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Scheduling Software Streamlines Business Hiring

Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 at 11:13 am    

For many businesses, keeping their workers on a consistent schedule can be difficult. Moreover, particularly for companies in the retail and service sectors, it can be difficult to determine what an optimal employee schedule would even look like. However, all of this is beginning to change, thanks to sophisticated employee scheduling software being developed by companies such as Dayforce and Kronos.

Through a variety of different methods, the software created by these and other industry pioneers is beginning to revolutionize the ways in which employees’ time is managed. Some of the methods are extremely straightforward, such as scheduling employees based on 15 minute time increments, rather than the more typical hour-long periods previously used. Other techniques are more complex, including analysis of store sales and other data to recognize peak and ebb activity times and schedule employees accordingly.

One impact that technology such as this has had is to shift more workers out of full-time work into part-time jobs. For companies, this is seen as a net benefit, in that it can reduce the number of workers who are eligible for certain benefits, as well as decreasing the need for intervention by an employment lawyer or business lawyer because of uncertainties and discrepancies in hours worked, especially when it comes to overtime pay disputes.

Maryland Department of Information Technology Cited for Security Risks

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 2:13 pm    

A recent audit of the Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) revealed that the agency has not yet fully complied with certain state laws to help ensure that information security goals are being met. According to the report, the DoIT had not yet fully implemented a system by which it would coordinate information technology security protocols across all state agencies, instead delegating this task to other, subordinate agencies. In turn, this led to none of these agencies fully meeting the IT security requirements developed by the state.

Unfortunately, the lack of effective implementation procedures for IT security requirements may have put some of the state’s sensitive data at risk. If it later comes to light that the DoIT’s lax security measures resulted in such a situation, lawyers for the state may be forced to initiate legal action. This illustrates the overwhelming importance of having effective guidelines and enforcement procedures in place.

StartupValley Uses Crowdfunding to Assist Technology Startups

Posted on Monday, October 8th, 2012 at 2:17 pm    

Crowdfunding, the use of social-media platforms to help new concepts find investors to help bankroll the projects, is now being extended to the digital realm with the new website StartupValley. The “Pitches” section of the site allows new startup firms to put forward new ideas, which investors can evaluate and determine whether or not they are interested in putting their money into the firm. Furthermore, the site allows individuals to “follow” specific startups, keeping up-to-date with their newest innovations and trajectory as a business so they can learn as much about the company as possible before becoming financially and legally associated with them.

This use of crowdfunding could potentially revolutionize the way in which technology companies operate. Until now, most of the large investors who specialize in technology innovations were concentrated in a few areas, mainly Silicon Valley in California. This meant that technology startups were largely forced to operate in these areas in order to find the investment funds they needed. Now, it may be possible for technology startups to operate anywhere, potentially causing new tech havens to emerge across the country.


GitHub v LinkedIn

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 4:48 pm    

For many years, LinkedIn has been the front runner for employment searches on a social media platform but now, a new leader may be emerging. When searching for new software engineers and other tech specialists, many companies have begun turning to GitHub, a site where users can display both their resumes and their actual skills.

A venture capital firm recently identified GitHub as a site that deserved some more credit and invested $100 million into the company. A partner from the firm, Ben Horowitz, stated that GitHub is the place to find some of the most proven and easily identifiable tech talent available. It will be interesting to see how the recent funding changes this site and how this could also affect similar sites such as LinkedIn.


IBM Purchases Kenexa

Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 2:40 pm    

In a recent deal, IBM has acquired Kenexa, a human resources company with a wide array of HR services designed to aid businesses with hiring, retaining, and managing employees. The deal closed at $1.3 billion, or approximately $46 per share. By purchasing Kenexa, IBM will have access to many different HR services including:

  • A recruitment process outsourcing product
  • “Onboarding” solutions, or a management system for documents and workflow
  • Employee assessment systems
  • Kenexa Prove It, a program that helps identify qualified candidates
  • Kenexa Interview Builder, a reference library for interview questions and solutions

IBM believes that the purchase will allow its clients to manage their companies more efficiently. In a statement, IBM reported that “Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders.”

The deal is slightly unusual for IBM because they had not previously been involved in HR and talent management, but it may be the beginning of a new aspect of their growing business.

Square Partners with AT&T

Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 8:50 am    

It was recently reported that Square had partnered with Starbucks in an effort to streamline transactions at their coffee shops and expose the product to more users. Now, Square has also struck a deal with AT&T. Card readers will now be available in more than 1,000 AT&T retail stores nationwide.

The device will be available for $9.99 and should provide small business owners and entrepreneurs the tools they need to prepare a growing business for technological advances in this field. Square has created lists of Square-friendly businesses around the county in order to help users make the most of the service—a feature which may help smaller companies grow their customer base. At this point Square has over 2 million people and businesses using their service. The number is expected to grow significantly in the future.

Square Inc Wants to Change the Way You Pay

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 4:22 pm    

Mobile payments are nothing new in the global marketplace, as companies like Paypal and mobile apps offered by specific retailers have long allowed individuals to pay for goods and services without getting out a credit card or cash. Square Inc’s CEO Jack Dorsey has a different vision for the future however, one which moves payments out of your wallet, off your phone, and into the background.

With a new partnership with Starbucks launching this fall, Square will be taking the first step by allowing customers to simply hold up their phones and permit Starbucks to automatically charge the customer’s associated card. The ultimate objective is to move beyond this step and allow a background app from square to make the payment process completely automated.

With Dorsey’s system, the phone’s GPS system will be able to detect when a customer has walked into a Square-enabled retailer, connecting the app with the store’s checkout system automatically. Without ever taking your phone out of your wallet, the retailer’s checkout register will be displaying your face and name as a square enabled customer in the vicinity, allowing you to simply give your name, order your merchandise, and walk away while the app charges your credit card in the background.

Starbucks has always been a technology forward company, carrying out 1 million transactions a week via pay-by-phone app already, and was a natural partner for Square to tap into the 8 million customers buying coffee at Starbucks locations every week. According to Dorsey, the best technologies are the ones you don’t see; “We are building technologies that fade away, that go into the background so people can focus on what is most meaningful to them.”


New Motion Capture Tech Leaps into Action

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012 at 5:32 pm    

Leap Motion has unveiled their new gesture control system called “Leap”, and applications to take advantage of the new technology have numbered over 15,000 in the first week alone. The new technology allows users to control what is on their computers to within a hundredth of a millimeter accuracy using nothing more than their fingers and hands, and was developed specifically with design applications in mind.

Leap Motion has reported that 26,000 developers from over 143 countries have requested software development kits, with applications stretching throughout numerous industries. The San Francisco-based company released the following information regarding potential development:

  • 14 percent of developers proposed gaming applications
  • 12 percent proposed music and video apps
  • 11 percent of proposals involved art and design
  • 8 percent concerned medical and science applications
  • 6 percent were interested in robotics applications

Proposals include applications which would allow users to drive cars, fly planes, and even automatically interpret sign language. Founders David Holz and Michael Buckwald indicated that a small group of extremely compelling projects would highlight the launch in an Apple-style app store, but has not yet revealed any details.

Cloud Hosts and Privacy Issues

Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 10:00 pm    

As more businesses are turning to cloud computing services, the options for hosts are expanding. Last Wednesday, technology officials presented a House subcommittee with a warning about potentially unfair business practices putting United States companies at a disadvantage among international cloud hosts. Among those presenting information were individuals from the Business Software Alliance and Rackspace, a company dedicated to business cloud and hybrid hosting.

The presentation included information about the arguments being made by foreign providers against American services. Hosts from other countries are arguing against using cloud hosts in the United States because of limitations to privacy put in place by the Patriot Act, however this information may not be accurate. The concern is that these unfair accusations may affect business on a considerable scale, so by presenting information to the House, tech professionals hope to curb this unfair campaign against American companies.


Software Executives Gather Together for Conference

Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 2:22 pm    

Every year, Human Resources Executive ® magazine organizes a weekend-long conference to help connect software professionals and human resource teams across the nation. This year the event will take place October 8-10 and topics to be reviewed include mobile technology, social media, analytics, and cloud computing. The event is intended to give HR executives a chance to work closely with software professionals in order to tackle major technology challenges, review human resources functions, and learn about recent advances in technology.

A recent announcement explained that six influential enterprise software executives will participate in panel events and conferences. The six software executives presenting are Steve Miranda, Sanjay Poonen, Stan Swete, Mike Capone, John Wookey, and Adam Rogers. Several authors on related books are also expected to give keynote speeches and discussions throughout the conference. Aside from discussion groups, demonstrations of new technology, panels for questioning, and other events will take place throughout the program.