Automatic Updates from WIFI and Linked Companies
February 10, 2016
February is going to be a huge month for Simple In/Out, and it all starts today with two brand new game-changing features: Automatic Updates via connection to WIFI and Linked Companies.
Automatic Updates from Connection to WIFI
One of Simple In/Out’s pioneering features in 2011 was Geofences, allowing users to automatically sign in and out just by carrying their device. It’s still among our most popular features. In 2013 we added support for Beacons, which allow for much smaller areas of automatically check in/out coverage while still being incredibly soft on the user’s phone battery.
Today, we’re proud to launch our third automatic updating feature for Android and Windows Phone. We call it Networks. Like Geofences and Beacons, an admin user within the Simple In/Out company adds a WIFI hotspot to the company. Just like Geofences/Beacons, users can then monitor this Network. When their phone connects to the Network for internet access, Simple In/Out will check the user in. When they leave the Network and their phone detects it has disconnected, Simple In/Out will check the user out. This offers all the advantages of hardware Beacons, but with larger coverage areas and using existing hardware you’re likely to already own and have setup.
We only support Networks within Simple In/Out on Android and Windows Phone. This also supports automatic updates via the Amazon Fire Phones and BlackBerry via their Android runtimes. We do NOT support Networks on iOS unfortunately. This is due to the fact that Apple does not give us the necessary APIs to do so. We hope that Apple changes this and you better believe if they do, we’ll be among the first to support it.
We believe Networks are a great way to improve the automatic update accuracy for many of our users without needing to purchase Beacon hardware. We firmly believe that in/out boards should be as automatic as possible, keeping them always up to date.
The second major announcement is Linked Companies, a great way for large organizations to split their workforce apart for privacy and manageability. With Linked Companies, organizations can establish a master company that can manage companies underneath it. The sub-companies behave like stand-alone companies, with all their own users, settings, history, Geofences/Beacons/Networks/Groups etc. The users in these companies cannot see any of the data in the other companies, yet the master company can view all the companies underneath, manage their users and settings, run reports, etc.
When would Linked Companies make sense? There are a number of examples:
- Franchises that wish to restrict users in one location from seeing users in another location, yet can be managed by one master company. Think of multiple Starbucks, each with their own sub-company.
- Organizations with distinct divisions that require privacy so users can’t see those in the other division while still receiving one bill a month. Think of municipalities with city auditors, parks district, waste department, vector control, etc.
- Large enterprises that wish to hide the oversight personal (like vice presidents) from the rest of the organization while still allowing them to see what’s happening everywhere else.
- Companies that want to restrict some users to using TimeClock and hiding history (for punching in) while allowing others to see the history and use Geofences.
Linked Companies receive one monthly bill to the master organization for it and all the sub-companies, and all of the companies below can use whatever plan is necessary to fit their users. If some companies need Push Notifications and some don’t, you can absolutely do that.
We think Linked Companies open up a lot of great possibilities and more unique use cases for Simple In/Out.
We’re just getting started with an exciting February for Simple In/Out. We can’t wait to reveal more of the great things we’re working on.