A new app is helping the taxi industry compete with Uber
Though they’re often advertised as ridesharing, most consumers understand the true nature of apps like Uber and Lyft as smartphone technology meant to disrupt and evolve the taxi industry. This fact isn’t lost on the established taxi industry—earlier this year frustration taxi drivers in France took to the streets and staged protests against Uber, and last week taxi drivers in Toronto staged their own protests asking for stricter laws to manage UberX drivers while in Calgary Uber has suspended operations to work on stronger regulation.
Now a Canadian tech company is offering its country’s taxi industry a different way to fight the competition: this week CellWand Communications launched The Ride, a brand new app designed to help Canadian taxi companies compete with ridesharing apps directly.
The Toronto-based tech company previously launched #TAXI, a mobile phone service that connects users to the first available taxi company in the area by dialing #TAXI (#8294). This new service harnesses the versatility of apps to push that concept even further.
“Available for iOS and Android, the app helps users e-hail taxis and compare transit options,” says The Ride’s press page. “The Ride is the most comprehensive transportation app in Canada, with direct real-time connection to over 6,000 cars and 25,000 taxis through its fleet partnerships, serving over 700 Canadian cities and towns.”
Users can “e-hail a cab,” booking close-by licensed and insured cabs and tracking their location along a built-in map similar to other ridesharing apps. Users can also map out public transit options, find nearby Car2Go and ZipCar vehicles, and choose to pay drivers with cash or link the app with a credit card. What’s more, unlike Uber and other services, the taxi companies working with The Ride promise only the stated fare (plus a $2 e-hailing convenience fee or $1 live dispatch connection fee) with no surge pricing.
While the industry has been calling for regulations on ridesharing companies for some time, change and legislation are coming slowly. But by working alongside technology and improving its own offerings, the taxi industry may still be able to beat Uber at its own game.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”