Tag Archives: enterprise timesheet

Aegion Corp and HMS collaborate on a case study

We’re always delighted when clients let us know how TimeControl has made a difference.  This month, we are able to share with you a case study of Aegion Corp. who has been a TimeControl Industrial client since 2014.   HMS and Aegion collaborated on this  case study for several weeks.  It shows the results of interviews with several Aegion clients including the CIO, Thys Lourens.  Aegion is a Missouri based pipeline services company.

Aegion selected TimeControl Industrial for its ability to enable field data collection and reports in this case study that by using TimeControl they have been able to improve overall productivity.

You can read the Press Release on this study or go directly to the Aegion Case Study to find out more about how TimeControl has helped Aegion improve their effectiveness.  Here at HMS we’re proud to count them among our many clients.

Case Study: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/case-studies/aegion

 

Linking TimeControl to Project Management at Different Levels

TimeControl has more project management system integrations than any timesheet in the industry so perhaps it’s no surprise that many years ago we had to handle requests from clients who wanted to collect time at a different level of resolution than the project management system.

We’ll cover three different scenarios in this article

Continue reading Linking TimeControl to Project Management at Different Levels

TimeControl Industrial 8 now available

With the successful launch of TimeControl 8 only a few days ago, we’ve now released TimeControl Industrial version 8.  The TimeControl 8 version already included numerous features that will be of interest to all TimeControl Industrial clients.

crew_tsentry_3There are also some features very specific to TimeControl Industrial in this edition.  Some of these include:

Crew Timesheets in TimeControl Mobile

TimeControl 8 includes the free TimeControl Mobile App and TimeControl Industrial users can, for the first, time create and edit Crew Timesheets and edit Crew members while mobile.  With nearly half of the total global workforce expected to be comprised of mobile employees by 2022, these new features in TimeControl Industrial Mobile will be welcome.

Manage Crews in TimeControl Mobile

Not only can supervisors and team leaders create crew timesheets while on the go, they can also use the TimeControl Mobile App to update team members.  A team lead who is out in the field with their crew can start their shift by updating their crew and then updating Crew Timesheet information as the day progresses no matter where they are.

Support for TimeControl Mobile when disconnected from the Internet

TimeControl Mobile has been enhanced so that if connection to the Internet is interrupted; something that can occur more frequently in remote construction sites, the App will continue functioning and will automatically syncronize with the central application as soon as a connection is re-established.

Mobile Views

The TimeControl Mobile App includes dynamic data analysis for management of all timesheet data under their control.  Instant graphics in numerous formats will enable rapid decision making based on where time is being spent.

The upgrade is available to existing on-premise clients with a current support and maintenance agreement at no additional charge from the TimeControl upgrades site at: Industrial.TimeControl.com/support/updates. TimeControl Industrial 8 will be upgraded automatically for TimeControl Online subscription clients in mid-July.

For further information, please visit Industrial.TimeControl.com or email info@hms.ca.

TimeControl 8 begins shipping

All of us here at HMS are very excited about this announcement.  After over a year in the planning and countless hours of work, TimeControl 8 is now available!  This version represents huge changes that have been recommended by our clients, by our own research and by evolving industry guidelines.  There is so much new in this new version but for those already using or about to begin using TimeControl, don’t worry.  We have kept all previous functionality alive and well.  You’ll have no trouble finding your usual functionality for your timesheet, security, tables and reporting all where they’re supposed to be, even if they look a little different.

Here is just a bit of what you’ll see in this brand new version!

All new interface

tc8_timesheet_groupedFirst, the interface is all new.  The last time we made this big a change in the look and feel of TimeControl was 2010 and it was due.  We’re following new industry guidelines on look and feel and we think you’ll agree that it’s even easier to find your way around the new screens!

JIRA support

We’ve found many of our clients have IT groups within them who have adopted JIRA.  JIRA is a task and project management system that has a big following amongst developers and IT specialists.  TimeControl 8 includes a bi-directional link with JIRA that allows JIRA users to have their task updates and effort expended automatically populate their timesheet.  Then, when going to TimeControl to finish their timesheet for any non-development (non-JIRA) work they have they will already find all their JIRA data already there.  This promises to be a big time savings for JIRA users.

ARES PRISM Support

Along with ARES PRISM, we have also included support for a bi-directional integration between ARES PRISM and TimeControl.  ARES PRISM is a high-end project cost control system that is often used in large Engineering-Procurement-Construction mega projects.  The new link with TimeControl means that ARSE PRISM users can implement enterprise-level timesheets within the same system so that estimates can now be directly compared to actuals.  The link is effected from a plug-in inside of the ARES PRISM system.

All new TimeControl Mobile App Views

tc8_mobile_views_polarareaWe’ve gone so much further with TimeControl Mobile.  Aside from the new Mobile Crew Interface for TimeControl Industrial which we’ll talk more about next week, there is a new feature for supervisors, managers and administrators that lets them see graphical representations of all TimeControl data in their control to help them make decisions at a glance!  The new looks are stunning but more importantly, they bring the depth of TimeControl data to a look that is effective and easy to understand.

Much, much more…

There is so much more.  Support for Microsoft Project Server 2019 on-premise, additional enhancements in the TimeControl Mobile App, the new TimeControl Notification system, new email notification capacity, improved single-sign-on for corporate users, a major expansion of the API to introduce new end points and methods.

And, countless other less visible changes that have made TimeControl even better…

You can find a more complete list of changes at: TimeControl.com/features/latest.

TimeControl 8 is available for download right now for clients who have an active support agreement at TimeControl.com/support/updates.  TimeControl Industrial will be available next week and TimeControl Online clients will be upgraded automatically in mid-July.  We will inform TimeControl Online users at least a week before their systems are updated.  If you are an existing TimeControl client and need to renew your support agreement, please email info@hms.ca.

HMS and ARES PRISM announce a Strategic Alliance

ares_prism_200x90.jpgWe’re very excited to announce the formation of a strategic alliance with ARES PRISM who are the publishers of enterprise project control software.  ARES PRISM focuses on cost control, forecasting, change management and performance measurement and TimeControl focuses on project actual labor, material and equipment usage data collection.  This makes a powerful case for bringing these two suites of functionality together.

Teams from the two firms are already hard at work finalizing integration tools between the respective products.

Our President, Chris Vandersluis explains that “This is a situation where one-plus-one equals much more than two.  Our joint clients will enjoy the power of TimeControl’s multi-purpose timesheet and field data collection system matched with enterprise level forecasting and analysis.  We think our clients and prospective clients are going to be very excited about what comes of this new partnership.

Dates for the complete integration have not yet been announced but it is expected shortly.

You can read the complete press release at: TimeControl.com/resources/newsroom/press-releases/2019-05-23 and for more information on ARES PRISM, visit www.aresprism.com.

Another testimonial letter, this one from JGC

We’re very proud to have received a wonderful testimonial letter from our friends at JGC in the UK.  JGC is an jgc_200x108engineering consultant contractor based in London who have been using TimeControl Online for some time now.  The letter from their Man-hours Control Administrator talks about how TimeControl has helped automate their time booking and approvals and their reporting of man-hours.

We thank Essam Albu-khaleel and the entire JGC team for their support and wish them many more years of success with TimeControl there. You can read the letter in its entirety at: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/jgc.

We’re delighted to receive this letter from HPS

Once again we’re proud to publish a letter from one of our clients.  In this case it is our UK-based friends at Hyde Part Solutions.  We’ve known the HPS for years so when they went looking for a timesheet, we were delighted to work with them.  The letter from Richard Jebb, the HPS Chief Technology Officer explains how the flexibility of TimeControl was a deciding factor. HPS has been growing at a rapid pace the last couple of years and we wish them continued success.  You can read the letter in its entirety at TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/hydepark.

Our thanks to Richard and the whole HPS team for their kind letter!

TimeControl 7.4.1 is now available!

We’re delighted to tell you that TimeControl 7.4.1 is now available for download.  This version updates TimeControl, TimeControl Industrial, TimeControl Online and the free TimeControl Mobile App.  TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial clients with a current support and maintenance agreement can download the new version immediately at TimeControl.com/support/updates.  HMS is preparing for the upgrade of TimeControl Online which will happen automatically in the next 2-3 weeks.  TimeControl Online customers will be notified a week in advance of the update.

There are many new features to be excited about.  Here are some of the highlights:

Charge Hierarchy

TimeControl now supports multiple methods of displaying a hierarchy of charge codes.  TimeControl has long been recognized for supporting hierarchical charge structures but the new functionality takes this to a new level.  Field hierarchy permits hierarchy to be built from multiple user defined fields in the Charge Table and you can create multiple breakdowns then switch them on the fly when you’re searching for charge codes in the timesheet!

Numerous new API methods

We have made extensive additions to the TimeControl API making it even easier to integrate TimeControl as part of an overall corporate environment.

Mobile Debit/Credit Adjustments

The TimeControl Mobile App now allows Debit/Credit update Adjustments.  This allows supervisors and administrators to open a Posted timesheet and apply adjustments to that timesheet and release those adjustments to Posting.

Mobile Posted Expenses and Attachments

The TimeControl Mobile App now includes the ability to view the expenses that are attached to a posted timesheet in the past as well as any attachments that might have been associated to the timesheet or expenses.

Assignments

We have made major changes to the Assignments Table.  Assignments can now be made as part of a person’s full time availability so one person could be put on two tasks simultaneously at 50% of their availability each.  You can also now have the assignment start and finish be dates other than the charge start and stop so assignments that were meant to occur only during part of the charge can be defined that way.

Administrator configuration enhancements

We have taken numerous elements of the TimeControl configuration and moved them from the TimeControl.INI file into the Administrator System Preferences and User Profiles functions.  This will make a huge difference for TimeControl Online environments where some of these features had to be managed at the server level.

New User Profile Features

There are numerous new settings in User Profiles that allows TimeControl’s configuration to be tailored to the person or group with that User Profile setting.  These changes include all-new Super-User reject and Modify rights .  You can also change how the Timesheet List appears, allowing only a certain number of weeks in the past or future to display.  A new Highlight feature helps when adding a timesheet by highlighting the current week or the last missing week for a new timesheet.

Control Period Create Times

When creating timesheets, TimeControl allows the number of periods in the past and the future to be constrained to avoid accidentally creating a timesheet in the wrong period or in a period when Finance is not expecting it.

Copy Hours

We’ve made it possible to control who is allowed to copy hours when creating a new timesheet using the Copy Timesheet function and activated the ability to copy hours.

And…

There’s so much more.  We’ve done a lot of work on high volume capacity, improved performance, added more revision auditing, and improved usability across the application.

Find out more at TimeControl.com/features/latest

Choosing between Subscribing Online or Purchasing for OnPrem

A few years ago, we’d have thought that online subscriptions of Software as a Service for enterprise software was something destined for more modestly sized clients.  If you were a few dozen or a few hundred users, then your organization might not have had a full-blown IT team or a comprehensive data center.  The promise of completely managed software in a service business would have been more attractive to such organizations we’d have thought.

That was then, and this is now.

In today’s IT world, organizations of all sizes are rethinking how they look at the On-Line vs. On-Premise decision.  The efficiency of online services and the infrastructure organizations that support them mean that software of all sizes can be attractive in a hosted environment plus the security attached to many Software as a Service (SaaS) infrastructures is often daunting for an internal IT department to compete with.

There are compelling reasons however to select either Online or OnPrem.  Let’s consider a few:

Why install on Premise?

There are many potential reasons for installing a product on your own premises.

Integration

Many Software as a Service systems including TimeControl have API modules that allow programming access to many of the functions.  No system however, opens every single possible function into their API.  It’s not because programmers don’t want to but there is a cost/benefit consideration when creating such functions.  In TimeControl for example, you can use the API to populate all the major tables.  But there are other functions such as those for maintenance that are not accessible programmatically.  That’s because they’re only used once or rarely from time to time and therefore the cost of creating programming access to them delivers little or no benefit.

But it is certainly possible that someone might have a compelling reason to integrate with TimeControl at such an intimate level and then direct access to the database might be preferable.

Another Integration attraction is for high volume integration.  When we have 500 users, the speed of the transfer of data from one system to another is so fast it’s not worth talking about.  When we have 5,000 users, perhaps it is.  There are some clients who might have such a high volume of data transfer that direct access to the data for moving data in or out is attractive.

Security

The security of many subscription services is a key preoccupation of providers.  It certainly is for TimeControl.  We’ve written numerous white papers on the subject and also leverage the security.  But security systems inside of an organization can be made even more secure.  For example, an internal TimeControl instance can be made wholly inside the firewall and not be outward facing towards the Internet.  Then potential attacks on it could only originate by either hacking the firewall or from inside the organization itself.  In-the-cloud services including TimeControl Online are, by their very nature, accessible through the Internet.

We really, really like this version

Some clients prefer to stick with a version of software and not upgrade until they are left with no choice at all.  This isn’t for everyone but in organizations where many other systems and processes depending on this system or many systems are integrated, there can be additional work implied in upgrading that may be problematic for the organization.  If you install on your premises. You decide when to and if to upgrade.

Why go with Online?

Regardless of whether you are a small or large organization, there are many reasons that subscribing to an online service could be attractive.

No maintenance

Included in your subscription fee is the cost of updating, maintaining, securing and monitoring your system.  That’s not just the maintenance for the system you are subscribing to but also all its infrastructure including the operating system, the database, malware protection, disk space, hardware performance and more.  That can take a big load of work off your internal IT department.

Updates

When you are subscribing to an in-the-cloud service, your system is virtually always up to date.  That’s because all the updates are done centrally by the provider.  In most cases there is no cost to the upgrade or work other than internal training.

Support is easier

When you call for technical support for an in-the-cloud system, there are a couple of things that are easier for you.  First of all, technical challenges like an actual malfunction of the system is much more rare because the system is shared among many clients and even more users.  Plus the provider’s testing of that system happens in what is for them a perfect environment.  They chose the operating system.  They chose the database.  They chose the network settings.  They chose the anti-virus and anti-malware software.  That helps make the system much more stable out of the starting blocks.

A second implied advantage for support is that you are always speaking to the support department about the same version of the product.  There is never a “What exact version and build are you on?” conversation because everyone is on the same version and build.  That makes tracking down a problem and determining the cause much easier for the technician and gets you back on track much faster.

What about mixed environments?

It’s possible to have some of your systems in the cloud and others on your premises.  TimeControl is often deployed in a mixed environment.  In some cases, TimeControl has been installed on premise and has to link to ERP and Project systems that are hosted in the cloud like Project Online.  In other cases, clients are using TimeControl Online in the cloud and have to link to an internally installed project management system, BrightWork for example.  With TimeControl’s flexibility that hasn’t been a problem for us thus far and there are many combinations of on-premise, in-the-cloud, and hybrid environments you might envisage.

What about the future of TimeControl?

HMS is committed to maintaining both TimeControl Online in the cloud as a service and TimeControl for purchase for on-premise installation for the foreseeable future.  We want the product work how the client needs to.

TimeControl Resources

We have numerous resources discussing the options of subscribing Online or Purchasing for installation on premises.  You can find factsheets, webcasts and more at: TimeControl.com/how-to-buy.  There is also a series of seminars on the subject on our President’s blog at: EPMGuidance.com.

There are so many possible combinations of environments that it goes well beyond what we can discuss here.  If you have questions about what structure would work best for your TimeControl deployment, you should contact HMS at info@hms.ca.

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.