What makes a city smart?

shutterstock_222658033Everyday items are getting a whole lot smarter thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) – from your kitty’s litter box to your baby’s stroller – and the opportunities to capitalize on new business opportunities and unique innovations seems endless.

As we’ve talked about before, the utility of IoT for businesses is unquestionable. Connected devices and big data can help organizations make more intelligent decisions, cut costs and improve productivity.

One area that is gaining ground in IoT is the concept of the connected city. Cities around the world are doing amazing things using wireless technology. This week, at Smart City Montréal, we will be on hand to discuss IoT innovations that are solving common urban problems like congestion, pollution, safety and even snow removal. Here are some of the ways cities today are using wireless technology to run operations in a smarter way:

London, UK and Mississauga, ON:

  • Problem:
    Both cities were spending upwards of 40% of their energy costs on street lighting
  • Solution:
    Smart LED street lighting – A sensor in each street lamp enables the light to dim and brighten based on need – if it’s raining, lights automatically go brighter
  • Result:
    London has seen an 80% reduction in energy costs since installing the new lights
    The city has increased safety and realized savings of $1 million / year

New York and Philadelphia:

  • Problem:
    NYC, 55 thousand tonnes of waste are produced daily and the yearly cost of garbage collection is massive
  • Solution:
    Smart waste bins – Use technology to compact waste in each bin on site, enabling them to hold 4-5 times more trash
    The bins have a sensor to notify head office when they are full
  • Results:
    A 70-80% reduction in truck deployment and trash pick-up

Montreal:

  • Problem:
    Montreal’s 2015 budget for snow removal is $150 million and it takes on average 4 days to clear a 20m snowfall in the city
  • Solution:
    Snow plows with fleet tracking: Fleet tracking data is available on an app so Montreal residents can see when a snow plow is coming to their area and move their car in advance
  • Result:
    Cost savings: streets are plowed more quickly and efficiently.
    Minimized disruption to residents: they know when their street will be plowed and can plan accordingly.

This week, follow along @RogersBiz #smartcitymtl to learn more on #IoT and what it can do for your city.

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Get the right tablet for your business

mobile_internet_tablets_bannerToday, Canadians are going multi-platform and owning more tablets than ever before. We love tablets and we know that many of our customers are using the technology in interesting and productive ways from replacing paper to delivering presentations.

We recently launched Easy Pay, our new tablet financing plan that lets you get a tablet for $0 down* when you add it to your Share Everything for Business plan (taxes and Connection Fee extra).

Tablets can help you access information and use applications that  increase productivity and allow you to work on documents and reports from anywhere.

How does Easy Pay work?

  • Pick a tablet you want from Rogers
  • Add the tablet to your Share Everything for Business plan for $10 per month
  • Pay $0 down (a $20 connection fee and taxes on the full cost of the tablet will appear on your first invoice)
  • Make equal Easy Pay payments over 24 months (0% APR on approved credit

How are payments calculated?

It’s simple to calculate your monthly Easy Pay payment:

  • Cost of tablet ÷ 24 months = Easy Pay monthly payment

As an example, here’s how we’d calculate your monthly Easy Pay payment if you got the Samsung GALAXY Tab S today:

  • $649.99 ÷ 24 months = $27.08 per month for 24 months  No term price $649.99

If you want to pay your tablet balance off at any time, Easy Pay gives you the flexibility to do that.

Getting the tablet isn’t everything, though.  If you really want to use your tablet for business, the right apps can be incredibly valuable.  You can talk to our Small Business Specialists to learn more about some of the apps we recommend, or, check out our site to see for yourself.

Plus, for a limited time, when you add a tablet to your Share Everything for Business plan primary line, you can get a $50 credit for business apps to get started**.

For more information about Easy Pay, and to see some of our recommended apps, visit rogers.com/tabletsforbiz

*Click here for legal. 

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4 Things You Can Check On with Rogers Check-In

This post originally appeared on Connected For Business and has been republished with permission.

Get the advice and information you need to build the best communications plan for your business.

As a small-business owner, staying on top of every facet of your operations may be your top priority. But amid the myriad day-to-day tasks you’re already juggling, sitting down to figure out the best, most cost-effective solutions to your company’s communications needs can be daunting – not to mention time-consuming.

Rogers understands how busy you are and how important it is for your business to have the products, services and plans it needs to thrive, which is precisely why Rogers Check-In was created.

With Rogers Check-In, you can book a free 30-minute phone consultation with a Small Business Specialist, who’ll provide you with a full end-to-end review of your company’s account, offer expert advice on building the best plans, guide you through purchasing new products, and answer any questions you may have about any of it.

Here are four of the things you can check on during your Check-In phone consultation.

1. Your Internet Package

Maybe you signed up for a particular internet package when your business launched, but your company has grown and, along with it, so have your online needs. With Rogers Check-In, you can find out whether your package still has everything you need, and you can learn about money-saving bundling options or new products that might help boost your team’s productivity even more.

2. Your Voice And Data Plans

Whether you’re a sole proprietor or the founder of a rapidly growing business, a Rogers Check-In consultation can ensure your company has the ideal wireless plan(s) in place. Perhaps, for example, it’s time to sign yourself and your colleagues up for a Share Everything for Business plan? A Small Business Specialist can help you decide during yourRogers Check-In call.

3. Your Roaming Solutions

If you do business in the United States, you know how vital it is to have the right roaming plan, so that staying in touch with the office is easy and affordable. A Small Business Specialist can find the solution that fits your needs best, including opting in to ROAM LIKE HOME, so that you can enjoy worry-free roaming while you’re visiting clients in the U.S.

4. Your Additional Rogers Services

There are plenty of additional services available to you as a small-business customer with Rogers, and a Small Business Specialist can ensure you have exactly what you need. If you’re looking for answers to your tech questions, get details on Rogers TechXpert for Business. If you’re curious about adding a tablet to your existing wireless plan, you can find out how to do it. In short, your complimentary Rogers Check-In consultation can help you assess your existing services and determine which others might be an ideal match for your company.

Booking your free Rogers Check-In consultation takes just a few clicks:

  1. Visit the Rogers Check-In website, and click on Book your free appointment now.
  2. Choose the Rogers service(s) you’d like to review during your consultation.
  3. Fill in your details, then select an appointment time that works best for you. If you’d like a text-message reminder before your appointment, check that box, too.
  4. Press Submit. That’s it – your consultation is booked!

To learn more about Rogers Check-In, or to book your consultation, click here.

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Internet is BIG for business

ignite imageYour Internet connection is crucial to your business.  Whether you’re video-conferencing, connecting with customers and suppliers or accessing databases in the cloud, you need a reliable, fast internet connection.

Yesterday, Rogers announced new fully loaded home internet plans that come with unlimited data and Canada’s fastest Internet speeds as ranked by PC Magazine.

So what’s changing for businesses? Not much! Rogers Business Internet customers have already been able to access internet plans that offer unlimited data usage and 24/7 technical support at no extra cost. Small Business customers can still choose from a range of internet plans that are simple, reliable and designed for every type of connected workplace.

Beyond internet, Rogers has simple solutions that can work for your business.  Whether you’re a start-up looking to establish a customer base, or a growing business with an ever-changing audience, Rogers has simple solutions that can increase your productivity and make it easier for your team to work collaboratively. Our small business specialists can help you discover the latest business solutions and offers specifically geared to support and grow your business.

Small Business customers can also bundle their internet with Business phone and save each month.  Plus, our bundles provide a guaranteed price over the term for added cost certainty, visit rogers.com/bizbundles to find out more.

For more information or to talk with a small business specialist, visit rogers.com/smallbusiness.

How do you rely on internet for your business? 

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Stay connected to your business in more places with Extended Coverage from Rogers

Fort McMurray highway_HRAs business people, we’ve come to expect wireless coverage no matter where life or work takes us. As Canadians, many of us are used to travelling long distances to get from one major city to the next.

Whether you’re a small business owner who travels frequently for new business prospects, a sales executive who is constantly on the road visiting customers, or you meet with and oversee employees across the country, you rely on constant connectivity to keep your business running.

Today we launched Extended Coverage which will allow you to be connected in thousands of new locations across Canada. Based on roaming agreements Rogers has made with other carriers, Extended Coverage allows you to stay connected in more places, at no extra charge and with no sign-up requirements. So whether you’re working or travelling in locations across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northern Ontario, Quebec or Atlantic Canada, you’ll be able to use your device in more places.

Here’s how it works:

o   Make sure the data roaming option on your device is turned on. Talk and text services will work right away once you enter an Extended Coverage area.

o   Any talk, text or data you use in an Extended Coverage area is included as part of your current plan and will be billed in the same way as usage on the Rogers network.

o   You will receive a text message the first time you enter an Extended Coverage area and on most devices will see ‘EXT’ or a roaming indicator on the device screen.

 

For more information on Extended Coverage and how you can take advantage, please visit rogers.com/coverage.

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Business Trends at the Consumer Electronics Show

3D PrintingThis post, written by Connected For Business, originally appeared on Connected For Business and has been republished with permission.

Every January, the massive International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas. This year broke records, with 170,000 people from around the world attending to find out what’s new in tech.

Technology ranged from gorgeous 4K TVs to wearable devices and drones. But there were two areas in particular that have great promise for the small-business community: 3D printers and high-capacity portable storage.

3D Printers

Many view 3D printing as either a fun novelty technology, or something geared toward large enterprises. But there are practical small-business applications that involve these next-generation devices, which hail from companies such as UltimakerMatter and Form and MakerBot.

In fact, a recent Tech Pro Research report indicated that 3D printers are gaining a greater acceptance among small businesses, with almost a third noting they’d consider using one in the next year.

How?

A 3D printer could, for example, be used to create a product prototype so a company has something tangible to show clients, potential investors, retailers or other partners. A three-dimensional product is far more compelling than a simple mockup on paper, and using a 3D printer helps avoid the need to get a costly prototype made at a manufacturing facility.

A builder or architect could use a 3D printer to create a realistic model of a planned building or development. Or, it could be as simple as a restaurant or grocery-store owner creating realistic versions of menu items to help enhance sales and/or experiment with plating. This could help generate greater sales, and reduce food waste.

High-Capacity Portable Storage

These days, talk of storing data typically centres on the cloud. And that’s a good thing – it eliminates the need for expensive servers, hard drives, and remote storage facilities, and reduces the risk of theft, loss or damage. However, there are still some advantages and use cases for a business to store data – from documents to photos, videos and presentations – on a backup drive.

There’s a level of convenience – you can access your files from anywhere in the world, even offline, no internet connection needed. And with the latest drives boasting upwards of 1 TB (terabyte!) of data, running out of space is a highly unlikely scenario. One such option is Samsung’s credit card-sized T1 portable drive. To put this in perspective, a single terabyte can hold up to 17,000 hours of music, 320,000 hi-res digital photos or 1,000 hours of video. Text-based documents? More than you could even imagine.

Plenty of other high-capacity portable drives are available from companies such as Seagate and Toshiba – some even support automatic backups. And they are all getting slimmer and more attractive, making them ideal for slotting into a briefcase when you need to access a big presentation or share some important numbers with a client.

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5 Tips For Balancing Your Company and Family

Work Life BalanceThis post, written by James Cowan, originally appeared on ProfitGuide and has been republished with permission.

There’s no separation between work and life. Here’s how some successful female entrepreneurs manage both. The idea of finding “work-life” balance is something that torments many entrepreneurs. How can you build a successful business, while not neglecting your family?

At the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 Idea Exchange, three entrepreneurs shared their best time management tips: Noemie Dupuy, the co-CEO of Budge Studios, an app developer;Stephanie Perry, the President of restaurant equipment wholesaler Permul; and Victoria Sopik, the CEO of Kids and Company, a childcare provider.

Sopik raised eight children while building her business, while Perry wrestles with twins and Dupuy darts out of the office at 5:30 p.m. each day to get her kids from daycare. What was their first piece or advice? Business people should stop thinking of “work-life balance” as a teeter-totter, where commitments can pitch too far in one direction or the other.

“Personally, I think we’re past that,” says Perry. “I started looking at it as a stew, a soup or a recipe. It’s not either work or home. You can adjust as you go. So, some days, I leave more of the work to others. Some days, I’m all in at work.” Here are five other ways to manage your time, from those who have mastered the skill:

1. Don’t build divisions Many people try to focus only on their professional responsibilities at the office and their family responsibilities at home. But having a fluid boundary makes life easier.

“I don’t separate—I don’t think I even want to separate,” says Sopik. “I had six boys who played hockey and football and rugby and I would try to go watch their games. But if they weren’t actually on the field, I was sending emails. So I was there, and they’d know I was there, but I was getting work done.”

READ: There’s no Such Thing as Work-Life Balance »

2. Find technology that helps Perry and her husband use an app called “Nozbe,” which enables them to share task lists, so they know what needs to get done. “You can create a grocery list, or a list of things that need to be bought at Home Depot, and then when you’re in that place, you know what needs to get done. It cuts out a lot of calling back and forth.”

READ: The Truth About Work-Life Balance »

3. Cut the fat out of your day Some parts of your days—like commuting—add nothing to your productivity. Perry faces an hour-and-a-half drive when she goes into the office, so she only makes the trek on two or three days each week. “You get certain things done when you go into the office and sometimes you get more done by yourself,” she says.

Similarly, Dupuy refuses to hold meetings that take an hour to make a simple decision. “I love 15 minute meetings. I have senior people who come to me and say ‘here’s the situation, what should we do?’ And then we make a decision right away. I don’t over analyze things.”

She adds: “I can see all sorts of things that I do that bring no value, or almost no value to the company. So I always focus on the 80% that really matters. Yes, if I worked 100 hours per week, it would bring more to the company. But it wouldn’t be double.”

READ: Why You Should Tailor Your Business to Your Lifestyle »

4. Figure out what’s non-negotiable in your life Founding your own business means tailoring your career to your lifestyle. “Even before I had kids, I didn’t want to work weekends,” says Dupuy, so she’s structure her business to make her happy. “I organize my life and delegate certain tasks, so I can have the lifestyle that I want. That means there are certain things that I can’t do, because I don’t want to be at work at 10 o’clock at night.”

And while some customers—and even employees—might complain, Dupuy says it helps to be transparent about your motivation. “I get pushback all the time. But I have no issue saying ‘No.’ I says the real reasons: ‘This meeting has to stop. I have to go pick up my kids.’ I don’t want to feel guilty about it.”

READ: Why You Should Let Working Moms Leave Early »

5. Learn to say “No” at home too Parents feel an obligation to attend every piano recital and football game. But you can pick your family priorities, not just your work ones, says Sopik. “People say ‘Where do you take your kids everywhere they want to go?’ But it never crossed my mind that I wanted to take them all those places. I had a thing—I would go to one sporting event, per child, per season. So they would carpool or my husband would take them. I didn’t feel like I had to go to every practice, every game.”

More from the 2014 W100 Idea Exchange:

How do you manage to have both a company and a family? What strategies and tools do you use to balance work and home responsibilities? Let us know using the comments below.

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Controlling costs and increasing agility with mobility management

CBC case study blog post imageAs our national public broadcaster and one of this country’s largest cultural institutions, CBC/Radio-Canada is a leader in delivering radio, television, internet and satellite-based services. While CBC/Radio-Canada focuses primarily on TV, radio and internet, these channels, once so distinct, have become increasingly consolidated and interconnected as Internet, telephony and broadcasting technologies have evolved.

The ever-changing tools and technologies available to CBC/Radio-Canada have created the expectation that content providers will be able to produce for multiple channels, as required; related to these technology shifts are changes in how CBC/Radio-Canada audiences want to consume their content. On top of all this, the corporation is under financial constraint to find more cost-efficient ways to facilitate content creation.

While mobility enables CBC/Radio-Canada to evolve how it creates and distributes the high-quality content it’s famous for, the Mobility and Communications Services team needed to gain better insight into and control over employees’ use of mobile devices and bandwidth.

Tangoe, a Rogers solution partner, was selected as a partner for CBC/Radio-Canada through an RFP process to provide Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) services. The TEM solution includes device inventory management, cost and usage reporting at individual and group levels, billing management and contract optimization features. The MDM solution allows the Mobility team to track every smartphone and tablet, remotely configure and update the devices with new software and apps, and enforce security policies such as passwords. This combined TEM/MDM solution allows CBC/Radio-Canada to monitor corporate devices over their entire lifecycle.

As part of the solution integration, a deep audit of the organization’s mobility usage was performed, revealing corporation-wide cost and process inefficiencies; the Rogers-Tangoe solution has provided a number of key improvements:

  • Cost reduction, as the number and types of supported devices has been reduced;
  • The MDM-based infrastructure allows mobile employees to securely work on their device of choice; and
  • Transforming mobility management has allowed CBC/Radio-Canada to cost-efficiently improve the way it performs the day-to-day business of broadcasting.

As Jean-Pierre Bédard, Senior Director of Mobility & Communications Services and Media & Enterprise Technology Services at CBC/Radio-Canada says, “We’re more agile now in the way we work, the way we create content. Our employees have the support they need to build the quality content Canadians have come to expect from us, and we’re able to provide that support cost-effectively and efficiently.” You can read the full case study here.

How is your organization managing mobility usage to increase productivity and reduce spend?

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Tech in 2015: What will be big for business

2015 tech predictions imageIt’s that time of the year again: tech enthusiasts of all stripes, from connected consumers to IT managers and business leaders, are abuzz about the technology trends that will define 2015. The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas celebrated the innovations, inventions and eye-popping gadgets that are rocking the consumer and retail worlds—but what technology will be big for business this year? Deloitte has released its annual tech predictions and we think three in particular will have the greatest effect on business.

Mobile payments will explode. According to Deloitte, the “end of 2015 will mark the tipping point for the use of mobile phones for NFC-enabled in-store payments in Canada.” Smartphones enabled by near-field communication technology will make wallets an increasingly unnecessary accessory for consumers looking more and more to both simplify and speed up all their transactions.

This could fundamentally change how goods and services-focused businesses, both medium and large, interact with their customers. Helping people complete their transactions in more efficient and user-friendly ways is just good business sense, and can form an important part in building even better long-term customer relationships.

In 2015, content will be king. This is hugely important for medium and large businesses, and from marketing, branding and selling perspectives. It’s well known that 18-34-year-olds seek out content on multiple platforms; the big news this year, according to Deloitte, is that they’re also more than willing to pay for it: Canadians in this age group “will spend an average of $750 for content, both traditional and digital. With 9 million millennials, that’s nearly $7 billion in sales for the Canadian media industry.”

Not surprisingly, millennials are most interested in TV, music, computer games, live sports and streaming video. Less expected is that they’re also as interested in print—especially books but also newspapers—as every other generation. What all this means for business is that content-focused customers and prospects can be reached in multiple ways, and not only in terms of actual offers and services. The content marketing campaigns that will allow big businesses to either build on or sustain their brand identities will have to happen over multiple channels and in both new and refreshed formats.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to make radical inroads into people’s everyday lives. Connected home solutions will likely dominate the consumer market this year, but this continued move towards a world defined by IoT also represents huge opportunities for enterprise companies. In particular, those sectors manufacturing and selling “IoT-specific hardware…will be worth $10 billion,” while “the services enabled by the devices will be worth about $70 billion.” This is a great opportunity for medium and large businesses to succeed by bulking up that side of their businesses, but also to form lucrative partnerships with businesses using IoT-enabled hardware and services.

Check out all 10 of Deloitte’s predictions for 2015 tech in Canada here or on SlideShare.

Where would you like technology to take business in 2015?

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Don’t say goodbye to the flip phone just yet: meet the Samsung Rugby 4

Samsung rugby 4 imageFor those who work outdoors or in challenging environments, staying connected while on the job site can be crucial. Having a tough phone that can withstand the elements is even more critical.

The Samsung Rugby 4, like its predecessors, is that kind of phone: designed durable, specifically for industrial use in sectors like construction, field service, transportation, and oil and gas.

How durable? The latest entry in Samsung’s series of rugged phones is military-grade certified and proven to better protect against water, dust, shock, extreme temperatures, and even high altitudes. It’s the practicality you want and the protection you need, all with a name you can trust.

 

  •  Military casing and military-grade certified to better protect against rigorous environments.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity keeps co-workers connected and saves on wireless data costs.
  • Voice commands save employees’ time and improve efficiency.
  • Multi-functional business features extend and enhance the workday to help increase productivity

The Samsung Rugby 4 also has unique, multi-functional capabilities to help rugged workers extend, and manage the workday:

  • Task Manager: Lets workers switch quickly between common applications without searching through menus to save time.
  • Powerful battery and camera: Allows employees to push the limits of the workday with the extended battery life. Snap images of progress at work with the 3 MP front-facing camera and upload them quickly over the 4G network.
  • GPS functionality: Offers an easy way to find destinations for meetings on the go. Go the direct route or take the path of least resistance with proactive traffic alerts and turn-by-turn navigation.

This device is now available from Rogers on a two year plan. For a full list of features, check out the device on Rogers.com.

Does your business take you outside the office? How will you use the Samsung Rugby

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