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Platinum Payroll

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Platinum Payroll System's objective is to provide a total software solution for an organization's people management consisting of completely integrated payroll, time-and-attendance and human resources modules, and the interface of Platinum is modern and responsive. Find out how Ezypay, Platinum's largest service bureau, attained powerful reporting and efficient processing creating a major differentiating advantage.
PLATINUM PAYROLL

Challenge

Develop an integrated payroll, time-and-attendance and human resources application that relies on a single database to simplify personnel management

Solution

Partner with Progress and swiftly develop an integrated application on the Progress® OpenEdge® development platform that could be delivered as a licensed software product or as a SaaS solution

Result

Fast market entry with a powerful, modular application that can be sold directly to large enterprise customers and indirectly to service bureaus, with the potential to scale to enter new geographic markets throughout the Asia Pacific

Story

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.

Benefits

"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 opportunities."

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.

About Ezypay

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.

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