January 10, 2017

HCM System APIs: Selling Point or Hidden Cost?

HCM System APIs: Selling Point or Hidden Cost?

By Kit Dickinson on January 10, 2017

businessman calculating hidden costs of DIY integration with APIs

Let’s say you’ve got a prospect who is thinking about purchasing your HCM solution. They’re close to buying, but the big hangup is their existing application that needs to exchange data with your platform. Your default solution is to provide your API data dictionary, but they were hoping your implementation team could handle the integration.

You know that Time Bank™ can seamlessly provide the connection and any unique logic your client needs, but they’re already nervous about the price and you don’t want to tack on more expenses. You need to win that sale. What are your options?

Pass a DIY Solution to Your Client

If your prospect has developers onsite, their IT staff could build their own integration program to connect their systems to your HCM system using APIs. It’s not especially difficult if they have the team and resources to do it, and many HCM sales reps use their API as a selling point—it’s a doable DIY solution that can cut your customer’s upfront costs.

But it’s a solution that opens up other problems. Many people don’t realize that APIs don’t actually complete the data exchange between different systems. An API can expose information to be retrieved or provide standards for inserting data, but APIs themselves don’t provide any mappings, business logic, or other data transformation to move the data from one system to another.

To make the actual data connection, you need a third program that allows the two systems to successfully exchange data. Your customer can’t simply link your API with their current systems and get the results they need. It’ll take a greater investment of time and effort, and they’ll need to consider the long-term cost of a DIY solution.

We’ve seen what happens when a customer builds their own payroll integration solution:

  • The DIY project ends up costing more than expected. Between the learn-as-you-go development, scope creep, miscommunication between departments, and collaboration time with non-IT personnel, project costs skyrocket quickly.
  • Maintenance creates migraines. Once the program is built, it will need to be maintained. That means pulling IT staff off of other projects every time one of the integrated systems receives an update. And if maintenance hits a snag, it could bottleneck payroll.
  • Staff turnover leaves knowledge gaps. What happens when the only guy who understands a section of code leaves the company? As soon as that code needs to be updated, your client will be dealing with a pile of issues they hadn’t counted on.

In the end, your client becomes frustrated with your HCM system because they’ve ended up spending more than they expected on a complicated solution. Your system isn’t as easy to work with as they expected, and they’ll go looking for another vendor.

Win More Sales with Time Bank

Even if your prospect is balking at the cost, adding Time Bank to your solution can actually help you win more sales. Your customers aren’t just concerned about the immediate costs—they want the right solution for the long haul. By focusing on the value that Time Bank adds and the long-term cost savings they’ll enjoy, you position your HCM system as the one that provides a complete solution that’s fitted to all of their time, payroll and HR needs.

We’ve been working with vendors’ APIs for years, and Time Bank has been used by more than 25,000 companies over the last 20+ years. Our team works with our partners’ implementation teams to deliver the integration solutions on time, without burdening your client’s valuable internal resources with new development and ongoing support.

We’re often asked, “Couldn’t we just do this integration work?” The easy answer is, yes. But the right question is, “Should we be investing in this development and support?” Most companies we work with are glad that they trusted a proven company like IDI so they can focus on their business.

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