In October 2020, UKG released version 7.3 of the UKG Telestaff™ solution. The release added the new UKG logo to the application along with improvements to the Setup Data Manager tool and Focus Filters — it has us very excited for our customers and for the future of UKG TeleStaff!

That said, I understand the decision to move forward with a major version upgrade can be nerve-wracking. The level of effort needed is often difficult to comprehend alongside the craziness of normal day-to-day activities. 

Having worked with many customers on their TeleStaff upgrade journeys, I want to provide system administrators and decision makers with some insider tips that will make you more confident in your decision to move forward with your TeleStaff 7.3 upgrade and better prepare your teams to execute a smooth migration.

 

Telestaff

 

First and foremost, ask yourself, “Do I need to migrate to version 7?”

In October 2020, UKG TeleStaff product management published an article in UKG Kronos Community outlining how TeleStaff versions below v7.0 are at their end of engineering

That means UKG support teams will continue to provide troubleshooting support to our TeleStaff customers, but when it comes to any bug fixes, legislative updates, or security updates, the changes will only be applied to the current and two preceding versions of TeleStaff. For example, TeleStaff 7.3 is our most current version (at the creation of this article). Therefore, versions 7.3, 7.2, and 7.1 will be the only versions receiving engineering support moving forward.

As I’ve started to strategically plan the year with my customers, the conversations around mapping a migration to 7.3 have been top of mind for many them. Here’s why:

  • Upgrading to version 7 allows organizations to be in lockstep with release cycles for TeleStaff. After executing one major upgrade, the minor upgrades that follow will be much less involved. 
  • There are an incredible number of new features in the 7 series that can fill your staffing needs.  

If you’d like to find out more about a TeleStaff upgrade, feel free to contact your customer success manager, account manager, or UKG Global Support for more information.

So, you’ve decided to upgrade. How do you best prepare?

If you’ve already decided to upgrade your TeleStaff application, here are the three tasks I recommend you consider before the upgrade project kicks off:

Read release notes 

Once you’ve decided  you’re going to upgrade, encourage your administrators to read through the release notes of the versions between your current application and version 7.3 to get a better sense of the great additions made to the product since your last upgrade. 

Coordinate your internal teams

We often experience the most delays during upgrade projects at the beginning of the engagement. Roles and responsibilities must be determined and assigned to your team following the kickoff call. For the project to be smooth and successful, open the lines of communication within your organization early. Having roles assigned from the get-go will ensure a positive upgrade experience. 

These are the KEY roles to assign internally as you prepare for your first meeting with a UKG TeleStaff upgrade team member. To minimize delay, think in advance of who in your organization can fill these specific roles:

Role Responsible for 
Executive Sponsor Escalation points for the UKG project team
Customer Lead Deliverables of time, quality, and accuracy
TeleStaff Admin Knowing the ins and outs of your TeleStaff system
Functional Team Taking the product training assigned to them and testing the solution; individuals who work in TeleStaff every day
IT Coordinating technical deliverables, including technical work plan and development of conversion and interface
Training Team Training the organization on the new features of the system
DBA (ON PREM ONLY) Performance tuning, backups, and recovery plan creation
Network Admin (ON PREM ONLY) Knowledge of the organization’s network, future plans, and outstanding issues or problems with the network

Take stock of your custom configurations

Are you a customer with reports, scripts, feeds, or integrations that were custom built for your TeleStaff solution? The support and reconfiguration of these custom items are not included in our upgrade process and should be accounted for by your organization and the UKG upgrade team during the early stages of the upgrade process.

Proactively identifying your custom items will help your team better prepare internally for a thorough testing period of these pieces during your upgrade process. Should you uncover a need to allocate extra time and resources to alter your custom solution for the new TeleStaff version, you’ll be ready!

Plan with customer success

Your customer success and account management teams are here to help. Once you have made the decision to move forward with an upgrade, you can contact your customer success manager or account manager to schedule a discussion around what new features might benefit your organization.

 

There are many customers out there just like you! Please feel free to join the UKG TeleStaff discussion group in UKG Kronos Community to connect with your peers in the industry, exchange ideas, and consider best practices as you continue to grow your expertise within our applications.

Published: Tuesday, March 2, 2021