HMS and Microsoft extend a remarkable relationship

We’re delighted to announce that Microsoft has renewed their technical partnership with HMS for the 2018/2019 season.  This relationship is one of the oldest technical alliances in the industry.

This will be the 23rd year that the two firms have had a formal technical alliance partnership.

It can be easy to take a such a long standing technical alliance for granted, but this relationship with Microsoft is remarkable.   We started our relationship with Microsoft in 1995 in what was then called the Microsoft Project Partner Program to help with the link between the first version of our TimeControl timesheet and the early releases of Microsoft Project.  The relationship between HMS and Microsoft has grown stronger every year since.”

HMS Software’s TimeControl timesheet has had an integration with every version of Microsoft Project on the desktop since 1995.  The integration has evolved with new versions of Project.  The link currently supports Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project Online, Microsoft Project Server and with many other Microsoft products like SharePoint and Excel.

Microsoft has announced that HMS Software has qualified as a partner this year in two Microsoft Partner Network “Competencies”: the Application Development and Project and Portfolio Management categories.  To qualify for these programs, HMS submitted TimeControl to Microsoft’s rigorous 3rd party product testing process to ensure it meets Microsoft’s architecture and support standards and provided numerous client references who provided examples of where TimeControl successfully integrated with Microsoft Project, Project Server and Project Online and how that integration had provided benefits to the clients.  In addition, HMS has had a number of staff members pass Microsoft Certified Professional certification.

Microsoft technology is used to deliver TimeControl, TimeControl Industrial and TimeControl Online, HMS Software’s in-the-cloud subscription timesheet service.  Other Microsoft technologies used can vary from client to client. Windows Server is the platform for the TimeControl middleware server and web services and some clients will combine that with Microsoft Project, Project Server, Project Online, Excel, Office 365, SharePoint, SQL Server or Microsoft Dynamics ERPs.

Using TimeControl with Microsoft technologies allows clients to enhance their business processes to comply with numerous timesheet requirements such as simultaneous project tracking, billing, HR management, payroll, job costing and auditable governance such as R&D tax credits, DCAA or Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

We have created a resources portal to help identify which Microsoft technologies can be advantageous when using TimeControl.  The portal includes numerous resources including white papers, webcasts, PowerPoint presentations and more.  The TimeControl Microsoft Technology Portal can be found at: Microsoft.TimeControl.com.

TimeControl Branding with your own logo

For many organizations, making TimeControl their own is a key element of deployment.  TimeControl allows you to brand your instance of the system with two logos.  The logos appear in the login screen and header of the interface.

Login Screen Logo

On the login screen, there is a transparent GIF graphics file which is shipped with TimeControl.  The file name is CompanyLogo.gif and it is expected to be no larger than 300×300 pixels.

You can edit and save a replacement file which will appear in every login screen.  We’ve turned the color of this one into a solid grey so you can see where it is placed but you can enter whatever you wish in the GIF file.

Interface Header Logo

In the main interface there is also a transparent GIF file which is located in the header directly to the right of the main TimeControl logo.

The filename is smallCompanyLogo.gif and it is expected to be no bigger than 300×45 pixels.  Again we’ve recolored this example into solid grey so you can see where it is placed.  You can edit this file and your branded image will then appear to the right of the TimeControl logo.

The files are located in the TimeControl Server directory: /Webfiles/Images/Logos/.

Just a reminder though, HMS does not support removal of the TimeControl logo or trademark notice at any time.

Full instructions are available from the HMS Support staff or in the TimeControl Reference Guide.

 

TimeControl Scheduled Reporting can make a big impact on decision making

We’ve made some big report capability improvements in TimeControl with Scheduled Reports.

TimeControl has always been known for its extensive reporting capabilities.  Being able to save any report into Excel format and having a built in report writer has been part of TimeControl since its creation in 1994.  Each new edition of TimeControl has improved reporting functionality.  Now reports can be a mix of graphics, charts and text and control within reports is extensive.

With the addition of Scheduled Reports, we have taken reporting to a new level.  Users can now create a Report Schedule which includes one or many reports.  Reports can be created hourly or daily or weekly or on the schedule you determine.  You can send the reports to one or many recipients and you can impose filters on the reports to be applied at runtime to ensure that only the right data gets to the right people at the right time.

The report can be sent as an email attachment in PDF, Excel, Word, or CSV format or, if the report is expected to be too large  for an email attachment, a link can be sent instead to an optionally encrypted file on the TimeControl Server.   The recipient will see the report in their inbox and can click to open the attachment or to go to the expected file.

The impact of TimeControl Scheduled Reports can be profound.  Where managers once had to visit TimeControl, go to Reporting, select the right report and filter and then view the results, now TimeControl will take care of that for them and make sure the information they need is in their fingertips. Exception reports can be set up so they only arrive if there is an exception to deal with and the entire process holds the promise of streamlining critical decision making for key stakeholders.

You can find out more about Scheduled Reporting on the TimeControl website or See it in action in Lesson #25 in the free TimeControl Online Training area at TimeControl.com/resources/online-training/timecontrol7.

TimeControl Online privacy policies have been updated as part of the GDPR

On May 25th new rules in the European Union on called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect.  These rules affect anyone who is from the European Union counties and as a result, anyone who uses TimeControl Online on behalf of their company.  The TimeControl Online service is fully GDPR compliant and we have updated our TimeControlOnline Master Subscription Agreement with an Addendum to ensure that our GDPR relevant policies are available to all TimeControl Administrators.

The TimeControlOnline Master Subscription Agreement can be found in the Maintenance Tab of TimeControl under “System”.

We will be doing updates also for the TimeControl website for all users over the next few days.

Any TimeControl Online clients who have questions about the new policy are welcome to contact privacy@hms.ca.

 

The TimeControl / Primavera Alliance continues as Oracle names HMS a Gold Partner for the 21st year of their partnership!

Our technical alliance relationship with Primavera started back in 1997 when TimeControl 3 was about to enter the market.  HMS and Primavera had known each other well since the mid 1980s but as competitors selling project management software.  Now we had an opportunity to collaborate together as partners instead of adversaries and the president’s of HMS and Primavera struck the deal in a short phone call.

We’ve never looked back.

TimeControl 3 was released that year with a bi-directional integration with Primavera P3 and HMS has maintained the integration with Primavera since that time.

In 2008 Oracle would purchase Primavera but for HMS that only served to draw the two firms closer.  HMS already had a partnership with Oracle to enable integration of TimeControl with Oracle Financials and to support the Oracle database.

Now Oracle and HMS have extended their relationship and the relationship has never been stronger.  There are so many technical facets to the two firms working together that we’ve had to create a portal to keep track of them all.  The TimeControl integration now works in two ways, direct from database-to-datebase or through the Oracle-Primavera Web Services link.  The link works with multiple versions of Primavera including Primavera Professional and Primavera EPPM.

There are more Oracle products of course.  TimeControl has been configured to work with many different Oracle tools including Oracle EBS, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and, MySQL.

Some of the many TimeControl’s value-added benefits when linking with Oracle-Primavera include:

  • Support for Multiple rates per employee
  • Automated business rule validations
  • Automated workflow
  • Auditable timesheet records suitable for Finance, HR, Invoicing or Payroll
  • Missing timesheet notification
  • Simultaneous support for multiple versions of Primavera
  • The free TimeControl Mobile App for smartphones and tablets supporting both iOS and Android
  • matrix timesheet approvals with HMS’s unique Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals™
  • With TimeControl Industrial, the Crew Timesheet and Materials and Equipment field data collection

HMS is proud of our long standing relationship with Oracle and particularly with the Oracle-Primavera teams.  We look forward to a productive year working together as a Gold Partner.

For more information about TimeControl and how it links to Oracle technologies, visit the TimeControl Oracle Solution Portal at: http://www.timecontrol.com/use-cases/oracle-portalor contact HMS at info@hms.ca.

TimeControl 7.3 has been released with some big new features!

We’re very excited to release this latest update to TimeControl. TimeControl 7.3 comes with some significant new features and many enhancements. This version is available in TimeControl, TimeControl Industrial and shortly in TimeControl Online.

Here’s some of what to expect:

Do your expenses in the free TimeControl Mobile App

The TimeControl Mobile App is a free App designed to work on both Android and iOS (Apple) devices. This version of the TimeControl Mobile App allows you to add expense items to any line in your timesheet. Each timesheet line item allows you to add an unlimited number of expense items and each item is associated to both the charge item and a non-labor resource type. You can also attach multiple receipts as photos or files to each expense item. The TimeControl Mobile App is available at no cost on the Apple Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.

Use your camera to add attachments to timesheets or expenses

The TimeControl Mobile App now lets you attach multiple items to your timesheet. TimeControl lets you use your device to select photos, videos, to take a picture from your camera or even access files that are available to your device on Google Docs, Dropbox, iCloud or OneDrive.

Schedule reports to be created automatically and sent via

TimeControl reports can now be delivered by email on a schedule. Choose from sending an email on a schedule of your choice with a PDF attachment or just sending a direct link to an encrypted server-stored file.

And much, much more…

There is so much more. We’ve made huge improvements in filtering, added new auditing functionality and reporting for time-off banks, added single-sign-on support to the mobile app, added new dashboards and reports, added budget controls for the Charge and Project tables, enhanced the link to Microsoft Project Online and enhanced performance.

If you are a TimeControl Online subscriber, your systems will be updated over the next couple of weeks.  If you are using TimeControl on-premise and have a current support contract, you can access this latest update at: TimeControl.com/support/updates.

For more information on TimeControl 7.3, go to TimeControl.com/features/latest.

HMS President Chris Vandersluis featured in Canada’s National Newspaper, the Globe and Mail

Chris Vandersluis, the President of HMS has been featured recently in Canada’s Globe and Mail. The article by Mr. Vandersluis is in the Globe’s Leadership Lab section where he discusses how niche operations like HMS Software have been able to win and keep customers many times their size.  You can read his article in its entirety on the Globe and Mail website.

HMS continues to update white papers and other free collateral

We work on updating the vast wealth of collateral on the TimeControl website on a continuous basis. The site is one of the longest standing websites in the world and the materials on it can become dated as technology advances. In the past year we’ve made updates to factsheets, slide presentations, online webcasts and white papers.

Most recently, we have made updates to several white papers including the old Buy it or Write it has become a much more current Buy it, Subscribe to it or Write it. The paper includes a financial analysis that outlines the costs of all three options.  It is available for free for anyone considering this decision.  These main three architectural choices come down to:

  1. Buy timesheet software
    The main considerations for buying timesheet software and deploying it on premise is usually to have it work within existing security architecture or to have the underlying database available for integration with other systems.
  2. Subscribe to timesheet software
    The main reasons organizations elect to subscribe to timesheet software is for lower overall costs of ownership and to avoid the costs and complexities of internal technical support for maintenance and updates.
  3. Write your own customized software
    For those who have timesheet software requirements that are so unique that they cannot be met by commercial off the shelf software, they may need to consider the most expensive of options and write their own software.

We’ve outlined the major advantages and challenges of each of these three options and have given some cost comparisons.

We’ve also just updated the popular Research and Development Tax Credits with TimeControl.

For a complete list of free resources such as these, visit the TimeControl Website Resources area: TimeControl.com/resources.

Evaluating Timesheet Software

If you are here on the TimeControl blog, there is a possibility that you are evaluating timesheet software and have found TimeControl among your possible solutions.  We have resources that will make your evaluation of TimeControl and any other timesheet systems a little easier.  HMS has been in the business of providing timesheet systems since 1984 and we have an appreciation for how challenging it is to select a timesheet that will meet your needs. We have created a number of tools that are available to anyone seeking to select a timesheet for their own needs regardless of whether that timesheet is our own TimeControl or not.

“Why?” you ask?  It’s pretty simple really.  There’s nothing less productive for us than to sell TimeControl to someone who really needed something else.  It is far preferable to not make a sale if the product isn’t the right fit.

So, on the TimeControl website, you will find all kinds of resources that you may find of interest if you are evaluating timesheets.  Some of those tools are specific to evaluating TimeControl but many are generic in nature and are designed to help researchers evaluate any timesheet.

Here are just a few:

Timesheet Buyer’s Guide

HMS maintains a portal of resources and information on how to evaluate timesheets. It includes white papers, calculators, factsheets and more. There is no cost or obligation to access the Timesheet Buyer’s Guide which can be found at: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/buyers-guide

Free TimeControl Evaluation

For those who wish to evaluate TimeControl further, HMS provides free access to TimeControl for a renewable 2 week period. Prospective users can get access to a system complete with pre-poulated data so they can try any of the functionality they wish.  The evaluation system can be accessed at: freetrial.timecontrol.com.

TimeControl Evaluation Guide

When users log into the free TimeControl trial, they are given a link to a simple-to-follow evaluation guide that takes the user through some of the basic functionality of the system. That guide has recently been upgraded and can be accessed directly at: TimeControl.com/pdf/whitepapers/tc_evalguide.pdf

Timesheet Evaluation Grid

When creating a list of requirements for a new timesheet system, it is best to start off with the business challenges that are generating the interest in the new system. However, many organizations prefer to look at a list of key functionality. We’ve created such a list to ask as a starting point for your own requirements. We’ve already checked off what TimeControl can do so and there are additional columns to use for evaluating other systems under consideration. The spreadsheet can be downloaded from:  TimeControl.com/docs/timesheet_eval_checklist.xlsx

TimeControl Benefits Calculator

One of the biggest challenges often faced by evaluators is trying to justify the benefits that could be realized by implementing a timesheet system. We’ve put together a calculator you can use for your own evaluation that shows how quickly you could realize a return on investment from deploying a timesheet like TimeControl. The calculator is available from: TimeControl.com/docs/tc_roi_calculator.xlsx.

For more information, see the Timesheet Buyer’s Guide on the TimeControl website.

Otonabee Region Conservation Authority goes TimeControl

Otonabee Region Conservation Authority is an environmental agency working in the Peterborough area of Ontario Canada. They are responsible for ensuring that the Otonabee Region watershed area is healthy and environmentally diverse.  HMS applauds them for this important work.

Otonabee have been using TimeControl since 2016 and reently their manager of corporate services, Denyse Landry sent us a letter expressing their satisfaction.

“We have been very satisfied with TimeControl and the level of support provided by HMS Software,” says Denyse. “We highly recommend it.”

We believe that every TimeControl client should be a satisfied referenceable customer and we strive for this every day.

Our thanks to the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority for their trust in TimeControl to make them more efficient. We look forward to a productive relationship for many years to come.

You can read the letter from Denyse in its entirety in the TimeControl Testimonials area.

The official blogsite of TimeControl