computer technology

Two-for-one app records visitor as well as employee attendance

 

Knowing which employees and visitors are in your building at any time is important, even in normal circumstances. In the present pandemic, however, this information – and the possible need for it to be available to health authorities in the event of local Covid-19 cases – has become a heightened issue for many more workplaces, including those with smaller numbers of staff.

easyLog, the innovative provider of low-cost attendance management and staff scheduling systems, has delivered yet again with a value for money, tablet-based attendance solution that records both staff and visitor arrival and departure data.

The system works with standard Android tablets, such as those made by Samsung and Asus, and a local wireless connection – or a SIM card if used on a remote site, for example in the building industry. The app enables both employees and visitors to record their attendance by presenting a tab for each: reducing investment in hardware and software while also simplifying implementation and operation.

Simple and accurate two-in-one attendance logging

Employees select their name from a dropdown list and are asked to enter a PIN as confirmation. They then indicate by clear buttons if they are starting or leaving work. The app confirms the name of the staff member and the date and time of attendance. Importantly, if the employee has made a mistake – for example, by recording another ‘in’ clocking when they are about to leave the building – the app will question their action and ask them to confirm if their attendance record is correct. A simple step that helps reduce management involvement and produces comprehensive timesheet reports accurately and swiftly.

Visitor details are entered prior to their visit through the e-Log timesheet software, together with the name of the person they are due to meet. As e-Log is a web browser-based software application this can be done on any device – PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone – with a connection to an internet browser. This enables easy access and last-minute adjustments to be made by busy managers who may have infrequent access to office administration systems.

On arrival, the visitor is presented with a dropdown list of visitors for that day from which they select their name to confirm their arrival and again on departure. Should the visitor not have been pre-registered, they can enter their name and who they are seeing using the on-screen keypad on the tablet. Visitor details are held in the software for future use thereby simplifying the process of arranging further meetings.

Low-cost solution includes our browser-based software

Prices start from just £20 plus VAT per month for an organisation employing up to 15 staff. This includes the app, e-Log timesheet and visitor software, supply of a managed cloud platform with daily backup (meaning you don’t need to worry about implementing the software on your own PCs or network) and installation. We even provide an on-line training session to show you round the software and help you get operational as quickly and smoothly as possible. And that monthly cost includes telephone access to our help desk in case you have any questions or technical issues in the future.

Innovative, simple, low-cost and easy to use. Why not call or email us for further information?

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Time and attendance, 0 comments

Developing the most App-ropriate software tools for your business

Whatever industry you are in or service your provide, you are probably finding that smartphones and tablets are increasingly finding their way into your working life – and are becoming just as indispensable as they are for social and leisure activities. The numbers speak for themselves.

Back in 2010, just a fifth of UK mobile phone users had a smartphone, according to eMarketer. Today, that figure is around 80 per cent. The trajectory of tablets has been even more rapid, with more than half of the adult population using one regularly by 2015 – up from a third in two years.

Harnessing the popularity of smartphones and tablets

Although it’s impossible to predict the future of emerging technology trends, we could see early on that mobile devices were going to have a major impact on the management of everyday tasks – and so easyLog began developing convenient app versions of key products from the start.

Initially we focused on apps for Android devices to keep costs down for customers. But as more people began using Apple and Windows devices, we have been able to offer more apps for iOS and Windows Mobile – such as our highly successful multi-location geolocation and QR code staff clocking app, Locate and Clock.

The popularity of these time-saving and simple-to-use apps has inspired easyLog developers to create smartphone and/or tablet versions of several of our other flagship products and increase the functionality available of apps already in the marketplace.

Expanding our app functionality and product range

The Care Logger smartphone app, for example, which is designed for domiciliary care staff, will soon be released with the option for carers to view their rotas, clock-in and view call information. Meanwhile, managers will be able to use the same app to schedule and reschedule calls.

We also have a remote clocking app in the pipeline that is appropriate for a wide range of business sectors. As always we are guided by making routine and complex tasks as quick and easy to perform for everyone involved, saving employers time and money. The move to mobile has really been something of a revolution for us and our customers and we don’t see any sign of it slowing down yet.

For more information on easyLog’s extensive range of products and latest apps, check our website or speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

5 ways our rota software can help you be more efficient

using our rota app on the move

You already know that a computerised electronic rota is quicker, easier and far more reliable than an old-style paper-based system – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. But you might not be aware that there are a number of spin-off benefits to our staff scheduling software that have a positive effect on other areas of your business. Here are just a few.

Take your office with you 24/7

Life, and work, doesn’t stop just because you are away from your desk. So we have developed versions of our software that enable you to access your staff rotas and other management tools, wherever you are and whenever you want. Our multi-platform, browser-based web solutions provide a cut-down version of our staff scheduling, attendance and other software for any type of mobile device, including smartphones. And for those who require full functionality while working on the move, we have powerful Android-based rota and timesheet solutions designed specifically for tablet computers.

Allocate staff according to budget

Staffing is probably one of your biggest costs, so you don’t want to waste precious resources by having the wrong balance of employees on your rota. With our staff scheduling software, you can set your budget and create a rota accordingly, so you are always on top of staffing levels – and costs.

Store a rolling rota

Save valuable time by storing employees’ regular hours on a rolling rota for as many weeks as you like. There’s no need to keep re-inputting data and staff can be sure they get the shifts they want.

Choose your clocking device…

Our software supports virtually all attendance devices and media, so all you have to do is find the right clocking technology for your business. From mobile phones and tablets to NFC, handscanners and biometric, our expert team can guide you through all the options and help you identify your perfect match.

…and payroll system

However simple or complex your clocking system and pay rates, our software has the functionality to import the data into your payroll application. Most major payroll systems are supported, including Sage, IRIS and Access.

To find out more about our staff scheduling software or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us via phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Cleaning management, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Five ways to stop fraudsters getting hold of your data

hooded hacker to indicate internet security

Technology is not just good for legitimate businesses – it’s also constantly providing criminals with new ways to commit fraud. One of the latest is ransomware, whereby hackers use malware to encrypt files stored on servers and then demand payment to restore the data – usually in the form of untraceable Bitcoins.

Sorting out the resulting mess takes a lot of time and effort and can be extremely stressful. These five simple steps will help you to keep your servers secure.

1 Be password savvy

Hackers target the weakest point of a server’s security, which is often the password. So choose only strong passwords – ideally containing a mix of upper and lower-case letters and numbers – that are not easily discovered and that you don’t use elsewhere. Change them regularly and remember to disable unwanted user accounts, for example when an employee leaves.

2 Back up regularly

We know it can be a chore but it’s essential to back up all your data securely and at regular intervals. Set up automated back-ups to run daily, sending data to a different physical location.

3 Don’t neglect your upgrades

However busy you are, make sure you find time to install all the recommended upgrades and patches for your server so the security is always up to date.

4 Switch off when you’re done

Always switch off remote desktop access (RDP). If you need this type of access set your firewall to allow only users from specific IP addresses.

5 Protect your dashboard

Have a separate password for your server dashboard and keep it extra safe. The server dashboard allows complete access to your server so you need to be extra careful.

For further advice on server security, please contact the easyLog team.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Latest news, 0 comments

Reduce the impact of Brexit on your care home

The Prime Minister has said that Brexit means Brexit – but we are still a long way from knowing how leaving the EU will play out. For businesses in the care sector, such as individual care homes and groups, there are particular areas of concern. These are a few of the challenges the industry is set to face.

Falling house prices

UK property prices have fallen by almost one per cent – or £2,467 – in the month since the referendum, according to Rightmove. And this is normally the most buoyant time of year. It may not sound much but with uncertainty over what Brexit will actually mean likely to continue for at least a couple of years, there is going to be less money available to clients who fund care by selling their home.

Recruitment issues

It seems inevitable that some kind of restriction is going to be imposed on the movement of workers from Europe – and beyond, if an Australian-style points system is adopted. Such a system “is unlikely to be favourable to relatively low-skilled workers in the care sector,” according to former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (now Lord Lansley), who has urged the industry to make sure its voice is heard in the coming negotiations.

Higher staff turnover

Changing attitudes to immigration may mean that many care workers either choose or are required to leave their jobs in the UK. This will exacerbate an already difficult human resources issue for care providers struggling to maintain a low turnover of staff.

Prospect of recession

We know that the initial stage of Britain’s exit from the EU will take at least two years – the time limit for enacting Article 50. Although we will learn more about the implications over time, uncertainty over the details and economic impact will cause many businesses to put their growth plans on hold – temporarily at least – potentially triggering recession.

What can care homes do to prepare?

There are no easy answers but clearly it is a time to ensure your resources are managed as effectively as possible. This means making the best use of all the features of your care home management system, from staff scheduling and rota management to efficient record keeping and payroll analysis.

For individual advice on getting the most out of your easyLog system, please contact one of our team – we will be happy to help.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Are you and your staff ready for Brexit?

If there’s one thing we can be sure about following the Brexit vote, it is uncertainty. None of us knows for sure what the coming months and years will bring, despite all the claims and counter claims. But when it comes to the European working time directive, it seems fair to say there will be no change soon because the UK already has an opt-out of the 48-hour week.

While this means there is no urgent need to rethink your staff scheduling system, it’s a good time to make sure you are prepared for any changes when they do come.

Having the right staff management system in place will help you ensure you have the optimum number of staff on your rota to keep your business running smoothly while controlling contracted hours, so you can keep costs down and service levels up.

Add to that the benefit of detailed budgeting, invoicing and payroll reports that can be tailored to your needs and you have all you need to keep a check on your staffing expenditure.

With an easyLog system, you also get a range of extra management tools that help streamline virtually all aspects of staffing, from training to HR and personal record keeping.

Visit our website to find out more.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Cloud options for every hosting scenario and budget

clouds on tablet PC to represent cloud server option

At easyLog, one of our defining principles is to help our customers benefit from the latest technology, whatever their size and way of working. As a result of a number of industry developments, including a significant reduction in the price of cloud server options and an increase in broadband speeds nationally, we are now pleased to be able to offer an expanded range of cloud-based facilities.

This means we have options to suit every type of hosting and server set-up and can provide high quality cloud services for almost every budget – in keeping with our principles.

Broadly, there are three main hosting models:

  • We can install easyLog software on your self- or externally-managed cloud server
  • We can manage your easyLog software and related functions on your cloud server
  • We can provide a full hosting and management service through our own servers

To discuss the different options and their relative benefits to your organisation, please contact one of our team or request a callback.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Care record management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Make your care home more efficient without compromising on care

carer using bodymap function on a tablet

With rising costs and an ever increasing administrative burden, it’s no wonder that the number of care homes going into administration has been rocketing.

Over the past three years, care home insolvencies have jumped by more than a third, according to Moore Stephens, with the number rising by nearly a fifth (18 per cent) in the year to September 2015. And the accountants suggest that the situation is likely to get worse as a result of financial pressures such as the introduction of the Living Wage, the cost of meeting increasing regulations and local authority spending cuts – the Local Government Association estimates that there will be a £2.9 billion annual funding gap in social care by the end of the decade.

Research by BBC Radio Four supports this view, indicating that a quarter of British care homes will go out of business within three years because they are not making enough profit.

Of course there is no quick and easy way to reduce running costs while maintaining high standards of care – but there are things you can do to make your working practices more efficient.

Choose the right technology for your care home

If you haven’t already invested in an electronic record system, do it now. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and will soon pay its way in terms of time savings and greater accuracy and detail. Many suppliers, including easyLog, offer low cost monthly payments for software and services so there is no big capital outlay to strain already tight budgets.

A carefully-chosen solution tailored to your care home’s needs can transform the way you manage your business and how carers go about their daily tasks. Using tablet PCs to work on the move, for instance, helps carers spend more time caring and less time on admin by allowing them to record and view care records and shift notes as they go.

Be ready for a CQC inspection

This not only makes for a more efficient way of working but also ensures you always have a full audit trail and detailed care record reporting to hand, enabling you to answer quickly any information requests in a CQC inspection.

At the same time you can build and sustain a reputation for the quality of care in your area through the proactive management of care issues that your easyLog software highlights.

Use your rota to control costs

Implementing suitable staff scheduling software designed for care homes will make setting your rota quicker and easier. More importantly, it will help you control your staffing budget – so there are no unexpected staff costs through unnecessary headcount or overtime payments, for example.

Specialist software such as our care-Log+ package will also give you the option to streamline other staff management functions, such as training and HR records, through a simple but detailed personnel module.

To find out more about finding the most effective care record management system for your business, take a look at the care home section of our website or contact one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Care record management, Care recording, CQC Inspections, Rota software, 0 comments

Chromebook: the low-cost option for creating staff rotas on the move

easyLog has expanded its range of value-for-money staff scheduling management systems by developing a rota app for Chromebook – the budget-friendly laptop running Google’s lightweight operating system (Chrome OS).

The app is available on the Chrome Web Store and is free to anyone already using easyLog scheduling software who has a Chromebook.

The new rota app for Chromebook makes staff scheduling on the move even more accessible to a wide variety of our customers because Chromebooks are usually considerably cheaper than a traditional laptop.

Users can access and amend the staff rota system in real time, without returning to the office, and there’s no need for paper copies or follow-up administration, making it a very efficient way to deal with sickness absences and other last-minute staff changes.

For more information about our rota software, visit our staff scheduling pages.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

How to keep your home care staff happy by giving them the shifts they want – and you need

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

If you run a care agency, planning the rota is probably one of your least favourite jobs – it’s complicated, time consuming and often impossible to please every member of staff, no matter how hard you try. But creating an efficient and cost-effective staff rota does not have to be a headache-inducing chore.

easyLog’s home care software has been designed specially to help you plan a rota with your staff in mind. Our advanced rota facilities can ensure that staff are given adequate hours while guaranteeing that work is allocated in employee-friendly blocks. You can use the software to make sure that carers are not called back for a short evening shift after a long morning session, for instance, or even choose to avoid split shifts altogether.

And if you need to make last minute changes to the rota or schedule extra shifts for those that want them, that’s not a problem either. Our smartphone-based care and rota software provides up-to-date information ensuring all the information you need is always to hand, wherever and whenever you need it. Plus it has the advantage of keeping paperwork to a minimum.

Find out more about our specialist care home software here.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Look to the cloud if you want to share care and rota management software across different locations

white clouds to symbolise cloud computing

Employers looking for simple but versatile rota or care management software that can be used across multiple locations should consider easyLog’s latest range of cloud server-based options.

Designed to let users make connections to other sites via the internet more easily without the investment of a big IT infrastructure, these options use Windows Remote Desktop Services to distribute our care-Log+ care home system, Home Care Studio supported living solution and e-Log rota management software as remote applications.

Active Directory integration is also available for customers wanting to run easyLog products on existing Windows cloud hosting packages.

Benefits of switching to cloud-based systems include:

  • Small IT infrastructure required
  • Easy to share data and applications across several sites
  • Suits people working in different locations

Our cloud server-based options are available alongside web browser based applications and handheld apps to give a comprehensive range of solutions for people who need to work on the move.

Demonstrations and prices for all these options are available on request.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Care record management, Care recording, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Rota software, 0 comments

NFC tags making care home management easier than ever

We have written before about how technology is changing the working landscape, particularly mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. And, as the use of tablets increases for care home evaluations and assessments, one of the trends we are seeing is more staff logging in to their devices with near field communication, or NFC, tags rather than conventional passwords.

Advantages of logging in with an NFC tag include:

  • Instant access without typing
  • Users cannot log in with another person’s password
  • Tablets can also be used to record attendance information, such as shift clock-in/out and breaks
  • Tags are available in many forms, including keyfob, adhesive label and wristbands

Using a tablet and NFC tag is also quicker and more convenient than having to remember and type in a password every time the employee needs to log in. Tags are particularly beneficial when the tablet software has timed out for security reasons because the user can easily log back in without having to re-enter a password, reducing timeouts to an absolute minimum.

For more information about using tablets and NFC tags to update care records and other client data on the move, please contact us.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, 0 comments

Employee attendance management coming to a cloud near you

tablet-clouds-sml-crop

Soon managers will be able to monitor attendance, authorise hours and calculate pay for their mobile or office-based staff on the move and without any need for a PC whatsoever.

Our development team is currently building a web browser and Android version of our popular e-Log attendance management software  with Html5, CSS3 and PhoneGap development tools. This will allow our clocking management solutions to be operated on the cloud, anywhere and anytime – and with any kind of device.

Watch this blog for news of trial downloads in the near future.

Currently easyLog offers a range of staff clocking options using NFC-enabled Android tablets and phones.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Latest news, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Timesheets, 0 comments

easyLog’s staff scheduling software factors in the Bradford Factor

The Bradford Factor is a simple formula to help manage short term sick absences and determine when these have become excessive. Named after the University of Bradford Management School, where much of the original absenteeism research was conducted, the calculation was initially associated more with the public sector and very large corporations.

The Bradford Factor (B) formula is:

number of occasions sick (S) x number of occasions sick (S) x total number of days absent (D)

Using this formula an employee taking several single days of absence will generate a larger points score than a member of staff who has one extended period of illness within the same timescale. Although the calculation should always be viewed on a case-by-case basis, the implication is that the higher the points score the more prone the worker may be to casual absence.

In today’s changed economic climate, frequent short-term sick absences have become a significant cause for concern across all sizes of business – and use of the Bradford Factor has spread accordingly.

In response to this easyLog has implemented a Bradford Factor report into its market-leading e-Log+S staff scheduling software. The report can be run for any range of staff across any period of time and be introduced into a regular personnel review meeting or run on an ad hoc basis when concerns may arise about a specific employee’s attendance record.

The Bradford Factor is just one element in a range of employee reporting tools included as standard within the e-Log+ staff scheduling software – functionality designed to present managers with the information they need to run their workforce most efficiently. You can find out more about using the Bradford Factor and easyLog’s staff scheduling software to monitor patterns of employee absenteeism by watching our latest video – Absenteeism management from your staff rota.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Bristol care home group first to use hand-scanner template software

biometric-handscanner-in-use-WHITE

Last month we announced the launch of our new software that distributes hand templates to scanners in different locations – and already our first client has gone live with the application.

Bristol-based Alexandra Homes is using our hand-scanners to keep a record of staff comings and goings at all three of its premises. The software upgrade means that employees’ hand templates can be instantly distributed to all three care homes, so employees can clock in or out at any site without having to create a new template – something that will be particularly useful for newcomers and staff working across the different homes.

For more information about biometric clocking devices, read our blog on choosing the most suitable device or visit our new clocking options pages. Alternatively, contact us to discuss the most appropriate system for your workforce.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, 0 comments

Get your teeth into Android Lollipop

If you are thinking about upgrading your existing handheld devices, or are planning to start using smartphones and tablets for the first time, there’s no need to worry about running your easyLog rota management and staff scheduling software on your new hardware. All our apps have now been tested and are working on Android 5.0 Lollipop.

And remember, if you need any help and advice on choosing equipment, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Latest news, 0 comments

Coming soon – new generation of NFC phone and tablet clocking terminals

Android-branded NFC tags and key fob

In a first for easyLog, we will soon be releasing a new generation of devices based on near field communications (NFC) technology, which will allow tablets and smartphones to be used as clocking-in terminals – and much more.

“This is a great step forward because it means we can supply an all-purpose reader built into an everyday device – a computer or phone – rather than one designed specifically for clocking in,” says easyLog’s Graham Rolando.

“It makes the technology more convenient and flexible and, at the same time, more cost-effective for our clients, which is something we think they will welcome.”

The easy-to-use and fully automated system operates on Android tablets and smartphones, turning them into fixed location clocking terminals or handheld devices carried by individual employees. It works in conjunction with special NFC-enabled tags, which come in a number of formats, including cards, key fobs and stickies.

The pack includes a master tag and user tags. Waving either type of tag near the device, or vice-versa, automatically invokes the software. A user tag will bring up a screen prompting for clock in or out. When an option has been selected, the device sends the record to the host computer. The master tag allows system administrators to configure the device and program user tags.

There are two handheld modes and one terminal mode:

  1. Software on smartphone with tag in fixed location (handheld mode 1) – suitable for domiciliary care or the cleaning industry
  2. Software on portable tablet with tag in fixed location (handheld mode 2) – suitable for night checks in care homes
  3. Software on fixed tablet with tags held by individual employees (terminal mode) – conventional staff clock-in

This product is available for order now. Tags can be configured with i-Button codes for seamless transition from the i-Button system.

Three further products based on this software will be available later this year:

  • NFC Employee Station – wave tag over device to see employee messages, rota and pay information (extension of terminal mode above)
  • NFC Care Room Checks – care records currently available via Care Logger automatically accessed in new front-end when tablet is presented to resident room tag
  • NFC Domiciliary Records – employees wave phone near service-user tag to display care requirements, visit information, care plans and risk assessments relating to the service user (extension of handheld mode 1 above)

For further information on any of our NFC products, please contact us.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 1 comment

Staff Rota-8 app now available from the Windows Store

Our Windows staff rota app has been officially launched and is now available from Microsoft’s online Windows Store. The app is called Staff Rota-8 and is published by easyLog Ltd. Go to the store to download the app  (to login, insert the username ‘user’ and leave the password space blank).

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Windows 8 to revolutionise rotas

easyLog w8 rota app

Overlaying the ideal rota over the main rota

Touchscreen technology has already revolutionised mobile phones and will soon be coming to a desktop or laptop computer near you – which is why easyLog is shortly releasing a rota management app specifically designed for Windows 8 touchscreens.

The Windows 8 app has been created with speed and ease of use in mind. There are minimal menus and pop-ups and no setting-up screens are required, because the rota is based on existing e-Log+S core user functionality defined on the main system. So, whoever is setting the rota just selects the relevant job function and shift, then taps on where they want it to go.

As well as tablet PCs, the app can be run on a traditional PC – desktop or laptop – with a touchscreen monitor. Although the computer must have the Windows 8 operating system installed, the monitor does not need to be W8 compatible – a Windows 7-combatible monitor is equally suitable.

“We wanted to take advantage of the user-friendliness of touchscreen technology to make rota creation even easier for everyone – and the new Windows 8 environment has enabled us to do that,” explains easyLog marketing manager Nicola Clark.

“We realise that few of our clients are using tablets and other touchscreen devices right now. But it is the technology of the future and we strongly believe it will transform the way people use computers in their working lives in a very short time.”

easyLog’s W8 rota app at a glance

  • Designed to Windows 8 development guidelines
  • Can be used with touchscreen or mouse on W8 operating system
  • Ideal for Windows 7 compatible touchscreen monitors as well as tablet PCs
  • Minimal menus and pop-ups
  • Easy to operate for users of all levels
  • Works in conjunction with e-Log+S staff scheduling software
  • Fast connection to server by broadband to avoid Terminal Services and Citrix type environments

Please contact easyLog for more information about the Win 8 app. You can see more images of the W8 touchscreen rota on our Facebook page.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Windows 8 – Concept versus execution

Windows 8 is out on Friday 26 October and it is quite a gamble for Microsoft, because it also appears to be launching a fundamental change to the look and feel of its desktop software for the first time since Windows 95.

Over recent years we have seen the growth in tablet and smartphone software, led predominantly by Apple and subsequently developed by Google, both to great effect. Many people feel we are now at a seminal moment in personal computer development, when tablets, laptops and eventually desktop computers will merge into one.

Microsoft has now taken the plunge with this theory and launched Windows 8, which is effectively two user interfaces in one. We have the conventional Windows 7 along with the new tablet-style swipe-and-touch Windows App Store environment. Microsoft no doubt views the second of these as the long term future, when one day it will be able to remove the desktop as we know it.

Personally, I think the concept is correct, however MS may have a few problems along the way. For initial Windows 8 users who will probably see this operating system from the desktop environment, there are many problems:

  • No Start bar – the Start bar is now effectively the App Store desktop, which would lend itself much more to touch-screen than mouse use
  • Many more clicks required to perform certain functions as a result of the “dual user interface” approach
  • Dropping programs on to the desktop is much more convoluted than with previous versions of Windows
  • The “dual user interface” approach will leave users confused as to where to go and how to get there – things just aren’t intuitive

However, the positives are there as well but they might take longer for people to appreciate:

  • Many years down the line, this approach should make Windows much more user-friendly for less technically-orientated people – something software designers regularly fail to take into account
  • The concept that laptop and tablet and, eventually, desktop PC must soon merge is surely correct and Microsoft is on the case
  • The new App Store environment does look good and is user-friendly

I guess the most likely scenario in the short term is that we are at another Windows Vista moment. Although I’m sure the reliability of Windows 8 will be a great improvement on the original Vista, I’m equally certain that W8 will not impress Windows 7 desktop PC users and there may be problems getting users to move across, resulting in the launch of a tweaked version – Windows 9? – in a year or so.

Also for this to be a success, Microsoft must get a better hold on the tablet market. Apple has incredible brand loyalty, and so you feel that Microsoft must look to make ground on Google and its Android OS. Android tablets sit at the lower end of the market, so the pricing of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet is going to be extremely important to its success. If the price is too high, ultimately it won’t matter how good Win8 is because it won’t find a place in the broadest market. Read more about Surface here.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Opinion, 0 comments