AI News

Coffee Briefing Feb. 13 – TD trains employees using VR; Galaxy Broadband provides satellite services to Shared Services Canada; Canada ranks 14th globally in mobile network reliability; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team! 

Missed the last Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

TD uses VR to train branch employees

TD has announced that it has started using virtual reality (VR) to simulate challenging customer interactions for branch employees and train them on how to handle them. Ten branches in Etobicoke, Ont. and 10 in Alberta South are participating in a pilot that will run until May.

The VR experience is completely immersive, TD said. “As soon as you put the headset on, you find yourself standing behind the counter at a virtual TD branch. You’re approached by a customer who is stressed about a cheque hold and you’re tasked with easing the situation and finding a solution. The simulation teaches you our best practices for easing difficult interactions, what cheque holds are and what alternatives make funds immediately available for customers.

“We’re introducing this new type of training because we know it’s hard to learn how to handle these interactions without experience. Now, our branch employees can build it up in a safe space, where they can make mistakes and learn from them so they’re ready when they encounter the real thing. The feedback has been incredible: Almost all our employees have said their ability to retain the information is high and that VR has been more effective than traditional training for them.”

VentureLAB launches seventh cohort of its Hardware Catalyst Initiative

Nineteen companies have been accepted into the seventh cohort of ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative, a competitive program that, it says, “is designed to propel the development of hardware and semiconductor-focused innovations, empowering Canadian companies to thrive, expand, and shape the technologies of the future.”

The largest cohort to date includes companies developing innovations in medtech and life sciences, automobility, advanced material and manufacturing, cleantech, digital media and ICT, mining, and first responder tech.

Funded in part by the federal government through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products. The initiative accelerates time-to-market for tech startups and enables Canadian companies to grow locally and compete globally through four pillars: raising capital, retaining talent, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition.

Galaxy Broadband Communications wins Shared Services Canada contract

Galaxy Broadband Communications, which provides enterprise customers across North America with satellite communications, managed services and remote connectivity offerings, has announced that it has been awarded a multi-year contract to provide Shared Services Canada, a department of the Government of Canada, with Eutelsat OneWeb’s low Earth orbit enterprise satellite services.

Work has already begun to implement service at several sites for multiple departments and agencies, the company said in a release, and this roll out is expected to accelerate over the next several months.

Eutelsat OneWeb is able to offer high-speed connectivity via its global low Earth orbit satellite network to a variety of applications, ranging, in this case, from government offices operating in remote regions to a wide range of industrial and on-the-move vehicles on land, and at sea, or infrastructure operating in areas with no traditional coverage from terrestrial or cellular providers.

This is the third contract that Galaxy has been awarded for the provision of satellite services to Shared Services Canada. Galaxy currently provides Ku-band and Ka-band connectivity to several departments and agencies of the government of Canada, including the Royal Canadian Navy, the Department of National Defence, Environment Canada, Parks Canada, and others.

New numeracy program aims to help Canadian build math skills

National literacy organization ABC Life Literacy Canada has announced the launch of its newest program, ABC Everyday Numbers. ABC Everyday Numbers is a numeracy program that offers free resources and workshops to adult learners looking to improve their math skills.

The federal government’s Skills for Success model defines numeracy as “the ability to find, use, and report mathematical information presented through words, numbers, symbols, and graphics. Numeracy skills are used in daily life such as figuring out how many minutes until a train departs, increasing a recipe to serve extra guests, and checking that the correct change was received after a purchase.”

ABC Everyday Numbers aims to increase Canadians’ numeracy skills and math confidence through free resources, online courses, and workshops, the company said in a release.

The first workbook titled “Playing with patterns” is currently available and additional workbooks, and online courses on the ABC Skills Hub, will launch in the following months. The program is also available for adult literacy practitioners who are teaching math skills and may not be trained foundational math instructors. Practitioners who want to bring ABC Everyday Numbers to their community, can sign up to host workshops, receive printed workbooks, and access online facilitator training.

Canada is 14th globally in mobile reliability: Opensignal

Research from Opensignal has revealed that Canada ranks 14th in the world in mobile network reliability, slightly behind the U.S., which was number 12. Reliability Experience measures to what extent users stay consistently connected to their mobile network and whether they can continue to do typical tasks like email, watching videos, and using navigation apps while connected, the company said in a release, noting, “Reliability Experience therefore measures every aspect of the user’s experience of their carrier’s mobile data network: when it’s working flawlessly, when it’s working erratically, and when you can’t connect at all.”

It added, “The Opensignal approach towards reliability is more user-centric than network operators’ internal views of reliability. A network operator is likely to consider their network ‘reliable’ if there is zero downtime, but an end-user wouldn’t find it reliable if they can’t send an email, exchange instant messages, use their device for navigation or browse simple websites.”

It also found that consumers rank reliability second only to cost in importance when they’re choosing a wireless carrier.

More to explore

Montreal duo launch free cybersecurity training platform

Two childhood friends, both of whom are entrepreneurs based in Montreal, today launched Cyber101, a platform that offers organizations a chance to educate their employees about cybersecurity best practices free of charge, in both English and French.

Government departments ignored management practices, failed to oversee ArriveCan app: Auditor General

Three federal government agencies failed to follow good management practices in the contracting, development, and implementation of the $59.5 million ArriveCAN application, Canada’s auditor general said today.

Google launches Bard GenAI in Canada, rebrands it to Gemini

Google has announced that its generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) chatbot, Bard, is now available to Canadians, in both English and French. At the same time, it announced that Bard has been renamed Gemini.

Meta may not bring some products to Canada unless proposed AI law changed, Parliament told

Officials from four of the biggest tech companies in the world — Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Meta — largely offered polite criticism of the country’s proposed artificial intelligence law to Canadian parliamentarians for over an hour at a hearing Wednesday.

Info-Tech report outlines 5 GenAI initiatives CIOs must key in on

As generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) continues to reshape the digital landscape, CIOs and IT leaders are at a pivotal point, tasked with navigating the profound opportunities and challenges this disruptive technology presents, a new report from Info-Tech Research Group concludes.

Tech sector navigating layoffs while riding GenAI wave, says GlobalData

The technology industry, says GlobaData, has already witnessed substantial changes in 2024, including layoffs by big companies such as Google, Amazon and Meta, a trend, it adds, that began last year, affecting over 191,000 employees, driven by factors like post-COVID-19 pandemic adjustments and a focus on emerging tech like artificial intelligence (AI).

Channel Bytes February 9, 2024 – Cohesity acquires Veritas data protection business; Delinea acquires Authomize; Dell enhances partner program; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.


Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Federal procurement has massive overrun: Hashtag Tending, Tuesday February 13, 2024

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, Feb. 12, 2024 – US seizes a website selling the Warzone malware Translate from


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *