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Integrated workforce management system

The majority of organisations have a payroll system. Many larger organisations also have a rostering system that tracks time and attendance. In certain industries it is common to find an elearning system as well. Let alone all of the client management and administration systems used by modern organisations.

Unfortunately, the majority of these systems cannot connect and share information.

What does that mean for the organisation?

  • Lots of manual inputting and double entering of data
  • Stale data and confusion as different systems show different information
  • Siloed information
  • Difficult to create comprehensive reports at any level

Overall, it means higher time and costs in workforce management and increased risk.

The key to solving the above issues is by developing a connected workforce management system that connects your HRIS, payroll, rostering, elearning, etc systems so that they can all connect and easily share data with the other platforms in the system.

Connectivity

In today’s world, anything short of API connected systems is not true connectivity. Certainly there are older ways to share data but they are usually limited in functionality. An API is a connector, or gateway, that allows the platform to send and receive data with another platform that also has an API. The setup still needs an actual system between the two API connections that provides the “orchestration” of the information sharing.

If you thought of the APIs as interchanges to a highway, someone still has to build and maintain the highway. The interchanges just give the driver the access to the highway.

Simply put, there are two types of API connectivity. They are:

Point to Point (tight coupling)

A direct connection is between two platforms such as payroll and rostering. In the direct connection model:

  • Each of the two platforms needs to “know” the specifics of other platforms
  • If either party releases an upgraded version it can break the connection
  • If you want to change a platform, you need to make changes to all of the platforms that it is ‘coupled’ with.

This situation makes it difficult to change platforms as you are typically locked into your current IT setup. Not only in the choice of platforms used, but also the rate at which some IT vendors will upgrade their functionality versus others. In order to connect your payroll, you might need to stay on an older version of the payroll system because your rostering system does not connect to more modern versions.

Each circle represents a platform in your IT system. They connect point to point to other platforms and need to “know” the other party.

Event Choreography (decoupled)

The alternative connection type is where each platform has a single connection that connects them to a central system. None of the platforms connect directly to any other platform and therefore do not need to know what other platforms are in the IT system.

Instead, each platform publishes and subscribes to events. All connecting through a single event management interface. So each platform only needs to integrate once.

For example the HR system publishes events such as a new hire, or a promotion, which needs to be read by the payroll system. In turn, the payroll system would subscribe to events that are relevant to it. Such as the above example of new staff or a promotion.

The difference to point to point is that none of these platforms know any other platform. Making it easy to make changes and add or subtract platforms to the IT system.

Why is this a better way to connect?

  1. Decoupling of services
    • a. Easier to change business processes
    • b. Easier to change entire business solutions
  2. Faster implmentation
    • a. Only need to consider one platform at a time
    • b. Better partial implementations
    • c. Integrators learn a single interface and data transfer format
  3. Publsihing and subscribing model
    • a. System uses message queues so nothing gets lost
    • b. Reliability for sending and receiving data
    • c. Powerful reporting system that tracks each step of the data sharing

OnePassport|ConnectHQ

OnePassport’s system includes a JSON API powered middleware platform called ConnectHQ. It is designed for small and medium businesses for both ease of use and pricing. Allowing the smaller end of town to have integrated workforce management similar to corporate enterprises.

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