Weekly Situation Report – March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Thanks for the great feedback on last week’s Situation Report and for providing updates on what your company is up to. Keep it coming!

This past week we’ve had a few great ‘wins’ for our industry. Especially happy to note earlier this week the Government of Ontario announced their list of Essential Services and included what TECHNATION asked for in our letter to Queen’s Park. Read our response here. The Premier of Saskatchewan reached out today, noting they had also added IT as essential for their province.

HOT OFF THE PRESS! We just heard back from Shared Services Canada (SSC). Last week TECHNATION sent letters to federal, provincial, and territorial governments expressing our members’ concerns regarding end-of-year deadlines.  SSC just informed us that they will accept some excusable delays. Details will be shared with both PSBCs on Monday, or you can contact Nevin French for more information. Great news for our industry!

Get your company profiled!  As Government technology needs unfold over the next weeks and months we are launching a one-stop TECHGOV Innovation Exchange to connect Government leaders to tech solutions and applications.

A survey request was shared with all members; input from our SME’s is essential – especially considering today’s announcement from the Government of Canada!  French version to come next week.

Welcome New Members: Acumen Solutions; BluJ Legal; Juniper; Lixar IT; Orthomed and PureStorage.

Angela Mondou,
President and CEO, TECHNATION

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TECHNATION joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters calling on governments to support a national effort to protect jobs, to postpone non-essential new measures and provide more direct funding for employees.

This week our Federal PSBC meeting met to discuss presentations from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on the electronic procurement system and the contract simplification initiative. Additionally, we heard from our colleagues at both PSPC and Shared Services Canada that ongoing procurement processes continue largely unabated. For more information contact Andrew Walker.

Our Policy and Advocacy Committee and Legal Working Group met earlier today. Member companies discussed TECHNATION’s position on the federal and provincial government approaches to the COVID-19 crisis and how our Association is best suited to respond. To join this Forum or to learn more, contact Andrew Walker.

Prime Minister Trudeau today announced support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID-19. Includes increased wage subsidy for businesses; launch of Canada Emergency Business Account; a $12.5 billion loan program for bigger SMEs; and updates to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

On March 21 the Government of Ontario released Ontario Together, identifying supply challenges and soliciting ideas and advice from Ontario’s business and manufacturing communities . Companies can submit proposals to procure required goods and services and share creative solutions quickly. _______________________________________________________________________

Digital Health Canada and TECHNATION’s Health division will reach out to provincial ministers the week of March 30, urging leaders to maintain focus on the twin goals of alleviating strain on the Canadian health system and mitigating potential economic downturn.

The Ministry of Health is hosting a Virtual Market Sounding Day on April 15 to harness the expertise of health care innovators on how to respond to patient and provider insights to improve health care system navigation.  To apply, visit the Ontario Tenders Portal . Interested parties must register for an account to see additional information and complete the vendor background questionnaire.

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Industry Cybersecurity Best Practices

  • The Municipal Cybersecurity Best Practices events are being re-designed for a virtual platform.  Stay tuned for new dates.
  • In conjunction with members, developed and released COVID 19 and Cybersecurity Notification.  Member-only webinar to be scheduled in the near term.  More to follow.
  • Sectoral Initiatives Program – Cybersecurity Skills Initiative – Cybersecurity National Occupational Standard has been completed and sent for Federal Government review.  Anticipate release in early April.

Student Work Placements

  • The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) remains ongoing. Working with government and SWPP partners to identify COVID-19 implications to the program. More information will be provided once available.
  • Our Career Ready Program is still accepting applications. Students can still work and be supervised remotely. Contact careerready@techncationcanada.ca for more information.

Events Update

  • April 2, 2020. National PSBC Meeting (joint Federal and Ontario meeting): 12:00-1:30 p.m. EST. Senior government officials invited from each province and territory to provide update on: status of ongoing IT infrastructure/services  procurements; notable actions taken to support businesses, especially in the tech sector. Register here.
  • April 2, 2020. IDC will run a COVID-19 Impact in the Canadian Technology Market webinar at 1:00 p.m.  Will address what’s next in this ‘new normal’, explore  impact on IT spending and new perspectives for collaboration tools, remote working and technology leverage. Click here to learn more and register.
  • April 17, 2020. How can we shape the Future of Work? Virtual ‘Student Work Challenge’ Workshop. Prepr Foundation.  Register – 50% Discount Code MAGNET50
  • April 22, 2020. Health Advocacy Committee. Go-to-Meeting

Contact Christine Leonard, Director of Events if you have an event to share or want to know more.

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Amazon Web Services in Canada is working with the World Health Organization by supplying advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise. Click here for a Canadian perspective. Globally, recently addressed the availability of business continuity tools and support services for both companies and educational institutions.   AWS credits are also being offered.  They are hiring 100,000 new employees to support the increased demand of the retail business. More info can be found here.

IBM has changed its Climate Challenge to tackle the spread of the virus. Read their COVID-19 Action Guide.

MEDITECH in response to updated recommendations from the CDC and WHO, has updated its Guidance Documents on how organizations can build, implement and deploy new functionality that can help deal wit the demands of the COVID-19 crisis.  Also now offering Expanse Ambulatory and Patient Portal users complimentary deployment of their Scheduled Virtual Visits functionality for a six-month period. Most recently working to address a regulatory change by Health Canada to enable pharmacists to better help their patients .

Macadamian Technologies is waiving licensing fees for one year for its digital health platform for Healthcare organizations developing digital health solutions to treat and prevent COVID-19.

Orion Health is working with governments and healthcare providers to support the key functions of a pandemic response – from triaging the public, to remotely testing patients and treating those in need.  This includes: a comprehensive pandemic outbreak monitoring platform to alleviate demand on health systems and curb the spread of COVID-19; and a global website designed to support and assess the different clinical protocols, health systems and conditions that are present globally.

ServiceNow’s no-charge apps have been released to support companies. Their Customer Care Plan includes a release of four new community apps to help  customers, community, government, and enterprises manage complex emergency response workflows. Available free of charge through September 30, 2020.  More info here.

TELUS is expanding its support for low income families by automatically waiving the fees for the TELUS Internet for Good program for two months, giving customers enrolled in the program access to high speed internet in their home at no cost for 60 days.

Twitter continues to work with partners across the world to provide support and is engaging partners worldwide to ensure escalation paths remain open and urgent cases can be brought to their attention. Learn more

Microsofts exec team is posting ongoing updates via the Microsoft News Centre Canada, highlighting tips and guidance on making the most of Teams while working remotely.  For businesses not currently licensed for Teams, Microsoft is offering a free Office 365 E1 offer for six months. For organizations that don’t offer laptops, there’s Windows Virtual Desktop that enables employees to access their desktop apps remotely and securely.  For those working in education that want to set up teachers, students, and administrators on Teams, Microsoft offers a free version of Office 365 to all educational institutions.

If you have any information you would like shared through this Report, contact Janet Gibson Eichner. To share information through our social channels, reach out to Katerina Kramble.