In its early days of the internet, if you had a spreadsheet, for instance, you’d save it to your hard drive, which sat in the same metal box as the rest of your computer.
Nowadays, distance means nothing (at least in terms of computers!). You can save that spreadsheet to a server 8,000 miles away just as easily as you can save it to the hard drive that sits inside your computer, inches away from your keyboard. Realizing that, companies like Microsoft and Amazon have connected servers (essentially stacks and stacks of hard drives) to the Internet and offered customers the ability to easily store their files—documents, pictures, clock-in and clock-out data, etc., in what they refer to as "the Cloud." (TimePilot uses Microsoft's Cloud service, called Azure.)
This has many benefits:
TimePilot's Cloud-Based systems have additional benefits:
Why is it called "the Cloud"? Probably because the online server could be located anywhere in the world, and the term "the Cloud" implies that exact location doesn’t matter.
A. In this edition, your database resides in the Cloud, but the software used to manage the data—to view the clock-ins and -outs, generate reports or export to payroll services or programs—runs on Windows computers. Some of our customers have had success running TimePilot software on their Macs using Windows emulator software like VMWare Fusion, Parallels Desktop or Bootcamp, but we cannot support such installations.
A. Yes, they can. If the iPad/tablet has a cell phone connection, the clock-in or clock-out data will be sent to the database via that signal. If the iPad/tablet is only Wi-Fi enabled, the data will be sent via that system. If the device isn't in range of a cell or Wi-Fi signal, the iPad/tablet will send the data as soon as it is.
A. When the employee taps the "Clock In" or Clock Out" icon in the app, the app also takes a "snapshot" of the phone's GPS coordinates at that instant. When the transaction is viewed in the TimePilot Central management software, you can click an icon to see on a map exactly where the employee was at that instant. The app DOES NOT track employees' movements.
By the way, you can also set up "geofences" in the management software. That allows you to draw a circle on a map to determine a virtual "fence" around a location. If an employee who has the TimePilot Mobile app enters the circle and clocks in or out, their transaction will include the name you gave that site. If they clock in or out outside the circle, the transaction's location will be listed as "Unknown." In the management software you can see a map of where the employee was when they clocked in or out. For more on this feature, please see this page in our help files.
A. If their on-site supervisor has a smartphone, iPad or Android tablet, they can clock in each member of the crew using the TimePilot Mobile app.
A. As you approach your renewal date, you'll see a renewal reminder in TimePilot Central with a link you can click to renew.
A. Yes—TimePilot Central 5 includes a real-time In/Out Board that lists all employees and places a green arrow next to the names of those who are clocked in at any moment.