Welcome to the Rogers Breakfast Forum! Get the highlights from our BlackBerry Live 2013 panel discussion: “Delivering the Connected Enterprise—Navigating the Challenges.”
Welcome to the Rogers Breakfast Forum! Get the highlights from our BlackBerry Live 2013 panel discussion: “Delivering the Connected Enterprise—Navigating the Challenges.”
Whether travelling for client meetings or conferences, Canadian small businesses are increasingly embracing the mobile workforce. For many, this also means supporting business trips south of the border. We’re excited to introduce a new rate to make checking email, sharing files and conducting business in the U.S. even more affordable.
This new rate, available to all Rogers business customers and wireless consumers, provides customers with up to 40 times more roaming wireless internet access than pay-per-use pricing.
Here’s how it works:
- When customers cross the U.S. border and turn on their Rogers smartphone, they are greeted with an SMS message that explains the new $7.99 rate has taken effect. The new affordable daily roaming rate automatically applies so customers do not have to purchase a roaming pack in advance. Customers in Quebec and Newfoundland must opt-in, one time only, when they receive the welcome message.
- For a rate of $7.99, customers can get access to up to 50 megabytes of data over a 24 hour period while travelling in the U.S.
- The new rate will provide Rogers customers with nearly twice the data that they would typically use domestically
- It will be available to all Rogers wireless consumers and business customers
- While in the U.S., customers can text the word “usage” to 3330 to get updates on their wireless internet usage when they are using the $7.99 rate.
Why 50MB per day? The roaming rate was designed to deliver a lot of data at an affordable price. Currently, more than 99 per cent of our customers use less than 50 MB of data per day when roaming. Here are some examples of what 50 MB will allow you to do on your trip in the U.S.:
· Browse 50 maps or
· Browse 200 web pages or
· Send 1,000 emails or
· Send 5,000 Tweets or
· Send 128 photos
Our new roaming model is an important step in addressing the changing needs of our small business customers.
Will this new solution help your business manage travel costs?
Let’s be honest. We’ve all been to webinars that have been less than captivating. Well, if we’re being honest, some webinars are downright bad. Podcasts and webinars are great, relatively inexpensive, tools to showcase your expertise and help you educate your customers. But without proper planning, they can fall flat and leave a bad first impression.
While there’s no magic formula for creating the perfect webinar, there are a few things you can do to make your next event more engaging. Try these quick tips to ace your next webinar:
1. Present useful information, not sales information
People register for webinars because they want to learn, not because they want to hear a sales pitch. Make sure your content provides information that they can use. If your webinar is helpful, they’ll be interested in learning more about how your business can help them.
2. Practice makes perfect
Most people practice before presenting to a live audience, but not always for webinars. This is probably why a lot of webinars seem poorly timed and a little too off-the-cuff. It’s important to spend time building and rehearsing your presentation before the webinar. Since you don’t have a live audience to feed off, you’ll need to work twice as hard to be charismatic and captivating.
3. Make a checklist
Checklists are so important for events, and webinars are no exception. In fact, your checklist should cover the entire webinar process, not just the live aspects. Make sure you plan enough time for each task. You wouldn’t want to send the invite a few days in advance, but rather one to two weeks before your webinar to allow people to arrange their calendars. It’s also a good idea to send out reminders just before the event. Also make a note to hit record before your event starts, so you can put the on-demand version online for anyone who may have missed the live event.
4. Send thank you emails
It’s a good idea to send a thank you email to the attendees immediately following the webinar. This is also a good time to ask for feedback on what could have been done differently to improve the experience.
These are just a few things to think about to make your webinar experience more successful and less stressful. You will no doubt learn as you plan and host, so take notes to help you improve for next time.
BlackBerry 10 webinar for Small Businesses
We will host our own webinar, discussing some important things for small business owners to know about the latest BlackBerry 10 operating system and the devices that use it – the Z10 and Q10. You can learn more and sign up by clicking here and filling out the registration form.
We met Trevor from @HerrlesMarket through Twitter, where he’s constantly engaging with his customers and sharing some farm goodness. He kept telling us how much he loves his BlackBerry smartphone and how his “BlackBerry on the Rogers network,” as he describes it, helps him as a business. So we couldn’t pass up a chance to get his point of view on BlackBerry 10 and learn how smartphones help him grow beautifully red and plump strawberries. Read on to learn his secrets.
Tell us more about your business?
Herrle’s is a family owned and operated farm, located just west of Waterloo, Ontario. In 1858 Peter Herrle purchased the land at 1243 Erb’s Road that the Herrle family has farmed for over 150 years. We are delighted that our children, the sixth generation of Herrles, can call our fields of sweet corn, strawberries, peas, beans and pumpkins their backyard playground! Each and every year, our farm market is brimming with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, homemade jams and preserves, local honey and maple syrup, breads and baking, fruit juices, snack foods and decorative wooden crafts.
When did you start using BlackBerry devices on the farm?
Personally, I have been the “AgNerd” of the family. My first BlackBerry device was the 6210. Back then, being able to see the weather in the field was a luxury. Being able to respond to an email on a tractor was almost unheard of. I have remained loyal to BlackBerry since the beginning, and owned probably 15 devices between then and now. As far as the rest of the family, I got them hooked about three years ago. We amalgamated our wireless plan with Rogers and purchased seven devices. This has given us outstanding connectivity between family members throughout our properties, our business, our suppliers, our agronomists, our Twitter followers and our staff.
How does technology help you connect with your customers?
Technology and farming go hand in hand, more than the general public understands, from the GPS units in our tractors to our BlackBerry smartphones. Farming is a mobile industry, we need information at our fingertips, and constant connection between family members, staff and suppliers. BlackBerry, along with Rogers Small Business Solutions, has enabled our farming operation to #KeepMoving.
How has BlackBerry 10 changed things on the farm?
Currently, I am the only one in the family with a BlackBerry 10 device. There are other members who were patiently waiting for the BlackBerry Q10 (available today) as a physical keyboard is an important feature for a few members of our family. I have been using the BlackBerry Z10 for three months now, and undeniably, this is the best typing experience I have had. (I’m typing this interview on my Z10 now).
Beyond coordinating activities using calendar invites and BBM, I also take pictures, track weather patterns, and engage with the community using Twitter from my BlackBerry on a regular basis (yes, even from my tractor – but not while driving it, of course!). I have leveraged social media in particular as a method to connect urban consumers to the farm, gathering feedback on new product ideas and reaching out to them in a variety of ways. We’re providing a constant opportunity for our customers to connect with the family, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and almost 365 days a year, for a business that is only open from June to October 31st.
Do you think you could you grow beautifully red and plump strawberries without your smartphone?
Hahahaha! Of course! We just wouldn’t be able to share amazing quality “just in time” images and videos with our customers, enticing them to come out to the farm that day and experience that “Freshness Makes the Difference.”
The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone is now available at Rogers retail locations across Canada, starting at $199.99 with select three year plans.
For Calgary’s A1 Cement Contractors, quality control forms were creating piles of paper data that needed to be converted to digital. Workers brought stacks of the forms into the field, where they needed to be filled out, signed, then returned to the office. Completed forms then got filed, scanned or transcribed and entered into the company’s computer system.
Rogers helped the team go paperless by introducing them to ProntoForms, a mobile form application that integrates smartphones and tablets with the company computer systems.
We checked in with Brent Ackerman, A1 Cement’s IT Manager, for five questions about how technology is improving their business.
What technology helps keep your business running smoothly?
“We currently deploy ProntoForms on smartphones and tablets in the field. We pre-fill some of the forms and send them directly to our workers’ mobile devices, saving them time at the site,” explains Ackerman. “Field workers confirm the details, sign their names and click submit, sending the forms to our FTP server and into our database.”
Using the Rogers High Speed Wireless network, A1 Cement workers now collect data on site, such as text, signatures, photos and barcodes and can send forms electronically to team members. All the required information is available at the job site, and clients can receive their data instantly. The company also now uses ProntoForms for its truck maintenance and hazard assessment forms.
“The guys are enjoying ProntoForms,” says Ackerman. “It’s a lot less paperwork for them.”
If you had to use just one social network for your business, which one would it be? Why?
“We do not currently utilize social networks,” says Ackerman. However, A1 Cement does maintain a website, complete with photo galleries of completed work and a YouTube video showcasing their 50 years of service in Calgary.
How do you keep on top of technology and industry trends?
“We rely on IT websites and blogs,” says Ackerman. The company also consulted with Rogers to learn about connecting their team with mobile devices and using ProntoForms. For more information on ProntoForms, or to read case studies on how it works in other industries, visit prontoforms.com/Rogers.
What one piece of advice would you like to share with other small businesses?
“Get user input from everyone at your company, if people don’t want something, they will not use it,” says Ackerman.
What business accomplishment are you most proud of?
“Becoming less reliant on paper and manual data entry,” says Ackerman. With the use of ProntoForms, there’s “no more worrying about having the right forms in the field. Now, all of the information is always accessible for our workers on the job site.”
Mobile data entry has “filled a gap in the flow of information between our office and field staff.”
Would you like to see your small business featured on RedBoard Biz? Send us a DM on Twitter @RogersBiz or leave a comment sharing how technology makes life easier for your business.
Your Internet connection is crucial to your business. Whether you’re video-conferencing, connecting with customers and suppliers or accessing databases in the cloud, you require a reliable, fast Internet connection. And as more and more services become available from the cloud, your Internet connection just keeps becoming even more important.
Internet use is growing rapidly worldwide. Cisco estimates that by the end of 2016, global Internet consumption from business users will total 13.1 exabytes* per month. That’s a compounded annual growth rate of 22 per cent between 2011 and 2016.
To support Canadian small business, starting today we have increased the download and upload speeds of our most popular Internet tiers: Business Internet Basic, Standard and Pro – for customers in our cable footprint. Rogers Business Internet customers will not see any changes on their monthly bills as a result of the boosted speeds. However, some customers may not have the latest modem that is required to take advantage of the new speeds. You can check by referencing your invoice; if you see ‘Business Gateway Rental.’ you have the right modem. If you do not have this, you can call 1-866-727-2124 to speak to a business specialist about upgrading your hardware.
Here’s a summary of how your Internet speeds are changing:
|New speeds (download/upload)||Old speeds(download/upload)|
|Business Internet Basic||Up to 7 Mbps / 1 Mbps||Up to 4 Mbps / 1 Mbps|
|Business Internet Standard||Up to 30 Mbps / 5 Mbps||Up to 10 Mbps / 2 Mbps|
|Business Internet Pro||Up to 60 Mbps / 10 Mbps||Up to 30 Mbps / 5 Mbps|
Just how fast are the new speeds? With 30 Mbps, you can download a 500 MB file in two minutes.
We’re interested in learning more about your business’ internet usage. Let us know in the comments how these speeds will affect you and your team.
* What’s an exabyte? It is a massive amount of data: 1 exabyte comprises 1000 petabytes, while a single petabyte is 1000 terabytes and a single terabyte is 1000 gigabytes.
Exciting news BlackBerry® fans! Rogers will be the first Canadian carrier to bring its customers the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone with support for the blazing fast 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band when the new device launches this spring, available in both black and white.
The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone includes the physical QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen combined with the power of the BlackBerry 10 platform – perfect for people who like to use their device on-the-go. You can check out the look and feel of the device (in black) in this video from Engadget.
What makes this smartphone so fast?
The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone is built to run on the 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band with Rogers LTE, Canada’s fastest wireless internet. Rogers has more 2600 MHz spectrum band deployed than any other carrier in Canada. With this technology, you’ll be able to do more with your device, such as download and upload large files quickly and live stream video content while on our Rogers 2600 MHz LTE spectrum.
Rogers announced last month it will expand its 2600 MHz LTE spectrum to 44 new markets this spring.
What are your favourite features for small business?
We are loving the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. A few great things on the Q10 device include:
- Battery Life – the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone has the largest battery of any BlackBerry smartphone so you can work and talk all day on a single charge.
- Keyboard – the Q10 device features a straight keyboard design and is wider than other BlackBerry smartphones.
- Better shortcuts with Type and Go – a great time-saving feature that allows you to send messages quickly on-the-go.
Does the smartphone come in other colours?
Yes, Rogers customers will be the first to get the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone in white.
How do I get one?
The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone will be arriving at Rogers retail locations across Canada in the coming weeks starting at $199.99 with select three year plans. Current Rogers small business customers can reserve this device now on the Rogers Reservation System here and pre-orders for new customers are now available at rogers.com.
Update, April 23, 2 p.m.: We’re happy to announce the BlackBerry Q10 will be available in-store at Rogers retail locations on May 1.
This post, written by Melissa Campeau, originally appeared in Profitguide.com.
Mobile technology is changing the way we do business, and most Canadian business owners report being pretty happy about that. A new survey by Sage North America discovered 83% of owners believe mobile technology has had a positive effect on their business and only 1% felt the technology has had a negative impact. More than three-quarters (78%) say their employees are using mobile technology to access information related to work.
The study also reports business owners believe the use of devices for remote access has increased significantly over the past year. Laptop use is perceived to be up by 48%, tablet use by 64% and smartphone use by 78%.
“Mobile devices have become so pervasive that many of us feel like these devices are an extension of ourselves,” says Nancy Harris, senior vice president and general manager of Sage 50 Accounting, Canadian Edition. “So it makes sense that the majority of business owners Sage surveyed in Canada are incorporating mobile devices to increase productivity.”
About 40% of the businesses using mobile devices outside the office have one to two employees using tablets or smartphones. More than half (55%) have one to two employees using laptops and 40% have one to two employees using desktops.
The survey also found that, of the mobile devices used by employees to gain remote access, 71% are supplied by the company and 28% by the employee. For 18% of mobile technology used for work, employees supply the smartphones and tablets, and business owners pay for the service.
“By capitalizing on the growing trend of work being conducted on smartphones and tablets, businesses can not only increase productivity, but also give their employees the flexibility of being able to conduct work whenever and wherever they are,” says Harris. “This ability to work remotely not only helps add to the bottom line, but may also be seen as a benefit to prospective employees.”
The report notes business decision-makers may be wise to establish a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in order to protect their company’s proprietary data while still allowing workers to use their personal devices remotely. Nearly half (45%) of companies polled have established a BYOD policy in the office, but more than a third (35%) have not considered this option. Another 9% have considered the idea but decided against it.
The Mobile Hotspot and Rocket™ Hub from Rogers can fill your company’s mobile-connectivity needs. So which one is right for you? The staff of Connected for Business helps you weigh your options.
When it comes to doing business remotely or taking your work on the road, the Mobile Hotspot and Rocket Hub have you covered. Whether you’re setting up a mobile kiosk for staff at a trade show, staying connected with your colleagues while you’re on vacation, or just looking for a way to create secure Internet connectivity outside the office, these mobile devices deliver better flexibility, dependability, security and performance than free, public Wi-Fi. Connected to the Rogers LTE network, you can enjoy Internet speeds* comparable to your office or home connection wherever your work takes you, and you can save on install and usage charges for temporary connectivity.
While they share many features – both the Mobile Hotspot and Rocket Hub offer customizable password protection, both can be used on the Rogers wireless network across Canada, and both are portable devices that offer easy, technician-free set up – each is tailor-made with specific business needs and functions in mind. Read on for a look at how they stack up.
*Refers to maximum theoretical speeds. Rogers LTE network offers typical download speeds of 12 to 25 Mbps, or up to 40 Mbps for select devices. Outside of Rogers LTE coverage areas, LTE devices will seamlessly fall back to 4G HSPA+ or EDGE. Actual speeds may vary based on plan selected, device, network access type and spectrum, topography and environmental conditions, network congestion and other factors.
As we spring forward, small business owners are bracing themselves for tax season.
While the approaching deadline sometimes creates feelings of distress and pressure, the digital age has helped ease the filing process. These five apps can help you get organized before time runs out this year and help you prepare for next. Remember that deadlines may vary depending on your business so be sure to check out the CRA website and file early!
Smart Receipts – In hindsight, you’re probably wishing hadn’t let your expense receipts pile up all year. In 2013, consider choosing Smart Receipts (Free, Android) to help you stay ahead. This app tracks receipt data and allows you to generate both PDF and CSV reports that can be shared with your email accounts.
Tax Receipts Shoebox – Similar to Smart Receipts, Tax Receipts Shoebox ($2.99, BlackBerry) creates electronic versions of receipts to make expense reports a breeze. It also has features for tracking billable work using your BlackBerry contacts.
PwC Tax Rates – Tax rates change. That isn’t new. What is new is getting them on the go, so you can save time investigating current rates. PwC Tax Rates (Free, BlackBerry, iOS) puts the latest provincial and federal corporate and personal tax rates at your fingertips.
KPMG Tax Hub Canada App – KPMG’s new Tax Hub Canada App (Free, iOS, BlackBerry) provides timely news and facts to help you adapt, plan and respond quickly to tax changes—helping you gain a competitive edge. The app highlights breaking tax news, articles, newsletters, the latest tax rate tables, as well as tax facts and figures.
H&R Block –H&R Block has been in the tax business for more than 50 years. The company’s app (Free, Android, iOS) has a new feature that allows you to upload your documents and send them to your tax pro. What more could you ask for? (Aside from your own personal tax pro, of course.)
What apps help you stay organized for tax season and beyond?
Chris is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz