May 19, 2020

Microsoft redesigns Skype interface to increase competitivity

erptre fusion
2 min
Microsoft redesigns Skype interface to increase competitivity
Skype has undergone a design overhaul as Microsoft looks to focus on simplicity and ease of use
Revisions over the past few years have already seen Skype readjust from being a predominantly video-centric chat client to having a more text-based focus, bringing it in step with the most popular messenger applications.
Skype’s monthly user numbers sit at 300mn against WhatsApp’s 1.5bn and Facebook Messenger’s 1.3bn, according to Statista, placing it fifth behind Tencent’s WeChat and QQ at 1.04bn and 806mn respectively.
Microsoft, in a blog post to Skype’s website, explained that Skype’s complexity had increased in tandem with wider functionality and that consumers have voiced concerns about usability.
“Calling became harder to execute and Highlights didn’t resonate with a majority of users. We needed to take a step back and simplify”, the blog post said.
This latest version of Skype has seen the removal of “Highlights”, a feature akin to “Stories” found on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger, which allowed users to upload images and short videos viewable to contacts for a 24-hour period before automatic deletion.
The core user interface has been boiled down to the essentials, with three omnipresent buttons immediately taking users to either their chats, calls, or contacts.
“Removing Highlights and Capture provides a cleaner and more efficient user interface (UI) that is easy to navigate while still providing all the functionality Skype customers want”, the blog continued.
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Finally, Microsoft announced via the blog post, “This is only the beginning and you can expect many more updates over the next several months”.
The industry, nervous of data breaches, malware attacks, and weak security infrastructures, currently has a significant focus on secure messaging and encryption as consumers seek assurance of privacy.
Wire, for example, champions secure chat, file sharing, video and conference calls, and real time screensharing for corporate users, building a dedicated userbase through shared peace of mind.
Skype’s own encryption of Skype-to-Skype communications in all forms was introduced in January 2018 following historical concerns about the platform’s storage of information, according to Wired.

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.


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