eVerge Group is live with the full suite of Fusion HCM products – HR, Benefits, Payroll, Compensation, and Performance. Keep reading to follow the path we took to get there — focusing here on Benefits.
HR went live in the Spring of 2012. We have two Legal Entities – one in the US and one in India. We have multiple business units, departments, locations and jobs with a centralized HR function.
Benefits was on target to roll out in October 2012; but as payroll testing efforts ramped up for the January 2013 target, it was quickly learned additional Benefit configurations and related enrollment data would be needed to support payroll. These included items like GTL and LTD imputed income calculations, as well as changes to element configurations to support payroll deductions. The decision was made to roll out Benefits and Payroll simultaneously to ensure cross module integration.
Here are some of the lessons we learned while configuring Benefits:
- Configure the basic plan types, options, plans, rates, eligibility profiles, programs, and elements one at a time and test as you go. It is easier to “undo” and revise your benefits structure with only a few existing values rather than a full suite of benefit options during early testing. Once good test results are obtained, configurations can be expanded and then replicated in the production pod as appropriate.
- Be diligent in documenting the configurations you have built and tested. In the early releases of Fusion, current Functional Setup Manager (FSM) functionality does not allow migration of benefit configurations from pod to pod. This means manual re-entry of configurations – which can be complex depending how complicated your benefit offerings may be.
- Fusion Benefits offers great flexibility in administering plan eligibility and processing – realize this translates to additional configurations and testing! While there is sometimes a need for such complexity, try to keep configurations as simple as possible. This may eliminate additional technical support later in the process.
We used the File Based Loader (FBL) functionality to convert in current Benefit elections. We did not include any historical election data. We did, however, include Original Enrollment Dates for the various elections to ensure this data is available when we begin automated interfacing with vendors.
- Data formatting is critical to successful FBL loads. We started by consolidating all of the necessary employee and contact (dependent) data from our various vendor sources. A program was then written to “transform” this data into the FBL format. Allow sufficient time for testing. Depending on the size of your organization, this will likely be complex and needs careful analysis to ensure desired results. Take time to get it right!
- Decisions need to be made in advance of the level of election data you want available in Fusion; i.e. Waive rows for various plans if the employee does not have a current election, etc. This dictates the number of plans/rows that need to exist in the FBL source file to load related elections.
- Contact information was entered manually before we could successfully load benefit election data that included dependent designations (i.e., attaching dependents to various plan coverages). There is some available functionality to convert Contact data but we did not utilize this for our project.
Here is a glance at what our HR/Benefits Administrator can view online to get a quick summary view of current benefit elections. Employees are able to see similar information through delivered self service via My Portrait > Benefits.
Working closely with Oracle on pod management, refreshes, patching, etc. is critical. You want to ensure you are always testing with the “latest and greatest” configurations. Sometimes this was based on new configs being added/tested in a Staging/Test pod followed by migration to production. Other times this meant entering data in production (i.e., Contacts) to have it available when a pod refresh was taken so the data would exist for the next level of testing.
Benefit self service will be used during our upcoming Open Enrollment period. We have a different plan year for our main benefits (medical, dental, vision, and life plans) as opposed to FSA elections which naturally follow a calendar year. We are currently testing the OE functionality in Fusion with a target of a 2 week OE period in March – ensuring all data is in place for April 1 when new rates will go into effect. In conjunction with OE being completed via employee self service, employees will also be able to initiate Life Event changes online for things such as marriage, new babies, etc.
Watch for an upcoming blog about our Fusion Payroll go live. We are also live with Compensation Management and Performance … one good experience after another … Keep coming back to see more blogs over the next few weeks!
The author of this article/blog is Laurie Long. Ms. Long is a Senior Fusion HCM Implementation Consultant resource for eVerge Group with more than 20 years of HCM implementation and support experience.
To learn more about Fusion and how we can help implement Benefits for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.