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As companies adjust to the new reality of their employees working from home in response to COVID-19, identifying security needs rests on the shoulders of overworked IT departments. Before the pandemic, a small cohort, of the North American workforce, had transitioned to working remotely, whether as freelancers or corporations.

Today and likely for the foreseeable future, several companies have adopted the work from home policy for its employees, thus leaving themselves open to cyber security issues. And, this is where the importance of a company’s IT department skillsets is needed most because, if employees are too relaxed about security compliance, it can put an entire company at risk for cyber threats.

This article by Scarlett Rose, titled 5 Cybersecurity Strategies to Assist Your Remote Workforce makes the case, that companies must employ IT strategies to keep their data safe. It reads in part,

Provide Cyber Security Training to Employees: Here’s how you can ensure the cybersecurity of your organization while working remotely. One of the best cybersecurity strategies to assist your remote workforce is by providing detailed information about the latest cybersecurity threats that can steal sensitive information. Cybercriminals can hack and steal critical information from employees using phishing emails, voicemails (vising), text messages (smishing), and more.

Secure all Digital Communications: Securing all digital communications is one of the ways to prevent cyber threats during the pandemic. Make sure that all employee and client communications existing in the network are encrypted. Keep a security check and complete control over the security of these communication channels. If possible, provide all the tools that your employees need to exchange information.

Use Managed File Transfer (MFT) Software: Let’s continue our discussion on the major cybersecurity strategies to assist your remote workforce. The use of Managed File Transfer (MFT) Software is one of the most important tips to enhance cybersecurity while remote working. Cybercriminals can easily hack your employees’ email accounts in order to get unauthorized access to the email accounts of your employees. This is why most of the business organizations use the MFT software as a preferred option for file transfer.

Reinforce Endpoint Security: Let’s read more on Cybersecurity tips to follow while working remotely. Here is one of the most commonly adopted cybersecurity strategies to assist your Remote Workforce. The devices being used by your employees act as a potential entry point for hackers to infiltrate your business network.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that these enterprise endpoints are well-protected and safeguarded from cyber-attacks such as phishing attacks, malware, and more. Most of the Cybersecurity attacks start at endpoints, such as workstations or mobile devices, and then pivot to critical data sources on servers. This is why organizations these days can be seen spending more on protecting endpoints security than ever before.

Establish Secure Connections: The employees should connect to your internal servers via a VPN connection, which encrypts all the data that is being transmitted. Doing this makes the entire data unreadable to anyone who intercepts it, thus ensuring the safety of your data.

Moreover, make sure that your employees take the necessary steps to secure their routers. Make use of a strong password protocol and multi-factor authentication. Most of the systems are breached because hackers often steal the employee’s login credentials and use it to infiltrate the whole network.

Bottomline: Organizations should have strong systems and processes in place to ensure business continuity. And, even if its only part of your workforce that works remotely, you should take the time to think about the security of your network and have a policy in place, that spells how everyone should use it when logging into your network.

About ATS
ATS offers a broad portfolio of time and attendance solutions that streamlines the collection, calculation, and reporting of employee hours for workforce management and eliminates the manual tasks of payroll preparation, increasing efficiency and reducing errors in corporate payroll departments.

Thousands of organizations across North, Central and South America and Europe- including more than half of the Fortune 500 – use ATS TimeWork OnDemand, Workforce Planning, Employee Scheduling HR and payroll solutions to manage their workforce.

To reach an account representative by phone call: 866.294. 2467 or to download a demo go to our website.


Tracking employee time with biometrics is nothing new. In fact, it has becoming ubiquitous with many companies adopting the technology as a way to streamline payroll costs and increase workforce productive. And since biometric technology, can be used for different purposes, Amazon will soon add it to their Whole Foods grocery chain as a way for customers to pay.

In a recent article by Courtney Linder for Popular Mechanics titled Why Amazon Wants to Scan Your Hands’. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Amazon is testing out a new payment method at its New York offices: hand scanning.

Here’s how it works: Users hold their hands over a special scanner that uses computer vision and depth geometry to identify each hand’s unique shape and size, per the report. Amazon Prime customers must go into stores for their hands to be captured and linked to their account before they can begin using the payment method.

The new payment method will also help to process transactions more quickly. While a typical card transaction takes three or four seconds, Amazon’s new tech can process the charge in less than 300 milliseconds, says the report.

It’s not a new concept by any means. Hand geometry, as the biometric is called, was used to protect access to the residential Olympic Village at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The concept of hand geometry was developed and patented in 1985, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first commercial product using the tech came out the following year, but it wasn’t widely adopted. However, many companies do use hand geometry for time and attendance purposes. Walt Disney World has used “finger geometry” for years to expedite entrance to parks, for example.

Systems that measure hand geometry use a digital camera and light to take a scan. When you use one, you simply place your hand on a flat surface and line your fingers up for an accurate reading. A camera takes several photos of your hand and the shadows that it casts. That data is used to determine the length, width, thickness, and curvature of your fingers and hand. Then, it’s translated into a numerical template through an algorithm.”

ATS biometric clocks are used in a variety of companies and industries from healthcare to food manufacturing, grocery retail, shipping & logistics, government entities and construction.  With ATS biometric time clocks, employees can clock in with a quick scan of their hand, and are instantly verified for accuracy. And, with biometric identification capabilities, “buddy punching” can be prevented to help control labour costs associated with inflated payroll.

To view a demonstration of ATS biometric time clocks or cloud computing time and attendance application, go to our website.

Employees using their face to record their hours of work is becoming quite common in time and attendance world. And, now it appears that the use of this technology, albeit slowing, is also being adopted at some airports according to a recent article, by Stuart Emmrich titled Will Your Face Be Enough to Get You on a Plane? for The New York Times, and reads in part;

“Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration released a 23-page report outlining changes it is proposing on how passengers are screened before boarding their flights. Key among those changes is the proposal that passports and other forms of identification will eventually be replaced by biometric technology.

Early this year, the agency began testing facial recognition technology for international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport. The biometric technology matches facial images to photos in government databases, such as photos obtained from passports or visa applications.

And in 2017, the T.S.A. tested fingerprint technology at the T.S.A. PreCheck lanes at the Atlanta and Denver airports. The technology matches passenger fingerprints provided at the checkpoint to those provided to the T.S.A. by travelers who have enrolled in the PreCheck program.

Biometric technology is also being evaluated by individual airlines. Delta Air Lines announced in September that it is building a dedicated biometric terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The technology, to be installed at Terminal F, would allow passengers to check-in at the self-service kiosks, drop off their checked baggage at the counter and then be used as identification at the terminal’s T.S.A. checkpoint”.

 If you are unfamiliar with ATS biometric time clocks, these data collectors includes the latest in technology and works, in tandem with our time and attendance application, to deliver exceptional value – helping organizations control labour costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

Using ATS biometric technology, your organization can expect:

Options
A variety of biometric data collectors to choose from that include: fingerprint, hand geometric face recognition and a variety of biometric features, and mobile capabilities. ATS biometric data collectors, offers enhanced technology, thus allowing employees to easily and more accurately enroll on the time clock’s controlled finger, hand geometry or face recognition template– which reduces, read error rates for a more accurate biometric enrollment, and protect employees’ personal information and eliminate costly buddy punching.

Peace of Mind
Backup battery protects employee information against power outages and flash memory backs up data. And, with open standards, field upgradeability and keypad functions, these time and attendance biometric time clocks are —ideal blend of performance, function, style, and affordability designed for essential workforce management functionality.

Accuracy and Productivity
No more manual data entry which is always prone to errors and, instead can look forward to a best-of-breed application that will enforce pay and attendance policies at the time of an employee recorded hours. An application that will improve workforce productivity by giving employees intuitive self-service access to scheduled hours and time-off balances from any device, from anywhere.

ATS advance biometric time clocks are designed for today’s advanced cloud computing workforce and provides state-of-art, touch-screen functionality and accurate, up-to-the-minute analytics data your company can rely on.

To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call 866.294.2468.

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The acceptance of the cloud has been growing steadily and that’s in large part to its many benefits, including; flexibility, low financial outlay and scalability. Some companies dip their toe in the water by simply moving core elements of their time and attendance into the cloud, while others are choosing the middle ground of a hybrid cloud environment, which keeps core time and attendance functions on-premise while also utilizing a variety of multi-tenant public cloud systems to manage certain parts of their business.

Some C-suite executives including finance and HR, at times, need convincing when it comes to the cloud, and if their past experiences with a cloud solution, have been less than stellar — asking them to give a cloud-base solution another chance might be an uphill battle.

In a published article for CFO.com titled The Cloud: A Better Expense Model Roy Golding, does a masterful job in espousing the virtues of the cloud and its inherent benefits.

“Cloud asks businesses and their finance leaders to reevaluate some long-held approaches to IT and how it is accounted for. Traditionally, any time an organization wanted to make a significant technology change, the CFO needed to ensure the long-term business model supported the investment. Making heavy capex investments up front — think expensive data-center hardware — always brought with it the risk that the hardware wouldn’t be fully utilized down the road.

The Benefits Of The Cloud Is Undeniable So, Don’t Get Left Behind

In contrast, cloud offers the flexibility to move technology resources and to not be tied into one big investment at the beginning of a new project or business. Software-as-a-service (SaaS), for example, removes the need for businesses to install and run software and applications on their own hardware within their own physical infrastructure, which also removes the associated expenses. In this operating expense model, instead of taking a large cash hit on the P&L statement right away, the company can pay for the service over time as it gradually grows the investment.

In the past, if IT teams needed additional hardware, software, or connectivity resources at certain times of the year — for seasonal reasons, perhaps — the investment to cover that requirement may have resulted in over-provisioning after the busy period ended. And a double hit resulted — the company subsequently owned depreciating technology assets that weren’t being used most of the time. This approach has never been popular with CFOs, but before the arrival of the cloud there was little alternative.”

If your organization is still on the fence about the cloud, you can always start small and grow with it. For example, with ATS TimeWork OnDemand Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) you can easily increase or decrease capacity to cost-effectively handle peak demand.  And, because the configuration with ATS TimeWork OnDemand configuration is less complex, you don’t high-value implementation team members thus– helping keep deployment costs down.

The power of the cloud is undeniable so, don’t leave your organization behind. Still not convinced? Find out how ATS TimeWork OnDemand Enterprise Cloud Solutions can deliver the speed and resources necessary to quickly validate and realize solid ROI.

To learn more go to our website. You can register and join the ATS Workforce Analytics team for this week’s webinar, How Businesses Can Use Analytics To Achieve Profitability. And, to speak to an account executive, call: 866.294.2467.

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The results are in and it’s predicted that by 2020, 78% of small businesses are expected to host their IT environments in the cloud. Is that a staggering? Yes, it is! When you consider that only a few short years ago, many feared anything cloud (and some still do) and likened it to tech boom of the early 2000s.

Gartner estimates states,  in part, that  by 2020, the “cloud shift,” or for example, moving from the traditional method of installing software on a Server to opting for cloud-enabled solutions, will have a direct and indirect impact on more than $1 trillion in IT spending. And, according to Ed Anderson, Gartner research VP “Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” another quote from his statement, reads “The market for cloud services has grown to such an extent that it is now a notable percentage of total IT spending, helping to create a new generation of start-ups and ‘born in the cloud’ providers.”

Small Businesses Can Reap The Rewards Of The Cloud

So, what kind of benefits can your small business expect to see by adopting a cloud computing solution like ATS TimeWork OnDemand?

Flexibility
One of the better benefits of the cloud is the ability to access employee data files and reports from any workstation or mobile device from any place at any time. Heck! Who wants to do remote desktop or VPN transactions to access a file that’s stuck on Server?

Lower Operational Costs
One of the most obvious benefits of moving adopting a time and attendance that’s in the cloud, is that it provides significant savings. Case in point, with ATS TimeWork OnDemand, you only pay for the services that you use. And, here is the best part you no longer have to pay fees for yearly maintenance of hardware and licenses.

Team Collaboration
Whether you are a CEO, CFO, HR or Payroll executive, can see the same set of reports at the same time, thus, making collaboration easy through the cloud. The ability to review employee information, extrapolated from your data collector, allows departmental managers to make edits and communicate with each other through the intuitive dashboards.  Now, that’s what we call efficiency!

So, if your small business wants to take advantage of the many benefits, that the cloud has to offer, go to our website to download a white paper. You can also register online to attend a bi-weekly webinar with topics ranging from, time and attendance, payroll, human capital management, talent management, human resources management and more.

You have been charged with the responsibility of purchasing a new time and attendance system for your organization. Naturally, you are immensely excited and you can’t wait to call every vendor in for demonstrations and go through every conceivable feature of the software. But wait a minute? Why do you need to go through a myriad of features that you might never use? This is a common occurrence with many companies especially ones who are in the market for a time and attendance for the first time.

Below is a list of three straightforward strategies and tips that will help you find the right solution for your business:

In The Market For A New Time And Attendance? Don’t Forget To Focus On The Fundamentals

Make a list of your requirements: Making a list will help you define the scope of your project. Also be very specific about your company’s business requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their demonstrations and proposals.  Chances are, you will likely be awed by the latest technology advancements, during product demonstrations but it is important to keep in mind your corporate culture and how easy the solution is going to be for your users. Very often an IT person is invited, but the very people who are going to be using the system are nowhere to be found.

Think Cloud: Even if your company has no desire to deploy a cloud solution, be open minded and discuss it with your colleagues and senior management. Every company is using a cloud solution today in some way or another. Whether you are using Face Book, Drop Box, or Google these solutions are all in the cloud. And, if your company has mobile workers, a time and attendance that’s based in the cloud, with self-service portals, should be given stronger consideration. Also do not forget about data integration- any time and attendance solution that does not have the ability to integrate with your payroll, HRIS, or ERP is not a solution but another expensive piece of unusable software. In short, move on and do not waste your time with a solution that’s does not fit your business requirements.

Obtain References: This might seem all too obvious, but don’t forget to ask your potential vendor for references. If your potential vendor cannot provide at least three happy customers, they may not have the experience you need. Go to the next vendor on the list.

Too often, people select a time and attendance solution based on price, fancy features, and the latest technology. A solution that’s comprehensive, scalable, and easy-to-use should top your list. In the end, what you need is to find the company that understands your company’s requirements, and whose solution can be designed to fit your specific needs. And, once you find right solution, you will be well on achieving the ROI and long term benefits.

To download a white paper on ‘how to select a time and attendance solution’, go to our website. You can also download a demonstration or register for one our bi-weekly webcasts.

The continued rise of technology including; Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, cloud-computing technologies, and artificial intelligence has made the seemingly impossible from years ago now possible. An article by Charles Krome for TLNT HR titled ‘What Happens When Employees Work Out of Their Car?’ raise the eye browse, rightfully so, of many safety experts.

The article reads in part, “It was bound to happen, leveraging the Microsoft Exchange mail and calendar services, In Car Office “knows” about upcoming conference calls, for example, and if you’re in the vehicle, it can automatically dial you in at the appropriate time. Similarly, if other calls are on your calendar, the system also can recognize this and remind you a few minutes before. Or if you’re headed for a face-to-face meeting, the system can automatically set the destination in the car’s navigation system.”

Technology Will Continue To Dominate The Future Of Work

Chances are we are not too far away from this type of technology being deployed by some companies, and of importance is the safety, liability and work-life-balance comes that will feature into this type of technology. The article addresses those concerns with this:

“First off, helping to maintain a safe workplace can be a vital role for HR professionals, so if your employees’ vehicles become part of that workplace, they could become part of your responsibilities, too. Expecting people to be on the clock when they’re in their cars, however, would require resetting that balance — and perhaps rebalancing the company’s books. While it’s too early to know how this would play out, if the time folks spend in their in-car offices is considered “work time,” it could have a financial impact for employers who pay on an hourly basis.”

Will the in-car office ever come to fruition? Only time will tell. The introduction of biometrics some years ago at airports, and in workplaces, coupled with cloud computing technologies were seen as an intrusive tools that did not belong. Today, many companies are deploying cloud-based time and attendance solutions, in large part, to the inherent benefits of boosting workplace productivity and streamlining payroll costs. And, as for biometrics, at airports, they have become so common that consumers go through them without thinking twice.

You’ve devoted the better part of a year espousing the importance a workforce management solution to replace your company’s, current manual process. You provided senior leadership with return on investment (ROI) charts, various business cases including tips on how you plan to phase in the implementation. And, finally after what seems like years in the making, you got the word that the executive management team has approved the project. You can finally rejoice you’ve got the power! Now what?

You’ve Project Has Been Approved And You’ve Got The Power! Now What?

Select a project lead (preferably someone in HR, finance and/or payroll) and if that happens to be you-that’s even better, and start by; reviewing, collecting, and discussing the type of data you want in your new system. Also, you should assemble your project team and start your discussion with some of the following questions:

Project Plans

  • How long is this going to take to implement?
  • How bad is your current, employee data capture?
  • What work needs to be done?
  • How many functional users need access to the software?
  • Do you have a list of the most pressing items that needs to be addressed?

Data migration is an important step that should not be overlooked. After all, since you about to deploy a workforce management solution, you should avail your company with the 21st century tools that complements the product.

Data Migration and Analytics

  • Other than your payroll, ERP, CRM and HRIS software are there any other interfaces that will be required?
  • How much history are we going to migrate and do we really need all that history or can we save it in the cloud or a disc?
  • Are there specific reports that will be of value to your everyday life and if so, what are they?

The “training wheels” will, have to come off at some point, which means you and other functional users will have to start making use of the training that you were provided during the implementation. Hopefully, your trainer is readily available to answer your questions and provide additional support as needed.

Post Project

  • Does the project lead (that’s you) remains the main point of contact?
  • Who’s going to be your back-up when you are on vacation?
  • Are all functional users fully trained?

For tips on how to successfully deploy a workforce management solution, go to our website. You can also register for a weekly webinar or download a pre recorder demonstration.

 

The retail industry has had to adapt to numerous changes in the past several decades. And, with shrinking market-share, retailers now have to grapple with tight margins, technological innovation, constant changes in consumer habits and unprecedented growth in global markets.  These changes, along with cost containment and  increasingly fierce competition, have fueled the need for continuous improvement, flexible operations, and availability of information on demand.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand empowers retail organizations to modernize their approach to employee time and attendance. ATS TimeWork offers a robust, up-to-the-minute responsive cloud infrastructure, a sophisticated development platform and a rich portfolio of workforce analytics, and 21st century mobile services. With ATS TimeWork OnDemand, retail operations from; Food Manufacturing, Fashion and Apparel, Pharmacy, Department Stores and Home Goods, Grocery, Hospitality, Food and Beverage to drive sales and optimize business operations through analytics insights that fuel personalized merchandising for their customers.

Retailers Are Embracing ATS TimeWork OnDemand To Improve Operational Excellence

Here are three examples of how retailers are using ATS TimeWork OnDemand to improve productivity, streamline payroll costs and, at the same time, stay ahead of the competition:

Deployment Platform-With TimeWork OnDemand, organizations can choose from integrated always-on, dedicated and local deployment model that complements, and includes Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile-ready services.

Analytics and Data Science-By using proven cognitive analytic solutions from ATS TimeWork OnDemand to tap into cutting-edge employee data to spur decision making capabilities with an advanced time and attendance retail application that’s readily accessible, and provides powerful and insightful intelligence like never before.

Flexible and easy Access to the Cloud-ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a modern API-based, open-source, and collaborative web application—that quickly scales to meet seasonal or event demands through an easy-to-use customer portal or auto-scaling capabilities. The advantages of retail operations using ATS TimeWork OnDemand includes; upgrades with minimal downtime and interruption, and the ability to access supercomputing—on demand on a massive scale that transforms business intelligence and up-to-the-minute business decision making.

Want to learn how ATS TimeWork OnDemand can help your business realize the value of cloud time and attendance solution? Go to our website or call us at 866.294.2467.

 

 

The correct answer to a question of this nature is a whopping no! Claims of seamless deployment are just that, “claims”. Now with that being said, when an implementation is being planned out and both vendor and customer should take into account that there are going to be deployment gaps along the way. Without a doubt, every deployment will incur a small gap or two regardless of size or scope, however, when stakeholders and its partners, build contingency plans to mitigate the unforeseen, that’s when you the closest thing to a seamless deployment.

ATS Workforce Management Solutions has built-in accelerators designed to help companies implement more quickly and cost effectively. ATS deployment accelerators are pre-configured versions of our workforce management software, based on deep expertise and are industry specific.

Here are three benefits to ATS Workforce Management Solution Deployment Accelerator:

End-User Experience
ATS TimeWork offers pre-delivered configurability and thus, organizations can keep core payroll and HR functions (payroll, CRM, ERP, accrual benefits and talent management) while enhancing them to provide an easy-to-use, and mobile design that can blend with cloud-based applications. ATS Workforce Management Solution enables companies to deliver time and attendance functionality across any device while providing the same user experience.

Payroll, Finance and Workforce Analytics On Display
ATS award-winning Workforce Analytics can helps companies to manage and keep up-to-date on workforce and compliance issues, while creating value and rapid return on investment (ROI) for the business.  ATS Workforce Management Software Accelerator helps create a phased approach that provides enhanced and ready-to-use data, visualization, business analytics, and statistics.

Built-To-Use Data And Cloud Migration
Migrating from paper timesheets or other applications can be done with ease with ATS data migration (import and export) capability tools. ATS Workforce Management Software Accelerator helps organizations close the cloud and data migration gap with a solution that was built to work with today’s applications in an era of cloud computing and, at the same time, effectively addressing the key areas that extend the software implementation process.

Bottom Line- ATS Workforce Management Software Accelerator is an important and useful tool that can be used by companies who want a quick implementation, are not interested in fancy features, and have no need for software customizations. Note, we said “customization” and not “configuration.”  Companies are encouraged not to look for silver bullet implementations because they simply do not exist.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management Software Accelerators go to our website. You can also register for one of our weekly webinars or contact an account executive at 866.294.2467.

 Is There A Silver Bullet To Workforce Management Software Deployment?