Office Document Strategies Blog

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

2015 Canadian IT Data Breaches Hit Big and Small Firms

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 @ 08:12 AM

When a big IT data breach occurs there is lots of media coverage and we all hear some of the gory details on how serious the impact may be.  Unfortunately, we do not hear as much about the smaller breaches that also occur and that means that many companies do not work as hard as they should to protect their computer networks.  

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Topics: network security, IT Scams, Canadian IT

2016 Hiring Challenge For IT In Canada

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 09:12 AM

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Topics: Software, it, Canadian IT

New Government, New IT, Things To Consider

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 @ 09:11 AM

The Canadian IT World

A little over a month ago Canada elected a new majority government.  To say it has a different view of the country and the issues being faced than the previous one would be an understatement.  Already we can see that in some ways it is going to fundamentally change the way the country operates.  Whether those changes are for good, bad or are just different will only be known as time passes.  

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Topics: Canadian Legislation, it, Canadian IT

Good Practices From Highlights Of Canadian IT News

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 08:10 AM

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Topics: it, Canadian IT