Hoiio Blog
Sharing our thoughts on a smarter hello

Construction firm Nam Hong makes workflow efficient with cloud HR

Author: , November 25, 2014

Established in 2005, Nam Hong is a construction and engineering company that provides piping services, structural works and manpower provisioning services. Since Nam Hong is licensed in public sector works, chances are you’ve seen many of the upgrading works that Nam Hong has worked on around Singapore.

Some of the projects that Nam Hong has participated in include Pulau Seraya Power Station, F1 fencing and construction of the new MRT lines.


“Managing time-based workers is tedious”

In the construction industry, projects are fluid and the time for the workers to report to work is not always fixed. When pressed for time, workers sometimes have to put in overtime hours and work on the weekends as well.

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the old method of lining up to log manually

What Nam Hong uses to keep track of attendance is a pen-and-paper logbook where workers line up to sign in and out daily. For the construction workers, it’s a straightforward process. However, it’s a different story for the administrative staff at the end of every month.

It takes the administrative assistant a couple of days to manually compute payment, denting productivity. To complicate matters, aside from the standard rates there are overtime rates and special rates to take into account, increasing the chance for human error.

A timely boost in productivity

Frustrated with the inefficiency, Eddie, Nam Hong’s Accounts Manager, tried out Hoiio’s Time Log and Payroll* apps. Both are cloud-based software aimed to improve workflow efficiency and are used hand-in-hand.

1. Using an iPad as time clock, their workers take a selfie every time they clock in and out to verify their attendance. This way, it no longer becomes possible for buddy punching to occur, and managers also get real-time updates if a worker is late.

2. Time cards are automatically updated to the cloud and the data is synced into Payroll.

3. At the end of the month, the admin assistant or accounts manager logs into Payroll to retrieve the auto-computed payslips.

Automating mundane business processes may be common for tech-savvy companies, but the construction industry tends to rely on traditional methods due to a lack of efficient IT software to handle time-based calculations.

“I’m a tech-savvy guy myself and have been searching for a suitable solution to this. However, as our payroll involves time-based salaries, the usual payroll software doesn’t suit our work processes,” says Eddie.

“Glad that Hoiio has come up with a solution to this. We can even use Time Log and Payroll for our regular-salaried employees as well!”


Francis, Eddie’s team mate, finds Time Log and Payroll easy and effective.


*Payroll app will be available in the App Center soon. To enquire more about Time Log and Payroll, please contact sales@hoiio.com.

Don’t Fall Prey to VoIP Fraud: How to level up your SIP security

Author: , November 18, 2014

Much of our Internet experience today involves user accounts that require creating a username and password. Additional measures such as requiring a mobile number or secondary email address in case of hacks are also often taken by service providers to improve security on the Internet.

Such is the nature of the Internet. Because so much information is easily accessible on the world wide web, we need to take extra precaution to ensure that what we post online remain safe.

Many businesses have chosen to move their business communication to VoIP, with the benefits it brings. But there’s a caveat. As with anything on the Internet, SIP needs to be secured and protected from fraudulent hackers.

Footing the Bill

When you pay for a SIP service, you’ll have to take steps to ensure that your account doesn’t fall prey to VoIP toll fraud. Hackers scan for weak SIP passwords and vulnerable accounts are then cracked to make calls.


It’s more than one or two times for their own personal use. Now that they have gained access to your business phone system, savvy hackers can now distribute your call service and charge for several purposes — overseas calls, chat hotlines, calling premium numbers, and the list goes on.

Call minutes are then leaked in the millions, chalking up a hefty phone bill which you definitely won’t be pleased to receive.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

To avoid finding yourself high and dry, level up your SIP security with these steps:

1. Choose a SIP service provider that offers adequate security measures.

There are many SIP service providers but it’s worthwhile to go with one that’s invested in the necessary infrastructure to secure their SIP service. Hoiio offers IP whitelist and country whitelist screening, as well as TLS and SRTP support to safeguard your SIP.

2. Implement whitelists.

Whitelists work by allowing only certain calls to be made. IP Whitelist allows calls made from authorised IP addresses, and Country Whitelist allows calls to specific authorised countries. Implementing whitelist features lets you screen calls before they are even made, and thus preventing any unauthorised calls in the first place.


3. Be vigilant about your passwords.

Your SIP account password and SIP trunk password are incredibly sensitive and can carry major consequences if leaked. Change the default password to a stronger one, and don’t reveal it freely.

4. Your phone vendors can help too.

Check with phone vendors if they have anti-hacking measures in place. For example, 3CX has in-built anti-hacking mechanisms with their Version 9.


There’s no need to risk a vulnerable SIP account. Victimised companies have been devastated by the huge phone bills, and it’s not easy to negotiate with telecom carriers because someone has to fork out the money in the end.


Hoiio Mobile app redesigned

Author: , November 14, 2014

A mobile app is designed for convenience and handiness. We’ve redesigned the Hoiio mobile app so that it’s nicer, faster and more optimized for a better user experience.

Available on both iOS and Android, the Hoiio Mobile app is the gateway to using Hoiio services on your mobile phone. Be it Phone, Messages or Direct Line, you can use Hoiio Mobile to access these services, and even make configurations to Direct Line that are updated instantly.

With this redesign, we’re also making changes to prepare Hoiio Mobile as an umbrella app for the other Hoiio services. In future, you can expect individual mobile apps for each of our services, and Hoiio Mobile will be adapted as the home app.

The updated app is now ready on both iOS and Android.

Android (v3.1):


iPhone (v3.0):


If you have not downloaded Hoiio Mobile onto your smartphone or tablet, you can do so from Google Play or Apple iTunes.

Ace customer requests with 3 guiding questions

Author: , October 29, 2014

What keeps customers coming back? Most of the time the answer is excellent customer service, which makes nailing it crucial to any business. While there are many things you can do to aim for good customer service, we believe that truly excellent customer service stems from a wish to make the customer’s experience a great one.

Every so often, businesses get special requests, where customers ask for small changes to their order here and there. “I’d like this colour of roses instead of the default one.” “I’d like the cut of this suit to be more fitted.” “I’d like…”

While the requests may be small, the fact that the customer made a point to request for it makes it important for businesses to try to meet it.

Sure, customer requests take more cognitive effort to process. You’ve refined your regular order-taking procedure, and now you’ve got to do that extra bit to meet the customised order.

However, the time and effort spent is worth it. People are different and so are customers, so it’s not unexpected that there will be those who want something tweaked. Businesses that specialise in custom orders such as florists and tailors receive and manage personalisation requests on a daily basis, so it can be done. It really all boils down to a willingness to be flexible.

To simplify the process and achieve the best outcome possible, here are three questions you can quickly run through in your mind when faced with a customer request.

“What is the request?”

This is the most basic question, but it’s often underrated. When customers make a specific request they do it for a reason, so it’s worth paying them the proper attention.

“Why is the customer asking for this?”

Tap on your listening skills and find out the reason behind this request. There’s usually a legitimate underlying issue that’s important to the customer, and saying a straight-out no can be offensive.

This step is important to figure out because let’s say you can’t accede to that particular request. As long as you understand the motivation behind the request, you can then offer an alternative solution that meets that same need. You get to offer a more doable solution and the customer gets what he wants. Win-win.

“How can I help the customer achieve this?”

Here, the positive wording is key. It’s not so much whether it’s doable or whether you are helping or hindering the customer from accomplishing it. Focusing on the solution structures your mind to seek ways to meet the customer’s needs and gain a satisfactory outcome for the both of you.

This might sound simple, but these three questions frame the approach you take to handling any customer request, which can be make-or-break in customer service.

The next time a customer makes a special request, instead of hearing “I need you to do something troublesome for me,” hear this: “I like your product/service, but it would be even better if you could make a few small changes.”

Try your best to fulfil it, and you’ll be looking at a satisfied, and potentially return, customer.



Top Challenges Singapore HR Managers Face

Author: , October 24, 2014

The role of a HR manager is multi-faceted and evolving. Not only do they juggle multiple duties, they also have to stay responsive to day-to-day fluctuations in the company as well as external changes in the economy. We touch on the top challenges that Singapore HR managers face today.

1. Retaining staff

Employee retention has always been the number one problem for HR. With high turnover, not only are sunken training costs and investments costly to the company, it also affects morale. Keeping key positions filled with the right people increases the potential for the company’s growth. Reasons for leaving an organisation are often situational, which makes the task of employee retention harder.

2. Managing a multi-national workforce

WIth Singapore’s immigration policy geared to attract foreign labour in order to remain competitive, companies now have a mix of local and foreign employees in their employee base. Cultural differences have introduced new challenges to workplace dynamics where employees have to adapt to each other’s working and communication styles.

3. Developing potential of existing workers

The tightening labour market means that companies have fewer options when it comes to recruiting the suitable person for the job. In order to maximise the existing workforce, HR managers now need to focus on retraining and reskilling workers to remain employable.

With the heavy workload of HR professionals, it would be good if processes that can be automated are done so.

We have been developing intelligent cloud solutions for businesses to communicate, offering quality service with cost savings. Having created flexible and agile telephony apps for enterprise communication, we decided to continue developing software for other business functions.

Right now, we’re working on perfecting a suite of HR apps that automate HR and admin processes, and the first cloud-based service for HR is now available on our app center. With administrative processes automated, HR managers can then focus on the bigger issues that only expertise and experience can solve.

Do stay tuned for upcoming HR apps, each one designed to complement each other as well as function well as a standalone app. More details are coming up very soon!