Rogers Small Business Leadership Network – Shawn Pucknell

Headshot_Shawn PucknellMeet Shawn Pucknell, the newest member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Shawn is the founder and executive producer at FITC located in Toronto, Ontario.

Q1: What’s Your Elevator Pitch?
I’m a self-confessed serial entrepreneur and have been involved with the digital media community and industry in many ways over the last 18 years. Starting as a digital media developer, I moved on to running my own development company, opening a small training space, teaching at OCAD, and also opening Canada’s first digital media art gallery. I then made the transition to producing and curating professional conferences for a living, for the digital community. I’m currently the Founding Director of FITC, a globally recognized creative technology conference company that has produced over 100 events in over 20 cities around world.

Q2: What are your Biggest Challenges as a small business owner that you’re tackling today?  The current company I have is the tenth company I’ve started, and I’ve been running it for 15 years. You’d think after all that, I would have figured it all out by now. Nope, I’m still learning. Which I would say is one of the main challenges with being your own boss, especially in a world constantly changing. You’re forced by necessity to stay flexible, and to be open to new ideas, new ways of operating, new processes – whatever it takes to remain relevant and to survive. It’s an ongoing state of mind; being open to learning, and not being rigid in what and how you operate.

A second challenge would be strategy. Most small companies don’t actually start with a business plan or a nice thick branding and strategy document and a roadmap for the next 5-10 years. Most start out of passion projects. As a result, they aren’t well thought out with a long-term strategic plan. As I’ve grown the company, I’ve continued to work towards refining and fine-tuning a strategy for the company and for myself. It’s an ongoing process, one that I actually enjoy, but one that’s taken many years and many missteps to get to where I am now.

Q3: What role does technology play in the day to day operations of your business? What didn’t you expect you’d use technology for?
We produce conferences around the world – Tokyo, Amsterdam, New York – we’ve now done events in 23 cities and continue to look at new opportunities. And we do it all from our offices in Toronto with a laptop and a cell phone. It would be impossible to pull this off without technology. We also do 100% of our marketing online and have had to continually stay current with the channels available. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and whatever new channels develop

Q4: Tell us a time when technology helped get you and your business out of a jam?
We were hosting an event in Tokyo last year, and there was a snowstorm. By snowstorm (speaking as a native Torontonian), it was actually only 2 inches of snow that melted by the same afternoon. But they don’t get a lot of snow in Tokyo, so it shut down most of the city. I was trying to get to our event along with a few of the presenters who were with me, and we couldn’t get a taxi. All the lines were jammed. We were stuck. I remembered UBER had recently come to Tokyo and I opened my phone, wondering if my Toronto UBER account would work in Tokyo. I opened the app, pressed the button, and a driver was en-route to us. We made it to the show in time. Technology saved my butt that day.

Q5: What technologies do you think could impact small business in the coming months or years?
There’s so much happening in the tech space right now it’s dizzying; from wearables to VR to AR to robotics and artificial intelligence. Things are happening quickly, and they’ll all play some type of roll in how we move into the future. But the biggest change is something deeper. You’ve probably seen that ‘business of the future’ meme that spells it out: the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles (Uber), the world’s most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook), the world’s most valuable retailer has no inventory (Alibaba), and one of the world’s largest accommodation providers owns no real estate (Airbnb). Something very interesting is happening. These emerging new business models will profoundly affect all companies large and small, and even what ‘business’ means as we know it.

Bio (provided by member)
Beginning in 1997, Shawn spent three years at MacLaren McCann Interactive where his hard work and initiative helped shape the growth and development of their multimedia department. Next, Shawn joined Blast Radius as a Senior Flash Technologist and was promptly sent to New York, where he helped develop the award-winning Lego.com site.

Co-founding Ten Plus One inc (www.10plus1.com) in 2001, Shawn helped grow a small 2-man multimedia shop in the downtown Toronto area into a successful interactive boutique of 16 employees that specialized in producing intelligent digital work for clients such as CBC, TVO, ATI, Fuji films, Mercedes-Benz, Virgin Records, Four Seasons Hotels, Phizer, and Compaq.

Active in the interactive industry, Shawn is the founder and manager of the Toronto Flash users group FlashinTO (Flashinto.com) and, is also the founding director of the FITC Design & Technology events (fitc.ca), now a global company with events around the world.

Shawn was lead author for the Macromedia Press title “Flash MX 2004 Demystified” for New Riders publishing, and has won 12 interactive advertising industry awards, including two gold Canadian Marketing Awards and an entry in the British Design & Art Direction annual. As well, Shawn sits on the Interactive Program Advisory board for Sheridan College, Humber College, and George Brown College.

Web site and Social Outposts
Site: www.fitc.ca
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pucknell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pucknell
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pucknell

Disclosure statement
Shawn is a member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Members work with Rogers to produce and share content that can help Canadian small businesses be successful. He is not compensated by Rogers.

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Could Your Business Benefit from Tablets?

tablets-for-your-business-480x360Here are four ways Canadian businesses put tablets to use to save time, make money, and increase efficiency by Chad Sapieha.

Computers remain common in most workplaces, but tablets have become nearly as ubiquitous. And, in some cases, they may be able to replace computers.

Tablets – especially hybrids with physical keyboards – can perform all the same functions as a laptop. But they have an edge in mobility, which makes them easier for on-the-go workers to take with them to off-site locations, and for local staff to tote them around the office to meetings with colleagues. Plus, tablets are more flexible than computers. They typically serve as tools for workers, but can just as easily be used by customers when set up as self-service terminals.

If you’re still wondering whether your company should invest in tablets, here’s a look at how they’re already being used by many Canadian small businesses.

Restaurants: Consider A Digital Menu
Tablets are replacing menus is some restaurants – to the benefit of both business owners and customers. Diners ordering from a tablet require less attention from waiters and can easily customize their orders. Owners can then use the data gathered from orders to get to better know repeat customers, potentially connecting with them on social media and offering custom specials to specific diners. Plus, changing menu items, prices and dish photographs requires just a few quick taps rather than an expensive run to the print shop.

Trades: Empower Your Workers In The Field
Contractors – as well as plumbers, electricians and landscapers – are most useful when they’re out in the field doing their jobs. Tablets can keep them there and make them a lot more efficient. Inexpensive and simple apps will let trades workers enter time, record details of work completed and document job sites with pictures. Thanks to tablets, they can even create and send off invoices to clients the moment a job is done, all without ever heading back to the office or touching a computer.

Creative Types: Help Teams Of Designers Collaborate
Creative teams at ad agencies, architecture firms and graphic-design shops frequently need to work together and share their ideas in real time with people who may or may not be in the same office. Tablets loaded with appropriate graphic-design tools and team-collaboration apps let coworkers sketch out ideas – visual concepts, wire frames, blueprints – side by side in the same office, then share them with out-of-office colleagues via instant cloud-storage updates.

Professional Services & Consultants: Stay Connected Wherever You Go
Savvy consultants can potentially replace their computers with a good hybrid tablet. Load it with office software and it can be used to author and edit documents, and deliver presentations in the office or at clients’ sites. Tablets can also be used to remotely check in to meetings via teleconferencing apps, as well as manage teams and tasks with efficient project-tracking apps. And consultants can do all this wherever they happen to be – an airport, hotel or café – never needing to worry about finding a Wi-Fi signal thanks to their mobile-data connection.

If the only thing holding you back from introducing tablets to your workplace is the cost, consider Rogers Easy Pay® tablet financing plan. With it, you can get any tablet for $0 down1 and pay it off with 24 equal monthly installment payments – or pay it off in full anytime during that period. Taxes and connection fee extra. To add data, just connect your tablet to a Rogers Share Everything™ for Business plan for as low as $10 per month.

For more information on Rogers tablets, click here.

For more on Rogers Share Everything for Business plans, click here.

This article originally appeared in Rogers Connected for Business.

1Offer subject to change without notice. Connection fee of $20/line will appear on invoice. Taxes on no-term price apply in all cases. $0 down on approved credit (0% APR) with 24-month device financing agreement (“DFA”) on an in-market Share Everything plan with tablet additional line. Payment of outstanding balance due upon termination of DFA or Share Everything tablet additional line, downgrade to an in eligible plan or transfer of responsibility.

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Business as usual: making cybersecurity part of your digital model

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75% of Canadian IT leaders do not have enough staff to run cybersecurity solutions in their business1.

A digital presence is price of entry in the modern business landscape. But without proper security operations, it’s all too easy to fall prey to cyberthreats. In fact, over 36% of Canadian businesses have been compromised2 and the average cost to an organization was, in 2014, over $5.3 million3.

Small and medium sized businesses are particularly vulnerable, because they simply do not have the resources to fend off threats on their own, leaving them exposed and at risk. Because smaller companies tend to have less robust security, if they have business relationships with larger companies, it makes them a target that cybercriminals can exploit.

But there are ways for organizations to protect themselves. Rogers has partnered with Trustwave to bring global cybersecurity services to Canadian businesses in 2016. Businesses will benefit from end-to-end solutions offered as-a-service that detect, protect, and manage cybersecurity threats, all monitored and delivered from security operation centers in Canada.

Rogers offers comprehensive cybersecurity measures such as:

• Real-time monitoring: 24x7x365 monitoring of security events within a businesses’ network infrastructure. Experienced security analysts operating from Canadian-based security operations centres will detect threats and mitigate risks before they occur.
• Cybersecurity diagnostic tools: Proactive scanning and security testing to identify network security weaknesses and solutions ahead of a breach.
• Dedicated support: Dedicated security teams will help customers to comply with laws governing data protection and to maintain their network infrastructure.

Finally, Canadian businesses can operate without the fear of cyberthreats; and, because this will be offered as a service by Rogers, they can continue to focus on what they do best.  Find out more here.

1: Ponemon Institute, Exposing the Cyber Security Cracks: Canada 2014
2: Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Canada
3: Government of Canada’s Get Cyber Safe Infographic

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Rogers Small Business Leadership Network – Sandy Sidhu

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Meet Sandy Sidhu: She is the newest member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Sandy is a digital strategist and idea igniter who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners master online marketing, systems and technology. Sandy is located in Montreal, Quebec. We sat down with Sandy and asked her a few questions about her business.

Q1: What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

My journey into entrepreneurship was not a planned one. I actually studied and worked as a Software Engineer for 10 years before leaping into the world of entrepreneurship. Even though I may have shifted gears and am not working in the same industry, as someone who works in online marketing, I’ve had to embrace change, constantly be learning, tweaking and love working with my clients to help them grow their businesses and reach online.

Q2: What are the 3 biggest challenges as a small business owner that you’re tackling today?

1- Comparison Trap
Social media is both a blessing and a curse for entrepreneurs. On one hand, we’ve never been as connected, but, on the other hand, it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap and judge your success by what you see others sharing. It’s easy to forget that people, more often than not, share the highlights and you also don’t know how long or how far they are in their journey.

2- Analysis/Paralysis
Over-thinking tends to be one that I see a lot. I’m all about the minimal viable product/action. Try something, test it out and put it out there. It doesn’t have to be perfect but thinking about it forever will not tell you if the market is interested. Don’t launch to crickets. Test an idea, put it out there and adjust.

3- Just start
Building on the last point, I see that too often entrepreneurs think certain things have to happen before something else can happen. For example, I can only do a webinar if I have a big list or I shouldn’t do a Facebook ad if my page is small. That’s not the case..at all. Start somewhere, and build on it as you go.

Q3: What role does technology play in the day to day operations of your business? What didn’t you expect you’d use technology for?

My business wouldn’t exist without technology! Day to day operations include running social media campaigns, setting up and running webinars and client calls.

As someone who works with clients remotely, having key systems in place is important. I rely on technology to plan and host online events, schedule meetings and to help my clients grow their businesses online.

Q4: Tell us a time when technology helped get you and your business out of a jam?

I was working with a client to launch a webinar and we were scheduled to do a dry-run with the client (who was new to the world of webinars). We could not figure out why the client couldn’t access the webinar (even though everyone else was able to..and it didn’t boost their confidence when they were already not that convinced about doing one). After some troubleshooting and IT support, turns out their company had blocked access to the very webinar technology we were trying to use. Having a supportive team and troubleshooting processes in place definitely helped and good thing for dry-runs!

Q5: What technologies do you think could impact small business in the coming months or years?

Mobile and video will continue to grow and small business owners need to take advantage.
Business owners need to make sure their websites are up to date and mobile responsive as we are increasingly becoming a ‘mobile-first’ society. Small business should also start to embrace more video and livestreaming as this is another way to further connect and build relationships with potential customers.

About Sandy

Sandy Sidhu is a digital strategist and idea igniter who helps entrepreneurs break down technology into simple concepts, learn the need-to-know of marketing and the web, all while helping you create community and connection with your customers. Sandy has a weekly podcast, The Business Ignite Show, where she interviews entrepreneurs who share actionable business insights. You can connect with her at www.sandysidhumedia.com

Disclosure statement

Sandy is a member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Members work with Rogers to produce and share content that can help Canadian small businesses be successful. She is not compensated by Rogers.

Website and Social Media
Site: www.sandysidhumedia.com
Blog: www.sandysidhumedia.com/blog
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sandysidhu
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SandySidhu

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Introducing the Global Mobile Innovators Tournament

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Delivering Mobile Application Innovation Through Cloud and API Integration in Collaboration with IBM and 4YFN

Here at Rogers we’re excited to partner with IBM and 4YFN (Four Years From Now) to introduce an exciting new way for you as developers and startups to pave the way to the future of mobile application innovation, and potentially become a global champion on stage in Barcelona at 4YFN 2016, taking place during the Mobile World Congress.

Using both IBM Bluemix integrated with our mobile communications offerings free of charge you will have the opportunity to build mobile applications centered around various Internet of Things themes (Smart Homes and Buildings, Connected Travel and Transportation, and Smarter Healthcare) to provide new found ways for businesses and individuals to interact in this hyper-connected world.

Taking part in the tournament is simple.

  1. Visit: glovators.io for full tournament details and follow the three easy steps on the website.
  2. Check out our offering of cool and exciting communications offerings
  3. Start building your app – the submission deadline is January 6th!

Why did we partner with IBM?

IBM shares our goal of reaching out to mobile game changers all over the world who will transform industry through the creation of advanced Internet of Things and mobility solutions.

“Partnering with some of the industry’s top telecommunications companies like Rogers provides the developers taking part in the tournament with unmatched resources and the opportunity to demonstrate and grow their skill sets,” IBM General Manager of Cloud Ecosystems and Developers, Sandy Carter said.

We’re very excited to provide the ability for you to use our services like machine-to-machine connectivity, location services and text messaging to build applications that will make it easier than ever for developers to bring ideas for the emerging connected world to life.

Don’t forget – start building your apps today: www.glovators.io – the submission deadline is January 6th.

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Rogers Small Business Leadership Network – Robin Smith

Robin Smith, HeadshotMeet Robin Smith the newest member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Robin is the co-founder of Virtual Logistics Inc. located in Mississauga, Ontario. We sat down with Robin and asked him a few questions about his business.

Q1: What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

I always come back to our vision. To be the leader in customized data integration solutions for growing omni-channel businesses. We want to change the way you think about data integration. It’s not a really sexy topic but it’s key to a successful and scalable business. Bet you never thought about it.

Q2: What’s Your 3 Biggest Challenge as a small business owner that you’re tackling today?

Time (there is never enough), finding the right people (people that fit technically and culturally into our organization) and changing the attitudes in business towards data integration and data. These are three of the biggest challenges we face. Of course there are lots of others but they are far easier to manage.

Q3: What role does technology play in the day to day operations of your business? What didn’t you expect you’d use technology for?

Love this question! If you don’t have a solid technological foundation you are living in the 19th century. You would be amazed at the number of businesses we speak with who can’t see past the outdated junky systems they use. They are not informed about what is available and run inefficient and antiquated processes because of the technology they use. We use technology to manage the entire sales and marketing cycle, contract administration, accounting and then all customer interfacing points using an issue management platform. We love technology at Virtual Logistics and have always said if you want to talk the talk, you better walk the walk. So we eat our own cat food. No dogs here.

Q4: Tell us a time when technology helped get you and your business out of a jam?

We were having a dispute with a customer. By having a centralised CRM for emails and a proper issue management solution where people logged their time, this allowed us to show the customer that we were not the bad guys. Having the facts allowed us to defuse the dispute and establish a better working relationship. Had we not had the technology it would have been a “he said, she said” in which no one came out unscathed. If you don’t have proper systems you don’t have good data.

Q5: What technologies do you think could impact small business in the coming months or years?

Wow a huge question. APIs (application program interface) are going to create the greatest opportunities and the greatest challenges for business. The internet is one giant API. What APIs are doing to business is allowing them to move beyond the transaction and getting at data. Data is king, we all generate it, we all have it and we all use it. Data is the foundation of all we do today. It feeds the customer experience; it drives our planning and decisioning. If it’s bad we make bad decisions. We trade today in a digital world so the use of data across an organization is more pervasive than ever before. With APIs things will get much more personal and drive much of the internet of things solutions. Think of APIs as doors we can look into to get a view of data. How many doors can you open to get a better view?

About Robin

Robin is the co-founder of Virtual Logistics Inc. He has overseen VL’s sales and marketing since the company’s inception in 1994 as an EDI and data integration company.

Prior to forming VL, Robin was responsible for new business development in Africa and the Middle East for Canac Telecom a division of CN Rail. While at Canac, Robin represented Canac on numerous Canadian Government trade missions to Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Prior to working at Canac, Robin served as Director of International Liaison at TEMIC (Telecommunications Executive Management Institute of Canada) and worked for USAID in Somalia as well in the UN office, Vienna, Austria.

Robin has a BA Honours in Prehistoric Archaeology and Historical Geography from the University of Toronto. He also has a MA in International Relations from Webster University, Vienna, Austria. He is married with two sons and lives in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Disclosure statement

Alex is a member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Members work with Rogers to produce and share content that can help Canadian small businesses be successful. He is not

compensated by Rogers.

Web site and Social Media

Site:http://virtuallogistics.ca/

Blog: http://blog.virtuallogistics.ca/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinhsmith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhsmithvl | https://twitter.com/virtuallogistic

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Rogers Small Business Leadership Network – Alex Glassey

Alex GlasseyMeet Alex Glassey, the newest member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Alex is the Founder and CEO of Stratpad located in Victoria, British Columbia. We sat down with Alex and asked him a few questions about his business.

Q1: What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

At StratPad, we believe entrepreneurs will save the world. We help entrepreneurs harvest their team’s creativity and transform it into a thriving business. Our online resources teach them how to think about, plan and manage their business. Further, we introduce them to the advisors and lenders that want to help them grow.

Q2: What are your 3 Biggest Challenges as a small business owner that you’re tackling today?

We wrestle with these questions:

1. How do we differentiate ourselves from the numerous “business planning” alternatives?

2. How do we find and develop an international network of high-quality advisors to drive our growth?

3. How do we continue to deliver the quality experience that our early customers received while growing 10-fold every year?

Q3: What role does technology play in the day to day operations of your business? What didn’t you expect you’d use technology for?

First, technology is at the core of our offering. We’ve taken all of the business planning experience and methods from decades of work and used them to create StratPad and its subsequent iterations. We use it to enhance what we do, and provide a unique framework for business people and their advisors. Second, we also use technology to link us to our customers as directly as possible. Finally, we use technology to link our customers to each other, in effect creating a match.com experience for business services.

Q4: Tell us a time when technology helped get you and your business out of a jam?

Our business would look significantly different without technology. Our flagship product, StratPad Cloud, is a purely web-based app that helps simplify and focus the strategy and planning process. It provides a framework for business people to work within, freeing them up to do what really matters to them: growing their business. It’s difficult to think about specifics when your business revolves around using technology to promote small business success and connect business people with the advisors they need to grow and be successful. So let’s just say that technology saves the day, every day.

Q5: What technologies do you think could impact small business in the coming months or years?

We believe that technology is accelerating its transformation of the business landscape.

3D printers, for example, will radically disrupt delivery chains and manufacturers and transform the economics of “things”: anyone will be able to have anything at any time and send it anywhere, instantly.

Wearable technologies and the Internet of Things will increase the amount of data generated about us. This data, harnessed to increasingly powerful and sophisticated inference engines, will reshape the world of marketing, shopping, communications and human decision-making.

Finally, the internet is becoming increasingly ubiquitous worldwide, and as more and more emerging markets find themselves with fast, reliable internet access, business will be moving into an online space. This massively impacts small businesses who can now communicate more efficiently with their employees, many of whom may be working remotely. The hiring pool is vastly increased as well because of this.

About Alex

Alex is the founder and CEO of StratPad Inc. StratPad’s award-winning software represents the best of what Alex has learned in his 30+ years of experience as a serial entrepreneur and advisor to small and medium-sized businesses. StratPad provides a simple, practical approach to business planning that makes sense for entrepreneurs.

Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, Alex is a former “big five” management consultant turned entrepreneur with four successful startups to his credit. Over the years, he has advised hundreds of small businesses on growth and innovation strategies. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Alex presents to business groups worldwide and offers workshops and video-based training on strategy and business planning.

Alex is an adjunct professor in the entrepreneurial program at Royal Roads University in Victoria. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Alex is a member of the Rogers Small Business Leadership Network. Members work with Rogers to produce and share content that can help Canadian small businesses be successful. He is not compensated by Rogers.

Site: www.stratpad.com

Blog: www.stratpad.com/blog

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexglassey

Twitter: @stratpad

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Interview with Robyn Bews: Workplace Flexibility

392abc4We recently interviewed Robyn Bews, Executive Director, WORKshift Canada for her perspective on workplace flexibility. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

You just released research in partnership with Rogers. What were the key findings?

The premise behind the research was to get a definitive feeling of the importance from Canadian employees about workplace flexibility. Ie- did all the talk about workplace transformation from the media and vendors match what employees really wanted? Secondly, if it were important to employees, how did offering it affect employee engagement?  That is to say, what impacts might a company see, beyond real estate savings, if they were to get their arms around it?  Lastly, we obviously live in a hyper-connected, technology driven and supported world, we wanted to understand how providing employees with the right technology impacts their feelings about their employer.
The results were frankly unsurprising to us: Yes, employees value flexibility.  It can significantly improve engagement. And, giving employees the best technology to support anytime, anywhere work leads to positive impressions about the company.   I guess the only surprise was how significant the impacts might be.

What does this research mean for Canadian businesses?

Businesses can ignore workplace flexibility at their own peril. We’re not going to see a time in the future where employees are more tethered. Those who “get” it and create workplaces that can realize the upside are going to win. They will win the talent war, they will win reputationally, they will win the ROI.

How do you think technology plays a role in driving flexible work?

Consumerization of IT,  which I loosely define as employees having better technology at home than at work, means that we now operate with the expectations of technology to drive efficiencies in our lives.  We no longer see distance as a burden: Grandparents from other countries can read their grandkids bedtime stories, professors can teach surgeons complex procedures via robots. Which leaves many asking the obvious question, why don’t I have the tools to collaborate effectively with my team from distributed locations?  Technology is both the driver and enabler now which is interesting to me.

engaged employeeCan you talk about the event you are hosting this week?

In addition to releasing the full results of our research, this events is an opportunity to bring together what I think are some of the most talented minds on this topic of workplace transformation.  It will be a chance for change-makers to hear about the latest research, thought-leadership topics like HR, demographic shifts,  collaboration and technology which might give them the confidence to begin advancing the conversation in their own workplaces. But even more exciting will be the opportunity to hear from organizations that have done this and have the evidence and results to support the business case.  If it exists, it can be done, which makers it infinitely harder to ignore.

Click here for more information about WORKshift.

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Transforming the way we do business with the Internet of Things. Interview with Eric Simmons.

091715-007-BPAwardsDay2-298We recently interviewed Eric Simmons, Senior Director, M2M & IoT at Rogers for his perspective on IoT and why it matters for business. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Surveillance cameras, fridges, smart cars and almost every device imaginable are being given connectivity through the Internet of Things; how do you think this technology will have an impact on our daily lives?

The internet of things will have a more transformative impact on our daily lives than the internet, smart phones and apps combined.  As the world becomes more and more interconnected life will become more predictable and personalized.  We will receive notifications about the things that are important to us like when our bus or subway is arriving, when low on gas our car will recommend the closest gas station that ties to your loyalty card and when your favourite stores are having sales and what products are available in one’s size.  Predictive analytics will tell us when something is going to happen before it happens so we can prepare in advance.  i.e. we will get a notification that your car battery is close to end of life so you can replace it before you get stuck on the road in -20 weather.

What do you think are the greatest benefits of IoT for businesses?

The greatest benefits for business will be in 3 main areas (1) dramatically improved operational efficiencies through smart real time notifications, (2) improved customer experience enable through captive portals, personal preference models and purchase history (3) new revenue streams and  As-A-Service business models.  Businesses need to adapt to thrive in order to maintain their competitiveness.

Why do you think some businesses are struggling to adopt IoT Technology?

There a couple of key challenges some businesses face in adopting IoT.  Many customers see IoT as complex and need to find an organization that can help them by providing an end-to-end solution such as Rogers.  Secondly many simply don’t understand where and how they could leverage IoT in their business and for these customers we offer a ½ day workshop where we bring in our best experts to help them uncover the value IoT can bring to their business.

What would you say to those who believe that the IoT is one of the most over-hyped concepts?

I would suggest it is no more over hyped than the internet, smart phones, cloud and big data.  IoT although at the top of the hype curve, it is simply the next set of technologies that businesses will adopt.

What do you think the future holds for IOT?

IoT will change the landscape of every organization and our daily lives.  The future is a connected one, hosted in the cloud and leveraging big data to “predict” actions and outcomes.

For more information on the Internet of Things visit: http://enterprise.rogers.com/on/en/solutions-services/supporting-infra structure/internet-of-things

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Exploring Rogers Talks

RogersTalks_tw_caro_1This post originally appeared on Connected For Business and has been republished with permission.

If you’re like most small-business owners, finding the time, revenue and resources to drive your company forward can be a challenge. Devote just one morning to a Rogers Talks event, though, and it will be time well spent.

This cross-country speaker series, featuring some of Canada’s biggest names in business, will send you away inspired, invigorated and loaded with actionable tips and tools you can apply immediately to your own company.

These industry experts of today have been where you are right now, and they’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. They’ll not only share with you the stumbles that led them to success, they’ll offer concrete advice and insight about everything from online marketing to building your brand to cross-platform strategies. Plus, you’ll have ample time during networking breaks to mingle with them, as well as other small-business owners, for one-on-one conversations.

Here are some highlights from the 2014 Rogers Talks events:

• One of the most inspiring talks at last year’s event was from Frank O’Dea, co-founder of coffee chain Second Cup, during his presentation (“Perfecting Your Online Presence”) in Ottawa. A true rags-to-riches story, O’Dea went from panhandling to receiving the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall. Three words drive him: hope, vision, action. “Without hope there’s no vision, and without action, vision is simply a dream,” he said at the event. He went on to share his three groundbreaking ideas, which perked up the coffee industry and made him his millions.

• In Vancouver, Peter Van Stolk, CEO of organic-produce delivery company SPUD, spoke about his core business principles in his presentation on building your brand through social media. He believes we should be reacting to the future, not the present, because everything will change. He also takes a page from marriage counselors and advises listening from your customer’s perspective rather than your own, communicating without judging, and acknowledging what’s been said.

• In Calgary, LinkedIn Canada account director Ben Kelly shared his strategies for content marketing for small business. He emphasized the importance of using social media to generate word of mouth and deliver content, as well as offer new information about your company. He also explained how to use online content to leverage your understanding of marketing.

• In Toronto, internet strategist and broadcaster Jesse Hirsh revealed valuable insight about the future of mobile commerce during his presentation on “The New Buying Culture.” And in Montreal, Eric Fournier, partner at multimedia company Moment Factory laid out a game plan for how to integrate those changes into your own company during his talk on Keeping Up With Technological Changes.

Ready to take part in one of this year’s Rogers Talks? Visit rogerstalksevent.com for more information and to register for the 2015 Rogers Talks event nearest you!

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