Podcast

Digital Platforms to Enhance your skills

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Have you heard about SAS? Do you know how to use it? This week we break down what it is and what other skills and platforms are needed to make you and your company competitive.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Death of the Salesman

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital rotating round tables.

Our special guest this week is an expert in sales, and how new technologies are changing how they are being conducted in both corporate and retail locations.

Curious about the future of sales? Well, stay tuned and enjoy.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Job Revolution: Recruiting in the Digital Age

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

This week we have a special guest star – Nadine Lamothe, one of the officers here at Planet4IT. She will be joining us today, along with Jim Carlson and Andrew Carlson, to discuss Job Hunting and Recruiting in the Digital Age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Looking through the Crystal Ball: Oil – Part 1

How important is oil to our future? Will prices continue to decline as new sources of power take their place, or will they sky rocket as world economies continue to shake. In the first of a two part series, the P4Capital executive team speculates on what the future holds.

Stay tuned.

 

Transcript


Amanda: Last week CEO Jim Carlson speculated on looking through the crystal ball to see the future of oil. In the first of a two part series, the P4Capital executive team does just that. Join us as we speculate on the future of renewable energy, the economy, and if fossil fuels will become fossils themselves.

Jim: Today’s topic is, is oil relevent for the next 20 – 30 years? We examine the impact of the recent price decrease in oil as a natural resource, and some of the findings that have been published as new manufacturing direction under industry 4.0, which is basically to paraphrase: a smart factory.

Shaheerah: Okay, just to recap a little bit from our last Podcast, demand is low because of weak economic activity, increased efficiency, and a growing switch to other fuels instead of oil. America has become the world’s largest oil producer. Although ti does not export crude oil, it imports much less. And so that’s creating a spare supply. Saudi’s and their Gulf allies have decided not to sacrifice their own market share of oil, so they decided not to lower their production supply. Countries that they don’t like, like Iran and Russia would benefit from that so, they don’t want to give up their market share. Saudi Arabia can actually tolerate lower prices quite easily. They have 900 billion dollars in reserves, and their own oil costs only 5 – 6 dollars per barrel to get out of the ground.

Amanda: That’s Saudi Arabia, right? Do you know anything about Dubai?

Jeremy: Well, it’s interesting that you bring up Dubai Amanda. I don’t know what their cost of oil production are, I image they’re similar to Saudi’s same general area of the world, but if we’re betting on the future of oil it looks like United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular, have been trying to diversify their economy and kind of position themselves as a modern-day Disney World for adults. That where they see oil going.

Jim: Coming back to market share as Shaheerah pointed out, Iran and Russia obviously see the benefits of being a net exporter of oil. The other nations that are being analyzed right now is North America itself. The oil sands coming out of Alberta and regardless of when the pipeline will be commissioned into operations, that will give North America a complete footprint from the ground into pump, where the need for importing of oil will be dramatically reduced. Therefore what you’ve done is you’ve taken the appetite from oil and now said to the major oil producers, I really don’t need your oil to come across the seas as it is right now. I can produce my own.

Archana: Talking about Alberta, yes I mean, it is a very oil dependent economy, but there is a major push in fact on Alberta’s premiere to make it more resistant to these oil shocks. When the economy is so dependent on oil and the sustenance of the economy depends on upheavals that are going on in the market, it can be quite a volatile situation. So there is a major push in Alberta to diversify and to look at other avenues as well. Also, another thing to be noted is that this week, Canada’s top banks are expected to bring out their results this week, and it is expected that the results would show a major decline in investment banking profits, primarily due to the oil prices.

Jim: The crystal ball of the future, which is not too much in the future, says smart manufacturing is going to be the way the, quote unquote western economies will be headed, and they are in fact headed their right now. Which is a heavy adaptation of technology with the use of breakthroughs, and the internet of everything, cybernetics, etc. Currently, if one looks at global manufacturing, the engine is China, and China has to import all its fuel to keep its manufacturing plants up and running. And the interesting part about what China does, is they do first and secondary manufacturing, but finishing manufacturing normally goes back to the domiciled country. So therefore, manufactured parts have got to be, the raw materials have got to be shipped to China, and to the semi-finished parts have to be shipped to another country. That requires a huge amount of fossil fuels to make that happen right now. As I mentioned int he crystal ball, that model is now under attack primarily from the western based economies saying “Wait a minute, if I can manufacture at a lower cost than I can currently right now, I don’t have to rely on China and I don’t have to rely on the price of fossil fuels in my overall manufacturing price, so that’s what’s happening right now – as we speak, in the technology fields.

Jeremy: Now I’m no geologist, I don’t know what you guys heard, but how does China – a country that’s almost as big in terms of land mass as Canada or the United States, fourth biggest in the world, how do they not have a major domestic oil production of their own?

Jim: If you’re asking me the question becomes rhetorical, because I have no idea of what the answer is.

Amanda: It should be noted that P4Capital is capital experts, not necessarily geographers.

Shaheerah: I also wanted to mention some recent advances in technology and science. Last year in April, the US navy scientists actually found a way to turn sea water into fuel. This new fuel is initially expected to cost around 3 – 6 dollars per gallon, according to the US naval research laboratory. They have actually already flown a model aircraft on that as well. So the scientists found a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from sea water, and then these gases are then turned into a fuel by a gas process with the help of catalytic converters.


 

That was the P4Capital team discussing the future of oil and what could replace it. Want to know more? Stay tuned for part two next week, or check out our website  at http://www.planet4it.com or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

Rise of the Digital Space

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Who among you would love to work from home. With Digital technologies it’s becoming easier to do. This week the P4Digital executive team examines the rise of the digital space.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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The rise of the cryptocurrency

We live in a cashless society, but are we on our way to a universal digital currency? Bitcoin may seem like a digital currency for a digital age, but is it really? We investigate in this week’s round table discussion.

Transcript


Amanda: We’ve talked about Bitcoin before at the P4Digital Blog. It’s a topic that fascinates us, but 2014 was a rough year for it. In this week’s discussion, we talk about the rise of the cryptocurrency, how it works and speculate on whether or not we’ll all be paid with it in a few years.

Jeremy: Hello, today we’re talking about Bitcoins. Do they now have a legitimate trading exchange?

Archana: Yes, the topic we’re talking about today is the roll out of a new US-based exchange called Coinbase, which hopefully does legalize the cryptocurrency. What are your thoughts?

Shaheerah: Okay, so basically just to define Bitcoin in very basic terms, it is virtual cash that is generated, or rather mined by computers. It is a very sophisticated process. And Bitcoin lives on the internet, and you can use it to buy stuff both online as well as offline. In late January of this year, the Coinbased Bitcoin exchange went live. And this is actually the first one in America. And it could make Bitcoin more of a reality for the average Joe, as well as the corporate financial role. So as of now the exchange has been approved in 24 American states, and previously in the US the Bitcoin traders had to use exchanges that were based outside of the USA. And those exchanges did not have adequate regulations or security and so it made it pretty risky. So for example in February of this year, a Japan based Bitcoin exchange collapsed and they lost 750,000 customer Bitcoins, as well as 100,000 Bitcoins of their own. There are also all these problems with the security hacks. So for example recently Bitstamp lost 19,000 Bitcoins worth 5 million dollars, so that’s a lot. But now what’s going to happen is the Coinbase exchange is set to be a game changer because it is better regulated. They do have better security including insurance, which the other exchanges did not have. They have encryption, and the Bitcoins are actually kept offline so you won’t be able to hack them. There is also a one-time use passcode that you have to use, it’s texted to your phone and every time  you want to log in you have to use that one-time passcode, and you have to use the same computer every time as well.

Jeremy: Yeah, the Japanese exchange that Shaheerah mentioned is called Mt.Gox, which apparently is short for Magic the Gathering, which is a Role Playing – some type of Role Playing Dungeons and Dragons type game. So that’s not really the most credible way to be trading your Bitcoins.

Amanda: Speak for yourself! I’ve played Magic the Gathering and it’s an intense game!

Archana: Again, sort of going back to what Shaheerah mentioned, primarily the lack of regulation, inadequate security and the difficulty in getting US dollars in and out of these exchanges being the primary reasons why Bitcoin hasn’t really taken off. Coinbase really seeks to make a difference because it’s being backed by some thoughtful investors and financial venture capitalists, including the NYSE and the Citigroup CEO and Thompson Reuters ex CEO as well, so it obviously does lend a huge deal of credibility. And like what Jeremy mentioned, the Japanese company – a lot of luster was lost of Bitcoin amidst all these scandals and different scams. Case in point would be the Japanese Bitcoin exchange. And also more recently a Slovenia Bitcoin exchange also collapsed. So Coinbase does seek to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd. What remains to be seen is how successful they’ll be.

Jeremy: And right on the heels of Coinbase is another exchange that is going to be launched later this year, which is backed by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, called the Gemini exchange. So they’re not narcissistic at all! Anyway, this exchange is going to be partnered with a major US bank, which means your US cash deposits will be eligible for FDIC insurance, although I’m sure the Bitcoins held in there will not.

Amanda: It’s interesting. Amazon and I believe PayPal also are accepting Bitcoins as of last year for payment for certain transactions.

Archana:  Yes, just like what Amanda just mentioned, apparently Coinbase also already accounts for about 2.2 million consumer wallets, and nearly 40,000 merchants already use their services. So from this point on it’s really a matter of them consolidating their position and building the business.

Shaheerah: Yes, and I also wanted to share some other facts about Bitcoin, which were published in an infographic from whoishostingthis.com. The FBI actually owns 15% of all the Bitcoins in the world. 65% of the world’s bitcoins are inactive – so they’re just left in the Bitcoin ewallets, and the remaining bitcoins are what are actually used for the transactions. You can get stuff like Pizza and plane tickets and university tuition using your Bitcoins. And even former Spice Girl Mel B, she was the first artist who started accepting Bitcoins as payment for her music. There’s also a maximum number of Bitcoins that can ever exist. The last Bitcoin is predicted to be mined in the year 2040.

Amanda: Make myself sound like a bit of a Geek here, but Mel B was always my favourite Spice Girl.

Laughter

Jeremy: Jim too

Laughter

Jeremy: Well, the problem with Bitcoins is they’re really too volatile right now to be used as an integral part of our trading economy. I mean, it would be kind of foolish to ask for your pay cheques in Bitcoin because the value fluctuates so much. I really think that if they built a good, secure system and a means of transactions- I think they’re going to around for a while, it’s not going to be worthless, it’s always going to be worth something. But to make the jump between something that you horde and something that you use to spend money on, the question is when that’s going to be.

Amanda: I have a general question for the executives here. If it was more secure, would you ever consider accepting your salary in Bitcoins.

Jeremy: I would not accept my salary in Bitcoins right now – not the way it fluctuates.

Archana: Not right now, but really whether we like it or not I think digital currency is definitely going to be a part of our lives in the coming future. Whether its Bitcoin o some other form of digital currency, I don’t know but for sure, salary one day would be in the form of Bitcoins.

Shaheerah:  And I just wanted to add, that actually Bitcoin has been known to lose up to 80% of its value in just a few days, so yes it is very volatile. And in fact both Thailand and China had put bans on Bitcoin back in 2013 for this reason.

Amanda: So that’s a no on accepting it on your salary, huh Shaheerah?

Shaheerah: Yup, that’s right.

Amanda: I have to say, after hearing that last statistic, I have to agree.


 

That was the P4Capital team discussing the rise of Bitcoin and Crytopcurrency. Apparnetly, none of us want to get paid with it in the near future. Want to know more? Check out our website  and previous posts about Bitcoin at http://www.planet4it.com or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

Hedge Funds: The Wild West

Welcome to the wild, wild west. Have you heard about the Canarsie Hedge fund? More money was lost in three weeks than most of us will see in our entire lifetimes. How did this happen and why? The P4Capital team examines this in this week’s Round Table Discussion.

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Robbing the Bank

Ever wonder how easy it would be to rob a bank? Well, it happened recently at RBC in Vancouver by two ex-employees of the company. Find out how they pulled it off in this week’s Round table discussion.

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The next industrial revolution – The Conclusion

This week, the P4Capital team continues it’s discussion into the Next Industrial Revolution.

Stay tuned.

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How are jobs and careers changing in the Digital Age?

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Digital marketing is changing the face and infrastructure of the world. The job of recruiting is not exempt from this. This week, the P4Digital executive team examines how their jobs are changing in this new age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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