A quick note before the major news – The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has embraced the value of social media, with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The OACP states that these accounts were opened in order to better serve Ontario police executives, members of the media, and members of the public with an interest in policing. Personally I think this is great – I believe that various police departments around the country are realizing what an important tool social media can be in crime fighting and helping to engage the general public when information is needed, from searching for a wanted person, a missing person, Amber Alerts, and the dispensing of public safety tips.
Some departments are far better at the use of these tools, such as both Vancouver and Toronto Police Departments, and some need improvement, such as the bcRCMP and local RCMP detachment twitter accounts, but they are on the right track, and I hope that as they get more comfortable with the use of social media, we will see a greater drop in crime and a big jump in safe communities.
Powernoodle, the web-based SaaS collaboration tool that recently acknowledged as the first recipient of FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation Initiative (IIBI), will be powering the judging of the Road to Banff competition at the coming Canada 3.0 conference.
Canada 3.0 is all about Canada’s digital media future and Stratford has evolved into a hotbed of innovative, hi-tech development. From the University of Waterloo’s Stratford campus and the Stratford Institute, to an investment in 60 km of fibre optic cable and city wide Wi-Fi, the city has aggressively pursued a hi-tech economy, culminating in global recognition with a spot in the exclusive Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year for 2011, from the ICF.
“The Road to Banff Challenge aligns with Powernoodle’s solution for running competitions in the Evaluations space,” says Powernoodle CEO Deb Krizmanich. “Powernoodle’s collaboration features line up perfectly with the Canada 3.0 evaluation and rating requirements for the competition. The judges needed to be up and running quickly with little training and intuitively process a lot of data effectively. Powernoodle is a product of the Stratford technology ecosystem and while we have a global focus, being a part of Canada 3.0 is like a homecoming for us.”
With up to 100 companies making ten minute pitches to the panel of judges, there will be a great deal of information flying around and trying to track it all in a meaningful way presents many challenges. Each competing company will face a panel consisting of at least three judges (including venture capitalists, angel investors and professional services providers) and will be scored based on how compelling their product or service is, the viability of their business model, proven entrepreneurship and overall presentation. Powernoodle was chosen because it excels at empowering a team (in the same room or attending virtually) to collaboratively review, comment and rate a series of ideas, quickly and efficiently generating real-time results and reports of the very best ideas, solutions or in this case, companies.
According to Steve Currie, VP Business Services, Communitech: “It was critical for us to have real-time results reporting, even with judges evaluating companies in different rooms at different times. Powernoodle lets us move 100 companies to 16 finalists to three winners in real-time, using twenty different rating criteria, in a point and click interface. Best of all, Powernoodle generates an automatic report of the entire process, capturing the judges’ anonymous comments, feedback and scores through the two rounds of competition. Using technology to evaluate technology companies is a perfect fit for the Road to Banff pitch contest.”
Attendees of Canada 3.0 will see Powernoodle in action and will also be able to talk to company executives at the conference. Look for Powernoodle’s booth in the main conference exhibit hall.
HMS Software has announced the release of TimeControl 6.1. This upgrade of TimeControl advances the 6th generation of one of the world’s best known timesheet systems. Since its first commercial release in 1994 TimeControl has been recognized by some of the largest organizations in the world as the most flexible solution for meeting timesheet challenges. TimeControl is a multi-purpose timesheet, serving requirements for project timekeeping, time and billing and time and attendance from within a single system. TimeControl version 6.1 takes the product to the next level with new features, an extended architecture, enhancements and an exciting new look existing functions.
“We’re very proud of the accomplishment represented by TimeControl 6.1” said Chris Vandersluis, president of HMS Software. “This version brings the new generation of TimeControl launched last year with the release of TimeControl 6 to a whole new level of interface and productivity.”
Enhancements in TimeControl 6.1 include a complete rewrite of the TimeControl Tables into the new TimeControl 6 multi-browser architecture. The changes in Tables and other enhancements has resulted in the removal of 2 of the original 5 ActiveX controls. Now only Administrators with certain requirements will need access to any ActiveX controls in TimeControl, and the architecture has now been extended to support the popular open source database MySQL, giving users even more options when creating their TimeControl environments.
An all-new feature, “Personal Pre-load” allows end users to select specific entries they’d like to automatically appear in their timesheets when they’re created. This will work in conjunction with the existing Resource pre-loads which are associated to the assignments and approved TimeRequests which will also add to the timesheet automatically. This feature will avoid the user having to search for entries which they always add to their timesheet manually thus saving precious minutes each week while completing their timesheet.
A number of existing features have been enhanced including Support for Oracle-Primavera Financial Periods and Linking to Microsoft Project Server 2010 and numerous features have been migrated to the TimeControl 6 multi-browser architecture making them easier to access and manage. These include Update License Key, Bulk Delete Charge Codes, Release Structure Updates and the Timesheet Audit Log.
TimeControl 6.1 is available for immediate shipping. Pricing for new customers varies by volume from $50 to $120US. Customers with existing support contracts will receive updates to their existing systems at no additional charge.