Byte Data from Ricky's brain

Tips for Video Conference in 2020

by , on
Apr 26, 2020
Video Conference in 2020

Video conference has become a norm in 2020. Zoom has become the buzz word in this pandemic. I honestly never heard about Zoom until it appears in many media (be it good or bad). Since then, Zoom has become my primary tool in video conferencing despite Webex and Google Hangout Meets available. Simply because many people that I need to meet online have Zoom account.

In a day, averagely, I have about 4 hours of online meetings, be it business or personal meeting. So doing it right in one right setting will save a lot of minutes a week to make some adjustments in every session. Here are my personal online meeting tips that help me to manage those meetings well for a video conference in 2020.

Virtual background or blur effect, use it!

Zoom has a feature to change your background into a virtual image. You can set your conference background according to your like, mountains, flowers, libraries, etc. It helps to create a professional environment if your space has difficulty finding a plain backdrop or a beautiful backdrop. I had seen a few people using their bedroom in a business setting meeting, even show a messy background. This is not really good. So be mindful of your conference background. We are in 2020, so it is easy to find a suitable conference background to use.

Fully charge your wireless earphone or headset.

You do not want to run out the battery of your headset during meetings. Not only will it create a distraction to your session, but also some conference tools will need you to restart the software. Now, if you are the host, you need to end the meeting, which translating kicking every single attendance at the conference. This is the worst scenario. There is a reason why the wired headset still sells well in this era. I am currently using Jabra wireless headset 45e. It has been a year, and it works well in every meeting and video conference platform. The only drawback is the battery drops pretty fast. Instead, I am getting 8 hours, it is probably around 6 to 7 hours. Reasonable enough since I am a heavy user. Look at Lazada or Shopee for a good headset for a video conference in 2020. It will help you a lot!

For Zoom, always use a paid license when you are in a business meeting.

Personally, Zoom is the best tool for a video conference in 2020. But the free account only can host 40 minutes, and after that system will automatically end the meeting. You need to ask everyone to come to the room again. Depend on your participant culture, but ASEAN people have a tendency to drag a one-hour meeting into one and a half-hour meeting. It can be late coming to meet, some disruption, or there will be one person who keeps talking and talking nonstop.

Mindful with your surroundings.

If you stay with a family during this time, whenever there is an important meeting. It will be the best idea to inform them so that they are aware of your situation. My wife always calls me without checking what I am doing, so there are many times in the past that she calls me during conference sessions. My three years old son does not understand when I am busy, so he will either asking me about something or telling me stories. So when I set time and understanding from them, during critical meetings, they are understanding of my situation and try their best not to calls me.

Above are some of my personal best practice in doing a video conference in 2020. I do hope it helps you. Do comment or even email me if you have more tips to share.

Productivity Tools for Work From Home

by , on
Mar 21, 2020
productivity tools to work from home

As Covid-19 has dominated every main page of news, it is no strange that work from home has become critical to combat this epidemic. First, it is for your safety (so please do not comes out unless it is needed!), and also your family, friends, in-laws, and the list goes on. As you may hear, one event in Malaysia has become the Covid-19 hotspot. What we may not know is that the attendance of the event has infected his/her own family members, and it spread to other people around them too. This pandemic event has forced many companies and businesses in Malaysia to work from home as a whole country. This push for work from home is 2020 trend. This post I would like to share about what productivity tools for work from home.

My company is adopting cloud technology from day one because we want every business process as simple as possible. So for our primary communications, we use Gsuite as our primary email hosting. We like Gsuite products because many of our business processes can digitize. Not to mention that Gsuite is one of the best email hosting servers in the world.

For our online meeting, we use whereby.com (they also top tools for some website that talks about productivity tools for work from home) as our online meeting. It has been delivering excellent quality of video and audio from day one. We love it because not only we have more than 10 meeting rooms, but it is simple to use and does not require to install any additional programs.

Productivity tools for project management and tasks, we use Jira (I would say one of the best project management for productivity tools for work from home). We have made several improvements in the way we work, such as our agile developments, tasks managements, specific business workflows in place. To be frank, we have not 100% utilize the Jira tools, but we leave it for the next day since we are continuously improving the way we work.

Let’s talk about the traditional phone line. Yes, if you think this can’t be digitized, then you are absolutely wrong. Since I heard about Omni Virtual business line, I quickly make a switch to it. Cost a fraction, but whoever calls to the landline number, our customer will be greed with interactive virtual assistance. Once they choose which department they would like to speak, then respective mobile phone rings. Why we do so? Imagine if a potential customer is the one that calling your line and you are not able to pick up? It will be your loss.

How about accounting works? Of course, we use Workspez cloud accounting. I can access it online and update my book, keeping it anytime. It also eases my tasks since I can get any reports that I need for authorities. So hope my post about productivity tools for work from home help you and your company to go digital.

Beware of Scam

by , on
Nov 2, 2019
Beware of Scam

There is something that requires to beware of. Which is beware of scam! I got lucky somehow to get the scam message first hand. Bingo! Someone try to scam me by offering RM 8,888 for my boost account. In this post, let me share with you how to detect scams so that you can be secure not to fall into it.

scam message
scam message

First of all, scam never uses the official office number. Why? Because they do not have access to it. Simple! Some scammer rings will usually use mobile phones, burner ones, to send and communicate to a potential victim. That way, when someone tries to track the mobile number or even to trace it, they can throw it quickly and get a new one. Also, after they collect money from one or more victims, the number will be inactive easily (ok, I admit that I watch too much spy TV series or movies).

The second clue, they seldom get the name right. But this one is smart. They mask the number so that it looks real and trustworthy. The most scam will tell you that they need to hide the name to maintain privacy, but actually, they are using this tactic to lure your real name. They will ask your full name, IC name, parents’ name, and common questions that the bank customarily required. So be careful when you are giving these kinds of pieces of information.

Scam website 1

Thirdly, and the best indicator. You require to do some sort of payment, be it some deposit, tax payment, and all kinds of sums that needed. Well, if you win some prize, the organizer tends to deduct your price money for tax or any fee and bank the balance to your bank. When I go to the website and see they accept payment. I do notice immediately that this is a complete scam website. So really beware of scam and always be aware of the signs. If you got scammed, follow this advice. Well, perhaps this happen because I often use Boost.

Invest in Yourself – Best Advice Ever

by , on
Oct 26, 2019
Invest in Yourself

I am compelled to write this post because there are many times people asking me about investment. Let me be clear, I am not attached to any investment product (such as insurance, FD, etc.). What I had invested so far are mostly personal choices that I made during my 10 years earning money as a salaryman. After having enough capital and tremendous guts, I decided to start my own business and never look back from that day onwards. So today’s topic ‘Invest in yourself’, I would like to talk about investment. This topic is very board, I know. Been there, done that too.

Nevertheless, let me shrink the scope into very detail. So I am talking about any average people. Earning power is average, which means what you earn and what you spend commonly almost the same. This is the situation that you will scratch your head and thinking about what kind of investment that right for you because if you squeeze some cash from here and there, it means your daily life can be disturbed.

I am in this situation before, because when I am just started my career, my earning is RM 2,500.-. The expenses that I need to pay: transport, tithe, activities, food, rental, utilities, and lastly, hobby. All these expenses almost leave me RM 200 per month for extra cash. Thank God that I did not have debt in this period.

My motivation is always want to earn extra income so that I can have a little bit of luxury. Yep, luxury such as: going to the movie every weekend, dining in good cafes, travel overseas, and so on. I am confident that most people will have the same motivation as I am.

Invest in yourself
Invest in yourself

Many of my friends talk about investment, but mostly it comes from insurance products. I have nothing against it, just that my bad personal experience in this makes me trauma on investing in the insurance line. So I decide to collect more information by attending events, seminars, and even social network gatherings. Use Eventbrite for such event. Until one point, there is one person in the workshop told me that the best investment that I can have is investing in myself. Back in my head, I said to myself that yeah, I did that! The proof is that I like to pamper myself. Of course, what my little voice is wrong. Because invest in yourself means that you need to upskill yourself!

Let’s take my case, at RM 200. Yes, I can put it into one insurance and see the return average of 5% – 9% per annum. Now let say you spend that money to learn skills that can generate more cash. This is something that most people did not realize how important the term ‘invest in yourself.’

I take his advice seriously, and I recall the year 2009, I start to learn many skills, including soft skills and finance. This really brings a significant impact on my career too. Because with new skills, I can give more value to the company, thus putting me into a more favorable position. Imagine most of the project managers are fighting to get me into their team. Not only that, every year, I receive a small promotion that makes my salary jump more than double after working for 2 years. If you are working in a company with average performance, the most increment that you can get is about 5% every year.

Until now, whenever are people asking me how to start investing? My general advice always mentions: ‘Invest in yourself’ first. Yep, this so-called mantra has been with me for more than 10 years, and it will continue for a very long time too. This is also one of many reasons why I can start my own startup.

Indonesian General Election 2019

by , on
Apr 14, 2019
Indonesian General Election 2019 KBRI

Today is the time for all Indonesia citizens to cast their votes. Which marking a historical date of Indonesian general election 2019 KBRI. All outstation Indonesian able to cast their votes to their respective Indonesia embassy.

I arrive at 10:00 AM at KBRI Malaysia, to my surprise that so many people have queue up in front of KBRI to cast their votes. I am surprised that many people have been long queues up, under the hot sun! I am about to give up, thank God one of my friends calls me to come to another voting place.

Without much thinking, I go to second place, which is not far from KBRI KL. Well, not to my surprise, many people are queueing up here too. Estimate about 300 people gather here. Well, it is indeed the Indonesian general election 2019!!!!

I stand under the hot sun for at least 3 hours, along this time, I manage to comfort some people who want to give upvoting. I insist on telling them that they need to make sure that their voice counts! I had seen quite a lot of people complain about the current government as well as fear about the opposition candidate capability. So why not stand for a couple of hours more and use this opportunity to really make your voice matter!!

I do hope the next general election, they can perform better checking and organizing. Credential sourced from Indonesia record that there are about one million Indonesian in Malaysia, with this number, they do only open three locations for casting a vote. Assuming 60% of people turns up for voting, how do you think that three voting place can accommodate such number? Something to learn for the Indonesian general election 2019.

So apart from standing under the hot sun for 4 hours, getting shout by local police and being treated like suspects (they ask us to sit on the road and make us duck walking to bail out office). Not to count people keep pushing from all directions and best out of best, someone still smoking in those conditions. With all those sweat, I manage to cast my vote!!! This is what I do for my country!!

Indonesia General Election 2019

Now, hopefully for those in Indonesia can do the same casting their vote in Indonesia General Election 2019 on 17th April 2019. All the best and pray to God that the next president can lead Indonesia to a better future.

Chinese New Year 2019

by , on
Feb 5, 2019
Chinese New Year 2019

Happy Chinese New Year 2019 for those who celebrate CNY 2019. I wish this year will bring more luck, prosperity, and health for the year 2019.