5 Integration Pitfalls to Avoid 1

5 Integration Pitfalls to Avoid

By Kory Tanner, Chief Technology Officer

Today is the day your company gets to roll out the brand new shiny cloud-based employee time tracking solution! The products are supposed to make your team’s life easier and more efficient. You’ve spent several weeks researching an employee time tracking solution down to the last feature. You have done your due diligence and finally clicked “Get Started”; and you’re ready to roll.

The first few days have come and gone and you’re feeling like you have this under control; you are feeling great about the cloud-based employee time tracking solution you picked. However, that temporary feeling of joy and excitement ends abruptly when Pam from accounting swings open your door and asks how this new software will connect to her existing accounting system. After you wipe the sweat from your brow, you realize that you’ve got this. This employee time tracking solution product has seamless integration!

What exactly is seamless integration? PCMag.com describes it as, "An addition of a new application, routine or device that works smoothly with the existing system. It implies that the new feature or program can be installed and used without problems." I personally love to hear the words “works smoothly with the existing system” and sure enough your due diligence included that bridge to Pam’s accounting system. Like I said, this cloud employee time tracking product has seamless integration!

Cloud companies today are spending significantly more resources on API’s than ever before. With this extra commitment also comes more streamlined communication. These API’s also include a far reaching breadth of data and have many more access points. With communication technologies such as JSON, it’s making implementing these much simpler and with less headache. With that said, I believe with these modern API’s, Pam from accounting can get nearly all of her integration needs met without major effort.

Switching gears for a moment, let's look at the five pitfalls I’ve run into over the years to help us better understand what it takes to achieve maximum success.


1. A lot of times during and integration we find data hasn’t been fully filled out or entered into one or both of the systems correctly. I found that companies that have used Pro Advisors or System Experts on the setup and maintenance of their accounting system, have the greatest success.


2. Users that don’t manage old data. For example, API’s rely on being able to pull from status fields like Open, Closed, Deleted, Active and Inactive. If the user hasn’t managed these fields, these items of the integration can really slow things down.


3. Two systems don’t always match structure one for one. For example, one system may have an email field for the employee while the other does not. As you can guess, this sometimes requires manual entry into the other system to make sure all the necessary data is syncing in both systems.


4. Understanding the concept of a Master System. When hooking up integrations, you want to establish which system will be the Master of what data. For example, most people enter employees directly into their accounting system. The accounting system should be the master and should be the place to enter employee data. This means that you’ll want to sync operations of the API insert, update or delete any of the fields to the secondary system. When you have an API between an employee time tracking solution and the accounting system, your employee data in the accounting system would be the master record and you would sync any changes (new hires, employees on leave, terminated employees) to the employee time tracking cloud solution.


5. Many times, data in a third-party system have individual fields locked down and is a roadblock when syncing data between the systems. When integrating multiple systems, make sure you are including all of the administrators for each of the systems during the integration process. You will save a considerable amount of time when you have the administrator that controls the security of these third-party systems present and able to give the privileges needed for accessing the desired data for a seamless integration with your new employee time tracking solution.

These are just some of the items that can cause an integration to have some setbacks. I hope it at least gets users thinking on what they can do to help prepare. Users should also use this time to re-evaluate the data in their accounting system and do some spring cleaning if there is any garbage data. Cleaning up the old or bad data will not only help with future accounting integrations, but it will help speed up day-to-day tasks without all the clutter.

Cloud Integrations are a big part of this ever changing software world and while a lot of them run quietly in the background, they make a huge impact on day-to- day operations. Understanding even the basics without doubt will help your business tremendously and keep Pam in accounting happy as well.

Learn More about WorkMax's powerful integrations and get started today on a successful employee time keeping integration today.  

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EMAIL Header 5 Reasons to Move to the Cloud

Top 5 Reasons to Move to the Cloud for Employee Time Tracking, Forms Automation, and Asset Tracking

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing  

When purchasing software for employee time tracking, forms automation, or asset tracking some companies stick with purchasing software in the same way they have done in the past, but that is not what the most innovative companies are doing. The most innovative companies are looking to achieve their time to value as quickly as possible with the least amount of resources to accomplish it. As a result, these innovators are turning to cloud-based solutions for employee time tracking and forms automation. Check out our Top Five Reasons to Move to the Cloud for Employee Time Tracking and Forms Automation:  

TCO

1.Total Cost of Ownership

When looking at the cost of a cloud solution for employee time tracking, mobile forms, or asset tracking compared to on-premise solutions, you have to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Many times companies only look at the license cost for the on-premise software and compare it to the SaaS recurring subscription costs. They fail to take into account the annual supports costs that average 18% - 20% of the license cost. Most folks tend to forget to include the costs for hardware and technical staff to support the software. With cloud solutions for employee time tracking and forms automation, many of the additional on-premise costs that are often not included in the total cost of the purchase are included in the subscription costs. This typically leads to a lower total cost of ownership for cloud solutions.

 

IT Resources

2. IT Resources Needed

Gartner estimates that IT organizations devote more than 75 percent of their budgets solely to operating and maintaining existing systems and software infrastructure. In addition, Gartner found that companies can spend up to four times the initial software license cost to own, operate and manage applications. With cloud solutions for employee time tracking and mobile forms, there are no additional costs for technical support or any additional servers that need to be maintained by IT staff. This is all included in the annual or monthly subscription fee.  

 

 

Rapid Implementation

3.  Rapid Implementation

On-premise implementations can take several months to deploy and some extend beyond a year while cloud-based employee time tracking and mobile forms solutions can be implemented within days. Not only are cloud deployments much faster, but they are also much less expensive. On-premise implementations can be quite costly and professional services fees can be up to 3X of the initial software purchase price. Cloud solutions are much easier to implement because they don’t require coding to get up and running and have many out-of-the-box accounting systems and business application integrations. It's also easy to for non-coders to personalize employee time tracking or mobile forms solutions in the cloud to improve user adoption and accelerate the time to value. Cloud vendors provide self-service portals with videos and step-by-step instructions to get users up and running quickly. 

 

Frequent Innovation4. Frequent Innovation

Cloud solutions for employee time tracking and mobile forms usually provide improvements to their software on a frequent basis and require no action by the user or company’s IT department. The new features are instantly available and can be accessed as they log into the software. Cloud users are also always on the most current version of the software and can start using the new features to become more efficient. This is a stark contrast to new feature enhancements for on-premise software that are typically done annually and can be disruptive to customers. On-premise software upgrades often require IT staff to upgrade other software or servers to support the new version of the on-premise software. This can require many IT resources to accomplish this. 

  

 

Vendor Accountability

 5. More Accountable Vendors with Cloud

Many cloud vendors offer month to month licenses, so they have to earn their customer’s business every month and keep them happy by providing top-notch technical support and high levels of customer satisfaction. Cloud vendors are financially motivated to keep their customers happy. They must continue to provide new innovations and improvements to keep their customers happy. In contrast, traditional on-premise software vendors sell the license and move on.

 

 

To learn more about WorkMax TIME or FORMS, View our Demos on Demand by clicking on the buttons below.

 

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Success with HR.com Webinar, Get HR in the Game by Impacting the Bottom-line
By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

 

This week we partnered with HR.com for their Workforce Management Virtual Event to present, “Get HR in the Game by Impacting the Bottom-line” with record attendance mostly from the U.S. and Canada. 

Many HR professionals feel like their departments struggle to come up with ways that HR can be innovative and use technology to have an organization wide positive impact on the bottom line. They are also trying to remove the negative perception of  HR as a cost center and not a revenue generating department that can affect business outcomes. HR professionals also have a hard time finding ways to show their contribution to the business metrics needed to earn their seat at the table with the Executive Team.During the webinar, we went over the key business metrics and gave some great examples of how HR can affect those key business metrics for employee time tracking, payroll, and HR forms automation.


We went through examples of how you can build your business case to implement employee time tracking solutions for real time data capture on any device no matter where your employees work to reduce your labor costs, eliminate manual data entry and reduce out of cycle payroll checks. As we all know with the FSLA cases for minimum wage and overtime violations at an all-time high in 2015, we know how important it is to make sure we are accurately paying employees. This makes it more important than ever for HR professionals to have an employee time tracking solution that is flexible enough to automatically calculate overtime accurately, no matter how simple or complex the calculation.


In addition to going through the business metrics, we gave real world examples of how employee time tracking solutions can not only lower your labor costs, but how it can also have a positive impact on your company’s productivity. We showed attendees how to calculate the cost savings to demonstrate the impact automated employee time tracking could have for your organization. We also showed how to calculate the time savings and associated cost savings you can acheive by eliminating manual time entry from paper time cards or spreadsheets to an automated employee time tracking solution that integrates with your other business applications.

During the webinar, we polled the audience to find out how they currently collect data on forms. Here are the results:

 

Forms Data Collection Graph


One of the biggest cost savings a company can achieve is through automating paper forms and time cards. Half the audience during the webinar were companies over 500 employees, and it was interesting to see that large companies are still not fully automated. Most are still using a combination of paper and electronic forms to do business.


Paper forms are making it increasingly difficult for HR professionals to have the global visibility they need to stay on top of changes to OSHA regulations. This year, there were changes to the interpretation of the OSHA rules regarding multi-location businesses. If you have more than one location and they find a violation, companies are now responsible for correcting the violation at all of their locations. This can be quite a challenge with paper forms. With multi-location businesses, you want to have mobile forms available on any device, no matter where it happens, so that all the safety officers can be alerted and fix the hazard.

The paper forms for safety are also an issue because of new regulations for electronic OSHA form submissions. In 2017, most companies will be required to submit OHSA forms electronically. If you get mobile forms now, you’ll be ahead of the curve and can easily send the data to OSHA. To find out more about the electronic form submissions, click here.  

The webinar was such a success and the one of the key take-aways from the webinar is that HR professionals recognized the need to promote automation and the cost savings benefits by using technology at a greater level. Another attendee really liked the concrete examples of how to justify the cost for automating employee time tracking and mobile forms.

Click here to watch the webinar video to learn more about how you can get in the game and use technology to impact your company’s bottom-line.

 

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Judge Delays Overtime Rule 1

 

Judge Delays Overtime Rule 

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

For the last year, HR Professionals and business owners were focused on what the new overtime rules were for FSLA, when it would go into effect, and how it was going to impact their company’s labor costs. Since then, you’ve done all the right things which include reviewing your exempt level employees that make between $455 and $921 a week or $23,660 to $47,892 a year.

 

On November 22nd, less than 10 days before the new overtime rules went into effect on December 1st, Federal Judge Amos Louis Mazzant III issued an injunction that would have required employers to pay overtime to nearly four million previously exempt employees. Judge Mazzant III called the regulation unlawful and said that such actions should be left to Congress. The lawsuit was brought forth by 21 states, business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

   Calendar

 

Mazzant noted that the DOL “has admitted that it cannot create an evaluation ‘based on salary alone.’ ” However, “this significant increase to the salary level creates essentially a de facto salary-only test,” he said. “If Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress—and not the department—should make that change.”


The Department of Labor is strongly opposed to this injunction and can appeal the decision.

What does this mean for your business?  


Right now, it’s a temporary injunction that will keep things as they are right now until the case has been reviewed to determine if the case has merit. This means that everything is business as usual and you’re not required to do anything new by December 1st.
Many of you have either raised exempt employees’ salaries above the new salary threshold or changed the employees’ statuses to non-exempt.
For those of you that were waiting to implement the changes until December 1st, Alfred Robinson Jr., an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Washington, D.C., and a former acting administrator of the DOL's Wage and Hour Division said that you may want to wait for the final decision on the lawsuit if you haven’t made any changes yet.
Robinson said companies will likely keep the salary increases in place, if they have already raised exempt level employees’ salary above the $921 per week threshold to keep them classified as exempt.

What should you do now?


For those of you that haven’t made any changes to your exempt employees that make between $455 per week and $921 per week, it would be a great time to start tracking their time. Use this time while the courts are working on their final ruling to have your exempt level employees track their time. This way you will be able to budget your resources and anticipate the financial impact, if the new overtime rules go into effect.
Asking exempt employees to track their time each day will be a big change, so make sure your employee time tracking is easy to use and accessible. The potential changes of these exempt level employees to non-exempt will also affect their supervisors and managers. They will now need to keep an eye on the number of hours worked for these exempt employees that haven’t been monitored in the past.


Easy Button flat green   Employee time tracking can be easy to implement and easy to use for your employees, if you select the right workforce management solution. Companies that do business in multiple states or have union workers, should make sure to have a flexible enough employee time tracking solution to automatically calculate as many overtime pay scenarios as you need. For those of you that may need to reclassify employees to non-exempt and eligible for overtime pay, you need to make sure you have an employee time tracking solution that can make it easy for employees to see how many hours they have worked in real time. This will help make sure your labor costs are within budget. 
Mobile App       

You also want to make sure you have an easy way for managers or supervisors to see how many hours their employees have worked that can be accessed on their computer, laptop, or mobile device, no matter where they are. This is why it is more imperative than ever to have a mobile app for employee time tracking. With a Mobile App, supervisors, managers and employees can view the hours they have submitted in real time to prevent exceeding your budgeted labor costs. 

We’ll keep you posted on any rulings related to the rulings on the overtime, but get started to find out how easy it can be to implement an employee time tracking solution for your business.