Office Document Strategies Blog

Amazon Web Services - AWS - Opens Canadian Data Centre

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 @ 08:12 AM

Canadian cloud services users have always had to be cautious in their choice of providers if they want to make sure that their data remains in Canada and subject to Canadian legislative jurisdiction.  

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Topics: Software, cloud computing, data security, Canadian IT

Canadian Credit Cards For Sale

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 08:10 AM

Regular readers of this blog will know that we spend a fair bit of time dealing with warnings, updates and suggestions on dealing with IT security and data protection.  At times it seems like we never talk about anything else and I wish we didn't need to cover this topic so heavily.  

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Topics: data security, Canadian IT

Integrated Retailing Improves Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 07:05 AM

As we have all experienced the retail environment is rapidly changing.  At one time the physical retail store was the core of every retailer's business but for many in today's environment it is only one component of a retail system.

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Topics: sales, Customer service, Canadian IT

Microsoft Cloud Officially Opens in Canada

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, May 18, 2016 @ 07:05 AM

Of course Microsoft has been selling cloud services and cloud based software in Canada for several years now.  Office 365 has been one of their hard pushes and is a cloud based app which is targeted at all sizes of business.

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Topics: cloud computing, data security, Canadian IT

Rapid Technology Changes Challenge Government Action

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 @ 08:04 AM

Everyone knows that we live in a time of rapid technology change.  This is especially true in communication technologies as the mobile revolution has built a whole new way to attack many activities.

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Topics: technology tools, privacy, Canadian Legislation, spam, Canadian IT

Internet of Things Continues To Grow

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 @ 07:04 AM

A recent article has pegged the value of the internet of things (IofT) as a $300 billion industry. When you think of all the items you can now connect to your home network:

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Topics: software tools, Canadian IT, IT connectivity

Microsoft Finally Rolls Out Azure Cloud In Canada

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Mar 23, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

One of the challenges for organizations wishing to use cloud services for their computing from a Canadian base has been the access to appropriate services based in the Canadian political jurisdiction.  This has been especially true when considering Microsoft cloud services as up to now there were no Canadian based data centres run by Microsoft.

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Topics: Document, data security, Canadian Legislation, Canadian IT

Getting Online When You Travel

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

For most people who travel outside of their home area maintaining some sort of online activity is still important.  For the mobile addicted this is a must and they can find it pretty frustrating or expensive, especially if they are on a Canadian based data plan.  

Unfortunately roaming charges from most of our online carriers in Canada can be pretty excessive and therefore manuy users resist using their cellular tools while travelling. Sometimes you get forced into it and you just have to bite the bullet and pay when the bill comes in.

If your air flight, car rental or other reservation gets interrupted while you are travelling you can be sure the only notice you receive will be an email notice requesting you to go to some web connection for further info.  If you are not connected then you don't get the notice.  At times there is no phone service available to you (of course you would need your cell to call anyway unless you are in a hotel) and thus email or web is your only communication choice.

No matter what mode of travel you are using a cell phone or connection seems to be commonly needed.

How to reduce the impact of roaming?

  • The first thing that most people count on to reduce the impact of roaming is to use public WiFi hotspots to connect their device.  This can be in a hotel lobby, a restaurant or public building.  Sometimes free connections are available at transportation hubs or other open locations.  

  • Using an internet cafe or public interent service is also an option.  Of course in this instance there will be some charge for the connectivity but it will most likely be substantailly less than a roaming charge on your mobile device.

  • Checking about availability of WiFi connections, Free or Paid, when making hotel, resort or cruise reservations can help deal with the online need.  Sometimes the free service is pretty poor and an upgrade has to be purchased to do anything useful but for basic use it might be enough.

  • Pre plan your roaming needs and book a roaming package from your mobile carrier before you go away.  This is usually substantially less costly than just using a pay as you go roaming service from your carrier.  Unfortuanately, Canadian carriers see this kind of roaming upgrade as a way to pick up additional dollars from contract customers and the charges can still be significant.

  • Purchase a mobile 'sim' card in the location where you are travelling that can be put into your mobile device and thereby use the local service rather than your home carrier as your new phone and data service.  This can be the cheapest route but your device will need to be compatible with the local service and your device will need to be unlocked so the new sim can take effect.

  • Buy a prepaid phone in the location where you are travelling and use the local services. The challenge with this is you change phone number and it will most likely not support other connectivity you might need.  Check whether it can serve as a hotspot (some will not and some laptops or tablets may not work with a device) if you wish to use it as a connection tool beyond its own features.

An interesting option I found

In searching for a way to provide connectivity for several devices on an extended trip I came across a service called KeepGo.  This service operates in two ways.  

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Topics: cost of internet, digital tools, Canadian IT

Online Sales Compliment Offline Sales

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 @ 07:02 AM

Canada was predicted to have approximately $26.83 billion in online sales in 2015 representing almost a seventeen percent increase over the previous year.  Of course part of this is fueled by people taking less time to shop, new services being offered by retailers like online grocery purchasing (then pick up on a predetermined time at the store or other location), as provided by Loblaws at their Click and Collect locations and also due to tools for easing returns when products don't match expectations.

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Topics: technology tools, sales, Canadian IT

Encrypting Corporate Data

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 07:01 AM

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Topics: Canadian IT, encryption