5 Tips to Revive A Business After A Pandemic Scare


So now that the world has gotten used to the fact that Covid-19 will be very much involved in our lives until some scientists ferret out and attest to the universal vaccine that can wipe off this invisible culprit from this universe. Nonetheless, the aftermath of the attack is severe for businesses. The shutdown of more than 3 months for the majority of companies has taken a detrimental toll on their business's well-being, especially the small-medium enterprises. Many are forced to trim down operations to manage the tight cash flow, and at the same time we have to figure out how to conduct business with the new norm being introduced. 

Entrepreneurs are a different breed of people altogether. No matter how bad is the fall, they will find their way back into the scene in no time at all. And for companies that are resuming operations, we return to the new norms that include social distancing, contactless transactions, and extra efforts on personal hygiene. 

LET'S FIND OUT THE TIPS TO REVIVE YOUR BUSINESS AMID THE SCARE

Caring Employer Goes A Long Way
Be a responsible company, a responsible employer and provide for your employees the necessary protection against the threat of Coronavirus infection. Stock up on masks and sanitisers. Distribute the face masks to each employee weekly and place the sanitisers strategically for them to use regularly. Don't resort to cheap or homemade sanitiser that is not effective just to save some money or provide one mask a week and be okay with that. 

Invest in A Good System
When times are hard, people are pulling the purse string even tighter. However, having less money to spend doesn't mean that we need to take an expensive risk instead. Investing in a high-quality fever scanning system could save your company a lot of trouble now and in the future. (Please note that 33°C or 32.8°C are not human body temperatures because some body temperature sensors failed to give correct reading at all times) The practice is not going to dissipate post-Covid because the world has learned its lesson. Therefore, having a system that can scan body temperature, scan whether the user has a mask on or not, scan for attendance and door access is something your organisation should consider when resuming your business for the benefit of the majority. 

  

Not only that we need to care about our employees, for those who have restaurants, retail stores and offices that accept visitors, but you also we need to consider a system that can protect premises from any symptoms of Covid-19. Furthermore, some governments like the Malaysian government requires the businesses that open during this pandemic to have records of their customers plus the temperature data to be available to the government any positive Covid-19 patient found, for contact traceability purposes. Even though there are free government initiatives offered to the public, but as a business, we always need to have control over the system as well. Solutions like TimeTec VMS are suitable as it provides us with the health data that the government requires, and the data is also beneficial for our business. Go to TimeTec VMS to find out more.



The New Norm at Work 
When the governments around the world impose a lockdown on their citizens, businesses switch to Work From Home mode. Now that many are returning to work, it would be a better and safer choice to embrace WFH in the operation. To have a full workforce capacity at a confined space is definitely NOT a wise decision. Rather, those who can WFH should be advised to continue to lessen the possibility of infection.  The best way to go forward is for companies to refine the WFH policy to manage those who practise it effectively. 


People photo created by ArthurHidden - www.freepik.com
Reduce Travel, Reduce Contact
As much as possible, reduce contact, which translates to lessening the face-to-face meetings and visits. Unless it's something that can't be discussed over Google Meet or Skype or Zoom, don't go gallivanting around town for a chance in meeting people to talk about menial matters. However, if your staff have to go, make sure they have a good tool to record their whereabouts and the people they meet on record for contact tracing. TimeTec TA is a perfect tool for that purpose.




Establish New Channels to Receive Payment 
Recover that few months lost income with new sales and better collections. Erase the anticipated excuses from your customers such as cannot travel to your place to make payment, by providing more channels to receive payments. Apart from internet banking transfer, provide other alternatives like online payment via credit cards, e-wallet and etc. Get that cash flow healthy again to revive your business the soonest possible. 



Business photo created by lifeforstock - www.freepik.com So now that the world has gotten used to the fact that Covid-19 will be ver...

Technologies to Consider Post-Covid



We are experiencing the unprecedented. The Covid pandemic has literally brought the world to its knees. Businesses come to a halt abruptly causing a lot of damage and shut down the world over coronavirus. But in true human form, we have always found our ways to thrive and survive no matter what challenges are placed in front of us. The survival instinct, fortunately, is what we are made of. Going forward hopefully, let's plan for the changes companies should observe post-Covid, and how all of us should proceed with confidence in the next few years.

Contactless is the Safest

Fear of cross-contamination is not going to dissipate once the world lifts its lockdown. We have to endure it for at least a year or more. Hence, prevention is the way to go. The fear of Covid has put a stop to the use of fingerprint machines in many premises. The concern is real, and the only way to manage it is to go contactless. Face recognition machine is the best option because it still promises the authenticity of biometrics, and it does not promote cross-contamination through a device. In moving ahead post-Covid, companies might want to consider switching to face recognition biometrics products for your company's time attendance and door access control. And if you need something more advanced with temperature reading and face with mask reading, enquire within. An investment in the right system will help your operation continues with a peace of mind.


Work from Home is the new Norm

The world has been introduced to Work from Home, famously acronym as WFH, rather forcibly. Some welcome it with open arms, some cringe to the fact that they have to do work inside the house with the family members present. Nonetheless,  almost 1 million WFH hashtags flooded Instagram over the past month, indicating how WFH has become a new normal.  It works for some industries where the deliverables are not tangible. And, as we are approaching the final stretch (oh how we hope..) of this pandemic, many businesses will continue to embrace Work from Home, to reduce the risk of Covid infection in the workplace. In view of that, companies need to invest in tools to manage employees who are Working from Home. TimeTec TA and TimeTec Leave are great tools to use to monitor and manage employees who WFH. They are App-based attendance and leave system that captures clocking data along with GPS data and in real-time (and with a photo if required so), as well as leave application and approvals via a smartphone.


The Wise in Health Screening 

Never have we thought that our food delivery package would have a kitchen crew and delivery person's temperatures on it. But we did receive that information from McDonald's and many other deliveries for the past few weeks. It is a safety assurance, a message to say we are free from Covid so you can eat your food without worry. As we move along, a temperature reading is going to be crucial in many places soon. Many premises will make the feature necessary to reduce the risk of getting infected with contagious diseases from employees and visitors alike.  Therefore, solutions for the public must have a temperature reading data field for record purposes as a precaution. For example, TimeTec VMS, the full-cloud visitor management system by TimeTec is updated with the temperature data field so premises/buildings can start taking the temperature of its visitors for record purposes and precautionary measures. It is unwise to take a relaxed attitude towards this because one person with the disease can transmit to at least 37 other individuals, who could infect other people exponentially.


Team Collaboration

No man is an island. Either you are working in the office or from home or a mixture of both, team collaboration is key to get things done more effectively. Companies can't stick to the old ways of managing employees in this day and age. Explore team collaboration tools available such as MS Team, Zoom, Skype etc. to get the team together to discuss and finalize on tasks at hand. For the non-tech-savvy boomers, no matter how terrified you are with the latest techs, you need to work on the fear and dive in.     

Reaching Out to Potentials

Gone were the days where businesses encourage physical meetings at the office or outside unless they are essential. Hence, companies need to figure out how to be creative, reach potential clients and engage them in various ways. This is the time where you can see companies attempt on FB live, Tik Tok, IG live and many more. Doing presentations using technologies or implementing solutions remotely using the latest available technologies. Basically, companies have to pivot to stay relevant.


Plan ahead on the changes your company need. Contact us at info@timeteccloud.com for consultation or further information.

Hope to see everybody on the other. Adios.

We are experiencing the unprecedented. The Covid pandemic has literally brought the world to its knees. Businesses come to a halt abrupt...

The Ride-on The Next Cloud Wave at Intersec, Dubai



While the Big Mac index reflects the purchasing power parity between nations, the Intersec's performance reflects Dubai economy.

For the past three years, exhibitors get lesser, and crowds get thinner at Intersec, mirroring the fact of the economic downturn in Dubai. Nonetheless, Intersec, as the most significant security tradeshow and congregation hub in the Middle East and North Africa region, still retains its status with quality leads to offer.

Intersec, as always, connects us with our longtime partners and it was a pleasure meeting Mr Faisal Kan, the CEO of IPTec UAE, Mr Kinan Alfin, the CEO of Link2Tec, Rouaa and Noor Alkhalifa from Ultratech Sudan, Mr Mohan Das Kuttath from Okaz Telecom Saudi, Mr Ibrahim Elshamy from Intelligent Project Qatar, Mr Mahmoud from DLink Kuwait, Benacer Douadi from Safety and Protection Ltd Algeria, and many more to catch up with our latest developments.


One of the discernible trends I have observed, the main exhibition halls that used to be occupied by the surveillance system and CCTV products have shrunk, many famous brands disappear, lost in the fierce competition. Access control products, the once smaller in size if compared to surveillance, has now seized a larger hall space.

This time around, we exhibited FingerTec products; but highlighted our arrays of cloud solutions. It has marked the transformation of our company, from a hardware-driven company to a software-driven, from outright purchase to subscription-based, from standalone simple biometrics product to a cloud ecosystem company.

I'm proud that we come prepared as compared to many market players to ride on the next wave of cloud computing technology advancement. While many Chinese companies still relentlessly showing their perpetually lower price hardware products; we manage to bring forward a cluster of mature cloud products, under the trademark of TimeTec Cloud City, complemented and integrated with easy-to-connect IoT devices.

Many visitors found TimeTec's latest QF Master App awe-inspiring. 

We turned a standard Android phone into a face recognition terminal that opens the door. The QF master App scans face for recognition and also scans QR codes for verification. It integrates with the latest TimeTec BLE-2 door controller via Bluetooth communication. 

Two parties, one from Saudi Arabia and another from UAE, foresee the massive potential of TimeTec cloud solutions, hence, have proposed joint ventures and investments to foster stronger ties with us. Besides, Assa Abloy of Dubai scheduled a meeting with a prominent housing developer for an integration proposal of the Assa Abloy locks and i-Neighbour cloud intercom system, i-Comm, an integral part of our smart community product, i-Neighbour. And soon, our esteemed distributor of FingerTec, Magnum Connect of Dubai will actively promote TimeTec Cloud solutions with the blessings of the CEO, Mr Nayagam Pillai, to carry this product forward.

February is going to be a busy month for us with proposals to write and follow-ups to make.

Till next time, Intersec.


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.

While the Big Mac index reflects the purchasing power parity between nations, the Intersec's performance reflects Dubai economy. F...

Biometrics, the Protection from Ghost Employees



It sounds almost comical, ghost employees. No, it's not referring to the staff who passed. This term refers to names recorded on payroll, but they do not work at the place, like at all. They could be real, actual people or they could also be fictitious characters, depending on who created the records for these spooky, non-existent employees. It is indeed terrifying when these employees can rake a lot of money from a company and even millions from a government. Bizarre? Not so.

In 2016, a Nigerian government cut nearly 24,000 non-existent workers from its payroll and saved $11.5 million a month! Iraq paid a whopping $380million a year for 50,000 soldiers who never reported for duty. Many other cases are affecting nations across the globe as well as corporate companies.

How could this happen in the first place? You might ask. Dishonest employees and corrupted civil servants pose real damaging risks to businesses and governments alike. And the primary motivation for the perpetrator(s) is money and how to get more money through illegal manners. It could be an individual effort or a collective effort to cheat a system, and the absence or the lack of detailed audit in any system elevates this further.

Is this crime preventable? It's easier to prevent if it happens in SME, smaller companies. However, it's trickier when it occurs in multinational, multibranch, labour-intensive organizations because the larger a company is, the massive the data to audit.

The good news is, every company can minimize the risk by employing this one simple yet effective tactic in operation. Before we dive into the solution, let's explore how could this ghost employee occurrence happen? Two ways, timecard falsification, and another is a ghost employee presence, where an administrator is giving an avatar or a 'life' to an ID in a system. All the perpetrator needs to do is to falsify time for this fake ID, and approves the 'work' done to get paid.

Now, let's talk biometrics.

What biometrics technology does is, it compares the recorded template of a person's biometric data with the biometric characteristic of a real person. If you have stored a fingerprint template inside a system, you would have to scan your finger for your data to be verified and recorded. There is two-step to biometric authentication. One, a person needs to register, then he/she needs to verify. Biometrics cannot skip these two steps to provide authentication. Then, apply this biometric technology to time clocking and monitoring to obtain reliable time data for reference and checking.

Through biometrics, even when an admin who is in charge of the system plans to cheat the system, he needs to figure out whose fingerprints are for which IDs and how would these ghosts come to work to record the time for payroll purposes. If the admin wants to use his fingers, the system will catch him even faster. The ghost needs to clock at the right time with the correct biometrics, and any edit on the attendance data will be highlighted accordingly to prevent data mishandling.

See, biometrics is indeed a simple solution to this problem.

If you think that this Ghost Employee phenomenon wouldn't affect your company, think again. Unless you have installed protection such as biometrics systems in place, no one is safe. And be wary of the people who are against the system because they might have something up their sleeves for quite some time.

Contact us at www.fingertec.com for biometrics solutions and cloud-based time attendance at www.timetecta.com 





It sounds almost comical, ghost employees. No, it's not referring to the staff who passed. This term refers to names recorded on ...

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



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.

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 ex...