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Westboro bus crash trial is time for long-awaited answers, victims’ families say

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The trial of the bus driver involved in the fatal Westboro bus crash in Ottawa is scheduled to start today.

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Hashtag Trending, April 23, 2021 – SolarWinds name change; Signal hacks the cops; Canada’s scale-up challenges

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SolarWinds changes its name to N‑able, Signal’s CEO peels apart the cops’ favourite phone cracking tool; and Canada’s tech industry is desperate for talent. It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, April 23 and I’m your host Alex Coop. It looks like the SolarWinds brand was irreparably…

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SolarWinds changes its name to N‑able, Signal’s CEO peels apart the cops’ favourite phone cracking tool; and Canada’s tech industry is desperate for talent.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, April 23 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

It looks like the SolarWinds brand was irreparably damaged after thousands of users downloaded an infected software update last year, including several U.S. government departments. SolarWinds yesterday unveiled its new company name, N-able. “The name may sound familiar as N‑able extends the roots of who we are as a company,” the new company said in a statement on its website. Of course there’s no mention about the devastating supply chain attack which SolarWinds to this point hasn’t done much to quell fears that it won’t happen again. In February SolarWinds’ CEO even went as far as to blame an intern for the poor cybersecurity measures that were in place at the time of the compromise.

In a blog post published Wednesday, Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike claimed that Cellebrite’s software has terrible security that can be easily manipulated in a number of ways. Cellebrite is an Israeli digital intelligence firm that sells software which can unlock phones and extract data. Very popular among law enforcement. Well, among his wild claims made, Marlinspike says that due to security flaws, someone could basically re-write all of the data being collected by Cellebrite’s tools. Hypothetically, a properly configured file could be slipped into any app on a targeted device. This would allow for the alteration of all of the data that has been or will be collected by Cellebrite’s software. Cellebrite provided Gizmodo a statement after the story about Signal’s testing went viral. The company says it’s committed to protecting the integrity of its customers’ data and that it relies on strict licensing policies that “govern how customers are permitted to use our technology …”

And lastly, tech companies, especially the ones in Canada trying to take that next leap from startup to scaleup, are having a hard time finding talent. There are oo many open roles, not enough qualified workers, The Globe and Mail reports. The tech sector has bounced back with employment in professional, scientific and technical services rising 6 per cent over the pandemic. The tech sector has fared well because workers were well-positioned to shift to remote work unlike those in other industries. But with competition so fierce for talent, some tech companies struggling to find available, experienced workers are hiking up their pay offers. Security roles are desperately sought after, despite the unemployment rate for the field hovering around 0 per cent.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Plus, catch episode one of Hashtag Trending in French, hosted by our own Catherine Morin from Quebec at DirectionInformatique.com. Episode 2 drops this weekend. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening!

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Profitable next moves for customer experience service providers – CMO Talks with Douglas Hayward

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‘Understanding’ is the watchword in new customer experience (CX) service models for Douglas Hayward, a research director responsible for IDC’s Worldwide Digital Strategy and Agency Services research stream. Hayward joined ITWC President Fawn Annan in April 2021 for an installment of CMO Talks, a podcast series produced by ITWC to address today’s marketing challenges. An…

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‘Understanding’ is the watchword in new customer experience (CX) service models for Douglas Hayward, a research director responsible for IDC’s Worldwide Digital Strategy and Agency Services research stream.

Hayward joined ITWC President Fawn Annan in April 2021 for an installment of CMO Talks, a podcast series produced by ITWC to address today’s marketing challenges. An expert on technology-enabled business transformation, he shared his thoughts on next moves for customer experience (CX) service providers.

Two CX Trends

Referencing an IDC report, Hayward described two predominant trends in the CX arena: a shift to commerce and a shift to heightened transparency. A third shift, he said, is geared towards purpose, a move that reflects the social unrest fomenting all over the world. “Demographic changes, job insecurity, unfairness in the economy, and a lack of trust in government all propel people towards wanting brands – and sometimes hero CEOs – to actually fix things for them,” he explained.

When asked by Annan to describe what key drivers mean for CX vendors, Hayward likened the new, borderless market to a double-edged sword. “Despite the obvious advantages, it creates fear and uncertainty for a lot of people,” he said, “and that comes at a time when, young people are being locked out of the housing markets and when taxes are set to rise because of COVID-19. It’s all very unsettling when those old fashioned, fixed linear careers disappear.”

Two CX Strategies

Commenting on two different CX strategies outlined in the IDC report, Hayward predicts an imminent move from defensive strategies – those intended to strengthen a firm – to offensive strategies that focus more on improving customer experience and creating new products and services. He sees this emphasis on growth as a great opportunity for both CMOs and CX vendors to design new products and services and make existing products and services more attractive to consumers.

Hayward isn’t surprised to see customer centricity now ranked as one of the top strategic business objectives. “It’s important to understand people, to empathize with them, and to understand their pain,” he said, “but you also have to do something useful. What’s important for CX services providers is to create ground level outcomes, using data, using technology, using process, change, culture change and so on. At the end of the day, if a relationship’s going to work between a service provider and a CMO, it has to produce tangible results.”

Transparency Rules

The next caveat is that whatever is done has to be honest. “Eco-washing is just going to backfire,” he said. “CX vendors and consultants can help you to define what you’re about. They can help you discover strengths you didn’t realize that you have, and they can help you to define your purpose. What they definitely can’t do is sell you a new purpose. People will see through that.”

IDC research shows that in order for customer experience services vendors and consultants to propose really great value adding technology or change processes, they need to know the organization inside out. In fact, one of Hayward’s key takeaways for the webinar is building the customer relationship. “Get to know the client’s culture and the organization and what are they capable of,” he advised. “Then get them to change that organization and change that culture, but do it subtly, in alignment with their purpose and identity. Give them a strategy, but stay pragmatic.”

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Hashtag Trending, April 22, 2021 – Doug Ford’s BlackBerry; Apple’s Spring Loaded event; TikTok sued for billions

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It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, April 22 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.  Premier Doug Ford is still rocking a BlackBerry Classic phone for calls, texts, emails. According to The Toronto Star, it’s his go-to phone. The publication covered some of the technical challenges Ford…

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It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, April 22 and I’m your host Baneet Braich. 

Premier Doug Ford is still rocking a BlackBerry Classic phone for calls, texts, emails. According to The Toronto Star, it’s his go-to phone. The publication covered some of the technical challenges Ford is facing at his late mother’s house where he is isolating after an aide tested positive for COVID-19. Although Ford is reportedly accustomed to remote meetings via Zoom and Microsoft teams from his office at Queen’s Park, he is lacking the same technical support in isolation. His current BlackBerry model can’t download attachments or run many tasks easily. The phone’s last software update was in 2018, so we hope it’s not being used to receive or send anything super important. [Twitter]

Apple’s recent Spring Loaded unveiled the new iPad Pros featuring the company’s super-charged M1 chip and an update to its 4K TV. Another product called AirTag uses a network on iPhones to find lost products. The tech giant also announced credit-sharing options for teenagers on the Apple Card and new colour options such as a purple iPhone 12. The new iMacs will also have seven colour options. For the avid podcast listeners, Apple is creating a subscription service to compete with competitors like Spotify which is set to overtake Apple in terms of U.S. podcast listeners this year.

TikTok sued for collecting children’s data in Britain, Europe from technology

And lastly, TikTok has been sued for collecting children’s data in Britain and Europe. The former Children’s Commissioner for Britain has filed a lawsuit against TikTok for allegedly collecting the personal information of millions of children using the app. The suit is seeking more than 1 billion in damages from TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance. The previous commissioner is accusing TikTok of being a data collection service thinly veiled as a social media network. In a statement she said, “We want to put a stop to TikTok’s shadowy data collection practices.” A TikTok spokesperson says the case lacks merit and that they intend to “vigorously defend the action.”

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Plus, catch episode one of Hashtag Trending in French, hosted by our own Catherine Morin from Quebec at DirectionInformatique.com. Episode 2 drops this weekend. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!

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