AusTech

Business and Technology Articles Contributed by UWA Students

Month: September 2017

4 Management Processes That Can Be Automated With Technology

With the continual advancement of technology, many industries are now replacing human employees for computers, robots and software. The accuracy, efficiency and speed of which a computer can process information is far superior to that of a human being, so there’s no surprise that company owners are deciding to take their business to the next level using these automated processes. But when is it suitable to swap the old for the new? Here are 4 management processes that you can automate with technology.

  1. HR

Human resources. For some it means nightmare, for others, it’s the office guardian angel, but here’s one thing for certain, aside from dealing with complaints and in-office altercations, this is one huge chunk of business that could be replaced with a computer. Producing time sheets, granting or rejecting time away from work, checking adherence and monitoring progress. All of these processes, and more could be performed by software. It’s not uncommon in call centres and other office based roles for the computer to have an ‘availability’ setting, allowing for the monitoring of productivity and time away from the workstation.

  1. Finances and Accounting

Currently automated accounting and bookkeeper software has a huge presence all over social media and the internet. Wherever you look, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even the App Store, automated book-keeping is everywhere. Whilst there is some initial data input required by a human, this could be done by anyone with the figures, and puts aside the costly requirement for an accountant.

  1. Recruitment

There’s a saying that teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. You could have the best business in the world, providing the best service for free, but without the right team behind it, you will still have absolutely nothing. Application tracking software (ATS) allows you to post many job offers, across as many recruitment boards as you like in minimal time. Once the advert is up, the software scans all applications for keywords and then sends the suitable applications, in numerical ranking order based on suitability, up to whoever has the lead on the recruitment campaign. This saves hours of reading endless CV’s just to find out that 16-year-old Jimmy, who has just left school is applying for the MD’s position. Sorry Jimmy, not today.

  1. Lead Generation

The most important part of any business is to deliver the product or service to the customer. Without this, there’s no money, without money, you’re going under. Automated lead generation combines CRM with aspects of marketing such as email campaigns to drive up the number of warm leads, resulting in a more productive sales team through introducing higher quality leads.

The point of business is to make money. The only way to do this is to increase income and decrease expenditure. People buy people, so there will always be a need for human presence in any organisation. However, through the correct application of automated systems, not only can you save time and money, but you can also actually make more time and money through a more efficient and higher performing team, supplemented by these automated systems.

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5 apps that can help you enjoy card games without putting any money on the line!

You don’t have to be a big spender to enjoy the thrill of winning a game of poker or blackjack anymore. You can do it all on your smartphone. Thanks to the shift towards online and mobile gaming, social casino games have become more popular and the industry is booming.

While some of the apps out there may expect you to be putting your own dollars on the line, here five which let you play without putting down a cent!

Caesers Games

Caesers Games are developed by Playtika, who have been creating games for the online casino market for several years now. Over that time they have amassed a huge range of free games that players can choose from. Caesers Games lets you earn points towards Playtika Rewards, which give you access to a range of benefits and discounts if you were wanting to throw down a little cash!

Lapalingo

Merkur games at Lapalingo.com call the service they offer “bettertainment”, and it’s easy to see why. Their apps let you enjoy the widest variety of card games! Choose from classic blackjack or mix up the rules with some European multi-hand versions! When you get bored of those, there are plenty of other games available for you to your luck with. They have a huge selection of slot games, and traditional games too like roulette or even baccarat!

Spinpalace

Spinpalace is a fun play casino, so like Caesers it uses a point system to reward you for playing. It means you never have to part with any of your hard-earned money, unless you want to. Spinpalace has been around since 2001 and prides itself on being based around the fun of the game, rather than just the thrill of winning big bucks. As their name suggests, they’re mainly focused around pokie games, but they have some fun twists on the traditional casino card and table games too!

FairGo

FairGo casino is another great option for accessing a variety of different games without having to turn over any cash. FairGo’s selection includes a range of popular rules for their card games like Caribbean Stud Poker and All-American Poker. Of course, they also have plenty of slots and pokie games with different themes and styles, as well as specialty games. All accessible from their mobile app!

Jackpot City

Jackpot City is one of the oldest online casino sites around, and their app offering is just as diverse as their browser based game selection. Having been around for a decade, they’ve learned to offer what players want and have a huge choice of card games and slot games from your fruity pokies to mobile blackjack.

Most apps offer you a way to cash in on your time spent playing, either on sweepstakes or prize vouchers! The popularity of social casino games and online gambling has made it a player’s paradise out there! (If you’re of the legal gambling age, of course.)

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How Blockchain is Disrupting Education

A blockchain is a public ledger of all cryptocurrency records arranged in data batches that have ever been executed. It is a distributed ledger, rather than existing in one location. It is shared amongst computers all around the world, meaning that is much harder to hack and alter.  The idea is that this creates trust and security; no single party has the power to tamper with the records, with no need for a central authority.

Many academics and institutions are testing the best method to utilize blockchain in higher education.  Blockchain can be a useful way of reducing administrative costs and securing transcript records.

  1. Unified blockchain database– the United Kingdom has a centralized system for checking whether people have obtained degrees. This will eliminate any kind of fraud. It could also be used by affiliated organizations that form a global group of school; blockchain will give them a cost effective, efficient shared resource.
  2. Global Assessment- Create a secure, publicly accessible ledger of academic qualifications where universities authorize a graduate’s degree on the blockchain. A paper system can be vulnerable to fraud, subject to loss. With an increasingly nomadic population of students and workers, a centralized database of credentials and achievements makes sense, whether you’re moving to another educational institution, a new job, a new country – and for refugees who do not have a copy of their degrees. Some sort of secure, online repository would be helpful. Sony has finished developing a system for storing and managing educational records and is now seeking partnership with educational institutions.
  3. Blockchain and MOOCs– An increasing number of universities have jumped into the trend of offering massive open online courses (MOOCs), which enables millions of learners to take classes from anywhere in the world.

Interestingly, there’s a MOOC on Bitcoin and blockchain by Princeton University on Coursera. They are genuinely changing the way education is delivered and acting as a real catalyst for change, allowing universities to innovate and rethink.

The director of the Knowledge Media Institute at the UK’s Open University, argues the “real difference” that blockchain can bring to higher education is to allow us to “move beyond the current structure of universities”.

Blockchain is a technology that is extremely versatile and can be applied in the world of education. The technology is applicable to academia, universities, MOOCs, and other training innovations such as PMI-ACP Certification Training.

Ironically the education sector is a slow learner and takes time to adapt. While businesses worldwide have been quick to adapt to blockchain. Despite the many advantages blockchain provides, the education world may be slow in implementing this technology. Once education institutes implement this technology, they will see the difference, as it will change the way we learn.

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Why all UWA Comp Sci Students Should Learn Xamarin for App Development

When it comes to cross-application mobile development, Xamarin has been popular for a number of reasons. If you’re a developer or project manager, enlisting in Xamarin training would give your team an edge in this highly competitive arena.

The fact that more than 20% of Fortune 500 companies use Xamarin for app development proves that it’s quickly finding its way into the market. And the fact that Xamarin has partnered with Microsoft who now include templates for cross-platform app building with Xamarin directly in MS Visual Studio should be a sign for developers to update their toolbox.

Traditionally, an app is cross-platform if it works on all device platforms such as Android, iOs, Windows and so on. However, recently, the term “cross-platform” is applied more towards those approaches that facilitate the sharing of a single code base on multiple devices.

If you want to launch an app that works on various platforms, there are three ways to do this. First, you could natively develop an app for each platform. Second, you could create a web app wrapped as a native app. And third, you could do it cross-platform, as a hybrid or with HTML5.

If you want to make a native app for each platform, you have to create a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language designed for a particular platform, such as Objective C for iOs and Java for Android operating systems.

This means you would have to design and develop apps for all the desired platforms individually. While it may provide a better user experience, it can be a rather expensive proposition. You would have to separately pay iOs, Windows and Android developers to come up with a single app. Native app development would be more expensive in this case than hybrid or cross-platform development.

The second mobile app development option would be to create a web application wrapped as a native application. This approach would use a web browser and web-view concepts to create an app that runs on all devices.

This requires the developer to write the code in one language, and then a pre-built cross-platform tool would create apps for all other platforms. Frameworks such as Sencha and Adobe PhoneGap follow this approach.

However, the downside is that can remove what users liked about the app in the first place. It can end up stripping away all the look and feel inherent with a native app of that platform. While it may be good for some apps, in many cases it would just annoy and irritate users who are already used to their phone’s native UI.

Besides developing native or web apps, the third option would be cross-platform native applications. It would be a write once, work for all solution. It would allow you to create native apps using different UI for different platforms.

Tools of this trade are Xamarin and Titanium. It divides the mobile development into two main areas, core and platform specific. Xamarin has taken it a step further. They provide an abstraction over different native APIs and allow developers to create cross-platform apps with nearly 100% code reuse. Unlike Titanium and Adobe PhoneGap, Xamarin uses C# and comes with a Visual Studio plugin which allows hassle-free code management.

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