WageEasy Payroll Partner Profile
As part of yet another Partner Profile for December 2007, we would like to introduce you to WageEasy, another of our integrated payroll providers. Melissa Yen speaks with Ross Stange, manager of WageEasy, to find out what the partnership has to offer the HR technology industry.
Ok Ross, perhaps you could begin by explaining a bit about the history of WageEasy and some of its key developments over the years?
Well, since it was established in 1993, WageEasy has built a reputation as a strong and reliable payroll as it has evolved from a DOS offering through to the current Windows version available. The recent acquisition by Sage MicrOpay and the commitment for the product to continue to build the WageEasy brand and development plans is testament to the strength of the product and the reputation it holds within the marketplace.
So, just following on from that reference to your acquisition by Sage MicrOpay, has this resulted in any major changes for you at WageEasy?
No, not really. There have been no major changes to WageEasy. However, I would say that any changes that have been made have been positive and received positively by customers, partners and staff. One major change we have experienced, I guess, is the access to a larger infrastructure which the product now has. New marketing and branding material recently released is an example of the marketing resources now made available to us and the commitment by Sage MicrOpay to the product. In terms of what change we bring to the table, WageEasy has provided Sage MicrOpay with a solid product to extend its current portfolio of offerings. Our experienced Wage Easy team who are now part of the Sage MicrOpay group have also been vital in ensuring a smooth transition of ownership.
And what do you consider to be some of the key characteristics and benefits of the WageEasy payroll system? I understand you are one of the only payroll providers out there who offers an award interpreter as part of your system?
Yes, one of WageEasy’s key benefits is our award interpreter which is core to the product. The most beneficial characteristic of this is that it allows payroll to be calculated and processed rapidly. As such, flexible and comprehensive reporting along with the provision of an easy export facility allow for substantial efficiencies within your business.
In such a competitive market, is it fair to say this is something you at WageEasy really drive in order to differentiate yourself within the payroll market?
Yes, this is a major advantage of the WageEasy product. Many payroll systems work alongside a Time and Attendance application for interpretation of awards, however WageEasy can operate independent of any separate application and interpret awards within the core application. In addition to this, Wage Easy can also work alongside Time and Attendance applications. As an overall product, the major differentiating factors are made evident through Wage Easy’s provision of an integrated payroll/HR system that includes ease of use and unique award interpretation capabilities. The flexibility within the product also provides a great value proposition to customers as it is specifically designed for varying employment conditions. Another key aspect of our service that we pride ourselves on is our provision of the highest level of after sales service and support.
Ross, it seems that many high-profile companies are opting to combine their WageEasy payroll with EmployeeConnect’s HRIS system. Surely in fulfilling these integration requirements there are advantages to being associated with EmployeeConnect. What do you believe makes this partnership so unique within the market?
Well, I think that product specialists who are specialists in particular fields and choose to work together such as WageEasy and EmployeeConnect are in a position to provide solutions which bring together the best of breed applications. By working in conjunction with EmployeeConnect who HR system and workflow specialists, Wage Easy can provide a deeper solution which assists customers in managing their human resources.
And now, delving into your knowledge and expertise, as an HR director or any other C-level manager of an organisation seeking your service, what advice would you give me in considering the implementation a payroll and HRIS system?
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that the level of integration between these two areas is a major area which must be considered. Whether it be within a single application or across separate programs, businesses must feel comfortable that the level of integration meets their requirements. Part of the selection process should also be selecting a software provider that has a strong reputation in the marketplace, is financially viable, committed to their product and has a clear roadmap and future for that product. I would also advise to work with a software provider that can grow with a business as their needs change.
EmployeeConnect entered the New Zealand market early this year. Does WageEasy intend to expand globally?
Ah yes, there are plans to extend this presence and establish a product and presence in New Zealand as we currently have customers in the Pacific Island market.
And so, what of the future of the Payroll/HR technology industry in the next, say, five to ten years? Where do you see it all heading?
Well, if you look at the circumstances today in Australia, we are currently experiencing a severe skills shortage and this represents an excellent opportunity for HR software to deliver real value by assisting organisations to develop and nurture their existing talent. We believe that HR technology will continue to evolve with devolved HR systems being commonplace, empowering staff to manage their own HR information. This approach will ultimately provide HR Practitioners more time to focus on the strategic aspects of maintaining their organisation’s most vital assets – their people. Things such as reporting, workforce analytics and benchmarking will continue to grow in importance as employers look to harness the investment they have in the workforce. In addition, payroll will continue to add value within the business and will become more strategic than where it is today, it will however remain a processing operation and a vital part of the organization. The way I see it, the Payroll/HR market is mature and currently overcrowded with a large variety of products available. We envisage that over the next five to ten years, we will see a consolidation of vendors with a handful of players becoming dominant in the marketplace.
Ok, and finally, what does the future hold for WageEasy? Is there anything in the pipeline we should be on the look out for?
The way we see it, WageEasy faces a very bright future as the Sage MicrOpay ownership of the product strengthens our position in the market. We are currently working on a new version release for the Australian market – with plans to then move onto an international version which will cater for the New Zealand/Pacific markets.
Great, thanks very much for taking the time to share that with us Ross, and all the best!