ITAC Online - WCIT 2012 - October 2012
In ITAliCs

WCIT 2012 is almost here!

October is the month that Canada hosts the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2012) and we are now days away from the IT event of the year!

The Information and Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and its members have played a significant role in bringing WCIT 2012 to Montreal. It has been over four years since the ITAC Board took the decision to bring the event to Canada and an enormous amount of work and effort has gone into preparing for it.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank François Morin, CEO of WCIT 2012 Montreal, and his team for their colossal efforts in making this event possible and the best that it can be. François, who has close to twenty-five years of experience in the field of Communications and Marketing in the technology sector, took over the leadership of WCIT 2012 in September 2011 and has worked tirelessly on the preparations for the event since then. His team’s dedication and their contribution has been above and beyond expectations. So thank you François and the WCIT 2012 Montreal team. I also want to thank our sponsors who are highlighted separately in this newsletter. Without them this event would simply not have been possible.

This event is going to be an exceptional opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in a unique digital culture, participate in dynamic and interactive breakout sessions, and hear from global thought leaders on what the future holds in terms of the digital world. It will also feature an exciting line-up of keynote speakers and celebrities such as Larry King, Don Tapscott, Robert Kahn, Brian David Johnson, Kevin Crull, Vinod Kumar, and Kirsten Sutton. Beyond this there are also novel digital experiences like the Digital River on offer. 

As the national association of Canada’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry, ITAC is proud to have taken the lead in bringing WCIT 2012 to Canada. We did this because, as the trusted and authoritative voice of our industry, our mission is to promote and enhance the unique contribution the ICT sector can and does make to Canada’s economy and society. To make WCIT 2012 a resounding success, we need a great turnout from the ICT community so if you have not registered yet I strongly suggest that you look at doing so.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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Don Tapscott - Transforming Our Enterprises and Institutions through Technology

Don Tapscott, CEO, Tapscott Group

Don Tapscott is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, globalization and the economic and social impact of technology on business and society. He is also an adjunct professor of management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and CEO of the Tapscott Group. An author of 14 books about technology in business and society – the most recent, with Anthony D. Williams, Macrowikinomics  - he currently leads a project in partnership with the World Economic Forum on new networked models of global problem-solving. When Don is not being a cyber-guru you might find him playing keyboards in Toronto-based band, Men in Suits.

From your perspective, why is WCIT 2012 important?      
It's important for leaders in ICT to come together periodically to review the state of things. And this is particularly important right now because the internet is enabling profound changes in the world. The current global economic crisis is not just cyclical, but rather symptomatic of a deeper secular change. There is growing evidence that we need to rethink and rebuild many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades, but now have come to the end of their lifecycle.

At the same time the contours of new enterprises and industries are becoming clear. With the social web, mobility, cloud computing and the rest of the digital revolution, society has at its disposal the most powerful platform ever for bringing together the people, skills and knowledge we need to ensure growth, social development and a just and sustainable world. And all around the world the first generation that has “grown up digital” are entering the workforce and becoming citizens. These “digital natives” are a powerful force for change.

So WCIT 2012 is occurring at a time when people everywhere are collaborating like never before. From education and science to new approaches for citizen engagement and democracy, sparkling new initiatives are underway, embracing a new set of principles for the 21st century -- collaboration, openness, sharing, interdependence and integrity.
What are the benefits of having WCIT 2012 in Canada?
Well for all those people suffering from hot climates, it'll be nice for them to get some fresh Canadian air. And Montreal is a truly wonderful city and Quebec and Canada is a very open and welcoming country. We've also got some big brainpower that's been helping to organize the event. 
How is Canada doing in terms of making use of the benefits of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)?
Pretty well…It's never good enough as far as I'm concerned but telecommunications has always been important to Canada because of our vast geography so Canadians have had to be innovators and leaders in ICT. 
What needs to be done to capitalize on the output of WCIT 2012?
It's an amazing program with a great cross section of world's leading thinkers and practitioners. Countries and companies should be sending strong teams to WCIT 2012 so that they can collectively experience the event. I'll also be doing a daily TV broadcast on the WEB about the results of each day. There will be many follow on activities to help organizations execute on the learnings at the event.  
What are the global challenges when it comes to ICT?
The biggest challenge is not technological in nature but rather in transforming our enterprises and institutions through technology. Having said that, there are many tough technical issues. With the new technology, in particular cloud computing, every organization needs to rethink its ICT architecture and find ways to migrate to the new paradigm in computing. This requires strong technical and business leadership. As such it's a great time to be a CIO or IT manager. Sure the consequences of not getting it right are huge, but I don't think there has ever been more fun to be had.

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Intel Corporation - Innovating the Future

Elaine Mah, Country Manager, Canada, Intel Corporation

Elaine Mah is the Director for Canada at Intel Corporation and a seven year veteran with the company. Among her many achievements at Intel, Elaine is especially proud of her work fostering innovation and growth with small businesses through her Canadian small business advisory board. She is a frequent speaker at industry and government conferences on the importance of technology to the Canadian economy, as well as on emerging trends. Elaine currently sits on the National Board of Directors of the Information Technology Association of Canada.

From Intel's (and your) perspective as a major sponsor, why is WCIT 2012 important?
We are in the midst of great change in the IT industry – witness shifts such as cloud, IT consumerization, big data, and social computing. Without question, the rapid evolution of technology is providing us with unprecedented opportunities. WCIT is a forum for discussing how we can best react to these opportunities, and how technology can help address major global issues and challenges. This is very much in keeping with Intel's focus on developing cutting-edge innovations that hold the promise of helping to create a better future for the next generation.

What are the benefits of having WCIT 2012 in Canada?
By having WCIT in Canada, it brings focus to the breadth and impact of the ICT industry in this country as we transition from a resource-based to a digital economy. It provides global perspective for the role Canadian solutions and innovation can play. And initiatives like C200 will showcase to the world what amazing ideas are being developed and brought to market right in our own backyard.

Did you know about…

Intel's commitment to the environment - Since 2008, Intel has remained the largest voluntary purchaser of green power in the United States, and recently received the first-ever "Sustained Excellence in Green Power" award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Intel's commitment to education - For example, over 10 million teachers in more than 70 countries have been trained by Intel to engage their students through incorporating technology into the classroom.

Intel's breadth of focus beyond the processor - The number of professionals employed by Intel's Software and Services Group would make it among the world's the top 10 software companies, if it were an independent company.

What needs to be done to capitalize on the output of WCIT 2012?
The outputs from WCIT are an ideal backdrop against which to position Canada's digital economy strategy. It makes us more aware of the challenges and opportunities being faced at the global level, and will identify ways for Canada to demonstrate leadership in what it means to be a truly digital nation.

How is Intel helping Canada make use of the benefits of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)?
Of course Intel is continually innovating and improving the products we design and manufacture, but we're also pushing our own limits as an organization with respect to adopting cloud, social computing, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in an effort to drive Intel's overall ability to innovate, compete, and increase productivity. The lessons learned – including the missteps – are published in whitepapers and performance reports which Intel makes publicly available for other businesses to reference. Intel strongly believes best practices sharing accelerates the ability for other organizations to benefit from its technology investments, which generates value for the business, its people, and the community.

What does Intel see as the global challenges when it comes to ICT?
The pace of change is one of the key challenges the ICT industry is trying to manage. The way people compute and connect is transforming at an incredible rate and in sometimes unexpected fashion. At Intel, it is part of the company's DNA to invest in R&D, but in 2001, Intel created Intel Labs specifically to explore how people will engage with technology and each other in the future from smart cities, homes, offices and our highways to the way we shop, communicate and drive. It's where people, like Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson, work with ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing five or even ten years from now. Intel is dedicated to innovating the future.

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Merchlar - Adding Another Dimension to Reality

Awane Jones, Founder and CEO, Merchlar

Awane Jones is the founder and CEO of Merchlar which is a world-leader in Augmented Reality (AR) and Interactive Design. After being in the music business for ten years, Awane realized that, with declining sales of CDs, there was a need to find other revenue streams besides live concerts and merchandise (shirts, caps, etc.) for music artists. That was when he started working towards creating a mobile music community featuring AR technology, the fastest, easiest way to interact with all artist content, anywhere. Merchlar then came into being and today its specialties are iPhone applications, AR, digital advertising, and mobile data collection. It's clients include Ubisoft, Sidlee, and Alliance Films.

Today, Merchlar delivers AR and interactive solutions for seamless two-way communication between your brand and consumers. In so doing, it enables consumers to go from seeing your business to experiencing your business. See how here.

What is Merchlar?
Merchlar is an award winning, fast-rising company in the AR Industry. AR has been called the eighth mass medium, after print, recordings, cinema, radio, television, Internet and mobile phones.

Essentially AR is a live view of a physical, real-world environment (that we live in) augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as video, sound or graphics. Typically, an AR environment has digital information transposed onto a real-world view. AR is not similar to virtual reality which is an entirely different digital experience in that it mimics real-world situations.

Merchlar office

According to a recent article in Reuters, this industry, a collection of smartphone apps generating less than $2 million in 2010, is now on the verge of becoming a real business potentially worth $1.5 billion in 2015.

At Merchlar, we create products and services for leading Canadian brands such as such as Ubisoft, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Bell, LG2, Sidlee, Cirque du Soleil, Desjardins Bank, and Alliance Films. Our creative solutions have been embraced by broadcast media as well as end-users and have driven results for our partners.

What is Merchlar doing at WCIT 2012?
We are creating a mobile app of WCIT 2012 and its AR experience. Our aim is to provide a platform that enables WCIT organizers to engage attendees in a unique and fascinating way.

Traditionally, companies and organizations have relied on printed brochures and leaflets to communicate information about an event, where the design and creative content are key to capturing the hearts and minds of the audience. As we journey deeper into the digital era, there are newer, better, and more cost-effective methods to present this type of information. AR is one of them. Users can, through the AR lens, consume company information while interacting with the stunning animation overlays.  Our goal is to create an AR platform that will lengthen the attention span of the WCIT 2012 audience while making the event a pleasant and engaging experience.

From Merchlar’s perspective, why is WCIT 2012 important?
WCIT 2012 is “the” world-wide technology conference. We are honored to be part of it. It really is a great opportunity for us to present AR technology as the latest, alternative media for brands who are trying to get a bigger presence and more bang for their buck in terms of getting their message out.

How do Merchlar’s solutions (Augmented Reality and Interactive Design) help overcome some of the challenges businesses face in dealing with their customers?
Since the beginning of advertising, brands have explored different kinds of marketing methods with the goal of capturing the hearts and minds of their target audiences. As one of the rising stars in the new media and digital communications landscape, we believe AR is a much-needed and obvious platform for marketers who are interacting with their customers, especially in the mobilesphere. On the other hand, AR on its own is not sufficient for brands to rise above the market noise. This is where Merchlar can and does make a difference. We have the know-how and ability to combine technology, strategies, and creative insights into a single user-friendly format that can strengthen a marketing campaign or a brand’s overall voice.

What does Merchlar see as the global challenges when it comes to ICT?
Although innovation drives progress in the technology sector, there is still an inherent lack of user incentive or motivation to try new technologies. This is a huge challenge and public awareness of novel technology, including AR, needs to be boosted to encourage greater user use. For innovators in ICT, the volatile or unpredictable technology adoption lifecycle for new innovations is one of the biggest challenges.

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Thank You to All the Sponsors and Partners of WCIT 2012!

WCIT Sponsors

ITAC Events

October 11, 2012

ITAC 18th National Executive Forum

October 16 - 18, 2012

eHealth Risk Workshops

October 22 - 24, 2012

WCIT 2012 Montréal - The New ICT-Driven Society

For a full list of events, and to register for ITAC events, visit

ITAC Committees and Forums

October 25, 2012

HR Forum: The Continually Evolving World of Social Media

October 30, 2012

Public Sector Business Committee Meeting

For a full list of events, and to register for ITAC events, visit


Update: A Summer of Economic Consultations

There has been a flurry of submissions to Finance Canada throughout the summer regarding various aspects of the Federal 2012 Budget.

Read the full article

Other News and Events

October 11, 2012

Stikeman Elliott's Intellectual Property & Antitrust Seminar