Google recognises Toronto’s tech potential
Stating that Google would be working very closely with the region to develop products, services and capabilities that were specialised and optimised specifically for the Canadian market.
Coming two years after the company made its initial venture into the country with its Montreal office, the Toronto office will be fully equipped to meet its customers’ needs, whether they are individuals, companies, organisations or institutions.
Toronto: an up-and-coming scene
Arguably a very logical choice for Google, the Toronto region has seen some very exciting development within its tech sector recently.
With a 16.6% increase in overall hiring during 2019 and an 84.6% rise from 2014 levels, Toronto offers a diverse environment of engaging local culture and a well-educated workforce, making it an ideal place to build a tech-based company.
Having a global giant like Google see potential in the area lends industry credence to this growth and is widely being seen as a net positive for businesses in the area.
Regarding the expansion, David Furlong, SVP at Banque Nationale, said, “Google Cloud’s Toronto region will benefit the Canadian financial industry, enabling highly regulated organizations to perform disaster recovery while meeting data residency requirements.”
Andrew McCormack, CIO at Payments Canada, was similarly enthused, “Google’s new Toronto cloud region will help us continue to modernise our infrastructure, strengthen our resilience, and create a digital platform for innovation.”
The seed of a smart city?
In a recent article by CBC, Alex Norman, Co-Founder of Tech Toronto, believed that the conditions were perfect for the city to start sharing the limelight with technology meccas like San Francisco and New York.
"We've created the right environment where people want to work, people can come work and then companies realize they can't poach talent and bring them down, they have to come here to get access to that talent."
With investment continuing to pour in, it could be that Toronto has been earmarked as a potential smart city. If this trend of widespread industry interest continues, Toronto could become highly significant in the coming years.
For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.