As an HR professional, you know how many things there are to do and to keep track of. HR, payroll, time, talent management, reporting, ad hoc employee requests; they all must be dealt with in a given day or week. A common barrier to HR efficiency is siloed data. Data silos exist when a company utilizes disconnected point solutions to manage various components. Research has proven that maintaining multiple, disparate sources of employee information can result in data inconsistencies and increased administrative effort.1
To achieve true process efficiencies, employers are looking for all-in-one HCM solutions. This can be defined as a single application for HR, payroll, time, talent, and benefits administration. It takes core HR, time and payroll functions and centralizes them in one place. However not all vendors that offer HCM solutions can deliver a fully unified experience to their clients. It’s not always easy to see when a payroll vendor has cobbled together technology through a combination of legacy code, bolt-on acquisitions, and/or partner products.
These “HCM” implementations often come with the same issues and barriers that multiple systems have, including multiple employee records, redundant data and increased administrative time to generate reporting. HCM systems built on batch payroll databases require complex, behind-the-scenes integration that struggle with real-time calculations, have inconsistent reporting capabilities, and often lose user experience as users move from one module to the next
Why is a Unified Human Capital Management Platform Important?
Most companies are seeking a unified human capital management platform that shares data in real-time across all modules through a single employee record. Having all of your HR, payroll, time, talent, and benefits connected in a single application produces seamless data flow that solves many of the visibility, reporting, and compliance barriers that disparate system or batch payroll infrastructures can overcome:
The benefits of unified HCM software include
- Always being on the latest version of the software (multi-tenancy)
- Real-time Data and Analytics
- Modular implementation to meet business needs
Many companies will tell you they have an all-in-one solution but that is rarely, truly the case. OnePoint HCM provides a customizable, flexible and effective system that will deliver the unified platform you need. Here are the ways OnePoint stacks up against the competition.
What is Real-Time Data Delivery vs. Batch Payroll Database?
A common complaint we hear from HR professionals is that although they were told they have a single HCM solution, they still have to spend time auditing data or worse still running reports manually. This scenario reveals the limitations of HCM solutions built on batch processing methodology. Payroll vendors that use legacy code with bolt-on acquisitions, and/or partner products struggle with real-time time and pay calculations because the payroll has to run first before the calculations can fire using back end scripts. By contrast, in a real-time HCM system, all data is fully calculated as it enters into the system. The benefit is that you can get up to the second reports prior to processing data all the way down to the employee level with fully calculated data for labor distribution, general ledger, accruals, taxes, and more. Errors can be minimized if not eliminated which further reduces the administrative burdens on HR to retroactively correct AFTER payroll has run.
Let’s highlight the difference using a common calculation issue, Accruals. Paid time off (PTO) is an important benefit for employees. HCM automation is supposed to curb the tedious and error prone process. However, when using an HCM solution based on batch processing, you won’t know that there was a calculation error until after payroll has run.
Multi-tenant database architecture
If you are an experienced HR administrator you probably have at least one story where a new law or requirement caused a needed change to your HR/payroll system capabilities, but you were informed something like, “due to the version of XXX you are on, we can’t turn on the new XXXX. We will need to reimplement to upgrade you and it is going to cost $XXXXX.” Sound familiar? A multi-tenant software database is an architecture where a single instance of the software application serves multiple customers.
According to analysts at Gartner, multi-tenancy is the quality of being cloud-native that distinguishes between past/legacy and present/ future platforms: “A cloud-native platform is designed from the outset to be deployed and used in a cloud environment.”2 Unlike HCM solutions built on top of legacy payroll databases, multi-tenant HCM solutions mean customers are always on the latest version of the software. The difference is that as business needs change, new modules can be enabled on-demand, without triggering work or costs to reconfiguration the back-end. Or even worse paying the vendor for functionality that they just couldn’t make work. We have heard it all.
What is a Flexible, Modular HCM Implementation vs. All or Nothing
Here is another common situation, Organizations like their payroll process, but really need to consolidate into a core HR platform or maybe have specific time keeping requirement, but don’t really want to disrupt payroll. Our multi-tenant, modern HCM architecture can function as standalone services as well as a full suite HCM solution. Payroll Services using batch methodology cannot help because the payroll database is the foundation holding the platform together.
Is the HCM you are reviewing or using Unified OR Batch System?
Here is a quick trick to determine if the HCM solution has a single employee record shared across all applications. When hearing the pitch from a vendor, do the following:
- Insist that the vendor show you the backend or back-office screens.
- Insist they show you how time data flows to payroll.
- Ask them to build a custom pay calculation rule.
- Ask the vendor so to configure a general ledger build, a 401K Plan, a deduction with garnishment, an accrual plan.
The vendors that are running legacy systems and multiple products will try to avoid this discussion at all costs! Without a single unified database, these routine tasks become more challenging to accomplish or force you to go back to handling these actions and reporting outside of the system. This increases the risk of errors and limits the benefit of the system in general.
A truly unified HCM database can do wonders for your human capital management. However, you must make sure your system really is unified, or else you will have many of the same issues you may be currently experiencing. Check out the unified HCM offerings from OnePoint to get the real-time, customizable, and standalone modules that are right for your business.
1 Christa Degnan Manning, No Duct Tape Allowed!: Managing HCM Application Integration (May 26, 2015), found at http://blog.bersin.com/no-duct-tape-allowed-managing-hcm-application-integration/.
2 Gartner Report, Prepare Yourself for the Future of Workforce Management, Gartner Inc. (February 23, 2018), at 11.