WorkForce Technologies Brings Custom Solutions

Three companies, three situations, three opportunities to deliver better self-service. Here are the solutions WorkForce Technologies developed.

January 8, 2002

Among WorkForce Technologies' clients are a major defense contractor, an international health insurance provider, and a global appliance manufacturer. All had unique needs with a common thread: each required the efficiencies and enhanced customer service that could be achieved through the use of Web -- and voice-based -- self-service technologies.

The Opportunities
Client 1 had a tie in to a legacy mainframe benefits application. The client's goal was a Web and voice self-service solution that would directly update its legacy mainframe application. Client 2 needed to extend its benefits product offerings to include an employee self-service delivery option to collect and administer benefits. Client 3 wanted to quickly and efficiently collect time exceptions for a widely distributed employee population.

The Solutions
For Client 1, WorkForce Technologies designed an application using Edify Corporation's Electronic Workforce, which allowed its employees to perform benefit-related functions via a telephone- or Web-based front end created for its mainframe-based information system. For Client 2, WorkForce Technologies implemented a Java-based online benefits application that tied in to the client's existing mainframe application. This customized solution allowed the client to provide its many plan sponsors with the opportunity to post certain plan sponsor-specific information and graphics. For Client 3, WorkForce Technologies brought telephone- and Web-based interactivity to time and attendance accounting for its salaried workers. WorkForce established computer access through the Internet and intranet, and telephone access supported by Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

The Implementations
For each client, WorkForce performed a needs analysis, followed by the establishment of specific requirements and business rules that provided the framework for each customized solution. WorkForce then implemented the appropriate hardware, and developers created the applications. These customized applications were tested on a development server and then moved to the appropriate production servers, where they were tested once again before activation.

The Results
For Client 1, the solution interacted in real time with its legacy system, and avoided data-integrity problems intrinsic in batch processing of data by middle-ware applications. The system allowed navigation of the complex business rules inherent in a large corporation with employees stationed in many different states and nations. The system responded to individuals, and efficiently kept track of personal changes that affected their benefits, their job status, and their location. Finally, the system was reliable for both Web and telephone users. This was important because many employees had no access to the Internet when they were not on the job.

For Client 2, the solution successfully extended its customer product offerings while maintaining its current market share. The system provided the full range of benefits functionality with extensive support for life events, dependent processing, evidence of insurability and other administrative processes.

For Client 3, employees inherited direct responsibility for changes and updates to its time and attendance records, eliminating batch processing by payroll personnel. Employees could also request information on their personal accrual of sick leave, vacation days, overtime hours, and other statistics. Using the same communication channels, managers also had instant access to employee time and attendance statistics.