Posts Tagged ‘RedBoard Biz’

Rogers fuels growth of startups and entrepreneurs in Canada

wavefront-lrgIn the past, we have told you about our long-standing partnership with Wavefront, a non-profit business incubator located in Vancouver.

Today we announced a funding commitment of $4 million to Wavefront, Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, to drive growth of Canadian businesses in the areas of machine-to-machine (M2M) and the Internet of Things.

This means that over the next five years, we will connect thousands of early-stage wireless technology companies from across Canada with experts from Rogers and Wavefront to help build their businesses. We will also provide financial resources, wireless technology solutions and access to developer platforms to help businesses get their products and services to market.

Growing a strong Canadian wireless technology industry requires collaboration among organizations who support innovators and entrepreneurs. In partnership with Wavefront, Rogers is helping new businesses effectively commercialize, grow and enter new markets, by providing hands-on mentorship and programs like the Commercialization Support Program that help startups develop go-to-market strategies.

Our financial commitment to Wavefront will be matched by up to 50% by the Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP), a five-year program established by the Government of Canada to foster growth among the country’s startup community. Together, we will give technology businesses in Vancouver and across the country the tools and resources to help them drive growth in their business and compete on a national and global scale.

Over the past six years, Wavefront’s incubation and acceleration of technology businesses has resulted in thousands of new jobs in Canada, and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Canada’s GDP.

For more information on Wavefront, please visit: www.wavefrontac.com.

 

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Q&A: Rogers Ignite™ revs up our innovative engines

Rob 2The next great innovation might be right around the corner. Today, we launched Rogers Ignite, a new program that encourages companies to pitch us their market-ready products and services. Now, companies around the world can apply to partner with Rogers where they can take their business to new heights,and help us deliver more value to our customers.

Today, we spoke with Rob Switzman, Vice President of Innovation at Rogers, to find out what the launch of Rogers Ignite means to him and to businesses in Canada and around the world:

Q: Please briefly describe the vision behind Rogers Ignite.

A: The global technology ecosystem is rapidly evolving. To deliver continued value to our customers, it’s essential that we stay ahead of the game to bring the best innovations the world has to offer to Canadians. Rogers Ignite is a new program that makes it easy for companies to pitch us their market-ready products and services. Our team will evaluate opportunities and collaborate with colleagues across our business to see what could be a right fit.

Q: Generally, what kinds of companies does your team seek to partner with?

A: We are looking for companies with a market-ready product or service, that when combined with our best-in-class assets, can deliver enhanced experiences to our customers.

Q: What types of opportunities are you looking for?

A: We’re looking for companies that can offer us opportunities to build on our assets. For example, with Enterprise we’re looking at Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Cloud technologies. For consumers, opportunities that can help us evolve wireless solutions, cross-platform video services, smart home solutions, and mobile content are of interest. Also, we’re exploring ways to improve the way our internal services work to better serve our customers.

Q: What is the one primary piece of advice you would offer to entrepreneurial companies with a new product or service, who want to work with a leading technology company?

A: Ensure you can clearly position how your product/service has the potential to deliver value to the company’s customers, and how it offers something that can differentiate the company and yours in the market.

For more information or to submit a proposal, visit www.rogersignite.ca.

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Leave your notepad at home – The Note 4 has you covered

samsung note 4 rbbPutting pen to paper might sound as outdated as using a quill since the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, equipped with the new S Pen, hits Rogers stores today.

This ‘phablet’ ups the ante with a premium metal build, a fingerprint scanner and tons of software improvements. So is it worth the upgrade? These four features might convince you that it is:

 Better display

The Quad HD Super AMOLED® screen is crisp and clear and can make screen-intensive tasks like editing a document or spreadsheet on the go even easier.

 New security features

The new finger print scanner gives the Note a big security boost. The feature helps you keep your work phone locked down and now lets you access Private Mode, where you can store your most sensitive business files.

Updated Stylus

What makes a Note a Note is the included S Pen stylus. Sliding it out instantly transforms your phone into a note-taking machine, letting you write out notes and draw diagrams right on the device’s display.

AM to PM companion  

The Fast Charging feature allows you to recharge up to 50 per cent of your battery in just 30 minutes, so you can carry your Note 4 from your morning meeting to your night flight without worry.

The Note 4 is now available online and in Rogers retail stores – For more information contact your local Small Business Specialist.

Are you writing with an S Pen or is writing still something you see only happening on paper?

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How to stay safe amongst the clouds

cyber awareness month _RBBIn honour of Cyber Security Awareness month we wanted to share some tips on how to stay safe when using the ‘cloud’. In its simplest form, the cloud is used to house information, documents, etc. on the internet. iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are examples of storage sites that let you save and share your materials through the cloud.

While it is great technology that can help us stay de-cluttered and organized,  it’s important to take precautions.

Check out these tips below to keep your information safe when in the clouds:

  1. Use strong, unique passwords on your accounts. Change your password if you see it on this list of the 500 most common passwords.
  2. Avoid letting your browser save your passwords.
  3. Ensure website URLs contain HTTPS when accessing personal information over public Wi-Fi networks.
  4. Install apps from official app stores.
  5. Read permission requests before installing apps to ensure the information they’re accessing is appropriate.
  6. Always log out of sites completely when you’re finished.
  7. Install the latest app and operating system updates for your device.
  8. Enable password locks on your device. Check out how to enable passwords for your iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
  9. Don’t upload information to the cloud if you want to keep it private.

To learn more about how to stay safe when staying connected check out  http://techessentials.rogers.com/. Tell us, what steps are you taking to stay cloud safe?

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Managing the transition to innovation: interview with Bob Allen

Staying on top of the shifting ground of tech innovation in the workplace is something businesses of all sizes, from micro to enterprise, need to do. But the ability to integrate popular and emerging technologies is challenging, because there are so many options—more each day, it seems. And finding the time in the midst of busy work weeks to research, source, plan and integrate new technologies can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Not innovating, however, will set businesses back, both long-term and in the day-to-day. In particular, IT departments are under pressure from executives to update and improve their technology infrastructure; but this need is complicated by figuring out how to modernize and transition legacy systems and the associated downtime costs, not to mention strained resources and financial restrictions.

Rogers Communications Solution Consultant Bob Allen recently sat down with us to discuss the pressures businesses face to innovate, and how to meet those challenges effectively and gracefully. Watch the full interview here.

According to Bob, significant changes in IT operations and management can disrupt workflows, processes and budgets. Further, trying to choose the right technology partners and solutions from the many available options takes a lot of time. Cloud-based solutions like Rogers Enterprise Voice & Collaboration are easy to integrate and allow companies to make an elegant transition to “technology 3.0” without having to take a “rip-and-replace” approach. And the right implementation partner and approach will help facilitate the transition to innovation.

How do you plan to innovate in your business?

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Reducing telephony costs while increasing conferencing reliability

Minacs croppedMinacs is a business solutions company that partners with global corporations in the manufacturing, retail, telecom, technology, media and entertainment, banking, insurance, healthcare and public sectors. With offices all over the world, Minacs was incurring prohibitively high charges for its frequent use of conference calls through an external provider—some of these bills were running to upwards of $60,000 each month!

Conferencing is vital to their everyday business operations, but Minacs needed to maintain—or better yet, improve upon—their current level of conferencing technology, availability and service. They also needed their core office and IT staff to have constant access to connected technologies, such as conferencing, chat and mobility, to facilitate productivity and collaboration—all without breaking the bank.

Having already invested in Microsoft Lync 2013, Minacs decided to activate its Lync Dial-In conferencing capabilities. But they needed a partner to help them understand the detailed technical requirements and efficiently put all the pieces together, to be up and running by September 2014.

Rogers worked with Minacs to determine a solution that would meet and exceed the company’s requirements. Rogers then helped Minacs put the new platform through extensive testing, ensuring both system integration and site failover were seamless. Once testing was completed, Rogers also helped Minacs train their end user community to use the conferencing solution.

Geoff Whalley, Windows and Unix Enterprise Systems UT Manager at Minacs, sums it up: “We really needed a solution that would save us money, and Rogers helped us find one. But Rogers also went beyond delivering cost efficiencies; their end-to-end support ensured the whole process went smoothly and will remain effective for the long term.”

But these changes weren’t only about saving money; Minacs is also reaping a number of other crucial benefits from partnering with Rogers. The company is enjoying increased conference call reliability as theirdaily business activities are supported by geo-redundant availability and carrier-level failover between their primary and secondary data centres. Conference calls are also more easily and efficiently accessed because as the moderator logs on, all relevant conferencing information automatically becomes available to all participants, no matter where they are and using almost any device or platform.

Check out the case study here.

How does your organization use technology to reduce everyday operating costs?

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Building the foundation for the Internet of Things: Interview with Eric Simmons

Eric Simmons M2M Manager Rogers CommunicationsAn often-acknowledged benefit of the Internet of Things (IoT) is all the data it can provide for businesses. Whether you’re capturing customer data from a connected consumer product or collecting operational data from an automated manufacturing process, you can potentially use the information to find new ways to delight your customers or gain an important competitive advantage.

Harnessing the power of this data is not easy, however; in fact it’s unlikely unless you ensure that you have the right infrastructure in place to properly support your IoT initiative.

We recently interviewed Eric Simmons, Senior Director, Internet of Things for his perspective. Below are excerpts from that conversation.

How is business decision-making being impacted by connected technology?

We’ve really hit an inflection point in history where companies are having a harder time making business decisions than they ever have. Business intelligence has been a core focus of many organizations, and the data has come in from multiple disparate data sources. That data then needed to be aggregated and often manually manipulated in order to see true value for that organization. Today, technology allows the information to be delivered automatically and in real time. It’s both predictive and intelligent….

What’s enabling these changes in business intelligence?

There are really two key things that are enabling this transformation. The first one is the Internet of Things, and the second one is Big Data. The Internet of Things is really the interconnectedness of centres and devices between two different machines, leveraging the wireless network to send information. An example might be a smart vending machine, where there’s a wireless modem and a sensor inside … and it sends an alert when the vending machine is running low on inventory to allow somebody to come and restock that machine.

Tell us more about the role Big Data plays.

Big Data’s all about collecting the information from the various sources that we talked about, pulling it in and aggregating all of that data, and analyzing it in near real time. By doing so you can do things like predictive analytics, you can provide operational efficiencies for organizations. The data can also be used effectively for new customer loyalty programs.

How can businesses realize this potential?

Businesses can really harness the power of Big Data and the Internet of Things by building the right foundation. And there’s really four key things that we’re seeing that enable this….

To learn about the four key requirements for a successful IoT solution, watch the interview with Eric Simmons.

How is the Internet of Things changing decision making in your organization?

 

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Rogers Talks: 5 questions with Peter Van Stolk

Peter-van Stolk-HiRes 1

In honour of small business month, Rogers is hosting  Rogers Talks™, a series of breakfast events across the country with experts in social media, marketing and more. Marketing maverick and Jones Soda founder Peter Van Stolk will take the stage at our Vancouver, B.C., event on October 29.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry! Stolk, whose work has attracted the attention of the New York Times, CNN, People magazine, and Inc. magazine, answered a few questions for RedBoard Biz readers.

1.Why do you think small businesses need to have an online presence?

An online presence in today’s business world is not an option…it’s a reality! It’s a cheap effective way to share your story and values. It’s your business card without the paper.

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge right now for small business?

Creating connections. Small businesses with limited funds need to have passionate advocates telling the company’s story, and creating those relationships in today’s over stimulated environment is difficult and requires discipline, focus and humility (because we all screw up).
We tend to get distracted by shiny marketing opportunities and when you have a small budget those distractions are expensive in time and money.

3. How do you think consumer expectations have changed as social media has become more mainstream? How must small businesses adapt?

Today the expectation is instant access to your business (brand) and also to employees. They want to be a part of and shape their brand experience and the job of the small business is to facilitate this in a manner that is true to the company’s values using the best available social media tool. Creating Community for your consumers is critical. The challenge with modern social media for small businesses is the balance between product offering and lifestyle content. Companies need to sell product as well as being relevant and interesting.

4. How can small businesses use social media to appeal to the different needs of Generation Y customers and Baby Boomers?

First step is understanding your customers and what it is that gets them excited. It’s all about the “why!” Why do they care. The more you know about your customers and why they are even at your site, the more chance you have of appealing to their needs regardless if they are Boomers or Gen Y.

5. If you were to offer a small business owner just one piece of advice, what would it be? Why?

Your core audience appreciates your values so stay true to your values, and follow the Smarties model “eat the red ones first”!

For more information visit, rogers.com/rogerstalks.

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Bars & Restaurants are the real winners during the NHL season

gridWhat’s a fun, wholesome way for restaurants to triple their food and beverages sales on a slow weeknight? Think Phil Kessel or Henrik Sedin.

With so much live hockey on TV this season, it is time to turn your bar or restaurant into the ultimate hockey destination. Finding and navigating your bar or restaurant’s sports channels has never been this simple.

With NHL Centre Ice, you’ll be able to show up to 37 regular season, out-of-market NHL games every week in both SD and HD. Bundle your internet, phone and TV, you’ll receive one season of NHL Centre Ice™ for free – that’s more than a $1200.00 value. Whether your customers are looking to follow their favourite team, players, or just a game featuring the league’s best stars, they’ll know your establishment is the best place to do it.

For more information about NHL Centre Ice™ contact your local Small Business Specialist today.

 How do you use television programming to bring in new customers or keep existing ones engaged longer?

 

 

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