Mobilicity vote on recapitalization plan to take place July 10, 2013

Mobilicity announces recapitalization vote

mobilicity

plan to take place on July 10 2013

Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Holdings Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, Mobilicity) announced this week that its previously announced recapitalization plan will be voted on by debtholders on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. The vote had been scheduled for July 3, 2013.

Stewart Lyons, Mobilicity’s President and COO, said, “The Board has rescheduled the vote on the recapitalization plan to allow it to consider additional potential alternatives for the Company and its stakeholders, including customers, dealers and employees.”

The postponed meeting for the recapitalization plan will be held at the offices of Norton Rose Canada LLP, Royal Bank Plaza, South Tower, 200 Bay St., Suite 3800, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2Z4, at 10:00 a.m. (Toronto time).

Mobilicity will continue to provide updates as warranted. For more information, please visit www.mobilicity.ca/investorrelations.

About Mobilicity (DAVE Wireless):

Mobilicity, Canada’s smart mobile carrier, was created to bring down the cost of wireless with unlimited talk, text and data plans, affordable North American coverage, plus popular handsets and smartphones -without locking customers into contracts or charging extra or hidden fees. Everything Mobilicity does adds up to a better wireless experience, not an expensive one. NOW THAT’S SMART.

Formerly known as Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc. (DAVE Wireless), the company is led by Obelysk, a diversified Canadian holding company, and Quadrangle Capital Partners, a global investor in the telecommunications and media sectors. Mobilicity was named one of Canada’s Top 25 Up and Coming Information & Communication Technology start-ups in 2010 by the Branham Group Inc. Further information about Mobilicity can be found at www.mobilicity.ca.

The Seven Habits of Highly Social CEOs

A new study released today found that the majority of global executives (76 percent) believe that it is a good idea for CEOs to actively participate in social media. These executives recognize a multitude of returns when CEOs are social, including improved company reputation, business results and employee engagement. These findings, from global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and research partner KRC Research, demonstrate that social media is quickly becoming a critical leadership tool.

“CEOs are now expected to be chief content providers for their companies. Social media is not only an efficient and engaging way to relay information but is also linked in executives’ minds with being a better leader,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist.

The report, The Social CEO: Executives Tell All, reveals deep insights on CEO sociability and provides a guide on the Seven Habits of Highly Social CEOs in order to inspire CEOs. The research was conducted through an online survey of 630 senior professionals from 10 countries around the world, including emerging and developed markets. The survey defined social media participation as “posting messages, videos, pictures, etc. on a social media site.” Executives in the study are described as having a social CEO — those with CEOs who participate in social media — versus those with an unsocial CEO.

CEO sociability yields multiple dividends – internally and externally
Executives report that they favor CEO sociability for several reasons: employees, themselves, are already social; CEO sociability instills positive feelings among employees; and social CEOs are considered better leaders than unsocial CEOs.

The top-ranked benefit of CEOs’ sociability, according to 80 percent of executives whose CEOs are social, is company news and information-sharing. Other important advantages include improving company reputation (78 percent), demonstrating company innovation (76 percent), “humanizing” the company, improving employee communications and building media relations (75 percent each) and improving business results (70 percent).

Unsocial doesn’t mean anti-social
A personal Facebook profile, Twitter or Weibo handle and YouTube/YouKu channel may not be attractive or feasible for every CEO. Our study finds that many CEOs who don’t participate in social media are actually already communicating with employees through company intranets (50 percent) and making themselves visible to external constituents on their company websites (62 percent). “CEOs must strategically utilize the right digital platforms that advance their communications — ranging from their own intranet and website to social network pages and feeds to video and image sharing platforms,” commented Chris Perry, global president of Weber Shandwick’s Digital practice. Weber Shandwick’s content marketing unit, Mediaco provides solutions for brands and their leaders by helping them create, publish and manage distribution of their content through all of the social channels.

The Seven Habits of Highly Social CEOs
Weber Shandwick compared the exceptionally active social CEOs (those whose executives say they participate in social media at least once a week) relative to overall social CEOs to develop a profile of the most highly social CEOs.

  1. Highly social CEOs use a more expansive set of social tools. Hyper-social CEOs realize sociability goes beyond dropping messages into a Twitter or microblog feed. World class sociability requires a strategically-crafted plan for driving the company’s content across several channels.
  2. Highly social CEOs own a blog. These CEOs see the value in long-form, content creation as a way of giving their perspectives context, meaning and depth.
  3. Highly social CEOs leverage the company website. These leaders realize that the website remains “digital ground zero” for company information-seekers and offers a platform for content to be delivered in multiple formats. With services such as Weber Shandwick’s Mediaco, the company website can now be a destination for corporate and leadership content.
  4. Highly social CEOs self-author. These CEOs are DIYers (Do It Yourself). Their frequent posting influences their determination to author everything themselves although they most probably take input from their marketing and communications executives.
  5. Highly social CEOs are forward-looking. These CEOs intuitively understand that technology and social media are the future of content distribution and they want to be part of this communications revolution.
  6. Highly social CEOs are spontaneous yet not too informal. These socially adept CEOs maintain the formality of their office but let stakeholders know that they can react quickly and seize opportunity.
  7. Highly social CEOs engage a wider variety of external stakeholders. These CEOs see the value in sociability and use it to reach out to a wide portfolio of stakeholders.

 

TELUS agrees to acquire Mobilicity

TELUS has entered into an agreement with Mobilicity to acquire the company for $380 million. If the deal receives the required approvals, it would ensure continued service to Mobilicity’s 250,000 customers without the risk of disruption.

The agreement between TELUS and the company is subject to conditions including approval by the Competition Bureau, Industry Canada, and Mobilicity’s debtholders. TELUS and Mobilicity have informed the government and regulators and both companies are fully committed to working cooperatively to secure timely approvals for the transaction.

“A concern for our customers and employees led us to approach TELUS, which has a reputation for a strong customer focus, as evidenced by their industry leading client loyalty,” said Stewart Lyons, Mobilicity President. “I am confident TELUS will look after our employees and our customers, mitigating any disruption to their service, while offering the best outcome for all stakeholders.”

William Aziz, Mobilicity Chief Restructuring Officer, continued, “Mobilicity has been losing a significant amount of money every month. The financial strength of TELUS will allow the business to be continued in a way that will benefit customers and employees. An acquisition by TELUS is the best alternative for Mobilicity.”

The entire purchase price will be used to satisfy Mobilicity’s secured and unsecured debt.

“We look forward to serving Mobilicity’s customers and welcoming their employees to the TELUS team,” said David Fuller, TELUS Chief Marketing Officer.

If this transaction is approved, TELUS will retain all 150 Mobilicity employees as it integrates the Mobilicity operation into TELUS over the coming months. The employees would have the opportunity to review and secure permanent, long term roles with TELUS.

TELUS has created 1,700 new jobs in Canada over the last two years alone while bringing 4G wireless coverage to 99 per cent of Canadians coast-to-coast.

Acquisition agreement details:

Mobilicity has begun proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice with a view to obtaining approval for a plan of arrangement under the Canadian Business Corporations Act. The plan of arrangement with TELUS requires an affirmative vote by debtholders, after which TELUS and Mobilicity will seek court approval of a transaction that will see Mobilicity emerge as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TELUS. TELUS has entered into support agreements with a significant number of Mobilicity’s debtholders who have committed to vote for the plan of arrangement pursuant to the terms and conditions of the support agreements.

TELUS and Mobilicity anticipate an expeditious legal and regulatory review in view of the current circumstances Mobilicity is facing.

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains statements about expected future events of TELUS that are forward-looking. By their nature, forward-looking statements require the Company to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that the associated benefits for TELUS shareholders of the acquisition will be realized, or that the expected regulatory and other approvals will be obtained. There is significant risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from that expressed in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $11 billion of annual revenue and 13.2 million customer connections, including 7.7 million wireless subscribers, 3.4 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million Internet subscribers and 712,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $300 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

About Mobilicity (DAVE Wireless)

Formerly known as Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc., the company is operated as Mobilicity. Mobilicity is a wireless carrier that provides wireless telecommunication services to Canadians in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Further information about Mobilicity can be found at www.Mobilicity.ca.

SOURCE: TELUS Corporation

Score Media acquired by Rogers Media: CRTC grants final approval

Rogers Media today received final regulatory approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to acquire Score Media Inc., which has been held in trust since October 19, 2012. With today’s approval, Rogers Media will integrate the operations and financial results of Score Media effective immediately.

thescore mobile for iphone
thescore mobile for iphone

The acquisition of Score Media includes The Score, Canada’s third largest specialty sports channel with 6.6 million television subscribers, closed captioning service Voice to Visual Inc., and mixed martial arts program The Score Fighting Series.  As part of the transaction, Rogers Media’s parent company, Rogers Communications Inc., acquires an 11.8 per cent equity interest in theScore Inc. (Score Digital).

The total consideration paid by Rogers Media in October 2012 was $167 million.

“The Score delivers niche sports news and information programming, complementing Rogers Media’s robust multiplatform sports offerings and significant investment in sports content and experiences,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media.  “Last year, we made the bold statement to make Sportsnet the #1 sports media brand in Canada, and together with The Score, we take another step forward in achieving this goal.”

The Score will be rebranded under the Sportsnet umbrella, which continues to experience double-digit audience growth year-over-year* and deliver award-winning content across five platforms.  The rebrand will be unveiled on July 1.

Rogers Media received approval for its request to amend The Score’s condition of licence, allowing for an enhanced viewing experience for Canadians while upholding The Score’s nature of service as a headline sports news service.  The changes to the condition of licence are an increase in the amount of analysis and interpretation programming to 15% from 10%, and flexibility to break into live sports event programming every hour to present sports results and video highlights, instead of every 15 minutes.  Rogers Media plans for The Score to continue providing sports updates once every 15 minutes during live events when possible, as the nature of the game being played permits.

thescore mobile for iphone
thescore mobile for iphone

Rogers Media’s tangible benefits package of $17.1 million (representing 10% of the value of the transaction) will have a positive long-term impact on regional and national amateur sports in Canada, athletes, sports organizations, and sports fans.  The funds, which will be directed over a five-year period, will be used to create new programming opportunities for the independent production sector and help foster skills development in multimedia and/or digital media production.

As part of its programing strategy, The Score will continue to deliver its own unique mix of programming and be the prime destination for breaking sports news, analysis and highlights.  While some sports properties will be shared between The Score and the Sportsnet networks (Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet World), The Score will be the home of exclusive content in Canada, including WWE and the newly-created HOCKEY CENTRAL Playoff Extra, which debuts tonight at 5 p.m. ET and will air daily until the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  In addition, Tim and Sid, which currently airs on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, will be returning to The Score in simulcast, beginning tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m. ET weekdays.  Additional programming details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Score will continue to operate out of the station’s studio on King St. in Toronto’s downtown core, with support from the extended Sportsnet and Rogers Media family.

About Rogers Media Inc.
Rogers Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), is a diversified leading Canadian media company that engages in television and radio broadcasting, publishing, digital, and sports entertainment. Rogers Broadcasting has 55 AM and FM radio stations across Canada; television properties include seven City stations, five OMNI multicultural television stations, Sportsnet (consisting of four regional channels and the nationally-distributed Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet World), and The Shopping Channel, a televised and internet shopping service.  Rogers Publishing produces many well-known consumer and online magazines, such as Maclean’s, Chatelaine, L’actualité, Canadian Business, and is the leading publisher of a number of industry, medical and financial publications. Rogers Media’s suite of digital assets includes 90+ owned and 300+ premium partnership sites. Rogers Media Inc. owns Rogers Centre stadium, a year-round sports and entertainment facility, and the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club.

*Source: BBM Canada, 2+ AMA, Jan. 1 to April 14, 2013 vs. Jan. 1 to April 15, 2012, Sportsnet Regional Networks + Sportsnet ONE, Total Canada

SOURCE: Rogers Media

3 easy ways to get more blog comments

Are you new to blogging and wondering how you can get more blog comments? I’ve asked myself the same question and I believe that it boils down to proper interface design and asking your readers to participate in the discussions.

As for the design of your blog, take a look at it from 35,000 feet. What do you see? If you were a visitor to your site what would you find annoying? What would you find distracting? You need to ask some very pointed questions. Remember simple is always better. Look at Google for example, the company’s homepage is very sparse but effective. When you land on the page it’s immediately evident where you need to click to accomplish a task. A search is as easy as entering a keyword and clicking enter.

Now you probably don’t want your blog to look as simple as Google but you do want to draw readers’ eyes to certain parts of your site. If there are too many ads the site will seem cluttered and the reader may just click away. Remember the point of this post is to establish more of a community on your blog.

When I looked at Vancouver Gadgets a while back I decided that maybe I shouldn’t simply copy what other sites are doing. For example, at the end of each post I had a plugin called YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) that appeared. This plugin displayed 6 thumbnail images and text that attempted to draw readers away from my posts with other “recommended content.”

Well I took the executive decision to remove the plugin completely and my rationale was that after the reader finishes reading a post I don’t want to necessarily send them away. I want my readers to interact. I want to create community rather than send readers to content that may not be entirely relevant to their present concerns.

Another way to create community is to engage with your readers and to answer their questions. But also remember to ask questions as well. For example at the end of each blog post you can end with something like, “what do you think of … ?” or “what was your experience with … ?” as catalysts to starting conversations.

You may also want to investigate the opportunities with gamification which borrows concepts from the gaming industry to either reward site visitors or create some kind of competitive environment. If you’re good with coding for example you can learn from sites like Reddit where they use link karma and comment karma points to encourage users to post quality content.

As for getting things right with blogging I’m still learning what works best and will likely be learning for a long time to come. In fact with technology I don’t think there will be any end to the learning!

Tell me what you’ve done to make your blog more “community friendly”. Also if there’s anything about my site that annoys you please let me know!

IBM introduces predictive analytics software that forecasts asset failure

IBM today announced new business consulting services and software that, together, help C-Suite decision makers predict and prevent damaging supply chain disruptions.

Through IBM’s predictive analytics software and business consulting services, the new solution harnesses big data from instrumented assets and identifies irregularities in the manufacturing process, spots product irregularities, and forecasts a range of asset performance risks before a problem ever arises.

Operating, maintaining, and managing assets throughout their lifecycle is a massive built-in expense, made even more critical by the frequency of unpredicted, catastrophic machine failures. Asset downtime, especially, if unplanned, is a multi-million dollar issue for organizations; and the related unscheduled maintenance costs can range from three to 10 times the cost of scheduled maintenance.

“The world is entering a new era of smart – where decisions will be based on facts, data, and increasingly on the ability to apply analytics to massive data sets and extract very precise business insights,” said Fred Balboni, senior partner, Big Data Analytics, IBM Global Business Services.  “Companies realize they have a new opportunity to capitalize on big data to address some of the intractable issues of the past, drive new levels of business efficiency, and create new levels of value for their customers. Our data shows us that businesses that are applying analytics to structured and unstructured data are outperforming their competitors in every industry.”

Envision the myriad of components that combine to form the complex automobile manufacturing line. How can a decision maker know when it’s time to replace any one of the thousands of machine parts, robots or sensors; and beyond that, how the line – or an oil rig, or a piece of heavy equipment — can be taken off line for maintenance with minimal economic impact? IBM’s new solution will uncover these data-driven insights, examining both static and streaming information, combined with analysis of asset sensors correlated with domains such as environmental and facilities monitoring systems.

This new integrated solution analyzes big data from multiple static and streaming sources to make informed decisions by generating predictive statistical models to predict equipment failure conditions and create alerts.  The alerts are then displayed on an employee or manager’s tablet, smart phone or browser with recommended corrective actions that should be taken through interactive tools that perform root cause analytics and process improvements.

This new offering is intended to help clients in the Automotive, Electronics, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing, Mining, Transportation, Telecommunications and Energy and Utilities industries.  For example:

  • In the City of Cambridge, Ontario, the transportation and public works department found itself less able to complete inspections and preventive maintenance because its resources were increasingly being used to respond to emergency repair calls.  The city established a division devoted to asset management and with the help of IBM analytics they are evolving from a break-fix mode of operation moving toward more proactive, industry based practices to boost the quality of city services and address infrastructure sustainability.
  • A global auto manufacturer was looking to improve its production quality.  With IBM analytics the company was able to use real-time data to monitor the production quality and more quickly identify and resolve issues.  This resulted in a reduced the defect rate by 50 percent in 16 weeks in the production of their cylinder heads and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Another global manufacturing company was looking to more quickly detect part defects.  Through IBM analytics the company implemented an early detection model and is now saving $130M on warranty costs per year.
  • A regional utility company needed to maintain an aging infrastructure.  By implementing IBM predictive analytics technology into their supply chain processes they can now detect potential problems before they occur, and have seen 20 percent productivity gains for service trucks and up to 20 percent reduction of fuel costs due to fewer truck rolls.

Armed with facts on equipment performance, organizations across a range of industries will anticipate potential failures in their manufacturing systems, supply chains and distribution networks before something goes wrong — and improve operational efficiency as well as customer satisfaction with proactive responses that prevent or minimize potential issues.

“Analytics technology gives us valuable insight into trends and what we can expect in the future,” said Michael Hausser, Director of Asset Management and Supporting Services, Transportation and Public Works Department, City of Cambridge.  “We were heading toward a point where reliability of service would be reduced and we’d be beyond our resource capacity to re-actively resolve issues in a timely manner.  We are in transition to be more proactive and gain efficiencies in day to day maintenance management activities.”

IBM Signature Solution – Predictive Asset Optimization

According to engineering estimates, the U.S. will need to spend $2.2 trillion over the next five years just to bring national infrastructures up to date.  This includes improvements to roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications and more.  Understanding the data about those systems, and generated by those systems, has never been more urgent.

IBM is introducing new capabilities through its Predictive Asset Optimization solution, that provides deeper insights into the health of an organization’s assets by proactively maintaining and reducing operation and maintenance costs This broadens IBM’s capabilities and portfolio of IBM Signature Solutions, that take the power of predictive analytics to new levels of impact for the highest-priority issues of C-suite decision makers.

The Predictive Asset Optimization solution is implemented by IBM business consultants, supported by industry-leading applications management services capabilities, and cloud offerings. These capabilities are supported by IBM’s Big Data technology platform that includes Hadoop, stream computing, data warehouse, and information integration and governance capabilities, along with visualization and discovery, application development, systems management and industry accelerators. To date, the IBM Big Data platform has been adopted by more than 100 business partners, bringing a new class of analytics solutions to market and extending the reach of IBM analytics offerings for clients.

The new solution will be one of the first capabilities offered to clients at the new Advanced Analytics Center in Columbus, Ohio. Credit qualified clients can take advantage of financing for services solutions and zero percent loans for IBM software with IBM Global Financing.

IBM Signature Solutions

IBM Signature Solutions are a portfolio of outcome-based analytic offerings that include fraud detection, financial optimization and customer next best action solutions. They are built with IBM’s global team of researchers, software developers and business consultants.

These new capabilities are part of IBM’s larger focus on big data and analytics that spans hardware, software, services and research. IBM has completed more than 30,000 analytics client engagements and projects $20 billion in business analytics and big data revenue by 2015.

IBM has established the world’s deepest portfolio of analytics solutions; deploys 9,000 business analytics consultants and 400 researchers, and has acquired more than 30 companies since 2005 to build targeted expertise in this area.

IBM secures hundreds of patents a year in big data and analytics, and converts this deep intellectual capital into breakthrough capabilities, including Watson-like cognitive systems. The company has established a global network of nine IBM Client Centers for Smarter Analytics and goes to market with more than 27,000 IBM business partners

For more information about IBM and Analytics, please visit: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27163.wss

IBM YouTube Analytics Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ibmbusinessanalytics

For more information about how City of Cambridge, Ontario is using IBM analytics, please visit: http://ibm.co/ZWf26I

SOURCE IBM

IBM Predictive Analytics
IBM Predictive Analytics

Project Management made simple with AtTask

Senior managers of enterprise teams and departments are constantly being asked to justify resources, time, and expenses, yet typically their visibility is incomplete, inaccurate, out-of-date and difficult to share. AtTask has turned that around with the release of a full enterprise work visibility suite. At the helm of the new visibility offering is AtTask ViewTM, an iPad app that, through compelling graphics, enables senior managers to customize, configure and share real-time insights. Project Management made simple with AtTask.

AtTask Releases Killer 'Work Visibility' App for the iPad
AtTask Releases Killer ‘Work Visibility’ App for the iPad

AtTask View was designed specifically for senior managers who need easy access to real-time visibility into their department’s work at their fingertips. Its robust work visibility environment enables them to:

  • Configure to view only relevant work and projects
  • Filter through visual charts and graphs to see work through different lenses, such as status, priority, timing, etc.
  • Drill-down with a touch of the finger for more information through dynamic lists and groupings
  • Real-time visual information about projects and initiatives in the detailed Project Dashboard
  • Customize with over a dozen drag & drop charts and widgets, including updates, documents, costs, tasks, hours, details, team, and more

“AtTask View gives our customers a new way to easily check on the status of their work and teams,” stated Eric Morgan, CEO of AtTask. “We’re already getting great reviews from our customers who are armed with significant data and insights to justify resources, understand capacity, ensure strategic alignment, share activities and timelines with their peers, and make data-based decisions based on the reality of ever-changing work environments.”

The new AtTask visibility suite isn’t limited to the iPad. In addition to AtTask View for senior managers, AtTask is also releasing the next generation AtTask Report Builder, Dashboards, and Views for enterprise teams, from individual contributor to executive, which delivers real enterprise value, such as:

  • Data-driven visibility to justify existing resources, and support the need for additional resources
  • Improved collaboration and productivity within the context of work
  • Real-time visibility into the status of work across the enterprise – from individuals to teams and departments

Learn more about AtTask View and see a video of the app in action at www.attask.com/product/ipad-video

Additional Resources:

About AtTask

AtTask is the only provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management solutions for enterprise teams. This provides a single, central place to better manage and control the chaos of enterprise work, which improves visibility and productivity by eliminating wasted time dealing with fragmented, siloed tools and processes. With AtTask, teams, managers and executives receive visibility into work planning, prioritization, resourcing and sequencing to help everyone work more efficiently toward achieving the organization’s goals. AtTask has a broad range of Global 500 and other enterprise customers, such as Nike, Cisco, ABC, ESPN, 3M, and Trek. To learn more, visit www.AtTask.com or follow us on Twitter @AtTask.

Contact: Shelbi Gomez
shelbigomez@attask.com
801-477-9813

SOURCE AtTask

Images courtesy of Apple iTunes

Should the digital generation be able to pick and choose their technology in the workplace?

The digital generation, now entering the workforce, were born starting in 1992 which brings these folks to about the age of 20. This generation grew up with the internet, smartphones and tablets, not to mention Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo gaming consoles. These people are beginning to trickle into the workforce and have beliefs around the technology they should be able to use in the workplace.

As an employer should you be concerned about the demands this younger generation brings to the table? Perhaps these people shouldn’t be making any demands since they’re green and mostly inexperienced. In other words who’s in charge here? As a professional business person running a going concern shouldn’t you be calling the shots about how and why technology is used in your organization? Apparently Microsoft has a different view of things and in their latest publication called Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals by Jerry Honeycutt state that the digital generation “have significantly different beliefs about the tools they should be able to use at work.”

“The digital generation entering the work place raises these expectations to a whole new level. This is a generation that has grown up completely fluent with digital technology (e.g., texting, instant messaging, and social media). They are digital natives and have significantly different beliefs about the tools they should be able to use at work.”

“Digital natives are also increasingly mobile and operate at a very fast pace. Their quick pace, combined with ubiquitous connectivity, blurs the lines between people’s work and personal lives. As those lines blur, their personalities and individual work styles impact how they get their work done and what technology they prefer to use. As a result, they want a say in the technologies they use to get their jobs done.”

(Page 11 – Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals by Jerry Honeycutt – 2012: Microsoft Press)

This begs the question that if you don’t bother to accommodate these folks are you losing out on quality talent? Further, are you going to have to settle for second or third-rate talent if you fall behind the bleeding edge of technology? Perhaps, you may as the cream of the crop gravitate towards companies that are the most progressive and adopt technology at a pace more congruent with the consumer electronics sector.

John Palfrey and Urs Gasser published a book in 2008 called “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives.” In that book they state that digital natives were born after 1980, however I could argue that the real digital natives are entering the workforce now. It was between 1992 – 1994 that the internet and digital connectivity really exploded and opened up entirely new sectors of work. From what I can remember 1980 to 1990 saw the beginning of cd-rom technology and word processing applications but little more. The authors speak about Usenet and electronic bulletin board systems but from my perspective there was not very widespread adoption of those technologies at the time. These were niche technologies.

What do you think? Has the pace of technology adoption in your company helped or hindered the talent pool in your organization? Do you think companies should be putting an emphasis on riding the bleeding edge of technology adoption?

 

 

City of Vancouver Coughs Up $3 Million for new Website

When I heard that the City of Vancouver spent $3 million on their new website my first thought was that figure must be misquoted by the person with whom I was having the conversation last week. So I promptly went online and began Googling and reading as much as I could about the topic. Sure enough the top media outlets were in consensus about the enormous bill being presented to the City. Immediately my brain went into overdrive and the cogs started spinning. It just didn’t add up. Why would anyone need to spend $3 million to build a website what with free open-source content management frameworks such as Drupal, Joomla!, and Plone?

Let’s break this down now shall we? In other words, what should it cost to build a website the likes of City of Vancouver either on the high side or the realistic side of the cost spectrums. I’ll start on the high side.

  • 4 full-time Coders/Web Developers (@40 hours per week for 2 years) ($100,000 * 4)*2 = $800,000
  • 1 full-time Graphics Designer (@40 hours per week for 2 years) $300,000
  • 1 full-time Project Manager (@40 hours per week for 2 years) $400,000
  • Cost of the open-source CMS = 0
  • Cost of the web-hosting = $300 per year
  • So that brings us to around $1.5 – 1.6 million

What else can I spend money on; catered lunches every day for 2 years? Anyways you get my point. Where did the other $1.5 million go? And remember we are on the high side of things here. Honestly I don’t know too many Web Developers making $100,000 per year. I don’t know the actual figures mind you and how many developers, coders and managers were put on this project but if they needed more than above I would be highly suspicious. Perhaps the post-production maintenance cost is where the $1.5 million figure is coming from? Onto the more realistic spending expectations for a website.

  • 3 full-time Coders/Web Developers (@40 hours per week for 2 years) ($80,000 * 3)*2 = $480,000
  • 1 full-time Graphics Designer (@40 hours per week for 2 years) $200,000
  • 1 full-time Project Manager (@40 hours per week for 2 years) $250,000
  • Cost of the open-source CMS = 0
  • Cost of the web-hosting = $300 per year
  • Let’s just round this up to $1 million

Sorry folks, I’m having a hard time finding where all the money went! If you had a spare $2 million what would you spend it on?

HP Job Cuts and the Changing IT Landscape

Pink Slip
Credit to http://thecollegeinvestor.com/947/horror-scenes-financial-impact/

High-tech firms are slashing jobs at record numbers with Hewlett-Packard leading the way. HP announced that the company may cut nearly 30,000 jobs this quarter, adding to a total of more than 50,000 job cuts in the technology sector so far this year.

In a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas on tech layoffs; high-tech firms that make computers and electronics, and telecommunications companies cut 51,529 jobs in the first half of the year. That’s a 260 per cent increase over the same period from last year.

Challenger, a consulting firm, reported that corporations cut more than 280,000 jobs so far this year. In 2011, the number of jobs cut in the entire year was 245,000. The firm said the reason for the HP cuts was the fact that the company is having trouble competing against Apple’s iPad.

HP joins other companies that have announced five-figure job cuts. Challenger expects more high profile job cuts from other computer companies as the year plays out.

Consumers are spending money on high-tech gear but only a few companies are benefiting. One research firm, Gartner, stuck to earlier predictions and said that sales of IT gear and services will go up three per cent in 2012.

The digital marketing firm Acquity Group said that Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are hiring to fill critical slots that are short of qualified professionals.

A report from Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast said that the market for tablets may exceed 350 million units in 2012. Shipments could double to more than 800 million units by 2017. This portends well for a number of companies but could also force other tablet makers to cut back on production and jobs.

Kindle shocked the market in the last holiday season when it cut into Apple’s share of the tablet market. Industry numbers show that Kindle knocked down Apple’s share of the tablet market by nearly 10 per cent, cutting it to 55 per cent. Kindle positioned itself well in the tablet market by going after the mini-tablet market, an area where Apple had no presence. That strategy and its $199 price attracted millions of consumers.

Industry insiders said that this shocker motivated Apple to explore releasing a mini-tablet. Rumours are flying that Apple may release a mini-tablet named iPad3 by Christmas.

Those companies that are producing popular or inexpensive devices will do well in the coming year. Others who have not positioned themselves well in the tablet and smartphone markets will probably see layoffs and job cuts.

Kelly Smith has worked for Barton Technology IT Services for several years and has been part of the changing face of the IT landscape. For more information on IT support visit Barton Technology.