Comprehensive services ranging from needs assessment through ongoing support and maintenance are included with all On Premises and Cloud products resulting in a truly 100% turn key solution.

Telliris acts as an extension of its time & attendance partners. As a result, you get the benefit of our IVR service and support expertise including best practices, call dialog design, telecommunications guidence, and more.


Best Practices

Your workforce wants to use an App that's intuitive, quick to use, and reliable. Each of the four major Telliris App categories has characteristics that are taken into account from a Best Practices perspective.

What works well for the Time Entry App category does not necessarily work well for another App category such as Absence Reporting.

Here are a couple of examples.

Time Entry Apps are typically used one or more times each work day. Employees speed through the process by typing ahead. From start to finish, the task takes under one minute total time. Best Practices in this category lean towards reduced wording, minimal guidance, and a quick easy to remember path.

Absence reporting on the other hand is used just several times during the course of a year. Unlike time entry, employees carefully complete their transaction which takes a couple of minutes. If they get stuck, such as during their entry of the absence reason code for their specific situation, "self-revealing help" automatically pops up and provides guidance. Best practices dictate verbose wording and easy to access help. The complete opposite of what's needed in Time Entry.

Each call dialog is designed with Best Practices in mind. Choices that are most popular are presented first. Data entry is designed to be consistent across the App. Wording, including in situations where a language other than English is used, is crafted to make it as easy as possible for your employee to perform their transaction or obtain information.

Best practices were built-in when each App was crafted. The methods have been refined over the years. Telliris has incorporated what has been learned so it is in the personality of each App.


Needs Assessment

This process is often called "discovery" and starts with either an Account Executive or Implementation Consultant interviewing the relevant groups within an organization to determine which Apps apply to the situation(s) at hand.

Instead of taking an approach where each touch point is thought of as a technology or product - "web", "traditional time clock", or "phone", Telliris recommends a systematic approach that first reviews how and where employees work and focuses on the subset that can benefit by using a mobile touch point.

The review is performed in several perspectives. One is from the employee perspective. Another is from an organizational efficiency / productivity perspective. Another is from a legal and regulatory perspective.

When reviewing from an employee perspective, the first step is to identify employee groups that are dispersed, mobile, working in the field. A question is asked "can they perform the transaction using the Internet, a time clock, kiosk, or other method". If not, the next question is, "do they have a phone / mobile phone nearby". If so, then each primary mobile App category is considered and a determination made as to whether or not it applies to the employee group. This review may be needed for only one group, or may be needed for multiple groups, depending on the complexion of the organization.

Review from an organizational perspective often leans towards optimizing a workflow or reducing problems so as to improve productivity or reduce the likelihood of situations which cause the organization to incur a penalty. Most often it is helpful to look at "the big picture". The improvement by mobile enabling time & attendance is gained by more effectively responding to adverse situations.

For example, if a manufacturer has a highly skilled workforce, then absences may impact production. If the manufacturer is required to pay a penalty for late product delivery, then the best approach is to "nip the problem in the bud" and make sure production does not slow down or stall. Although the HR Department cannot assist with production line equipment problems, they can help with personnel problems. By quickly identifying employees that cannot make their shift and finding available similarly skilled substitutes well in advance of shift start, slowdowns or stoppages can be prevented.

The legal and regulatory perspective often revolves around ensuring employee time is accurately recorded, including breaks and meals. Telliris features such as schedule enforcement which disallows early return from break can help ensure compliance.

Best practices has led Telliris to implement features that address situations in specific regions. If needs assessment points to the need to implement a particular function, there is a reasonable likelihood it is available. For example, certain regional government authorities require employees confirm they took their meal break when ending their shift. In this way, the automation within the time & attendance system that deducts time each day to account for a meal break can be counteracted for those employees that do not take a meal break on a particular work day.


Implementation

A step-by-step systematic approach is used.

Cloud implementation largely consists of filling out a form and participating in two conference calls. Its streamlined nature is made possible via pre-integration with each time & attendance solution. This refined approach ensures everything is accounted for.

On Premises implementation is similar to Cloud along with additional tasks related to installing telecommunications servers. The Apps are the same between Cloud and On Premises and the data communication between time & attendance and Telliris is the same. Adding new equipment to a data center involves coordination between several groups and potentially outside vendors. The process is predictable and takes time to perform as usual for enterprise hardware and software infrastructure.

The implementation process is largely guided via a Configuration SmartForm and step-by-step Implementation Guide. The Configuration SmartForm is an automated Adobe Acrobat PDF with intelligent fields, drop down lists, radio buttons, and menu's. The Implementation Guide consists of a step-by-step, ten stage process which is oriented towards staff in both Human Resources as well as technical departments.

Organizations deploying Telliris Attend On Premises utilize additional Site Preparation and Installation Guides to handle tasks related to the installation of one or more telecommunications servers. The On Premises guides provide both a step-by-step method as well as a significant level of educational information. The educational information is especially helpful to both time & attendance solution providers as well as end customers in the area of telephone line provisioning.

The following is the overall step-by-step implementation process:

  • Step 1 Configuration SmartForm is reviewed and completed (HR centric)
  • Step 1a If using On Premises, Site Preparation Guide is reviewed (IT centric)
  • Step 2 Participate in conference call to review Configuration SmartForm (HR centric)
  • Step 2b If using On Premises, participate in conference call to review Site Preparation (IT centric)
  • Step 3 Configuration SmartForm is updated with revisions resulting from conference call
  • Step 4 Confirm SmartForm is complete or make any needed subtle adjustments (HR centric)
  • Step 4a If using On Premises , confirm site readiness (IT centric)
  • Step 5 Telliris provisions service (Cloud) or provides Personality Pack (On Premises)
  • Step 5a If using On Premises, server installation is performed (IT centric)
  • Step 6 Data connectivity is configured between Telliris and Time & Attendance (IT centric)
  • Step 6a If using On Premises, perform initial end-to-end testing (IT centric)
  • Step 7 Coordinate with HR / payroll department to perform testing for all use cases (HR centric)
  • Step 8 Confirm proper operation, or make any adjustments needed (IT and HR centric)
  • Step 9 Make ready for production, run parallel, run pilot group, as appropriate
  • Step 10 Transition into normal use by workforce

Cloud provisioning by Telliris is performed within a business week. The elapsed time from service availability to normal use by a workforce is primarily dependent on the process an organization uses in roll out. In some cases, end-to-end testing is performed and the service quickly rolled out whereas in other cases a pilot group may first use it with additional groups being added over time, and in other cases parallel testing may be performed for a pay cycle alongside an existing system / service which is decommissioned upon implementation completion.

On Premises implementation typically takes between 30 and 90 days elapsed time. Although the actual time for each task is short, coordination with the various groups within an organizations IT department takes time. Also bear in mind, coordination with external vendors, such as telephone companies, involves planning and lead time for their service provisioning.

Regardless of Cloud or On Premises format, the implantation of the core time & attendance solution is always substantially more intricate and lengthy compared with Telliris. This is due to the broad nature of time & attendance compared with the narrow focus of Telliris which is primarily a "user interface".


Fast Track

Cloud equates to the fast track. From an elapsed "start to finish" perspective, the time it takes is almost 100% dependent on customer coordination within their organization. The actual provisioning by Telliris occurs in one day.

The quick provisioning is made possible via pre-integration with each time & attendance solution and Configuration SmartForms which ensure each App precisely matches the capabilities of a particular time & attendance solution. The factors that enable fast implementation also provide reliability. With pre-defined system integration, there are no "loose ends" to cause problems.

If an organization needs a fast track for roll out to their workforce, it can be achieved. The primary focus in this type of situation should be internal coordination within the organization.

Fast track implementation of Telliris Cloud can be with time & attendance in cloud format or time & attendance in on premises format. The data communication is the same in both scenarios, so there is little difference between them from a Telliris perspective.


Pre-Integration

One of the hallmarks of Telliris is its pre-integration with many time & attendance solutions. The Telliris integration point is XML based and is used in its standard format with over 95% of time & attendance solution partners. Communications Hubs or Pre / Post Processors mate each time & attendance solution to the standardized Telliris XML integration point. In this way, the Telliris base does not change which makes it straight forward to maintain from a software design perspective.

Com Hubs have been implemented using Oracle Java and Microsoft .Net. Using a Com Hub to communicate with Telliris Cloud is beneficial from a data security perspective. The Com Hub is typically installed on the time & attendance server in an organizations data center. It initiates data reception and transmission to Telliris which eliminates an organization from having to receive unsolicited data requests from points outside their firewall.

Pre / Post Processors enable data communication with time & attendance systems that use a CSV file interface. They reside adjacent to the standard Telliris XML integration point and essentially transform the CSV file data into XML data. This method provides Telliris with a flexible means to handle each time & attendance solutions unique record format.

To facilitate the movement of CSV files, there are several data transport facilities built-in Telliris. FTP, sFTP, remote file system access, and even a mechanism to call a time & attendance custom module are in the Telliris base.

The pre-integration with each time & attendance solution is documented in either the Configuration SmartForm for Telliris Cloud or Installation Guide Part II for Telliris On Premises. Where appropriate, screen shots of the time & attendance solution setup screens are provided in the step-by-step guide. Form pages include fields to hold each of the data elements needed during setup with a time & attendance solution. In this way, a member of the technical staff is sure to have all the data they need prior to hands on configuration.

Fault tolerant capabilities have been implemented as a result of the planned pre-integration strategy. For example, if data is not transferred completely or correctly, the situation is detected and alternative action taken. If the time & attendance system is unavailable for any reason, the workforce continues to use Telliris as usual, transaction data is queued, and automatically sent once the time & attendance system is available again. If a high volume Telliris system is unable to communicate with time & attendance for a period of time which will cause transactions to accumulate, transaction queues in excess of 10,000 records are output in multiple chunks with 10,000 records per chunk.

Pre-integration is proven and tested with large workgroups of 100,000+ employees and large labor data sets. Organizations with high volume usage and very large workgroups will not perceive any slowness or delay during high usage if a large data update is made.


Installation

Installation does not apply to Cloud, so this section purely focuses on "On Premises" installation.
Three comprehensive documents provide a step-by-step approach for installing your telecommunications server(s) either at your data center or at your colocation facility:

  1. Site Preparation Guide
  2. Installation Guide Part 1
  3. Installation Guide Part 2

Planning ahead and preparing for installation is covered in detail in the Site Preparation Guide. It covers every aspect of the process and includes educational information in areas Telliris believes is helpful to members of your technical staff. For example, the choice of telecommunications connectivity to a PBX versus directly to a telephone company is detailed. In this section, helpful information is provided to guide in the connection strategy to either Telco or PBX.

Installation Guide Part 1 starts with software installation onto a new computer server and ends with exercising an App . It is generic and does not contain any time & attendance specific installation or configuration steps.

The Telliris installation media, which is in .iso format is compatible with all major server manufacturers remote access facilities. Dell iDRAC, HP iLO, and IBM RSA can all be used.

The process is straight forward. Boot the server from the .iso, confirm installation should proceed, and get a cup of coffee or lunch. 15 minutes later, upon your return the software installation will be complete. Basic configuration, which is outlined step-by-step in the guide, takes another 5 to 15 minutes. At the conclusion of configuration, you're ready to test a basic Telliris "exerciser" App.

The next step consists of applying a Partner Personality Pack, which mates Telliris specifically to your time & attendance solution, and a Customer Personality Pack, which is optional, and if necessary configures the system with the Apps needed by your organization.

Not all time & attendance systems require this third step. Their Partner Personality pack is built-in the .iso and the Apps are configured from within the time & attendance system.

Installation Guide Part 2 primarily consists of applying the one or two Personality Packs as necessary, configuring data communication to your time & attendance system, and configuring your Telco's Access Point or PBX to route calls to the telecommunications server(s). In many cases, it is not necessary to configure the Telliris software for connectivity to your Telco or PBX, it's already in a ready to answer state.

At this point in the installation process, data communication can be initiated with your time & attendance solution and each of the Apps exercised. Typically at the conclusion of this final step in the installation process, the IT department will turn the system over to HR / Payroll to execute use case tests, run a pilot operation / parallel testing (if appropriate), and schedule release into normal operation.


Training

Unlike a time & attendance system where training is beneficial, users of mobile Apps using an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) interface do not need training. The task performed in the App is focused, intuitive to use, and self-revealing help is provided automatically if necessary.

Instead of formal training, a welcome letter and / or wallet cards are commonly distributed prior to go-live. The welcome letter is typically one page in length. Wallet cards are most often provided for Apps such as Absence Reporting which are used only a few times each year.

Training is not required for IT staff administering On Premises telecommunications servers. The systems operate unattended for months and periodic maintenance is needed once a quarter, half year, or annually, typically in accord with an organizations IT standard procedure.

The Administration and Troubleshooting Guide is used for periodic maintenance and problem situations. The frequency of attention needed is low enough to make training largely forgotten by the time it may be needed.


Documentation

Comprehensive documentation is a hallmark of Telliris. It enables time & attendance solution partners and end customers to work independently and need minimal assistance from Telliris. This philosophy extends to the On Premises product and Cloud service provided by Telliris. From best practices, through implementation, to administration and troubleshooting, the document set is ready to be called upon.

On Premises implementation is performed using a three document set:

  • Site Preparation Guide
  • Installation Guide Part I
  • Installation Guide Part II

Once a system is in operation the Administration and Troubleshooting guide is used for handling maintenance and any problems that may need attention.
A variety of focused documents complement the main documents such as:

  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Configuration SmartForm
  • Personalization Guide

Telliris Cloud is well documented so that a minimum of verbal and email coordination is needed to provision the service. In addition to following the step-by-step process in the documentation, two to three conference calls, typically of 15 minutes to 30 minutes in length and three to four short emails, to coordinate the data I/O connection between Telliris Attend and the time & attendance system comprise all the correspondence necessary to provision the service.


Support and Maintenance

Time & attendance solution providers prefer to be the center point for all support and maintenance for all the products they provide. If an organization has a problem with a traditional time clock, an adjunct module such as for advanced scheduling, or Telliris, they like having "one number to call".

Support and maintenance is provided by time & attendance solution providers which either handle everything themselves, or hand off the task to Telliris. The method is based on the strategy preferred by each time & attendance solution provider.

Organizations, time & attendance solution providers, and Telliris all use the same environment to handle support and maintenance tasks. The Telliris Console which is accessed using a web browser is used for virtually all tasks. The Linux Console is used occasionally.

The Telliris Console has functions designed to be helpful in support and maintenance tasks that have been "thought through" from a design perspective. The functions work hand-in-hand with the Telliris Administration and Troubleshooting document.

For example, if an employee is unable to login, the Administration and Troubleshooting document has a scenario section, and one of the scenarios is "what to do if an employee reports they are unable to login". It then provides guidance, including using a function in the Telliris Console which determines if the employee data has been provided by the time & attendance system. It then walks through how to resolve the problem, such as by determining the most recent employee update made by the time & attendance system, viewing the data relay through a communications hub (if applicable), through viewing the employee data on the time & attendance system itself (if the employee performs login via Badge ID and it has not been entered in the employee record in time & attendance, this would produce an "inability to login" symptom).

Maintenance tasks are covered in detail. The actual maintenance tasks are reduced in number due to the Linux operating system not requiring the level of attention that other operating systems require. Disk defragmentation, which does not apply to a Linux file system is an example of this.


Updates

Cloud is updated by Telliris without any action needed by time & attendance solution providers or end-customers.

Equipment in the telecommunications category does not need as frequent updates as enterprise software in a data center.

For On Premises, the Telliris Console is most often used to apply updates. They are retrieved over the Internet and applied in a two-step process. If the On Premises system is not permitted access to the Internet, a three step process is used where the update is retrieved via a desktop PC with access to the internet, the package transferred to the telecommunications server, and the update applied.

Updates can include application layer, infrastructure, and operating system updates, as needed, all in one package. Updates include an integral roll-back function.

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