February 3, 2022 HCM Support, HCM System Support, HCM Technology

HCM Integrations: Because Systems Need to Communicate

What Do We Mean By HCM Integrations, Anyway?

If you live in the HR world, you may have heard of the terms “integrations” and “interfaces” and are wondering what the differences between them are. The terms are often used in conjunction with benefits, open enrollment and carrier feeds. But they are much more widely applied and valuable than just that. While interfaces are used largely for data transfer and exchange within an organization, integrations are much more complex; they can be beneficial for inputting systems to transfer data, but also perform functions and enable automated processes.

Walter Ross, Senior Consultant at Wise Consulting, explains that “With a typical interface, you log into your initial system and export the data, log out, enter the new system, import the data, and the data file is imported. There are a lot of steps. With an integration, multiple parts of the system are integrated together…including, in many cases, real-time transfer with complete automation. It all works together.”

What are the Benefits of Integrating WFM, HCM and Payroll Products?

So, what types of integrations should you consider for your organization? It really depends on what you’re expecting to accomplish. 

Walter, who has been building integrations for 30 years, understands all the ways in which quality integrations make life easier for clients. “The reason for integrations is the human capital management system is the system of record, the employee information is necessary for other parts of the organization…whether it’s for provisioning other applications including Purchasing, Network Access. ERP, CRM, etc. as employees and contractors are hired, or shutting off access to someone when they leave, all the way through the integrations for benefits and insurance carrier feeds. The list just goes on and on. A good approach is to follow the existing steps you must do when you hire a new employee or terminate an employee to discover the opportunities for automation and integration.”

In addition to keeping everything in one place, integrations save a tremendous amount of time while also providing better security and accuracy. “One of the killers with manual processes is there are all kinds of mistakes that can occur,” Walter says. “Automated processes can cut out human error while saving precious time for team members.”

When approaching projects involving integrations, consultants at Wise start by asking clients, “Where are you spending a significant amount of time completing manual processes and what can we do to eliminate them?” 

Depending on type of system software, Wise consultants can identify the integrations available and even look into the current tools the HCM system offers that may be underutilized. For instance, they might look into if the client is using talent modules, recruiting, learning, performance, compensation, and more. If there are additional applications or modules that the client can benefit from using, a consultant may integrate these into the client’s current HCM system to keep everything under one umbrella. 

Why Should Companies Evaluate Current Processes & Systems Integrations?

It’s a matter of remaining optimized, nimble, accurate and efficient. Companies that fail to get the most potential out of their HCM systems become the victims of inaccurate and time-consuming processes that chew through money and human resources.  

One example: Walter once worked with a client who used five different timesheets for employees: one for project tracking, one for time for Payroll, a daily card for MRP, one solely for PTO…you get the picture. Walter was able to work with this client to show how keeping track of several different timesheets, not to mention getting employees to properly fill out each one, was a huge time-waste and potentially led to inaccuracies. Walter was able to show how using integrations to keep everything in one place would alleviate many of their daily headaches and save a ton of time. He says, “With one source we can feed many different needs and systems within an organization.”

Another example is how often many organizations forget that technical matters such as network security and IT are so closely tied into their HR processes. Integrations are more than just about people and payroll, they are aligned with protection as well.

When approaching integrations, Walter explains, “We’re thinking in terms of HR, Payroll, employees, and other people…but also non-HR systems like the network and security. Integrations can apply to credentials, SSO, mobile devices, security access, and pictures.” IT needs to be involved when approaching integration best practices, and every organization can benefit from better security.

Why Wise?

Integrations can be profoundly useful for companies’ internal processes, but we advise you not to go at it alone, even if it’s just a file transfer, it’s still not simple.

Inexperienced attempts at integrating HCM products can become overly complex and cause errors, but passing data between systems doesn’t have to be this difficult: Wise consultants can help you improve the pace and accuracy of your integrations. Give us a call and start a conversation: 800-654-4550

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