Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knowledge Management

“Do we have a KMS (Knowledge Management System) in our company?” asked my accountant while completing a survey form mandated by the government. When I told her that we do, she seemed surprise. “I thought we only implemented CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?” she stressed.  Nonchalantly, I challenged her, “How do you define Knowledge Management System then?”  She replied, “According to the form, KMS is a system that manages information/knowledge in organizations.” 

“That exactly defines what our system is doing now,” I told her.

When we built a website for FingerTec many years ago, we already equipped it with all the KMS features. The knowledge accumulates over the years, allowing renewals of some outdated materials, covering almost every aspect of the business; constant sharing among the staff and customers according to the level of accessibility, and it is indeed the hub for our daily operations. Our sales, technical support, brand building, admin & accounts, and R&D teams are constantly contributing their knowledge towards the system besides their daily duty whether they realize it or not.

In fact, knowledge is derived from processed information that originated from analytical data. Every organization produces knowledge, along with the products and services that they market to customers. Knowledge helps organizations to invent products or deliver services. Even in a trading company, product is a matter of transferring the goods from a supplier to a customer. Still, there must be some valuable knowledge in the supply-chain from the mere transfer process of goods. To remain competitive, it depends on how well you manage knowledge, and maintain a system that encourages renewable knowledge, and sharing of information.

Without knowledge management, the wastage of knowledge is high. For example, if a technical solution is not documented and shared, it needs to be repeated, and the answers would be most likely inconsistent the next time it’s presented.

Knowledge flow in organizations can be described using APQC’s Knowledge Flow Process that shown below. And now, since we are living in the age of digital technology, with reduce usage of papers, the knowledge flow cycle has been smoothened ever since, but in an invisible way.

Knowledge now, is easier to transfer and share.  And the knowledge sharing is always associated with informal learning.  Our website, as a digital hub, also serves as a self-service library, as a means to develop social networking, nurture new knowledge, stimulate innovation, or share tacit knowledge within and between individuals or organizations. And knowledge, in general, produces wiser individuals and organizations.

Dr. Hewig Rollett, the knowledge management guru said, the increasing complexity of both the environment in which companies operate and of their internal workings, combined with the speed demanded from them, the pressure for innovation, and the scarcity of attention as the ultimate limited resource, make knowledge central to business success today. Knowledge is now seen as a factor of production not only at par with land, labor, and capital, but surpassing them in importance.

To us, knowledge management has always been an integral part of what we do.  

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Something Larger Than Biometrics

Biometrics products have their own attractions more than the industries they really served.

That's why most of the biometrics players like to put forward their amazing hardware before you, and eager to show how fingerprint verification or face recognition machine works on you during a demonstration session. Their software easily escapes tight scrutiny with this strategy.  

The biometrics device is simply 'soulless' if you skip the software
The truth is, the real purpose of a biometrics device is basically defined and decided by its software. The biometrics device is simply 'soulless' if you skip the software.

Our customers can spot how much we emphasize on software, even though the hardware is like a natural magnetic field, pulling them in. We stress the importance of software by introducing three new applications to our software family throughout 2012. Firstly, TimeTec Cloud as a workforce management software based on cloud technology; secondly, Ingress as a new generation access control application, and thirdly, OFIS GateWay as a secure single sign on software, after years of developments to enhance our solutions.

The reason is simple, because the threshold can be varied, from cards to biometrics or to NFC (Near Field Communication) in the future; and the platform can be varied as well, from Windows to Web, or to private or public Cloud; and the medium can be varied too, from PCs to tablets or to smart phones, but the solution either serving physical or logical access control industry or time and attendance management, would remain the same almost forever.

Since we established in 2000, we always believed that there is something larger than the biometrics. Hence, Beyond Biometrics becomes our slogan, to remind us that the success of FingerTec would not be solely relied on how fast and accurate our fingerprint or face recognition algorithm is, we should go beyond the boundary to look into the industry at a larger perspective.

We should look into the industry at a larger perspective
And, our comprehension of serving the industry has different levels too, acceptance is just the entry point, satisfaction would be the next to ensure success, but we aim for the highest, which is to touch the customers, by their hearts. Can our products or solutions or services achieve that? We don’t promise, but we are working extraordinarily hard at that.

We hope you find us exceptional at the first sight, and later on in everything we do.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ