Quick Reference Technical Definitions Guide
Software as a Service (Saas) – A software delivery approach where applications are provided over the Internet so that users can access them through a Web browser. Providers typically charge a subscription fee monthly or annually. The vendor manages all software updates (rather than upgrades performed by the customer with traditional hosted systems), providing a consistent experience for the customer. HCM SaaS Solutions offer functionality with a complete suite of modules (Core HR, payroll, talent management, etc.). The benefits of SaaS include easy accessibility, flexible configuration, leading user experience, and no hardware requirement when installing.
Cloud Computing – An expansion of the SaaS concept, Cloud computing is the general term for technology solutions delivered over the Internet. These solutions can include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which refers to processing and storage capacity; Platform as a Service (PaaS), which provides both IaaS and a software development environment; and Software as a Service (SaaS), which incorporates PaaS and includes fully-functional applications.
Multi-tenant – The ability for a software provider to run several customers' application instances within a singular software environment. Multi-tenancy enables software vendors to quickly deploy features and fixes to multiple customers, ensuring they have access to the latest solution capabilities with minimal disruption.
Hosted Delivery Model – The implementation and operation of a unique and separate instance of a solution provider’s software platform for a customer where a vendor provides the software, but the customer hosts and can customize the solution (e.g., Oracle EBS).
Configurability – In SaaS, configurability is the ability for a non-technical solution administrator to build, change, tailor, or modify a software system to support an organization’s unique business requirements. Configurability can include business processes (workflow), data fields, and user interface behavior, among other solution attributes.
HR Software – Allows the HR department to automate numerous tasks by maintaining records on a range of components of the HR department. HR software providers offer services for controlling employee data, reporting, employee self-service, benefits, and payroll. Synonyms are Software for HR, Human Resources Software, Human Resource Software, and Software for Human Resources.
Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – An applicant tracking system, commonly referred to as an ATS, electronically supports an organization’s recruitment needs. This includes: collecting and storing resumes, applications, and other related candidate data centrally in an online location. Additionally, ATSs allow recruiters to track and monitor candidates through all stages of the hiring process including: requisition, screening, interviews, selection, offer management, and hiring a candidate. Applicant tracking systems are also used to publish open jobs to an online career site, as well as multiple channels, such as job boards and aggregators, and social media.
Workflow – In technology, “workflow” refers to the steps or activities within a pre-determined process. For example, in a recruiting workflow, as a candidate applies for a position, interviews, and receives a job offer (or is rejected), that solution automatically manages recruiting activities as the applicant moves through the hiring process. Using a standard workflow enables status tracking and monitoring throughout the workflows.
Integration – Integration refers to the ability to various modules and solutions to automatically transfer data without human intervention.
Big Data – This refers to the new volume, variety, and velocity of data that now confront universities — information that can be difficult to store, search, and analyze, especially with legacy systems and tools. But, more importantly, big data also represents a new set of opportunities for data-driven decisions tied to business strategy across the University.
HRIS Module Functional Capabilities
Core HR – An HR system of record that helps to manage HR operational structures, organizational hierarchy, employee records, as well as employee personal and job data. Records management (e.g., imaging of employee personnel files) would also fall within this space.
Talent Management – Delivers functionality to support all phases of the talent life cycle including succession planning, performance management, workforce planning, and career mapping.
Recruiting – Allows candidates, recruiters, and managers to search, view, and apply for jobs in order to expedite the hiring process. Supports the preparation, selection, and appointment of candidates by the production of standard letters and reports.
Learning Management System (LMS) – Enables development, deployment, and management of a comprehensive learning program with features such as tracking education, qualifications and skills of employees, and outlining available training courses.
Time & Attendance – Captures time and attendance and job costing for both salaried and hourly employees and standardized time and work-related efforts.
Payroll – Automates the pay process by gathering data on employee time and attendance, calculating various deductions and taxes, and generating periodic pay checks and employee tax reports.
Benefits – Provides a system for organizations to administer and track employee participation in benefits programs, typically encompassing health and welfare plans, defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, wellness plans, and a variety of other plans.
Compensation – Allows the organization to manage incentive plans, compensation bands and grades, variable pay, equity, allowances, and other compensation programs.
Reporting and Analytics Capability – Provides visibility into organizational transactions by gathering data and then using it to make relevant decisions about how to improve and effectively manage employees.
HRIS Module Automated Technology Capabilities
Employee Self Service (ESS) – Allows employees to complete basic personal employee data changes such as name, address, and phone number, view and print W2s, change direct deposit and W4 information, enter and manage goals, enroll in benefit plans, view existing internal job postings, and apply online for a job.
Manager Self Service (MSS) – Enables managers to perform functionality such as to review and approve time, manage direct reports’ data such as promotions, salary changes, supervisor changes, and generate reports on the manager’s workforce.
CRM – Captures employee queries through a wide variety of methods such as email, calls, web, and chat and allows the organization to view, report, and manage tickets from entry to closure as part of the case management process.
Employee Portal – Provides a single, personalized source for HR content and information that allows the employee to navigate to the organization’s HR applications and tools.
User Experience – Users’ experience in utilizing a system, routinely evaluated by how intuitively the user can navigate through a system, the ease of use performing standard activities, and the fresh, integrated, and simple look and feel of the system. The ability for the system to be conveniently accessible and available via portable devices and remote capabilities.
Integration Management Tool – Platform designed to integrate a system of record with supporting applications and vendors using, for example, standards-based integration technology such as SOAP, XML, WSDL, WS_Security, FTP(s), and REST.
Mobile Capabilities – Ability to access HR systems from multiple devices other than desktop or laptop personal computers, including tablets, cell phones, and other devices, most commonly used for timesheets and HR transactional workflow approvals, recruiting, and reporting/metrics.
Social Media – Utilizing social media to enhance the brand and image of HR and the broader employee experience. This includes integration into many talent management processes including recruiting, onboarding, and coaching. In addition, social media can be a powerful influencing factor on HR and the broader organizational culture.
Intelligent Visual Interface – Mobile applications that seamlessly connect users on portable devices to HR services.
Telephony Technology – Integrates leading tools into the interaction between HR customers and HR services. Examples include: interactive video, universal queuing, intelligent call back, voice biometrics, and other similar features. The biometrics and voice capabilities have become more prevalent in areas such as time collection.