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Should I upgrade Kronos WFC now or wait for Kronos version 8?

  
  
  
  

Kronos 8: Wait or Upgrade Now?

I cannot tell you how many times I was asked this question. In our booth, in the halls, at breakfast, everywhere! It seems that organizations are eager to be free of Java but aren't sure if they should wait that long to upgrade. Common themes were:

Aron J. Ain, Kronos CEO, stop by Improvizations to say hello!

"When a major release of Kronos Timekeeper hits the streets it usually takes a few service packs to be safe enough for my organization."
 
And "... how long will that be?"

Well first, that sounds like just about any major vendor's software release of software. Why that happens is the topic for another conversation.

It seems many are interested in advice about this. I found myself speaking with one person at the booth and others would come by to eavesdrop, and then join in the conversation. This is a big deal. What are some questions for your team to consider?

Upgrade to Workforce Central Version 7 NOW

How old is your Kronos system? 

If you have Kronos Timekeeper older than version 6.2 perhaps you should move now as support is getting less and less available.

Do you have Kronos HR and Payroll?

If you have version 6.2 or earlier you can't get legislative updates or any kind of compliance updates.

Are you mid-stream in an implementation or upgrade project with your consultant?

Clearly in many cases one should stay the path to version 7. However, if your Kronos Workforce Central upgrade is in the Discovery phase, it is worth looking at the impact of a delay. We like to perform analysis early in the upgrade project to identify the best path to get from where you are to where you need to be. An important part of this Kronos Upgrade Studio workshop is to identify the ideal timeline given the organizational requirements and the Kronos product suite's constraints or benefits.

Wait for the Kronos upgrade

So this is what my friends wanted to hear. What are the benefits of waiting? We talked about the reasons and various positions one might take on the subject. Below is a simple list. Thanks to all I spoke with in helping to generate these ideas. Please ask questions and provide other thoughts in the comments section below as I think this topic deserves even more consideration.

  • Without Java, implementation is easier. It will work seamlessly on all computers, tablets and other devices.
  • Without Java, Kronos implementation Change Management (CM) will be easier. The product is available everywhere and will look and operate more cleanly. I think of CM as including Change, Training and Communications. All three will benefit from Kronos version 8.
  • Budget can be pushed for a year.
  • Waiting allows an implementation that will last much longer without Kronos sunsetting the version.
  • We won't have to retrain the users for the changes in v8 shortly after a v7 upgrade

Please add your thoughts to the comments. Questions to answer include:

  1. What are my organization's IT or corporate requirements for Upgrades and how might that affect our process upgrading Kronos Workforce Central?
  2. How is the budget tied to our upgrade and are bonuses attached?
  3. How did our last Kronos upgrade go? Did we learn anything that will improve the process this time?

No simple answer? We recommend that you start preparing now. Read more next week about this important topic.

Are you preparing for an implementation or upgrade?

kronos implementationLearn the secrets from an IT Director and CIO about the most important things to not miss when upgrading or implementing Kronos.

Download the Workforce Management Implementation Strategy White Paper.

 

The Next Big Thing at KronosWorks 2014

  
  
  
  

KronosWorks 2014 in Las Vegas is only 9 days away and those of us who have been to KronosWorks before and support the Kronos products are wondering what will be the "Next Big Thing" in the Kronos world this year.

At my last KronosWorks back in 2012, the Kronos Workforce Tablet was the "Big Thing" with the idea of helping frontline managers to "manage in the moment". The demonstrations were impressive and it was great to hold the iPad in my hands and experiencing the new method of interfacing with Workforce Central.

While I didn't attend KronosWorks in Orlando in 2013, I heard that the "Big Thing" was the introduction of Social Media components to Workforce Central. I liked the fact that you could integrate more messaging and user images with the product. In addition, the previously released Workforce Central 7.0 was front and center with new features being discussed at length.

KConnect partner CMYK resized 600

 I really am hoping that Kronos will give us more this year. But what might the next "Big Thing" be? For me, it would be the introduction of a full HTML5 version of Kronos Workforce Central. It is known that almost all new functionality in WFC 7 is built on HTML5 but how close are we to cutting the cord with Java altogether?

Many clients struggle with deploying Java across their organization and want something that works well with Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE and will work on more tablets and smart phones. The constant cycle of upgrades, which are really no longer optional, are forcing users and IT professionals to constantly upgrade and just when you have rolled out the new version, a new one gets released.

Could Kronos be announcing WFC Version 8 at KronosWorks? You have to wonder seeing that if their next release is HTML5 instead of JAVA, I would think it would be different enough to give it its own version number. Also, could Kronos be moving away from the incremental releases (6.0, 6.1, 6.2, etc.)? With the push to the cloud, fixes and enhancements could be as seamless as the updates that we do today for our smartphone applications.

To those of you that read our blog, I would love to know, what you think will be the "Big Thing" at KronosWorks 2014 and what were your "Big Things" of the past?

Chandler Paris
Senior Workforce Consultant


This year, at KronosWorks 2014, in gratitude to our clients and our consultants, Improvizations will be giving away the Gift of Time. Stop by our booth #611. Tell us why you need more time - and we'll see how we can help.

Improvizations presents: The Gift of Time

  
  
  
  

Years ago I was frantically trying to get everything done on a hot Saturday afternoon in Tampa. I'm sure you know the drill - working mom trying to squeeze everything in during the weekend, laundry, cleaning, dry cleaners, grocery shopping, you name it, I was doing it.

 

My son, who was eight years old at the time, was with me. He had been a great little companion that day, not complaining as I dragged him into countless stores, always admonishing him to "Hurry up! I don't have a lot of time today!" whenever he lingered.

 

describe the imageAs we came up to a stoplight, our local Krispy Kreme donut shop was across the corner, glowing and tempting. He looked at me, hesitated, and then asked "Can we stop for a donut?" Poor kid, he already knew the answer would be "No! Not today, honey, I don't have enough time."

 

And then my brilliantly wise 8-year said the words that would change my life.

 

"But, mom, there's always time for a donut!"

 

And I looked into his big, brown, pleading eyes and realized he was absolutely right.

 

I don't remember what errands we did that day or if we even got everything done. I do remember sitting in the booth with our donuts and hot chocolate, talking and laughing and bonding.

 

I remember the lesson - and hear his words in my head when I'm feeling especially stressed out or rushed. There's always time to stop and enjoy the moment, to appreciate life, and to be grateful for those that we love. A few minutes of time to stop and breathe gives us the necessary time to focus on what's really important.

 

When was the last time you had time for a donut?

 

This year, at KronosWorks 2014, in gratitude to our clients and our consultants, Improvizations will be giving away the Gift of Time. Stop by our booth #611. Tell us why you need more time - and we'll see how we can help.

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It's All in the Delivery - Delivery Manager

  
  
  
  
Improvizations is now hiring a Delivery Manager to lead multiple project teams. Does this sound like you? Read more on our careers page or download our job posting.
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Kronos and Denial of Service or Java error messages

  
  
  
  
Just a quick update to note that we have received several concerns about recent denial of services messages for hosted Kronos databases and wanted to direct you to our Kronos-fans user group for suggestions and workarounds. 

Are you a leader or a follower with your Kronos implementation?

  
  
  
  

It takes guts to lead. It takes guts to follow. Remember when reviewing your Kronos Timekeeper or Scheduling implementation to give the team members with the seemingly crazy ideas a chance. They might just have the idea that saves the company $10M.

 

 

Get the promised ROI out of your Kronos Implementation

kronos implementation auditGain insights into how to get the most from what you have. Kronos Performance, Configuration Best Practices, Enforcing your Labor Policies, Custom Training needs, and Fit/Gap driven plans to help get you from 'here' to 'there' by requesting a free review.

Workforce Management Consultants Needed

  
  
  
  

The US unemployment rate continues its downward trend, and while that's good news for our slowly growing economy, that collective groan you hear just might be from people like me who are responsible for finding good talent.

Kronos® continues to grow at an astounding rate, with revenues projected to top $1 billion, which means that the market for Kronos consultants will remain fairly stable. We anticipate this to be true even as Kronos® moves to shift more of its clients to the Cloud. So, not to channel Sam Roberts, but - where have all the consultants gone?

An interesting trend that we have noted lately is that many companies are aggressively recruiting consultants to full-time positions. In the last six months, at least three excellent WFM consultants with whom we have worked for many years were made "offers they couldn't refuse" (and yes, I am hoping this doesn't mean they woke up with a horse's head in the bed).  Others are kept very busy on contract jobs as the industry scrambles to upgrade to the latest version of Kronos WTK (spoiler alert: I hear version 8.0 will be released early next year - expect to hear more at KronosWorks 2014 in Vegas)!

This is my long-winded way of telling you that we are actively recruiting Kronos consultants. Who are we looking for?

The individual who will find us the perfect fit is a self-starter, a team player, and is willing to speak up and be heard. With a strong business and systems background, our perfect team member blends good practices with common sense, is able to see the big picture and is willing to work on any part of the project that needs help. Our ideal candidate fights hard for the success of our clients, and is committed to growing with our company.

We typically look for Applications Consultants who can implement workforce management solutions into client sites. Our consultants interact with our clients in a variety of industries and settings, including on-site and telecommuting opportunities, but primarily work on upgrades and/or implementations. We require a minimum of 7 years of experience with the Kronos suite of applications.  

We have an abundance of work - if you or anyone you know is between contracts or coming off of a contract, please email your resume to me, Amy Doughten doughten(at)improvizations(dot)com, and I promise to contact you within 48 hours. Come work with us!

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Kronos Testing - Who Needs Testing Anyway?

  
  
  
  

So why do we test a Workforce Timekeeper configuration? 

Well, why do they test medical students before they become doctors?  Why do law students have to pass the bar?  Why are PhD students required to complete a dissertation? 

It's simple, we do this testing because we Timekeeper doctorwant to make sure these individuals know what they are doing before they practice medicine, law or before they teach our future students.

Fundamentally, we want them do know what they are doing before the do it...

The same is true for configuration testing of Workforce Timekeeper.  Listen, if you have been through, or are going through a configuration of a Kronos product, you know the amount of time and effort your team has invested in this process.  You probably know the costs involved. Do you plan on starting this process with the thought of having endless delays?  Of course not.

There is nothing more vital to the success of your Workforce Timekeeper implementation than a thorough, detailed testing plan...

Now don't get me wrong, there are several things that can be as important as testing. But if you don't get the testing right, you are looking for trouble - trouble in the form of a delayed implementation; trouble in the form of an application that doesn't meet your needs; trouble in the form of employees that don't see the value in Workforce Timekeeper and are therefore less likely to use it.  Lots and lots of trouble. 

What?  Still not convinced?  Well let me spell it out for you. 

  1. A well run testing program will ensure that Workforce Timekeeper does everything you want it to do...every time. 

  2. A well run testing program will help determine if the organization has all the configuration points necessary and/or if all of the configuration points are necessary.

  3. A well run testing program will help the implementation team anticipate how new users will interface with Workforce Timekeeper.

Testing not only tells you that the system you have configured works right, it tells you if what you have is what you need.  Do you need different pay rules?  Are there too many pay rules?  Does the configured function access profile do what it was intended to do?  Are we missing anything? 

Depending on the type of testing run you may have the opportunity to have testers that haven't used Workforce Timekeeper before.  This is a valuable opportunity, though a time-consuming one.  By watching these users the testing team can get a good feel for how new users will interface with Workforce Timekeeper, what they will understand and what they won't.  As we all know, Workforce Timekeeper isn't really intuitive to the user, but it is simple.  This type of information will be valuable when the training team becomes involved with the implementation. 

Testing is really important. 

So what's next?  Well, let's talk about who will lead your testing program.  What they should know and what their responsibilities are. 

We need successful testing to ensure a successful implementation.

the-wrong-choices-cost-plenty

Are you a Kronos-Fan?

  
  
  
  

Ever just need a quick answer to a Kronos-related dilemma? How do you assign a default accrual code to a new employee? What happens when you get an error reading badge data? Need a script to get firmware versions for each device in a report?

We've all been there - maybe you have a Kronos-related question and you need an answer or a creative solution. Why not try the largest Kronos® user forum in the world?

With close to 2000 members, and in operation since 2003, Kronos-Fans is a moderated forum that provides timely support and discussion on all topics Kronos (and ADP eTime) including both technical and functional subjects. This year alone, we have had over 500 discussions started - questions asked and answered. As a member of this virtual community, you will find and *meet* people from all over the world here ready to help with just about any question or problem you might have. It is sponsored by Improvizations, but as a moderated forum, no recruiters or salespeople are permitted. We deeply appreciate the volunteers who help moderate our site, and provide a wealth of information and experience to our Kronos-Fans.

So how do you join? Come visit us at Kronos-Fans and click on the big purple button and become a Kronos-Fan.

Pick Our Brain

Who's going to be at KronosWorks this year? We are!

  
  
  
  

Join Improvizations at KronosWorks 2014November 9-12 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

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Take the opportunity to talk with our Kronos professionals face to face about your business needs. Let us know if you'll be there!

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Any references in any blog to Kronos, Kronos Workforce Central or to the Kronos suite of products refer to registered trademarks of Kronos Incorporated or a related company.