Blogs list

Mark Scott - TUC Managed IT Solutions

Cloud Offerings for Business - Sponsored ArticleIn order to understand the dynamics of how Cloud offerings impact Business (versus consumer offerings which are very different), it is important to understand the types of offerings and the basics of how they interact.  As with many IT trends and fads, terms have a way of being overused to the point of being almost meaningless - remember user-friendly?  Cloud is no different, so let’s break it down a little for some clarity. Future postings will speak to the opportunities and challenges of the various alternatives.Infrastructure-as-a-Service:  Technology resources are owned by a provider and these resources are then rented back to you.  This provides a hardware utility model in which you rent the processing capability that currently occupies a server or rack of servers in your environment. As you require additional capacity, the provider increases the resources required within minutes/hours and you pay only for the additional resources.  Theses resource pools typically consist of Processing units (CPU units), Memory (RAM), Storage (GB) and communications (MBs).  Software-as-a-Service: Either a service provider or in many cases the software author will provide a hosted version of their software in which to operate your organization.  This model is the most mature of the Cloud offerings; examples include: SalesForce.com, Hotmail, Gmail among hundreds of other industry specific software products.Hosted Infrastructure: In many cases, organizations have outgrown their location's capacity in which to house their IT infrastructure while meeting the demands of communications, business continuity and overall support.  By physically locating their IT infrastructure assets in a provider's datacentre, the…

Photo : Mark Scott June 17, 2014

Shareef Korah - Hire Immigrants Ottawa - Shareef Korah

Enhancing Immigrants’ Essential ‘Soft’ Skills – a win-win solution - Sponsored Article Finding and keeping workers with the knowledge and skills needed to get the job done is critical for today’s businesses. Learning more about the nine essential skills used in nearly every job can help you reap the benefits of effectively engaging immigrants at work.Many employers recognize that immigrants have the technical skills required to complete workplace tasks, but often find that they lack the equally valued “soft skills”, such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork, to excel at work.A pilot project led by Bow Valley College, Success in the Workplace: Essential Skills Training for Immigrant Professionals, found that this “disconnect” between the skills workers thought they needed (technical) and those their employers wanted (soft skills) often faded once both learned about the importance of essential skills.Essential skills offer employers a common language that can help both employers and employees identify skills gaps and support essential skills development to increase job potential. Integrating essential skills into business practices does not have to be time consuming or complicated. For example:•    The Vocabulary Building Workbook can be used with immigrant workers to boost their communication skills – both oral and written – through a variety of exercises that teach new words commonly used in the Canadian workplace. •    The Working with Others Tip Sheet is an easy-to-follow tool that offers practical tips to help improve workers’ teamwork skills.Businesses that effectively attract, retain and engage skilled immigrants benefit from increased innovation, productivity and overall competitiveness. Boost your success by tapping into this vital source of talent – and…

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Photo : Shareef Korah January 20, 2014

Jonathan Cohen - Shapiro Cohen-Jonathan Cohen

Holy .cow!! - Sponsored ArticleThe deluge of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) has begun! Top level domains are the ones after the dot. Examples:-    .com-    .org-    .travel-    .netAlmost 2000 new applications for TLDs were filed in 2012/13 with ICANN. One of ICANN’s many duties is to ensure healthy competition in the Domain Name System (DNS) for registrars and the adequate meeting of the changing/growing needs of consumers as the internet continues to expand in size and importance. Certainly the huge number of acronyms developed and used in the ICANN world is some testimony to its growth and the increasing levels of separate expertise one needs to operate effectively when advising about the DNS.After years of debate, discussion and compromise between different players in the internet space (governments; business; technical; non-commercial; registrars; registries; IP), the Board of Directors of ICANN reached a decision to open up the “root”— the actual electronic highway along which all material, data etc. travels at light speed — to an unlimited number of new TLDs including International Domain Names (IDNs) in languages that are NOT written in western (Latin) alphabets. These include Russian, Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and many more around the world. It was a difficult technical challenge to make these non ASCII domain names work properly in a system designed for English speakers by English speakers but the ICANN Board understood early on that if the DNS was to really work globally and not end up ‘fracturing’, implementation of IDNs as soon as technically possible had to be a priority. That time…

Photo : Jonathan Cohen December 16, 2013

Victoria Boddy - Brazeau Seller LLP - Victoria Boddy

Getting the most for your legal dollars in small claims court - Sponsored Article The Small Claims Court process is meant to be a streamlined, easy to navigate process that is friendly to self-represented parties. Unfortunately, the process often does not live up to its mandate. Instead, actions in the Small Claims Court can be extremely time consuming and costly. While many parties choose to represent themselves, it is becoming increasingly clear that in order to be successful, you will require the help of a lawyer, thereby increasing the costs of the process dramatically. With that said, there are ways that you can reduce your costs; this article will provide some useful tips in how to get the most for your legal dollar. Firstly, do not be afraid of hiring an articling student or a junior lawyer. They are fresh out of school, with new ideas and strategies, and are hungry to work hard and prove themselves. Articling students and junior lawyers are often much more familiar with the Small Claims Court process, and, charge significantly less per hour. The best way to get the most for your legal dollar is to ensure that you provide your lawyer with all of the facts of your case up front, being as clear and as detailed as possible. This includes advising of the strengths and weaknesses, the good and the bad. If a lawyer is thrown a curveball half way through the litigation, you can expect that their costs will increase as they may have to change their entire strategy, and to some degree, their previous research and preparation…

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Photo : Victoria Boddy November 04, 2013

Sheema Khan - Shapiro Cohen - Sheema Khan

Patent Landscape Analysis: Don’t Plan Without it - Sponsored Article Research and development (R&D) is usually key to the growth of small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). Often, the SME has one or more niche products out in the market, with others in the pipeline. However, poor strategic planning of future R&D activities – or worse, none at all – often leads to the demise of SMEs. This can be mitigated, if not avoided, by the use a valuable, but underused tool: the patent landscape analysis (PLA). A PLA will outline what type of opportunities for growth are available in a certain sector, whether the opportunity lies in a crowded space, and who will compete with these opportunities. In addition, the PLA will indicate which countries have high R&D activity, and subsequently, have a high market potential. Perhaps most valuable is the information about emerging technology clusters and sub-clusters in a given sector. Take for example, the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) sector. A PLA provides a patent filing timeline, which shows a marked increase in patent filings since 2006, due primarily to the drastic increase in gas prices from 2004-2009. Not surprisingly, the U.S. has the highest R&D activity, as the Obama administration has implemented many programs to increase innovation in the hybrid vehicle market. Next is Japan, followed by Germany. China is seventh in the world, in terms of patent filings in the hybrid vehicle sector, due to the fact that it is the only provider of rare metals (dysprosium and neodymium) that are currently used in electric motor systems of hybrid vehicles.…

Photo : Sheema Khan February 17, 2014