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Six Lessons From being Stuck In An Elevator

This morning, heading out the door for a morning bike ride, the elevator in our condo suddenly shuddered to a stop on Level 6.  Thinking it was simply stopping to pick up another early bird on the way out the door, I patiently waited – and waited – for the doors to open, to no avail.  I’d like to share the six lessons I learned about difficult situations from this morning’s events.  You think running a startup is a lonely business?  Try being stuck in a lift…

 

  1. When you’re in a difficult situation, don’t panic

It would have been easy to lose control when you’re locked in a box with no perceived way out.  But hyperventilating won’t get you out of it – the calmer you are, the better you’ll think, and the better you think, the better the actions you’ll take.  Crap, I thought, the lift has broken.  Now what?

 

  1. Ask for help

See that little phone symbol?  Press it.  Call someone, call for help, lean on your network.  You know who your true friends are in times of trouble.  My friends this morning were the condo guards at the end of the “Emergency” line.

 

  1. Communicate clearly for the information you need

I asked the guards to come and open the door.  We can’t do that, they said, but we’ll call the emergency elevator repair people.  OK, I said, how long will they take?  It’s the emergency line, they said.  Yes, but how long will they take to turn up and get me out?  Ah, they’re the emergency people, they’re coming soon, they said.

[Pause to take a deep breath]

OK, I said, when you’ve called these guys before, how long until they arrive?  Oh, fifteen to twenty minutes.

Right, I said.  Please use the other lift to go up to my condo and tell my wife what’s happened so she doesn’t worry – I don’t have my phone to call her.  Sure, said the guards, can.

If I’d lost my temper, or shouted, I wouldn’t have got the clarity about my situation that I needed, and my wife could have been unnecessarily worried from lack of information.  By communicating as clearly as possible, and continuing to communicate until I got the information I needed, I knew that actions were in train to get the outcome I wanted.

 

  1. Don’t waste time and don’t be helpless

OK, I’m stuck in a box.  I was going out to get 20-30 minutes of exercise, and now I can’t.  Right?  No, wait…I can still do squats, lunges, and a strange sort of incline push up in here, and it won’t be rocking the lift too much.  May as well make the most of it.

 

  1. Participate in your own rescue

I’ve been advised that it’s a really, really bad idea to try to open an elevator door when you’re stuck in one – especially if you already know help is on the way.  In the interests of safety, please, wait for help.

I didn’t, I forced open the doors.  The lessons I picked up here from the event and from conversations afterwards are two-fold: firstly, there are times when you need to rely on the experts, especially if your safety is at stake.  They’ve been trained to solve the problem you’re facing, after all.

The second point is that sometimes, though, we sit and wait for a miracle to occur when we should be getting up and doing something.  You need to think about the situation you’re in, and make a call about when to participate in your own rescue.  Sometimes, you need to get up and do something – and sometimes, calling for help is the right first step!

 

  1. Pay it forward

I’m obviously sharing this with you now, but I also talked to my family about it when I went upstairs.  My wife and one of my daughters both said “Oh, I would have got quite upset and nervous being stuck in there!” I was happy to be able to talk them through what I learned, and ensure that if they ever get into the same situation, they have a framework and a plan so they don’t have to panic.

 

So there you have it – six lessons from being in a box for twenty minutes.  Hope you found my misfortune valuable!

Adopt, Advise, Customer Success, Data Visualization, Enhance, Manage, Service Management, Services

systemsGo invests in digital transformation consultancy

systemsGo today announced they have invested in Singapore-based startup CloudGo.  CloudGo provides digital transformation consultancy services specialized in delivering customer success and service management.

systemsGo Group CEO David Devlin said investing in CloudGo  assists customers in driving innovation through cloud technologies and digital transformation, which is a key priority for many CIO’s and business leaders.

CloudGo co-founder Rory Fitzpatrick said the investment will help facilitate working capital and hiring in Singapore and Australia through the year.  Fitzpatrick is the former Asian regional manager for Cloud Sherpas, which were acquired by Accenture last year. “Having the backing of a successful, 18-year old company like systemsGo allows us to bring stability and certainty to our clients and team, whilst still retaining a startup ethos,” he said.

The service management offering helps unlock the complexities of IT Service Management (ITSM) and drive best practices into other business services like Finance, HR, Facilities and Legal.  CloudGo has also built proprietary apps for recruitment, time and expense management, and integration to Slack and WeChat.  For customer success, CloudGo’s frameworks for sales, marketing and service excellence helps move from reactive CRM, to proactive or pre-emptive customer engagement.

About systemsGo

systemsGo is a well-established and growing IT professional services company based in Tokyo with offices in Osaka, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Sydney, Hyderabad and also servicing clients in Seoul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi and Taipei.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest-quality professional services which include IT infrastructure support, systems integration, project management, consulting and staffing solutions. Our client portfolio includes blue chip private equity firms, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, law firms, IT companies, trading & manufacturing firms.  Find out more about systemsGo at www.systemsgo.asia

About CloudGo

A startup with scale, CloudGo is a digital transformation company that solves customer success, service management, mobility and analytics challenges.  CloudGo helps customers in ASEAN and Australia improve time to market, reduce the cost of manual paperwork and workflow, improve customer retention and cross-sell and improve user and customer experience.

Adopt, Advise, Analytics, Customer Success, Service Management, Services

The Four Challenges With Most Recruitment Applications

Businesses that use software to help them manage and recruit both fulltime and temporary staff are found to be 40% more productive compared to those without them. However, only 60% of small businesses use some form of recruitment app.  Why?  Our research shows that there are four main challenges.

Challenges:

  1. Wastage of Time: Recruiting without a recruitment application leads to several sourcing issues – mostly because of an overwhelming amount of unorganized paperwork. It’s a challenge to source resumes, to ensure you don’t call the same candidates multiple times, and to consistently capture candidate information. Because this is usually done in spreadsheets or a Word document, it’s difficult to form a strong database. Now extrapolate that to the challenge of contingent staff (temp workers, contractors, freelancers) and your challenge grows exponentially.
  2. Reporting and analytics: Those businesses which are using recruitment software are also facing problems especially relating to reporting and analytics. Reporting is a tool which is used by businesses to measure the performance and effectiveness. But our research shows that many companies struggle to get anything more than simple, out of the box reports. For example, if you wanted reports related to process flow for a particular hiring manager, time to fill, and other key metrics. Speed and accuracy of reporting is often a challenge.
  3. Cost: The integration of recruitment software into the industry was a boon to large companies, but to the small and medium sized firms, the hefty price tags made these systems untenable. Enterprise system can range up to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year.
  4. Not Integrated to Internal Systems: Great, we’ve picked a new hire. Now how to bridge that dangerous ground from offer through to them actually joining, and making that a great experience for all?  How can you automate the outreach while we wait for them to join, and ensure that Monday morning they have a desk, email, phone and laptop?

 

How CloudGo’s ServiceNow Recruitment Application helps overcome the above challenges:

  1. Time Saver: Integrating this application will help you capture every detail of the recruitment process in the system, and that record gets saved for the future. So this automatically eliminates your “spreadsheet hell” and reduces the possibility of doubling up work on the same candidates. As a result of which you can build a strong database with no duplicates along with candidate’s status in the process.
  2. Reporting and Analytics: This Recruitment application enables users to get reports of their choice. ServiceNow reports can be lists, charts, or calendar-based views of data in a particular table. We’ve built a range of predefined reports that pertain to applications and features. If none of the predefined reports meet recruiter needs, there’s a simple drag and drop user interface to get the data you need.
  3. Cost Effective: This application can be customized according to the budget of the organization. This product can be easily integrated in Mid-sized organizations making your recruitment process easier and faster.
  4. Onboarding capability: ServiceNow has pre-built capability around onboarding staff, from triggering tasks to ensure the manager is out-reaching to them before they join, to integrating to internal finance and IT systems to set up their payroll, turn on their email and internet access, and other Day 0 activities.

Apart from above there are following:

  1. Mobile & Laptop Version:In this age of technology, one expect and require mobile and laptop functionality and we provide it. So even if you are out of office, or you are not having laptop still you can have an access to this software and thus work can be done.
  2. Cloud Based & SaaS: These days one need to be able to access your entire business from any part of the world. The ServiceNow platform is a powerful cloud application platform that enables you to do that and meet end‑user expectations for a modern, consumerized experience. It empowers requestors and fulfillers of work tasks to achieve greater productivity by linking real‑time data with activities, tasks, and processes to achieve better work outcomes. With Software-as-a-service feature it becomes easy for an organization to implement and adopt this software application at lower cost in which upgrades are much simpler.
  3. Per Hire Visibility: You can have a real-time view of the progress of your candidates all the time. What stage are they at?  Whose approval are we waiting on?  Has the offer been sent?
  4. Improved Security: Every organization needs to know whether their data is secured in the cloud or not. ServiceNow’s security complies to international standards and is regularly independently audited. Your data gets secured by using access controls like by IP address, by User, by Role, and using multi-factor authentication.
  5. Workflows: Need to change how a process works? No problem. Workflows are easy to configure, for example if different level of approvals are required depending on the position hiring for, it just takes a few clicks.
  6. SLA’s and KPI’s: With SLA’s it becomes easy to track KPI’s of an Employee/Department/Organization. This gives exact picture whether KPI’s are being met or not. Also multiple SLA’s can be run simultaneously – for example, one can have SLA running from end to end (creating a requisition till closure) or an SLA only for Sourcing or for Screening or for both. This solves your challenge of calculating how much time it took to fill a particular position.

In summary, the four challenges that most businesses face in recruiting aren’t that challenging at all with the right systems in place.  What challenges are you facing in recruiting permanent and temporary staff?

Adopt, Advise, Analytics, Customer Success, Service Management, Services

How to save between $60,000 to $400,000 by moving to the cloud

Many Singaporean entities are struggling with the same questions.  How do I innovate in difficult economic conditions?  How do I improve my business productivity, so I keep profit margins stable even while revenue is under pressure?

It surprises us that many Singaporean entities don’t know about the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme run by IRAS.  “Under the PIC Scheme, businesses can enjoy 400% tax deductions/allowances and/or 60% cash payout for investments made in any of the Six Qualifying Activities from the Years of Assessment (YAs) 2013 to 2018.”

There are six “qualifying activities” under the PIC scheme, the first of which is “Acquisition and Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment”.  Items in the list include:

“Information technology software including office system software and software used in connection with provision of any office automation service, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management such as reservations, registration, queue management, ordering, billings and collections, inventory management, record management, knowledge management, human resource and payroll management, financial information and business management such as accounting and assets management, and personnel business travel request, information and management.”

The bold highlighting is ours – we are focussed on service management and customer success, after all – but also note you are entitled to a “100% accelerated writeoff for capital allowances” on these items.

So where does the $60,000 come from?  Simple.  There are two ways to claim PIC deductions:

  1. You take the “cashback” option and get back 60% of a $100k investment, so $60k in straight cash. OR:
  2. You take the “tax deduction” option. The Tax Deduction option lets you claim up to 400% of appropriate spend (max $600k) per year.  So you can claim up $600k x 400% = $2.4m, and at the company tax rate of 17% that’s $408,000.  So your $600k investment is actually only costing you $192,000 – an effective 68% discount!

Please note – CloudGo is not a financial services firm, this is advice only and conditions apply.  Please check with IRAS, your accountant or specialised firms like GAC Group who can help you make any claim.

So what does this mean to you?

CloudGo can help you pull together a first project around customer success or service management, and your investment in software like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Devicedesk or DocuSign can be offset.  Hence, your project doesn’t have to jump as many hurdles to show a successful ROI.

We’ll be running a webinar on this in late March.  To register for it, or for more information, please contact us.

 

Adopt, Advise, Analytics, Customer Success, Enhance, Manage, Service Management, Services

Welcome to CloudGo

CloudGo started as an idea first: that we could grow and have fun while solving interesting problems for people.  That we could create a business that the best in our niche in the market would want to join, and that we could invest in relationships with our customers.  Somewhere that was big enough to handle tough problems, but small enough to look after the people involved.

We’ve had plenty of comments about our startup, and thankfully all of it positive: the two most widely used comments “adventure” and “exciting”. And that’s what it feels like to us: an exciting adventure, where we might be able to do interesting things for and with our customers, partners and team.  Now, we’re not Scorpion who can deliver “any funded need” (Podcast from Tim Ferriss here)– we’re very specific about what we do.

We deliver digital projects with a speciality in service management, customer success and analytics. That’s it.  And we are very focussed on the PaaS/SaaS technology platforms that we use to deliver these outcomes.  We’ve leveraged our experience in these spaces to select the leading solutions, and then we’ve doubled down on those.  Although we’re still working through the official paperwork to be able to call ourselves “authorised partners” of ServiceNow, Salesforce, Devicedesk and DocuSign (plus hopefully one or two more in the BI/big data space), we have the skills now to deliver outcomes. Through partnerships, we have access to 250+ certified Salesforce developers and architects, 20+ certified ServiceNow resources, and many more Mobile/UX/custom coders.  That means two things for you: first, that we can scale to larger projects, and secondly, that we can provide offshore rates to reduce your cost.

With the backing of systemsGo, we have the APAC reach and financial backing to be able to focus on delivering projects for you, and not be distracted by the noise that other startups have to deal with.

Thanks for reading this – we’ll have our first technical blogs out next week.  In case it’s not obvious, as a startup, we’re looking for foundation customers and our first success stories.  I make an offer at the bottom of our about page – feel free to contact me to discuss what that could mean for you!

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