What to expect from an HRMS software vendor
Apart from the nice, shiny new HRMS you ordered, as a customer you may be expecting more from your HR software vendor, perhaps in terms of assistance with the implementation of the system, or ongoing technical support. Areas in which you can either expect or commission such services include the following.
Once you’ve selected a system, the priority becomes a rapid implementation. However, beware of vendors promising a ‘too-rapid’ setup. From a technical stance, you may be looking at a quick download and activation of the software, but there are numerous other elements to getting your business up and running with its new HRMS. Often, the vendor will be more than willing to help with the project management side, offering specialist consultancy services (at a price, of course), including:
- Process review and optimization – looking over your HR processes and, where necessary, redesigning them in line with system features such as self-service and mobile access.
- Data migration – reviewing current data for accuracy and completeness before transferring to the new system for testing prior to go-live.
- System testing – the testing mentioned above (parallel running, dummy processes, etc.)
- Customization and integration – tailoring the features to fit your needs, and ensuring the new system will function seamlessly with your existing business systems.
Vendors usually offer a standard ongoing support package. Sometimes this is included in the system costs, sometimes it’s extra (or you pay the extra for additional levels of support). A standard support package might include real-time office-hours support via chatbot or email, a phone and/or instant messaging helpline; and a set of online FAQs and tutorials for users. Extras may include 24/7 support that covers public holidays. Be aware that some vendors may provide their support packages via third-party service providers.
Vendors are often prepared to offer user training as a purchased add-on and let’s face it, if anyone should have the necessary system expertise, it’s the vendor. It’s worth exploring how the vendor will identify your employees’ training needs (they won’t all be the same), whether they offer a variety of training channels to suit different learning preferences, and how the training’s effectiveness is evaluated - if it isn’t: red flag!
It’s reasonable to expect that a system designed to store large quantities of personal and business-sensitive information will be secure. However, don’t assume your software vendor is the one storing the data for you. Far more likely, they’re leasing space in a third-party data center. Know where your data is stored, including whether that facility complies with relevant information security standards, such as SSAE 16, ISO 27001, and Safe Harbor Compliance (for US-EU data exchanges). You should also have access to the data center’s disaster recovery plan.
Most HR technology vendors can probably provide whatever HRMS-related support you need. Just be prepared to see the overall price tag and total cost of ownership go up.
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