Sunday, February 22, 2009

We Invented Time Machine

Time is precious. I learnt this later in life when I found myself having not enough time to spend at my own leisure. The brutal fact is, everybody gets 24-hours a day. No one in this world gets more, neither Britney Spears nor Courtney Love. You can’t pray to God and ask for an extra 3 hours in the first week of next month. You just don’t get more. Period. And, it’s totally up to an individual to use hours he gets in his life to make it worthwhile. But at the same time, why did some people achieve more and others did less? Interesting.

Who discovered time?
Time wasn’t an issue in the older days; clocks were merely accessories. Time becomes important when each hour equals dollars and cents. Time becomes vital when companies decided to be calculative; when words like productivity, discipline, and man-hours meant something. In the older days people who did not use the time wisely were just referred to as lazy.

People Did Invent Time Machine
To actually time people, a punch card machine was introduced. Every staff was given a card to time his working hour. There was even a song made about punch card sung by the late Sudirman, which went like this in my translated version. “People were hustling and bustling to get into the office on time. Punch card! You gotta be hurry! Punch card! You gotta be hurry!” I was in primary school at that time and though I didn’t really understand what was a punch card, the melody was catchy. I’m not pulling your leg! A SONG was made about punch card!
When I was serving a government agency 12 years back, my days went in slow motions. They were like Keanu Reeve’s Matrix moments every day except when I had to catch a bus for a ride home. Work finished at 430pm but at 3pm everybody was restless to leave the office. At 4pm, there were some fellows already lined up in front of the punch card machine to make sure a constant 430 for a month on the card.

I could have used some of those times now, if possible, to do some of the things I needed done.

Implementations of the punch card were good until one fine day a ‘brilliant’ employee had an idea to ask his colleague to punch the card for him while he went to watch a movie with his girlfriend. “Buddy-punching” term was created, the meaning spread around and everybody was relieved to discover that the system had flaw. And that was when the resellers of punch card knew that their days were numbered.

Well, not exactly like 10,9, 8, 7, 6 kinda count down. It took the people in the industry years to still be doing cards like proximity and smart card, but when biometrics technique like fingerprint was introduced for office automation, the real thing has arrived. Sorry-dear-friend, I-can’t-help- to-punch-your-time-no-more scenario plagues the offices.

Unfortunately, no song was made this time.

I got a bad news from a friend in USA recently. She told me that its either a pay cut or a job cut for her. She doesn’t really mind a pay cut but what about if the worst happened. In difficult times like this, purse strings are pulled tightly; every cent going out and coming in counts, and everybody realizes he has a Dutch in him.
And Time Machine Becomes SophisticatedIn times like this, an employee wishes she could have practiced more discipline. In times like this, an employer wishes he/she some kind of indicator about how a fellow staff uses his time.

Fingerprint system for time attendance is not about benefiting employer only; it works to the best of both sides. Automated reports generated by fingerprint readers counted hours more honestly than before. Employee has honest records to show his performance and employer has honest records of his employees. And honesty is STILL the best policy!

Time matters. When work hours equal pay and when hours work equals performance, time is a necessity. And by writing this, I spent many minutes of my time not watching my favorite American Idol. Thank God for reruns.

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What’s Name Got To Do With It?

(Photo taken from

Whoever says that choosing a brand name for a product is not THAT crucial to the business needs a brain check. I’m serious. As I was watching Australian Open a week ago I kept seeing the logo of Nike, which was correct all the time. The name is simple yet unique, hard to copy. The closest I can think of is Hike or and it still doesn’t sound close to Nike. My father used to have a pair of Abibas sandal and I thought that was hilarious. Virgin is another example of a good name; applicable to various industries and at the same time oozes innocence, truth, and pure vibe to even saying the brand name. A name creates energy around your products, it basically determines the destiny of your products, it has the power to move or to remove your products from the market.

FingerTec came about in 2000. To some people in the industry, it’s not deep but at the same time they are kicking themselves in the head for not thinking of that name earlier. It’s a good name for what we do. Finger Technology – FingerTec; it could be a generic name for fingerprint system like Colgate for toothpaste and Google for the Search Engine. When I was in India, my reseller informed ma that someone was using FingerTec name to sell his other brand’s fingerprint system. My dealer made a call to his office. “Hi Sir! Are you selling FingerTec?” in which the culprit replied him nonchalantly, “Yes, we are Sir. FingerTec we have many and we sell at a very reasonable price.” “But Sir, we are the exclusive distributor of FingerTec in India and we didn’t know you exist” “Don’t get me wrong, I am selling Finger technology, FingerTec! My brand name is XXX. Are you interested?” “But Sir, your advertisement mentioned FingerTec instead of your brand!” “I mean finger technology! Finger technology! FingerTec! &*^%*”

Apple is an extremely good name. For those who made fun of Gywneth have to first see the history of an apple. It’s innocently inviting yet dangerously cursed in the story of Adam and Eve, the same plot retold in the Sleeping Beauty, an alluring products with dangerously huge potentials in the computer and electronic market when it comes to Apple, the brand. Apple is indeed a good name!

FingerTec for fingerprint product is a match made in heaven. However, there’s also a hurdle when it comes to diversification. The name FingerTec is a little bit off for iris technology, palm, voice, cards and cameras for example. So, shall we name our new product line Pomegranate or Papaya?

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ