eVerge Open Enrollment Success in HCM Fusion

eVerge Group is now live with the full suite of Fusion HCM products – HR, Benefits, Payroll, Workforce Compensation and Talent Management.   Fusion Benefits and Payroll went live in January 2013.  This blog focuses on our recent Open Enrollment success in Fusion.

We have a split benefit plan year with FSA plans running on a calendar year, while the medical, dental, vision, life and disability plans have a plan year beginning April 1-March 31.  Part of the conversion effort for our January Benefits go live included new 2013 FSA elections,as well as current benefit elections for each employee.

Beginning in February, efforts focused on preparing for Open Enrollment in Fusion.  Our target timeframe was the first week of March for employees to use SelfService to make new elections that would become effective April 1.   This week was chosen to ensure completion of all elections before spring break, as many employees take vacation with family during this school holiday.  This also allowed sufficient time to review and audit these first time Fusion elections before sending data files to vendors.

The following changes were included for the April 1 plan year.  All Fusion configuration changes were made initially in our Staging test pod.

  • Two medical plans were reduced to a single plan.  The eliminated plan was end dated in Fusion so it would not appear in Open Enrollment options.
  • New vendors were chosen for the dental and vision plans.   No configuration changes were necessary since initial set-up for these two plans was generic and did not include anything vendor specific.
  • Rate updates were made for medical, dental, and vision plans with an effective date of 4/1/13.
  • All other necessary benefit configuration tables were updated to include the Open event (Enrollment, Designate Requirements, etc.)

After necessary configuration and rate updates were complete, we did a full range of testing.  We wanted to understand how various enrollment combinations would be handled online through both the Benefits Service Center as well as employees through Self Service.  The following items were part of testing:

  • Manually triggered an Open event for sample employees; this allowed an initial review of plans included for election, current plan enrollments were coming forward as expected, new rates shown for plans, etc.
  • We have a yearly April 1 “Age Up” for life insurance calculations that required a Fast Formula.  Testing ensured that new salary amounts and ages as of 4/1 were included in calculations.
  • Once all necessary updates were resolved for sample employees, we then used the delivered Evaluate Scheduled Event Participation process in “Roll Back” mode to confirm which employees would receive an Open event.  This allowed us to verify the count of US employees, as well as confirm that our India location employees would not have an Open event created.
  • Used the delivered process in “Save – Database update” mode to create an Open event for all US employees.
  • Completed sample enrollment changes through Benefits Service Center as well as Self Service Benefits to ensure expected results.
  • Reviewed online enrollment results as well as Element Entries and amounts created for Payroll deductions.
  • Ran Payroll Quick Pay processing on sample employees to confirm correct April deductions.
  • Used the delivered process to Close Enrollment events for all employees.
  • Generated files using the delivered Benefit extract process to generate enrollment files for all vendors with new April elections.

Once testing was complete, we made the necessary configuration updates in our production pod.   We then manually triggered a few Open events for Fusion team members to quickly review.  Once we knew these looked accurate, the process was run for the rest of the employees.  We found the process took significantly longer to run in our Production pod than we had seen in the Staging test pod.  Some analysis was completed by Oracle to determine if there was any reason for the time variance; nothing significant was found.  All employees had an Open event – which was the ultimate goal!

The HR Manager had previously communicated about the upcoming Open Enrollment process so employees were ready to begin reviewing and updating their elections.  While we have a computer-savvy employee population, a brief enrollment training video was prepared by the HR Manager that employees could refer to while making their online elections.

 All employees were asked to review their elections as part of the Open Enrollment period.  Although we did extensive parallel payroll testing as part of go-live efforts, this was the first opportunity many employees had to review their benefit elections online in Fusion.   The open enrollment employee participation rate within Fusion was 98%; this was tracked by reports we developed to identify when an employee had “touched” their Open event.   We were very pleased with this result.

Below is a sample screen shot of what the employee sees while making elections online:

 

 At the end of the enrollment period, audits were completed for elections to ensure all employees had valid elections.  The extract files were then generated and sent to the various vendors – allowing them time to generate new ID cards for employees in advance of the April 1 coverage dates.

Below are some of the lessons we learned during our first Open Enrollment experience:

  • Do not assume anything related to go live configurations will automatically work for Open enrollment.  It was necessary to add the Open life event in each plan you wanted to display in the event, as well as collecting covered dependent data, etc.
  • Updates to Contact data through Benefits Self Service while there was an active Open event caused issues with conversion row elections.  We continue to work with Oracle on this item and have temporarily suspended employee access to Contacts to ensure no negative impact on coverages and related payroll deductions until this is resolved.
  • The “Print Benefits Report” functionality on the Self Service Benefits Overview page produces inconsistent data.  This is currently an open SR being evaluated by Oracle Support.

 Next steps for Benefits …

  • Collecting life insurance beneficiary data via Self Service Benefits
  • Allowing employees to submit life events via Self Service Benefits
    • Marital Status Changes
    • New baby/children additions
    • Other life event changes – loss of dependent, gaining other coverage, etc.
    • BenefiX extracts to our medical, dental, and vision vendors

The author of this article/blog is Laurie Long.  Laurie is a Senior Fusion HCM Implementation Consultant resource for eVerge Group with more than 20 years of Software Packages implementation and support experience. To learn more about Fusion and how we can help prepare for your upcoming Open Enrollment efforts, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

Fusion HCM – Payroll implementation with eVerge

eVerge Group is now live with the full suite of Fusion HCM products – HR, Benefits, Payroll, Workforce Compensation and Talent Management. 

Fusion Payroll went live in January 2013.  Our legacy systems included PeopleSoft HCM for HR, ADP for payroll processing, Halogen for Performance and Goal management and Taleo for recruiting.  The payroll initiative was part of the overall eVerge effort to eliminate these multiple systems by implementing a single system utilizing SaaS technology.

Our Payroll implementation leveraged Fusion by:

  • Establishing Element Entries to identify various types of earnings and deductions.
  •  Capturing multiple personal payment methods – which are direct deposit accounts for checking and savings splits.  We were also able to uniquely differentiate which personal payment method applied to regular pay cycle processing vs. bonus cycle processing.
  •  Tracking Payroll Work Relationships, which allows different salary amounts for different relationships.
  •  Using the Fusion Quick Pay calculation/pay data review, where specific element entries or overrides are desired, troubleshoot issues occurring in normal pay cycle processing, or mid-cycle check modeling.
  •  Integrating Fast Formulas to allow unique system requirements using simple PL/SQL constructs.  A Fast Formula is a powerful, yet flexible syntax, which allows payroll extensions to be written.

Another great feature of Fusion is the fully functional Payroll Dashboard and checklists which allow for quick reference and viewing the status of payroll calculations and running related reports during a pay cycle.    Our HR Manager has everything at her fingertips on the dashboard to run each payroll cycle.

Fusion Payroll allowed us to create a simplified ‘automated’ process flow to include Payroll Calculation, Prepayments, Archives, ACH EFT Creation, Paycheck Creation, 3rd Party Tax File Extracts and Pay Slip creation.  The flexibility allowed us to work in our subset of payroll processing to complete the tasks.

Below is a view of an employee’s calculation results as queried by a Payroll Administrator:

 

 Lessons Learned:

Fusion Payroll offers great flexibility in creating earnings and deductions elements.  We designed rules based on eVerge’s business requirements.  This allowed us to correctly pay employees, withhold benefit deductions, manage 401k contributions, and process other miscellaneous elements as needed to support our specific business needs.  We learned that care must be taken when setting up elements.  If elements are not setup correctly, changing them later in the process may not be possible – which means new elements are created causing additional configuration updates and links elsewhere in the system.  Take the time to fully understand downstream impact when entering the Primary and Secondary Classifications when elements are initially created.

Fusion Payroll Costing should be implemented as part of the initial payroll implementation. Costing is a method of tracking payroll costs and applying the actual cost to General Ledger for the distribution of funds.  The creation of the costing transactions is part of the payroll calculation process.  

Utilize Oracle Support to its fullest and constantly push for resolutions to mission critical SR’s.

A critical factor in the Payroll implementation was change management for all employees.  Users in our corporate office had to adapt some business processes to support the new technology.   In addition, US employees began using Fusion to view Pay Slips rather than going to the previous vendor website.

Fusion Employee self-service allows employees to view Pay slips online.  The only time we print an actual check is for a new hire where a prenote is required for their first paycheck or a termination when the final check needs to be issued before the next regular pay cycle.

Below is a view of a sample Fusion HCM pay slip.

 

 

The author of this article/blog is Zack Bakarich.  Zack is a Senior Fusion HCM Consultant resource for eVerge Group with more than 20 years of Software Packages implementation and support experience

To learn more about Fusion and how we can help implement Payroll for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

Oracle RightNow CX Feature Focus: Customer Portal Framework Version 3

The ninth and tenth installment in our series will take a comprehensive look into the new Customer Portal Framework. So much has been changed in version 3 that it earned two spots in the top ten features of 2012. This blog will focus on two of version 3’s major features. If you missed any of the previous installments in this series you can find them under the CX category at http://blog.evergegroup.com/?cat=56

Customer Portal Framework Version 3

From the release notes:

Although your customers may not notice significant changes, the November 2012 release of Oracle RightNow CX includes major changes to the framework of Oracle RightNow Customer Portal Cloud Service (Customer Portal). This new framework is called Framework Version 3.0 and was designed to support dynamic upgrades of your customer support site. The previous framework, referred to in earlier documentation as the November 09 framework, will now be identified as Framework Version 2, and the original Customer Portal released in August 2008 will be referred to as Framework Version 1.

Customer Portal Framework Version 3.0 sets the stage for simplified future migration and reduced impact on the customizations you make to your customer portal. It offers control and flexibility to let you decide what features you want to adopt and when you want to adopt them. The ability to extend standard widgets means that you need to write less custom code, and an updated Customer Portal Administration site clearly identifies the version of your framework and each widget and spells out what has changed from previous versions. Major new features include the following.

New file structure—Framework Version 3.0 offers an intuitive, easy-to-navigate file structure that lets you clearly identify the files you can edit. The main directory of Framework Version 3.0 is called “cp”, and it includes four main folders: core, customer, generated, and logs. Your development work will be done in the customer folder.

Connect PHP API—Framework Version 3.0 is built on Oracle RightNow Connect PHP API Cloud Service (Connect PHP API) and uses data objects from the Connect PHP API rather than internal APIs. Instead of accessing the database directly as in previous Customer Portal frameworks, Framework Version 3.0 provides a managed equivalent to meet your needs. You’ll still be able to access and leverage the Oracle RightNow CX platform to develop custom applications and integrations, including the ability to create, read, update, and delete data through Customer Portal functionality.

PHP namespacing—Framework Version 2 included JavaScript namespacing to prevent naming conflicts between Customer Portal reference implementation files and your custom files. This functionality has been added for PHP in Customer Portal Framework Version 3.0. The two core namespaces are Rightnow and Custom, and they are designated using a backslash (\) notation.

Framework versioning—The new versioning system of the Customer Portal framework lets you upgrade to newer versions of Oracle RightNow CX while leaving your customer portal site untouched because the Customer Portal is versioned independently of the product application. This gives you control to migrate to a new Customer Portal framework when it’s convenient for your schedule rather than being forced to migrate because of your organization’s upgrade to Oracle RightNow CX.

Widget changes—Changes to widgets in Framework Version 3.0 of the Customer Portal include the following.

  YAML information file—A new YAML information file provides information about a widget’s dependencies, requirements, attributes, and URL parameters
  Widget version management—Widgets also use a versioning system in Framework Version 3.0 to let you adopt the widget features you want at your convenience without requiring you to replace all widgets on your customer portal

 

  Widget information page—The Customer Portal Administration site provides comprehensive information about each standard and custom widget. Each widget page includes a preview of the widget, including the available version, recent changes, and the pages and templates that use the widget. A documentation page for the widget includes default code, a list of its attributes and their values, the controller class that is used, path information, and URL parameters.

Widget builder—The new widget builder in Framework Version 3.0 helps you create a new widget by extending an existing widget. Then, when functionality or bug fixes are added to the standard widget used to extend the custom widget, the custom widget is also modified to incorporate the enhancement or fix. The widget builder generates custom widget code when you answer a series of questions about the widget you want to create, thereby reducing the amount of custom code you must write yourself.

Dreamweaver support—The Dreamweaver extension that was included in previous Customer Portal frameworks is not included in Framework Version 3.0, although it will continue to be supported if you are migrating from Framework Version 2 to Framework Version 3.0.

 New File Structure

In reviewing the new file structure I decided that in order to both wrap my own head around it and speak intelligently to other about it, I would develop a matrix to serve as a proverbial cheat sheet until I was comfortable with navigating the new file structure. Now that I have retrained my brain, I find the new structure much more intuitive and cleaner from a usability perspective. It was a much needed revamp of the file structure. I have been using Customer Portal since it was first introduced and used both the old file manager (Classic) as well as the November 07 page set, so I can say with confidence that the evolution has been exponential.

  

Tip: Oracle recommends using Cyberduck for WebDAV access to Customer Portal files. Cyberduck is donationware, and Customer Portal developers appreciate its speed and robust performance on Mac and PC platforms. (I have tried to use Windows built in networking drive mapping to use WebDAV and it is painfully slow, therefore, I would have to agree with this recommendation.

 Framework versioning

This is probably a huge relief to existing install base clients because you can upgrade to the latest and greatest version of CX without having to migrate customer portal as well and worry about whether or not your custom widgets or other customizations will be compatible. Another great thing about this is versioning within the framework itself. What do I mean by this? Selective adoption of changes. Once you do decide you are ready to migrate you can review within the customer portal administrator pages what versions of widgets you are using and decide if you want to upgrade all or only specific ones.

Before you migrate I strongly suggest you read the migration guide supplied compliments of the Customer Portal development team: http://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/november2012/cp_resources/migration/migration_guide.pdf

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about RightNow CX please contact me at cx@evergegroup.com

Useful Links:

You can read more about this feature in the November 2012 documentation. https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/november2012/olh/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.