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The pros and cons of beacons in Canadian retail environments

Seven career-boosting Agile certifications and why you should visit Montreal this fall

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Marketers, retailers cautioned on using beacon technology

A new report from the Canadian Marketing Association and loyalty marketing program company LoyaltyOne indicated more Canadian shoppers are willing to use beacon technology but suggested marketers and retailers should be careful with using the technology.

Beacon technology allows retailers to detect mobile devices and engage in so-called background positioning of their products and services. Instead of having their brands limited to shelf displays, marketers and retailers are able to deliver personalized communications about products and campaigns to a shopper’s mobile device.

As many as 56% of shoppers surveyed admitted they used beacon technology at some point while shopping and about 80% of shoppers are aware of beacons and location-based service (LBS).

Marketers and retailers, however, should avoid going over using beacons and LBS, according to Michael Cohen, director of mobile API and analytics innovation at LoyaltyOne.

The study found the frequency of LBS is a leading reason why shoppers uninstall or opt-out of receiving beacon messages.

Cool tools at AWS re:Invent 2015 

At the Amazon Web Service re:Invent 2015 infrastructure-as-a-service  conference in Las Vegas, cloud vendors unpacked a bevy of new and enhanced products and services aimed at various verticals.

For example, CloudHealth Technologies offers a cloud management solution that provides users visibility as well as governance ability for cost, performance, availability, new service integration and security from a single, consolidated dashboard.

AppZero users can rapidly create containers from Windows server applications and “modernize” existing applications to a newer OS and infrastructure without building or reinstalling.

Check out 47 more Web tools and services here

Rev up your career

Lean, Scrum, Kanban, and Crystal are a just a few of the Agile flavors that have sprung up in the last decade following the introduction of the software and project management methodology that focuses on evolutionary development, early delivery and collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.

Agile adoption in the enterprise has raised the demand for IT professionals fluent in the methodology.

Here’s a brief slideshow that walks you through seven Agile-focused certifications worth looking into if you intend to take your career to the next level.

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Allstream Morning Trends in Montreal

Smoked meats, European ambiance, and a lively nightlife scene are not the only reasons to visit Montreal this fall.

Over the next two months, business and technology executive will have the unique opportunity to soak up ideas from innovative entrepreneurs and prominent industry thought leaders as they speak about current trends, strategies, developments and challenges affecting their respective sectors during the Allstream Morning Trends sessions this season.

On October 6, Yvan Gauthier, president and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montreal already spoke about major trends in key sector of the city during the session entitled: It’s Time To Talk about Greater Montreal’s Vital Signs!

However, there’s still enough time to catch two more sessions:

October 15: Lilianna Pereša, President and Director générale de Centraide of Greater Montreal, will present the results of the organization’s recent strategic planning and an action plan it has implemented to meet its long-term objectives. This will also be an opportunity to learn about social development as a driving force within Greater Montreal and to explore more innovative partnerships

November 4: Michael Medline, President and CEO of Canadian Tire Ltd. will offer a look inside one of the fastest growing companies in Canada as it builds on its success in the retail sector to financial services

The secret weapon against breaches

Regardless of last year’s deluge of media reports concerning hacker attacks on high-profile retailers, analysis released by risk assessment services firm BitSight indicates that retail security is better than other sectors such as health care, energy, and utilities.

This doesn’t mean that merchants can rest easy. Actually a number or trade organizations have formed the Retail Cyber-Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) in order to collect and share security best practices.

One marketing expert, however, said that part of the problem may be that companies are not exerting more effort in training staff to develop the right security attitudes

Shane Schick suggests that CIOs focus on the human factor by developing strategies that empower staff to keep information secure.

Three ways to SIP

Have you ever thought of trains and vehicle sharing services when session initiation protocol (SIP) deployment options are discussed?

Keeping in mind that network technology should carry data swiftly, securely and flexibly, journalist Stefan Dubowsky was reminded by a recent Webinar on  SIP and UCaaS of the real-world travel choices we make.

When David Stein, principal of Stein Technology Consulting discussed three potential architectures for SIP deployment, Dubowski was thinking public transit, private vehicles, and Ottawa’s VRTUCAR.

Putting your budget planning on the fast track

For many organizations, Fall is the time to plan for next year’s IT budget. However, a recent post by Vawn Himmelsbach recommends being a bit more proactive.

For instance, consider starting your 2017 budget right after you turn in your 2016 draft. This provides you a longer lead time to determine what items are needed and which ones are important.

Budget proposals should also frame items in terms of their value for the business. One way of doing this is by providing a worst-case scenario and list of associated costs with not having the item.

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