Should Your Employee Management Software Be Fully Integrated?

Attendance Tracking System Integration

Integration of employee systems is an age-old debate. Should your Attendance Tracking system be integrated with your HRIS and payroll? Should you buy your Time and Attendance, HRIS and Payroll systems only from one vendor? Should you buy all your employee management software systems from one vendor only and in one integrated system or can you buy them as you see fit and match them up together? There are many schools of thought on this and after twenty years of experience in dealing with this I have my own opinion.

First of all, there are definitely benefits to buying your time and attendance system and all your employee management systems from one vendor only. Purchasing this way gives you an integrated system and you never have to move employee data from one system to the other. All the data is in one system. You can also pull information from any area of the employee information including time and attendance, HRIS, payroll or applicant u a tracking.

Employee Management Software from a Single Vendor

Purchasing your employee attendance tracking system from a single vendor with all the other employee management software components in the same integrated system also gives you a single provider who will have to answer to any and all of the issues that come along. The single vendor is responsible for as many of the areas of the software as you purchase and cannot put the blame on anyone else if something goes wrong. This can really give you some power in getting issues resolved and save you a lot of headaches when things go wrong. Also the crossover in training from your time attendance software into payroll and HRIS can give you solutions that have the same look and feel and reduce your staff training time and increase their ability to move from one area to the next within the same interface and user experience in each area.

What I have found interesting through my years of dealing with this subject is that some single solution vendor’s products bear true to these statements of single data source and others are not quite so true. More interesting is how many single solution vendors are not actually selling database single solutions. These vendors have purchased companies in areas that they originally did not have and then rebranded the products under their own brand. What they haven’t done is unify the data sources in many cases. The systems will transfer the overlap data between the various systems in the background so that it appears to the end user that the time and attendance, HRIS and payroll systems all share one integrated, single database solution when in fact they don’t. If you read the literature from these vendors it can often be difficult to determine that the employee attendance system is not integrated. I personally have a problem with this and enjoy pointing it out to clients when the situation arises.

Time and Attendance Software

So why not always buy only time and attendance software that is part of an integrated solution? The alternative is that you find the products that you like in each of the employee management software areas and then have the vendors work with each other. Many vendors already have partner arrangements with complimentary products so their working relationship and interfaces are already in place.

This type of purchasing, where you find each piece or combination pieces of software individually, is known as “Best of Breed”. You buy what you consider to be the “Best of Breed” in each area and you get what you see as the strongest product in each area. You then connect all the products together with interfaces.

The end result of Best of Breed systems depends on two things. 1) The quality of the interfaces and 2) the people involved in setting up and running the interfaces. It’s quite simple. If the interfaces are good and the people are good, then the Best of Breed method works fine and, in my opinion, is a better solution because the products will be better. However, if the interfaces are not so good, or the people setting them up or running them are not so competent, then the Best of Breed solution can be, well, not be such a good solution.

Employee Management Software Integration Conclusion

I think that there is no definitive answer as to which method is better. Each case, integrated or Best of Breed, both have their pros and cons and each client case is different. You have to look at each client situation individually to know which is the right solution.

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