (data collecting) with target audiences, or it can be as simple as counting website page views or Twitter followers. It can also be achieved through one-on-one interviews which gives you the opportunity to further engage with your audience. Communicating change Information is also important when managing and communicating change. It can be as simple as enacting a role-playing scenario and seeing how people react. Test your communications ideas out and see how people’s behavior changes as you are running a campaign. It provides valuable information and analytics…

1
Photo : Janet  Weichel McKenzie May 30, 2016

Gavin Miranda - MNP LLP - Gavin Miranda

Don’t let your bottom line get tangled in foreign tax laws - Sponsored Article “Gavin, what are some of the tax implications of expanding internationally?” There a number of tax considerations that vary depending on how you are targeting customers outside Canada. Is it via the Internet or are you considering a physical presence in another country? Let’s take the U.S., our largest trading partner. It can be a great time to begin selling or to expand sales to American customers, given the current value of the loonie. In the U.S., there are federal tax laws, and there are state tax laws that vary by state. Take software as an example. A cloud-based vendor can sell software to anyone in any state, without having any physical presence there at all. How does U.S. sales tax apply to Internet software sales? Although sales tax is collected from the customer, some states can put the onus on the seller to remit state sales taxes, even if it was not collected – regardless of where they are located. But how, you ask, would the tax man in a U.S. state discover there was a sale in which local sales tax was not collected? If your customer is audited, and the auditor finds an invoice with no sales tax on it. If the needs of your business are best served by establishing a physical presence somewhere in the U.S., additional tax considerations arise. Staffing a sales office south of the border, for example, creates a taxable presence in the U.S. that requires federal, and likely state, income tax filings. But even…

Photo : Gavin Miranda May 20, 2016

Colin Moden - Titus-ColinModen

Corporate Security and the 2-in-1 Device - Sponsored Article Many office workers have a Windows laptop as well as an iPad. I began experimenting with leaving the laptop at my desk and only taking the iPad with me when going to meetings or was otherwise away from my desk. After all, it seemed silly to carry two devices when I could present from the iPad, takes note on the iPad, and answer email on the iPad, right? Well in practice, not so much. There always seems to be a last minute change that needs to be made to the slides and, while I can present from the iPad, I can’t easily edit the presentation. I can reply to an email from the iPad but I don’t have access to the network folders and SharePoint sites that contain all the background information I need to formulate the right answer. Plus the files I have on my iPad aren’t the same ones I have on my laptop – they are copies. Are these copies up to date? Are they in the same format? Can I sync one or both ways easily? So, I ended up taking both devices with me to conferences, using the laptop for work, and the tablet for movies, personal email & web surfing. Windows 8 was an attempt to solve that problem. Microsoft built a device (Microsoft Surface) that could be used as a tablet (with a touch screen and an on-screen keyboard), but really it was running Windows and it could be plugged into a monitor, keyboard and mouse to do…

Photo : Colin Moden April 05, 2016

Doug McLarty - MNP LLP - Doug McLarty

Arriving at a win-win when one partner wants out - “Doug, my partner wants to cash out and I don’t want to – what do you suggest we do?” Any time there is the prospect of a fundamental change in how your business operates, it’s time for a critical examination of where you are and where you are going. CLICK HERE TO WATCH RELATED YOUTUBE VIDEO FROM DOUG MCLARTY Ask these questions: Why does your partner want to leave (cover both personal and professional motivations)? What impact will this have on your business? Where you are headed as an organization? There are many factors to take into consideration to ensure an outcome is not one-sided. Your partner will need to be flexible about the timing to ensure there isn’t a negative impact on the organization as a whole. He or she may need to stay involved in a reduced role for a specified period of time. Your partner may need to be flexible about the timing of any payments, too, and may not receive all the cash at once. You will also need to take into account your current structure and the tax implications of any decisions.   You can start with what you already have in writing, such as your shareholder agreement. This should outline how partners can buy or sell shares. You will also need a professional valuation of your business, if you don’t already have a recent one, to understand what your business would be worth if you were to sell today. But this is just the beginning. You need to be…

Photo : Doug McLarty March 28, 2016