Why Integration Should Matter to Your PEO

As a specialized cloud-based time and attendance company, one of the aspects of our business is providing the time component that complements another company’s suite of products. Partnerships with nettime solutions can take a variety of shapes, from referral partner to co-branded reseller or even white-labeled partnership. Regardless of the partnership, software integration is always key in ensuring successful collaboration.

I recently sat down with Kim Lathrop, payroll operations project/training manager at one of the largest PEOs (Professional Employer Organizations) in the United States. Kim’s company provides human resources, employee benefits, payroll, and risk management services on an outsourced basis.

So Kim, how important is the role of software integration when you are partnering with another organization?

When I’m working with a vendor, the API is vital — a requirement, in fact. I can’t live without it. From my perspective, if the API doesn’t work, then I can’t function and, from a production standpoint, our business is at a standstill.

Interesting. I imagine quite a number of companies promote their software integrations, but what have you learned from working with a number of vendors?

What I typically find with vendors is they are either completely engaged and understand what I need, or they are the exact opposite. I appreciate a vendor who gives me the opportunity to interact with many different members of the staff, so I am able to form a strong working relationship with the people who are going to be working with my platform and who will be serving my clients. This is one of the things I love about nettime solutions. The people involved have a good understanding of what we need and what we are trying to do, and they want to know how to help us reach our goals.

That’s great to hear. From a technical perspective, what data points are you integrating currently with your platform?

We currently have communication back and forth with our client structure, including labor levels; all employee information; and all client paid time off. The integration is flexible enough to handle a variety of client needs. For example, most of our client data is shared nightly, but we designed the integration so that if a client wanted, say, data every hour, I have the ability to do that for that one client.

What’s next in terms of integration for time and attendance at your company?

We’re working now on a payroll API. At the moment we are exporting payroll data from the time system via .csv and importing that data into our system. But, when the payroll API is complete, we won’t have to deal with the exporting and importing of data, which will greatly reduce user error from things like missed fields that can make the files come out all wrong. And, when you’re talking about people’s payroll information, there really isn’t any room for error.

Well, we certainly know how important it is to have accurate payroll data. Obviously you are a big fan of API integration. What do you think is the biggest benefit of this type of integration?

When you’re integrating multiple software platforms, the biggest benefit is that they are in sync. A lot of vendors can offer integration that requires me to import data — I can import just about any data in a file — but keeping in sync, having the data communicate in real-time is probably the most valuable aspect of a strong API integration. Also, when I consider how many clients we have, if I was relying on a file-based integration and we were exporting and importing data for all of our clients, I would need to hire a couple of people just to import data. A more advanced integration allows me to be more productive and efficient while maintaining the integrity of our data.

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