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20th May 2011

Serebra And TechSoup Team Up To Deliver Affordable Online Training

serebraE-Learning solutions provider Serebra Learning Corporation has announced a new philanthropic partnership with TechSoup, a nonprofit focused on providing charitable organizations with technology that assists them in fulfilling their missions and serving their communities.

Serebra and TechSoup will partner to deliver Serebra’s easyLearning online courses to charities and their constituents. The easyLearning catalogue offers 1,500 technical and professional courses that help individuals develop their workforce and job skills. The only program of its kind, easyLearning offers the same courses provided to corporate clients at drastically reduced costs.

“We at Serebra believe education should be accessible to all. We are delighted to be working with TechSoup to help make that possible,” said Taleeb Noormohamed, Serebra President and CEO. “TechSoup is the perfect partner to connect charitable organizations around the world with our easyLearning program. We look forward to working together to help people gain the skills necessary to succeed in today’s global knowledge-based economy.”

“One of the most needed resources for nonprofits is the training required to fully understand and implement new technology resources and services,” said Gayle Carpentier, Chief Business Development Officer, TechSoup Global. “We are delighted that Serebra is making their excellent training courses available to nonprofits across the TechSoup Global network. We look forward to seeing how this rich array of new educational offerings will benefit nonprofit organizations worldwide.”

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20th May 2011

Today In TV Land

broadbandtvVancouver tech entrepreneur Ms. Shahrzad Rafati, founder of BroadbandTV, is the only Canadian to join household names such as Oprah Winfrey, Conan O’Brien, and key industry players such as Sebastian Thrun of Google and Andy Mooney from Disney on Fast Company magazine’s 2011 list of top 100 most creative people in business. Fast Company magazine is the world’s leading progressive business media brand.

In 3 short years, Rafati’s company, BroadbandTV, has partnered with content providers such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) to help curate, and match user-created video content with online advertising opportunities.

BroadbandTV is helping change the relationship between “pirates” and corporate content providers. BroadbandTV identifies positive and potentially revenue-generating fan-created content and helps its partners claim it, put advertising against it and generate revenue.

“Corporations no longer look at piracy as a black and white issue,” explained Rafati. “Instead of battling against their most enthusiastic fans, they’re starting to realize there’s more value in working with them. We’re helping companies identify and take control of their content and generate revenue from it.

The next big step for the company is a mobile app that will suggest video content, often from BroadbandTV’s content, for users based on their interests and personal preferences.

Shahrzad Rafati emigrated to Canada in 2000, studied Computer Science at The University of British Columbia and upon graduation founded BroadbandTV. BroadbandTV has curated more than hundreds of thousands of videos and monetized billions of impressions generating millions of ad dollars for its clients.

astral mediaAstral’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) today announced their participation in the 12-part action series Transporter-The Series. Based on the high-octane Transporter films, the series is an international co-production between The Movie Network and Movie Central, Canada’s QVF Inc., M6 and Atlantique Productions in France, Germany’s RTL Group and Corus EntertainmentHBO/Cinemax in the U.S.

“The Movie Network is all about premium entertainment and we’re proud to add this made-in-Canada big-budget action series to our original content offering,” said Aubie Greenberg, Director, Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television. “The theatrical Transporter franchise has connected with audiences on The Movie Network and around the world through its iconic characters and frenetic pace. We’re excited to further this connection through participation in such a large-scale production, especially one that takes our long-standing partnership with HBO to the next level.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with HBO/Cinemax,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy, Drama, Corus Entertainment. “As a franchise, Transporter offers a solid fan base with appeal to grow into an exciting series. Filming in Toronto with our world class production partners, the action-filled series will bring the beloved character of Frank Martin to premium television.”

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20th May 2011

Boloco to Deploy MonkeyMedia Software to Drive Catering Revenue

monkeymedia softwareMonkeyMedia Software®, a provider of strategy, education and software services for multi-unit restaurant operators, today announced that Boloco will deploy MonkeyCatering™ and MonkeyOnlineOrdering™ to enable end-to-end visibility and control over the company’s catering business. Boloco is a Boston-based group of 17 restaurants located throughout New England that serve traditional and inspired burritos, bowls, salads, smoothies, and shakes using a blend of bold, inspiring and often unexpected ingredients. Every order is made to the specific wishes of each guest.

“The decision to work with MonkeyMedia Software was an easy one. Their catering software can be tailored to meet our specific requirements,” said Patrick Renna, CFO Boloco. “Additionally, they bring a single solution to facilitate each catering order from time of order to completion and payment, including follow up with our clients.”

MonkeyCatering will provide Boloco with many operations- and communications-enhancing features, including catering management, production and distribution management, integrated sales and marketing tools to help drive more catering business, and powerful, real-time reporting for better business intelligence. The scalability of MonkeyCatering will allow for seamless, continued integration into the restaurant’s kitchen operations as the franchise chain grows and expands their catering business. Specifically, Boloco will implement:

  • Online Ordering for Catering: Catering orders made online through MonkeyOnlineOrdering™ will directly integrate into Boloco’s MonkeyCatering™ solution, enabling the restaurant with a powerful, back-end system that can easily execute all catering operations. Using existing IT assets to integrate data, MonkeyCatering™ empowers each unit with valuable insight into business intelligence, including up-to-date sales figures, customer ordering behavior, promotional performance and other important data.
  • Winning Strategy and Educational Services: When Boloco chose to work with MonkeyMedia Software, they knew they weren’t just selecting a software provider. They were selecting a business partner. MonkeyMedia Software will work directly with Boloco’s corporate staff and catering managers to develop a winning strategy specifically designed for the restaurant’s catering business. MonkeyMedia Software is staffed with highly knowledgeable, industry veterans who know the catering business inside-out. They will equip each Boloco team with catering best practices and will be there every step of the way to assist with the software implementation and training.

In addition to eventually integrating with Boloco’s POS system, MonkeyMedia will integrate with other third party systems, including the restaurant’s solutions for credit cards, Boloco cards, accounting and above store reporting systems.

“Boloco has become a leader in the world of traditional and inspired burritos, and it is an honor that they chose MonkeyMedia Software to help manage their catering and delivery business,” said Erle Dardick, CEO, MonkeyMedia Software. “We will work closely with Boloco to ensure the implementation of MonkeyOnlineOrdering™ and MonkeyCatering™ is as seamless as possible, and that they successfully leverage the most innovative and catering-focused technology to increase efficiency throughout their catering operations.”

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20th May 2011

2011 CATAAlliance Canadian Innovation Award Winners

CATAThe winners of the CATAAlliance 26th Annual Innovation Awards were announced Wednesday night at a sold out Gala Dinner, emceed by Paul Brent, host of CTV Ottawa’s TechNow. For over two decades, the CATAAlliance Innovation Awards Gala has been celebrating the best in Canadian advanced technology from coast to coast.

A reception, hosted by Ernst and Young and the Royal Bank of Canada, started the evening off in celebration of the 2011 Award Winners and Finalists recognized for their innovation, expertise, and leadership in Canada’s advanced technology community.

“Our 2011 award winners and finalists have shown that they are world-class innovators and industry leaders. They are certainly role models for the development of commercially successful enterprises in Canada. CATA is proud to act as an advocate for them and to provide a platform of programs and initiatives to assist in their growth,” says John Reid, CATA President.

In keeping with the theme of the Gala, Technology Futures, a panel discussion of industry experts provided insight into the exciting realm of upcoming technology trends. The panel included:

Patrick K. Horgan – Vice President, Manufacturing, Development and Operations, IBM Canada
Trina Alexson – Service Delivery Executive, Cisco Systems Inc.
Lynda Partner – Vice President, Marketing, Redline Communications
Lubor Ptacek – Vice President, Open Text
Craig Wright – Chief Economist, RBC Capital Markets

Awards winners were presented with awards in the following areas:

  • Telfer School of Management Award for Private Sector Leadership in Advanced Technology: Marcel Lebrun – CEO, Radian6
  • Open Text Award for Public Sector Leadership in Advanced Technology: Steve Palmer – Executive Director, Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC), Shereen Miller – Director General, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  • Peter Brojde Award for Canada’s Next Generation Executive Leadership: Chris McLaren – Founder and CEO, Tristan Interactive
  • ICTC Information Technology HR Strategic Leadership Award: Magor Communications
  • KPMG CIO Leadership Award: Erik Boch – Founder, CTO and VP Engineering, DragonWave Inc.
  • Wellington West Award for Outstanding Product Achievement (ICT/Health/Clean Tech): IDEAL LIFE Inc.
  • Celestica Award for Technology Commercialization: IntelliView Technologies Inc.
  • Ericsson Award for Outstanding Product Achievement (Content and Application Mobility Industry): Purple Forge
  • TSX Emerging Technology Award: Virage Simulation
  • CAMSC Innovation through Diversity Award: Garth Scully – Director, Partner Operations, Cisco Systems Inc.
  • Motorola Award for Public Safety Technology: Optosecurity Inc.
  • Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT) Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship: Janet Longmore – President and CEO, Digital Opportunity Trust
  • High Road Communications’ Prix de l’innovation pour l’Excellence dans le journalisme scientifique et technique medias du Quebec: Denis Lalonde – Direction Informatique
  • High Road Communications’ Excellence in Science and Technology Reporting Award: Bob McDonald – CBC

CATA 2011 Award Winners

Front row (l-r): Erik Boch, DragonWave Inc.; Shereen Miller, PWGSC; Steve Palmer, CPRC; Marcel Lebrun, Radian6
Back row (l-r): Ken Davison, Magor Communications; Garth Scully, Cisco Systems Inc., Janet Longmore, Digital Opportunity Trust; John Craig, Purple Forge; Denis Lalonde, Direction Informatique; Mike Reardon, Virage Simulation; Chris McLaren, Tristan Interactive; Bob McDonald, CBC; Dr. Wael Badawy, IntelliView Technologies.

The 26th Annual CATAAlliance Innovation Awards Gala was supported this year by the following corporate sponsors: RBC, Ernst and Young, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, the Peter Brojde Foundation, ICTC, KPMG, High Road Communications, Ericsson, Celestica, Wellington West, TSX, CAMSC, Motorola, Microsoft, Accretive Advisor, and Open Text.

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20th May 2011

Robert Half Survey Shows Personal Satisfaction Greatest Benefit of Mentoring

Robert HalfThe mark of a great mentor is that it’s not “all about you,” a Robert Half Management Resources survey suggests. More than half (54 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed who have served as mentors said the key benefit is the satisfaction that comes from helping someone else.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “Have you, at any point in your career, served as a mentor, either formally or informally?” Their responses:

Yes:  54%
No: 46%

Those who responded “yes” to the question above were asked, “Which one of the following do you think is the greatest benefit of being a mentor?” Their responses:

* Provides the internal satisfaction of helping someone else –  54%
* Offers you the opportunity to improve your leadership skills – 22%
* Allows you to stay current on industry trends – 18%
* Helps you build your professional network – 3%
* Something else/No benefit/Don’t know – 3%

“Mentoring can help anyone at any career stage; its benefits are not restricted to those just starting their careers,” said David King, Canadian district president of Robert Half Management Resources. “The challenging business environment over the past few years has heightened the importance of having a mentor who can provide valuable guidance on a variety of professional questions and dilemmas.”

Below are four tips to get the most out of your mentoring experience:

– Consider your strengths. What are the most valuable things you’ve learned over the course of your career? Think about what you have to offer someone just starting out.

– Don’t rely on a formal program. Many companies don’t have established mentoring programs, and those that do may still be ramping up after scaling back during the downturn. If you identify someone you think you can help, extend the offer.

– Look beyond new grads. Professionals at all levels can benefit from having a mentor. Those trying to advance to the next level or looking to make a change might particularly welcome your advice.

– Listen. The best mentors are often the best listeners. Understand your mentee’s situation and his or her greatest needs before you offer guidance. Sometimes the most valuable role you can play is that of sounding board.

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20th May 2011

HBO Canada OnLine Gets First Look at Episode 7 of Game of Thrones

hbo canadaHBO Canada, a multiplex channel of Astral’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada), offers subscribers an innovative multi-platform double bill: viewers who tune in to Episode 6 of HBO’s acclaimed Game of Thrones on Sunday, May 22 at 9 pm ET/MT can catch a sneak preview of Episode 7 immediately afterwards, only on HBO Canada OnLine. The special sneak peek opportunity of “You Win or You Die,” the entire seventh episode, is available to all subscribers of The Movie Network and Movie Central who receive their home television service through Bell TV, Rogers and Videotron. (okay that part’s not fair – what about Telus and Shaw customers?)

Currently mid-way through its dramatic first season, Game of Thrones is based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. The 10-part Game of Thrones Sean Beanepic fantasy series follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power and control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

Presented in partnership with participating television providers through Bell TV Online, Rogers On Demand Online and Videotron’s Illico Web, HBO Canada OnLine reflects the weekly content offering of HBO Canada’s current on-air and Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services and offers similar functionality to OnDemand, enabling subscribers to rewind, play, pause and review title descriptions. HBO Canada subscribers also have access to TMN OnLine (Eastern Canada) and Movie Central OnLine (Western Canada), which offer customers a wide array of Hollywood hit movies and other premium commercial-free content. These services are available at no additional cost and can be viewed on computers anywhere in Canada, wherever a high-speed Internet connection is available.

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20th May 2011

Kobo Rated Number One Global eReading App For iPad

Chapters IndigoIndigo Books & Music Inc. is delighted that Reading Life, Kobo’s industry leading social reading app has moved into the top rated position globally for eReading apps in the Apple iTunes App Store. As Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, Indigo is committed to enhancing the reading experience for book lovers regardless of the format in which they choose to read.

According to Indigo Books & Music CEO and Founder, and Kobo Chair Heather Reisman, “I am proud that Kobo has captured the attention and the loyalty of iPad users around the world as their preferred eReading application. Kobo has been focused on creating the best experience in eReading since day one and Kobo’s Reading Life provides readers with a fun, easy and exciting way to dive deeper into reading.”

The Kobo app with Reading Life has a 5 star rating by Canadian users, the highest among eReading apps in the iTunes store. Less than 48 hours after launch, hundreds of positive reviews began an influx of support for Kobo’s latest hit — with reviews touting the app’s navigation and ease-of-use. Users also praised the app’s new ability to organize shelves in their library, calling it out as the Kobo app’s top value. More than 25,000 custom bookshelves have been created in just one week.

In the last 7 days:

  • – Kobo’s app has claimed the highest rating available – 5-stars – in Canada
  • – Globally, nearly 750,000 users have downloaded the app, a 20% jump from version 4.3
  • – More than 1,100 4- and 5-star reviews have been posted
  • – Users now spend 10% more time in the Kobo application
  • – Version 4.4 is the highest reviewed eReading app in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada
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20th May 2011

Serebra Learning Corporation Reverse Takeover Update

serebraVancouver’s Serebra Learning Corporation and St. John’s based Blue Drop Inc. are continuing their due diligence investigations into the proposed business combination announced March 24, 2011. In accordance with the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange trading of the shares continue to be halted. In compliance with the requirements set forth by the Exchange, trading in the company’s shares will remain halted until a sponsor has been engaged and satisfactory documents have been provided to the Exchange in accordance with Policy 5.2.BlueDrop

Serebra is also pleased to announce a reseller agreement with Bluedrop for a portion of Serebra’s sales team to sell Bluedrop’s Coursepark product. Coursepark is a leading online learning site that offers individuals access to skills that promote career development, and small businesses a training solution that allows them to build and/or buy courses, and implement, track and manage users’ completion of courses.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to expand our suite of products on offer to current and future clients,” said Taleeb Noormohamed, President and CEO of Serebra. “Coursepark is rapidly becoming a leading global learning site and we are thrilled at the opportunity to help expand its ever-growing user base. It is an excellent complement to Serebra Campus, allowing our sales team a different target market to pursue.”

In addition, Serebra and Bluedrop have negotiated a separate service agreement to have select members of Serebra’s development team provide specialized technical assistance to support Bluedrop’s roadmap for the Coursepark product.

“As we continue to negotiate the terms of a reverse takeover, these reseller and service agreements provide an opportunity to expand our mutual understanding of our products and business models,” added Taleeb.

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