Coconut Software joins forces with Google
Saskatoon-based software company Coconut has stated that its recent partnership with Google will enhance its customers’ experience.
The company, which provides appointment scheduling solutions, is confident that its product can drive efficiencies, growth and value. Recognising that customers’ needs are constantly changing, Coconut’s platform provides an agile suite of data collection methods.
The collaboration will mean US-based customers can book appointments directly via Google using a ‘reserve with Google’ feature.
“Creating frictionless opportunities that facilitate customer engagement is our focus,” said Katherine Regnier, Coconut Founder and CEO, in a press release.
“Today’s consumers expect fast, convenient, digital experiences, so the ability to book appointments directly through Google Search is set to be a game-changer and we’re excited to bring this to our clients.”
Software: a booming Canadian sector
Coconut isn’t the only software company to report a recent growth in business.
Jobber: Starting in 2011 with a team of three people, CEO Sam Pillar has managed to transform Jobber into a company helping over 70,000 customers in 43 countries.
Believing that SMEs are the future of modern business, but aware that many struggle to turn a profit in the first five years, the Edmonton-based company is dedicated to providing management software for field service companies.
According to the company’s website, Jobber’s mission is “to build a powerful but easy to use system that would automate the day-to-day work of small businesses. For us, success would be helping small business owners move more efficiently, survive changes in the economy, support their families and communities, and WIN at creating something on their own.”
Shopify: An emerging rival to Amazon as the leading e-marketplace, Shopify is undergoing rapid expansions in the Canadian market.
Lynsey Thorton, VP at Shopify, discussed new plans for developments in Vancouver, such as the intention to hire 1,000 new workers.
“We see a lot of growth happening in Vancouver, but we believe we can offer something different,” she said
“I was Shopify’s first employee in Vancouver, and it’s always been clear to me that there’s a huge local talent presence here.”
For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.
Follow Business Chief on LinkedIn and Twitter
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.