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Sage Payroll and HR Software Review

 

Additional Sage software functionalities typically reviewed during a Payroll software selection process include:

HR Analytics

Sage HRMS reporting tools include a library of 100+ pre-configured standard reports (e.g. OSHA, EEO, FMLA, Vets-100, etc.) as well as Secure Query, an easy-to-use, wizard-driven report writer that guides you step-by-step through the query design process. For more advanced capabilities Sage HRMS has partnered with SAP for Business Intelligence—shipping Crystal Reports with the product (with Crystal Dashboard and Crystal Server available for an additional fee). The benefits to these options are similar to what is seen in the SAP ERP HCM solution with Sage Crystal Dashboard Design enabling visual models, dashboards, and calculators; and SAP Business Objects being used for data warehousing (and data marts for smaller data volumes). Business Objects also includes the more advanced business intelligence functions of predictive modeling (through Predictive Workbench) though the functionality is considered to be an add-on and thus priced separately.

Further, Sage Crystal Dashboard Design (note: design licenses cannot be shared among multiple individuals) offers a new and intuitive workflow for integrating those visual models inside Crystal Reports—allowing for the creation of interactive charts, maps, and what-if scenarios that can be embedded into Crystal Reports and bound to report data easily. Plus, visualizations created in Sage Crystal Dashboard Design are in Adobe Flash file format (SWF)—allowing application developers and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to embed them into web or thick-client applications if necessary. Sage also leverages KnowledgeSync (by VineyardSoft) to deliver advanced capabilities such as data mining for pattern and trend analysis.

In addition, report delivery can be scheduled or real-time trigger-based and can be delivered by email, fax, FTP, or web browser. As well, compliance–based reporting features allow for point-in-time reporting for HR functions such as EEO, benefits administration, and compensation. SAP Crystal Dashboard Design helps you transform your human resources data into insightful dashboards that support decision-makers. The software helps you monitor business performance, identify crucial data relationships, and use what-if scenarios to understand potential performance.

Mobile Functionality

The bulk (i.e. nearly all) of Sage HRMS mobile functionality is dedicated to Employee and Manager Self-Service (ESS/MSS)—allowing both employees and managers to view payment history, request/approve time off, and manage requests through the instant Sage ESS connection. These mobile capabilities are supported on a number of handhelds; including: iPhone (3G, 3GS, 4), iPod, Android, RIM, Windows CE, Windows Phone 7, and Windows Mobile devices. The problem with this support is that it only delivers Javascript and HTML—elements that are specifically designed to be used for use on each of these devices’ browsers. While obviously functional (and seemingly ubiquitous given the number of other vendors leveraging this same technique), the issue with browser-based mobile functionality is that it doesn’t provide the native UX (user experience) that customers have come to expect from mobile form factors. That said, Sage has recently partnered with Applianz to deliver iPad and iPhone support, an arrangement that nets customers the benefit of hosted software (without the need for further integration). As it is with Sage’s self-hosted mobile options though, Applianz is not a natively-built application—an issue that essentially equates to the Applianz partnership as being little more than a remote access to Sage HRMS.

International Support

Sage Payroll & HRMS offers an extremely limited amount of international capabilities. Rather ironically, even though the Sage Group is a large multi-national corporation itself, global support is limited; in many ways more closely resembling a smaller vendor than one of Sage's size or scope. For example, there are only 2 languages supported by the solution—English and limited French. That said, Sage is just now beginning to work towards a more globally-connected solution. In fact, the company has strongly penetrated the Latin American and Middle Eastern in CRM) with their accounting solution. Still, the best indication of Sage’s global aspirations is actually from its current multicurrency support, its localized U.S. and UK product line, and the fact that the company has set up shop in France, Germany, India, Ireland, the Middle East, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia (though many of the solutions used in these areas fall under the Accounting umbrellas).

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