A friend in need …

You know the saying. Indeed, let’s talk about technical support.

Most of the time your Time&Space will work just fine. We have people using Time&Space for years without ever raising a single incident. If you take care of the usual good IT practices, you will not have much issues.

But there is a catch. “Good IT practices” is not just making backups. Good IT practice is to assess your operational risks and have a contingency plan. Good IT practice is to know who to call if something goes wrong, and to have a sensible guaranteed response time. Recommended IT practice is to have a SLA, signed “service level” agreement with your local supplier/integrator.

If you are like most of our users, you do. Normally, our authorised partners provide technical support to their customers, through their SLA package.

That package will normally include our Software Upgrade and Premium Support (SUPS) service. This service covers some important benefits like free software upgrades and 2nd level case support through your authorised supplier.

So, if your supplier’s SLA includes SUPS, you are covered. Our authorised partners have our back-to-back support for all cases covered with SUPS. In addition to that, if you need to call our support directly for any reason, with SUPS, you will have a massive 40% discount on direct support coupons. Just in case.

For more on our direct support and SUPS, please check the For Users page.

Flip-Flop Clocking

One amongst many Time&Space features is “automatic” or “toggle mode” or “flip-flop” time clocking. The idea is simple and quite popular: If you are in, you are obviously going out, and vice versa. So there is no need to press buttons selecting “IN” or “OUT”. You just flash your badge and that’s it. The software calculates whether you are coming or going.

The users love it. But unfortunately, there are some pitfalls.

In toggle mode, for the sake of convenience, you are throwing away a crucial piece of information: IN or OUT. Normally, the software (or your clock) will be able to correctly calculate the missing information, and you will be fine. However, what happens if some clockings are missing? People forget to clock, they forget the badge at home, the reader may misbehave and so on… we have all seen that.

The problem with flip-flopping is that a single missing clocking will flip over all subsequent clockings. All INs will become OUTs and vice versa. One missed clocking has a potential of ruining your whole day (or more). If there is odd number of clockings, there is no way of knowing what is missing, what is right and what was flipped.

If you have very predictable shifts with just one pair of clockings in a day, it will not be so hard to figure out what is missing. But if you have dynamic working time with lots of events per day, event flipping can quickly escalate out of control.

Even more so if your clockings can get delayed in transit. Due to say, dropouts in online communications, it may happen that some older clockings will arrive later than the newer clockings. Until all clockings are in, the whole day (or more) may be flipped over. Again, you will be looking at a very different, wrong timeline, not very easy to handle.

This can be especially challenging when clockings are collected from several sources (multiple time clocks, mobile phones, data imports). In order to guess the right event (IN or OUT) you need to have ALL your sources tightly online. If you don’t, you will be confirming, collecting, showing and calculating clockings which are wrong.

To sum everything up:

OK TO FLIP-FLOP

• You have only one simple clock
• All your clocks are 100% online
• Your users do not forget to clock
• You have simple working time

USE IN/OUT BUTTONS

• Your data collection system is partly offline or experiences dropouts
• Your users sometimes forget to clock
• Your working time is dynamic
• You have a lot of clockings per day

Many small offices? Meet MATT!

Putting a full-spec time clock in every office can be costly, especially for a bunch of dispersed offices, each with just a handful of people.

Up until now, a popular solution for budget clocking was our WCP (Web Clocking Portal) module. It can certainly save the day, but frankly, using an office computer to clock via browser is not very convenient, neither is it a very reliable solution. At best, it is an acceptable compromise.

An increasingly popular solution is smartphone clocking, but again, not everybody can or wants to use their personal phone for time clocking.

So what about low-cost time clocks in general? Even if we assume that there are no concerns with quality, or continuity (future availability and compatibility) of low-cost time clocks floating on the market, there is still one big issue: hidden cost of installing and managing remote terminals.

This is where MATT comes in. MATT is low-cost because it is not actually a dedicated time clock. It is a generic Android device for professional use which just happens to be perfectly usable as a time clock. It is not a phone, it does not have street value, it is much more robustly built, it runs on battery, connects through WiFi or mobile network and reads standard NFC compatible RFID badges. And most importantly, it is managed through internet, meaning that all lifecycle maintenance, such as upgrading the OS or the app, happens quietly in the background. The management is covered through the purchase price, there are no recurring fees.

All that makes MATT very attractive choice for covering even the smallest remote offices. We will be selling MATT for the introductory price of EUR 350.- (minimum quantity of five). For more information see the brochure and contact your local Spica partner.

Zone Touch Device revealed

The Zone Touch is Spica’s own product and is the successor of the Zone Button. As its name suggests, it is equipped with a colour LCD display that doubles as a capacitive touchscreen.

Thanks to its modular design, the Zone Touch is actually a mixture of the Zone Button and the Zone Wing application, providing an integrated HID iClass reader and a possibility to add one Zone Door. It is still a work in progress, so expect more information to follow soon!

Integration of VingCard Visionline

The integration of VingCard Visionline with Time&Space Systems is now in the final phase.

VingCard Visionline is a wireless locking solution which operates in online mode with stand-alone hotel locks through Radio Frequency that is based on the Zigbee high-security open platform. The parent company of this locking solution is ASSA ABLOY, the world’s leading provider of locking solutions. With this integration, we hope to open many more doors for Spica.

We now support TBS terminals

Time&Space 10.10 will support the integration of TBS terminals.

The integration itself has been done by our CSP Team but it will be a part of Time&Space product. It is also of great importance because TBS company is a leading biometric manufacturer and solution provider, to whom large integrators trust and cooperate with.

Inactive employees do not affect the PIF license

With Time&Space version 10 Inactive employees no longer affect the PIF user license which means inactive users will no longer burden your budget.

Besides that custom sorting on the Time schedules view is now user based making it more user-friendly. Sorting options can be set separately for every OS user.

For more details check out the release notes on this link.