Sprout Solutions

Sprout Solutions is a software company that aims to create paradigm­ changing solutions for the Philippines and other developing countries—an emerging market with a robust economy and a great need for localized software. The company aims to help small start­-up ventures, medium­-sized companies, and large businesses grow through their suite of backend solutions that address payroll, HR and recruitment difficulties.

The company’s current products include Sprout’s Payroll Pie, which provides a comprehensive online payroll solution for the Philippines’ business market; Sprout HR, a safe and efficient cloud-based human resource information system; and CATS, a unified system that consolidates all recruitment operations in one system for a seamless hiring process.

Press Realese: Innovation, changing the way HR works

Sprout Solutions underlines the benefits of HR and payroll automation for businesses of all sizes

Taguig City—October 10, 2017 — The recent ‘State of HR in the Philippines’ report published by Sprout Solutions ranked the major pain points Filipino HR (human resource) practitioners face. Garnering the most votes from a thousand participants are recruitment (56.90%), timekeeping (40.30%), and payroll (38.90%). These identified pain points, which can be really tedious and time-consuming, are actual problems for companies operating in the Philippines regardless of its size.

Good news is technology is continuously changing the business landscape. Today, these HR administrative tasks can be automated through cloud-based software solutions that positively impact productivity and efficiency — generally improving a company’s bottom line.

According to Patrick Gentry, CEO and Co-founder of tech startup Sprout Solutions, companies are now recognizing the value of investing in software tools that streamline HR and payroll processes which ultimately, enhance productivity, develop employee-employer relations and meet the changing demands of today’s workplace.

“HR automation is now a huge deal for organizations as it can bring fundamental changes in the roles HR play for business growth. HR professionals can now spend more time establishing insights that provide added value for their workforce as technology gradually eliminates the administrative aspect of their job,” added Gentry.

With the Philippines having a total of thirty-two pay rates including night shift differential, overtime pay, holiday pay, among others, HR and payroll processing can get really complicated. Unfortunately, many business organizations are still doing these tasks manually making them prone to discrepancies, errors and even delays. Such inaccuracies are known to cause mistakes in the salary being paid, often resulting in an unhappy staff and strained relations between employees and employers. Meanwhile, from an operational cost standpoint, these incongruities can also lead to higher expenses.

Aside from that, a number of reports are also required from HR practitioners and/or payroll masters to comply with government mandatories. Filing of forms and getting updated reports from the agencies that monitor and collect employee income taxes and contributions can also get complicated especially for growing businesses.

Sprout Solutions, a provider of locally developed and global-quality HR and payroll software, addresses these major pain points through paradigm-changing solutions tailor-fitted for local enterprises.

The company offers customized solutions for its clients through its two modules: Sprout HR and Sprout Payroll. These programs are world-class software solutions that enable HR professionals to perform crucial tasks, both in payroll and HR, within a single dashboard.

Having all HR data reside on one integrated platform, Sprout makes it easier to track work in progress, daily attendance, leave requests, among others. Their comprehensive payroll system is also able to cut processing time by ninety percent.

Sprout’s cloud-based software tools enable organizations to efficiently comply with government requirements by making mandatory government forms accessible and downloadable (with encoded information) through the payroll module.

The tech startup is known to be the only solutions provider to truly automate complex payroll and timekeeping processes that exist for BPO companies and other time-sensitive industries in the Philippines. It has already earned the trust of more than 200 clients, composed of small businesses and some well-established industry players with thousands of employees and is the first Filipino company to be accepted by Acceleprise, a Silicon Valley enterprise SaaS accelerator. It has since expanded its operations to help businesses grow through its software solutions that address HR and payroll needs.

To know more about Sprout Solutions and its services, visit their website at https://sprout.ph/.

Nokia 7

Here are the notable specs of the Nokia 7;

  • 5.2-inch 1080p IPS LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
  • 4 GB RAM / 6 GB
  • 64 GB / 128 GB Storage
  • Storage is expandable via microSD
  • Rear camera: 16 megapixel camera with 1.12um pixels and an f/1.8 aperture
  • Front camera: 5 megapixel camera with 1.4um pixels and an f/2.0 aperture
  • IP54 splash proof
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • NFC
  • LTE Cat.6
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat (upgradable to Oreo)
  • 3,000mAh battery

Nokia 7 will available in China on October 24, 2017, and will be available two configurations;

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB Storage configuration selling for ¥2,499 or around $377
  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB Storage configuration which will be sold for ¥2,699 or around $407 USD

No word yet if it will be available in other markets.

Source: GSM Arena

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Microsoft;

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, we are introducing some fun, new ways to get creative – from bringing mixed reality and 3D to the masses, to faster broadcasting for gaming, to turning photos and videos into real memories, and so much more. The Fall Creators Update can be experienced on a wide variety of Windows 10 PCs and on a range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Augmented reality!

Looks like Facebook bet on the wrong (virtual) horse when they bought Oculus!

Huawei announces Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and Porche Design Huawei Mate 10

In a media eventin Germany, Chinese Smartphone manufacturer officially announces Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and Porche Design Huawei Mate 10. All phones are powered by Kirin 970 processor, developed by Huawei themselves with a built-in AI capabilities.

Huawei Mate 10 :

  • 5.9″ FullView LCD Display, 16:9 AR, 2560 x 1440 resolution @ 499 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass (Front and Back)
  • HUAWEI Kirin 970 Octa-Core CPU (4*Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4*Cortex A53 1.8GHz) with Neural Network Processing Unit
  • i7 co-processor
  • Mali G72MP12 GPU
  • Android 8.0 with EMUI 8.0
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB Storage expandable up to 256GB via microSD (uses SIM2)
  • Dual Leica Camera: 20MP Monochrome + 12MP RGB, f/1.6, OIS (Optical Image Stablisation), BSI CMOS, Dual-LED Flash, PDAF, CAF, Laser, Depth Auto Focus, 4K Video Recording
  • Front camera: 8MP f/2.0
  • FDD-LTE, TD-LTE, UMTS(WCDMA)/HSPA + /DC-HSDPA, TD-SCDMA, GSM/EDGE
  • Dual SIM Support
  • GPS/Glonass/BDS
  • Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support
  • NFC, BT4.2, support BLE
  • Support aptX/aptX HD and LDAC HD Audio
  • USB Type C
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope Sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Hall Sensor, Barometer, Infrared Remote Control
  • IP53 Splash resistance
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Dimension: 150.5 mm x 77.8mm x 8.2mm
  • Weight: 186 grams
  • Colors:Mocha Brown, Black, Champagne Gold

Huawei Mate 10 Pro;

  • 6.0″ FullView OLED Display, 2160 x 1080 pixels, 402 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass (Front and Back)
  • HUAWEI Kirin 970 Octa-Core CPU (4*Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4*Cortex A53 1.8GHz) with Neural Network Processing Unit
  • i7 co-processor
  • Mali G72MP12 GPU
  • Android 8.0 with EMUI 8.0
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB Storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB Storage
  • Dual Leica Camera: 20MP Monochrome + 12MP RGB, f/1.6, OIS (Optical Image Stablisation), BSI CMOS, Dual-LED Flash, PDAF, CAF, Laser, Depth Auto Focus, 4K Video Recording
  • Front camera: 8MP f/2.0
  • FDD-LTE, TD-LTE, UMTS(WCDMA)/HSPA + /DC-HSDPA, TD-SCDMA, GSM/EDGE
  • Dual SIM Support
  • GPS/Glonass/BDS
  • Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support
  • NFC, BT4.2, support BLE
  • Support aptX/aptX HD and LDAC HD Audio
  • USB Type C
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope Sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Hall Sensor, Barometer, Infrared Remote Control
  • IP67 Water and Dust Resistant
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Dimension: 154.2 mm x 74.5 mm x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 178 grams
  • Colors:Mocha Brown, Midnight Blue, Titanium Grey

Porche Design Huawei Mate 10;

  • 6.0″ FullView OLED Display, 2160 x 1080 pixels, 402 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass (Front and Back)
  • HUAWEI Kirin 970 Octa-Core CPU (4*Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4*Cortex A53 1.8GHz) with Neural Network Processing Unit
  • i7 co-processor
  • Mali G72MP12 GPU
  • Android 8.0 with EMUI 8.0
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB Storage
  • Dual Leica Camera: 20MP Monochrome + 12MP RGB, f/1.6, OIS (Optical Image Stablisation), BSI CMOS, Dual-LED Flash, PDAF, CAF, Laser, Depth Auto Focus, 4K Video Recording
  • Front camera: 8MP f/2.0
  • FDD-LTE, TD-LTE, UMTS(WCDMA)/HSPA + /DC-HSDPA, TD-SCDMA, GSM/EDGE
  • Dual SIM Support
  • GPS/Glonass/BDS
  • Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support
  • NFC, BT4.2, support BLE
  • Support aptX/aptX HD and LDAC HD Audio
  • USB Type C
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope Sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Hall Sensor, Barometer, Infrared Remote Control
  • IP67 Water and Dust Resistant
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Dimension: 154.2 mm x 74.5 mm x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 178 grams
  • Colors:Diamond Black

Pricing and Availability

Device Memory Europe Price Availability
HUAWEI Mate 10 64GB + 4GB €699 Late October 2017
HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro 128GB + 6GB €799 Mid-November 2017
PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 10 256GB + 6GB €1395 Mid-November 2017

You can read Huawei’s official announcement here.

Duel between United States’ Megabot Mk. III and Japan’s Kuratas will be live stream on Twitch.tv this October 17

I can see a lot of people being disappointed by this upcoming duel of two giant robot. Since this is in real life, these robots will not be like those that we see in the movies and animations.

The reason why many are excited of this, (may be!!) because we have been conditioned to think that a giant robot in real life will be similar to the ones that we see on movies, TV, specially those in animes like Voltron, Voltes V, Gundam, Pacific RIM, Real Steel, etc.

Incase you want to watch it, you can watch the duel via this twitch link: https://go.twitch.tv/megabotsinc.

Chope

Chope is a restaurant discovery and booking service that is available in 8 cities. The Chope app allows users to reserve a table at 3,000 top restaurants in Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, and Phuket in seconds, all without saying a word.

Foodie startup Chope feasts on $13m funding

Michael Tegos, writing for Tech in Asia;

Singapore-based restaurant discovery and booking startup Chope announced today it’s raised a fresh round of funding worth US$13 million.

The round is led by Asia-Pacific investment firm Square Peg Capital and joined by C31 Ventures and Moelis Australia. Existing investors NSI Ventures, Susquehanna International Group, DSG Consumer Partners, and SPH Ventures also came in for a top-up.

Now You Can Order Food with Facebook

Facebook;

Today, we’re taking the time out of finding what you want to eat by officially launching the ability to order food for pick-up or delivery, directly on Facebook. People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier.

Steve Wozniak announces tech education platform Woz U

Jordan Crook, writing for Techcrunch;

Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder who changed the world alongside Steve Jobs, has today announced the launch of Woz U.

According to the release, Woz U will start as an online learning platform focused on both students and companies that will eventually hire those students. Woz U is based out of Arizona, and hopes to launch physical locations for learning in more than 30 cities across the globe.

You can read the full text of the press release here.

You can also visit Woz U’s website at https://woz-u.com.

iOS 11.0.3 Update

As indicated on the release notes, the iOS 11.0.3 update will fix audio and haptic feedback issue on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and touch input on 6s if the device is serviced with genuine Apple parts.

As always, you can go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > SOFTWARE UPDATE, to get the latest iOS update if you have not been notified yet.

GMA, TV5 now airing shows with closed captioning

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

Local TV networks GMA and TV5 have started airing shows on their respective channels with closed captioning (CC) or adding soft subtitles as part of implementing rules for a newly-enacted bill which lapsed into a law last year.

Like here in KSA, there should be a way to disable CC from appearing while watching. Can anyone verify this?!

Wavemaker raises $66m in oversubscribed Southeast Asia tech fund

Jack Ellis, writing for Tech in Asia;

US-Singaporean venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners has closed a US$66 million fund for Southeast Asia – its second focused on the region.

The new vehicle – which exceeded its initial US$50 million target – has been backed by Singapore sovereign fund Temasek Holdings, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, and veteran investor Tim Draper, among others. AddVentures, the corporate venture arm of Thai conglomerate Siam Cement Group, also announced an investment in Wavemaker this week.

Press Release: Carpooling is getting more convenient as Wunder Carpool introduces big improvements

The world’s leading urban carpooling platform Wunder Carpool has recently rolled out a big update on its app, optimizing the carpooling flow and made creating and finding rides a lot easier.

These changes on the app interface are based on suggestions and feedback it got from its growing community members since it launched in Metro Manila and Cebu last year.

Wunder also launched operations this year in Delhi, Mumbai & Bengaluru.

Wunder’s mobile app connects people commuting in same direction for work and/or home. Car owners share the empty seats in their cars and save money on fuel cost. Passengers get the comfort and convenience of commuting through a private car at a price that is way lower than taxi and often cheaper than public transportation. At the same time, it allows you to choose people you would like to carpool with and it becomes an opportunity to make new friends, network with people in your industry while you commute to work.

Here are the top 7 improvements that every carpooler has been waiting for:

  1. For first time carpoolers, an in-app preview is now available to check out the app’s main features. Newbies can get a virtual walk-through on how the app works before even logging in.
  2. To make carpooling more secure, you are now required to key in their phone number as part of the 2-step user verification process.
  3. Carpoolers can now easily create rides, pick a preferred route and switch role on each ride.
  4. Car-owners are now free to set the fare for each ride shared and can even set it to zero, if they want
  5. Organizing a carpool is now easier with its improved browsing interface & better matching on the map.
  6. The app now has a “My Rides” screen to give a clear overview of all upcoming rides and highlights required actions to manage each organized carpools.
  7. For recurring carpools, a new feature allows to easily create routines and save them the trouble of setting ride requests/ride offers every day.

Founded in 2014 in Germany, Wunder is launching carpooling communities in the world’s most gridlocked cities. It now has more than 700,000 users from India and the Philippines, sharing over 2 million rides.

Uber allegedly used secret program to spy on Grab

Judith Balea, writing for Tech in Asia;

A secret Uber program supposedly spied on Southeast Asian rival Grab and stole data on its drivers, according to a Bloomberg report.

Called Surfcam, the program developed by an Uber staff out of its Sydney office scraped data published by competitors to figure out how many drivers were on their systems in real-time and where they were, the report said quoting anonymous sources. It started in 2015 while Travis Kalanick was CEO.

The tool, said to have been mainly used on Grab, raised concerns with a member of Uber’s legal team “who questioned whether it could be legally operated in Singapore because it may run afoul of Grab’s terms of service or the country’s strict computer-crime laws,” the report added.

It’s one of the invasive and possible illicit schemes that US authorities are looking into as they launched “at least five criminal probes” against the embattled ride-hailing company.

This is bad and its a Herculean task for Uber’s CEO to clean up the mess made by its previous CEO.

Press Release: Samsung introduces Galaxy J+ in the Philippines

It’s easy to capture notable everyday moments nowadays, especially with advanced smartphone technology – by simply pointing and clicking. With Samsung, it is essential to capture the entire feeling of the moment, and bring it to life for the world to see.

Built to capture those everyday moments in your life and to enhance them to make them even more extraordinary, Samsung introduces the new Galaxy J7+.

The Galaxy J7+ boasts of a Professional Dual Camera to showcase every single detail of your day. Equipped with two rear cameras––one 13MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture lens and a 5MP sensor at f/1.9 aperture, both of which are responsible for delivering professional-quality post-shot depth. These dual lenses also equip the Galaxy J7+ with the Live Focus feature which allows you to control the amount of blur in a shot during and after taking a photo. It didn’t go shy with its front shooter, too, with its 16MP f/1.9 selfie camera. With the Galaxy J7+’s dual leans camera, you have no excuse to capture and enhance every moment, may it be with friends, family, or your fur baby!

For added fun, entertainment, and excitement, the Galaxy J7+ also comes with the new built-in Galaxy stamps and stickers in its Mobile Photobooth that would let you decorate and enhance your photos to really bring out the fun! The assortment of colorful stickers and stamps, as well as filters, will let you add a touch of personalization, playfulness, and more color to your photos. With the fun Mobile Photobooth coupled with the Galaxy J7+’s Professional Dual Camera capable of shooting in low-light, each moment is preserved in pro-quality.

Beyond delivering hours of entertainment and fun with its 3,000mAh battery, the Galaxy J7+ enhances your life by providing an all-around reliable and powerful performance, thanks to its 2.39GHz Octa-Core processor for seamless, high-speed multitasking and a 4GB RAM and memory expandable up to 256GB for all the apps you enjoy.

“For those who want to experience the dual camera features of the flagship Galaxy Note8, the Galaxy J7+ offers the same premium and powerful experience. Its features let people enhance every moment of the day by expanding what a smartphone camera can do. The Galaxy J7+ is the best in its segment with flagship features and value for money,” said Nio Judalena, Head of Marketing for Mobile Communications Business, SEPCO.

Indeed, the Samsung Galaxy J7+ is exactly what you need to enhance every moment of everyday. The Samsung Galaxy J7+ will be available for P19,990 starting on October 14 at all Samsung Experience Stores and dealers nationwide. You can avail it at 0% interest for 9 month on Home Credit, or 0% interest for 12 months through credit cards. Log on to www.samsung.com/ph for more information.

Samsung Galaxy J7+ Specs;

  • 5.5″ Full HD Super AMOLED Display, 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2.3GHz Quad Core Cortex-A53 + 1.6GHz Quad Core Cortex-A53
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB Storage expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat with TouchWiz
  • Dual-rear Camera:
    • 13MP sensor, f/1.7 aperture
    • 5MP sensor, f/1.9 aperture
    • Auto Focus,OIS, LED Flash
  • Front Camera: 16.0 MP, f/1.9 with flash
  • Dual Nano-SIM
  • 2G GSM, 3G WCDMA, 4G LTE FDD, 4G LTE TDD
  • 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G FDD LTE, 4G TDD LTE
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • GPS, Glonass
  • 3.5mm Earphone jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth v4.2
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
  • Dimension: 152.4mm x 74.7mm x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 180 g
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • Color: Black, Gray and Gold

Voyager headlines PH’s biggest digital conference of 2017

Manila Bulletin;

Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart, will headline this year’s DigiCon 2017, the country’s largest gathering of movers and shakers in the digital industry organized annually by the Internet and Mobile Marketers Association of the Philippines (IMMAP).

During the 3-day conference from October 11 to 13, delegates will get to experience Voyager’s transformative digital platforms, and glean relevant insights from various speakers representing Voyager’s various business units.

Official trailer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Let’s nerd out for a little bit. This is blog is usually exclusive for tech related article but the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer is too good and I’m too excited not to post it here.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be in theaters on Christmas day!

Enjoy!

LeBron James Fearless

This will be the first time a company promotes autonomous vehicles to the general public. We know companies are working on self-driving cars but Intel is the first to tap a public figure, and arguably the most influential athlete in the world.

The video is entitled “Fearless” which is appropriate, since the time and effort to research and develop self-driving car will all be for nothing if people cannot overcome their fear of riding these autonomous cars.

Taizo Son’s Mistletoe leads US$3.5M funding in venture investment platform Hatcher+

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Hatcher+, a Singapore-based data-driven venture investment platform, has raised US$3.5 million in funding, led by Taizo Son’s (brother of SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son) Mistletoe group, ahead of the upcoming launch of its US$125 million data-driven VC fund.

The funds raised will be used to expand Hatcher+’s research and development (R&D) efforts, and further develop its global co-investment network.

Hoppler

Hoppler is a Philippines-based online real estate portal that connects brokers and owners of properties in the Philippines.

Hoppler was founded by Ramon Ballesca, who was formerly a senior manager at Epiq Systems (a platform for legal professions) and a senior project manager for CaseCentral (a company that provides management and analytics tools for legal firms and corporations).