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There Are Several Benefits To Upgrading Your Business Office Tools

June 12th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Cloud Computing | Office | Productivity | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on There Are Several Benefits To Upgrading Your Business Office Tools)

As creatures of habits, many of us do not like change and are emotionally attached to just about everything we own or things we like to do on a daily basis; from our handheld devices, to work stations or our favorite morning latte at the local coffee shop. Of course, when it comes to things like office software or hardware, we need to make sure we are using technology that is not from the 80s, otherwise it could impact productivity.

Windows10 has been around for a few years and despite its gradual adoption use in the world of business, it still has its detractors. Hopefully, you are still not using WindowsXP? And, if you are, hopefully you and/or your company’s IT manager are technology wizards with the smarts to support it.

There Are Several Benefits To Upgrading Your Business Office Tools

Sometimes, upgrading is a pain and most of us hate it. Here are some useful tips from an article titled 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Now by Howard Wen for Business News Daily.

“1. Ransomware prevention
Computers running older versions of Windows are more vulnerable to ransomware. Windows 10 has a feature to thwart ransomware from locking up a user’s work and personal documents on their computer. The Windows Defender Security Center tool in Windows 10 lets you whitelist, or approve, which apps can access and change files saved in the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders.

  1. Stronger malware security tools

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender Exploit Guard, which scans for, quarantines and removes malware. In addition to ransomware protection, it includes other tools that can be used to stop zero-day attacks, to block and quarantine malicious programs on your computer or office network, and to isolate infected computers on your network. Upgrading to Windows 10 gives you the option of subscribing to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. It’s a more sophisticated, cloud-based service for managing security threats across your business’s Windows 10 computers.

  1. Safer web browsing

Windows Defender Application Guard is available in Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional. It lets you use the Edge browser inside a virtual machine. If you or an employee unknowingly contracts malware by visiting a malicious website, it won’t be able to damage the computer or the network, because it will be confined inside this virtual machine.

  1. Keep your frequent business contacts on the taskbar

The My People feature lets you pin your business contacts as shortcut icons on the Windows 10 taskbar. Click the icon of a person to email them or start a video call through Skype. You can pin up to 10 contacts on the taskbar.

  1. More efficient updates for Windows 10

A technology feature in the Windows Update tool, the Unified Update Platform (UUP), significantly streamlines the update process. UUP identifies new changes to Windows 10 that your computer needs and downloads only those specific updates. Your computer won’t have to download a larger package. Microsoft says UUP can reduce the download size of Windows updates by up to 35 percent, sparing storage space on your computer and the time it takes to install updates.

  1. Sync your work between your personal and work computers

The Timeline feature saves “snapshots” of the Windows applications you were using at a given point of time. By clicking the Task View icon on the taskbar, you can select a snapshot to continue working on something where you left off. These snapshots are synced across your different Windows 10 computers (if you are signed on to them with the same Microsoft user account). For example, you can create a new spreadsheet on Excel on your home computer and work on it later on another computer at the office.

  1. Configure your business’s computers quickly

Windows Autopilot lets you set up system configurations that can be downloaded from the cloud onto your business’s Windows 10 computers. For example, an employee can take a new computer, connect it to your office network, and it will automatically be configured to your business’s required settings. A system configuration can be tailored for a particular employee. This Windows 10 feature makes configuring, managing, and resetting your business’ computers easier, faster, and more secure.”

Bottom-line: There is only so much you can do with older technology, whether its business software or hardware, once it starts to impact workforce productivity the inevitability of loss profits are sure to follow.

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Some have argued that the annual performance review should have been ditched ages ago. After all performance reviews are taking into account what employees did 12 months ago and it’s a process that most managers and employees alike detest. According to a recent Washington Post article, consulting firm Accenture along with several other fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft and Adobe have decided, to do away with performance reviews and/or replace it with a easier process.

Has The Annual Performance Review Past It’s Best Before Date?

But how did a process that was so beloved by so many companies, and used as a barometer to; gauge performance, enhance benefits and employee pay premiums and bonuses elicit so much hate in recent years? Times have changed and, in most cases, the annual performance process has not. And, according to an article by Ratan Tavawala for Eremedia here are three reasons why:

Work is different-Work moves at a much faster pace today, with goals and projects measured in days and weeks instead of months and quarters. Performance reviews traditionally occur on a twelve-month cycle — which means they’re not keeping pace with production. In addition, companies are putting greater focus on team success over individual outcomes. At an organization where global teams are connected by virtual technology and work outcomes are a shared experience, individual yearly performance appraisals do not reflect the reality of how work is accomplished.

Ties to compensation– Historically, pay raises and bonuses have been directly tied to performance appraisals. This sets up a skewed power dynamic that can hinder the type of candid conversation that leads to real improvement. Separating employee performance discussions from raises allows for more focused, coaching conversation about day-to-day job performance, areas for improvement, professional development resources, and opportunities for growth.

Lack of honest dialogue-The power dynamic at play in traditional performance appraisals is top-down, with few companies focusing on assessing the supervisory and leadership skills of managers. Allowing employees to provide feedback to (or even formally evaluate) their managers not only improves efficacy, but leads to better employee engagement and empowerment.”

Traditional performance reviews have been, for many years, anxiety inducing, and have been reduced to an awkward for managers. Employees, in turn, cringe at the notion of having to sit in front of their manager to go through this process, which from their viewpoint is an exercise filled with criticism.

So, what’s the answer? Why not look at changing it. As some have suggested, instead of doing an annual review, reduce it to once a month or better yet, spend a day with your employee while they are performing their tasks and offer feedback. Whichever method you choose, one thing is for certain the old way of doing performance reviews are out of step with today’s workforce.

Keep An Open Mind When Deciding If The Cloud Is Right For Your Business

October 5th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Business Intelligence | Cloud Based Time Management Solution | Cloud Computing | Hosted Time and Attendance Software - (Comments Off on Keep An Open Mind When Deciding If The Cloud Is Right For Your Business)

The cloud is slowly making on-premises time and attendance deployment an endangered species. It was only a few years ago when the very idea of a cloud-based time and attendance was met with a heavy dose of skepticism, and especially among companies who had big investments in on-premise solutions. The rise of Amazon, Salesforce, Spotify, iCloud, Google and slew of other cloud-based companies have seen a shift in attitudes, and thus, many business leaders have come to understand and embrace the cloud’s capabilities and its value proposition.

In an article ‘10 tips for a successful cloud plan’ by Brendon Butler for Network World, and in no particular order include;

 “Alignment Workshops
After a company has made a decision to use IaaS cloud computing services, it’s helpful to have a level-set meeting with important stakeholders at the company to get everyone on the same page. Typical groups involved in this meeting would be security managers, finance and procurement professionals, infrastructure engineers, operations workers and third-party consultants. Typically a senior IT manager or CIO leads the process. It’s important to have a clear message to this group of why the cloud is being explored.

 

Know Your Economics
One of the first considerations that will inevitably come up is cost. There is no simple calculation for determining if the cloud will be more or less expensive than on-premises infrastructure; there are too many variables. It’s important to know that different architectural designs will determine cost.

Find Agreement
If you have a faction within the organization that is against the cloud, this will be difficult. Get on the same page and make sure any outstanding concerns are addressed before moving forward. Executive buy-in can help.”

Those 10 tips are very useful and can be adopted by companies thinking about deploying the cloud. With ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud, you get guaranteed levels of server availability and up-time that are difficult and costly to replicate with and on-premise system. From employee data to HR and payroll mission critical core functions, ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud automates more than edge applications. We power entire industries in the cloud.

If your company is debating the benefits of a cloud time and attendance consider the following; ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud cuts out the high cost of hardware including Servers. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that will not take a chunk out of your cash flow. In addition, the amount of time it takes to configure your company’s database, train users and set up data collectors are reduced by half when compared to an on premise deployment, suddenly that scary cloud-based project isn’t that bad after all.  From employee data to HR and payroll mission critical core functions, ATS Time and Attendance powers entire industries in the cloud.

To learn about ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud, download a demonstration from our website. You can also contact us by phone or register for one of our weekly webinars.

keep-an-open-mind-when-deciding-if-the-cloud-is-right-for-your-business

Saying your company does not believe in the cloud or even plan to use it is likely hard to believe as the dominance of cloud-based applications are showing no signs of abating. Some companies have dedicated IT teams and servers on which they can store their own data, foregoing the need to use cloud-base solutions and in the short term, this will work. However, there will come a time when these companies will have to upgrade their servers and apply software patches and this will inevitably become cost prohibitive-even for companies with large IT budgets. Businesses and their shareholders are interested in streamlining costs and increasing workforce productivity and since the cloud provides that, more businesses are choosing not to buy new servers, and instead, deploy cloud-based applications.

David Goldman of CNN business wrote an article titled “What is the cloud?” and states in part; “You can run from the cloud — but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide. Your job might require you to log onto cloud-based software. Microsoft’s next version of Windows is expected to run some features of its operating system in the cloud.”

We Do Not Use Or Believe In The Cloud, So What?

So, can your company reap some benefits if we decide to move our current, employee timesheet to the cloud? Yes, you can! ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a robust cloud-based time and attendance solution that provides companies with a unique advantage while addressing employee time capture through an integrated, intuitive, flexible and comprehensive workforce management solution.

The article by David Goldman goes on to say “Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook are among the biggest data center operators for consumer cloud services. There are 320 million iCloud users. Facebook users have uploaded more than 400 billion photos and add an average 350 million a day. Amazon’s cloud services operate in 190 countries around the world.”

In closing, there are lots of benefits to migrating your time and attendance to the cloud, while at the same time maximizing the value of your company’s most important resource, its workforce. In addition, as your organization grows, you need a cost-effective, flexible solution that will grow with you. And, that’s where a cloud-based solution like ATS TimeWork OnDemand, comes in handy.

To download a return on investment (ROI) calculator or to attendance one of our monthly webinars, go to our website.

Cloud-Based time and attendance, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and host of other workforce management and human capital management software applications have made significant strides in manufacturing operations over the last several years. And, that’s due in part to many executives in the manufacturing industry embracing the many benefits that a cloud-based application brings with it. It is also worthy to note that the manufacturing sector have also had to adapt to global competition in the economic slowdown of recent years. In short, when your competitor is consistently outpacing you by using new and technology, thus, increasing their profits, wouldn’t you want to find out why and how?

Manufacturing Operations Will Improve Their Bottom-Line By Embracing The Cloud

Global market research and intelligence firm IDC released its 2016 prediction aptly titled “Top 10 Manufacturing Predictions For 2016: The Cloud Enables Greater Customer Centricity”. In no particular order, we have listed the following 3 predictions:

“In 2016, 20% of Manufacturers Will Begin to Break Down Organizational Silos, Reshape IT Portfolios, and Import New IT Talent in the Plant for Digitally Executed Manufacturing. IDC predicts that rigid, centralized factory control systems will start to give way to decentralized intelligence as machine-to-machine communications start to hit the factory floor. To support this transformation, IDC says that a new generation of technology-savvy and technology-empowered workers, with information available at their fingertips, will be needed.

By the End of 2016, 65% of Manufacturers Will Have Metrics in Place to Evaluate and Drive Pervasive Changes in the Workplace with Their New Technology Investments. IDC predicts metrics associated with 3D printing productivity and security will become more pervasive in 2016. In addition to these, advanced analytics that can recommend which customized product configurations, service bundles, and pricing options are optimal for a given sales cycle will emerge, supporting by cloud-based platforms capable of providing analytics reporting on any device, anytime. Tableau will continue to see adoption accelerate in manufacturing as a result of the myriad of new metrics being created today and in 2016.

By the End of 2017, 50% of Manufacturers Will Exploit the Synergy of Cloud, Mobility, and Advanced Analytics to Facilitate Innovative, Integrated Ways of Working on the Shop Floor. IDC believes that companies will realize the short-term opportunity of using the cloud as the fabric to establish a companywide platform to analyzing data coming from the shop floor and converting it into actionable information for enterprise decision makers. Acumatica, Microsoft AX on Azure, NetSuite, and Plex Systems are cloud-based ERP providers who have experience scaling manufacturing operations starting at the shop floor. A few including Plex have analytics that support shop floor to top floor reporting.”

These predictions are clear indications that all things cloud have changed rapidly and are being embraced by small and large organizations alike. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Manufacturing Time and Attendance solution was designed for industry-leading plant floor to top floor functionality. ATS TimeWork OnDemand delivers unprecedented customer success through a relentless pursuit of time tracking, analytics and data extrapolation through continuous innovation.

To learn about ATS cloud-based time and attendance solution, or to view a demonstration go to our website. And, to speak to a sales consultant call us at: (866) 294-2467.

Manufacturing Operations Will Improve Their Bottom-Line By Embracing The Cloud

It wasn’t that long ago when companies looking to track employee time would simply call up a provider and they would have a punch clock system installed in their organization. Those punch clocks did the tracking of hours and some even added the total at the bottom of the time cards.

Now let’s move to the mid 90’s and we saw the proliferation of Microsoft windows in just about every company using Microsoft’s:  computers, operating systems and suite of office products. The punch clock industry itself had to keep up and so came time and attendance built on the Microsoft® windows platform.  But does that mean companies are no longer using punch clock systems? On the contrary, ATS gets daily and weekly calls from companies around Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor including other regions in Canada and the US all requesting our assistance with the deployment of a 21st century time tracking system to replace their antiquated punch card system.

Bygone Era of the punch clock

So, how has Apex Time Solutions evolve with the times? As a market leader of cloud-based and on-premises enterprise time and attendance software, we help companies of all industries run better. From payroll operations to the c-level suite seeking; workforce analytic reporting functionality, to the plant manager and employees utilizing mobile devices to request time off and view schedules– ATS TimeWork empowers organizations with a workforce management solution that’s designed to increase operational productivity and gain insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.

So whether your company is looking to track the time and attendance for 50 employees or 100,000.00 ATS TimeWork can help your company turn streams of data into actionable information that can help your business achieve unparalleled productivity and profitability.

Interested in seeing how your company can reduce high payroll costs with a state-of-the-art time tracking solution? Go to our website and download a time and attendance demonstration.  To speak to one of our account reps, call; 866.294.2467.

So Much Has Changed Since The Era Of The Traditional Punch Clock