Published: May 21, 2018
Think about the number of enterprise applications that organizations rely on every day. There’s information residing in HR platforms, workforce management solutions, payroll systems, etc. Quickly and efficiently processing payroll, running compliance reports, managing employee records, or administering open enrollment depends on sharing data between these key applications. So, how does critical information get from one place to another?
Three letters – API. Something that reminds me of magic, simplifies business processes, and maximizes the benefits of your enterprise level applications.
APIs connect two platforms together so that information can be shared between them. Think about simply searching your email inbox, booking flights, or viewing live sports scores, for example. From behind the scenes, in each of your apps, an API is what receives your request for information, searches the third-party sites it’s associated with and sends back what you see on your screen. Two easy-to-understand resources on this subject are The World Through an API (video) and What is an API? In English, please. (article).
Perhaps the two things to remember about APIs are that they enable fast data transfer and up-to-date information. They connect platforms in a way that allows for instant, two-way conversations. Rather than batch file transfers – where data is sent in a flat file and processed a day, week, or maybe a month later – API data streams process information in real-time, bidirectionally!
Both Workforce Central® and Workforce Dimensions™ solutions have API-based, business integrations with large human capital management (HCM) vendors like Workday, Oracle, and SAP. This means that when an organization enters new hire information into the HR platform, the new employee is immediately available for scheduling because the API automatically updates the data in the workforce management solution. It’s the same when an employee changes jobs or gets a raise, allowing for always-accurate, reliable payroll information.
"API integrations between major HCM platforms and Kronos solutions help improve the customer experience by synchronizing the data across all systems. APIs also simplify integration development, saving time and money during implementations."
Gary Bernier - Director, Strategic Partnerships
Then there are functional integrations. Take, the Workforce Dimensions integration with Microsoft Outlook. You can see and interact with your Kronos solution all from within the Outlook application. You don’t even have to open Kronos to submit time off! Perform this action with a few clicks in your Outlook profile – thanks to the APIs that are making immediate data transfers between Microsoft and Kronos to give you a simple and seamless experience.
I asked one of my technical friends about it – here’s what he said:
"The Workforce Dimensions integration to Outlook truly allows our customers to work their way. Now, employees can increase productivity by doing their most common tasks, like submitting time-off requests and viewing their schedule, without ever leaving Outlook. Similarly, managers can approve time-off requests and timecard exceptions without logging into the application. This allows them to spend more time where it matters most – with their customers and staff.”
Mike May, Sr. Director, Platform as a Service
Workforce Dimensions APIs are publically available to customers on-demand. But it can be complex to use them correctly if you’re new to the platform. Kronos Services provides tiered levels of API assistance to help ensure successful API integration across all your systems without costly delays or mistakes. They can also help you rapidly implement a Data Extraction Tool to replace queries you run against your system today so that specified applications – like Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Data Warehouse, and Point of Sale solutions – can receive Workforce Dimensions data.
"We know many of our customers extract data directly from the Kronos platform using custom queries and procedures. Kronos can replicate that functionality on day one in your cloud platform using the Data Extraction Tool. Check out our datasheet for more detail or reach out to me at [email protected]. I’m happy to hear from you!"
Matthew Brown, Director, Global Integration & API Consulting
If you’re inspired by all this talk about APIs and integrations, check out the Workforce Dimensions Marketplace or join the conversation in the Workforce Dimensions and API and Integrations Consulting (for WFC customers) groups in the Kronos Community.