A. Both systems use the same weatherproof, rugged clock, and for employees, the clock-in and clock-out process is the same. With Extreme Blue, there's no PC software included: Everything is done in the smartphone app. That can get a bit unwieldy if you have more than a few employees or more than one clock; that's why we came up with Extreme Blue Enhanced. Enhanced includes PC software that allows you to collect all the data from multiple clocks in one database—either in the Cloud or on your server, depending upon your choice of systems—and see everything at once. The software also allows you to create reports and export the data to payroll software and services. You can't do that in the basic Extreme Blue product.
For more on the differences between the systems, click here.
A. If you’ve got 10 or fewer employees, $569 for the Extreme Blue, $996 for year 1 of the Extreme Blue Enhanced: Cloud-Based Edition or $879 for the Extreme Blue Enhanced: On-Premise Edition.
If you choose the On-Premise Edition, that's it: There are no monthly or annual fees to use the system. You'll be responsible for the database on your PC or server and you'll receive 30 days of free telephone or e-mail support when you buy the system; that should be plenty to get up and running. If you feel you need more help, a one-year annual support agreement is $179, but it’s completely optional.
With our Cloud-Based Edition software, you'll pay an annual subscription fee for the software, based on your number of employees. The hardware—the Extreme Blue Enhanced clock and its accessories—is a one-time purchase. There are many benefits to this software version (for a list, click here), but three of the biggest are access to your data from anywhere on the planet there's an internet connection, the ability to have employees clock in and out by smartphone and free tech support for as long as you use the system.
If you have more than 10 employees now or in the future, you'll need more iButtons—you can get 10 for $59, with discounts for larger quantities. Each clock can handle as many as 2,000 employees. Both the Cloud-Based and On-Premise software can handle multiple clocks, too, allowing your employees to clock in or out at any clock in the system (for example, they could clock in at an Extreme Blue at headquarters and out at an Extreme Blue at a worksite). Extra clocks are available here.
A. Yes. In fact, the Extreme Blue Enhanced Starter Kit comes with a USB drive for exactly that purpose, and there's a USB port on the bottom of the clock. Here's how to do it.
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. 35—one for each employee. That's how all TimePilot systems work: one employee, one iButton. (But you might want to order a few extra iButtons as replacements in case an employee loses one.) If an employee leaves the company, you can reassign their iButton to another employee. TimePilot iButtons carry a lifetime warranty: If one ever stops working, return it to us for a free replacement.
If you purchase an Extreme Blue or Extreme Blue Enhanced system, you can order more iButtons at checkout. What's an iButton? Here's an explanation.
A. Among the items in the Starter Kit is a special gray iButton called the Management iButton. When a supervisor taps this iButton to the clock, the clock knows this person has authorization to download the data and starts emitting a Bluetooth wireless signal. Then the supervisor taps an icon on their smartphone, enabling the phone to receive the signal. The clock and the phone establish a connection and the data is downloaded to the phone. By the way, the latest 12,000 clock-ins and clock-outs always remain in the clock's memory, so if you lose your phone, you can recover the data.
A. If you have an Extreme Blue system (without the computer software), it's optional. If you have Extreme Blue Enhanced, yes, you'll need a data plan, but if you have an iPhone or Android phone, you probably already have one. The data collected by the TimePilot app has a very small file size, so there's probably no need to add extra gigabytes to your data plan.
A. Yes—as long as the data from all clocks is downloaded into the same phone (for Extreme Blue) or the same database at headquarters or in the Cloud (for Extreme Blue Enhanced). By the way, once you've purchased an Extreme Blue Starter Kit, extra clocks are available at $479 for one, $933 for two and $1,375 for three. Each extra clock comes with a mounting plate and padlock.
A. Yes. You can name each clock in the TimePilot iPhone or Android app. From that point onward, each clock-in or clock-out carries with it the name of the clock where the clock-in or clock-out occurred and that information can be viewed in the TimePilot Central software.
A. Each Extreme Blue clock comes with a steel mounting plate that screws to a wall or other flat surface. The clock hooks onto the mounting plate (covering the screws) and is secured with a padlock. The padlock has a hardened steel shackle that's 5/16 of an inch in diameter.
During testing, four Extreme Blue clocks endure an early-winter snowfall. Click the photo to see a larger version.
A. We don't recommend using it underwater or mounting it under a downspout, but it should be fine in rain, snow, sleet, hot or cold weather. (See the photo at right!) In testing, they've worked flawlessly in 25 F. below zero (-31.7C) temperatures.
A. Our testing indicates the 4 AA batteries will last for at least a year.
A. No. Each time you assign an iButton to an employee or collect data from your clock, the time and date is updated on that clock using the time and date on your phone. In a pinch, you can also change it in the app.
A. You can use one there, but a less-expensive option is TimePilot Vetro. It's designed to run indoors and uses the same iButtons Extreme Blue does, so employees only need their one iButton. Another possibility is our pocket-sized portable clock, TimePilot Tap.
All TimePilot time clock systems are designed to work together, so you can create a system that, for instance, has Extreme Blue clocks at the job sites, Taps in the trucks and Vetro in the shop. If you choose the Cloud Edition, your workers can also clock-in with two free apps: TimePilot Mobile on their smartphones and TimePilot PC on their PC desktops.
A. If you have a Windows machine, almost certainly. Our software will run on all versions of Windows 8 and higher, as well as Windows Windows Server 2008 and higher.
A. Possibly—if you're running Windows on your Mac with the help of Parallels or VMware Fusion. We've run a few tests on MacBook Pros using Parallels and VMWare Fusion, and the systems seem to work. We can't guarantee it because we are a Windows-focused company and just don't have the deep Mac knowledge to give you support if you have a problem. However, we offer a 30-day return policy if you want to give it a shot.
Do you have more questions? Just ask!
We can be reached at 630-879-6400, extension 103, or Sales@TimePilot.com