By Colin Menchin
You’re almost guaranteed to hear on any software demonstration the word “integration”, but what does that mean? Put simply, integration means having Software A and Software B exchange data between the two, though integrations do not have to be limited to just two systems.
Companies using multiple software solutions, such as HR, payroll, and time and attendance, are now demanding that these technologies be integrated. This has forced the software developers with disparate solutions to cobble together connections between their products, while developers with solutions on a single platform are already offering real time data integration. The distinction between types of integrations is a topic for another blog post, as they have major differences, but for the purposes of this post we’ll consider them all the same.
In this month’s installment of our Workforce Management Trends Series, several leading workforce management service providers sat down to discuss exactly why system integration is in such demand, and the benefits their clients are seeing by utilizing the single-platform, integrated solutions they offer.
1. They know it’s now possible to find in the marketplace, and at a reasonable price
A tightly integrated suite of full workforce management solutions is not a new concept in the marketplace today. In fact, they’ve been utilized for years now by the enterprise corporations that saw the benefits and could afford the high price tag that came with them. But as technology has evolved, this deeper level of functionality has been made available to small and midsized businesses (SMBs) at a price they can actually afford.
Now that these SMBs are “seeing the light” on the benefits of multiple applications on a single platform, they’re beginning to demand these fully integrated solutions as a prerequisite. Service providers without the ability to offer this are simply unable to compete with those that can, and service providers offering single-platform integrated solutions are in a unique position to grow market share and mind share within their space.
2. Makes decision making easier and more efficient with reliable data
This point is summed up perfectly in the video by Bart McCollum of AmeriFlex Business Solutions, “Data integrity is everything. You have data for a reason; it’s going to inform decisions that you’re making in your business. If you have the same data residing in multiple places, there’s always an opportunity for data to get out of sync and for it to be wrong in one or multiple of those places. When that’s the case, and you’re consulting one of those systems, you’re pulling the wrong data and making decisions based upon the wrong data.”
When data takes time to flow between disparate solutions, businesses are unable to get an instant snapshot of their workforce and make decisions on the fly. Integration also helps efficiency by removing the need for data exporting, importing, duplicate data entry, as well as separate resources, software, and multiple logins. Clients simply access one solution sharing data across all of their applications.
3. Creates a competitive advantage and helps with compliance
Through a more efficient system with reliable data, businesses with integrated solutions are simply able to operate at a higher level than those with disparate solutions. Put yourself in the position of one of your clients; if you had the choice between being able to proactively manage your business on the fly as changes and obstacles occur, or having to wait a day or two in order to make reactionary changes, which would you want to use? This example shows exactly how businesses with integrated solutions can easily gain a competitive advantage.
Do you have clients concerned about managing their Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance? Integrated solutions, enabling businesses to analyze real-time labor data and make the necessary changes to ensure they remain compliant before issues arise, are the best way of helping to manage that, and we’re seeing the ACA especially drive even more demand for integrated solutions on the workforce management front.
Do you offer an integrated workforce management solution? What are some of the benefits your clients are seeing by utilizing them? What are some of the major drivers you’re seeing increase the demand for integration between solutions? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.
About Colin Menchin:
Colin is a Marketing Specialist at Kronos SaaShr responsible for the inbound and outbound marketing programs of the company along with other responsibilities within the department.