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Tag Archives: tech trends

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to technology trends.

The Cool New Things You Can Do with iOS 12

Earlier this week, Apple finally released iOS 12 and reviews have been pretty exciting so far. While many features are unchanged, there are at least 19 new things you can do on your Apple device that you couldn’t do before. The even better news is that, rather than having to discover the new features on your own, Gizmodo did the heavy lifting for us! Here’s a summary of their list, and you can see their post for all the details.

  1. Create your own Memoji
  2. Add stickers and text
  3. Spot repeated passwords
  4. Clear notifications quickly
  5. Share photos more easily
  6. Search for photos more easily
  7. Tackle your smartphone addiction
  8. Browse for ebooks more easily
  9. Measure objects with augmented reality
  10. Enjoy shared AR experiences
  11. Be disturbed less
  12. Get more from Siri
  13. Browse the web in peace
  14. Use Google Maps in CarPlay
  15. Update iOS automatically
  16. Get more from Stocks
  17. Use gestures on your iPad
  18. Build your own Siri Shortcuts
  19. Make group video calls in FaceTime

IT Industry News for August 2018

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on September 10, 2018

This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for August 2018. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of August in previous years …

Five years ago in August 2013 IBM paid $1 billion for Trusteer, a cybersecurity company specialized in the financial services sector;  Qualcomm sold its fleet management software unit for $800 million to private equity firm Vista Equity Partners; and the other big dollar buy was AOL paying $405 million for online video company Adap.tv.  Facebook bought speech recognition company Mobile Technology; Software AG bought analytics firm Jackbe; Opentext paid $33 million for cloud based software company, Cordys; and SAP bought ecommerce company Hybris.

Intel logoAugust 2014 saw no blockbuster deals, however a number of big name companies were out with their cheque books.  Intel paid $650 million for the LSI Axxia networking chip business; Vmware bought application delivery provider CloudVolumes; IBM bought Lighthouse Security Group to bolster its cloud based identity and access management capabilities; Google bought two startups, Emu to boost its messaging capabilities and Directr for its video advertising business; Facebook bought a security startup Privatecore, and the last BIG name saw Yahoo buying app company Zofari.

IBM logoThree years ago in August 2015 there were two billion dollar deals.  Symantec sold Veritas (which it paid $13.5 Billion dollars for 10 years ago) to a group of investors for $8 Billion.  IBM also paid ”big bucks”, shelling out $1 billion for Merge Healthcare.  Smaller deals saw Calgary based Above Security bought by Hitachi; Transcomos bought 30% of Vietnamese daily deals site Hotdeal; Freshdesk bought live-chat company 1Click; and PLDT bought ecommerce startup Paywhere.

The apple logo and apple with a bite out of itAugust 2016 saw a fair bit of M&A activity although there were no billion dollar deals.   The largest deal saw global staffing company Randstad buy one of the larger job boards, Monster for $429 million.  A similar sized deal saw Intel shell out $408 million for artificial intelligence company Nervana.  Hewlett Packard Enterprises paid $275 million for SGI (what was left of Silicon Graphics); Apple paid $200 million for artificial intelligence company, (there is a pattern here), Turi; Salesforce bought business analytics company Beyondcore for $100 million; and ScanSource paid $83.6 million for telecom cloud services company Intelisys Communications.  Other acquisitions saw Microsoft snap up two companies, artificial intelligence scheduling software company Genee in addition to their XBox division buying interactive livestreaming company Beam.

Last year August 2017 was relatively slow on the M&A front.  Symantec sold its website security business to DigiCert for $1 billion, plus a stake in the larger entity.  Cisco paid $320 million for hyperconvergence company Springpath, CGI bought a Pittsburgh consulting company, Summa Technologies and Accenture bought a Toronto consulting company VERAX.  While not a pure tech play the biotech world saw Aclaris pay $100million for Confluence.

Which brings us back to the present …

Cisco logoAugust 2018, saw a fair amount of M&A activity, a lot of smaller deals, a few significant moves and some recognizable names out buying companies.   The big deal of the month saw Cisco pay $2.35 billion for access security company Duo Security.  In other deals VMWare paid $500 million for cloud management company CloudHealth; and HP splashed out $500 million for Europe’s largest print provider, Apogee.  Apple snapped up Augmented reality startup Akonia; Accenture made two small acquisitions in the digital space, Mindtribe and Pillar Technology; Intel picked up a small AI company Vertex.Ai and Vonage paid $35 million for video company TokBox.

Apple was also in the news because it became the first public company to reach a $1 trillion valuation, and they were quickly followed by Amazon.

Jobs section of the newspaper under a microscopeGeneral job indicators were good in Canada and even better in the US, which continues to see strong job growth.  There were several reports indicating a growing skills gap for key roles, particularly in tech, both in Canada and the US.  Elsewhere around the world job indicators were relatively strong, with a few exceptions due to Brexit or other external factors.  Of course Canadians continue to watch the unfolding sagas of NAFTA negotiations and the bungled oil pipeline, concerned about what that might do to our economy.

On a final note, “digital” continues to be hot, with Canadian firms expected to spend more than $16 billion on digital tech and services this year.

That’s what caught my eye over the last month.  The full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website.  Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the September 2018 industry news in just about a month’s time.

 Until then, Walk Fast and Smile!

How Does Google Maps Work?

It’s rare anymore that we go on a road trip and a co-pilot sits in the passenger seat with a ripped paper map folded in weird ways, trying to navigate through quadrants A-15 and A16. First, MapQuest (yup, it still exists) changed the way we travel by providing us with pages of step-by-step instructions. Then we all purchased a GPS for our car so a lady with a British accent could tell us when to turn and make legal u-turns. And eventually, Google put everything together to create Google Maps, a product that is still evolving and giving us travel tips we never thought could be possible.

It’s no accident that Google Maps has become the navigation leader that it is today. As this video from Techquickie explains, it’s the result of intensive data collection and analysis from a variety of sources, artificial intelligence and human interaction. If you have an interest in maps, data or Google, you’re going to be fascinated by this video.

100+ Amazing Facts About Voice Search

Modern technology plays an integral part in our everyday lives. Through the years, many major technological breakthroughs have been made and one of them is certainly voice enabled technology, or as it is more commonly known – voice search.

It can be found in various portable devices such as smartphones and smart speakers. The most famous technology companies in the world have implemented voice search, and whether it is Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, or Siri, they all have the same goal – making life easier for the people using them. Because of this they’ve steadily been increasing in popularity, with infographic created by teams at seotribunal.com states that 1 in 5 adults use voice search on a regular basis.

Before we take a look at some interesting facts about voice search, let’s see how it actually works.

  1. First of all, voice search processes and transcribes the human speech into text.
  2. Next, it analyzes the text in order to detect questions and commands.
  3. After that, it connects to an external data source such as a search engine to find the relevant information.
  4. And finally, it translates that information into a digestible format and fulfills the user’s intent.

Modern voice search devices are often interactive which makes them capable to maintain a dialog with humans. The rapid growth that they are experiencing is only going to make them more and more sophisticated in the years to come.

Voice search can be used while driving, watching TV, working, and even when showering or using the bathroom. The main reasons why smartphone users worldwide use voice-enabled technology are presented in the following list.

  • Doing online searches – 60%
  • Finding information on a product in which they are interested in – 51%
  • Asking questions – 50%
  • Asking a fun question – 49%
  • Asking for directions – 42%
  • Making a call – 41%
  • Playing music – 41%
  • Asking for the weather forecast – 40%
  • Finding a local business – 34%
  • Looking for info on a local business – 34%

These facts, along with more than a hundred of others, are contained in the infographic below. Take a look at it to find out more fascinating facts about voice search technology.

A Look at Google Duplex — The A.I. Personal Assistant

Independent contractors are busy people. After dealing with the bulk of your work, fitting in tasks like scheduling a hair appointment, making dinner reservations or booking interviews can be the extra nuisance that makes you wish you could stay in bed. In a perfect world, you’d have a personal assistant to handle these tedious phone calls for you, but who has money for that? Google has heard your pain and help is on the way!

This past Spring, Google brought personal assistants to a new level with its artificial intelligence called Duplex. Duplex has an ability (inspiring or terrifying) to make phone calls, book appointments, and have live conversations with people. This video from ColdFusion will tell you all about it along with a couple demos. If you haven’t already seen this, take a few minutes to watch the video (first demo is at 2:04). You’ll be floored, not only how it answers questions, but also the way it sounds human by throwing in a couple “ums” and handling interruptions.

More Tech Trends to Expect Before the Year’s Through

Regardless of how intrenched you are in technology during your everyday life, somehow, technological advances continue to surprise and awe all of us as the innovations are announced. It’s exciting (and sometimes scary) to think about where we’ll be in 10, 20 or even 50 years and looking back, it’s crazy to think about where we were just 10 years ago. Have you ever taken a look back to see where we were 1 year ago?

The amount that can happen within just a year is unreal and 2018 is not expected to be any different. Already headlines have been filled with Blockchain and AI breakthroughs, and companies keep releasing new devices that change the way we live. Back in January, Interquest Group published an infographic that predicted trends for 2018. While some are starting to take shape, others still aren’t quite here yet.

Are you the geeky tech type who likes to be on top of all trends as they come? If so, how do you think we’re doing on these predictions and will they all come true by December?

Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends 2018 - #infographic

IT Industry News for March 2018

 

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on April 4th, 2018.

Tech News HeaderThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for February 2018. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of March in previous years …

In March 2013 Oracle continued its move into the telco space with the purchase of Tekelec; Google bought the small Toronto University-based company DNNresearch in the machine learning vertical; Microsoft sold Atlas Advertiser Suite to Facebook; and Yahoo bought Summly. In March 2014, Facebook made a somewhat surprising $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR. Intel also expanded its horizons with the $150 million acquisition of smart watch maker, Basis Science. SAP added to its purchasing software suite with the acquisition of Fieldglass and TELUS made a couple of buys, Enode, a management consulting company out of Quebec and Med Access, an addition in British Columbia, to their healthcare division.  HP logoThree years ago in March 2015 HP paid $3 billion for Aruba Networks; Lexmark paid $1 billion for customer management software company Kofax; eCommerce company Rakuten paid $410 million for ebook marketplace Overdrive; Cheetah Mobile paid $58 million for mobile ad network MobPartner; TeraGo Networks paid $33 million for cloud provider RackForce; IBM bought natural language and image processing company AlchemyAPI; and in the cable TV world Charter Communications paid $10.4 billion for dell logoBright House Networks. In March 2016, we saw the $3 billion sale of Dell Services to NTT, a direct result of Dell’s restructuring following the recent purchase of EMC. IBM was out bolstering its services business with a couple of acquisitions; the first was Optevia, a UK-based integrator focused on Microsoft Dynamics; and the second was Bluewolf Group, a global Salesforce consulting partner. Montreal-based Yellow Pages picked up Toronto-based Juice Mobile, primarily for its mobile marketing capability. Another Toronto company, Influitive, raised some cash ($8.2 million) and bought a couple of mobile app companies, Ironark Software and Triggerfox; and Netsuite bought IOity solutions, a cloud-Intel logobased manufacturing software company.  Last year in March 2017 Intel bought Israeli computer vision company, Mobileye, for a hefty $15.3 billion. HPE bought storage solution provider, Nimble, for $1 billion. Amazon Web Services, a public cloud infrastructure provider, acquired Thinkbox Software, a company that provides software for managing media rendering workloads. Mozilla acquired Pocket, a startup that developed an app for saving articles and other content.

Which brings us back to the present …

Salesforce logoIn March 2018, there was a significant amount of M&A activity.  The deal of the month saw Salesforce pay $6.5 Billion for cloud integration company Mulesoft.  Plantronics is paying $2 Billion for unified communications company Polycom; and Amazon is paying $1 Billion for smart home company Ring.  Other deals saw eBay shell out $700 million for the commerce platform Qoo10; Cognizant is buying Bolder Healthcare Solutions; HPE Aruba is buying Cape Networks; VMWare is buying security company E8; and Deloitte is buying API Talent in New Zealand.  It is also nice to see Avaya buying Spoken Communications after leaving Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Facebook logoFacebook received a lot of attention around the world this month with questions about improper use of client data and their potential role in major political situations like the US election and the Brexit vote.

The Canadian economy has enjoyed a reasonably decent run in 2017, but 2018 is starting to look less than rosy.  Indications are that GDP and employment growth will slow down as the year progresses.  Obviously NAFTA negotiations and inter-provincial spats will have some influence, in addition to new labor laws and the carbon taxes beginning to take effect.  The US economy is benefiting from the recent tax decreases and the general tone around the world is focused more on positive employment numbers and skills shortages rather than high unemployment.

That is my monthly look at what was happening in the technology space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years.  I’ll be back in about a month’s time, until then … walk fast and smile!

The Mobile Trends We Can Expect to See in 2018

Nowadays we’re always on the go and our phones have become a “must-have” device to stay connected. We search for anything on it from restaurant menus to how-to videos, the possibilities have become endless. But have you ever had the problem of pages not loading or of having no ability to zoom. It’s a major issue that has become prominent in today’s tech trends.

By showing how mobile optimization and AI will no longer just be trends for the distant future, Bizness Apps latest infographic reveals just how much we rely on our mobile devices.  See how even today, the tech world is making advancements to make mobile experiences more user friendly.

9 Mobile Trends You Need to Know for 2018

IT Industry News for January 2018

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on February 11th, 2018.

Tech News HeaderThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for January 2018. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of previous year’s Januarys

Five years ago, in January 2013 Cisco bought mobile network software company Intucell for $475 million and sold its Linksys division to Belkin.  The biggest dollar value deal was AT&T’s purchase of some of Verison Wireless’s airwaves for $1.9 Billion.  Other deals saw NCR buy video software ASTM company uGenius Technology; Canon Canada acquired long-time partner and document management company Oce Canada; NetSuite bought retail management systems company Retail Anywhere; and AVI-SPL bought Duocom-Duologik.  January 2014 was an interesting month with a few big M&A deals.  Google was an especially busy player, selling its Motorola Mobility handset unit to Lenovo for $2.9 billion but paying $3.2 billion for Nest Labs and the company also bought Bitspin.  The other big deal saw VMware pay $1.17 billion for mobile device management company AirWatch.  Other big names on the acquisition trail included Oracle who bought cloud based service delivery company Corente; Microsoft paid a reputed $100 million for cloud based service company (seems to be a theme) Parature; Ricoh purchased IT service company Mindshift from BestBuy; and Hootsuite bought analytics company uberVu. Three Yahoo logoyears ago in January 2015, the biggest deal was Hutchison offering more than $14 billion for O2. Other big dollar news saw Yahoo looking like it might be remaking itself, spinning off its $40 Billion stake in Alibaba to become smaller, leaner and either buy or be bought!  The final M&A activity involving a “B” was Telco equipment company Commscope offering $3 billion for TE Connectivities network business.  There were also a number of very well-known companies out buying, and in no particular order … Amazon paid something like $300 million (approximate) for chip designer Annapurna Labs; Expedia bought its online travel competitor Travelocity for $200 million; Samsung paid $100 million for Brazil’s largest print company Simpress; Google paid about $100 million for mobile payments company Softcard; Facebook bought Wit.ai a company that has a Siri like solution that can be embedded in other products; Dropbox bought CloudOn a document editing and productivity tools company; Twitter paid somewhere between $30 million and $40 million for Zipdial, an Indian company that does some funky marketing thing with phone hang ups; and finally Microsoft made two acquisitions, startup text analytics company Equivo and in a departure from its history it bought open software company Revolution Analytics. There were no huge deals in IBM logoJanuary 2016, but there was plenty of activity with some of the household names out shopping.  IBM bought video service provider Ustream; Microsoft bought game form learning tool MinecraftEdu; Apple bought “emotion recognition” company Emotient; and Oracle bought media web tracking firm AddThis.  Toshiba bought an ERP solutions company Ignify, and a number of smaller deals included Juniper Networks buying BTISystems Inc.; FireEye bought iSight partners; Acceo Solutions bought Groupe Techna and SmartPrint bought LaserCorp’s Toronto based managed print services business.  Last Cisco logoyear, in  January 2017 the multi-billion-dollar deal of the month was Cisco’s purchase of app performance management company, AppDynamics for $3.7 billion. HP Enterprise purchased data center hardware provider, SimpliVity for $650 million. Microsoft acquired Montreal-based deep learning start-up Maluuba for an undisclosed sum. Google announced plans to purchase Twitter’s mobile developer platform Fabric. Trello, the startup behind a leading task-management app was purchased by Atlassian for $425 million. CRM giant, Salesforce bought Unity&Variety to enhance its productivity app service Quip Managed Service Provider of data and database administration, Datavail, acquired Canadian IT channel leader Navantis.

Which brings us back to the present…

Amazon logoJanuary 2018 saw the continuing saga of cities bidding to win Amazon’s second headquarters, now down to 20 finalists.  The Meltdown and Spectre hardware bugs are causing major headaches for tech companies and their clients, with the potential for hackers to take advantage.

On the M&A front the big deal saw investment management software company SS&C pay $5.4 billion for financial services software company DST Systems.  Amazon Web Services increased its cybersecurity protection capabilities through the purchase of Sqrrl.  ADP bought gig economy tool WorkMarket and TD Bank bought a Canadian AI company Layer 6.

The economy is getting “interesting”.  After some good indicators in 2017 Canada lost 88,000 jobs in January.  It is likely that new labor legislation introducing tougher labor laws and increased minimum wages in Ontario and Alberta were factors.  The US numbers are still looking good adding another 234,000 jobs in January, Global CEO confidence is up and indicators around the world still seem positive.  A stock market correction in mid-January is however causing some concern.

That has been my look at the tech news for January … until next month, Walk Fast and Smile!

What Stats Canada Says About Canadians and Digital Technology

When we reference Statistics Canada, it’s usually in regards to unemployment rates and stats around job trends that are important for any employer or job seeker to know. Of course, Stats Canada does more than track job trends. Among the many items they track, they keep a close eye on technology, where it’s going and how Canadians are interacting with it.

Towards the end of 2017, Stats Canada released this infographic discussing The Internet and Digital Technology. We can use it to draw many conclusions, although there is nothing extremely new. Canadians are continuing to use technology to improve their lives for many reasons and the younger generations are embracing it more. The infographic can pull you in further when you start reviewing the specific stats and trends about the types of devices used and their popularity, as well as the popularity of the Internet across Canadian provinces.