Vol 2, #42, Oct. 19, 2010
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October 19, 2010


New Visa debit card facilitates online purchases
MyThum up for two Mobile Marketing Awards
Canadian programmer wins top design tourney
Bell debuts secure internet service for small biz
henderson bas CEO makes Profit's W100 list
Agilysys Inc. launches expert technology blog
AQT offers 33 free memberships for startups
Kids Help Phone microsite makes an impression
Emphasis on interactive transforming newswire

New Visa debit card facilitates online purchases

Visa Canada has announced launch of the company's first debit cards in the Canadian marketplace. CIBC is the first Canadian issuer to offer Visa Debit through its CIBC Advantage Card, which will be available in branches beginning today. In Canada, the CIBC Advantage Card will provide Canadian consumers with the ability to shop widely online, by phone or mail and in more than 200 countries and territories around the world using funds directly from their bank accounts. 

"Visa has supported the adoption of debit as a convenient and secure payment alternative for consumers and businesses around the globe for more than 20 years, and we are pleased to bring more choice and added benefits to Canadian consumers with the introduction of Visa Debit," said Tim Wilson, Head of Visa Canada. "Visa Debit's expanded functionality enables consumers to shop online, over the phone, in-store at millions of merchant locations internationally, or to set-up recurring bill payments - with all the security features and protections that come with using a Visa card."

According to a recent Visa survey, 70 percent of Canadian consumers expressed interest in a debit card that enabled them to purchase goods and services online. 65 percent of Canadians want to use their debit card when shopping in the   United States  and internationally.  Top of Page

MyThum up for two Mobile Marketing Awards

MyThum Interactive has once again been recognized by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), with two nominations for the Sixth Annual Global Mobile Marketing Awards, to be handed out November 17 in Los Angeles.

MyThum’s work with Molson Coors was selected among the top three North American finalists in two categories: Best Use of Mobile Marketing – Relationship Building and Best Use of Mobile Marketing – Promotion.

The Promotion category includes MyThum’s first nomination for its mobile application work. Molson Canadian’s “Seize the Summer” was the first multiplatform mobile application in Canada to offer extended two-way integration with Facebook. Throughout the summer, participants earned virtual badges every time they enjoyed Canadian summer activities, then shared their badges through the social media network. The app was tied into a contest, with every badge posted giving the participant a chance to win a cross-country trip. Twenty percent of engagement during the contest was driven through downloads of the mobile application. Top of Page

Canadian programmer wins top design tourney

Michael Paweska of Toronto, Canada, is the Design Competition Champion of the 2010 TopCoder Open (TCO), the world's foremost competitive computer programming and creative design tournament.

Know by his TopCoder Community handle 'argolite', Paweska faced top rated programmers from Ukraine, Indonesia, Italy, Romania, India China, and the Russian Federation, and earned $20,000 first prize for his win in a design competition that required greater time than previous championship design competitions.

"This year's TCO format was very favourable to the way I operate—this was a true marathon of a design competition," said Paweska. "The really cool thing is to see all the new talent here. It bodes well for the kind of quality competitions we can expect in the future."

Michael Paweska is one of the most successful TopCoder members of all time, having earned nearly $1 million in winnings during his eight years of TopCoder participation. Paweska's brother and fellow Canadian Piotr Paweska, aka AleaActEst, was also a finalist in the competition. Top of Page

Bell debuts secure internet service for small biz

Bell has launched a secure Internet solution called Bell Internet Protect powered by McAfee for Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The service combines both email and Internet security, enabling business customers to manage their own security services.

Bell Internet Protect powered by McAfee  has extensive capabilities: online protection for computers, servers and email against security threats such as viruses, spyware and more; firewalls for desktop computers; secure searches, Website blocking and filtering; vulnerability analysis of Web services; compliance with the PCI (Payment Cards Industry) standard; email security services through McAfee-hosted servers; messaging server security; and a management console that centralizes installation and configuration activities along with report production, updates and group management.

"Ease of use, top-notch solutions and a security administration portal make Bell Internet Protect powered by McAfee a first-class product for small and medium businesses," said   Peter Kerr, Vice-President - Marketing, Bell Business Markets. "Our partnership with McAfee is in line with our commitment to deliver corporate-class, value-added solutions to our SME customers."

"We're helping Bell bring big business protection to small and medium businesses," said   Ross Allen, senior vice president,   Canada  and Northeast   United States, McAfee, Inc. "Partnering with Bell enables us to bring the strongest possible protection to this market, allowing SMEs to focus on their business and leave the security to us."  Top of Page

henderson bas CEO makes Profit's W100 list

Dawna Henderson, President & CEO of interactive agency henderson bas, has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs by Profit magazine for the 7 th consecutive year. The 12 th annual PROFIT W100 list showcases 100 enterprising women entrepreneurs who are delivering world-class products and services — and reaping the rewards.

“The 2010 Profit W100 are ambitious, savvy business leaders who defy stereotypes,” says Ian Portsmouth, Editor of Profit. “ Canada’s top women entrepreneurs deserve the highest praise for their ability to spot opportunity and grow profitably.”

Ranking Canada’s top women entrepreneurs on a composite score based on the size, growth rate and profitability of their businesses, the Profit W100 profiles the country’s most successful female business owners. Published in the November issue of Profit and online at www.profitguide.com, the Profit W100 is Canada’s largest annual celebration of entrepreneurial achievement by women. Henderson now ranks 18 th in the prestigious top 100 list.

“This is my 7th year on the list and every year I am delighted to be part of this great group of women,” said Dawna Henderson. “Changes in technology are creating new opportunities and opening more doors and it is a great time for women to take advantage of them. The award is not only a testament to the great work we put out but also serves an inspiration to women entrepreneurs out there.” Top of Page

Agilysys Inc. launches expert technology blog

Agilysys, Inc.’s Technology Solutions Group (TSG) is launching its first-ever technology blog series. Located at  http://www.agilysysnews.com, the blogs will feature three columns based on different technologies and will be authored by Agilysys subject matter experts who will post their insights in the fields of storage, backup and recovery, and general technology.

"Although launching a blog is not a new concept, it is a first for us and part of our aim to achieving the level of engagement, transparency and accessibility that our customers, partners and vendors should expect from their business partners," said Tony Mellina, senior vice president and general manager of Agilysys TSG. "Our brightest technologists are genuinely interested in speaking from the heart about their deep expertise, which has been gained from building solutions for companies all over the U.S.,   Canada  and the   United Kingdom. It will be a thrill for us to engage in a dialogue with our customers and partners as we discuss what's at the center of business technology today."

To help further this goal, Agilysys has also launched an Online Newsroom, as well as a new presence on Twitter (@AgilysysTSG). Agilysys has actively used Vimeo and Facebook to showcase its Tete-A-Tech video series, which features a variety of business technology products designed to educate and enlighten IT professionals in five- to seven-minute video clips. The series highlights experts from Agilysys locations around the country and covers topics from Increasing Mobility and ROI with Desktop Virtualization to Making Storage Leaner, Greener and Faster.

The Company will be using its technology blogs to further extend its reach and accessibility, with future blogs planned in additional areas of expertise, such as security, virtualization and cloud computing. Top of Page

AQT offers 33 free memberships for startups

The Quebec Technology Association (AQT) has issued an invitation to all leaders and partners in the information and communications technology sector to recommend candidates for the second edition of its 1-2-3 GO! program. Each year, this program allows 33 start-ups to receive a free membership in the association, which includes a targeted support program and substantial savings on registration fees for other networking and development opportunities available through the AQT Accelerator.

“We give out 33 free memberships per year, each worth $350, based on the recommendations of our members who are eager to see new companies have the opportunity to learn from experienced leaders. This helps recipients avoid potentially costly errors along the way, particularly during their growth stages,” explained Nicole Martel, Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Technology Association.

Four companies from the 2009 cohort became regular members of the AQT, while others have been advised of their continued participation in the program. There are still many spots open in the 2010 cohort. These spots will be given to start-ups that provide ICT solutions and/or services with no more than 3 employees, that have been in business less than 3 years, and that have demonstrated their enthusiasm for the program.

One of last year’s recipients whose company became a regular AQT member had high praise for the program. In summing up his experience, Jonathan Stoikovitch, President of Sosign Interactive, said “within a few short months, AQT became a driving force for me. Their advice helped me find the best resources. I was introduced to people who have a great deal more entrepreneurial experience. I have absolutely no doubt that I saved a lot of time.”

Start-ups have until October 29, 2010 to apply by filling in the form available on the Association's website. Requests for information should be directed to Patrick Gouin at 514-874-2667 ext. 106 or pgouin@aqt.ca.
Top of Page

Kids Help Phone microsite makes an impression

Stephen Thomas Ltd (ST), a full-service, marketing, communications and fundraising agency, has been recognized with an ECHO Leader Award, one of the advertising industries most coveted honours. 

“Every year, entries are submitted for the International ECHO Awards from all over the world,” said Neil Gallaiford, President & CEO, Stephen Thomas Ltd.  “This year, ST was proud to submit an integrated campaign for Kids Help Phone called Buy a Kid Some Time. The results for this innovative campaign were stellar and we are thrilled to report that it has won a coveted 2010 International ECHO Leader Award.”

The ECHO Awards is the only awards competition that honours campaigns that have the power to transform business and represent the pinnacle of marketing excellence.  ECHO winning campaigns stand as models for what direct marketers will strive for in the years ahead — responsive to clients, engaged with customers, focused and accountable for measurable outcomes that exceed expectations.

“While we’re thrilled to be recognized by a global judging committee, and we’re proud of the results generated by this campaign and the fact that because of this campaign, kids at risk have someone to call whenever they need help,” said Anthony Keating, National Manager, Kids Help Phone. “The response exceeded expectations by generating more than two and a half times the previous year’s revenue and increasing our donors by 132%.”

The Buy a Kid Some Time campaign for Kids Help Phone consisted of a micro-site (www.buyakidsometime.ca) featuring an emotional, evocative video to showcase the urgency of the need and to inspire action.  Emails drove traffic to the campaign micro-site and a customized virtual catalogue for donations. The primary call to action was to “buy time” online.  Additional media supported the campaign including a national full-page ad in the Globe and Mail, and out of home digital ads (mini-versions of the micro-site video) that appeared on various superboards across Toronto at major intersections and commuter transit stations. Top of Page

Emphasis on interactive transforming newswire

The public relations community has embraced the social media release as the natural evolution from plain text to the multimedia platforms of the Internet. Since launching in 2008, CNW’s Social media release has seen staggering growth - 257% year-over-year. In September 2010 alone, CNW produced as many social media releases as it did in the entire first year it offered the service (August 2008 to August 2009). This rapid growth reflects clients’ response to the media’s demands for multimedia content to satisfy a growing web and social media audience, and is a clear indicator of the future direction of CNW.

“We’re encouraged to see clients embracing multimedia and distributing their news through the social media release platform,” commented Carolyn McGill-Davidson, President and CEO, CNW Group. “This trend is validation of our push to evolve the newswire service beyond plain text; to deliver ever richer and more engaging content for newsrooms and online consumers everywhere.”

The process of news making has changed dramatically in the past several years as both traditional news outlets working on the web and new media publications such as blogs seek to publish multimedia content. A natural evolution of the traditional, text-only news release, the social media release takes advantage of web technology to package all the components of a complete story into a format designed to serve the changing needs of traditional reporters, bloggers and direct news consumers. CNW’s social media release platform allows organizations to publish text, audio, photography and video content in a single online package and gives visitors access to a host of social sharing features.

As an example, on Oct 4, 2010, CNW produced a successful social media release for the Ontario Science Centre, promoting the centre’s upcoming Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit. The playful announcement of a rumoured unicorn sighting in Toronto’s Don Valley drew more than 11,000 page views within 24 hours, with visitors coming from all over the world. Included video footage of the alleged unicorn aired on television news programs, was embedded on traditional media websites and blogs, and was shared on social media sites Facebook and Twitter, far and wide.

“CNW Social Media Releases are attracting a high level of online traffic and engagement, demonstrating that the media, news consumers and consumers are seeking out this type of rich multimedia content,“ said Nicole Guillot, Vice President, Operations and Product Management. Top of Page