Bell to acquire its mobile phone distributor GLENTEL

BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE; Bell) and GLENTEL Inc. (TSX: GLN) announced last week that they have entered into a iphonedefinitive agreement whereby BCE will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of GLENTEL, the Canadian-based multi-carrier mobile products distributor. Valued at about $670 million, the transaction enhances Bell’s strategy to accelerate wireless and improve customer service in a competitive wireless marketplace, while providing more value to GLENTEL shareholders.

“GLENTEL is a remarkable Canadian success story, and over the past 25 years has been influential in driving the widespread adoption of mobile services in Canada, the United States and elsewhere internationally. As our longstanding partner, the GLENTEL team shares Bell’s commitment to wireless growth and service innovation, and we are proud to welcome them,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. “GLENTEL’s national reach, deep product knowledge, and great customer service and sales execution are key to our strategy to accelerate wireless.”

“As GLENTEL considered its future opportunities, it was essential that our partner share in GLENTEL’s core values of Quality, Service and Integrity. Bell, who has been a long time significant contributor to GLENTEL’s success, is that partner. We are delighted that GLENTEL, together with Bell, will continue to deliver legendary customer service to its customers, and believe that this new relationship will give more value to our shareholders and employees,” said Tom Skidmore, GLENTEL President and CEO.

Headquartered in Burnaby, BC, GLENTEL operates 494 retail locations across Canada offering wireless products and services from Bell Mobility, Chatr, Fido, Rogers Wireless, SaskTel and Virgin Mobile, and plans to continue offering products from multiple carriers after the acquisition. Outside Canada, GLENTEL owns, operates, and franchises about 735 retail locations in the United States, as well as 147 points of sale in Australia and the Philippines.

“There are clear growth opportunities ahead in Canadian wireless. This includes the much increased number of mobile customers with two or three year service contracts who will be eligible to renew their plans and change carriers over the next two years, a result of the federal wireless code of conduct implemented in 2013. Bell is ready to compete for their business,” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility. “Supporting Bell’s commitment to deliver improved customer service, this transaction secures continued access for consumers to the convenient, high-quality customer experience offered by GLENTEL retail brands.”

Bell will acquire all of GLENTEL’s about 22.4 million fully diluted common shares, for a total consideration for GLENTEL’s equity of about $594 million. GLENTEL shareholders may choose to receive either $26.50 in cash, or 0.4974 of a common BCE share, for each GLENTEL common share, representing a premium of 108% based on GLENTEL’s closing share price on the TSX on November 27, 2014 and a 121% premium to the volume weighted trading average share price on the TSX for the past 10 days. The BCE share consideration is based on the 10-day volume weighted trading average share price on the TSX of $53.27.

Including net debt and minority interest of about $78 million, the total enterprise value of GLENTEL is about $670 million. The transaction consideration will consist of a combination of 50% cash and 50% in BCE common shares. Bell will fund the cash part with available liquidity and expects to issue about 5.6 million BCE common shares to fund the equity part. GLENTEL shareholders will be able to pick cash or share consideration and will be subject to proration should the total elections for cash or shares exceed the greatest available.

The Board of Directors of GLENTEL, acting on the unanimous recommendation of the Special Committee (which consisted solely of independent directors of GLENTEL), has approved the transaction and recommends that GLENTEL shareholders vote in favour of it. The Skidmore family, which owns about 37% of the common equity of GLENTEL, has entered into agreements with Bell supporting the transaction. Canaccord Genuity Corp., financial advisor to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of GLENTEL, provided an opinion that as of the date of the opinion and subject to the assumptions and limitations stated there, the consideration proposed to be received by GLENTEL shareholders is fair from a financial point of view.

The agreement between Bell and GLENTEL provides for a non-solicitation covenant by GLENTEL and a right in favour of Bell to match any superior proposal. If Bell does not exercise its right to match, Bell would receive a termination fee of $33.6 million in the event GLENTEL supports any superior proposal.

Expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2015, the transaction will be effected through a plan of arrangement and is subject to customary closing conditions, including court, shareholder and competition approvals. A reverse break fee of $33.6 million would be payable by Bell to GLENTEL should the transaction not close for competition approval reasons. GLENTEL has agreed not to declare or pay dividends on its shares through to the closing date. GLENTEL shareholders are expected to vote on the transaction in early 2015.

A proxy circular will be prepared and mailed to GLENTEL shareholders in the coming weeks providing important information about the transaction. A material change report will be filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and will be available at http://www.sedar.com.

Canaccord Genuity Corp. acted as exclusive financial advisor to GLENTEL. Owen Bird Law Corporation acted as legal counsel to GLENTEL, McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted as legal counsel to the Special Committee of GLENTEL, and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Canada and Sullivan & Cromwell in the US acted as legal counsel to Bell.

Bell accelerating wireless in Canada
Since 2006, Bell has invested about $7 billion to acquire new mobile 4G spectrum and build advanced wireless networks in every region of Canada. As a result, a re-energized Bell is regaining its leadership position in Canadian wireless with rapid customer adoption of smartphones and ongoing fast growth in data services like mobile TV.

Bell is rolling out the best wireless network technology available, 4G LTE, and now offers Canadians access to the largest LTE service footprint in the country. Available to 84% of the population, LTE coverage is growing fast as Bell extends the broadband service to smaller towns, rural communities and Canada’s North. By the end of 2015, Bell 4G LTE service will cover more than 98% of Canadians – similar to Bell’s existing 4G HSPA+ network. This summer, Bell was able to increase data speeds up to 45% across its LTE network for all smartphone users.

Bell’s ongoing strategic transformation is built on industry-leading investment in communications growth services, including wireless, TV, Internet and media. With over $3 billion in capital investment each year in new fibre and mobile networks, and more than $575 million in Canadian R&D annually, Bell invests more in Canadian communications infrastructure and service innovation than any other communications provider.

About GLENTEL

Based in Burnaby, BC, Canada, GLENTEL (TSX: GLN) is a provider of creative and reliable wireless communications services and solutions, offering a choice of network carrier and wireless or mobile products and services to consumers and commercial customers. GLENTEL is an independent multicarrier mobile phone retailer in Canada and Australia. In the United States, GLENTEL operates two of the six National Premium Retailers for Verizon Wireless. To its business and government customers, GLENTEL offers wireless systems and hardware, rental equipment, and system implementation services. GLENTEL celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.
GLENTEL employs over 4,670 employees and operates about 1,400 locations, including 494 retail and business locations in Canada, 735 locations in the United States; and 147 retail locations in Australia and the Philippines.

About BCE

BCE is Canada’s largest communications company, providing a comprehensive and creative suite of broadband communication services to consumers and business customers through the Bell Canada and Bell Aliant brands. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media, including CTV, Canada’s #1 television network, and the country’s most-watched specialty channels. To learn more, please visit BCE.ca.

Don’t believe the hype. Can celebrities save tech companys?

On Saturday my partner Jay Kenobi posted news about Aston Kutcher and his work with Lenovo. Is this by another tech company to cash in on the hype and profile such a celebrity brings. It seems that way.

We’ve seen this happen before one example being Blackberry who brought on Alicia Keys as Global Creative Director when they launched the new Blackberry 10 smartphones. Viewed by many as a simple PR move, Keys left the company in January 2014 after only a year.

Blackberry said that Keys involvement was much more than that and she was to help shape all aspects of the brand including  a scholarship program designed to help young women embrace the science and technology fields. When Blackberry 10 smartphones failed to sell much and the company has started to move away from pushing devices, Keys was let go.

Now Lenovo itself is in a substantially different place than Blackberry is and the company certainly isn’t struggling. This seems to be a trend with big tech company’s these hiring a celebrity to help pump up the brand and generate sales. It can help or hinder them but I’m wondering if someone like Kutcher will make any significant impact on product design, development or vision the way someone like Jobs did.

Perhaps by aligning with Kutcher and his well-known profile in addition to his portrayal of Steve Jobs in Jobs, a 2013 movie, Lenovo is hoping that they too have found the next visionary of the tech world. Kutcher went so far as to  adopt some of Jobs’ unique habits on diet to get in character as well.

Jobs the man, myth and legend are unique to him and him alone and no one can duplicate what he did. I’m not saying this as a rabid Apple fan boy but rather as someone who read Walter Isaacon’s Jobs in-depth and came away with the sense that what made Jobs was his upbringing, the things that happened to him in his life and his experiences made him who he was. That if anything shaped an already profound gift for thinking differently and pushing the boundaries not celebrity.

Jobs, well-known for creating the reality distortion field at Apple, used it as both a marketing tool and motivator for employees. Lenovo is hoping to create its own reality distortion field around Kutcher and its products. It remains to be seen what long term impact that will have.

Zen Launchpad aims to create hub of innovation on the North Shore

Google Glasses

Vancouver is a hot bed for tech these days and while incubators and startups are popping up faster than the latest microbrew company, North Vancouver hasn’t reached the same level of tech as Gastown or Yaletown.

Reza Ghaeli and Cyri Jones Co Founders of Zen Launchpad and Zen Maker Lab aim to change that when they opened the Zen Launchpad. These two different entities do different things under one roof. The Launchpad helps startup companies while the Maker Lab is a workshop that has 3D printing equipment and other hardware.

“We met through a bridge building competition and we watched kids experience the joys of engineering together says Ghaeli. That experience led us to realize that Zen Launchpad could do the same for tech entrepreneurs starting out.”

“Gastown and Yaletown regional hubs of innovation adds Jones. Not just downtown. We think we can offer something here on the North Shore and help create another hub with the Zen Launchpad.”

Ghaeli’s background includes Engineering and Data Warehouse positions as well as time with ICBC where he was able to create a unique model for claims management. This unique project made him realize he could do something on his own and an incubator seemed like the place to start.

The first company to come on board was Vandrico Technologies. Experts in the wearable tech field, Vandrico needed the workshop space for projects. Their large wearable tech database and Canary platform have made the mining industry take notice.

Plantiga, developers of a patent-pending footwear technology, is another resident at the Launchpad while the Maker Labs has local tech specialist John Biehler offer 3D printing workshops on occasion.

A key part of the Zen Launchpad has been the Critical Mass Kids Camp which has been a driving force behind the venture and a good money-maker. “The workshops allow us access to the community. It also lets kids be a producer and a creator. It’s also a revenue source and a marketing tool and that has made it a real bonus for us” says Cyri Jones.

“We believe in C3 as well, Community Contribution Corporation says Jones. 60 percent of the proceeds from here go to the community,  40 percent goes to founders and investors. We have the option to stay a C3 or turn into not for profit. We also aim to merge Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship”

Survey of Canadian CIOs Unveils Technology Trends Influencing the Evolution of the Workplace

CIO

A recent IDC survey commissioned by Samsung Electronics Canada found that technology trends such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which show the growing use of personal tablets and smartphones in the workplace, is driving change for the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and businesses across Canada. Of the CIOs surveyed, 58 per cent said the number of mobile workers at their company has increased and that 68 per cent of these workers use tablets in addition to mobile byodphones.

BYOD is quickly becoming the new norm for companies across Canada with 52.5 per cent of CIOs open to employees bringing their own devices to work. When asked why CIOs have a bring their own device policy, 50.8 per cent responded saying it was to appeal to young workers which will make up 75 per cent of the workforce by 2028.  While security remains a core part, CIOs are being driven by workplace trends to help future-proof their organization.

“Part of the CIO’s role is to expect trends in technology and understand how they influence corporate policy while maintaining security and aligning with the strategic vision of the company,” said Warren Shiau, Director, Buyer Behaviour Research Practice, IDC Canada. “The CIO role is shifting from a concentrated focus on managing and protecting centralized back office IT resources to driving employee productivity and empowerment.”

The survey also reflects a shift in attitude by CIOs who have traditionally acted independently to make IT regulations. The survey reveals that fifty-five per cent of CIOs are actually adjusting their IT policies based on employee feedback and beginning to recognize the value of these insights in helping to create a more empowered workforce.

When asked about their biggest IT priorities for 2014, CIOs responded by saying that improving staff productivity (60 per cent) and IT security (70 per cent) were at the top of that list. Specifically, 96 per cent of respondents that support BYOD said that security is important which is why CIOs are turning to Samsung KNOX, a secure mobile enterprise security platform for Android, to create a protected IT environment.

“At Samsung, we are deeply committed to ‘people-inspired innovation’ and we listen to our customers – both consumers and enterprises – and innovate to discuss their issues,” said Paul Brannen, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise and Mobile Solutions, Samsung Electronics Canada. “As the first commercially available, secure Android platform for mobile enterprise, Samsung KNOX gives CIOs peace of mind by allowing their employees to easily and securely switch between work and play on their devices with the press of a button.”

While security remains a top priority for CIOs, metrics and measurement are areas that have potential for growth with 43 per cent of respondents saying that measuring mobile security effectiveness is not an exact science and hard metrics aren’t being used. Fifty-two per cent of CIOs surveyed don’t now measure security effectiveness although 52 per cent say they will soon which speaks to the direction the ever-evolving role of the CIO may go next.

KNOX is now supported by a range of Samsung mobility products including the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy NotePRO 12.2. To learn more about Samsung KNOX secure Mobile Enterprise platform, visit www.samsungknox.com

About Samsung Electronics Canada
Samsung Electronics Canada is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for young minded consumers everywhere through innovation, stylish design and premium experiences. Through relentless innovation and discovery, Samsung is transforming the worlds of TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, cameras, home appliances, printers, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. As a result, Samsung has become a true leader in the technology industry. In 2013, Samsung was ranked #8 in the Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands while the Canadian arm was named as one of Strategy Magazine’s 2013 Brands of the Year and Marketing Magazine’s 2012 Top 10 Marketers of the Year in Canada. Globally, Samsung employs 286,000 people across 80 countries with annual sales of US$216.7 billion.

To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.

Follow Samsung Canada at facebook.com/SamsungCanada or on Twitter @SamsungCanada.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC Canada is part of a network of over 1,000 analysts providing global, regional, and local expertise on technology, industry opportunities and trends with more analysts dedicated to understanding the Canadian market than any other global research firm.

About the Survey

The telephone survey of 120 major Canadian organizations was completed during February 2014 by IDC Canada and represents a cross-section of the Canadian private and public sectors from Business Services, Financial Services, Retail, Communications and Media, Transportation and Warehousing and Utilities, to Government, Healthcare, and Education.  The survey was designed to show an illustration of major Canadian organizations’ attitudes and behaviour within the mobility area.  Survey respondents were composed of CIO or CIO equal IT-decision makers.

School of Public Policy Report on Wireless Competition slams Federal Government Moves for Fourth Mobile Wireless Carrier

Last year featured a high-stakes battle between two protagonists over the issue of a fourth wireless carrier in Canada. iphoneOn one side was the federal government, seeking to ease a fourth mobile carrier through spectrum policy and any other means at its disposal.  On the other side, Bell, Rogers, and Telus.  The issue?  Who should govern the allocation of resources in the provision of wireless services in Canada?  Should prices, quality, availability, and other terms of service — be determined by the market, or should the government intervene? The answer to these questions should depend on the extent of competition.  A report released last year by economists Jeffrey Church and Andrew Wilkins at The School of Public Policy argued that the three wireless providers were, in fact, competitive, had not raised prices above the long-run costs of providing services and had not exercised harmful market power.  Needless to say, the federal government disagreed.

The government fired back with research of their own, commissioned by the Competition Bureau, that made counter arguments in the defense of the need for a fourth carrier and the exercise of market power by the wireless carriers.  Today, Church and Wilkins released a follow-up paper on this issue.  The paper re-affirms the authors’ previous findings that the market has, in fact, worked when it comes to mobile wireless competition in Canada and the government should not be using government policy to try to force a fourth carrier in Canada.

Today’s report challenges many of the findings of the report commissioned by the Competition Bureau and its submissions on competition in wireless markets to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.  It argues “that the expert evidence ready for the Competition Bureau is simply insufficient to call for regulation and subsidization of wireless competition. The expert evidence findings on market power are small, as well as not robust, and it does not address whether entry is efficient. Instead it provides only an estimate of the competitive benefits of a fourth national entrant — not its costs — and it does not assess the financial viability of a fourth national competitor. The inaccuracies of the methodology  used cast much doubt on its use to accurately forecast the effect of a fourth national entrant,” said Jeffrey Church today.

“Given the absence of compelling evidence demonstrating the real exercise of inefficient market power, the evidence that having more than three carriers raises concerns regarding financial viability without ongoing subsidization, and the evidence that an additional carrier would be inefficient, one wonders how long the federal government and its agencies will continue the policy of attempting to “enhance competition” in wireless markets? What will be the final cost to Canadians of the federal government’s commitment to the proposition that competition is measured by the number of competitors?” asked Church.

CRTC continues to promote wireless competition for Canadians

Last week The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it would prohibit exclusivity provisions in roaming agreements between Canadian wireless service providers to further enhance sustainable competition in the wireless market.

In December 2013, the CRTC initiated a formal public proceeding to iphonelook at whether certain wireless service providers were subjecting smaller Canadian competitors to unjustly discriminatory roaming rates, terms and conditions. The CRTC has found clear instances of unjust discrimination by Rogers Communications Partnership (Rogers).

Rogers has imposed exclusivity clauses in roaming agreements that prohibited smaller service providers from using networks from any other carrier. Additionally, they charged some new Canadian service providers much higher roaming rates compared to rates for other wireless service providers.

The CRTC is also looking at the competitive state of the wireless market and will hold a public hearing on this issue on September 29, 2014.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC is concerned that situations of unjust discrimination do not promote fair and sustainable competition in the wholesale wireless market.
  • Canadian wireless service providers are now prohibited from using exclusivity provisions in wholesale roaming agreements for service in Canada.
  • The CRTC found clear instances of unjust discrimination by Rogers with certain new wireless service providers in agreements of wholesale roaming rates.
  • In June 2014, the Telecommunications Act was amended to include a formula that service providers must use to calculate caps for wholesale roaming rates. As such, the CRTC will not impose any remedy or rates for wholesale agreements.
  • To aid in fulfilling its mandate of the amendment to the Telecommunications Act, a letter was sent to wireless service providers on July 28, 2014 requesting information on how they are calculating the roaming caps.
  • A proceeding is ongoing to look at the competitive state of the wholesale wireless services market and whether regulatory measures are required in order for Canadians to have more choice for wireless services.

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman noted that “Competition in the wireless industry benefits society and the economy by providing innovative communications services at reasonable prices. But that is only the case when true and sustainable competition is at play. Today’s decision will help promote fairness and a better consumer experience with wireless for Canadians.”

About the CRTC

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications on behalf of all Canadians. It is dedicated to ensuring that Canadians—as citizens, creators and consumers—have access to a world-class communication system that promotes innovation and enriches their lives.

INcubes International Exchange Program provides assistance for Accelerator Program graduates

INcubes

INcubesINcubes is a Toronto based accelerator that teams up with emerging entrepreneurs and talented startups to create solid businesses out of innovative products and ideas. INcubes’ international network has attracted partners, mentors and investors from across many countries including North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Since December 2011, it has received almost 2000 applications, built a network of over 120 mentors, and nurtured a portfolio of 20 Companies –over 80% of which are still active. INcubes also enjoyed its first exit last December, when Hovr.it was acquired by Slyce Inc.

With its two flagship programs, the Funnel Program and the Acceleration Program, INcubes connects with the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs, those with goals of turning into international success stories.

This week INcubes announced the INcubes International Exchange Program (IIEP). The IIEP was created to give more value for companies that graduate from the Accelerator Program. INcubes has partnered with many hubs, accelerators and incubators from across the globe, in locations such as the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, South America, and the USA. Partners are:

The IIEP provides the opportunity for the INcubes graduate companies to visit any of partner site, work from the space provided, and get relevant referrals from partner hubs and accelerators to help the companies access the different local markets. Likewise, companies that graduate from INcubes’ partner organizations can come to INcubes – one of the top accelerators in Canada – and use INcubes’ offices as well as access the INcubes network.

INcubes looks for companies with global potential and, as such, many of its graduates are actively conducting business in other countries. This initiative provides these graduates with a soft international landing as they expand globally, as well as provides international companies with a home base to work out of while they expand into the Canadian and North American markets.

For further details, please visit: INcubes International Exchange Program

 

Coogobox gives product designers a helping hand

coogoboxthumbnail

We don’t often meet or chat with product designers so when Coogobox contacted us recently, we thought it sounded interesting.

How it Works

Coogobox helps product designers bring their concepts to fruition through a multi step process. They encourage designers to send their ideas to the company itself first and that submission is free. Sounds good so far right? Well read on.

The next step is to have an online community vote on the product ideas and the one that receive the coogoboxhighest number of votes is then looked at by Coogobox.

With marketing, design and technical professionals on staff, Coogobox will look at the idea based on specific criteria. Winning ideas go into the production at no cost to designers.

What’s the catch you might ask? Well I thought the same thing but Coogobox Founder Ken Chen notes that all parties benefit from working with Coogobox.

“By building a design community and working closely with product designers we can create meaningful and innovative designs. Designers will get credit for their designs and exposure for the work while the final outcome will be new and distinctive products in the marketplace.”

Finished products are sold through Coogobox Retail Partners and its own Online Store. The designer will be entitled to royalties from sales of the invention.

I like the idea of Coogobox so much so that I plan to promote this venture a little more. Perhaps I might send my gadget in the future. Who knows the next great gadget might come from an unlikely source.

Cologix Opens Second Data Centre in Vancouver

cologix

Cologix opened its second Vancouver site last week, providing an additional 15,000 square feet of inventory at 1050 West Pender Street. Companies thirsting for robust, network neutral colocation options in downtown Vancouver now have a new option. Cologix is a network neutral interconnection and data centre company.

Vancouver is Canada’s third-largest market, home to more than two million residents and a rich base of technology companies built on a home2strong entrepreneurial spirit. In particular, the Vancouver economy has a booming film production, content and creative industries focus.  However, local and national companies wanting to route more business through Vancouver have found limited network neutral colocation options downtown. Cologix’s new facility was built to meet pent-up demand and create a more efficient on-ramp to global networks and clouds.

Phase 1 of the build-out has been successfully commissioned, including space for 200 cabinets supported by N+1 cooling, redundant UPS systems and N+1 generators. In Vancouver, green business is important, so the site is designed for ultra-efficiency, leveraging air-side economizers and a hot air containment system that enables the outside climate to cool the data centre for the majority of the year. Six fibre networks in the building can be accessed through Cologix’s Meet-Me-Room. Customers also have connectivity options to networks at the carrier hotel six blocks away at 555 West Hastings riding a low latency, dark fibre ring.

“Vancouver is a growing market within the global network traffic map. Similar to the other markets that Cologix serves, it’s an emerging technology region that requires a high level of connectivity,” said Grant van Rooyen, president and chief executive officer, Cologix. “We’re making a significant investment in Vancouver to address the void left by underinvestment in downtown data centre capacity and the consolidation of network neutral providers by carriers. A strong pre-sales period has validated the market need from both local and global firms.”

As of the March 25 opening date, 25 percent of the facility’s Phase 1 space has already been sold.

1050 West Pender Street is Cologix’s eighteenth data centre in North America and its eleventh in Canada. The successful commissioning marks Cologix’s fourth new build in the last 13 months. Cologix is celebrating 1050 West Pender Street’s commission by hosting a networking event bringing together Vancouver’s service providers and buyers on April 23, 2014 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver.

About Cologix Inc.

Cologix Inc. is a network neutral interconnection and colocation company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Cologix provides scalable interconnection services and secure, reliable colocation services. Cologix operates densely connected, strategically located facilities in Columbus, Dallas, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. With more than 350 network choices and 18 prime interconnection locations, Cologix now serves over 700 carrier, managed services, cloud, media, content, financial services and enterprise customers. The company’s experienced local service teams are committed to providing its customers the highest standard of local customer support.

 

Marketcircle offers top business software solutions for Small Businesses

marketcircle

Marketcircle offers the solutions that small companies need to become the best. Daylite and BillingsPro are two software application that they offer which will help a small company rise to the top. As both top business software, and the best small business accounting software, these programs offer features that will meet the needs of any small company.

When entrepreneurs or business owners make software decisions, it is crucial they find software that will meet all of their small business needs. Small businesses often work as a team. Therefore, they need software that will constantly allow them to be in contact. Daylite allows constant communication, and team members are updated to important meetings, tasks, or conference calls. These features make it a top business software.

In addition to its line of top business software, BillingsPro is alsobillingspro available. It is one of the best small business accounting software available on the market. It also aims to meet the needs of entrepreneurs or business owners. Accounting software for small businesses should quickly and efficiently manage and update invoices. It should be able to record payments that customers have made, as well as payments that customers owe. Accounting software can be crucial for proper accounting records. Because small businesses may not have the financial status to yet hire an accountant specifically to handle financial matters, accounting software can be crucial.

By offering products that can meet the specific needs of clientele, Marketcircle is able to give small businesses with the software they need to thrive. Every decision that a small business makes can be the crucial turning point to either success or failure. In today’s competitive world of business, there are many internal and external factors that affect a business. Large corporations have the advantage of globalization and advanced technology. Using the right software can give a small company a competitive edge, to compete with these larger corporations.

Business and accounting software are investments, which can greatly help with the success of a small business. To have a chance in competing with larger corporations, small businesses sometimes need help. Because communication and correct financial reporting are such important tools, having software to aid the company will help small companies become successful. Purchasing the right software to fulfill the needs of a small company can help it thrive.

Editor’s Note: This is a paid post opportunity for Vancouver Gadgets. We believe this content is valuable and informative for our readers. To give us feedback on this post and other paid content opportunities please get in touch via our Contact Us page.

Facebook to buy Oculus VR for Two Billion in Cash

oculus vr
oculus vr headset
Image courtesy of businessinsider.com

Facebook has announced plans to purchase Oculus VR, the company behind the Rift headset, for around $2 billion in cash and stock. This includes $400 million, and 23.1 million Facebook shares. An additional $300 million earnout will be paid in cash and stock if Oculus hits certain unspecified milestones.

“I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement today.

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.

This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.

Zuckerberg says that their efforts with Oculus will continue to focus on gaming initially, and that the company will continue to operate independently of Facebook. But after gaming, Zuckerberg says, they’re going to expand into a variety of other arenas.

“After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home,” he says. “This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”

In a post on its blog, Oculus says that the benefits of the partnership might not be immediately visible.

At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform. But when you consider it more carefully, we’re culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; we believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step.

Most important, Facebook understands the potential for VR. Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate. Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn’t agree more.

Facebook, of course, found early success with games. Social gaming is responsible for a lot of the growth and spread of Facebook as a platform, rather than just a social service. Acquiring Oculus could signal a variety of things, but being able to tap into what is potentially the next big gaming trend is likely one of them. In addition, Facebook has been aggressive about understanding and supporting mobile use cases — but only after an initial period of foot-dragging and desktop focus. If VR is “what’s next” then Facebook will want to tap the market early to avoid any transitional gaffes this time around.

The purchase is expected to close in Q2 of 2014. Oculus has taken over 75K orders for its virtual reality headset so far. Those headsets have been developer editions designed to get developers interested in playing around with VR technology. The most recent “Crystal Cove” prototype features a full 1080p display and more sensors to detect and position users in virtual environments.

Of course, if you pull the thread of virtual reality out really really far, you could see a future where we’re not talking about the percentage of time people spend on mobile vs. desktop. Instead, we’re talking about the amount of time that people spend in virtual reality versus actual reality. In that kind of landscape, Facebook starting in on VR early makes painfully obvious sense.

The company has received a total of $93.4 million in funding so far from Spark, Matrix, Founders Fund, Formation 8, BIG Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. Oculus got a big boost in legitimacy recently when one of the founding fathers of 3D gaming, John Carmack, left id Software to become its CTO.

“Over the next 10 years, virtual reality will become ubiquitous, affordable, and transformative,” concludes the Oculus post, “and it begins with a truly next-generation gaming experience. This partnership ensures that the Oculus platform is coming, and that it’s going to change gaming forever.”

Tablo Tablet App previewed by Nuvyyo last week

tablologo

Last week, Nuvyyo, a pioneer in revolutionizing the home media experience previewed a new product that offers cord-cutters a better way to access free Over-The-Air (OTA) high-definition TV content. The new product, called Tablo is the first solution designed to combine the functionality of a DVR with the convenience and mobility of a tablet-based app to browse, record and stream broadcast TV content to any device, anytime, anywhere. Additionally, Nuvyyo has launched an Indiegogo campaign for Tablo to engage TV-lovers and early technology adopters as supporters and beta testers prior to the product’s retail availability in early 2014.

Enhanced Free HDTV Viewing

Replacing the need for a traditional DVR, Tablo takes free OTA HDTV to a new level through its visually rich, interactive Tablotablet app. Consumers can easily and remotely schedule and view recordings in Tablo’s comprehensive guide that allows browsing by genre, channel or time. The Tablo app works on iPad and Android tablets, with playback and live TV available for iPhone and Android smartphones, PCs and Macs, and on TV screens via Apple TV, Roku, or Google Chromecast.

“We are transforming today’s home media experience by delivering a better way to enjoy network and local programming in gorgeous HD, anywhere you happen to be,” said Grant Hall, CEO of Nuvyyo. “For TV lovers, Tablo takes away the fear of “cord-cutting” by perfecting the user experience with our tablet app and delivering the DVR functionality everyone knows and loves.”

Crowdfunding for Early Adopter Seeding

Nuvyyo’s Indiegogo project (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tablo-dvr-enjoy-free-hdtv-on-any-device-anytime-anywhere) is focused primarily on gathering product feedback from TV lovers and early technology adopters and soliciting beta testers in key geographic markets. Indiegogo supporters at various pledge levels can gain access to beta versions of Tablo ahead of the general public and influence key product feature and design choices. Pledges raised during the Indiegogo project will be used to fund initial production runs of the hardware so that the $4 million in venture backing Nuvyyo received earlier this year from Celtic House Venture Partners – a leading investor in technology and innovation – can be earmarked for sales and marketing support of the general product launch in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

“The TV industry is in an exciting period of innovation with a diversity of new services and business models. Internet-based video is taking off and free OTA HDTV, with better quality than satellite or cable, is now widely available,” said Celtic House partner Brian Antonen. “We believe Nuvyyo has the right mix of technology and expertise to address these trends with a solution that adds free broadcast TV to the internet video experience so that live and recorded HDTV can be enjoyed on mobile devices as well as the traditional big screen TV.”

Converging Market Dynamics

Tablo targets the growing trend in “cord-cutting” that enables consumers to save thousands of dollars by eliminating cable or satellite TV and replacing it with free OTA HDTV and internet video from companies such as Netflix and Hulu. With an average pay TV bill of $85 a month, consumers enjoying free broadcast programming using Tablo will save over $2,000 in just two years. Another market shift positioning Tablo for success is the tremendous popularity of tablet computing with an estimated 44 percent of U.S. households already owning at least one*.

To learn more about Nuvyyo and Tablo, please visit www.tablotv.com.

* 2013 Magid Media Futures study

About Nuvyyo

Nuvyyo, based in Ottawa, Canada, was founded in 2010 with the vision of reinventing the home media experience in the post PC era for consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Building on its first mobile media streaming system, the company is preparing to launch the only broadcast TV system designed around the mobility and convenience of a tablet, making it easy to browse watch and record free over-the-air (OTA) TV anywhere, anytime, on any device. Nuvyyo will launch Tablo in early 2014. For more information, visit www.tablotv.com .

About Celtic House Venture Partners

Celtic House Venture Partners is an independent Canadian investment firm. Since 1994, Celtic House has been one of Canada’s most active investors in technology and innovation. For more information, visit www.celtic-house.com.