Vol 2, #47, Nov. 23, 2010
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November 23, 2010


Symaptico.ca undergoes bilingual makeover
NATPE and nextMEDIA announce new partnership
Co-founder of Thindata 1:1 announces resignation
MDA to develop solutions for space exploration
Transcontinental Interactive makes its debut
SAND Technology makes Software 500 list
GE Healthcare named company of the year
Barrett Xplore Inc. founders join hall of fame
BCIC appoints Danny Robinson new CEO

Symaptico.ca undergoes bilingual makeover

After months of re-thinking design, ‘look and feel’ and site usability, Sympatico.ca proudly launches their new homepage for both its English and French portals. Offering an inviting and visually appealing new look, while serving content organized by major themes, the re-designed Sympatico.ca maintains the high-quality of information Canadians have become accustomed over the past 15 years now presented with a fresh new visual identity.

"As our portal evolved it was a natural next step to re-think usability for our readers and streamline the presentation of content by adding new sections and specialized content banners," said Michele Ferrari, Portal Content and Operations Director at Sympatico.ca. "Our challenge was to ensure all content was easily accessible for readers on landing, ultimately reducing the amount of time required to read through the sections and find what they were looking for. We realized that our homepage had become a bit ‘over-stuffed’ as the portal developed and we wanted to make it more airy and easily understood without reducing the amount of available content." she continues.

Through soliciting suggestions from the engaged users of Sympatico.ca a series of focus group meetings were conducted, alongside research on current web trends at international level. "We worked in collaboration with Pheromone, an agency specialized in internet strategy, to redesign our homepage and to re-think how it delivers daily content" says Michele Ferrari. “By increasing image size and reducing the amount of text on the page, we’ve re-organized our content features under four key themes – News, Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle. Simply put – the results are impressive!”

“Articles are now grouped into easy reference sections based on the feedback we’ve received from our readers. For example, our users let us know they like to keep an eye on the weather, popular news or our exclusive features – we listened and created visually appealing short-cuts to each right from the homepage. What’s more, is that our new photo gallery allows users to easily see the news in pictures as breaking or popular stories feature scrolling images with live links to the full article.” Michele Ferrari adds.

The new homepage for Sympatico.ca is a result of discussions and strategic planning which began last February. The final result: a landing page which communicates with clarity, optimized content presentation and a visually appealing look and feel to greets users when they access the page. "This new homepage is the first step in many other enhancements to follow in 2011. Sympatico.ca is a key part of everyday life for millions of Canadians and for us it is important that these changes take effect slowly and methodically so we maintain our relationship with, and the commitment of, our engaged readers.” Michele Ferrari concludes.

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NATPE and nextMEDIA announce new partnership

nextMEDIA, Canada's leading digital media conference, is proud to announce a strategic partnership with NATPE||Content First by launching two unique interactive entertainment programs at the upcoming NATPE 2011 Market and Conference in Miami, FL. The two programs – the Next Great App Competition and the Digital Launch Pad – will present NATPE delegates with showcases of the latest in digital media innovation.

"The television industry is in a period of rapid and exciting change," stated Rick Feldman, NATPE’s President & CEO during the announcement. "As the partnership between traditional broadcasting and interactive media continues to develop, people working within the industry are increasingly on the lookout for the next big tech solution or digital platform that will reach audiences in fresh and meaningful ways. That's what these programs will be bringing to NATPE–the future of interactive entertainment, all in one place."

Both the Next Great App Competition and the Digital Launch Pad will follow a competition showcase model, in which entrants will submit their innovative digital product or platform for the chance to be featured in a finalist showcase at NATPE.

"Not only will the finalists get exposure in front of broadcasters, agencies and production companies hungry for new digital partnerships," cited Jory Groberman, Executive Director of nextMEDIA. "Each and every entry will be reviewed by our panel of industry partners, all leaders in the interactive industry."

The submission deadline for both programs is December 3rd, 2010. Details on contest eligibility, prizes and the submission process can be found at www.nextmediaevents.com/natpe. Top of Page

Co-founder of Thindata 1:1 announces resignation

Chris Carder, President and Co-Founder of Thindata 1:1 has announced his resignation after 15 years at the helm of Canada’s largest email marketing services provider.

The firm was acquired in March of 2008 by Transcontinental Inc. and has enjoyed strong growth since – doubling its revenues and growing to a team of 110 staff at its Toronto offices.

The day-to-day business operations of Thindata 1:1 has been formally transferred to digital marketing veteran General Manager Scott Jamieson – who joined the firm 14 months ago as Carder’s chosen successor.

Carder will remain available on a consulting basis to Thindata 1:1 and Transcontinental through March of 2011 and offered the following statement:

“The past 3 years following our acquisition by Transcontinental and meeting The Marcoux Family have been an incredible experience and I believe strongly in the organization’s acquisition path, vision for the future and commitment to provide our clients with strategic marketing solutions that help them achieve all of their business goals.

Since our acquisition in 2008, we doubled the revenues of Thindata 1:1, expanded our offering into social media, data analytics and DM campaigns & continued to serve the market as the largest Email Service Provider in Canadian history.”

Carder also announced in January he will be selecting a portfolio of emerging digital firms and entrepreneurs who are seeking advice on generating high-growth, preparing for acquisition and negotiating their sale to larger organizations.

“I’m looking forward to working with a new generation of digital entrepreneurs and providing a helping hand – based on my own experiences with growing Thindata 1:1 and successfully selling to Transcontinental.”

His new website (ChrisCarder.com) will launch in early December. Top of Page

MDA to develop solutions for space exploration

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that it has signed an   $11.5 million  contract with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the design, development, build and test of advanced technology solutions under CSA's Exploration Surface Mobility Program.

Under the terms of the contract, MDA will develop two next-generation lunar rover prototypes to advance key enabling technologies in preparation for potential future international space exploration initiatives. These advanced prototypes will be integrated with a number of other Canadian technologies currently being developed under separate contracts, and collectively tested in an integrated field deployment at the end of 2012.

MDA will lead a team from Canada's academic, aerospace and vehicle sectors to perform the work. Top of Page

Transcontinental Interactive makes its debut

Transcontinental Inc. has announced that it has changed the name of its Marketing Communications Sector to Transcontinental Interactive. The sector's mission remains the same, which is to develop interactive marketing communication solutions based on digital technology.

The name change is the kick-off to the integration of sector operations. The sector has continued to develop since it was created in   November 2008, diversifying its offering and core competencies through a number of strategic acquisitions: Conversys, LIPSO, Premedia (Transcontinental Digital Services and Transcontinental Transmedia), Thindata 1:1, Rastar, Totem and Vortex Mobile. Now all grouped under Transcontinental Interactive, these entities are combining their forces to offer their customers marketing strategy and planning services, data analytics, premedia services, online direct marketing, one-to-one marketing, mobile marketing and custom communications, including custom publishing and the digital printing of marketing products.

"This change represents a turning point for our organization. The new name more accurately reflects our expertise and solutions. It also reflects our drive to become the leading provider of interactive marketing solutions in   North America," said   Christian Trudeau, President of Transcontinental Interactive. "Our customers lead in their markets. To ensure they remain in that enviable position, we are developing complete, intelligent and integrated campaigns for them that put them in relationship with their consumers."

For François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transcontinental Inc., the sector's name change is in line with Transcontinental's commitment to offering its customers fully integrated services. "With the Media Sector's outstanding content and strong brands, the Printing Sector's manufacturing excellence, and the new Interactive Sector's marketing communications solutions, Transcontinental Inc. is in a better position than ever to achieve its primary mission: helping our customers reach their target consumers more effectively."

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SAND Technology makes Software 500 list

SAND Technology Inc. has announced SAND's inclusion on Software Magazine's 2010 Software 500 list. SAND markets and develops SAND CDBMS, the world's most advanced column-oriented, bit vector database and the only database built from the ground up to support the volume, variety, and velocity of Extreme Data.

The Software 500 is a revenue-based ranking open to any public or private company in the Information Technology software space, as verified by Software Magazine's research team.

"We're very pleased that Software Magazine included SAND Technology on the 2010 Software 500," said Mike Pilcher, SAND's Chief Operating Officer. "With the release of our industry leading SAND CDBMS 6, now more than ever we're providing our customers with advanced analytics on the most Extreme Data imaginable, as well as the ability to handle new, important data feeds like Social Media data in a way no other technology can match."

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GE Healthcare named company of the year

GE Healthcare Canada, a global leader in information technology, has won the Information Technology Association of Canada's (ITAC) 2010 Company of the Year Award. This award recognizes a distinguished for-profit healthcare IT company that has demonstrated excellence in the Canadian health informatics industry over the past twelve months. GE Healthcare won the award as the solutions provider for several major image exchange projects funded by   Canada  Health Infoway and eHealth Ontario.

"We cannot overstate what this honour means to our company and our efforts to enhance healthcare across   Canada" said   Peter Robertson, General Manager of GE Healthcare   Canada.

In addition, GE and the   Vancouver  Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (VANOC) won 2010 ITAC Project Implementation Team of the Year honours for the deployment of Centricity® Radiology-IW, marking the first official use of an imaging information system during the   Vancouver  2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. "This was the first official use of this type of technology solution in   Canada", noted Peter Robertson. "The system provided real-time access to the latest information and images when treating athletes. The clinician's ability to connect to other automated systems and health facilities reduced or eliminated the need to transport athletes for medical advice, and ultimately supported decision making regarding return to competition." 

"Partnering with a proven healthcare IT company was paramount to the successful implementation of this complex, multi-stakeholder project," said   Dr. Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer of VANOC. "This award is testament to the calibre of the team members who worked tirelessly to deliver the project on time and on budget."

Despite a 65% increase in imaging studies over   Torino  2006, transports at the   Vancouver  Games decreased by more than 96% - from 1,198 to 47 - with a one-hour report turnaround time achieved in most cases.

GE's strong commitment to R&D in the health informatics industry helps to solve high impact healthcare challenges. Omnyx, a joint venture of GE Healthcare and UPMC (Pittsburgh, Penn.), launched a global Collaborators Program to advance digital pathology products, technology and use for clinical applications. University Health Network in Ontario,   Canada  is participating in this global forum to share best practices on how digital pathology can meet these and other significant challenges.

Through Emergency Neurosurgery Image Transfer System leveraging GE's web-based technology, patients with head trauma or other neurological complications can access the country's top specialists without regard for location. Since   January 2009, nearly 2,000 trauma cases have been referred to ENITS and the network has significantly reduced the need for high-risk travel, avoiding 425 patient transfers at an estimated system cost savings of $46MM. ENITS earned GE the 2009 ITAC Corporate IT Hero Award.

"We are determined to deliver on the promise of our "healthymagination" commitment using IT and high technology, low cost devices to increase access and improve the quality of care to support Canada's healthcare system," said Peter Robertson. Top of Page

Barrett Xplore Inc. founders join hall of fame

Barrett Xplore Inc., Canada's largest rural broadband provider, has announced the induction of both its founders,   Bill Barrett  and   Ed Barrett, into the   New Brunswick  Business Hall of Fame for their leadership in business and community.

The   New Brunswick  Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame gala is the foremost awards ceremony and dinner, honouring deserving business leaders in   New Brunswick  who have helped shape the business community in the province. "With these awards, we celebrate the achievements of some of the brightest business minds from our province. This year, we are celebrating leaders who have been a catalyst for tremendous change throughout their careers" said   Connie Woodside, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of New Brunswick.

"Our   New Brunswick  values have always informed our approach to building the business, and we're really delighted to be acknowledged alongside these other tremendous   New Brunswick  entrepreneurs." Said   Bill Barrett, Co-Founder of Barrett Xplore Inc.

"We are truly honoured to receive such an outstanding acknowledgment from the   New Brunswick  Junior Achievement Hall of Fame," said   Ed Barrett, Co-Founder of Barrett Xplore Inc.

Through the efforts of the   New Brunswick  government, the Barretts and Barrett Xplore Inc.,   New Brunswick  became the first province to have 100% broadband coverage. Both Barrett brothers received their awards on   November 16, 2010  at the Hall of Fame gala hosted at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. Top of Page

BCIC appoints Danny Robinson new CEO

Greg Aasen, Chair of  BCIC, is pleased to announce the appointment of   Danny Robinson  as Chief Executive Officer. 

"Danny brings over 15 years of experience to BCIC and has a proven track record of successfully working with early-stage technology companies," said Aasen. "Danny will be a great asset to our organization and will ensure that BCIC continues to play a leading role in promoting the development of entrepreneurs and the commercialization of technology in British Columbia." 

Prior to joining BCIC,   Danny Robinson  was co-founder of Bootup Labs, an Internet Seed Accelerator, which invested and mentored eight new Internet companies in the last two years. Along with his wife,   Maura Rodgers, he was co-founder of the  Bootup Entrepreneurial Society, a non-profit, community and mentor-driven organization that was formed to inspire entrepreneurship and help Internet startups take their idea from concept to commercialization. 

"This is a tremendous opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest minds to create more tech startups in BC," said Robinson. "In partnership with industry, academia, government and the dedicated team at BCIC, I am committed to ensuring our province continues to capitalize on the tremendous potential of our high tech companies." 

"The board is excited to bring the passion and energy of Danny to BCIC. His experience at Bootup will accelerate our mission of helping entrepreneurs and startups across all segments of British Columbia's high tech community," added Aasen. Top of Page