Attendance Clocking Made Simple with Time Beacon

Scenarios and Recommendations 

Time Beacon is a small, inexpensive battery-powered device that taps on Bluetooth Low Energy, BLE, a protocol that is embedded in most smartphones, tablets and other devices of today. The tiny transmitter in the Time Beacon allows users to clock their attendance easily just by using TimeTec TA App. A user just need to open the App, tap on the Beacon icon and he is good to go! All attendance record complete with location and time will be recorded on TimeTec TA immediately.

Find out how Time Beacon could be suitable for your company. Here are a few scenarios for your reference:

1. A Small Firm with less than 25 Staff
One (1) Time Beacon is sufficient for any office with a small group of staff around 25 people or less. The Time Beacon can be placed at the main door of the office or at the reception area where all staff can do their clocking from their smartphones.
Recommended no. of Time Beacon: 1 unit (minimum) 

2. SMEs around 50 staff 
Medium sized offices having around 50 staff are recommended to go for at least three (3) Time Beacons to manage the staff clocking. With more Time Beacons, the transmission range is expanded and you can create different Beacon Groups to channel users to separate beacons according to their departments for example.
Recommended no. of Time Beacons: 3 (minimum)

3. SMEs with 100 staff, double storey office building
Setting up TimeTec TA using Time Beacon for an office building with multiple storey very much depending on the location and the built-up area. If you have 3 small offices at 3 different levels, each unit should have at least one (1) Time Beacon installed. However, if the office has a wide space area, it is recommended to install 2 or 3 Time Beacons per level/office to cover the entire office area and group the staff so they know which Time Beacon is meant for them.
Recommended no. of Time Beacons: 6 (minimum)

4. Factory of approximately 300 workers
Factory workers have multiple shifts, and the production more often than not operates 24/7. To ensure daily attendance records are being recorded at all times, it is recommended to cover all entrances and exits so that workers know the location of the Time Beacon and they can access to it easily. The management can group users by department or working shift to smoothen the flow of the employee and not jamming a Time Beacon at a given time.
Recommended no. of Time Beacons: 10 (minimum)

5. Office Tower of 1000 staff
Multinational companies having their own office tower can also use Time Beacon to ease their attendance clocking. Depending on the size of the office tower, it’s recommended to install at least 5 Time Beacons or more on every level. Install the Time Beacon at open areas such as lobby halls, entrances of the office and also inside offices to ease clocking process.
Recommended no. of Time Beacons: 50 (minimum)

As Time Beacon is an affordable BLE transmitter, place it at an open area to have smooth  transmission. Don’t block the Time Beacon because the transmission will not get through and will cause the app to keep trying.

Get the step-by-step instructions on how to set Time Beacon with TimeTec TA here.

Cloud Solutions Freak You Out?

Let’s do this simple test.

How would you react when you think about cloud solution deployment in your office or for your business?

Would you cringe thinking about all the new software you need to learn?
Would you smile thinking that you might just make the right choice moving forward?
Would you fret thinking about the money you’re going to spend?
Would you sweat thinking that cloud solution will take away your control?

There is no right or wrong in your response. Your hesitance is understandable, but cloud technology is coming our way whether we are ready or not. The good news is that; cloud solution implementation is not as daunting as you might think, and here are the reasons why.

Many people thought that learning a new software is hard, and it takes a while to get used to any new system. While that might be the case with some Windows software, it is entirely different in Cloud; because user experience is the number one priority for many Cloud developers. Cloud developers put a lot of focus on user experience; they would want their clients to know what to do from the get go; so learning cloud solution does not become a problem a users. Adopting intuitive cloud solutions is fundamental to your business operations. To make an informed choice, go for a trial license to gain first hand experience before committing to a long-term subscription. Take baby steps, and you decide if the cloud software is convenient enough for you.  

For most businesses, cost is the key factor in decision-making. It is common assumptions that subscription based products are burdensome and expensive. However, if you think again, and focus on the cost you save rather than the cost you spend. You would notice that implementing Cloud doesn’t require a company to buy hardware infrastructure such as servers and the baggage that comes with it (maintenance, upgrade, etc). On top of that, technical issues are the responsibility of the supplier and data will always be safely backed up, available and accessible to you at all times. You can scale it up and down according to your company’s requirements without much financial risk. “I rather pay USD6, 000 upfront than USD100 monthly over 5 years,” says nobody ever. So with Cloud, you can start small and see how it saves your company’s money as you go along and only commit to more licenses when you feel comfortable doing it.

If cost and training are non-issues to you; losing control could be your thing. The idea of some other company is taking care of your data somewhere, or strangers hacking into your system might freak you out. A good cloud solution will give you control in settings and permission for access. You should have the rights to determine who is authorized to manage your system and what they can see. Cloud doesn’t restrict your access to your data but gives you ample flexibility to control and monitor your data around the clock. Don’t forget to do your due diligence by knowing where your data resides and which web server provider the solution chooses. Do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.  

Companies are moving en masse to the cloud solutions because they provide utmost convenience to businesses in tomorrow’s world, today.  Not attempting to understand how to incorporate cloud solutions into your business could be detrimental for your future. Start small, have faith in the power of the cloud and feel the positive change.

Don’t freak out; and get the freak on.

Try cloud solution for your staff's attendance today. Get 10 user licenses free for lifetime from TimeTec TA, no strings attached. 

8 Fun Facts about the BLE powered Beacon

Did you know that ……

1. Before the days of the BLE Technology, Beacons were typically referred to Lighthouses, tall structures that guide ships to navigate at sea. The BLE Beacon, however, is no lighthouse. 

2. The BLE Beacon is a small device that transmits signals. Designed on purpose to be low powered, and to emit short-range signals at set intervals. Its short transmission range makes it the perfect device for providing location-based information and services, such as marking time attendance.  

3. BLE actually stands for Bluetooth Low Energy, it is an enhanced and advanced version of the Classic Bluetooth designed by Nokia back in the days. BLE has come a long way from its predecessor, enabling a greater variety of functions and data exchange capability, including reporting Time Attendance. 

4. BLE Beacons are easy to use, and apps such as TimeTec TA has made it so that users only need to Sign in, and with a single tap, you can mark your attendance in the office. It's technology, not magic!

5. Beacon is a widely accessible technology. Because BLE capability is found in most of our mobile devices today, Beacons are able to work on Android and iOS platforms on smartphones and tablets.

6. With BLE, Beacons maintains a very good battery life. Generally lasting from about 18 to 24 months, while some may even last over 5 years. Despite their reliability, Beacons don’t actually work that hard. They let Bluetooth do all the work, and Bluetooth is incredibly energy efficient. Even with a small sized battery, it packs a good punch.

7. Beacons are not just user-friendly, they are respectful. Because Beacon requires users to Opt-in for a successful pairing. It makes a secure, friendly and respectful device for Time Attendance.

8. When BLE Beacons are implemented with TimeTec TA in your office, you can forget punch cards and access cards, all you need is your smartphone to clock in and/or out. 

Try your hand at Time Beacon for Attendance using TimeTec TA mobile app and watch this video to know how easy it is to get your attendance data sorted out. Stay tuned for more info about beacon on this blog. 

4 Ways Cloud has Changed Data Analysis

What are the components necessary to carry out data analysis? Usually, this includes a suitable data collection process, the architecture, and infrastructure in place, access to data, transformation, techniques and models for analysis and finally the interpretation of results.
Add in the Cloud element and the process is similar to what is commonly practiced, with exception to differences in the method of data generation, storage, and access. Information can be collected on a larger scale and centralized more conveniently because of the scalability and broad network access feature when using cloud infrastructure.
Data is also now remotely hosted but the access is ubiquitous. Applications and services operating on a cloud platform can be accessed worldwide by users on connected computers and smartphones.
In TimeTec TA, essentially what we offer is a system that captures, stores and processes the data of working hours for employees using cloud technology. With cloud, the data is simply generated through more methods, capable of incorporating the interaction from many computer browsers and mobile devices.
So, how does cloud change data analysis for the better? 
Better Access
When we use the cloud software such as TimeTec TA for time and attendance, it leads to better data accessibility as the privilege of access can now be offered to all employees based on company policies and role settings. Each staff can access their own attendance records in real time and request for amendments where necessary. This gives them the chance to manage their own time and fosters responsibility for their own performance.
Using system role, direct supervisors who work with employees on a day to day basis is given the tool to effectively manage people in their own team. Information sharing becomes straightforward and aligned with operational needs and personnel responsibilities.
By giving access to relevant information within limits, these people can also analyze patterns in the working hours and spot inconsistencies or non-compliance instead of leaving it all in the hands of the Human Resource Manager or Administrative staff.
Better Response Time
Over here at TimeTec, we are constantly working on making improvements and product enhancements to deliver the best possible user experience to customers. To achieve that, we need to understand our users’ needs, and naturally, this entails gathering information and customer feedback before making changes. We also established a mechanism such as ‘Request Form’ for users to directly share their thoughts or submit features request within the software.
Due to the nature of a cloud-based system, performing clear analysis in this step is even more crucial as the eventual solution when it goes live; as it is immediately and simultaneously available to all users. However, the upside is that this becomes an opportunity for us to achieve a better response time for our customers.   
More Data to Support Decision-Making
Data analysis these days can be done on many levels, be it basic and rudimentary or done through business intelligence applications with highly tailored dashboards or even using the latest processing engines on very huge datasets. Whichever way used, the purpose is to get meaningful insights and preclude bias in supporting decision making.
As mentioned above, due to the connected and elastic nature of cloud, data can be collected on a larger scale and from more sources such as from devices or sensors. Generally, being able to gather more information is better so as to give us a more complete and well-rounded picture of things. However, this also presents new opportunities and challenges in terms of using complementary data sources, integrating them and choosing the best analysis techniques and ways to interpret data. We wouldn’t want to be making flawed interpretations and bad decisions based on the data.
Data Analytics Cloud
To go a step further, with some of the analysis software moving to cloud drives, information and analysis results are becoming even more accessible in organizations. For instance, Time Warner Cable’s B to B Sales Division use the Salesforce Cloud for analytics and forecasting. Amazon also has recently launched their Kinesis Analytics, a new service for its AWS cloud platform allowing developers to analyze data being streamed to their servers in real time.
Cloud technology has indeed changed the way we collect, store, analyze and share data in the workplace today.  And I reckon that cloud has made its way into the world we live in and it’s here to stay.

Ms Lai Yuen Kuan is a Monash University Graduate in Business and Commerce, majoring in Accounting & Finance. She worked at KPMG Malaysia as an Auditor for 5 years and now serving TimeTec as a Data Analyst.

Reasons Why Mobile App Matters

This is a true story. While I was taking a vacation on a beautiful island, indulging in its amazing view and clean air, my phone rang. My company needed to submit a very important application that only I could write about, and the application had to be submitted before the end of the day. I didn’t bring my lappy (like how the hipsters called it nowadays), so what was I to do? I could write on a few sheets of high-quality grainy Resort papers laying around in my room, snap a photo and send it over, but could they understand my near-doctor handwriting that even I had the problem reading? After a few moments of panicking, the genius in me kicked in and made me installed Google doc App on my mobile that made it possible for me to carry out my important task on a tiny little screen until the sun went down. Okay, forgive me for the incident's over-dramatization. I could simply go to the Resort’s business Center to finish my job but the fact remains that people do stuff on their mobile nowadays; it’s hard to even talk to these people and look them in the eyes, literally. 

Therefore, when TimeTec develops our cloud solutions, mobile App instantly becomes the focus of the development. So, why does app matter in today’s workforce? It’s because people no longer open their computers for facebook and people publish their selfies using mobile. But more importantly, today’s workforce have to deal with the fast pace of business and technology, that having things centralized in their mobile would make their life simpler and better.

Workforces are fluid these days more than not. Things need to get done faster and more efficient that they can’t afford to just stay in an office. Travels become common and when employees are not available in the office, they need to be given tools to complete the pressing tasks. With TimeTec TA, they can report their whereabouts accurately and TimeTec Patrol utilizes App as its patrolling tool. The technology of the mobile like GPS, NFC, Wifi, and the Internet make everything possible. Next, TimeTec Leave lets employee manage their work leaves from the App and TimeTec MW (Mobile Workforce) can trace the routes taken by the mobile workforce with great certainty. Irrespective of your employees’ locations, when they have the right tools to get things done, things will get settled without intrusive supervision.  

Nowadays also, everybody has his/her smartphone of choice and as long as they can install the Apps on their phone, the Company doesn’t have to be concerned about the type of phones they are using. And that’s why TimeTec apps are built on the common iOS and/or Android platforms for easy download.

Study finds that humans are naturally selfish, they like anything that is related to them. Hence, it’s very important for Apps to not forget personalization. TimeTec TA App has a dashboard that shows one’s productivity of the day and time management. i-Neighbour makes visiting your loved ones easier and TimeTec Leave is about your personal leave management. People love themselves, and if an app provides something that improves their lives and has something to do with them, they’ll definitely be using it.   

App like Spotify makes us listen to music without CDs, Whatsapp lets us communicate intensely in silence with so many people from around the world for free, Google presents Office on mobile in case we need to work at odd hours, and Waze shows us the way. The world has gone mobile and mobile is nothing if without its useful apps.

Install TimeTec App now for workforce time management in Google Play and App Store