Driving Development
NISC’s development cycle for new solutions goes through many phases, but one critical step is the beta testing process. During this process, NISC’s Members have a chance to try new solutions and help us determine if they’re working properly, help find bugs and generally optimize the solution for release to the Membership.

NISC’s iVUE Connect solution has been going through this testing process. Members are currently testing new modules for iVUE Connect – Service and the latest piece of the software, iVUE Connect – Financials.

While the iVUE Connect – Financials HR persona has been in the hands of NISC’s beta partners for testing, another unlikely development partner for this particular solution was discovered along the way – the NISC employees.

“We looked to our employees to beta of our software, just like we ask our Members to participate in the beta program,” said John Weber, NISC product line manager. “We know we have a lot of employees here at NISC, and this was an opportunity for us to help engage them in our single strategic initiative, iVUE Connect. This was an opportunity to expose all aspects of NISC to what we’re working on with iVUE Connect.”

iVUE. Anytime, Anywhere.
iVUE Connect – Financials is the second iVUE Connect module to be released for the solution, with iVUE Connect – Operations currently in development. iVUE Connect provides NISC Members a user-friendly way to interact with their iVUE data. The cloud-based solution is a new spin on the iVUE Solution that Members use every day. A new, intuitive interface makes finding information and completing tasks easier than ever, without changing screens.

iVUE Connect’s role-based design is set up to closely match roles within NISC Member organizations, presenting the most important information for that role up front, which provides quick answers and faster solutions to daily challenges.

While iVUE Connect – Service’s roles are set up to help customer service and billing roles within NISC Member organizations, iVUE Connect – Financials aims to take iVUE’s Accounting and Business solutions into the cloud and to help accounting, payroll and human resources staff complete daily tasks more quickly.

The NISC employees were able to help beta test the first persona available for iVUE Connect – Financials, the HR persona. This includes human resources and payroll functionality and has already helped NISC gain efficiency internally.

“It seems extremely user-friendly, which I think employees will really appreciate,” said Amy Gietzen, NISC human resources specialist and one of the first HR administrators to use iVUE Connect. “The system itself is just very intuitive, so I feel like less training and fewer training documents will be needed. They’ll always be there, but I don’t know that the employees will really need them.”

Increasing Efficiency by Reducing Paper
Like many NISC Members, NISC uses separate systems for human resources and payroll functionality, meaning NISC employees need to log into HRIS for human resources functions and rely on NISC’s payroll department for many changes or updates to items such as their W-4, direct deposit information and even emergency contacts.

“HR would have to set employees up in their system, and I would have to key in everything into payroll myself again,” said Denise Sheldon, NISC accounting specialist and payroll administrator in iVUE Connect. “It’s double work, and iVUE Connect is going to save us a lot of time.”

Bringing NISC employees onto iVUE Connect – Financials allows employees to access and update a lot of information themselves, eliminating a lot of data entry between human resources and payroll, also reducing the use of paper within NISC.

“There’s a lot of paperwork that will just vanish, which will be really nice both from the perspective of those who have to fill it out and those who have to track it,” Gietzen said. “Employees can change their W-4 allowances, they can change their direct deposit. All of those options are available now and they weren’t before.”

Employees can also use iVUE Connect for many of the employee self-serve features available in iVUE, like submitting timesheets and requesting time off, as well as updating their address, contact information and emergency contacts. Managers and team leads can approve these requests and submissions right through iVUE Connect’s user-friendly interface.

“It’s very user-friendly, and that’s the feedback we’ve been getting from the employees,” Sheldon said.

The point of any beta test is to find bugs or features that aren’t working properly, so they can be fixed before the solution is available for mass release. That certainly has been the case with NISC’s internal beta of iVUE Connect, but the solution has worked very well across all of NISC’s locations.

“Employees have been very open, and if they see something that’s not functioning properly, they’re really good at pointing it out,” Gietzen said. “They’ve been really patient, because they know that it’s beta for us, and everything may not be perfect right away.”

Many NISC solutions are very specific to the industries we serve, but like NISC Members, the IT cooperative is excited about the benefits of improved HR efficiency and the employee empowerment that comes with iVUE Connect.

“We’ve put every employee on at NISC, including our payroll and HR department, and they’re working through it on a regular basis,” Weber said. “It was really an opportunity for us to get in front of all of those employees company wide, and it’s gone really well and helped us validate some of our employee data.”