Vol 3, #03, Jan. 18, 2011
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January 18, 2011


Anduro, communicatto offer Calgary Quickinars
MDA provides spacecraft solutions for Orbit

Crossroads/CTS announce ComStar partnership
Scion launches online virtual driving game
The Co-operators debut online quoting system
Shorts in the City adds online video content

Canon Canada unveils eCopy ShareScan 5
Videotron, Tata sign sourcing agreement
Mobilicity opposes CWTA on customer protection

Anduro, communicatto offer Calgary Quickinars

Social media is taking the business world by storm.   Calgary   businesses are no exception. The problem is corporate communicators and business owners aren't sure how to fold social media marketing and public relations into their overall media mix. That's where Quickinars come in.

Quickinars are quick seminars for business, mainly on social media and Internet marketing topics.

This new seminar series is a joint production of Anduro Marketing, Calgary's premier   Internet marketing firm, and communicatto, Calgary's preferred boutique social media agency. Anduro President Jeff Nelson and communicatto President Doug Lacombe, both Internet veterans and long-time educators, will lead the seminars.

"There's a strong drive for business people to develop or enhance their social media skills," says Nelson. "Until now there's been a gap in this market as to acquiring those skills, and busy communicators have no time or appetite for trial and error."

An array of topics, from developing a social media strategy to proper use of Facebook fan pages, Twitter, YouTube, and best blogging practices are scheduled between now and   March 2011 . Sessions are half or full day, are generally limited to twenty or fewer people, and, with early bird discounts, start as low as $249 plus fees for a half day session. Full details are at quickinars.eventbrite.com.

"We wanted to make Quickinars informative, interactive and practical," says Lacombe. "Professionals should expect to have their social media questions answered and to walk away with quite a bit of information and follow up resources."

Quickinars was born out of the intense market demand Calgary is currently experiencing for social media information.

"So many people were asking so many social media questions, we just couldn't satisfy them one at a time," says Lacombe. "Exactly," concurs Nelson "it just made sense to help people climb this learning curve in small, personal groups. We ran a trial course in November that was a huge success. In the feedback forms one attendee said they brought back several ideas to their supervisor who was 'psyched' and they would be incorporating lessons learned to strengthen their communications. To see this information put to good use is very satisfying to us as educators." Top of Page

MDA provides spacecraft solutions for Orbit

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., a provider of essential information solutions, has announced that it has signed a multi-million dollar contract amendment exercising an option on the contract announced   January 19, 2010 . MDA will provide Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) with solutions to enable capture and mating of the Cygnus cargo delivery spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The Cygnus(TM) spacecraft is being developed by Orbital under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Space Act Agreement with NASA. Several operational missions are expected to be conducted by Orbital in the coming years. MDA's proprietary, industry solution will be used to effect the berthing. Top of Page

Crossroads/CTS announce ComStar partnership

Crossroads/CTS are pleased to announce a partnership with U.S. based ComStar Media LLC. ComStar Media is the operator of two well known television networks, the faith and values Family Net and the family friendly American Life, reaching over 40 million homes.

ComStar principals are  Chairman Dr. Robert A. Schuller (formerly Pastor of the Crystal Cathedral), and CEO  Chris Wyatt, the founder of several social media networks, including GodTube, the fastest growing website of 2007.

The transaction, which includes an investment in ComStar's broadcasting arm, ComStar Networks, LLC, provides CTS with exclusive Canadian rights to the media libraries of Family Net and American Life which include family-values entertainment as well as ministry programming. It also enables Crossroads/CTS to deploy ComStar's social media technology.

Additionally, this new agreement allows for programs produced by Crossroads/CTS to be licensed for broadcast on ComStar's growing networks and opens the door for future co-production between these leading faith-based media companies. 

Dr. Robert A. Schuller   explains, "This exciting new partnership between ComStar and Crossroads/CTS will allow us to extend our reach by offering our award winning media library to the largest Christian Broadcaster in   Canada.   Mr. Simmonds  and I share the vision for the future of Christian television programming, which includes a more sustainable economic model. We're thrilled to take part in the next generation of television." Top of Page

Scion launches online virtual driving game

Scion is challenging drivers to "Take on The Machine" at Canadian auto shows as they launch the Augmented Reality tC Racing Game and give away incredible prizes including the grand prize of a 2011 Scion tC Urban Sports Coupe.

"This is our challenge to Canadian Scion enthusiasts to try and clock the fastest time through our city in this exciting virtual driving game," said   Larry Hutchinson , Director of Scion in   Canada . "We feel that this is a unique, interactive way for the Scion community to have some fun - and compete to drive home a brand new 2011 Scion tC."

Scion enthusiasts can even continue to play at home online to try to improve their ranking and unlock even better tC machines. What's more, global top scores will be posted on our leaderboard on the game web site and on facebook, so results can be shared with friends. Scion Gear is also available as prizes to contestants.

"Take on The Machine" launches at the   Montreal   International Auto Show, January 14-23. Canadians can compete in   Montreal   and at auto shows across the country, including:

  • Canadian International Auto Show ( Toronto   ON ): February 18-27
  • Calgary   International Auto & Truck Show ( Calgary   AB ): March 9-13
  • Salon de l'auto de Québec ( Québec City QC): March 17-20
  • Vancouver   International Auto Show ( Vancouver   BC ): March 29-April 3
  • Edmonton   Motor Show ( Edmonton   AB ): April 14-17

Enthusiasts can view full contest details and compete online by visiting   http://machine.scionnation.ca/. The checkered flag waves to close the contest April 25, 2011. Top of Page

The Co-operators debut online quoting system

The Co-operators has launched an online quoting system for term life insurance through its corporate website,   www.cooperators.ca . The addition of term life online quotes means that consumers will be able to easily obtain quotes for the three most popular individual insurance products, as auto and home insurance are already at   www.cooperators.ca.

"The Co-operators vision is to provide Canadians with the financial security products and services they need, when they need them and however they wish to buy them," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "By expanding our online quote service to include more products, we're making it easier for people to do business with us on their own terms."

Over 51,000 quotes have been generated since The Co-operators began offering home and auto insurance quoting through its website in 2009. The benefits of a robust online quoting system include a better overall online experience for consumers and improved efficiency for sales agencies. The term life quoting system is accompanied by a simple needs calculator designed to help visitors estimate their coverage needs.

Consumers can log on to www.cooperators.ca to easily obtain home, auto and term life quotes anywhere in Canada . The system does not currently offer quotes for life insurance products other than term life. Top of Page

Shorts in the City adds online video content

Rogers Media is releasing new and exclusive online video content through Shorts in the City, a Citytv.com programming initiative. Shorts in the City, the multi-screen and multi-platform program, has been offering Canadians the largest selection of web series since its launch in May of 2010, online, on the iPad and on the iPhone.

The new release of Shorts in the City will offer programming from both Canadian and international leaders in digital content. Fourteen new titles have been added to the existing lineup, and include a mix of comedy, animation, thrillers, sci-fi and drama.

The new and exclusive titles include the popular vampire web series, Valemont, and the ground-breaking British series Who Killed Summer. Added to the already popular   Dilbert animation series are The New Yorker Cartoons and Happy Tree Friends. New exclusive titles from Vuguru, Michael Eisner's independent studio in which Rogers is an investor, premiere later this spring and summer.

As part of the new release, Rogers Media is proud to partner with the Canadian Film Centre in the multi-platform release of the CFC's critically acclaimed short films, available for the first time on iPhone, iPad and online. The five titles included in this release are:   RedVelvet Girls , Song of Slomon, Sadness of Johnson Joe Jangles, Cursing Hanley and Prey. More titles from the Canadian Film Centre will be released at a later date.

To complete the line up, Rogers Media has released some viewers' favourite videos from the much-beloved Citytv series' Speaker's Corner. It will contain a compilation of over 30 video shorts from what could be considered the original user generated content program.
Top of Page

Canon Canada unveils eCopy ShareScan 5

With businesses and IT professionals across the country seeking to uncover and reduce the costs associated with managing information and improving information security, Canon   Canada, a leader in digital imaging, today announced the availability of the Nuance eCopy ShareScan 5 document automation software application. Featuring an array of user-friendly functions, eCopy ShareScan 5 adds innovative, personalized scan and workflow features, including automated document and forms processing - allowing office workers the ability to turn paper into automated digital information.

eCopy ShareScan 5 takes full advantage of the capabilities of Canon's imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction products and imageFORMULA ScanFront 220e/220eP scanning solutions by giving knowledge workers the flexibility to automate repeatable business activities by extracting the important information contained on paper and processing it electronically through the appropriate back-end system. 

"With many businesses seeking new ways to reduce costs and improve productivity, Canon is pleased to offer the latest version of eCopy ShareScan 5," said   Ian Macfarlane, Vice President of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon   Canada  Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc. "As a result of Canon's long-term relationship with Nuance, the new version achieves a deep integration with Canon's office solutions resulting in greater ease-of-use and more efficient end-user performance for our customers." Top of Page

Videotron, Tata sign sourcing agreement

Tata Communications, a global communications service provider and Videotron, one of Canada's largest integrated communications companies, have announced that they have signed a mutually beneficial sourcing agreement.

Under this agreement, Videotron will route 100% of its international voice traffic through Tata Communications network and Videotron will continue to be one of Tata Communications' key suppliers of telecommunication services in Canada.

This is a win-win partnership for both companies. Through it, Tata Communications will become Videotron's sole provider of international voice termination. By tapping into Tata Communications' extensive and robust voice infrastructure, Videotron will be able to offer its customers higher quality international calls at competitive rates. Tata Communications' advanced voice traffic management tools will also allow Videotron to effectively manage operational costs and increase focus on its core businesses and key growth areas.

Tata Communications' strategic voice traffic outsourcing enables providers to leverage Tata Communications' scale and routing expertise while reducing their exposure in the low-margin, high-risk international voice termination business.

According to  Courtney Munroe, Group Vice President of Worldwide Telecommunications Research at IDC, "This agreement is another great win for Tata Communications, which has emerged as a leader in the provision of global wholesale voice services."

Jean Novak, President Videotron Business Solutions, said: "Tata Communications is a recognized leader in the international wholesale voice business, with the most extensive network globally, making it a perfect partner to help us achieve economies of scale. We are confident this partnership will provide enhanced international call service quality to our subscribers, boosting our standing in the market place and cementing our position as one of Canada's leading telecommunication providers." Top of Page

Mobilicity opposes CWTA on customer protection

Mobilicity has said it opposed the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Associations' (CWTA) position on consumer protection for wireless users in Manitoba.

"We deeply disagree with the CWTA's disregard for the need for more consumer protection not only in the province of Manitoba, but right across our country," said Mobilicity President and CEO   Dave Dobbin  in response to the CWTA's submission on the Manitoba Consumer Protection Office's Public Consultation Paper:   Improving Consumer Protection on Cell Phone/Wireless Contracts).

"We are exceptionally disappointed with the CWTA's lack of foresight in continuing to act only in the interests of the Big Three wireless oligopoly," added Dobbin. "As members of the CWTA, we repeatedly voiced our opposition to its submission to no avail."

In its submission, the CWTA contends that "consumers are better served by open competitive markets and a self-regulated wireless industry with a strong Code of Conduct." Mobilicity believes that this self-regulating Code of Conduct has proven completely ineffective in protecting consumers.

More consumer protection needed

Canadian grievances with wireless companies grew by over 15 per cent in the last year, according to Canada's Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services.

Mobilicity strongly supports the need for more protection of wireless consumers and has encouraged provincial governments to explore the introduction of consumer protective legislation similar to that enforced by the province of   Quebec  and being considered by the province of Ontario.

Quebec 's Bill 60 helps protect consumers by restricting the use of anti-consumer tactics and ensuring wireless users are able to make informed decisions. The Bill requires carriers to provide upfront disclosure on items, including monthly rates, costs for optional services, and early contract termination fees. It also puts reasonable limits on early termination fees.

In  November 2010, Ontario MPP David Orazietti introduced legislation to end unfair practices by wireless carriers by providing clear disclosure of all optional and mandatory services and contract cancellation penalties. The legislation would also limit contract termination fees, among other provisions.  Top of Page