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Kronos’ Workforce Central Payroll and HR Software Review

 

Workforce Central HR Software Technology Review

Kronos Workforce Payroll is based on a web-browser client together with a Microsoft SQL Server database for the back-end processing. Similar to the other modules in Kronos’ Workforce Central suite of applications, the payroll solution communicates via the Internet, company intranets, local area networks, and/or wide area networks. Kronos’ thin-client architecture supports a one-time installation on your server without the need to install client software on individual desktop systems and facilitates easy upgrading.

To add a layer of detail…

  • The database logic exists as a collection of stored procedures written in Transact-SQL, the database programming language used by the SQL Server database engine.
  • For the rest of the application, the software development environment is Microsoft Visual Studio (Version 6.0, SP5) which is used for the main elements of both the Payroll and HR solutions.
  • The interface for Manager and Employee Self Service uses simple ASP and VBScript on the server and HTML and JavaScript on the client.
  • The administrative interface (used by Payroll administrators) is a collection of custom ActiveX controls written in Visual Basic 6 (Version 6.0, SP5). The full administrative interface consists of Visual Basic controls (OCX, DLL), as well as HTML, JavaScript, and VBScript on the client. (This dated technology results in required browser downloads and lack of support for some common web browsers.)
  • The payroll engine itself (which runs on a back-end server) is a combination of a C++ (Version 6.0, SP5) application and a set of location-specific calculation objects written in Visual Basic (Version 6.0, SP5). This development technology isn't the most current, but delivers strong OLTP (online transaction processing) performance.
  • Finally, the reporting engine relies on Crystal Reports.

Workforce Payroll is a multi-tier application, load balanced across multiple workstations, web servers, and database servers. Consequently, the implementation of the system (together with Kronos’ wider HR application) can be scaled incrementally across the network to users and locations in order to extend processing and value. This flexibility also allows easy dovetailing with maintenance windows, distributed support systems and fail-over. By fully leveraging the qualities of the Microsoft stack – including Windows Server, Internet Information Server (IIS), and SQL Server – Workforce Payroll is able to offer maximum scalability coupled with efficiency. With industry standard protocols and published interfaces, as well as proven reliability and performance, these solutions support flexible deployment and third-party integrations.

System Integration Capabilities

Workforce Payroll shares a single database and therefore integrates seamlessly with Kronos’ Workforce HR and the rest of the Workforce Central applications – data is stored only once and updated system-wide. Payroll-related self-service transactions by employees and managers are accessed using single sign-on (SSO) functionality and include tasks such as updating benefits or direct deposit information. Reminders and approval cycles are managed using the same configurable workflow mechanisms across the Workforce Central suite.

Kronos' Workforce Integration Manager (WIM) – is the underpinning integration ‘engine’ across the Workforce Central suite and its functionality also eases the smooth sharing of data between Workforce Payroll and third-party systems. Adopting industry standards for data transfer interfaces, the WIM facilitates data sharing between the payroll solution and wider HR management solutions, Enterprise Resource Planning systems and other legacy applications. This integration manager is capable of interfacing Workforce Payroll (or any other Kronos Workforce application) with almost any other critical business system (including internally-built and custom setups) providing that system is capable of importing and/or exporting standardized files.

This makes the WIM one of Kronos' outstanding features, with this level of data configuration and conversion power being unusual in the payroll and HR software marketplace. As well as the above, the WIM’s capabilities include:

  • Accommodation of multiple integration scenarios.
  • Built-in integration points with nearly every other vendor in the HRMS and talent management market.
  • Extensive data extraction, manipulation and conversion capabilities for non-traditional and complex interface requirements.
  • Direct transfer of data fields from the Kronos system to a destination system or vice versa while employing data integrity methods.
  • Concatenation or parsing of source data – such as employee names or numbers – to meet varying import requirements.
  • The capability to run SQL queries to extract information from a number of different sources.

Unfortunately, groupware integration is currently limited solely to email; however, standard Workforce Payroll notifications can either utilize the client’s corporate email system or the Workforce Central internal K-mail system (a Kronos delivered tool for employees that do not have access to a corporate email account).

Software Customization Capabilities

Allowing client creation of event triggers and step-by-step business process flows within the Workforce Payroll system, Kronos’ Workforce Process Manager (WPM) tool utilizes SOAP/ XML APIs. The WPM includes a web-based Business Process design tool enabling creation, modification, and management of payroll processes and includes a library of standard templates (all completely customizable) to get things started.

Next - Workforce Central SaaS Hosting & Software Pricing >>

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