May 19, 2020

Poynt Answers Life's Everyday Questions

App
mobile app
smartphone
Poynt
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Poynt Answers Life's Everyday Questions

 

Poynt, a Canadian-based mobile app, has proven success in the mobile technological world. Gaining an average 30,000 new users daily, Poynt’s solutions to its users' entertainment, weather and cuisine questions has grown the company into a thriving Canadian enterprise.

So what exactly is Poynt? Poynt is a mobile application that, through data provider partnerships, provides location-based search features. A “simple and intuitive” search tool, Poynt provides users with relevant information about local businesses, retailers, restaurants, movies, events, weather information, gas prices (available in the US only), people and more. Available in nine countries including the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Austria and India, Poynt’s user base expanded in 2011 to 12 million.

Starting the company back in 2002, Poynt worked in earnest on app development utilizing BlackBerry technology in 2007 and was able to produce its groundbreaking app by June 2008.

“We launched this application in June of 2008 and emailed it off to 100 people. We asked them to try it and if they liked it to please send Poynt to a friend, which back then was by email. The next day we had 10 new users, and the day after that, and the day after that. We’ve grown every day since then. Some days are now 20-25 thousand new users while others are 50,000. It’s been a tremendous journey,” says Andrew Osis, CEO and Co-Founder, Poynt.

The app is completely free to users, while Poynt monetizes users’ activity. The application allows users to search for everything and anything they need from nearby dentists in case of an emergency to movie showtimes and ticket purchasing.

“Everything in this app is about what’s local and relevant to what you need at the exact moment and time you need it,” says Davison, VP Marketing and Communications, Poynt.

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“The whole thing was going from inspiration to action. It wasn’t just about having that single app that did one thing. It was really about providing that one stop shop for users to find everything they need. It is that a complete circle to solve your problem.” said Osis.

After a successful 2011, Poynt’s goal for 2012 is to transition the app into a household brand.

“This is because it’s not a one-off app. It’s a utility tool that does everything you need it to do,” said Davison.

In 2012, Poynt expects to see further geographic expansion to the Asia/Pacific region. Adding these new territories, Poynt believes, will make the app’s user base grow from its current 12 million to an astounding 30 million.

Available on BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Nokia QT and Windows 7, click here to download Poynt for instant access to local information directly at your fingertips. 

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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