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!

Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

What’s new this week

CIB lends C$8.1 million to bring broadband infrastructure online to Indigenous and rural communities in Alberta

Source: CIB

Government-based infrastructure investor, Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will lend C$8.1 billion towards new broadband infrastructure aimed at serving Indigenous and rural communities in Alberta.

Alberta-based network provider Arrow Technology Group (ATG) will be responsible for all aspects of construction, installation, operations, and maintenance of the new broadband service. 

“New broadband access will address the digital divide, create new economic opportunities and support public services like health and education while strengthening communities,” said Ehren Cory, chief executive officer of Canada Infrastructure Bank.

This new broadband service seeks to connect underserved households in 20 Indigenous and four rural communities. The Indigenous communities benefiting from the broadband include First Nations from Treaty 8 and Treaty 6, as well as Métis Settlements. 

CIB’s funding is supported by the government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response Stream, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) Broadband Fund and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada’s Connect to Innovate.

The broadband service will offer internet speeds of 50-300 Mbps and unlimited data, enhancing telecommunications services for residents, businesses and public service delivery.


TELUS appoints chief product officer and president for newly launched Consumer Solutions business unit

Source: Telus

TELUS has appointed Jim Senko as chief product officer and Zainul Mawji as president to lead the company’s newly announced TELUS Consumer Solutions, designed to meet changing customer demands. 

TELUS Consumer Solutions brings together the company’s Mobility Solutions and Home Solutions and Customer Excellence into one unified consumer team, to streamline customer service processes.

According to the company, Senko and Mawji, both TELUS executive vice presidents, will spearhead product innovation to enable it to deliver the best solutions for its customers.

“We are very pleased to establish these new roles for Zainul and Jim, both of whom are exceptionally talented leaders with proven track records of success.” said chief executive officer of TELUS, Darren Entwistle. “Together, they will drive the integration of our wireless, wireline and security solutions organizations through our differentiated service offerings and world-leading execution, enabling positive outcomes for our customers and communities, our investors and our team members in Canada’s dynamic marketplace.”

Senko, who plans to retire from TELUS at the end of this year, will establish the long-term vision and strategy for the chief product officer role, Entwistle noted, while Mawji will oversee the end-to-end design and delivery of TELUS products and services.


UWindsor partners with TELUS to advance 5G research, innovation in agriculture, manufacturing and EVs

Source: UWindsor

Telecommunications company TELUS has invested C$5 million as part of a multi-year collaboration that started in 2020, to enhance teaching, innovation and collaboration on University of Windsor campuses. This investment will also support research in 5G, agriculture, advanced manufacturing and electric vehicles.

Additionally, it will support the launch of a new 5G commercial lab, and the central innovation atrium in the university’s Ed Lumley Centre will be named the TELUS Atrium, where students and researchers will collaborate on projects including:

Working with the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and policy makers to better equip connected vehicles to solve cross border challenges, including congestion and supply chain obstacles, using 5G.
Identify vulnerabilities in connected and autonomous vehicles using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning, in collaboration with non-profit organization Mitacs.
Launch a two-acre, fully operational connected research greenhouse in Harrow, Ontario, using 5G network technology, in collaboration with local greenhouse operation, Horteca.

“This investment will help to grow the local economy of Windsor-Essex and its position in the region as an automobility and technology leader, and will provide UWindsor students with an enhanced academic experience,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, chief technology officer at Telus.


Dell technologies launches next cohort of program to help women in STEM fields thrive

Source: Dell

Dell has launched the fifth cohort of its SOAR with MENTOR (SwM) program to help support young women in post-secondary schools across Canada through skill-building and mentorship aimed at preparing them to thrive in STEM and business fields.

“I’ve built trust, experienced growth, and explored opportunities through their consistent mentoring to help me in any way they saw possible,” said Candy Tang, former mentee of the SwM program, current UBC student, and a Dell employee. “I’ve learned new things in the tech industry; had meetings, answers, and solutions for everything that mattered. They also gave me introductions, internal referrals, and various mock interviews.”

The program’s Cohort 5 will have three virtual meetings, including onboarding on Feb. 15, mid-point social (session for social networking) on Mar. 29 and final celebration on May 4. Participants from previous cohorts 1-4 have the opportunity to continue the program in a 1:1 hybrid model.


auticon Canada celebrates successes in helping Canadians with autism thrive in tech

Source: auticon

auticon Canada, an organization that recruits and trains Canadians with autism to have long and fulfilling careers in technology, is celebrating key 2022 achievements including:

a 10 per cent year-over-year (YOY) increase in new client engagements
an expanded presence within key clients such as Canadian Tire and TELUS Agriculture
a 10 per cent YOY growth in the number of consultants placed
the release of the first of its kind market study on the employment challenges facing Canadians with autism
A redesigned website to help clients and consultants access information more easily

Furthermore, the company awarded the following recognition to clients/consultants who were instrumental to advancing auticon’s mission:

Client of the Year: Marc Wachmann, director of information services, decisive farming at TELUS Agriculture, for his commitment to support neurodivergent employees
Consultant of the Year: Matthew Donovan, recognized for his many contributions to auticon Canada 
Partner of the Year: Ready, Willing & Able, recognized to improve employment outcomes and career development of autistic Canadians across the country.

In 2023, auticon Canada seeks to launch new programs to enable organizations to build their capabilities and capacity to attract and retain neurodivergent talent, through education and training, ongoing coaching and support, and talent acquisition advisory services.

More to explore

Rogers-Shaw merger deadline extended to Feb. 17

Rogers, Shaw, and Québecor announced in a joint statement this morning that the deadline to complete the proposed Rogers – Shaw merger and the sale of Freedom Mobile to Québecor has been extended to Feb. 17, as they await the approval of the Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

Breaking News: Free cybersecurity resources for Canadian retailers now available

Retailers across Canada now have access to a free online and bilingual cybersecurity program.

Quantum Days 2023 poll examines salary compensation issues

At the recent Quantum Days 2023 panel that explored the inner workings of The Expert Panel on Quantum Technologies, a series of poll questions were sent to the audience following its completion that revolved around everything from what sectors are most likely to be early adopters to how Canada stacks up when it comes to salary compensation.

Quantum Days 2023: CCA Expert Panel examining quantum through multitude of different lenses

There was no shortage of advice, updates and points to ponder for upwards of 200 attendees at a panel discussion held earlier this month at a virtual three-day conference called Quantum Days 2023.

Critics face ‘scripted answers’ and conspiracy allegations from Rogers, Shaw and Québecor at House of Commons hearings

Tensions were running high in the House of Commons Wednesday, as the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) conducted hearings examining the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger. Academics and representatives from independent internet service providers (ISPs) TekSavvy and Globalive lambasted the C$26 billion merger deal, while the merging parties attacked rivals and mechanically parroted their own ideas of public interest and competition.

Data Privacy Week: Build privacy and usability into products, says Telus exec

Data Privacy Week should be a time when IT and business leaders discuss how to support the inclusion of privacy engineering in their products, services, and solutions, says the chief data and trust officer at one of Canada’s biggest telecommunications providers.

Data Privacy Week: Consumers, companies differ on privacy priorities, says study

Consumers and business leaders have different priorities when it comes to data privacy, according to recent studies by Cisco Systems.

B.C. college says info of students, employees at risk following cyber attack

A British Columbia community college says personal information of some students and employees may have been copied by a cyber attacker earlier this month.

Quiet purchase of Cloudify by Dell appears to have edge written all over it

As far as acquisitions go, the recent purchase of cloud orchestration and infrastructure automation vendor Cloudify by Dell Technologies for an estimated US$100 million was devoid of any real detail, since both organizations opted to impose a virtual gag order.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending January 31st- Philips layoffs, Chinese ChatGPT, foldable iPad

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Cyber Security Today, Jan, 30, 2023 – A new data wiper discovered, patches for Lexmark printers and BIND are issued and more

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

The post Coffee Briefing Jan. 31 – CIB partners with Arrow; TELUS appoints new chief product officer; Dell launches new cohort of mentorship program; and more first appeared on IT World Canada.

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