HMS President interviewed in CEO/CFO Magazine

Our President, Chris Vandersluis here at HMS has been interviewed once again by CEOCFO Magazine.  The interview covers how HMS Software and the TimeControl team have weathered the pandemic and how HMS has expanded both its staff and its product and service offering over the past two and a half years.  The interview is available online at: https://www.ceocfointerviews.com/hmssoftware22.html.

TimeControl 8.3 now available for download

We are delighted to announce the launch of TimeControl 8.3.

This version has numerous new features and some exciting enhancements that we think will be welcomed by both new and existing customers.

TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial for on-premise deployments are available for download immediately for existing clients with a current Support Agreement at TimeControl.com/support/updates.  TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial Online and TimeControl Project subscriptions will all be upgraded automatically in the Cloud in the next few weeks.  We will give existing subscription holders a one week notice before the upgrade.

This version has significant and enhanced features for both Online and On-premise TimeControl clients.

Here are some details on what’s new:

TimeRequest Wizard Update

We’ve done a major overhaul of the TimeRequest Wizard that will allow new employees to be onboarded and automatically adopt previous TimeRequest Wizard entires for them.overcome a challenge some administrators have had in the past.  In previous versions, having new hires be onboarded would not automatically add TimeRequest Wizard holidays to appear.  The result was a more cumbersome manual process for anyone new to make sure that their civic holidays were entered.  Now the TimeRequest Wizard will be able to do this automatically.

Visual Reader support

We have added support for Visual Readers for the Visually impaired into this version of TimeControl.  Following products listed in the American Foundation for the Blind (afb.org) we picked the open source application NVDA as our test bed.  Now users of TimeControl can log-in, access the menu, their personal preferences and enter and submit their timesheets or TimeRequests with greater ease.  We have focused on support for individual profiles in this version rather than all tables and other administrative functions.

SAML IdP-Initiated authentication

TimeControl has had support for SAML authentication for some time.  In previous versions however, we have asked that a Service Provider (the client or service used by the client for SAML) do the authentication (SP-Initiated).  In this version we have provided Identity Provider-Initiated (IdP) SAML support which means that TimeControl can now act as the Service Provider to initiate the SAML authentication request.

Default Table Templates

An Administrator can now create a template for table entries and use that default for new entries.  This can save a bunch of time when new table entries often have the same data in certain fields.  Default templates will pre-enter the data for those fields automatically when a new entry is made or can apply the template on an existing record.

TimeControl Project Copy Tasks to Charge Codes and vice versa

In TimeControl Project we’ve created new functionality to copy Charge record based Views and their associated records to Task Views and records and Task-based Views and records to Charge-records and the associated Viws.

And… there’s so much more.

Improvements in performance and capacity, interface changes to improve the user experience, TimeControl Industrial Extended Rates Options, Crew Onboarding, Enhanced Logging and Event Viewer Changes, brute force login prevention, automatic password recovery and, enhancements to the TimeControl / InEight Estimate Integration

For a more complete list of new and enhanced features in this version, please visit, TimeControl.com/features/latest.

If you are a TimeControl or TimeControl Industrial on premise client with a current support and maintenance agreement, you can download the new version at no additional charge at: TimeControl.com/support/updates. We will notify TimeControl Online subscribers about their update and their access to the new TimeControl Project in the coming weeks. TimeControl Online will be updated automatically.

The Best Practices area of our website is full of useful info!

The HMS technical and implementation staff keep a repository of great collateral and information on what best practices we’ve uncovered when deploying TimeControl, TimeControl Online and TimeControl Industrial.

This is all maintained on the TimeControl.com website in the Best Practices area.

This section is divided into three areas:

Questions and Answers

Here you’ll find some basic Q & A of common questions we receive and answers from our implementation staff.  For example, “How much time should I spend on my timesheet each week?” is a common question.  This Q&A is not Q&A about any feature or support issue with TimeControl, it’s only focused on best practices.

Individuals

This section contains information of specific interest to individual users.  For example, you’ll find here a video presentation on how to minimize the time spent using TimeControl each week by using certain features.

Organizations

This section will be of more interest to those who are the administrators and implementers of TimeControl.  For example, in this section you’ll find a white paper on how to Manage the Change Management of a timesheet deployment”.  It talks about how to generate compliance and how to avoid potential upset when changing an enterprise system.

The Best Practices area of the TimeControl website is updated on a regular basis.  We invite you to take a look at: https://www.timecontrol.com/resources/best-practices.

Updates to the TimeControl.com website for TimeControl Project

We’ve made numerous updates on the TimeControl.com site to accommodate our exciting new premium version of TimeControl Online.  TimeControl Project.  The main area TimeControl Project is at Project.TimeControl.com. You’ll find links there to the updates of many different kinds of collateral including:

TimeControl Project Webcast
This 15 minute video shows TimeControl Project in action and explains the basic concepts and advantages of this remarkable evolution in project management systems.

TimeControl Slides and screenshots
This PowerPoint presentation is what we use to showcase TimeControl Project and includes numerous screenshots and explanations of the TimeControl Project concepts.

TimeControl Factsheet
This 4-page factsheet is an overview of TimeControl project that is suitable for sharing with anyone who is interested in the system.

TimeControl Project Online Training
We have added a new section to our online training guides specifically for TimeControl Project and we are adding to it constantly. You’ll find here short 3-5 minute videos showing how to use basic functions in TimeControl Project.

This is, of course, only a fraction of the resources for all of TimeControl of which TimeControl Project is a part. See the Resources area of the website or the TimeControl Blog for even more collateral or, contact HMS with any questions.

TimeControl Auditability a brand new white paper

From the very beginning of TimeControl’s design, we knew we needed a timesheet system that would pass the stringent controls the Finance department need for processes like Payroll and Invoicing as well as the activity-based-costing and progress tracking requirements of project management. This is what has TimeControl be simultaneously a highly flexible system and a highly auditable system.

The design and functionality that is used to make TimeControl auditable is so woven into the fabric of the product that we often don’t think to highlight it until someone asks about some specific aspect.  So, we’ve never made a document outlining how TimeControl is auditable.

Until now.

In our new white paper “TimeControl Auditability What do we mean when we say auditable”  we discuss what we mean when we say TimeControl is auditable.  You’ll find it in the TimeControl Resources WhitePapers area of our TimeControl website.

TimeControl Project Launches!

We’re very excited to announce the release of TimeControl Project.  TimeControl Project is a premium version of TimeControl Online and TimeControl Industrial Online that delivers a unique set of Views, Analysis and Data to enable Project Management and Project Execution.

Now the power and flexibility that TimeControl is known around the world for extends its functionality from project actuals to project planning and execution.  We have taken a unique approach to providing project management functionality within TimeControl.  Instead of thinking of project management as a big bucket of tasks that automatically roll up from level to level from the most detailed task in the organization to the portfolio selection at the executive, we have created data, analysis and displays that are appropriate to each level.  Data can be integrated or it can be distinct depending on what you need.  It doesn’t seem to make sense that every task that changes at the most tactical level will be instantly displayed in summary charts and projections.

Sometimes it’s better to look integrated than be integrated.

TimeControl includes tools at the Strategic Level for executives that might include Sheets Spreadsheet Views and summary GANTT barcharts.  At the Operational Level, project managers and resource managers might prefer GANTT Views and decision making Board Views.  At the Tactical Level, team leaders, team members and, scrum masters might prefer Board Views for an Agile approach.  TimeControl Project keeps these distinct when needed and integrated when that makes more sense.

TimeControl Project is available only as a premium edition of TimeControl Online and TimeControl Industrial Online subscriptions in the Cloud.

For more information about TimeControl Project, visit project.timecontrol.com or contact your HMS account manager.

Managing non-project hours in TimeControl

TimeControl is so often talked about as a project management tool that we sometimes forget how important it is to manage hours that aren’t part of a project at all.  One of the most powerful aspects of TimeControl is being able to be the timesheet that can track hours for tasks as well as all the non-project time.  This allows a timesheet to be entered that is complete.  It has all the hours spent in the organization for all purposes.

Unlike the timesheets that are included with many project management systems, TimeControl is designed to serve both Project Management and Human Resources at the same time. A TimeControl timesheet may have entries that are destined for updating tasks in a project but it might also have hours that are key for invoicing, for job costing, for vacation, sick leave and other entitlements and, of course, for payroll.  Only an auditable timesheet is suitable for these multiple purposes at once and TimeControl is designed with this in mind.

Aside from the obvious time and attendance functionality, there are numerous functions within TimeControl to support these many non-project processes they include:

  • TimeControl’s Banks management includes functionality to track time off, overtime, sick leave, banked overtime, vacation management, training time and more. This gives Human Resources powerful auditable tools for tracking entitlements that have been taken and time remaining for those categories.
  • TimeControl’s TimeRequest™ lets timesheet users request vacation or personal time off in advance and once approved, have that time automatically inserted right into their timesheet on the appropriate day.
  • TimeControl Accruals does automatic, auditable calculations of overtime, banked time, rate changes and keeps a traceable record of when time and extra earnings were earned.
  • TimeControl’s TimeRequest™ Wizard lets an administrator pre-approve days off for such as holidays for large groups of users and have those timesheet entries automatically appear in user’s timesheets on the appropriate day.
  • TimeControl’s business Validation Rules lets you configure the rules that are appropriate for using entitlements like vacation time or personal time off so that users don’t accidentally take sick leave on a weekend or vacation time that wasn’t approved or personal time off that exceeds the time in their bank.

The free TimeControl and Human Resources Portal has extensive information on the non-project use of TimeControl including white papers, webcasts, factsheets and video lessons to help you understand how TimeControl timesheets can play and important role far beyond your project management needs.

 

The TimeControl Evolve program

The TimeControl Evolve program enables TimeControl on-premise clients to easily migrate to TimeControl Online

The TimeControl Evolve is designed to enable TimeControl on-premise clients to migrate to TimeControl Online, the TimeControl Software as a Service subscription in the Cloud.  The evolve program is an inexpensive and effective way to move your TimeControl system into the cloud.

TimeControl on-premise has been marketed since 1994 (yes, that’s right, 28 years!) so there are a lot of on-premise clients out there.  Even though more sales these days are for our subscription Cloud service, TimeControl on-premise is still sold and supported and will be for the foreseeable future.

But that leaves a lot of on-premise clients who are interested in migrating from an on-premise timesheet system to the SaaS equivalent.

There are many advantages to migrating to a TimeControl Online subscription:

  1. First, all maintenance of TimeControl is handled by HMS. We do all the server, database, malware prevention and application upgrades for you.
  2. TimeControl Online is upgraded automatically by HMS. You will no longer have to be concerned about upgrades.  HMS takes care of all updates, upgrades and new version installation centrally on the TimeControl Online servers.
  3. Continuous monitoring is handled for you. TimeControl Online is monitored 24x7x365.  We are looking at the system continuously and are proud of our 99.9%+ uptime since the service was first launched in 2011.
  4. TimeControl Online and TimeControl on-premise are the same code. That means that all functionality that you know and love in TimeControl on-premise is already in TimeControl Online.
  5. Data backups and disaster recovery is already included. TimeControl Online is backed up daily and you can even download your own database backup in case you want to be sure to have control over it.  Disaster recovery is layered to handle issues of different scales and types.
  6. TimeControl Online is highly secure. We follow the OWASP standards for testing and our data is housed by Amazon Web Services in highly secure facilities.

The TimeControl Evolve program will let you migrate your TimeControl on-premise licenses to the cloud and we won’t charge the subscription until your current support contract expires.  Yes, that’s correct.  No subscription cost for the entire remainder of your already active support contract.  If you just updated your technical support today, then that’s a whole year of TimeControl Online for free.

Free.

When you sign up for the Evolve program we will assist you in migrating your data to TimeControl Online.  If you haven’t upgraded your TimeControl on-premise to the most current version, then you can optionally have us help do the upgrades to ensure that the data you have will immediately migrate to the online version.  We can also advise you on maintaining or enhancing your links to external systems such as project management tools, ERPs and more.

Everyone’s situation is different.  If you’d like to talk to one of our Account specialists about whether the TimeControl Evolve program is right for you, contact us at: https://www.timecontrol.com/contact or email us at info@hms.ca.

 

Semiconductor company AMD and HMS collaborate on TimeControl Case Study

We are very excited to kick off blog posts for the new year with something we’ve been working on for some months.  In the summer of 2021, AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) and HMS started working on a case study to showcase how the world renowned semiconductor company has deployed TimeControl to its employees around the world.  That case study is now complete and you can read it here.

Our thanks to the TimeControl deployment team at AMD for their partnership as well as all the AMD staff who interact with TimeControl every day.

You can read or download the story here:
TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/case-studies/amd.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

The holiday season is upon us here at HMS Software and we would like to takes this opportunity to wish all our clients, colleagues, partners and business contacts a safe and very happy holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year.

We look forward to working with you all in 2022.

We will be closing at noon on Friday, December 24th.  Our office hours for the rest of the holiday season are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5) as follows:

  • Friday, Dec 24: Closed at noon
  • Monday, Dec 27: Closed for Christmas
  • Tuesday, Dec 28: Closed for Boxing Day
  • Wednesday, Dec 29: Open
  • Thursday, Dec 30: Open
  • Friday, Dec 31, Closed at noon
  • Monday, Jan 3: Closed
  • Tuesday, Jan 4: Closed
  • Wednesday: Jan 5: Open and our regular schedule restarts

The official blogsite of TimeControl