Celebrating the Next Generation of Business Digitization Talents

       

Savoir-faire Linux and ICTC celebrate the first cohorts of the successful graduates from the Small Business Digitization Initiative (SBDI).

The first students, the pioneers, started last January their six-month journey which can position them as the next generation of digitization talents. They went through an intense in-class training helping them understand how technology opens countless improvement and change opportunities. At the same time, they tackled a real business challenge in a natural work environment, thus balancing theory and practice, through a unique approach based on agile feedback.

Some students from the class of 2017

A Training to Be Seen as the Digitization Leader’s Toolkit

Students worked on projects as diverse as delivering fresh products to Nunavut, developing local retail shops promoting health, building cool brands, improving the customer experience in-store and online, and scaling the business of a micro-brewery. They touched a wide-range of technologies from beacons, communication and collaboration technologies, business applications of all sorts from sales to accounting and customer relationship management. Some of more technical students managed to build an Android mobile app, deploying an open source internal social media, developing online stores with Shopify, WordPress or Odoo, and developing a software for a local insurance company to do underwriting online. We used Odoo, and more generally a wide range of open source technologies, which could be easily accessible and useful to students to tackle business challenges. We provided students with the necessary training and skill set to apply open source projects and combine them with other technologies while solving business related problems.


Theory Face-to-Face with the Reality

We would like to congratulate every single student for their efforts, for the challenges they bravely faced, for trying to apply their theoretical learning in real-life scenarios, regardless of the success rate!

During this 6-month long program, they confronted tough decision making situations and challenges with both courage and determination. These experiences, for some, led to new job opportunities. Some others realized that they needed more training and coaching. Some candidates evolved dramatically as a result of their flexibility and adaptations to the business context. In fact, they learned that they should accept to let go of some ambitions or had to adjust them to the real context.

One thing we are sure is that all candidates received a fair amount of constructive one-on-one training and feedback. They used these feedback loops as an instrumental tool to develop business solutions and make decisions based on what they have learned in class. After all, there may be more than one technological solution to resolve the same problem. But knowing that technology is just a tool, and not the main purpose, students learned to think globally and critically of all the stakeholders being affected by every decision. Such pluralistic approach to realistic problem solving opened a range of possibilities which demanded even a more engaged and considerate decision making process. We did our best to provide all necessary tools to the best of our knowledge and capability and hopefully we left a positive and lasting mark on them.

Savoir-faire Linux’s Role in the Program

Savoir-faire Linux is a technology and innovation company. We have been involved in this program as a business as well as technology training partner of ICTC. Furthermore, we recommended a module about sustainability to be added to the curriculum, and ICTC (our client-partner) accepted our proposal. As an Open Source Software advocate and an environmentally committed company, sustainability lies at the heart of our innovation strategy.

On the technology part, we mixed and match some general culture about IT, with hands-on exercises and feedback from our past experience pool. On the business side, we decided to broach a wide range of business processes (like a mini-MBA program), and showed the students how an ERP (in our case, the Odoo solution) was an appropriate technological solution to a functional problem. The two days of sustainability were offered as an opening subject, giving students the opportunity to imagine how the future would constrain us and change our whole way of designing, optimizing, sourcing and more globally consuming. This part was well received and gave more sens to innovation and change topics. We were really happy of how well it was received by the participants.

SBDI Participants in Action

The Future of the SBDI

We are thinking about the future of the Small Business Digitization Initiative (SBDI), as we are gathering feedback from students and employers. As this initiative was never done before, we have many ideas to adapt and improve the program. Our main challenge is to strike a more consistent balance between the theory and practice based on considerations of the received feedback and the stakeholders’ rights as well as their expectations. We have developed some answers and we will realize this goal in the next program.

To conclude, we extend our gratitude to all the team members. In fact, 11 people; namely, Marc, Mickael, Carol, Daniel, Monica, Adriana, Julien, Guillaume, Quentin, Bruno and Pascal have been passionately involved in the curriculum design and preparation as well as teaching the sessions.  They are happy and content about their contribution, experience and more important of all about the invaluable lessons learned from their engagement. Today, we are confident that we can make a significant difference in the Canadian youth’ future career development and therefore look forward to other opportunities to participate in a new project of this kind.

To obtain more information about the program or get involved, please contact our Director of Operations/COO: Mickael Brard through email: mickael.brard@savoirfairelinux.com or telephone: +1 514 276 5468 (#357)

More informations

Toronto Magazine: Activities for February

This month Savoir-faire Linux celebrates its first 100 days in Toronto. By engaging with the community early on, we have demonstrated our commitment to the people of Ontario, and laid the foundation for open innovation to play a major role in the digitization of businesses and cities. And we’ve just started to pick up speed! Savoir-faire Linux invites everyone to join a critical conversation every week to improve productivity and accessibility.

Downtown Toronto skyline at night
Photo: Rick Harris via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Feb. 17: Odoo Meetup (the community-driven ERP)

Odoo Toronto MeetupMaxime Chambreuil, co-founder and Board member of the Odoo Community Association, is organizing a second session of this monthly meetup on open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). We are inviting everyone to consider joining this community. It’s an open group and everyone who valuable thoughts and/or knowledge to share about Odoo and ERPs is welcome to contribute.

Join and register now

Please check and register also our community website (http://odoo.ca) where you will find more information and resources about Odoo and the organizers.


Feb. 24: Toronto OpenStack Meetup

OpenStack Toronto LogoOpenStack is the gold standard for cloud computing. Jonathan Le Lous, VP Cloud Infrastructure and Business Development at Savoir-faire Linux, is a leader in the French OpenStack community and an active speaker and organizer in the Montreal OpenStack community. Rather than starting another group in Toronto we approached the local OpenStack community to revive their meetups, and Jonathan will talk this month about OpenStack deployments in Canada.

Join and register now


March 1st: Digital Accessibility in Ontario

march1st-logoAt this lunch & learn, we will hear Mike Gifford, official Drupal 8 Core Accessibility Maintainer, Founder and President of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, speak about Accessibility in Ontario. Accessibility is inherently the result of an open and inclusive ecosystem. Open Source technology — and Drupal in particular — provide great examples of community-driven projects improving accessibility.

Register now

Mastering CFEngine Configuration Management Software in Montreal with Jonathan Clarke

This coming September, Normation‘s CTO Jonathan Clarke* will travel from Paris (France) to Montreal in order to give a 3-day modular training session on CFEngine 3** at Savoir-faire Linux. Our CFEngine Practice Leader Jean Rémond had a talk with him over a Google video chat recently. Jonathan provided him insight into the training syllabus tailored to the needs of system administrators seriously interested to get their hands on this popular open source configuration management system.

La vidéo est sous-titrée en français ➚  cc  ➚ English captions available

» Read more about CFEngine on Wikipedia.
» Learn more about the training on the CFEngine website.
» Register to this North-American session on Evenbrite.

*About The Instructor

Jonathan Clarke has already trained hundreds of people and he is one of the few CFEngine Champions worldwide. You may follow him on Twitter where he is known as @jooooooon42.

*About CFEngine

In short, CFEngine is an open source software that aims to provide automated configuration of large-scale computer systems and a unified management interface for servers, desktops, networked devices, smartphones, and tablet computers. The editor is based in Norway and reports 10 millions servers under management in more than 100 countries, including those of many of the world’s largest organizations. Many North-Americans companies rely on Savoir-faire Linux’s Infrastructure team to coach them and help them to leverage the power of this automated configuration management system.