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  • Government of Canada and SFU Strengthen Relationships with India

27th June 2011

Government of Canada and SFU Strengthen Relationships with India

Government of CanadaA $302,525 federal investment will support Simon Fraser University (SFU) in delivering the BC-India Innovation, Exchange and Mobility Initiative. The project will facilitate partnerships between the two regions that will lead to collaborative research, trade and investment activities.

“Investments like this are crucial to strengthening Canada’s international linkages, promoting our educational institutions, and helping maintain British Columbia as the ideal place to invest,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD). “Today is an important step toward creating economic opportunities, while increasing Western Canada’s international visibility and reputation.”

Over two years, SFU students will be placed within Indian organizations, Indian professionals will visit B.C. and sector-focused workshops will be hosted in both B.C. and India. The clean energy, health and life sciences, and new media/film sectors will be targeted.

“Undergraduate and graduate students benefit tremendously from work terms in India. This program will elevate SFU’s efforts to connect companies and organizations in India and Canada by means of exchanges as well as Indian visitors and workshops,” said SFU president Andrew Petter. “Through this funding support and that of our India Advisory Council, SFU is well-placed to play a major role in India’s declared Decade of Innovation.”

India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and is projected to be the world’s third largest economy by 2050. WD and SFU see this as a fitting time to undertake activities that capitalize on the emerging opportunities India presents.

With eight faculties across three campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey, Simon Fraser University currently has more than 30,000 students, 110,000 alumni, and over 900 full-time faculty members. Student-centered, research-driven, and community engaged, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive university. In 2006, SFU was the first Canadian university to launch an India Strategy which has its secretariat at SFU Surrey and is guided by an India Advisory Council comprised of leading community and business leaders.

WD works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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27th June 2011

Cogeco Cable Acquires Quiettouch Inc

cogecoCogeco Cable Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire all of the shares of Quiettouch Inc., an independent provider of outsourced managed IT and infrastructure services to mid-market and larger enterprises in Canada.

Quiettouch offers a full suite of differentiated services that allow customers to outsource their mission-critical IT infrastructure and application requirements, including managed infrastructure and hosting, virtualization, firewall services, data backup with end-to-end monitoring and reporting, and enhanced and traditional colocation services. Quiettouch operates three data centres in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as a fibre network within key business areas of downtown Toronto.

“We’re thrilled to announce this acquisition. It is in line with our strategy of developing the business market. It also demonstrates our willingness to seize upon external growth opportunities in our Canadian footprint when they arise,” said Louis Audet, President and CEO, Cogeco Cable. “This acquisition will enable us to widen our market focus and better serve the medium and large business market. Quiettouch is very well positioned in the managed IT and infrastructure services market and provides tremendous growth potential in the foreseeable future.”

“We’re pleased with this transaction. Cogeco Cable is a well-respected and a well positioned company in the telecommunications industry,” said Dave Templeton, President, Quiettouch. “We feel strongly that this transaction will also create added value for our customers, employees and management, who will benefit from Cogeco Cable’s expertise and market knowledge.”

The transaction will close once certain arrangements and commercial approvals are obtained. Cheverny Capital was Cogeco Cable’s advisor for this proposed transaction.

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27th June 2011

Looking For The Top 50 Best Managed Canadian Companies

50 Best Managed CompaniesToday marks the official launch of the call for applications for Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program 2011. Now in its 19th year, the nationwide search continues for companies who are demonstrating the power of being the best through their business excellence, calibre of management abilities and practices.

The Best Managed designation is an emblem of excellence and a source of pride for private companies. Canadian-owned and managed private companies and public companies with fewer than 50% of their shares or units traded with revenues over $10 million are invited to submit their Phase One application towards earning one of the country’s premier business awards.

“We’ve been committed to fostering the success of Canadian companies since 1993 and today we call on businesses that embody the hallmarks of excellence to be recognized,” said John Hughes, partner, Private Company Services, Deloitte, and national leader of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program. “We invite companies to apply and discover the power of the best, and continue to raise the profile of the great work being done by private companies.”

A rewarding experience, the application process delivers insights which further strengthen companies’ business models. It is an opportunity for companies to re-examine their processes, reenergize the organization, and look for new opportunities. Overall, the program provides participants with an exceptional opportunity to gain knowledge from some of Canada’s top business leaders.

New this year, the program has added a Gold Standard designation for companies that have maintained their designation after three consecutive years and demonstrated a commitment to the program, creating a four-tier award program:

  • Best Managed winner: first time winners
  • Requalified member: repeat winners retaining designation for two years
  • Gold Standard winner: designation maintained after three consecutive years
  • Platinum Club member: designation maintained for a minimum of six consecutive years

The deadline for Phase One applications is 5:00 p.m. EST on September 23, 2011 and winners will be announced February 2012. Recognition of this great achievement will take place March 27, 2012 during an evening of celebration at Canada’s 50 Best Managed gala.

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27th June 2011

CakeDeals Helps Users Navigate the Daily Deal Industry

cakedealsIn Vancouver there are now over 40 businesses that offer special ‘group’ or ‘daily’ deals, popularized by Chicago-based startup Groupon. As Groupon moves towards filing for an IPO, competition has sprung up considerably. The army of so-called “Groupon Clones” march forward, replicating the attractive business model. Canadian start-up company CakeDeals is attempting to help users navigate the many deal vendors that have materialized through its web portal and its brand new iPhone application.

Hunters for deals need solutions like CakeDeals, as sifting through deal after deal has become unbearable. However, the benefit in convenience is also gained by the many “Groupon Clones” that have appeared. New deal vendors are increasingly attempting to pull themselves ahead and move forward in competing against the online coupon giants, Groupon and Living Social.

“New deal sites approach us every day. They work hard to negotiate great group deals for customers,” said Sam Lin, COO and Accounts Director of CakeDealsMany of them are trying to shake off the stereotype of just being labeled as a ‘Groupon Clone.'”

CakeDeals CEO, Simon Wong added that “we’re trying to provide as many channels and methods as possible for end-users to view and track these coupons. We want to save people time.”

Deal aggregators such as CakeDeals allow smaller vendors to compete alongside the giants. The site automatically curates a list of the active deals in a city from various partner vendors. It also provides a view optimized for mobile phones, as well as a free iPhone application via the Apple iTunes store.

Hunting for any type of deal in general can be time-consuming, and any new tool to aid in the search will certainly be welcomed. As the daily deal industry continues to expand at a rapid rate, customers will continue to turn towards deal aggregators to precisely navigate towards the deal that they are looking for.

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27th June 2011

Just For Laughs Reverses Canada’s Trade Deficit With China

Just For LaughsJune Jiang Kun and Mark ‘Dashan’ Rowswell team up in the ground-breaking television special, the Chinese Comedy & Variety Show, in Mandarin with English subtitles, filmed at the Toronto Just For Laughs Festival. The English-subtitled version will air on OMNI. 2 and OMNI British Columbia, Sunday July 10, 2011 at 8:30 PM. The 90-minute special premiered on OMNI Television February 6th, to coincide with Chinese New Year, and following that was seen by millions in China when it aired on April 22 and 23 on Chinese network CCTV3.

Jiang Kun, China’s biggest comedy superstar brings his full Quyi Performing Arts Group to Just For Laughs Toronto for a live show that defies description. His comedy partner, and host of the television special, is Canadian ‘Dashan’, who has been called “the most famous foreigner in China.”

Just For Laughs’ own Chairman Mao, Andy Nulman said, “we’re thrilled that this risky undertaking proved to be hilarious, and we’re hoping to help out the Western world’s economy by selling something TO China, for a change. I always thought Mandarin sounded funny, but now I know it does. Now that we know we got great ratings in China, with about 30 to 40 million viewers tuning in, I will do my best to convince the Canadian government not to invade their nation.”

The on-stage performances feature a hilarious mix of comedy and variety; acts include spoken-word comedy, the three M’s of variety: music, magic, mime and the wildly popular Aerfa (the Justin Bieber of China).

Jiang Kun is without question the biggest comedy star in the world given the number of fans he has, as his comedy specials regularly rate in the multiple-hundreds of millions with the Chinese audiences. Dashan, AKA Mark Rowswell, has worked in China as a performer, television host and cultural ambassador for over 20 years. A Canadian, he studied Chinese at Beijing University, and a chance television appearance jump-started his comedy career, gradually turning “Dashan” into a household name across China.

Filmed as part of the Toronto Just For Laughs Festival, this is the second television project of Just For Laughs in a third language (other than the two official Canadian languages). Last year’s Just For Laughs Hinglish started the initiative, in Hindi. In collaboration with OMNI Television, it’s our mission to bring laughter to Canadians from a wide range of ethnic communities, and comedy fans around the world… no matter what language they speak.

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27th June 2011

Info-Tech Chooses American Companies As Champions

Info-TechA recent Vendor Landscape report evaluating dedicated Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) appliances published by the Ontario-based Info-Tech Research Group ranked WatchGuard, SonicWALL and Barracuda as Champions in the space. All three vendors were recognized for offering significant value for money.

“As workers become more and more mobile, SSL VPN is becoming a de facto requirement for every enterprise,” said James Quin, Lead Research Analyst for Info-Tech Research Group. “SSL VPN is critical for organizations that employ remote or mobile workers or aim to increase productivity by providing 24×7 corporate network access.”

According to Info-Tech Research Group, organizations looking to purchase a dedicated appliance based SSL VPN solution will get best value for money by selecting any of the three Champions in the report. WatchGuard received the “Best Overall Value Award” with SonicWALL trailing by just one point. Both earned high marks because of their rock bottom pricing along with broad feature sets. Barracuda Networks narrowly missed finishing in the top two spots on the Value Index. Their solution is also available at a great price, but offers less functionality for now. Mobile device support is not currently available with Barracuda Networks, but the vendor has plans for its availability in an upcoming release.

Array Networks and Juniper Networks are “Innovators” in the SSL VPN market according to the report. Their products both scored exceptionally well in the evaluation and as their presence in the market grows, both are poised to become Champions in the space.

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27th June 2011

Intranet Connections Software Adds Power and Creativity with Application Builder

intranet connectionsIntranet Connections has announced the latest release of their social intranet software. Intranet Connections v11 builds on employee participation and engagement via your intranet by giving users the power to embrace and share company culture with innovative tools that are out of the box.

“Our intranet software helps to connect employees by information and knowledge sharing, online collaboration and the enhancement of your company culture,” says Carolyn Douglas, CEO of Intranet Connections. “We added dynamic tools such as our new Application Builder, allowing you to easily create any type of application you need for your intranet. We want to provide tools that help improve your business, through your employees and the intranet.”

Application Builder gives you the power to be creative when building applications. You have complete control over input forms, fields, and layout screens. Intranet Connections has harnessed AJAX drag and drop, creating an easy to use and dynamic application-building experience, with collaborative social elements such as employee tagging, comments, ratings and widgets.

This release also offers several new interactive widgets that engage with employees, including quick polls to measure employee opinions; a weather widget; widgets that cycle content such as snippets of customer feedback, tip of the day, or inspirational quotes; upcoming birthdays and anniversaries; and features employees with their photo, what they do in the company, and how to reach them or launch an intranet live chat.

Intranet Connections v11 offers extensive theme options along with fixed width layouts to provide modern intranet designs that are out of the box. With their easy to use theme builder, you can build themes that incorporate your company brand, which fosters culture because employees recognize the importance of your brand in the workplace.

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27th June 2011

Binary Stream and Corporate Renaissance Partner For Multi-Entity Solution

binary streamMicrosoft Gold Certified Partner Binary Stream Software and Corporate Renaissance Group (CRG) recently partnered to bring a new innovative and streamlined approach to multi-entity implementation projects.  The recent release of CRG’s Company Combiner brings Microsoft Dynamics GP users a new company consolidation option that will bring significant value to these users during their implementations. corporate renaissance group

“With the complementary combination of Corporate Renaissance Group’s Company Combiner and Binary Stream’s Multi-Entity Management we are very excited to be able to provide the Microsoft Dynamics GP community with an incredibly easy way to set-up and start managing their entities with our solution,” said Lak Chahal, President and CEO of Binary Stream Software.

Binary Stream’s Multi-Entity Management solution has long been the primary multi-entity solution for the Microsoft Dynamics GP channel. By enabling companies to work securely from one consolidated company set-up, this solution has enabled organizations worldwide to effectively manage and report on their multiple locations, subsidiaries and corporate entities with ease. Now with CRG’s Company Combiner, existing Microsoft Dynamics GP users can cut down their data conversion costs by over 50% and streamline the overall go-live process.

CRG’s Company Combiner gives Microsoft Dynamics GP users the ability to efficiently and easily consolidate companies with identical charts of accounts.  By reducing the risk of database consolidations, this solution bridges the divide between the essential consolidation steps involved in Multi-Entity Management set-ups and enables companies to quickly gain efficiencies in their launch processes.

“CRG and Binary Stream are long time Dynamics GP ISVs with great solutions.  We are thrilled to now offer a complementary product.  With both solutions, organizations will be able to get to their optimum configuration quicker and become more efficient with their use of Dynamics GP.  As organizations continue to get lean, we see the need of our solutions even more over the next few years,” said Dr. Vijay Jog, President of Corporate Renaissance Group.

The new release of the Company Combiner is currently available from the Corporate Renaissance Group team.

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27th June 2011

Shaw Rocket Fund Announces New Deadlines

shaw rocket fundShaw’s Rocket Fund has released the application forms and deadline dates for its Television and Digital development programs. The Shaw Rocket Fund supports Canadian children’s programming which is recognized worldwide for its creativity and commitment to quality. The company is a  strong believer in the ability of quality programming to provide value in fuelling the young, imaginative minds of our kids and enriching their lives through interaction with creative content on all platforms.

TV Programming

  • September 14, 2011
  • January 18, 2012
  • May 9, 2012

Digital Programming

  • September 28, 2011
  • February 1, 2012
  • May 23, 2012

The Shaw Rocket Fund is supported by Shaw Communications Inc., Shaw Pay Per View Ltd. a division of Shaw Cablesystems G.P., and Shaw Direct.

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27th June 2011

Ubisoft Announces Black Eyed Peas Experience

ubisoftUbisoft® has announced the development of The Black Eyed Peas® Experience video game, the second game in the multi-million selling ‘Experience’ franchise. The new dance game will feature fun and dance moves as well as hit songs and fan favorites from The Black Eyed Peas multi-platinum selling catalog. It will be released on the Kinect™ for Microsoft Xbox 360® and Nintendo Wii™.

“The Black Eyed Peas are the perfect artists to headline our next Experience game. Their award-winning music, dance moves and artistic style will be combined into a gaming experience that will excite both fans of the group and those who enjoy playing dance titles,” said Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ubisoft. “The Black Eyed Peas are a worldwide phenomenon and Ubisoft is the worldwide leader in dance games – together we are going to make The Black Eyed Peas Experience a game that fans around the world will love.”The Black Eyed Peas Experience

Ubisoft’s Experience franchise has sold more than three million copies to date by making an artist’s universe accessible to fans in an interactive and immersive game. The Black Eyed Peas Experience takes that concept even further, and features a comprehensive selection of the The Black Eyed Peas’ hit music tracks as well as dance routines arranged by the group’s famed choreographer, Fatima Robinson. In the Microsoft Xbox 360 version of the game, which Ubisoft is developing in partnership with renowned music game developers iNiS, players will control their on-screen avatar via the Kinect™ for Microsoft Xbox 360® entertainment system while following the dance moves of 3D avatars, including avatars of each of The Black Eyed Peas: apl.de.ap, Fergie, Taboo and will.i.am.

The Wii™ version of The Black Eyed Peas Experience, being developed by Ubisoft Quebec, will feature game play similar to Ubisoft’s Just Dance titles, where players hold a Wii™ Remote and follow the moves of the The Black Eyed Peas’ on-screen avatars.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ubisoft to create The Black Eyed Peas Experience video game,” shared will.i.am, frontman for The Black Eyed Peas®. “Ubisoft has both redefined and dominated the dance category in the video game industry and we can’t wait to be part of taking that to the next level by infusing an experience that’s 100 percent authentic to The Black Eyed Peas.”


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