VTech Solution Inc (vTech) was established in 2006 by a group of highly-qualified IT professionals. We also have a presence in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba within Canada; assisting government and the commercial sectors by delivering technology solutions through IT Consulting and Managed IT Staffing Services.
Drawing on our extensive experience and built on a foundation of integrity, vTech endeavors to overcome the challenges and opportunities confronting private and government sectors by incorporating the latest IT solutions, complete with industry best practices. vTech, therefore, helps organizations to embrace a leadership model that will focus both on IT systems and people.
In a nutshell, we facilitate efficient and effective IT team resourcing and IT team building realigning the organization’s purpose, mission, process, and systems with the needs of its most important asset – its people. Overall, we build, deploy and manage enterprise applications, IT infrastructures, and other IT systems.
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The major news in recruiting for the year 2017 was undeniably AI, and with its increasing adoption this trend is only expected to increase in 2018.
By working with tools like ATS, recruiters have used technology to make their jobs easier, faster, and better or in other words highly efficient. Employees are the company’s most important asset, which makes talent acquisition strategy the foundation for ongoing success.
AI is capable of considering a probable employee for a particular position by looking at candidate’s background and matching up with those workers by identifying certain qualifications, educational history, work experience and other factors that consider a candidate has the background to emulate the top performers at your organization.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, it was found that 44% of businesses incorporate AI into their IT functions, and 19% use AI to predict their customers’ future purchases and present them with suitable offers. Businesses are also beginning to see the benefits of AI in recruitment. According to Ideal, 96% of senior HR professionals consider that AI can highly leverage talent acquisition and retention.
Here's how AI can help:
AI technology is capable of changing many things. However, it still is not equipped enough to remove complete human interaction. AI can help bypass back-end and repetitive processes, ultimately assisting recruiters in finding the right talent. The technology is here but it is not all-encompassing; conducting face-to-face interviews may still promise a satisfactory match than otherwise. While AI can assist in many parts of the recruitment process, the human involvement remains imperative.
In the very near future, most recruitment models will involve AI. AI is already transforming every business vertical; in medicine, AI is taking the role of a clinical assistant to help physicians make faster and reliable diagnoses. Companies like General Electric & Siemens are using AI for monitoring machine fleets and factories.
Artificial Intelligence is also rapidly evolving in the Staffing industry and is bound to change the game of recruitment. Jobinvote CEO, Dan Finnigan said, “If recruiters and companies can learn to pair themselves with a specific AI, they can train it to understand a particular corporate mission and culture, so that recruiters feel like they leverage these chatbots and other similar technology as extensions of their teams, not as replacements for them”. In the words of Cyberpunk author, William Gibson, “The future is already here, it’s just not widely distributed.”
Cloud is now a basic business requirement; every business in some way or another is harnessing the power of cloud to succeed. Some may choose in-house infrastructure or a private cloud environment, while others prefer public cloud offerings. The fact still remains that companies are relying more on their cloud vendors now more than ever for providing the best services at reasonable rates. However, all too often, that’s not always what’s delivered.
Here are some points to keep in mind while you deal with a cloud vendor in order to get the best deal for your corporate assistance.
1. Review Vendor’s Uptime and Downtime Statistic
Uptime statistics define the time that a cloud service is accessible to its users, those who have subscribed for the cloud provider’s services. Companies often claim that they rarely have outages or they are better in uptime statistics. Don’t let these claims go unchecked. A lot of cloud providers fail to deliver a good uptime, in other words, are not giving to the customer three nines (99.9%) of availability. 99.9% uptime means 9 hours of unscheduled downtime per year which does not count the scheduled downtime that the companies organize for maintenance purposes. Along with availability, it is equally important to have a good response time warranty, i.e., how fast the system is operating when it is up and running. It is of utmost importance to get detailed statistics before signing up with a vendor.
2. Get specifics on Support Levels
Cloud vendors pretty much offer more or less the same support levels with few alterations with names like ‘standard’, ‘essential’, and ‘ultimate’ packages. These packages often do not give detailed information as to how much support each level guarantees. Always remember to ask your vendor a full description of these support levels and specific examples and whether these situations would be covered in the support or not. It is advisable to get the guarantee in the form of an agreement to serve as a record if at all required in the future.
3. Find a point of contact
In case of an issue, you must have a designated point of contact with the vendor, who can resolve it. Many companies try to get past this by introducing a ticketing system. ‘Tell us your problem, and we’ll get back to you when we have a fix’, is an example of a pop-up message and is very common in the industry. A Designated POC would be an ideal alternative to such a message in order to address the issue at hand immediately and to make sure the right people are working to resolve it.
4. Avoid Vendor lock-in and know your Separation Agreements
Cloud vendors may try to get an initial long-term contract with lock-in periods varying from months to years and often levy early termination charges. While choosing a cloud provider it is important to evaluate the Separation Agreements in place. While separation maybe the last thing that comes to mind while choosing a vendor, it is still one of the most important things to consider. It may also be crucial to inquire whether the vendor has the capability to retain your data even after your contract has ended with them, in order to avoid any possible data breaches.
5. Check the Service Level Agreements
SLA is the commitment on availability levels and performance of services offered. There are no specific standards to an SLA and thus it varies from provider to provider. Higher the price of the service, better the performance guaranteed, and this is usually negotiable. It is important to go through the verbiage of an SLA to clearly define vendors accountability and service assurances and choose the best plan according to your requirement with matrices that offer discounts on billing and other penalties if it is breached.
Last but not least, once you have finalized a provider, do not stop looking for better alternatives. Be up to date with the market and what other providers are offering. If your service doesn’t match with the current market trend, be sure to ask your provider for an updated service and also, for them to inform you about changes in terms and conditions, if any, while your service is still intact with them.
Getting the right cloud vendor is essential for a company’s overall growth. Keeping these checks in mind while evaluating your options will not only help you to find the right cloud vendor but also let you manage your company’s operations unhindered and with peace.
Just like any relationship, the employer – employee relationship is delicate and has the potential of ending badly; it requires the soft touch and a stroke of genius to manage these separations gracefully. It is easy for an ex-employee to create a ruckus when they are laid off. It can be a PR nightmare when a former employee starts bad-mouthing the business online or offline, calling the office repeatedly, or even showing up in-person to cause issues. It demeans the company, its management, and its employees. Terminating or letting the employees go is really stressful and might require some skillful hands.
The first line of defense to manage or avoid such scenarios is the Human Resources department. Proactive assessment of future troubles is hard to ascertain but HR should always perform detailed background checks of their potential employee’s past jobs, their behavior both while on the job and after leaving the organization. These checks can last for almost three to six weeks but play a major role in identifying potential threats before they become a direct concern.
Even though the reason might be right enough to let an employee go and the company might have valid arguments to prove the case in the court of law, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a clean image for the company in the public’s eye, once a conflict arises. The actions may be conceived by the public in different dimensions and hence, it is necessary to have a clear and concise strategy to implement the action safely. Preventive measures are always advised.
Data leakage by disgruntled employees is also a very real problem. Employees, while leaving, often try to take confidential and highly valuable data for malicious intent or financial gain. A study conducted by Ipswitch, a Massachusetts based provider of file transfer solutions, showed that:
It is critical that employees only have access to what they should have access to; an ex-employee’s orphaned account should not remain open and accessible after they leave the organization.
How to handle disgruntled employees, here are some Do’s and Don’ts that can be helpful:
Don’t Drop Everything for One Ex-Employee
Don’t let their claims take all your energy, efforts, and your management’s attention. Assign a person to handle the situation, so others can continue with their work.
Keep Calm and Stay Professional
Discrediting the ex-employee or sharing juicy stories seems like a viable retaliation, but it could indeed prove to be bad; studies have shown badmouthing someone has a boomerang effect making the tale-teller look bad. Thus, it’s important to maintain your cool and stay professional.
Bullying for Submission May Have Severe Consequences
Just because he/she is an individual against the might of a company, bullying them into submission can have repercussions. Let’s take the case of an Ex-Tesla employee Martin who claims the company intimidated and harassed him after he was fired, under allegations that he is a hacker and has transferred secret information to third parties. This has caused company goodwill, forming some negative perception among its employees that the company harasses its ex-employees.
Just Being Legally Right Is Not Enough
Last month Home Depot fired their staff member Maurice Rucker, a 60-year-old black man after he reacted to an irate customer who hurled racist expletives at him. He was fired because he failed to follow the protocol “disengage and alert management about a customer confrontation”. It doesn’t matter if the company had proper grounds for his termination, the truth is that Home Depot has been facing serious boycott issues from the thousands of angry supporters of Maurice Rucker. Your bylaws and legal arguments may be enough for the court of law, but it is not necessarily enough when it comes to public opinion.
A Small Gesture Goes a Long Way
A slight concession makes you look empathetic and generous. Loose some battles to win the war, let them win something in a small way, it makes the situation deescalate faster.
Be Quick to Respond to Rumors and Keep Moving Ahead:
Rumors have a way of feeding the frenzy, slurs should be pacified with an accurate and persuasive response. The response should be able to explain the counter-narrative without repeating the insult. It is also important to keep moving ahead - don’t let this clog your wheels, it becomes more essential to keep them turning. Make announcements and plans for the future, restoring the status quo and bringing back things to normal.
And finally, Learn, Adapt and Overcome. Facing such scenarios are inevitable for any business - some terminations will be sour - it comes to learning what needs to be learned and fixing what needs to be fixed, to avoid any problems in the future of similar nature.
Whenever a new technology emerges, it becomes easy to see what jobs it might replace. The challenge may be to envision what kind of new jobs may be born in the future. A decade ago, artists used to work with copywriters in order to prepare advertisements, but today with the help of computer-aided graphics the same is done by graphic designers, which took the scope of print media and creativity to new heights. The idea is that when we pass off some of our workload to machines, it broadens the scope of what was possible. We come up with new ideas, new innovations, and new kinds of work. In fact, many industries that are around today, like electronics, health, medicine, finance, and insurance, barely existed or did not exist at all a century ago. By that notion, it is never wrong to think of upgrading one’s skills with time. A report titled “Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All” was released on Monday, 22 January 2018 at the World Economic Forum’s 48th annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The conference was attended by more than 3,000 global leaders and industry experts. The report signifies a strong emphasis on job disruption and reskilling, it analyzed more than thousand job types that are in the crossfire of technology and pave the way to a major job disruption. According to the report, 1.4 million US jobs will be disrupted by the year 2026, due to technology and other factors, out of which 57% jobs will be women-oriented. However, the research also suggests that 95% of workers conjugated to the risk, would find quality jobs with higher pay if they have enough reskilling.
It is perceived that only 2% of workers would have a better opportunity to transition to new jobs whereas 16% would have no opportunities at all. However, at-risk workers who retrain for an average of two years could earn an annual salary increase of $15,000.The change is real and anxiety justified, however, new technologies often open up new frontiers of jobs that did not exist before. Imagine trying to explain what an ‘app developer’ does for someone in the 1960s. Focusing on machines that will replace jobs do not speak to how they might actually strengthen them. For example, when ATMs started rolling out in the '70s, they threatened to make human bank tellers extinct, however, banks quickly found that ATMs made it cheaper to open new branches, and the result was more branches and more tellers than ever. Since the arrival of ATMs, the number of bank tellers has doubled. Why? Well, once bank tellers were freed up from dispensing cash, they started forging relationships with customers, solving problems, and introducing them to new products like loans and investments. The net effect was that bank tellers became more valuable to banking.
Automation is accelerating and spreading to more industries faster than we've ever seen before. Machines are increasingly replicating skills that we once thought were unique to humans. AI algorithms are trading in the stock market, recommending products to us, and guiding airplanes through the sky. Robots are being developed that someday might be cooking your meals, running warehouses, or performing surgery, all by themselves. So, is this time different? Luminaries like Elon Musk seem to think so. He has predicted that soon, robots will be able to do everything better than us. And Stephen Hawking has warned that artificial intelligence will replace humans completely. Lots of people seem to think it's only a matter of time before these ever-smarter machines make most of today's workers obsolete. So, should we be worried? Well, yes, it is, just like it was different after the printing press was invented or the assembly line or tractors or computers or any other invention was made that changed the world.
All of these new technologies transformed the way we work and adjusting to them wasn’t simple, inexpensive, or immediate. But if the past is any indication, this radical leap forward in technology is at least as likely to create jobs as it is to destroy them, even if these new jobs might sound as strange to us, as an app developer does to someone who's never seen a cell phone before.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum stated that the only limiting factor considered in the world of ‘opportunities for individuals’, is that the disposition of leaders in creating investments in the process of re-skilling people, that has a direct impact on bridging worker onto new jobs. The importance of this investment will be massive for businesses, as well as, for workers who may find a new purpose in their lives. People with transferable skills like collaboration and critical thinking abilities will have the most beneficial transition in this period. As President John F. Kennedy once quoted, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”