Quickly Develop an Integrated "People Management" Application
Paul MacKenzie, the founder and CEO of Platinum Payroll, had over 20 years experience
in design, development and consulting in the payroll and human resources software
industry but was frustrated with existing applications that relied on multiple databases
and didn't address the need to simplify data input of payroll information. Having
witnessed poor functionality and service in the payroll and human resources sector, he
was determined to provide the highest quality software in a smart, modern environment
and back it up with outstanding service.
That led him to start Platinum Payroll and establish a partnership with Progress
that enabled Platinum Payroll to develop an innovative new application on a flexible,
integrated database environment backed by a strong partnership program. Platinum
Payroll wanted to quickly develop and bring to market a completely integrated
application that included payroll, time-and-attendance and human resources
functionality using a single database. While competitive solutions relied on one database
for payroll, another for time tracking and yet a third database for tracking human
resource records, Platinum developed a single application that allows customers to
implement what Platinum refers to as, "people management."
Partner With Progress
MacKenzie was familiar with products and technologies from Progress, and earlier in his
career had developed applications in the Progress environment. "Selecting Progress was
a no brainer, I knew Progress® OpenEdge® inside and out and knew Progress offered me
everything I needed to build the application I envisioned," he said. "Progress also offered
a clear roadmap for progressively adding functionality and was very active in supporting
Progress Partners in New Zealand."
As a small software developer, Platinum Payroll needed an integrated development
environment that would allow it to quickly develop a modern application that
could successfully compete with established payroll, human resources and time-and-attendance applications. With Progress OpenEdge, Platinum could leverage
MacKenzie's industry expertise to quickly build an integrated application that was highly
differentiated in the market by its integrated database and value-added features, such as
advanced labor cost modeling capabilities.
Platinum also wanted to develop integrated reporting and modeling functionality that would
differentiate its solution in the market. For example, support for unlimited pay codes allow
retailers to project hourly costs in advance to more efficiently forecast labor costs and select
staff accordingly during peak selling periods. Progress OpenEdge provides the flexibility that
has allowed Platinum to develop advanced features that differentiate its solution in the New
Zealand market and capture highly visible accounts throughout New Zealand, including Hyndes
Pipe Systems, Hooker Pacific, Briscoes Homewares and Rebel Sports.
Platinum was also able to sell its software to service bureaus like Ezypay that now use Platinum
software, and Platinum refers smaller companies to these service bureaus for outsourced
payroll services. "I received a phone call from Ezypay because they were dissatisfied with the
payroll application they were using, and they sent me detailed questions asking me to answer
about how our software could address the needs of a service bureau," said MacKenzie. He met
with Justin Ryan, a Director of Ezypay, listened to his input and tailored Platinum’s software to
address the needs of service bureaus.
Ezypay is now Platinum's largest service bureau customer, and Platinum’s software is now
also used to process payroll at Keylink Payroll Services and PayMasters Payroll Services. While
Ezypay and Keylink license Platinum's software, PayMasters has opted to use the Platinum
software under a software as a service (SaaS) business model. Platinum is growing its business
through service bureaus, and envisions possibly offering its solution in cloud-based Application
Platform as a Service (aPaaS) configurations.
"Progress OpenEdge gives us the ability to offer flexible pricing models," MacKenzie explained.
"Clients can either license the software and pay upfront and pay an annual maintenance fee, or
we can offer it in a SaaS model and charge customers monthly on a cost-per-pay slip produced
by the system. Progress helped us developed innovative pricing models, and this approach
gives us maximum flexibility in structuring our pricing to meet the needs of our clients."
Platinum's service bureau customers are also benefiting from migrating to Platinum and
gaining the performance advantages of Progress OpenEdge. According to Ryan, "By migrating
to Platinum Payroll, Ezypay now has the ability to grow exponentially—technology is not
holding us back anymore. Progress OpenEdge allows us to rely on a single database, and we can
process payrolls much faster. Platinum has developed features within Progress OpenEdge that
streamline data input, so we can more efficiently import Excel spreadsheets to load payroll
data during peak periods without having to hire additional staff during busy seasons. But the
main advantage of Progress OpenEdge is that we’ve never faced a corrupt piece of data, which
used to happen all the time with our old system. Data integrity with Platinum Payroll has been
as solid as a rock."
Powerful reporting and efficient processing create a major differentiating advantage for
Platinum that's appreciated by its customers. "We have to send two files to the tax department
every month," said Ryan. "It used to take us a day-and-a-half to prepare them and now it takes
us about a half hour to send them to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and email them to
clients, and the detail included in the reports has been phenomenal."
Platinum's service bureau customers have been able to more efficiently handle the inevitable
busy season before the end-of-year holidays, when human resources departments have to
process vacation time. "Normally we have to hire temporary staff to gear up in December, but
since we deployed Platinum we've been ringing up clients at the end of the year looking for more
work," Ryan said jokingly.
"Progress offers very good technical support to Partners in New Zealand, and we're just
starting to explore some of the marketing support Progress offers," said MacKenzie.
"We've only offered our software within New Zealand so far, but over the medium term we're
considering expansion into Australia or other countries in the region, and Progress is helping us
with our marketing plans."
The performance efficiencies have led to measurable advantages for Platinum customers. One
customer with about 40 branches typically spent about two hours to generate payroll reports
and since migrating to Platinum can now generate and email the same reports in about 14
minutes. Another client calculates quarterly bonuses in about half an hour versus the half-day it
took before the company deployed the Platinum software.
Platinum has been able to differentiate its software on the performance, reliability and
scalability enabled by the Progress OpenEdge platform. "We've been able to achieve incredibly
efficient processing performance," said MacKenzie. "Progress OpenEdge also offers
efficiencies in development. For example, we can write simple a maintenance screen in about
a half an hour and can make all our reports available as PDFs that can be exported as Excel or
.CSV files for analysis. Progress allows us to deliver smart reports in a short amount of time,
and since OpenEdge never crashes and requires very little administration or support, it provides
us with real efficiencies as we develop new features for our software."
He continued, "We're excited about our ability to offer our software as a cloud-based service
and our ability in the future to leverage mobility and emerging technologies to continuously
improve our product. We're evaluating adding smartphone access to our app and considering
other major enhancements and we know that the OpenEdge development platform is flexible
and extensible enough to allow us to rapidly add new functionality to address new market
About Platinum Payroll
Platinum Payroll Systems Ltd. is 100% New Zealand owned and operated, and its objective is to provide a total software solution for an organization's
people management comprising completely integrated payroll, time-and attendance and human resources. The interface of Platinum is modern and
responsive, and it offers large amounts of customizable functionality so customers won't feel restrained at any point. Platinum prides itself on getting
closer to customers by understanding and responding to their corporate issues, and its software is ideally suited for organizations of 500 through
thousands of employees. Visit www.platinumpayroll.co.nz for more information.
Ezypay is a wholly New Zealand owned and operated business. Established in September 2000 to meet the increasing demand for outsourced payroll services, Ezypay has experienced rapid growth and now services employers in a wide range of industry sectors across the length and breadth of the country from its base in central Christchurch, and can also provide the same services for the New Zealand operations of overseas businesses. Ezypay is an industry leader, providing comprehensive, efficient and timely payroll management that combines the latest technology, years of experience and a commitment to service. Visit www.ezypay.co.nz for more information.