Cloud HRMS support packages: what works for you?

Cloud HRMS service packages come in a variety of option from basic to full-service with a number of price options and add-ons in between. How do you know what to look for to meet your needs in the most cost efficient manner? Is there anything to avoid as you make your selection?

1. Hours and response time are key - watch out for mismatches

Starting with the basics, make a decision about what level of support is needed for each type of HRMS. A payroll SaaS will need a higher level of issue resolution than a performance management application. Each vendor will offer a range of ‘business day’ and ‘out of hours’ options. Tickets are usually given a priority level and target resolution timeframe. An issue that is blocking payroll on a run day may aim for a three hour resolution while a payroll report enhancement could be a lower priority and have a longer timeline.

Recommended reading: understand what sort of service package your cloud HRMS implementation requires with our nine-step guide to HRMS implementation success

Inquire into the exact terms of the HRMS service package, in particular for out of hours support. Some vendors have perfected the ‘follow the sun’ method of moving tickets around the world while others put an employee on call and forward requests to a mobile device. Imagine my surprise when I once called a cloud HRMS vendor’s support line when our application was down in the European morning, only to wake an employee up at 2 AM in his local time zone.

Regardless of your selection, make sure that your resources are aware of the contractual terms so they can set expectations and escalate accordingly.

2. Choose carefully: internal support, a vendor service package or an outsourced supplier?

Many companies move to an offshore model for support as it appears to be less expensive on paper than internal resources or a vendor’s option. These arrangements work well for low level, regular and repeated tasks such as resetting a user password in the system. As the complexity increases and your employees need to become more involved, frustration often causes them to take over an issue rather than working with the outsourced HRMS support.

A vendor knows their software the most and is best suited for difficult items as well as providing insider knowledge. Support in this area can be varied, some vendors have dedicated support staff or assign resources to certain customers while others operate more like a big business call center. It pays to understand each vendor’s support levels and options before choosing a vendor package.

3. So buying the highest level of support is always worth it or…?

Many cloud HRMS vendors are now offering a top of the line ‘gold’ experience with named contacts, high priority ticket assignment and a prepaid bucket of consultant hours to make changes and configuration updates for complex issues or when your internal staff is too busy to do the work.

In many ways this works well and you’re able to deliver a positive user experience. When these situations continue for years it becomes more of a necessity than a nice to have. Internal knowledge starts to wane as newer versions of the software are released and staff becomes complacent since they can always hand off the work. For these reasons it is helpful to review your support levels annually and to analyze if you’re still needing and using support in the most efficient long term manner for your company.

author image
Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

author image
Heather Batyski