New Challenges for Security Industry in the Era of the Internet of Things

Wednesday, November 06, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



Foreword

The 17th China Public Security Expo held in Shenzhen in 2019 was still as big as the previous years. But I came out of the exhibition halls faster than I did before.

There are more and more homogenized products exhibited at the Expo, and fewer and fewer foreign manufacturers taking part; far less this year. According to a report, only 5%. For China, this is an achievement, because international products have been wiped out and replaced by the locally made products. This trend also means China is capable of producing the same products, as good as its foreign counterparts, and even more economical at that.

But this boasted achievement has quickly become a hidden worry in China.

Outsiders can't get in; eventually, insiders can't go out too.

Because we can almost foresee the outcome, in which foreign products have difficulty to enter China, and Chinese products will be harder to export as well in the future. (I will discuss this in the last chapter)

From the product is king, to the application is king.

The era of “Product is King” has come to an end, “Application is King” is taking the reign.

Now, the products are standalone dotted points, and the applications connect them all, and the connectivity makes the golden age of pure products obsolete. The 4G era of connecting people has completed its mission. The future 5G emerges to connect people and things, things and things. With the rise of IoT or Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, AIoT or Artificial Intelligence of Things, the factories that produce purely standalone objects are getting bitter.

Cheap labour drives the China’s economy. The security industry was initially hardware-driven. Surveillance cameras, access control barriers, clocking readers, and door locks, they all started with hardware. Later, during the era of computerization in the last century, these products were linked to computers. Usually, the front-end of the surveillance camera, access control, etc. is responsible for collecting data. Then the data is transferred into the computer system through some interfaces such as RS232, RS485, TCP/IP for further processing to output the results. From the standalone to the local area network, the manufacturing of products and the programming of software is a division of labour, and the combination of use is also divided. This model is beneficial to China. We witnessed how Hikvision and Dahua have rapidly emerged as international market leaders that dominate the surveillance industry.

Hardware-driven market to software-driven market 

Because the hardware has a big profit lies beneath, Chinese manufacturers have focused on hardware for their market expansion. The software has become a complementary accessory. It is usually bundled with hardware as a free of charge item, or charged at a minimum fee; hence, the overall software lacks comprehensive R&D planning and real allocation.

When the arrival of the Internet trend in the late 1990s, China's security industry was unmoved, security products were hardly in deep association with the Internet or could have many benefits obtained from the Internet technology. Simultaneously, Internet companies were born like rapid fire. The big guys in the security industry are still wandering in their comfort zone, thinking that as long as they are big and strong enough in their fields, they would be perpetually invincible.

Suddenly, big data appears, cloud computing happens, artificial intelligence rises, mobile internet strengthens, and the Internet of Things becomes a reality.

When these big concepts started to surface, security companies seem never to fail to boast about how their products complement the big technology trends. During the CPSE Exhibition, when we enquired further, we understand that most of them are still in the concept hype stage. The adoption is indeed quite shallow, let alone would cause a paradigm shift in the industry. The hype might fool the capital market, but not the real market and customers. However, this is quite a universal norm for China's security industry.

When we say Factory 4.0 or Manufacturing 4.0, strictly speaking, the factory in Factory 4.0 stage is no longer about a factory, but a tech company. The Factory 4.0 is not merely the adoption of cutting-edge IT equipment, or to enhance the automation process so that it can upgrade itself from Factory 3.0 to 4.0, and it is a thorough DNA reengineering process for an organization. For Factory 4.0, it is not only about the products networkability, but the products also have to integrate with various cloud applications to form a comprehensive IoT ecosystem.

If the progress of 1G to 4G in telecommunications impacted individuals and the B2C consumer market the most, the introduction of 5G is expected to affect B2B significantly, bringing vital change to all industries, the mega smart city projects included. We foresee through interconnectivity between IoTs, and the revolutionary cloud applications, this trend will redefine and rebuild the ecosystems between industries, which is also a massive opportunity for the security industry. It's just that, are you ready?


The four elements of the Internet of Things era

1. Cloud computing and cloud applications are the life support of IoT; therefore, the cloud is a must for all industries in the 5G era.

2. IoT is cloud-driven, and therefore, hardware-driven companies have to transform themselves into software-driven companies. For hardware vendors, this is a tough genetic modification project to undertake.

3. Since cloud computing can do 90% of IoT processing, hardware gets simpler and cheaper. This element is a big blow to manufacturers who merely rely on hardware to generate revenue.

4. The interconnectivity between objects in multiple scenarios and cross-platforms, spawn new consolidated ecosystems and multiple cloud applications.


The secured and unsecured security industry

As the 5G era approaches, the IoT era arrives concurrently. The security industry is at the crossroad of innovation. The imminent game-changer is approaching. And big tech companies are more sensitive and ready as compared to the security companies with their infostructure groundwork. And, the siege has begun. Huawei is coming, Baidu is coming, Alibaba is coming, Tencent is coming, there are many more out there making their ways.

No matter how they enter the arena, either as friends or foes, they will directly or indirectly compete and take up some good slice from the security industry. As foes, they compete directly in your territory, with cooler stuff; as friends, they seem to drive traffic to you from their internet platform, but in the end, they will get the upper hand, bag bigger benefits.

It is apparent that the platforms built by the Internet giants, such as the enterprise platform of Alibaba’s DingTalk, Tencent’s WeChat and Small Program, have become the pain points of many industries, including security.

Due to a lack of cloud computing full deployment, the hardware-driven security companies continue to provide free software as a strategy. And, this strategy has made them stalling in developing cloud applications that could generate them with direct profit from subscription-based Software as a Service (SaaS) model. At the same time, they are also unable to use the cloud to drive the hardware sales, and they end up losing at both ends.

China's tech companies have successfully replaced foreign security products to becoming threats to the security companies. For this new threat, I reckon security companies affected have to succumb and play along.

The game-changer in the domestic market is not affecting the overseas market just yet. Due to the diversity of the international market, the application of IoT does not influence product-oriented sales entirely. Apart from the impact of the Trade War between the United States and China, some market space for overseas products is still available. However, as China's labour costs rise, the advantage of low-cost products diminishing; and as the IoT and the cloud become mainstream, the export market will be affected tremendously, very soon.

The predicament of China’s export market in the future 

Some people may say, why should we separate the traditional Chinese security companies from the incoming Internet companies? If we regard China as a sole force, and these companies merge as one, can they not dominate the world?

Otherwise.

Because of China's Great Firewall Policy that segregates China's Internet world from the outside world, it separates the seemingly integrated Internet into two different forms. Extra and tremendous adaptation efforts have to be put in for overseas cloud applications to suit China’s environment, and vice versa for China’s cloud solutions. Integrating an application system is much trickier than adopting individual products; this is the common challenge for the industry players. 

The road to moving forward

Whether it suits your agenda or otherwise, technology trends and market ecosystems are moving the IoT way. Hence, how should the security industry player react? My brief view is as follows:

First, the need to deepen awareness about cross-industries and how it works; second, the need to define new products and standards; third, the need for deep integration of 5G and artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other technologies; fourth, the need for an organization to transform from hardware-driven to software-driven. 

Only by maintaining an open-minded attitude towards new ideas, willingness to cooperate with new partners, walking the talk, only then security industry players can create new values in the new cross-industry and cross-sector security industry.


Teh Hon Seng, Group CEO of TimeTec Group of Companies. Prior to forming TimeTec, Teh led PUC Founder (MSC) Bhd to be listed on MESDAQ (ACE) market of Bursa Malaysia in 2002. Teh initiated the R&D in fingerprint technology in 2000, which later developed into a renowned global brand for commercial fingerprint product known as FingerTec. In 2008, he foresaw the trend of cloud computing and mobile technology, and over the years, he had strategically diversified and transformed its biometric-focused products into a suite of cloud solutions that aimed at workforce management and security industries including smart communities that centered around the cloud ecosystem. Teh has more than 10 patents to his name, and he is also a columnist in a local newspaper and a writer of several books.

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The 4 Main Drivers of Access Control Market Growth

Thursday, October 31, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



Access Control is always viewed as a traditional market, stagnated and not at all sexy for newbies to
set foot in. Though there is some development observed over the years in this business of the old lock and bolt, only recently that it becomes more exciting and appealing with the incorporation of the latest technologies into its various solutions. 

We list down four main factors influencing the change of view in access control market progression in these recent years. 

Let's talk about IoT

The Internet of Things or acronym IoT is changing the entire designs of products and solutions for
numerous industries around the world, access control included. With the introduction of IoT into
access control, the possibilities it brings such as remote monitoring, simpler installation, data
centralization, real-time data, mobility, and many more, are excitable and valuable than before.
Forget cumbersome and expensive wiring when you can connect your smartphone to a Bluetooth
controller to control access to your premises. You can get notified when someone accesses your
premises in real-time, get a report of what's happening and top that with mobile credentials available 
on your smartphone, IoT provides convenience beyond compare. IoT really makes manufacturers
take a step back and rethink how they should offer their products and solutions to the consumers
going forward.

Cloud it Up
With Cloud, the access control that was once strictly location-based has now opened up extra
opportunities to its users. Cloud provides better data management and access to real-time data
remotely, and the fact that now consumers can subscribe to Access Control as a Service (ACaaS)
has facilitated high adoption, especially from small to medium-sized businesses. The reason
being, the deployment of ACaaS places system management, maintenance, and support to the
system integrator while the companies still can benefit from cost savings without compromising on
technical support and scalability. While the subscription cost might be a concern for starters, 
like all technologies, the pricing will stabilize over time to the advantage of the consumers, eventually. 

Open Platform Seamless Integration

The availability of open-platform technology has made seamless integration of access control
system with other solutions possible.  "No solutions fit all" is a fact, and by using the open-platform
capability, organizations can address their diverse needs by integrating their access control with
other solutions they require such as surveillance, attendance, and many more without much hassle.
It just makes sense to optimize the investment to its fullest by tapping on its full potential. 

Various Usage

All these advancements in technology providing an access control system to function more than
mere security with the addition of multiple functionalities into one system. For example, an access
control system that can integrate with a visitor management system. Therefore, it can control the
incoming and outgoing visitors into business premises, as well as an access control that can also
work as a clocking method for the attendance of the entire organization. 

The latest emerging technologies have given the access control industry a new lease of life, and the

players are embracing the development like no other. People are pushing the envelope with unique
creations that will propel this industry further in our effort to provide organizations with more reliable
security products and solutions. And for those who are adamant about sticking to the traditional way
about access control, the market continues to change at a faster pace, and it waits for no man. 









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10 Most Common Recruitment Mistakes

Monday, October 21, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



The hiring process is one of the most arduous and tedious tasks, and possibly one of the most difficult processes. Making the right hiring decision is to find people whose values align with your company’s principles and objectives. If any business survives and thrives by the people they hire, though, hiring strategy is of paramount importance.

Be prepared for your potential candidates
“Hire right, because the penalties of hiring wrong are huge.”
Ray Dalio

If candidates were told to prepare before an interview, so should recruiters. Job ads on sites are generally lack of transparency. Simply put, the responsible duties that potential employees will be assigned to are commonly structured with unclear hiring policy. Recruiters often had their arrows missed the target because they did not get the duties right to give them enough power to get the hire right. A right job description starts by outlining the job, not the worker. Managers should discuss and review the job description to make sure it is current before hanging the ad up for vacancy. Getting the perfect fit might ultimately help you to recruit the right candidate, perhaps, a long-term valued company asset.

Be responsible for who you hired
“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was - and still is - the most important thing we do. ”
Marc Bennioff

When a job description is up-to-date, recruiters will have a clearer picture of what (not who) to hire, since an overly-wide candidate pool can often divert attention during the hiring process. Moving on from the previous step, narrow down the requirements and characteristics that need to be successful in the slot. A tip to be better at what you’re doing:  Prep a personal ‘Interview Preparation Checklist’, ask yourselves sharp questions (E.g. Is the team truly need new blood to fill the spot? Is meticulous attention to details required? Is researching and writing skills important?) to be certain you are hiring who you are looking for.

Don’t rush the hiring process
“ I'd rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person. ”
Jeff Bezos

‘Good enough’ is not what an employer should settle for, especially when hiring at emergency. Most companies wait to hire until it becomes an emergency, for the most part, decisions are made pretty quickly after the first week of interviewing. For the record, candidates seen the first week do not represent all the candidates out there. Vital enough for recruiters to consider the broad applicant pool in searching for the long term fit and best candidates for the company. Rather than falling into another pitfall, it is better that the recruiters spend more time to broaden their candidates' options in order to optimize company productivity in the long run. 

Ask for enough references
“ Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture. ”
Howard Schultz

A resume is an advertisement that serves to promote the good side of a candidate. They made it look great on the paper. But, how true it is? It is the HR dogma to ‘trust and verify’ if all candidates speak of the truth or they were merely inflating their accomplishment to get an extra boost on their application in order to stay on top of the long applicants' list. It is the recruiters’ responsibility to find out the credibility behind those stories speak out of a candidate’s mouth to avoid making major hiring mistakes. No companies want to hire a person who they cannot give in trust and to entrust them with important tasks and matters. Checking references might come in handy for you to make the best choice possible. 

Be rationalized and Less subjective
“ Never look down on people unless you’re helping them up. ”
Jesse Jackson

Most would probably agree that the first impression is a big step toward successful recruitment. For this reason, these days, candidates would go the extra mile to prepare their attire and physical appearances. Despite some recruiters do not wish to be accounted for this assertion, affirming that qualifications are the principal quality they are looking for, it is inevitable that humans natural born “gut feelings” would raise a judgment the first time you meet a stranger. Speaking of which, ‘Never judge a book by its cover’.  A firm handshake or good eye contact does not reflect a person’s competency level. Recruiters should look the inside rather than the outside of a candidate to make sure you get the insight information of who he is, such as experiences, skills,  capabilities, etc. Scorecard all interviewees and keep your eyes on the main goal you need to achieve. Hire people who add value to your company will save you an extra payout.

Let them do the talks
“ Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team? For us, it's personality. ”
Richard Branson

How frequent an interviewer stops talking during an interview, almost none. Research indicates that 80 percent of the time while an interview is conducted, interviewers are constantly picking up the ball rather than throwing the ball at the candidates. An important task that recruiters often fail to accomplish is to learn the “brain and heart” of their potential candidates. Brain demonstrates wisdom and judgment while Heart reflects moral ethics and beliefs. This is why an interviewer should seize this chance to maximize the interview, and get to discover candidates’ ability to confront unexpected challenges and their likelihood of developing into a valuable team member.

Asking Yes/No questions were thought to be the doing of the hiring process, the answer is No. Recruiters are encouraged to ask open-ended questions that prompt insight and thoughtful response from them, gives them the opportunity to reveal themselves. This is the moment where you get to scavenge their background, talent, and potentiality. So don’t waste it!

Too much of a good thing
“ Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth… Hiring was- and still is- the most important thing we do. ”
Marc Bennioff

This may be uncommon to come across in smaller companies, generally speaking, this runs through the blood of big companies or corporates. Candidates may be familiar with big companies with standardized hiring processes do usually have a panel of people from irrelevant department on a first interview. Likewise, you do not need several interviewers for a single opening or to have untrained staff asking inappropriate questions that lower the standard of your company. Even though this may sound like a higher-level sort of interview, this can become a waste of resources if those involved in the process are not exactly needed. On the other hand, this can intimidate candidates and send the message that you rule by a strict hierarchy of control. Another question is, how well it is to maintain every candidate gets an equal share amount of attention, all while not wasting everyone’s time? Keep the process simple and go for efficient results. 

Refuse technology 
“Purchasing high-quality devices and technology in the workplace should be seen as an investment, not a waste of money. ”
Andrew Hunter

Prior to joining, candidates would want to feel that they are in a competitive business rather than falling into a dead-end in the abyss. Businesses need to keep up with tech advances for them to recruit and retain talent. Bringing in technological enhancement gives extra skillset to your employees, it will undoubtedly profit your business in return. Organization stagnant and less innovative business most probably wouldn’t please a leader. To achieve this, recruiters should seek wiser and convenient methods indispensably to conduct productive recruitment process.

Fail to tackle social media platforms
“Don’t build links. Build relationships.”
Rand Fishkin

Candidates never walk in your company with their resumes or sending in their application without going through basic background checks on your company. Who doesn’t want to get employed by a notable company, get a better monthly paycheck and strengthen their skills in a growing company? These all rely heavily on the images you built through channels of communication, for example, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The most painful truth most recruiters have failed to notice is, social media posts not only have the enormous potency to reach out to their customers, they are also reaching out to new talents in the market who are seeking for potential jobs in the platforms as such. Positive culture and professional development mirror through these platforms can create strong constructive impressions and increase engagement between company, customers and potentially, prospective employees. Weak social media presence can really hurt your company - remember, that includes the people in it.

Ignore company culture and values
“If you hire good people, give them good jobs and pay them good wages, generally, something good is going to happen. ”
James Sinegal

People who you hired are going to live out the vision for your company. You sure do want people who (once or presently) step over your company’s threshold to describe their working experiences or to talk about your company's fame and fortune in the best light possible. Interviewers can be overly-obsessed with talking about the mission when they are set to hit the bullseye and forget to showcase the company’s style and culture. Showing that you care about candidates’ merits (honour their skills), concerns (fitting into the role and team) and what they deserve (benefits, perks, salary, and flexibility), can be a big differentiator for candidates. Looking at the bigger picture, employees are the greatest representation of a company. Therefore, hiring ideal candidates and make them another happy employee in the business not only helps to uphold your stand in the marketplace but an extra shield to potential liability in the future. 

“A business of integrity starts with who you hire.”
Hiring start with TimeTec Hire



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The Need to Change is the Need to Make Things Better

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



This was how I applied for leave just a short two years ago. It was a three-step process every time. First, I called the HR manager Liza to give me the update on my leave balance. Then, I filled, printed and submitted a pdf form to her for the CEO approval. Last was the approval confirmation. Subsequently, Liza had to update me with the balance.

And I'm one of the many employees who are entitled to leaves in this company.

How could Liza get anything done with all the queries from the staff about the leaves? Why haven't we come up with a better system to deal with this every day, lesser ROI task?

Definitely, there is a better way of handling this repetitive, unproductive task for the admin.

The need to change is the need to make things better. If changing doesn't impact, why bother to change in the first place?

Why should a company be focusing on leave? The answer is, why not. Why should we put X amount of work that is giving us less return? Therefore, the goal is to automate the X so we can focus on other more profitable tasks.

So how does an automated cloud-based leave management system like TimeTec Leave change a company for the better? 

Stop doing a repetitive, unproductive task - Normal doesn't translate to practical. It's just that people have been doing a particular thing a certain way for an extended period, so it's accepted and becomes a norm. People used to hand wash clothes for hours before washing machine comes along. If you think that it's okay to print a form, fill it up and pass it to the superior which then give the form to his/her superior to approve, you are way behind time, and that has got to stop. If there is a better way of doing it, and it's not expensive, as a business, it's a crime not to explore.

Stop doing the calculation, recalculation and updating of data - Why do we always need to call HR for the leave balance? What do you have to do to cancel your leave application? Has the balance be credited into my account at the right time? When the system is set up right, TimeTec Leave answers all these questions for you through its app without your staff having to get involved in the (calculation) process. Less error, more effective.

Be quicker and more transparent - Approving a leave shouldn't take days, TimeTec Leave can settle it within minutes. A staff opens the app, apply for a leave, the superior gets a notification, approves the leave on the app, and the balance gets updated. Every detail is there for both parties to see. If the leave requires multiple approvers, multiple days, etc, TimeTec Leave handles it excellently on the app.

Provide more readily available Reports and Analysis - Investment in a new system must provide something better. With TimeTec Leave, reports and analysis are better and useful for the business. Now you know the leave pattern of your staff and departments, and plan your business around it to make your organization more productive, and your team more engaged at the same time. Subscribing to a system like TimeTec Leave gives you more data and more in-depth view of your company's workforce that you can use to strengthen the business.

Less paperwork, less wastage - Cliche? Perhaps. But, why do we need to use paper if it's not necessary? In these days, data is crucial, paperwork not. We can do a lot more without doing the paperwork, without using more resources and occupying more space. TimeTec Leave provides the data without taking space nor time.

Businesses need to start making changes for the better. Leave is a system where your organization should consider first because it covers all the workforce, and it is personal. Once you have gotten used to the efficiency of the cloud-based system, you wouldn't want to turn back, we promise.


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Overcoming Hiring Challenges Towards 2020

Tuesday, September 03, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



Hiring is costly. The vacant position is costing your company money and the hiring process even so if the process is lengthy, and require substantial resources. Every company wants to cherrypick the available candidates out there, but without having the right candidates or the proper process, bad hires can cost your company even more money than it should. Out of desperation, companies often settle with the best of what they have at the moment, without finding remedies to the challenges that they are facing when it comes to hiring. Perhaps, companies need to find a way to overcome the hiring challenges they face as they march towards 2020.

How to appeal to the right candidates?
When a job post created, applications start pouring. The problem is, the majority of the applicants are not the ones you are looking for. So, what's the solution? It's crucial that the hiring team knows the criteria required for a position, and therefore, ask the right questions to sift through a pool of candidates. For example, if the role requires English proficiency, it's wise NOT to ask do you have English proficiency, because a majority who are desperate for a job would answer yes and hoping to go to the next stage of the hiring process. From my own experience, candidates who put 8/10 English proficiency could barely communicate in English well, let alone write a decent piece. Therefore, instead of asking for honesty, you should build a question that would make you come to the correct conclusion, like, how many grammatical errors can you spot in this paragraph? Or if the position is technical, let the candidate answer technical-related questions earlier on, so you won't be wasting time entertaining the non-qualified ones in the next stage.

How to employ good candidates?
Good candidates always know their worth. Hence, they rarely act out of desperation, they are good at pacing themselves, and at the same time, they keep their options open, considering a few offers that come their way carefully. Therefore, attracting good candidates require effective persuasion from employers who have to figure out what makes these candidates tick. Perhaps it's the money, perhaps it's leadership, perhaps it's the culture. Be prepared to influence these candidates with what they want rather than what the company needs.

How to hire fast effectively? 
Every day that a crucial position vacates, the company is losing money due to delayed operation or interrupted workflow. When a post is required, it has to fill up fast. There are two types of hire: Common roles, Crucial roles. For the common roles such as retail assistants, f&b workers, skip the complicated and long hiring process because it's utterly unnecessary, time-consuming, and not to mention, costly. The hiring process needs to be straightforward and pinpoint the questions to get decent candidates to fill up the post. Nevertheless, Crucial roles like the Chiefs would require a thorough hiring process and a sufficient timeline to reduce the risk. A rush decision on a Crucial role can have a devastating impact on the company as a whole.

How to create an efficient hiring process? 
Sifting through a pile of resumes can be daunting, ineffective, and possible bias, mainly when a group of people who measures it based it on their own standards and interpretation. The outcome of the resume selection process determines the candidates that the hiring team is going to meet during the interview sessions. To ensure that the interview candidates are a group of qualified applicants, the company has to improve the resume-sifting process and make it automated. The hiring team needs to input the metrics they want for a position and when the resume comes in, all the details filtered to present the best matching candidates with the qualifications in the shortest amount of time possible.

How to eliminate bias?
Even when the resume selection has been processed automatically, the overall hiring process could still be prone to bias during other hire stages. Therefore, a standardized scorecard is an excellent tool for interviewers to fill up for transparency. Additionally, the company could impose questionnaires and tests to gauge a candidate's level of knowledge and expertise in a subject or a position.

We are in 2019. It's about time that companies are taking charge of their hiring process and choose a system that can help streamline the process, offer better team collaboration, and keep all candidates information centralized.

TimeTec Hire by TimeTec Cloud offers a cloud-based recruitment solution that possesses all these fantastic features and more:

ATS - Applicant Tracking System
Job Post Templates - To help you get started with your job posts
Questionnaires Tool - Design suitable questionnaires to land you desirable candidates
Interview Scheduling Tool - To schedule interviews and keep everyone involved informed and prepared
Interview Scorecards - A standardized feedback form for all interviewers
Job Offer - To streamline job offer processes
Onboarding Process - To assimilate the new hire into your organization conveniently

Contact us for a demo, or you can go to www.timetechire.com and sign-up for a 14-day FREE TimeTec Hire trial account with 10 job posts, unlimited users.


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Customer Success Binds the B2B Cloud Service Providers and their Customers

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



It has now been almost 15 years since the start of cloud service startups such as Salesforce and Google, and today, businesses are moving towards Software as a Service (SaaS) with increasing subscriber’s demands from all over the world. The shift in product delivery has made it easier for businesses to find and commit to the right product which can help them achieve their goals at lesser investment and shorter time frame. Hence, cloud service providers are challenged more than ever to help their customers succeed in achieving their goals, and for that reason Customer Success function was introduced.

Customer Success or also known as Customer Advocate is playing a vital role for both ends of a B2B deal.

So, what is Customer Success? 
Customer Success is the company success, whereby customer success managers play the role of injecting the success ideas into action. Yet, they are not the only ones navigating these ideas to create success for a business. Customer success ensures that clients are getting the most out of the product they invested in, and for that to happen, all functions within the company, from logistic members, to sales reps to customer support or service, and to Customer Success team managers have to work together towards achieving the goal. TimeTec Cloud is setting an example of this harmony between different departments, where sales reps, software implementers and customer success managers work together to know and understand their clients and their needs to grow. 

Exploring the Role and Importance of Customer Success
With the growth of the subscription economy, customers are simply one click away from quitting your products. Although, it is much easier for them to quit on your products now with the availability of cloud services, they have to do it for the price of the time and money they have spent on the product not knowing that the service provided by your company does not align with their goals in early stages. 

Customer success is to ensure this alignment is happening from the early stages.

At TimeTec, we identify the client’s business goals, their finances and resources as well as expectations before the product is even implemented. And with this, the customer success will need to connect the customer’s needs to the promises the product makes during the sales pitch. We came up with a designated implementation team, whose job is to design client onboarding process, from day 1 of setup to training to continuously working closely with the clients to solve any issues and solving them impeccably. 

Products offered usually can operate in various ways depending on the users and the situations, and it is the role of customer success to understand the client’s needs and how the products can add more value to the customers. For example, by absorbing the clients’ feedback and concerns, customer success managers will need to communicate with the product designers, developers, support members and sales to improve the efficiency of the products in various ways. Consequently this process will lead to a production of better features that can be delivered beyond customers’ expectations and the customers are gaining more value on their investment and will remain loyal to the brand/company. With that said, Customer Success is indeed playing an important role in reducing churn rate and increasing revenue for the company. 

Customer success managers also have to study into all the existing customers, and continuously measure their customer’s success rate with the products to ensure that they stay on their main goal of using the product for the long term.

In short, Customer Success helps tying loose ends and keep all stakeholders in check which brings a win-win situation for both ends. 

  • • It helps ensuring clients expectations are not only met, but also provide more values to their investment on the product. 
  • • It helps align company’s internal success between various teams, the product and the customer success for better results.  
  • • It is the wall against your customer decision to shift to that new startup that could disrupt your business success. 

TimeTec believes in customer success because your success is our success and we want to embark on this cloud journey together.



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HR-ing in the Digital Era

Thursday, June 27, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



AI, Big Data, cloud services, Internet of Thing - these are the latest buzzwords we’ve heard so much about lately. All these technology enhancements change the way organizations operate; where most systems are offered online, made transparent and accessible at any time, anywhere. But why and how does this digital transformation affected human resource or HR?

Organizations that are ready to adopt this digital transformation need to brace for various changes in their systems either abruptly or progressively including their daily work processes, recruiting flow, on boarding process and workforce management, and when the workforce is concerned, HR is in charge. Therefore, HR professionals have to play a role in ensuring that the changes made would not interrupt the business operation.

Here we provide 3 important aspects that every HR professional should consider when selecting new systems:

Automation in Recruitment
While old school HR sifts through resumes to find the right ones to interview, modern HR should be using advanced technologies to automate the recruiting process. Why? Because they can and the tool is available for use. One perfect example of a recruitment cloud solution that offers Applicant Tracking System is TimeTec Hire, where resume screening process is done automatically based on the settings provided by the HR/recruiting team. Say a company is looking for a copywriter with at least 2 years writing experience having a degree in English and great personality. By using TimeTec Hire, an admin or a recruitment personnel can set these requirements as mandatory e.g. 2 years writing experience, a degree in English, and etc, and when resumes started coming in, these requirements will be compared against the resumes and the system will shortlist a few candidates to go through the next process such as a quiz with a string of relevant questionnaires. Successful candidates of the quiz will then proceed to the interview session, where interviewers will have to fill up the interview score card set in the system for the system to average out the result.

There are plenty of benefits for company to use TimeTec Hire. The obvious ones are time saving, reduce demand on valuable resources, and everybody involved in the process will be kept on their toes on progress and update of recruitment process. Apart from that, automation of recruitment using the likes of TimeTec Hire will eliminate bias that is quite apparent in many organizations because naturally, most people want to do a favor to other people, hence, ‘cheating’ in the recruiting process by selecting candidates dear to the recruiter. TimeTec Hire as well simplifies the onboarding process because when the data are available, the data can be transferred into the HR system such as TimeTec Profile to be further completed with other necessary information. Having your own recruitment solution gives the control back to you, and provide you with comfort knowing that no prospective candidates escape your attention. And one other thing, after all is done, the data are kept organized, secured and easily accessible even after a few months, and this alone is a relief to many HR personnel who are in charge of filing and documentations.




Workforce Analysis Capability
Besides recruitment solution, today’s companies also need other workforce solutions to streamline processes and it is imperative that the 21st century solutions provide more than automation to the HR. Good solutions must not only be of convenience to the admin and users at large, they also must be able to provide analysis on the organization’s workforce, such as work performance analysis, predict employee flight risk, overview of employees Key Performance Indicator (KPI), discipline indicators and etc. The advantages of a cloud-based system is data accessibility. However, data are just numbers and information, and without analysis or interpretation, nothing much can be derived from any solutions. At the one hand, HR can draw their own conclusions from their observations. However, the accuracy of those conclusions could be questionable. On the other hand, by having a system such as TimeTec TA, the cloud-based time and attendance solution that collects attendance/clocking data based on the schedule/roster set by the admin at their disposal. HR can analyze employees’ work rates percentages, identify problematic areas, plan for remedial actions to improve the workforce’s discipline and eventually, productivity, all using reliable and accurate data collected from their employees overtime. In short by HR tapping on an awesome workforce tool like TimeTec TA, they have access to analysis charts to provide an overview of the whole organization down to the selected individuals.



Mobile Technology is Not Optional Anymore
Another technology that HR needs to pay attention to is mobile technology. Smartphone usage is  no longer about calling someone dan texting them. It has evolved to include more useful functions such as e-wallet, banking activities, health and fitness, smart community, music and more. Some useful features that smartphones offer are real time, GPS whereabouts, photos, instant notification and instant updates. Therefore, developers are exploiting those features to offer cool Apps for work and leisure alike. One such App that puts the cool smartphone features to use is TimeTec Leave, the cloud-based leave management system by TimeTec. The App lets employees apply their leave via smartphone and at the same time, the boss or superior will receive the application instantly for review and approval. The employees can also view their leave information such as leave allowances, leave types, leave balances, leave calendar, leave policy and much more from the App. The employer on the hand can derive the leave data for analysis and find areas for improvement to increase employee’s engagement. The mobile technology is part of the digital revolution, and not only a solution like TimeTec Leave is using it, TimeTec TA offers various clocking methods via the App for convenience amongst other useful features offered to consumers. Therefore, HR needs to open up to smartphone Application usage to create better working process and better results for the company. 


As a conclusion, in moving forward HR has to embrace comprehensive and transparent systems that not only able to analyze but also evaluate data and information, while at the same time offering platforms that are inclusive all employees’ views and feedback. The digital era closes the gap between HR and employees more than ever by presenting various options and channels of communication to utilize. The only thing HR professionals need to do is to imagine new ways of delivering HR services to its organization and deploy the technologies available to their advantage.

TimeTec Hire Beta version will be available in July, so head on to www.timetechire.com to try!


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Managing Part-Time Workers Attendance with TimeTec TA: A magic tool businesses should have at their disposal

Friday, May 17, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



Part-time employment is integral in most labour forces, and according to the recent World Bank data, it even constitutes to more than 40% of total employment in countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia. This translates to a significant number of workers that are usually scattered across all industries. Why so many part-time workers? In some cases, industry requirements or corporate strategies results in employers looking for more part-time employees or cutting back hours. On the other hand, it could also be by choice, due to a range of factors like study commitments, childcare, nature of jobs available and personal preferences.

For many companies, engaging part-time staff is a great option. Companies get to control overhead, hire based on workload or specialist skills required, as well as retain valuable staff that wish to switch from full-time work. However, from a HR perspective, managing their attendance and payroll claims might be a hassle.

If your company happens to be one of those employing part-time staff, let’s consider some of the ways that TimeTec TA can help.

Don’t Waste Money - Subscribe to What You Only Need


Some organisations rely heavily on part-timers to cope with spikes in workload and demand. For instance, retail and hospitality business booms around festive and holiday seasons while the education industry goes busy during school terms. When staff count increases, your attendance management system will also have to accommodate the expansion. With TimeTec TA cloud application, this will not be an issue as the system is capable of maintaining its performance and response regardless of whether increasing or decreasing the number of users and size of data for processing. You can scale up for the periods when business grows and scale back down during off seasons.

The user management module is also user friendly, as Admins can easily add users or import employee data and instantly deactivate users once they leave the company. Effective user management is essential when HR have to manage a constant turnover of part-timers. Imagine how much administrative task this involves if your company have newcomers every other day or week in never-ending cycles.

In tandem with that, cost wise, the application also offers good value, as you can adjust the subscription based on real-time business requirements. You only have to pay for what is currently needed and we even provide an option for monthly subscription, so if you hire a few more part-time staff as helping hands for a month long event, just tack on the extra licenses for a month to your account and you will be good to go. The starting cost is also relatively low, a tiny fraction of salary or wages.

Versatile Clocking - Monitoring On the Get Go


In terms of collecting attendance, you can also find many Clocking options that comes with TimeTec TA. Besides supporting FingerTec terminal connection, the system has a few clocking methods that do not require any new hardware in order to use it, such as GPS or Wifi clocking via the TimeTec TA mobile App. Additionally, if preferred, you can also pair the App with NFC tags or Beacons. You can mix the options, choose one method for office staff and another for mobile ones.

The App is probably the best choice for staff that are not based at the central workplace. Some companies will have part-timers working in multiple branches or outlets. At other places, the staff may work from remote locations such as event venue or project sites, not to mention those working from home. To facilitate attendance clocking, these employees just need to install TimeTec TA App into their smartphones, login and they can start clocking from anywhere. If you wish to, you can also permit supervisor clocking whereby the supervisor on site can be the one that does clocking for your part-timers, together with photo verification.



Attendance Approval for Claim - Saves Time Gains Accuracy


For part-time jobs such as sales assistants, waiters, caregivers, tutors, university staff and etc., one common distinguishing trait is that often, the employees are paid by hourly or daily rates, with extras on public holidays. On top of that, the work hours can be variable, determined on an as needed basis by the supervisor. As such, for HR to process payroll for certain part-timers, it’s a must for them to submit claim forms which are signed off by a supervisor.

With our system, during this approval process, supervisors can easily access the updated attendance records to recheck actual hours worked, even through the mobile App. Moreover, there is an Attendance approval function that can be enabled if you require these approvers to acknowledge that they verified the attendance sheet and it matches the hours claimed. Therefore, HR does not have to step in to prepare the attendance records beforehand and can delegate all the detailed checking to supervisors which saves time for payroll processing. Not only that, if you are looking for online Overtime approval, it is also one of the options available.

Flexible Scheduling & Roster Made Easy


When it comes to part-time work arrangements, there are all kinds out there. There are those that work the normal week at fixed times, some work by the hour or by sessions booked, and others only on certain days of the week. Part-time sales promoters often take on week-long to month-long jobs and they could be working consecutive days in that period.  It can get complicated and difficult to track, so you need a flexible system like TimeTec TA that takes care of all the different scheduling requirements. With this solution, supervisors are able to quickly create weekly, daily or flexi schedules that will suit any kind of part-time staff. Use a flexi schedule if employees are allowed to clock in/out at any time or a daily schedule for those on shifts.

Detailed Reports and Transparency Every Single Time


Ultimately, the purpose of an attendance management system is to keep track of attendance and provide useful information to the right people. TimeTec TA provides data for attendance, work hours, short hours, overtime and more with Attendance Sheet and Reports. There is also multi-user access, which means everyone involved such as HR, Head of Departments, supervisors and the employees themselves will be able to access relevant and real-time information. Giving access to the staff is particularly important, whether for transparency and fairness or to enable claims submission. This also allows them to check for discrepancies and if they do spot errors, initiate a request to edit attendance.

With the numerous features available in TimeTec TA, you will surely find a few, if not more, that helps to improve your company’s attendance management, whether for part-time or full-time employees. To find out more, you can sign up for a free trial or contact us at info@timeteccloud.com.



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Attendance System Suitable for Coworking Space

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments



Coworking space is the trend in today’s business where companies share workspaces with one another. These coworking places offer not only affordable and decent office spaces employees who are looking to escape the isolation of home office or coffee place but they also offer an array of amenities to mirror a regular office such as hot-desks, private meeting rooms, kitchens, coffee and even more. Interestingly, these coworking spaces also create a community from diverse kinds of businesses, providing a great opportunity for networking and communication.

According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted, since working in a coworking space, 74% of coworkers are more productive with 86% have a larger business network and 93% have a bigger social network. At the beginning of this trend, the coworking spaces are frequented mostly by startups because coworking spaces offer manageable cost for having a proper place of business. A startup can take as small as one space or expand to a few more as necessary. Nevertheless, the trend has also caught the attention of larger organizations that want to manage their flexible employees worldwide, hence many larger companies are also taking advantage of this new trend of fresh and hipster-ish coworking spaces. Bloomberg reports that General Electric, KPMG and Merck have started using these spaces to manage their workers.

However, while the coworking space offers a conducive and a cool place to work, businesses are still having concerns over a few aspects and one of them is EMPLOYEE ATTENDANCE.

Keeping up with the workforce management, more businesses have started to make flexible hour an option to their employees in order to meet the work life balance expectations of the modern workers. Therefore, in finding a balance between having everyone under a single roof, companies need to have a system to strengthen the trust between the company and the employees.



TimeTec TA is the perfect solution for companies having flexible and mobile employees working from remote locations such as from coworking spaces. The system has a few clocking options that do not require any expensive hardware in order to use it. Employees just need to install TimeTec TA App into their smartphones, login and use. The control of the settings is still under the care of the company administration. Two great clocking options offered by TimeTec TA are GPS clocking and Wifi clocking. With the GPS clocking feature, a company has an option to set a geofence to let the employee clock in within a certain radius from the house or the coworking space. On the other hand Wifi clocking is available when the employee is within the workspace wifi range. On top, TimeTec TA can manage scheduling and reports in the same system. Not only that, with the adoption of TimeTec TA, the company can subscribe TimeTec Leave for better and convenient leave management.

TimeTec TA can also be an added value service for a coworking space where tenants can get the report of their employees over a period of time from the coworking space provider,

Either a company wants to be strict or relaxed about time attendance, TimeTec TA offers a good and affordable tool for companies to monitor their scattered flexible employees, whether in a country or worldwide.

Contact us at info@timeteccloud.com for a good deal for coworking spaces companies.


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6 SOUGHT-AFTER ATTRIBUTES IN AN ATTENDANCE SYSTEM

Monday, March 11, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments





Putting a system in place is no longer an option for today’s businesses. It’s not whether a system is needed for operation or not, it’s more of what kind of system suitable for the operation. The fact is, not all systems are created equal and to choose a system that suits one’s organization, you need to know your current and future (3-5 years) requirements from that solution. Avoid losing money, time, and valuable resource. Choose a system that can satisfy your company requirements and more. 


TimeTec reveals the top 6 sought-after attributes consumers are looking for in a Time Attendance solution. 

1. Automated

Changing from pen and logbook attendance to a punch card system is a change in system, and from a punch card system to a smart card system also is a change in system. However, a key to a good attendance system is automation, in other words eliminating the needs for resources/labor from doing various tasks involved in a process. Hence, the system must not only reduces the resources’ work hours, but it also must be able to reduce possibility of human errors in the work process. In time attendance system there are 3 major processes that require automation: 1) data collection 2) data processing, and 3) data analysis. Data collection automation can be tackled by biometrics attendance device like FingerTec TA100C and attendance mobile application like TimeTec TA. The attendance recorded within those devices will then be processed based on the settings configured in the system to produce the results that are ready for analysis. The whole automation process in time attendance is crucial when choosing time attendance solution because the system needs to run effortlessly and be able to produce the outcome that businesses want.

2. User-friendly

According to the late Steve Jobs, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” When a complex system can be accessed and used by a wide range of users without intensive training, the system has achieved user-friendliness. User-friendly interface is second to none in choosing an attendance because in any organizations, there are hierarchy of employees with different kind of backgrounds. Hence, not all staffs can comprehend a new system, all at the same pace. Therefore, a good time attendance system has to be easy enough for all staff to use effortlessly.


3. Comprehensive

Companies are looking to change a system when their existing system does not fulfill the requirements of its business and operation anymore.  Therefore, the new system must possess features that can make process automation becomes more effective. For example, the quantity of attendance column available must be sufficient and match the requirements of a company’s operation. Scheduling feature has to be flexible to cater to the different kinds of roles and work hours of workers.  On top of that, businesses are looking for a time attendance system that have other useful features including claim system, leave management and etc, to further enrich the entire process. 


4. Data Fluidity

In an attendance system, data is important and it needs to be available to the relevant parties at all times. Windows-based software has data access restrictions in terms of location and Web-based can be accessed up to a local network only. Cloud-based software like TimeTec TA on the other hand provides data access to users from anywhere at anytime, very efficient in this dynamic era where mobility is key.  On top, cloud solution also keeps all data intact for a few years without having to worry about the server size or data safety. 


5. Integrate

When a time attendance system can be integrated to a payroll system of choice, it’s a contender. Why is this feature important? Because time attendance data is more often than not will be directly linked to a payroll system and if the system can automate the data transfer, half of the work is done. Again, one of the main purposes to changing a system is automation and if attendance data can be easily linked to payroll for any payroll period, it’s a win-win for users.


6. Value for Money

Bottomline is, the solution must be of value to the company. Every company wants to maximize the value of investment and by having all your requirements met, a good time attendance solution will save your company more than just money.



Get a free trial of TimeTec TA and discover its awesome advantages!






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5 TimeTec Leave Features You Never Thought You Need Them Until You Do

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 FingerTec 0 Comments




Employee Leave Management is an important aspect in the Human Resource Department particularly businesses that require labor intensive industries such as manufacturing, retail, and services. For the management of employee leave, not only that Human Resources has to ensure the leave allowance details to be accurate at all times without compromising on the employees’ leave eligibility and compliance; they also need to keep on adjusting the overall leave balance to match with all the ongoing leave applications, approvals, rejections and etc, that have been submitted by the employees all year long. Nevertheless, no matter how complex the management of leave can be, those features are still the basics of any Employee Leave Management. Regardless of whether your Human Resource Department is still practising paper form application method or they have moved on to a more modern tool to manage employee leave, those features mentioned above need to be readily available and have to produce the correct outcome at all times. 

However, on top of the basic features, Human Resources also needs to know that there are features you never thought available or useful until the time you need them.

TimeTec Leave is a cloud-based employee leave management system designed to incorporate all features that a leave system should have as well as make them available on Mobile App and Web Application for added convenience. Cloud-based system definitely is a better choice when it comes to data collection, data centralization, data security and data management. In addition to providing crucial features, TimeTec Leave also presents 5 added features that might come handy to various organization and their Human Resource Department. Let’s explore those features.

Replacement Leave
This is a unique leave management feature whereby a company agrees to replace work hours with a replacement leave day instead of monetary pay. For example, a staff is required to work on a weekend for 8 hours and instead of paying the employee with salary, the staff is eligible to apply for a one day replacement annual leave. However, the application and approval is subject to the company’s leave policy and it has to comply with the labor law of the land. This feature might not be relevant to all industries but for selected industries like training and services, Replacement Leave is a sought-after feature.

Replacement Credit information for user

Restricted Leave Display Overview 
There are various types and sizes of organizations out there, and some practise transparency while some others prefer to keep certain things private. Therefore, in TimeTec Leave, the application offers a feature known as Restricted Leave Display Overview, where a company can choose whether everybody can view everybody’s leave in the Calendar or only the relevant Department is allowed to view their department’s leave details. For companies who choose to view by department, the information will thus not be available to other departments.

Leave Overview displaying leave information for all staff

Leave Restriction
In principle, employer cannot prohibit an employee from taking a leave if the employee do not break any rules or company policy. However, a company can restrict leave application during peak season or crunch period to maintain optimum operation. Hence, TimeTec Leave offers another feature known as Leave Restriction, where the company can restrict the number of users that can apply for a certain leave type within a certain period of time. For example, an admin can set a maximum of 10 staff who can apply for an annual leave in January 2019. Therefore, when this feature is set, the 11th applicant will not be permitted to apply for annual leave using the system. You probably thought you’d never going to use this feature? Think again.

Admin can set daily limit for specific leave type, for specific department


Leave Reminder
Who wouldn’t remember the leave that they have taken? You’d be surprise that many would or the fact that superiors approve the leave applications without paying attention to details. The purpose of this feature is to remind employees on their upcoming leave and at the same time it is intended to inform their superior that they are taking the leave to ensure that replacements have been properly placed as not to disturb the operation. This reminder feature can be set to a maximum of 3 times. E.g: 7 days, 3 days and 1 day before the leave date.

Example of email notification for leave reminder

Leave Attachment
This feature serves the company and Human Resource Department in two ways. One is to provide instant proof and second is to attach the proof to the correct data at all times. There are certain leave types which require proof such as sick leave = MC slip, compassionate leave = death certificate, marriage leave = married certificate, and etc. By having a feature that can tie all these attachments to the corresponding leave type, it is simply amazing and time saving.


So, if you haven’t heard this great Leave Management solution: TimeTec Leave, head over to www.timetecleave.com to get your trial account. Download the matching app TimeTec Leave on iOS or Android and experience the convenience first hand. We would be happy to assist you in adopting this system, email your concerns to us at info@timeteccloud.com



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