Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Build Another Brand

2015, we took a few major steps to boost our ongoing transformation, building its momentum, and always making sure that all is in good shape.

First, we hired. We tripled our R&D workforce. Until one day in September, I suddenly realized that we were no longer in the SME category that entitled us to enjoy some government benefits for the SMEs. 

Second, we outsourced. The tripling of our R&D staff force still fails to meet our aggressive schedule. We are so determined to launch another six cloud applications from the existing two by the end of 2016. This explains why we hunt for more top minds; and our perseverance on better user experience suggests even more. So, the hunt is still on.  

Third, we showcased. From joining security tradeshows, we started taking part in cloud IT and HR events to present our new cloud products. Polarized views were received.  We often heard visitors’ from the security exhibitions commented, Wow. Two dollars per person per month; that’s expensive! On the other hand, people from IT and HR industries reacted, USD24 per annum per employee? Its peanuts. When the trend is right, you can never go wrong.    

Fourth, we fine-tuned. It’s imperative that our internal system be more adaptive to the cloud environment. Without a lightweight organization structure, it would be too clumsy to float on the cloud. And, to ease the management when R&D swells, we adopted the CMMI standard, which is now at the final stage of certification.

Fifth, we strategized. We have laid our marketing foundation for resellers to market our cloud applications effortlessly with higher benefits and RWI (Return Without Investment). All they need to do is to start selling.

Sixth, we reinvent. FingerTec is already a 15-year old brand that we built from scratch to reach that global level and now we are building another brand name, proudly named TimeTec. The implications? We are moving from hardware to Software as a Service (SaaS); from sale to subscription; from one-time off to recurring income; from biometric to beyond biometrics.

Many more.

All in all, the transformation is alive and kicking; it’s never too late to jump on our magical cloud wagon for the journey into the future. Our whistle is blowing loud and clear.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Declaration of Future Commitment

A biometric device is a hardware terminal designed as an instrument to solve clocking problems, and its complementary software is a program designed as a tool to solve operational problems. In this biometrics clocking system, clocking plays a lesser role in the entire operating system. Software is indeed pivotal in almost every business system. While FingerTec seems like a hardware’s brand name; we have been preparing ourselves and dispensing more resources in software development for our brighter future. 

Clocking device vs Operating System
When the iPhone debuted in 2007, and later the iPad in 2010, they made a huge paradigm shift in the IT world that was once dominated by personal computers.  The computing power that normally stayed intact on a clunky desktop had been shifted into the hands and pockets, which came with them the term ‘mobility’.  Obviously, size did matter; an action used to transfer software from a CD to a computer simply couldn’t be performed for a tablet and smart phone anymore. 

However, that was only a bump in the road, since almost all devices are network connected nowadays; you just need to download any software directly from the Internet. The aggressive ones came with another great idea, “Why do we need to download software to a device? Isn’t it easier to log in to a website and use it there?” Hence, the Web and Cloud program were created. And, another smart guy would reply, “Since everyone is carrying a smart phone and staying connected 24 hours now, why don’t we create some specific Apps with different function roles for employees to collaborate at all times?”

Add mobility to liberate computing power 
And we, as one of the market leaders in time & attendance industry and an innovator ourselves, started to think that since everyone carries a handset, do we really need a special device to do time clocking? This is just like how digital camera became quite irrelevant when the smartphones can take high quality picture. Instead of letting the newcomers phasing out your products, you may need to take the initiative to kill your own products with newer inventions.  

We predict that the industry would inevitably be drifting slowly away from the clocking terminals and, the initial software that runs on Windows Operating System that were usually used by a few administrators, seemed inadequate when the business owners want to tap on the computing power that is within the employees’ grasp.  The software has to reinvent itself and become more accessible among staff, more collaborative among peers, more communicative among superiors and subordinates; and to notify irregularities in real time.

Then, abruptly, the software-as-a-tool’s era is over and software pulsates like a central nervous system, transmitting signals into your business operation.

When the trend is shielded away from a specific hardware but offered other probable methods for clocking, and demanding all of the abovementioned features to be available in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) era, another great time of IT for corporations that unavoidably based on cloud computing and business model based on SaaS (Software as a Service) is declared arriving. 

This trend supported by Computerworld's 2015 Forecast predicts that 42% of IT decision makers are planning to increase spending on cloud computing in 2015, with the greatest growth in enterprises with over 1,000 employees (52%). By 2018, 59% of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 41% in 2013.

We have another chart to strengthen the upward trend for adoption of Cloud Services. As normal software application users, you just deal with SaaS providers, and can ignore Platform as a Service (PaaS) and IaaS (Intrastructure as Service) where SaaS providers will deal with them to park their cloud applications onto it.  

At FingerTec, we noticed the trend and set our transformation plan since we adopted Salesforce.com as our Cloud CRM system in 2008. Today, we have launched TimeTec, cloud-based time and attendance system (www.timeteccloud.com), and EpiCamera, cloud-based surveillance system (www.epicamera.com), and we continue to add features and refine the systems to meet market expectations.

In the pipeline, we have TimeTec Cloud Visitor Management System, TimeTec Cloud Patrol System and TimeTec Cloud Recruitment System, and TimeTec Cloud Leave Management System. The former three Cloud Services will be introduced in early next year, and the fourth Cloud Application is expected to commence in the third quarter of next year.

Our determination can even be observed by the change of the company’s name from FingerTec to TimeTec to mark our commitment in this transformation. The transformation will not only happen on the product level, but our business approach as well in the foreseeable short future.