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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
Our TimeControl team turned in a year of remarkable accomplishments in 2017. Here are just a few of the highlights…
In our development department, we released 2 major releases of TimeControl in versions 7.1 and 7.2. Interim versions 7.1.1 and 7.2.1 updated several features as well. The features released this year have propelled TimeControl further forward than in any period since its original release in 1994!
Among other spectacular features, were the free TimeControl Mobile App and the TimeControl API as well as:
- Line Item Approval
- No more ActiveX’s in TCi
- Primavera Web Services link
- BrightWork link
- Link to Project Online
- SharePoint bidirectional link
- Grouped timesheets
- Scheduled Autofill
- Language support for TC Mobile
For more information on what’s new with TimeControl, visit TimeControl.com/features/latest.
TC Mobile App
The release of the free TimeControl Mobile App on the Apple App store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices marked a milestone for TimeControl. TimeControl introduced one of the first mobile interfaces many years ago but the TimeControl Mobile App has to support the incredible flexibility of TimeControl along with its powerful centralized auditability. We’re very proud of the App we released. It is on an independent yet coordinated development stream so new updates of the App are released separately and are designed to always be backward compatible so the TimeControl Server and App are not required to be updated simultaneously.
TimeControl has long been acknowledged as the most flexible and integrateable timesheet in the industry thanks to the many ways external applications such as HR, Payroll, ERP, Finance and Project Management systems can be linked to it. The release of the TimeControl API gave a quantum boost to an already robust suite of integration options. Now programmers can pull from or push data to TimeControl to create an even more intimately integrated system.
Case Studies and Testimonial letters
Happy TimeControl clients continue to be our strength in the industry.
Over the last year we’ve collaborated with our clients on 3 case studies and have received more testimonial letters.
You can read case studies published in 2017 from:
and testimonials published in 2017 from:
and next week a brand new one received late in the year from Otonabee.
We appreciate each and every one of our clients and are delighted when they share their TimeControl experience with others.
Coming in 2018…
There is so much more from last year but let’s look into our crystal ball ahead to the year to come. Looking forward to 2018 promises to be even more exciting.
A major release of TC during the year will be 7.3 with a slew of new and improved features. We expect that to be released by mid-year and we’re already working on a major new version of TimeControl which we’ll be able to talk about more near the end of 2018.
Our development staff have also started research on something completely new for the project management community that we think will be of great interest to many of our TimeControl users. That we will be talking about by summer time.
We are working on new material and elements of the TimeControl website. Already there are new factsheets, slide shows web sections and online training. We’ve got lots more of that to come. Online training will be greatly expanded this year to include more extensive courses on things like report writing and customizing TimeControl. We’ve also got more collateral coming on using the new TimeControl API so stay tuned!
During the holiday season, HMS will be open during its regular hours for technical and presales support on the following schedule:
- Friday, December 22 – open until noon (GMT-5)
- Monday, December 25 – Closed for Christmas
- Tuesday, December 26 – Closed for Boxing Day
- Wednesday, December 27 – open
- Thursday, December 28 – open
- Friday, December 29 – open
- Monday, January 1 – Closed for New Year’s
- Tuesday, January 2 – Closed for all-staff annual meeting
- Wednesday, January 3 – open and back to our regular schedule
When each new feature is created in TimeControl, we consider how it will function in both the on-premises version and in TimeControl Online. With the recent release of TimeControl version 7.2 for both on-premises installation and online subscription, this is quite clear.
TimeControl 7.2 includes two major new functions and a host of updated functions. The two new areas of functionality are support for the TimeControl Mobile App and the TimeControl API.
The TimeControl Mobile App is a free downloadable App that is available on the Apple App Store for iOS devices, and on Google Play for Android devices. It connects to the user’s TimeControl instance to allow the user to create, edit, or even approve timesheets from their mobile device.
The TimeControl API is a programmable interface that extends TimeControl’s already extensive flexibility and integrateability even further.
Both these features are active in TimeControl Online in the cloud right now.
The online TimeControl service provides all the functionality loved by the on-premise version. The code that is deployed for both situations is identical.
More and more clients are looking to services in the cloud to extend their corporate IT functionality. When subscribing to TimeControl Online, clients avoid having to purchase or configure hardware, networking, databases or worry about security, monitoring or anything other than simply using the timesheet software. HMS Software’s technical team handles the rest.
HMS has recently updated its pricing policies for TimeControl Online. For those who are using TimeControl on premise and are interested in switching to TimeControl Online, they can speak to their TimeControl representative at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about transfer credits towards their first year’s subscription.
For more information on TimeControl Online, visit timecontrol.net.
HMS maintains a large number of online resources that are absolutely free to access and use. We’ve done recent updates to many of these areas including the Online Video Training section. There are separate lessons for TimeControl 7, TimeControl 6 and even TimeControl 5.
These lessons are only 3-7 minutes each so you can work at your own pace. They each show a single feature or function of TimeControl. Some are designed for end-users, others for TimeControl Administrators.
TimeControl Online Video Training is only one of the available resource areas. Others include:
This area includes many video webcasts showing TimeControl being used to overcome specific use-case challenges.
- White Papers
This area includes numerous white papers on how TimeControl can be applied for specific circumstances such as for R&D tax credits or Time and Billing.
You’ll find numerous slide presentations here in PDF format. We use these slides ourselves to talk about TimeControl’s use for different requirements.
There are dozens of 2 or 4 page brochures here including the main TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial brochures.
- Best Practices
This area gives some timesheet best practices for both organizations and individuals to help them be as effective as possible.
See the Resources Area for of the TimeControl website for more information.
TimeControl has long been known throughout the industry as the timesheet that is most flexible to integrate with other internal corporate systems whether they are commercial off the shelf programs or custom internal software.
Clients over the years have enjoyed the pre-defined bi-directional integrations with project management tools like Microsoft Project, and Primavera and most recently, BrightWork. The Links section of TimeControl has allowed the creation or consumption of transaction files in native Excel, XML or plain text formats and with the scheduling option, these movements of data in and out of TimeControl could be automated to run unattended at any time.
Now the integration capabilities of TimeControl have taken a giant leap forward. Starting with version 7.2, TimeControl has added a full API (Application Programming Interface) so programmers can consume TimeControl data or populate TimeControl with data from other systems.
The TimeControl API uses the ReST (Representational State Transfer) architecture which is well known to many programmers. It is highly secure and TimeControl Administrators can turn the API on or off and even control access through User Profiles.
The TimeControl API is now included as a part of TimeControl version 7.2 and higher at no additional cost. Programmers can take advantage of code-examples from within TimeControl or from the TimeControl development staff.
For more information on TimeControl 7.2, visit TimeControl.com/features/latest.
We’re so excited about the new TimeControl Mobile App, that it’s hard to talk about almost anything else around HMS these days. The new TimeControl Mobile App brings TimeControl right to the palm of your hand on your SmartPhone or Tablet.
The TimeControl Mobile App connects your device directly to your TimeControl or TimeControl Online system. All your timesheet configuration, profile security, data selections and customizations are all already there so what appears on your screen matches what you would see on a full browser when connecting to TimeControl.
You log in with the same credentials you use for TimeControl and you can now create a new timesheet, update one in progress, or complete your week and release your timesheet. If you are a supervisor, you can do your approvals right from your phone or tablet!
The TimeControl Mobile App includes a number of different views to see or update your timesheet. You can view current and past timesheets, update an existing timesheet or create a draft timesheet and add projects and charges from the selections that are available to you. A simple tap where you see the hours and you can update hours and minutes for that line in an instant. The TimeControl Mobile App supports the same timesheet durations as TimeControl so whether you are working in weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, monthly or custom periods, the date range at the top of the screen lets you scroll to the relevant day and date and update the information you need.
Supervisors can use the TimeControl Mobile App to review, approve, or reject a timesheet. Automated Validation Rules work just as they do in the full-sized web version. If a user tries to release a timesheet that doesn’t follow one of the timesheet business rules defined in TimeControl, then the user is immediately prompted with the error and asked to correct it.
What do you mean it’s free?
We mean there is no additional cost. None. When you download the app from Google Play or the Apple App store, you don’t pay a thing. All you need to do is connect to your existing TimeControl system.
The TimeControl Mobile App functions with all versions of TimeControl 7.2 and higher.
You can find out more about the TimeControl Mobile App at: Mobile.TimeControl.com.