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In particular, the four-legged machines seen trying to open doors in their laboratory this week reminded people of pet dogs.

Watching a robot dog “figure out” how to open a door is an eerie experience, and people can be forgiven for thinking these actions are being taken with no outside help. The truth is that human guidance is still essential. While the machines do support onboard computing, remote control is what makes these “pets” do what they do. That doesn’t detract from the progress Boston Dynamics are making. Their remarkable product range includes the SandFlea, which drives along flat surfaces like a remote-controlled car and can make vertical jumps of 30 feet, and the Cheetah, a four-footed creation that can run at 28 miles per hour. That’s approximately the same speed as an in-form Usain Bolt.

The debate continues about whether this level of engineering innovation will be good or bad news for the human workforce. How threatened should we feel?

There’s no substitute for the real thing, and while automation in the workplace can take plenty of tasks out of human hands, nuanced human intelligence is still needed to make good use of technology.

Jane Systems has spent two decades maintaining the delicate balance between automation and ingenuity, and the success of that balance is perfectly illustrated in the Workflow module. Jane Workflow transforms your HR system from simple record keeping into a fully automated system which does the work for you. Many business processes can be repetitive and subject to error. If you map these processes onto workflows, though, you can automate and monitor them. Productivity rises, the potential for error falls and consistent quality becomes a way of life.

Increasing automation in the workplace doesn’t necessarily […]

Wishing Well

Over the closing weeks of 2017 Jane Systems will share our thoughts on HR and systems development trends, and as always we’ll be here to help our clients and partners stay ahead of the curve.

When we began our journey as a HR software provider at the turn of the 21st century the phrase “employee wellness” wasn’t in common usage. But we did start out a firm grasp of the concept of engaging staff, catering for their best interests and making them happier and more productive. That’s why from our earliest days in business Jane software has focused on delivering interaction, communication and quality of experience in the workplace. Today, with wellness rightly high on most corporate agendas, that’s proving to be a wise choice. When analysts tell us the employee wellness market could be the next big thing for 2018 we politely remind them that for us, it’s always been a big thing.

Wellness initiatives may have started out with a focus on health and ways of stopping employee burnout, but as valuable as preventative measures are the focus for today and tomorrow is more on enhancing performance. Put simply, it’s not just about stopping your people collapsing in a heap when issues come to a head. It’s about delivering a working environment where they never get close to that level of disenchantment and distress. It’s about helping them deliver optimum performance.

In Britain in 2016/17, a staggering 25,700,000 sick days were lost to work-related ill-health. Not all of those absences could have been avoided, of course, but how many of them could? Without an effective HR system in place that becomes a far more difficult question, because you can’t manage what […]

One Giant Leap

And we did. The 2017 Azzure IT Customer Day used technology as a starting point for a day of discussion that gave attendees an insight not only into advances in key Microsoft products but into the innovative thinking that moves industries and economies forward.

Craig Such set the tone for the day with a reminder that technology and box-checking for their own sake benefit no one.

The select group of partners and customers in attendance were updated on Microsoft Dynamics 365, with a big-picture view of the ways these smart applications will add value. Game-changing GDPR legislation was discussed not as a threat to business but as an opportunity to build trust with employees and customers by respecting their right to data privacy. Every seminar followed the same theme.

How can we add value to your business?

The setting for this event, the National Space Centre in Leicester, was an appropriate one. If we want, we can coldly break down space travel into a series of technical developments. In July 1969 an aerodynamically efficient object was launched from a site in Texas and eight and a half days later it landed in the North Pacific Ocean. But that’s not quite as inspiring as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” is it?

Thank you to everyone involved with the organisation of this excellent event. If you want to know more about Azzure’s thriving partnership with Microsoft and their commitment to making this technology work for your benefit, contact them today.

Azzure IT is the leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 Support Partner

Tel: 0345 467 9950
Email: sales@azzure-it.com

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Actual Reality

Three years ago, during a trip to Beijing, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously reached out to potential customers in China by conducting a public question and answer session entirely in Mandarin. Zuckerberg is by any standard a capable person, and having a Chinese speaking wife gave him a useful head start in learning this complex language, but his error-strewn effort was met with scorn. Unfair perhaps, but it was no surprise to see a public figure get a roasting for attempting something difficult and falling short.

This week Zuckerberg put his head above the parapet again, and once more he found himself under fire. His response to the damage caused to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria was to create a cartoon version of himself and take a virtual reality tour of the devastated island.

There’s ample evidence of Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy, but for many people this latest incident showed a disconnect from the reality of how people live their lives and cope with problems. Zuckerberg himself has expressed a preference for virtual reality over the real world problems we all have to face. Again, that certainly doesn’t make him a bad person but for most employers, even those at the cutting edge of technical development, dealing with these everyday problems is part of the routine. For employers who go out of their way to help their people resolve issues it’s not a chore but something to be proud of. Actual reality – working hard every day to create a positive, supportive environment where people can thrive – is actually pretty terrific.

At Jane Systems we’re proud to work hand in glove with public and private sector leaders who take every opportunity to make […]

Game Changers

Premier League footballers and clubs are easy targets for criticism. Many are accused of being detached from their communities, but there are times when players and clubs reach out with inspiring results.

This week Arsenal FC launched a startup innovation lab, working in partnership with local businesses to create positive experiences for fans and develop projects that will showcase technical talent. The ten-week programme will see young entrepreneurs mentored by senior business managers from the club and given the opportunity to demonstrate their products and services, with the possibility of investment in the most promising ideas.

The reality is that, like Arsenal and England’s other 91 professional league clubs, startups are under pressure to get results every week. The invoice that doesn’t get paid, the terms and conditions that don’t get signed or the employee who doesn’t turn up for work can make a game-changing difference to a small company’s prospects. Initiatives such as Arsenal’s are a massive help, and there are straightforward steps every organisation can take to protect itself.

The HR software that builds inclusiveness into your recruitment procedures and delivers seamless onboarding for new starters.

The payroll software that ensures every member of staff is paid accurately and on time, whether they’re part time or full time, paid weekly or monthly.

The integrated system that encourages individuals and departments to work together, motivates employees to improve performance and frees up management time.

Jane Systems is partner of choice to public and private sector clients who value innovation and performance. These clients range from “premier league” market leaders to smaller companies finding their way in a highly competitive world. Each organisation has its own priorities, but they all want precision and functionality in their HR and payroll […]

The Clock Is Ticking

There are some things the great British public has come to rely on.

– Our football teams will lose penalty shoot-outs
– Our favourite TV soap characters will end up being played by at least two different actors
– Every fifteen minutes, the chimes of Big Ben will remind us of the time

Not any more.

Next Monday, August 21st, Big Ben will fall silent. London’s most famous monument is in need of renovation. It’s a big job, and Monday’s noon chimes will be the last we hear until 2021. It’ll be by far the longest silence since its opening 158 summers ago, and it’s a reminder of how much our lives have changed during that time. On July 11th 1859 Big Ben’s first chimes rang out to a world that had just seen Oregon admitted as the 33rd US State, and Charles Darwin was still four months away from publishing his Origin of Species. So when Big Ben first sounded, we knew nothing of the theory of evolution. Today we see examples of evolution in all areas of our lives.

The rights of individuals have certainly evolved over the past century and a half, and advances in technology raise issues that would have been unimaginable until recently.

GDPR requires companies to gain specific, informed consent for use of employee data, and it gives individuals the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Jane software gives your people responsibility for maintaining their own employee records and keeps you 100% informed of any changes they make. What does that add up to?

Evolution can be a bumpy ride, and companies that don’t adapt to this new law will fall by the wayside. At Jane Systems we believe in being […]


How do you keep an idea fresh for 50 years? This week we had a useful reminder.
Regularly breathing new life into a character has helped to make Dr Who one of the most popular British exports of the 21st century. The show’s 50th anniversary special was broadcast in 94 countries, reaching a huge global audience. The central character has now been played by sixteen different actors and 2017 sees the beginning of Jodie Whittaker’s tenure. When things look like getting stale a new face appears, communicating with the audience in a fresh, relevant way.
What can the rest of us learn from this? How can you regenerate and future-proof your business?

The reaction to the first female Dr Who reminded us that, while we’ve taken major strides towards equality and diversity in the workplace, the fight is far from over. At Jane Systems we applaud equality of opportunity in all its forms, and it’s not just hollow clapping. We’ve developed an integrated HR and Payroll system that delivers a platform for efficiency and inclusiveness. The Jane self-service portal gives employees access to their HR, payroll and training records, reassuring them of their value, encouraging them to learn and move forward. This saves management time while preserving management awareness and oversight. Regenerate your business with a Jane System and you’ll be rewarded with more training activity, less admin downtime and a renewed belief in engagement, fairness and opportunity.

With employment legislation subject to change, refreshing your systems is key to ensuring compliance. GDPR legislation will change the way professional people communicate. Using employee data without their specific consent could cost you a fine of up to 20 million Euros. That’s a high price to pay for […]

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Human Resourcefulness

HR Tech Europe 2017, which concluded yesterday, brought together many of the most talented and innovative voices in human resources. And over the course of the two-day event they had plenty to say.

How is digitalisation reshaping traditional business models? And what role can HR professionals play in this reshaping process?

The message that came across loud and clear was that HR leaders are using their skill and experience to find a balance between technological advancement and human ingenuity.

That certainly resonates with us at Jane Systems. We’ve worked with start-ups that put themselves on the map with innovative use of cloud-based systems, mobile apps and advanced analytics. And at the other end of the scale we’ve partnered with public and private sector giants looking for ways to increase agility and stay ahead. What unites successful operations of all sizes is the understanding that automation is not the enemy of an existing workforce. With the right management, and the right systems management, it’s a very good friend.

A number of speakers at HR Tech discussed ways of automating recruitment and performance management without losing the “people” factor. Jane Systems are happy to contribute to that discussion.

The Jane HR Portal empowers you to streamline the recruitment process from start to finish. The system gives clients oversight of vacancy posting and shortlisting while taking away time-consuming admin duties. It also delivers a time and cost analysis of each individual hire, and by automating the job offer process and using recruitment data to create an immediate HR record for each new starter, Jane saves you time and cuts out needless duplication.

The role of human resources leaders in “future proofing” a business can’t be underestimated. The HR professionals we work with have […]

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Day One

If you bought a pint of milk on the day Anthony Scaramucci was appointed White House Communications Director, it would still have been fresh when he was fired. No matter how you spin it, ten days in a job doesn’t look good on a CV. Not every hiring decision attracts the same level of attention but when recruitment goes wrong there’s a price to pay, whether you’re running the executive branch of the United States Government or a start-up in a serviced office.

People want to be good at their jobs. They want to be respected and they want to fit in. Employers want those things too, but an alarming number of new starters “do a Scaramucci” and depart within days. Many more swiftly decide that their new company isn’t part of their long-term plans. To quote the CIPD:

Without efficient onboarding and goal-setting, new employees may never fully understand the business they’re in or the contribution they could make to it. They may never reach the level of creativity or productivity they’re capable of, and as frustration mounts they may well put down their tools, switch off their computer and walk out of the door, never to return. It doesn’t have to be that way.

At recruitment stage, applicant details can be accepted from links to your website, electronically completed PDF forms and interfaces with external sites or agencies

When you find the right person, a new employee record is auto-generated for the successful applicant, saving you time and effort with onboarding

Employees are routinely prompted to improve their skills and flag up their learning requirements by the training triggers in the Jane Self-Service HR Portal

Of course, employees don’t always meet our expectations. Anthony Scaramucci raised eyebrows in […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Employee Engagement, Innovation|Comments Off on Day One|

Jane Systems: Your GDPR Compliance Partner

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By |August 8th, 2017|Compliance, Innovation, Partnership, Video|Comments Off on Jane Systems: Your GDPR Compliance Partner|