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2023 Fall Economic Update on¬†Consumer-Driven Banking ūü•≥

Financial Services | Digital Banking | Fintech | Open Banking

2023 Fall Economic Update on¬†Consumer-Driven Banking ūü•≥

November 29, 2023

When we attended the CLA Lenders Summit a few weeks ago, it seemed like everyone was ready to sign the death certificate for Open Banking in Canada. Very little, if any, material progress had been communicated on behalf of the government to create a regulatory framework or policy mandate to make good on the promise or timelines defined by an Advisory Committee on Open Banking Report which became the mandate of Abraham Tachjian, who was appointed as Canada’s Open Banking lead, by the Liberal government in 2022.

Fast-forward to Wednesday November 21st, 2023 when Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland provided her 2023 Fall Economic Update, our team, as well as many of our clients and industry collaborators were taken by surprise when the Liberals laid out a framework and timeline for Canada to implement a Consumer-Driven Banking approach.

Aside from a snazzy rebrand of the open banking moniker, the policy statement on Consumer-Driven Banking outlined the goal of “adopting legislation and fully implementing the necessary governance framework by 2025”. It would seem from the update, part of the governments motivation for moving ahead with consumer-driven banking is a focus on the affordability crises facing many Canadians. The Consumer-Driven Driven Banking policy statement was listed under the header of ‚ÄúMaking Life More Affordable‚ÄĚ in the economic update.¬† The update for Canada now seems to be following a similar path to how policy is being shaped and implemented in the US.

Our Take:

As long-term believers in the benefits of Open Banking, we are thrilled to learn of the renewed commitment to making consumer-directed banking a reality in Canada.  While there is still a lot of work to be done as well as the additional hurdle of new  legislation being tabled during an election cycle, we are committed to the potential  benefits of Consumer Directed Banking for banking customers and the significant opportunity for innovation and collaboration in the Canadian financial services sector.

You can read the full Fall Economic Statement here but if you are short on time, ChatGPT did a pretty good job of summarizing the statement in bullets, below.

 

Introduction to Consumer-Driven Banking:

    • Allows secure transfer of financial data via API.
    • Aims to replace unsecure screen-scraping.
    • Enables access to data-driven financial services.

Benefits of Consumer-driven Banking:

    • Consumers gain secure access to innovative financial tools.
    • Greater control over financial data for improved outcomes.
    • Small businesses experience reduced administrative burden.

Policy Objectives:

    • Safety and soundness of the financial sector.
    • Consumer financial well-being and protection.
    • Economic growth and international competitiveness.

Core Framework Elements:

    • Governance: Oversight and management of the system.
    • Scope: Types of data, participants, and expansion pace.
    • Accreditation: Requirements for participating in data sharing.
    • Common Rules: Privacy, security, and liability guidelines.
    • Technical Standards: Establishment and oversight of data flow.

Course of Action (Legislation in 2024):

    • Phased approach to scope, oversight, and screen-scraping elimination.
    • Key elements codified in legislation.
    • Mandate to a government-led entity for supervision and enforcement.

Governance (Effective Oversight):

    • Government-led entity to supervise and enforce the framework.
    • Model for provincial entities to “opt-in” to governance.
    • Strong governance framework to ensure compliance.

Scope (Phased Implementation):

    • Initial phase includes federally-regulated financial institutions.
    • Opt-in option for credit unions and third parties.
    • Reciprocal access for all entities to promote data portability.

Accreditation (Trusted Data Sharing):

    • Formal framework for entities collecting consumer data.
    • Regular reporting for accreditation maintenance.
    • Exemption for federally-regulated banks and credit unions.

Common Rules (Transparent Foundation):

    • Privacy, security, and liability obligations.
    • Compliance as a condition for data access.
    • Complements existing legislation.

Privacy (Protection Measures):

    • Participants must comply with legislative frameworks.
    • Specific privacy rules for financial data sharing.
    • Consent dashboards for real-time consumer control.

Liability (Clear Structure):

    • Statutory contractual relationship between participants.
    • Liability moves with the data and rests with the party at fault.
    • Internal policies and procedures for complaint handling.

Security (Protecting Consumer Data):

    • Clear security requirements for accredited entities.
    • Oversight of security standards in legislation.
    • Ongoing reporting obligations for data protection.

Single Technical Standard:

    • Mandate for a single technical standard.
    • Legislation to outline principles and oversight.

Next Steps for consumer-driven banking:

    • Department of Finance aims to implement the framework by 2025.
    • Ongoing engagement with industry stakeholders.
    • Legislative framework development and phased implementation.

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The Keys to the Secret Garden: Unlocking the Potential of AI in the Enterprise

Insight | AI | Enterprise Tech | Generative AI

The Keys to the Secret Garden: Unlocking the Potential of AI in the Enterprise

November 27, 2023
Image of a garden

At this point, enterprise generative AI applications for ¬†software development,¬†marketing,¬†customer/employee service¬†, and¬†product design are proliferating as the standout use-cases early adopters are focusing on. From our position working with clients to develop and enable enterprise data + AI solutions, we’ve gained perspective on several of the foundational characteristics enterprises will need to develop to realize on the promise of this 3rd wave of the human-computer revolution.

Even though it is still early days we are very enthusiastic about the prospects of LLMs and powerful ML capabilities to unlock vast economic value and growth for progressive enterprises. Some are estimating an impact of $1 trillion, or 4% of GDP, in the U.S. alone and the generative AI market is expected to see rapid growth, rising from 11.3 billion USD in 2023 to 51.8 billion by 2028.

But First, a Disclaimer

Blanc Labs focuses on the financial services and healthcare industries. We see both sectors as having massive potential in terms of the benefits offered through the application of these transformative technologies.  Both healthcare and financial services are hugely complex, highly regulated, and depending on who you speak to, resistant to change. We believe the stage is set for a broader divergence of winners and losers: organizations that build capability and competency in adopting new tools and leverage the power of their enterprise data will stand to reap the benefits of their investments.

So with all the hype surrounding generative AI and the rapid advancement of a field that feels to moving forward at the speed of light, it is important to understand why some organizations will be better suited to create value in this field than others, and what organizations can do to ensure success.

‚õĒÔłŹ Cloud Infrastructure Only ‚õĒÔłŹ

AWS Enterprise Strategist and Evangelist, Phil Lebrun is a pretty smart guy. In one of his posts about the topic, his flagship advice is “Don’t try this without the cloud.” You want your teams focused on problem-solving and innovation, not on managing the underlying complexity and cost of enabling infrastructure and licenses. The cloud is the enabler for adopting AI, making available cost-effective data lakes, sustainably provisioned GPUs and compute, high-speed networking, and consumption-based costing.

Enterprise Platforms are a Lynchpin

If we consider that having completed a cloud migration or cloud native approach is table stakes for AI¬† enablement within an organization, the next big question will be where your enterprise data resides. The organization’s technology infrastructure and enterprise platform ecosystem will in many ways determine what toolsets may be available to facilitate experimentation and development of AI enabled use cases.

If you are a CIO, CTO or CDO, start by taking stock of the platforms that house your enterprise data and evaluate the toolsets offered by these power technology-ecosystem juggernauts. Microsoft and AWS are emerging as clear leaders in terms of providing their customers powerful tools to apply ML and AI to their enterprise data, but Salesforce, SAP, Pega and OpenText Рamongst many others will offer tooling to access, manage and apply AI to enterprise data.

It is impossible to predict who the big winners and losers of this space will be, partially because they are such massive and well entrenched players but keep an eye on this space over the next few years.

The ūüĎŅ is in the Data [Taxonomy]

Building an enterprise data model across a complicated operating environment like a bank is no small feat. Standardizing data definitions between different lines of business in a bank involves tackling the complexity of enterprise (+legacy) platforms used to store and handle data. This complexity extends to accommodating the diverse needs of various stakeholder groups with distinct preferences for accessing, manipulating, and analyzing data.

In many ways, risk is a unifying theme and responsibility within regulated industries like the banking sector. We see conformance to risk measurement and regulatory reporting requirements as a lightning rod for action amongst FI’s to get their “data house” in order but proactive approaches amongst banking and technology executives are few and far between.

In a recent interview with Tech Exec magazine, VP of Data and Adaptive Intelligence at Munich Re Canada Branch (Life), Lovell Hodge encapsulated the shift in how progressive organizations are thinking about their data:

“Over the years, there has been a realization that data has an inherent information value to the organization. As the years go by, we‚Äôre rapidly producing more data at an increasingly and somewhat alarming rate. So, what a lot of folks in the industry have realized is that there is not a huge space between theoretical concepts around information from data, and how they can use that information to simplify internal processes and also benefit clients.
So, you‚Äôre seeing that interdependence starting to mature. And because of that, many organizations are looking at their data not as just something they have to store, but as an asset they can leverage. And once you start thinking in that sort of way, then you start to formulate methods by which you can gain value from data, and it becomes an important part of your corporate strategy.”

App Design and Development Now Occurs ‘In the Data’

Historically, software design and development occurred in a sandbox that was devoid of enterprise data. In traditional dev environments we piped in dummy data to test parameters and during QA tested connectivity and security. But with the explosion of sophisticated ML and AI tools, application development will very much occur at the nexus of querying, manipulating, analyzing and visualizing proprietary data sets.

There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for these new tools to democratize data for business users through the use of conversational/natural language query tools to conduct analysis and derive insights from enterprise data sets.

Another big change will be the blurring of the lines between the role of developers and data scientists and in many cases, these resources will be working directly alongside each other.  Technical resources will require access to live data sets to facilitate model training and to leverage powerful data analytics toolsets. This is going to require a significant shift (from reactive to proactive) in terms of access management and data security.

Firms that work with external partners will require them to adhere to an extremely high standard of data security protocols i.e., ISO and SOC 2 compliance certification with regular audits.

Specific sector, domain, and knowledge of business context has always counted for a lot but increasingly developers won’t be able to rely on detailed functional, technical and design requirements documentation to define the specs of what they are developing.¬† It will require a much more experimental, test and learn approach.¬† Toolsets are only going to get more user friendly to work with but developing high impact apps leveraging advanced AI/ML techniques will require a detailed and nuanced understanding of user needs, workflow, data inputs, command prompts, prompt modelling strategies, and a continuous improvement approach to get to a place of lasting and tangible impact for businesses and teams.

In Summary:

There is much still to be learned through this large-scale adoption of a suite of technologies that are evolving at such a rapid pace. This is by no means a complete list of the things business teams and leaders need to consider as they look to capture competitive advantage from these powerful new tools. At Blanc Labs, we are excited about the future and look forward to working with companies to develop their capabilities to create business value by harnessing the tremendous potential of their enterprise data.

About the Author

David Offierski
VP Partnerships & Marketing

With over 15 years in technology consulting services, I am thrilled at how next-gen technologies will unlock a new wave of innovation and productivity for enterprises.

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People, Processes & Business Practices

Insight | Leadership

People, Processes & Business Practices

April 22, 2022
Samira Akbari

By Samira Akbari

I’m a jack (or jill really) of all trades, an enabler of teams, the governance that limits risk exposure, the financial counsellor who ensures that goals are met, and the process and systems authority who enables agility and efficiency. It takes very specific skills to build to who I am today, and I am grateful for the journey and the lessons learned. I am Samira Akbari, Senior Director of Operations and Corporate Services at Blanc Labs, and this is my story.

The beginning

I was born and grew up in the city of Mashhad, in Iran and was fortunate with an enriching childhood and education. Mathematics was always a favourite subject for me. To me, it has always felt like a universal language that has very little complexity in it. Anyone can speak math!

My education path led me to my first move to Tehran to complete an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics and then immigrate to Canada in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree with the same major at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Canada was a new start, a rebirth in my mid-twenties. Though the place was new, with a language that wasn’t my own and culture that was different, it excited me.

Building on the career path

When I graduated, it took me some time to explore opportunities and find a career path that I cared for and that matched my core competencies. I always liked and enjoyed mathematics, however, I noticed, as universal a language as it is, it is not easily transmissible to the job market.

I started my career search with roles such as ‚ÄėFinancial Analyst‚Äô or ‚ÄėRisk Modeler‚Äô. However, my search was not successful. Unsurprising ‚ÄėOperations‚Äô wasn‚Äôt even on my initial list! A very good friend who knows me and my skills very well introduced me to that career path. As the author,¬†Simon Sinek¬†says ‚ÄúIf you want to find your ‚ÄėWHY‚Äô, ask your friends what it is they think you should do.‚ÄĚ I listened to my friend and got my first job in operations.

For three years, I worked at a London-based retail company as an operations analyst and manager. It was my first job opportunity in Canada, and I worked hard at trying to prove myself. It was only after I joined that I understood why my friend suggested I take this career path. Operations was all about people, processes, and structure. I like working with people, am very process oriented with a structured mind! It was a great fit for me. I will always remember those years where I had the opportunity to bond with an amazing team and be mentored by the company’s general manager.

The general manager was a woman, and she was mindful in how she developed the culture of the company. She made it a point to have one on one bonds with every single employee (and there were more than a 100 people at the company). She created an environment that felt very collaborative and family oriented. It was so inspiring to see a women lead in such a mature and powerful way.

Looking back, a big lesson that I learned from her was that to succeed at operations, you need to be fierce and kind at the same time. These two words are not antonyms but people sometimes feel that you can only be one or the other.

In 2015, Blanc Labs’ CEO, reached out to me about an opportunity at Blanc Labs associated with operations management. I was apprehensive at first: I had never worked in tech before and Blanc Labs was a young company. But I was inspired by the mission of the company and the opportunity to work in a fast-growing business. 7 years later, I am thoroughly enjoying the dynamism and entrepreneurial nature of the corporate culture and the tech sector.

What does it take to lead operations?

I think the most rewarding aspect of being part of operations, is to see the entire cycle of the business end to end and work cross functionally with all the departments. Not every role gives you that opportunity. When I think about operations in a dynamic environment such as the one at Blanc Labs, I attribute the following things to my success:

  • Be a problem solver. Operations are the wheels of the company, and a business cannot be paused by unsolved problems!
  • The ability to adopt and learn the important factors of any new topic in a short amount of time is an invaluable skill. In this role, you will get exposed to a lot of areas from finance to HR, to Legal and even Tech ‚Äď some of which may be foreign to you. You will not have the luxury of time to be an expert in everyone or even one of those functional areas. Be adaptable and learn how to navigate your way through all of it without being an expert in any of them.
  • Be a good listener and able to see beyond the words and ask the right questions to find the root cause of the issues. This is where the opportunity of improvement lies.
  • Be prepared to say no and risk being unpopular. As a business operations leader, you will deal with change management everyday. The fact of the matter is that not every decision is made by consensus and there may not even be enough time to get buy in. There will always be team members who don‚Äôt approve of your decisions or are unhappy with the change. You need to be decisive and willing to own it.
  • Be adaptive, open to feedback and always open to improvement. Operations is all about efficiency and improvement. It is like changing an old wooden wheel to a new automated one.
  • Connect the dots. As an operations executive, you need to know exactly how every function in the company builds synergies with each other and help enable them.
  • To be successful at this role or any other role I believe you need to have a sense of ownership. I usually say if it is there and no one is doing it, then it belongs the business operations to push it through.

Women in Leadership

Being a woman and an immigrant, you may have more self-doubt, as I did. But if you want something, just go for it! My exploration of my identity hasn‚Äôt always been smooth. Have I been told that I am too direct and come across too strong and that I need to soften up in the past? Sadly, yes. I remember trying to change myself when I was younger to be the ‚Äúsofter‚ÄĚ woman that resonated with people. Today, I see my directness as a strength that helps me be successful at what I do and it helps me add the most value to my team. I have also learned that if your intentions are good and you don‚Äôt make things personal, people see through to the heart of what you are working towards. I‚Äôm unafraid to take the bull by its horns, address the gap, learn everything I can about the challenge and help the team conquer the goal.

I think about my journey, the people who have added color, wisdom, growth, compassion and so much more to it, and I am grateful for the person I am today. I am thankful of being able to embrace my true self. To quote a woman I truly admire, Bren√© Brown, ‚ÄúBecause true belonging only happens when we present our authentic selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.‚ÄĚ This is where I am, and this is how I choose to grow.

Learn more about our company values or explore Sary Tolosa’s story of growth at Blanc Labs to learn more about how people are central to what we do every day.

Blanc Labs launches Digital Academy in Colombia‚ÄĮ‚ÄĮ¬†¬†

Insight | Leadership | STEM

Blanc Labs launches Digital Academy in Colombia‚ÄĮ‚ÄĮ¬†¬†

April 19, 2022
Digital Academy

Toronto, ON ‚Äď April 19, 2022.¬†Blanc Labs Inc. launches Digital Academy, a unique program designed to empower university students with learning of emerging technologies while still in their education journey. Students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics university degree programs, will have the opportunity to join Bootcamp-style hands-on learning that prepares them for a forward-looking career in a global innovative technology landscape.

With operations in Canada, US, Colombia, and Argentina, Blanc Labs plans to open the door to new entrepreneurial minds and build communities of practice in emerging technologies, FinTech and HealthTech. Blanc Labs has chosen Bogota, Colombia to launch its first training and development community and plans to expand the Digital Academy initiative into other countries in the LATAM region.

‚ÄĚ We are excited about the launch of Digital Academy. Our Digital Academy team works closely with our Innovation Studios to ensure associates in the academy program will get world-class training and hands-on experience in the latest emerging tech. Bogota is a globally recognized hub for exceptional technical talent and expertise. We are committed to investing in the growth of our future talent in South America.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĮ said Hamid Akbari, CEO & President of Blanc Labs.

In alignment with Blanc Lab’s vision of accelerating digital innovation and creating a global force of innovative change, the Digital Academy program offers a distinctive approach to developing talents and creating a gateway to the global digital economy.

‚ÄúLearning a variety of emerging technologies, combined with exposure to the real-life industry challenges, will enable Digital Academy Associates to thrive in their hands-on learning journey and professional career development. In alignment with Innovation Studios objectives, Digital Academy will revolutionize early-stage talent development at Blanc Labs and will strengthen our talent base globally‚ÄĚ said Peyman Parsi, Chief Technology Officer at Blanc Labs.

After completion of the program, Associates will receive the Digital Academy certification and a select group of the graduates will have an opportunity to join the Blanc Labs international team.

Digital Academy showcases Blanc Labs’ commitment to social responsibility, education, and empowerment in Latin America. The program inspires students to develop their skillsets, advance in their careers, and prepare for the dynamic and constantly evolving technology landscape.

About Blanc Labs

Blanc Labs is a preferred partner for enterprises looking to digitize and build the next generation of technology products and services. To help companies rapidly deliver on their digital initiatives, Blanc Labs has developed expertise and bespoke solutions in a wide variety of applications in the financial services, healthcare, enterprise productivity and customer experience. Headquartered in Toronto, Blanc Labs serves the Americas through operations in Toronto, New York, Bogota and Buenos Aires. For more information on how Blanc Labs is building a better future, visit www.blanclabs.com.

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ-

Blanc Labs lanza Digital Academy en Colombia

Toronto, ON ‚Äď Abril 19, 2022. Blanc Labs Inc. lanza Digital Academy, un programa √ļnico dise√Īado para estudiantes universitarios donde podr√°n fortalecer el aprendizaje de tecnolog√≠as emergentes a medida que avanzan en su carrera profesional. Los estudiantes inscritos en programas universitarios relacionados con ciencia, tecnolog√≠a, ingenier√≠a y matem√°ticas tendr√°n la oportunidad de unirse a entrenamientos y talleres pr√°cticos que los preparar√°n para una carrera exitosa en el actual panorama de innovaci√≥n y tecnolog√≠a a nivel global.

Con operaciones en Canadá, Estados Unidos, Colombia y Argentina, Blanc Labs planea abrir la puerta a nuevos emprendedores y construir comunidades de práctica en tecnologías emergentes, FinTech y HealthTech. Blanc Labs eligió a Bogotá, Colombia, para lanzar su primera comunidad de capacitación y desarrollo y planea expandir la iniciativa de Digital Academy a otros países de América Latina y el Caribe.

‚ÄúEstamos entusiasmados con el lanzamiento de Digital Academy. Nuestro equipo trabaja de la mano con los¬†Innovation Studios¬†de Blanc Labs para garantizar que los estudiantes reciban una formaci√≥n de primer nivel, as√≠ como experiencia pr√°ctica en tecnolog√≠as emergentes. Bogot√° es mundialmente reconocido como un centro de experiencia y talento t√©cnico excepcional. Estamos comprometidos con el crecimiento de los futuros talentos en Am√©rica del Sur‚ÄĚ. dijo Hamid Akbari, CEO y presidente de Blanc Labs.

Como parte de la visi√≥n de Blanc Labs de acelerar la innovaci√≥n digital y crear una fuerza global de cambio innovador, el programa Digital Academy ofrece un enfoque √ļnico para desarrollar talentos y crear una puerta de entrada a la econom√≠a digital global.

‚ÄúEl aprendizaje de una variedad de tecnolog√≠as emergentes, combinado con la exposici√≥n a los desaf√≠os actuales en la industria, permitir√° a los¬†Associates¬†de Digital Academy avanzar en una traves√≠a de aprendizaje que fortalece el desarrollo de su carrera profesional. Siguiendo los objetivos de nuestros Innovation Studios, Digital Academy revolucionar√° el desarrollo de talento en Blanc Labs y fortalecer√° nuestra comunidad a nivel mundial‚ÄĚ, dijo Peyman Parsi, director de tecnolog√≠a de Blanc Labs.

Después de completar el programa, los estudiantes recibirán certificaciones de Digital Academy y un grupo selecto de participantes tendrá la oportunidad de unirse al equipo internacional de Blanc Labs.

Digital Academy representa el compromiso de Blanc Labs con la responsabilidad social, la educación y el empoderamiento en América Latina. El programa inspira a los estudiantes a desarrollar sus habilidades, avanzar en sus carreras y prepararse para el panorama dinámico y en constante evolución en la industria de la tecnología.

Acerca de Blanc Labs

Blanc Labs es un aliado de negocios para las empresas que buscan digitalizarse y construir la próxima generación de productos y servicios tecnológicos. Para ayudar a las empresas a cumplir rápidamente con sus iniciativas digitales, Blanc Labs ofrece su experiencia y un amplio portafolio de soluciones y aplicaciones en servicios financieros, atención médica, productividad empresarial y experiencia del cliente. Con sede en Toronto, Canadá, Blanc Labs ofrece hoy sus servicios para el continente americano desde sus oficinas en Toronto, Nueva York, Bogotá y Buenos Aires. Para obtener más información sobre cómo Blanc Labs está construyendo un mejor futuro, visite www.blanclabs.com.

Blanc Labs lanza Digital Academy en Colombia

Insight | Leadership | STEM

Blanc Labs lanza Digital Academy en Colombia

April 19, 2022
Digital Academy

Toronto, ON ‚Äď Abril 18, 2022. Blanc Labs Inc. lanza Digital Academy, un programa √ļnico dise√Īado para estudiantes universitarios donde podr√°n fortalecer el aprendizaje de tecnolog√≠as emergentes a medida que avanzan en su carrera profesional. Los estudiantes inscritos en programas universitarios relacionados con ciencia, tecnolog√≠a, ingenier√≠a y matem√°ticas tendr√°n la oportunidad de unirse a entrenamientos y talleres pr√°cticos que los preparar√°n para una carrera exitosa en el actual panorama de innovaci√≥n y tecnolog√≠a a nivel global.

Con operaciones en Canadá, Estados Unidos, Colombia y Argentina, Blanc Labs planea abrir la puerta a nuevos emprendedores y construir comunidades de práctica en tecnologías emergentes, FinTech y HealthTech. Blanc Labs eligió a Bogotá, Colombia, para lanzar su primera comunidad de capacitación y desarrollo y planea expandir la iniciativa de Digital Academy a otros países de América Latina y el Caribe.

‚ÄúEstamos entusiasmados con el lanzamiento de Digital Academy. Nuestro equipo trabaja de la mano con los¬†Innovation Studios¬†de Blanc Labs para garantizar que los estudiantes reciban una formaci√≥n de primer nivel, as√≠ como experiencia pr√°ctica en tecnolog√≠as emergentes. Bogot√° es mundialmente reconocido como un centro de experiencia y talento t√©cnico excepcional. Estamos comprometidos con el crecimiento de los futuros talentos en Am√©rica del Sur‚ÄĚ. dijo Hamid Akbari, CEO y presidente de Blanc Labs.

Como parte de la visi√≥n de Blanc Labs de acelerar la innovaci√≥n digital y crear una fuerza global de cambio innovador, el programa Digital Academy ofrece un enfoque √ļnico para desarrollar talentos y crear una puerta de entrada a la econom√≠a digital global.

‚ÄúEl aprendizaje de una variedad de tecnolog√≠as emergentes, combinado con la exposici√≥n a los desaf√≠os actuales en la industria, permitir√° a los¬†Associates¬†de Digital Academy avanzar en una traves√≠a de aprendizaje que fortalece el desarrollo de su carrera profesional. Siguiendo los objetivos de nuestros Innovation Studios, Digital Academy revolucionar√° el desarrollo de talento en Blanc Labs y fortalecer√° nuestra comunidad a nivel mundial‚ÄĚ, dijo Peyman Parsi, director de tecnolog√≠a de Blanc Labs.

Después de completar el programa, los estudiantes recibirán certificaciones de Digital Academy y un grupo selecto de participantes tendrá la oportunidad de unirse al equipo internacional de Blanc Labs.

Digital Academy representa el compromiso de Blanc Labs con la responsabilidad social, la educación y el empoderamiento en América Latina. El programa inspira a los estudiantes a desarrollar sus habilidades, avanzar en sus carreras y prepararse para el panorama dinámico y en constante evolución en la industria de la tecnología.

La convocatoria para el 2022 ya está disponible. ¡Fortalece tu conocimiento y desarrollo profesional en tecnología con Blanc Labs y Digital Academy! Para más información visita la página web: https://blanclabs.com/digital-academy-es/

Acerca de Blanc Labs

Blanc Labs es un aliado de negocios para las empresas que buscan digitalizarse y construir la próxima generación de productos y servicios tecnológicos. Para ayudar a las empresas a cumplir rápidamente con sus iniciativas digitales, Blanc Labs ofrece su experiencia y un amplio portafolio de soluciones y aplicaciones en servicios financieros, atención médica, productividad empresarial y experiencia del cliente. Con sede en Toronto, Canadá, Blanc Labs ofrece hoy sus servicios para el continente americano desde sus oficinas en Toronto, Nueva York, Bogotá y Buenos Aires. Para obtener más información sobre cómo Blanc Labs está construyendo un mejor futuro, visite www.blanclabs.com.

The Evolution of Leadership & Empowerment

Insight | Leadership

The Evolution of Leadership & Empowerment

March 7, 2022

Breaking barriers and finding my voice through opportunity

Insight | Leadership | STEM

Breaking barriers and finding my voice through opportunity

January 7, 2022
Business woman

I grew up in Charallave, Venezuela, a city in the outskirts of Caracas. My mother was determined that I received the very best education and moved the family to Caracas to make it possible for me to attend university. It was after our move and when I was in university in a computer science program that I made the first promising steps towards building my career.

The first meeting

I had heard of Blanc Labs through friends. They recommended the company to me and spoke about the culture and the prospects of learning more and growing my career. I decided to take the cautious route of connecting with the head-hunter hiring for the company on LinkedIn in the hopes that it may lead to something positive. My instincts rang true, and I very soon received an invitation to interview with the company.

For someone who was still seeking my voice, my source of confidence, I walked into the interview gripped with insecurity and apprehension, hoping my abilities matched up in this corporate world yet excited at the prospects of working for a Canadian company with the opportunity to grow and of course, practice my English! My interviewer immediately set me at ease and I was able to sail through the technically focused assessment. This felt right. It seemed like Blanc Labs was going to be a good fit for me. Two interviews later, in August 2017, I joined the team as a junior software engineer.

When I think about the experience of being interviewed at the company, there were 5 things that I would recommend to anyone looking to begin their career in technology:

  1. If you’re still in university, apply for internships and get real world experience
  2. Focus on courses where you can enhance your technical skills
  3. Research the company, the industry and the basics in technology
  4. Work on your communication skills ‚Äď there‚Äôs no point knowing things if you can‚Äôt effectively communicate them
  5. Develop an openness to learn and a curiosity about those things that you don’t already know

Hello Blanc Labs!

From almost the very beginning, I was given opportunities to execute on projects and to present the results to members of the leadership team of the company, which I admit, was nerve wrecking. Breaking those barriers was important. I was not sure of anything but I was learning a lot and that truly built my confidence. Blanc Labs has been so empowering for me: the learning, the certifications, the opportunity to work with clients, the teamwork ‚Äď my work family really.

As my projects progressed, I found that I enjoyed being more involved ‚Äď playing a role in the decision-making process in the architectural discussions with the client. I am usually a shy person, but when I am at work, I am someone else entirely. I have the urge to communicate my thoughts and to debate them with my team. It is this empowerment that inspires me to grow further.

The reason for my drive

The pride for my work is marked by my ability to make a difference. I think what we do is useful for the world, and we are changing how people do things. That is very powerful, and I appreciate that I am a part of it ‚Äď that I am contributing to it.

My core values span responsibility and respect and that translates in everything I do and the goals that I set out to accomplish. My inspiration? Family. My mother is the person I admire the most in this world. Working to make a beautiful life for her is what drives me. When I work and when I speak to my clients about solutions, the feeling that I can do more pushes me to grow further ‚Äď that is how it all comes together.

My growth at Blanc Labs is attributed to the very same things that made me successful in my interview: communication skills, curiosity and the willingness to learn and apply that knowledge.

Adventures in travel

My journey at Blanc Labs led to a visit to the Canadian office, which had very memorable moments. I always thought I was fairly soft spoken. I think in LATAM, we speak in much louder tones compared to my fellow Canadian team members. I walked into the office and went around saying ‚ÄėHi!‚Äô, in what I thought was a regular tone, but everyone seemed to almost whisper back. It was at that moment that I realized ‚Äď maybe I had a loud voice! I‚Äôm not sure if everyone noticed, but it was really funny!

In LATAM, we greet each other with hugs (pre pandemic of course), but in Toronto, I had no idea what protocol was, so I started to do this awkward wave versus reaching over for a hug because I didn‚Äôt know how people said ‚Äúhi‚ÄĚ in Canada. I still chuckle at the vision of myself emphatically waving ‚Äėthe Canadian wave‚Äô.

Canada would not be the only place I would travel to with Blanc Labs. As the company evolved, I found myself to be the sole team member in Venezuela. I remember an eventful meeting where the question of relocation was brought up. My manager asked me if I would like to go to Colombia and I responded, ‚ÄúYeah, okay!‚ÄĚ Two days later the leadership team asked me that question again and one week after that, I was on a flight, moving to Bogota, Colombia! It was done so quickly!
What helped through the transition? People at the office. It was so much easier knowing that there were people who cared about my wellbeing and who helped me transition to this new environment. We consider ourselves a work family and that made settling into the new city more enjoyable.

Expanding my horizons

Today, I lead a thriving life in Bogota, spending my time with friends, playing ping pong, and now, truly finding my voice through my new hobby, music! I was looking for a new interest and a friend told me that she thought I’d be able to sing so I tried it out and now I am enrolled in singing classes. My passion for learning and the urge to attempt new things seeps into every aspect of my life.

As I progress through this eventful and joyful path, I can’t help but think back on the journey I’ve taken from that small city on the outskirts of Caracas, to the bustling virtual life of navigating and leading digital transformations that have global implications. I feel that I have truly found my voice, through my work and my artistic (musical) expression. I am determined to channel this energy to reach new frontiers in our collective growth and success.

Discover more about the people and culture at Blanc Labs!

Nadia Bastidas
Sr Software Developer

Nadia is a Sr Software Developer with Blanc Labs in Colombia.