Welcome Hamamatsu Corporation

We welcome Hamamatsu Corporation as our latest client! Hamamatsu is the leading supplier of photomultiplier tubes, imaging devices, light sources, opto-semiconductors, imaging and analyzing systems. We are very happy to be able to help them automate some of their processes with FocalReview®.

We can help make your Compensation/Performance Planning time easier too. Let’s have a chat about first what you do, then what you want to do, then how we can help. With offices in California, the UK and India, one of us is always up and available to speak with you.

FocalReview® v8.3 is on the way

FocalReview® v8.3 is on-track for release in early October!

New functionality will include:

  • Increased Employee Portal dashboard configurability
  • Improved process flow via fewer clicks (better UX)
  • Configurable Compounding Increases (which can be turned on/off)
  • Goal management
  • Inclusion of Benefits information and much, much more!

We’re eager to demo these for you, just let us know a convenient day & time.

World at Work 2018

The annual World at Work Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition is scheduled and taking registrations. Come see the latest in Total Rewards products and service, including of course the SpiraLinks FocalReview suite. When? May 21-23, 2018 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center located in the Dallas-Grapevine area. It is a one-of-a-kind, first-class destination resort located on the beautiful Grapevine Lake. We hope you can join us.

If you want a peek before then, send us a request, an email or give us a call (numbers below) to discuss FocalReview® and how we can help you.

Brexit Outlook

Are you in, plan to have a presence in, or have operations in the UK? We do – and if you do as well, we hope you’re up on the latest about the UK parting from the European Union (Brexit).

Last year, the vote to exit the EU passed and David Cameron, the Prime Minister, resigned. Theresa May took over as Prime Minister and she triggered the two year process of leaving the EU on 29 March 2017.

She set out her negotiating goals in a letter to the EU council president Donald Tusk. The UK now has less than two years to negotiate its withdrawal and receive approval from the remaining 27 national parliaments in the EU.

Brexit talks are currently underway between the UK and the EU. Their negotiating teams are scheduled to meet face-to-face for one week each month. Their first tasks are trying to get an agreement on the rights of UK and EU citizens after Brexit, reaching a figure for the amount of money the UK will need to pay on leaving, the so-called “divorce bill”, and what happens to the Northern Ireland border.

Article 50

Article 50 is a plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU. It was created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon – an agreement signed up to by all EU states which became law in 2009. Before that treaty, there was no formal mechanism for a country to leave the EU.

It’s pretty short – just five paragraphs – which spell out that any EU member state may decide to quit the EU, that it must notify the European Council and negotiate its withdrawal with the EU, that there are two years to reach an agreement – unless everyone agrees to extend it – and that the exiting state cannot take part in EU internal discussions about its departure. But no one really knows how the exit process will work – Article 50 was only created in late 2009 and it has never been used.

What date will the UK will leave the EU?

For the UK to leave the EU it had to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives the two sides two years to agree the terms of the split. Theresa May triggered this process on 29 March, meaning the UK is scheduled to leave on Friday, 29 March 2019. It can be extended if all 28 EU members agree, but at the moment all sides are focusing on that date as being the key one.

What’s going to happen to all the EU laws in force in the UK?

The Conservative government has introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill to Parliament. If passed, it will end the primacy of EU law in the UK. This “Great Repeal Bill” as it has been called, is supposed to incorporate all EU legislation into UK law in one lump, after which the government will decide over a period of time which parts to keep, change or remove. The government is facing claims from Remain supporting MPs that it is giving itself sweeping powers to change legislation without proper Parliamentary scrutiny.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR becomes reality on 25 May 2018 (less than a year away). We are following the monthly update guidance provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK. A key area for consideration is:

Lawful processing

For processing to be lawful under the GDPR, you need to identify a lawful basis before you can process personal data. It is important that you determine your lawful basis for processing personal data and document this. This becomes more of an issue under the GDPR because your lawful basis for processing has an effect on individuals’ rights.

Individuals’ rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

There are also areas of consideration for:

  • Lawfulness of processing conditions
  • Conditions for special categories of data
  • Consent
  • Children’s personal data
  • Accountability and governance
  • Breach notification
  • Transfers of personal data to third countries or international organizations

To see more details on the above as part of the ICO’s Overview of the GDPR, please reference:
Data Protection Reform.

Ransomware Update

The following information is provided courtesy of a press release from KnowBe4, a top security company:

According to Osterman Research, email has been the number one network infection vector since 2014. It’s an effective method because it gives attackers more control than merely placing traps on the web and hoping that people will stumble over them. Instead, attackers craft and distribute enticing material to both random and targeted means. This method gives the cybercriminals greater control in selecting potential victims, leveraging multiple psychological triggers and engaging in what amounts to a continuous maturity cycle.

The Top 10 Global Most-Clicked Global Phishing Email Subject Lines for Q2 2017 include:

  • Security Alert – 21%
  • Revised Vacation & Sick Time Policy – 14%
  • UPS Label Delivery 1ZBE312TNY00015011 – 10%
  • BREAKING: United Airlines Passenger Dies from Brain Hemorrhage – VIDEO – 10%
  • A Delivery Attempt was made – 10%
  • All Employees: Update your Healthcare Info – 9%
  • Change of Password Required Immediately – 8%
  • Password Check Required Immediately – 7%
  • Unusual sign-in activity – 6%
  • Urgent Action Required – 6%

“The subject lines we are reporting here actually made it through all the corporate filters and into the inbox of an employee. That’s astounding. We are in a security arms race, and a multi-layered defense is critical because each layer has different points of effectiveness and ineffectiveness,” said Perry Carpenter, chief evangelist and strategy officer at KnowBe4. “If crafted correctly, the right type of message can sail through all of the defenses because it is finding the least effective point of each and playing into the human psyche of wanting to receive something you didn’t know about or needing to intervene before something is taken away. Ultimately this means that a company’s ‘human firewall’ is an essential element of organizational security because people truly are the last line of defense.”

Businesses have to also be aware that social media messages to their users are potential landmines to their corporate networks. KnowBe4 evaluated the Top 10 Global Social Networking Subject Lines and found that four of the top 10 spots equaling a full 44 percent were related to LinkedIn messages, which users often have tied to their work email addresses.

Techie Corner / Tool Tip

FocalReview® has a Rich Text Editor available, giving you control over fonts, sizes, bolding, etc.




For more information, please check our solutions page or demo FocalReview®.

Comodo SSL