Installing Employee Self-Service in GP2016 R2 Web Client

  • Installing Employee Self-Service in GP2016 R2 Web Client

    Posted by DSC Communities on April 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm
    • Joanne Herzog

      Member

      April 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM

      Our organization is planning an upgrade from GP2013 R2 to GP2016 R2.  We will have an on-premise hybrid architecture, thick client SQL database server with terminal (Citrix) client server for the core GP product; and a separate web (IIS) client server for the Employee Self-Service functions. I’m looking for some front-line information about how the installation of ESS works in GP2016 R2.

      At the time of the GP2013 R2 upgrade, the decision was made to not install the web client, so we currently use Employee Self-Service via Business Portal. Additionally, our organization did not enable the Payroll functions for ESS, and currently uses only the HR functions (e.g. Paychecks, W-2, W-4).  Our payroll data entry process is largely manual, with employees completing paper time cards which are manually entered into Dynamics GP by the payroll staff.  This is a good time to note that we use Project Accounting.

      My question(s):  Are the Employee Self Service features still separated into functional areas of Payroll and HR? Also, can the Employee Self-Service features be installed separately–similar to how other core GP features and modules are installed (see screenshot)?

      The change management associated with rolling out a new timecard process for 700+ employees (union and non-union) would cause a significant drain on the project resources, and I’d like to know our options.

      Thanks

      ——————————
      Joanne Herzog
      Programmer Analyst
      Grant County PUD
      Ephrata WA
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    • Charles Allen

      Member

      April 19, 2017 at 2:47 AM

      The self service functionality in GP 2016 is separate functionality inside GP. A user who has no other reason for using GP, would log into GP and only have access to the self service functionality.

      There are specific security roles in GP 2016 for employee self service, such as ESS EMPLOYEE*. This security role gives a user access to things like viewing pay stubs, viewing/updating profile, and other things.

      On the Employee Maintenance window you would identify the GP user with the employee using a field in the Additional Information window.

      The functionality is the same whether you use the web client or traditional client. The web client makes sense because you don’t have to install GP on employee machines.

      The functionality is not installed separately. It’s part of the application. It’s the security that enables users to access just the self service functionality.

      For time entry, you do have Project Time and Expense Entry. It’s easy but it requires users to log into GP to enter data. Another option is to look at a product, like Journyx (Journyx: Time and Expense Tracking for Dynamics ERP and More), which works with GP but has a lot more features. For 700 employees, you may want more functionality than the native functionality.

      ——————————
      Charles Allen
      Senior Managing Consultant
      BKD Technologies
      Houston, TX
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    • Beat Bucher

      Member

      April 19, 2017 at 9:24 AM

      Hi Joanne,
      I concur with Charles on this one.. with 700+ employees that you want to bring to the Timesheet (and possibly Expense) self-entry option, you better look for a solid product (Journyx is only one of many, there is also Olympic Project that is WA based company).
      The replacement for Business Portal that Microsoft embedded into GP (full & web client) is by far inferior for the end-user at a UX level (IMHO) and for that reason kept us from upgrading to GP2016.. We’re still on 2013R2 with Business Portal until we find a viable remplacement solution.. There are currently other considerations in play, like the possible ERP replacement, that put this project on ice for now…
      You should work closely with your partner to evaluate several 3rd-party products (and TEST them out) to find something that best fits your needs. Depending on your organization, you may want to look into something that could combine puch-clocks with the Project Time entry and automate in some ways the process.
      Good luck.

      ——————————
      Beat Bucher
      Business Analyst, Dynamics GP MVP
      Ultra-Electronics Forensic Technology Inc.
      Montreal QC/Canada
      +1-514-489-4267
      @GP_Beat http://dyngpbeat.wordpress.com/
      Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
      GP2013R2 / MR2012 CU14
      ——————————
      ——————————————-

    • Rob Klaproth

      Member

      April 19, 2017 at 10:41 AM

      Noooooooooooo Beat! What would we do if your employer got a different ERP system and we lost you? I am sure you would be so busy learning the new system that you would abandon us lowly GP folks.  

      In my opinion the employee self service functions such as updating address, changing your tax exemptions, updating skills and certification and viewing paycheck stubs works great inside of the self service portal. 

      The project time and expense is a completely different issue and I agree with you that a 3rd party add on solution is warranted here. 

      Another option is is to use a payroll provider and have your employees log in there to do all their functions.  Workday is a great cloud solution that handles all this stuff and then you can just work with your GP partner to integrate it back to GP using integration manager, smart connect or other tools.  If you go the ADP route, GP has a native ADP payroll import that requires no special programming it’s built right into GP!

      When you have 700 employees it’s really best to outsource the payroll processing functions to a company with experience handling all the various scenarios involved in dealing with unions.  Integrating back into GP is a time tested solution that works very well once properly designed. 

      Rob

      ——————————
      Rob Klaproth
      Sr. Dynamics GP Consultant
      Armanino
      San Diego CA
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    • Beat Bucher

      Member

      April 20, 2017 at 7:37 AM

      Rob,
      It’s not clearly defined yet, but it’s a question of when it will happen then if it will happen :-(.. looks like IFS is on the radar for all ULTRA companies… Don’t worry, I’m certainly not going to learn a new ERP system from scratch and will keep building on my GP assets :-).

      Outsourcing might be a good idea for 700+ employees, but I’ve seen cases where payroll was managed in GP for several hundreds or thousands of employees and wasn’t a big deal apparently. It probably all depends on resources ($$ & human) and to decide what is the most cost-efficient.

      ——————————
      Beat Bucher
      Business Analyst, Dynamics GP MVP
      Ultra-Electronics Forensic Technology Inc.
      Montreal QC/Canada
      +1-514-489-4267
      @GP_Beat http://dyngpbeat.wordpress.com/
      Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
      GP2013R2 / MR2012 CU14
      ——————————
      ——————————————-

    • Joanne Herzog

      Member

      May 3, 2017 at 7:17 PM

      Butch,

      Thank you for the insight into the differences between the Business Portal ESS application and the ESS features integrated into the core GP product.  This is extremely valuable information to me.

      As I stated in my original post, our Payroll Dept. manually enters timesheets for all hourly and Union personnel (approx. 500 employees) every two weeks.  They are extremely excited about the prospect of employees entering their own time, but there are definite requirements to making this a reality and it sounds like using Business Portal ESS as a benchmark is not a good starting point, rather a thorough review of the functionality as it exists in GP2016R2 is in order.

      My apologies for the delayed response, I’ve had some difficulty finding the responses to my post (alerts are no longer appearing in my inbox–different issue for another day!)

      Thank you,

      ——————————
      Joanne Herzog
      Programmer Analyst
      Grant County PUD
      Ephrata WA
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    • Joanne Herzog

      Member

      May 3, 2017 at 8:06 PM

      Charles,

      Thank you for your insights and the explanation of the installation process.  In our current configuration the GP Client is delivered via Citrix (terminal) server.  Actually, three separate Citrix clients for load balancing with our current utilization rate.  We will retain this configuration for all core elements of GP, except Employee Self Service. 

      Our intent is to setup a separate (second) GP Web Client that would only deliver ESS features.  The reason for this is two-fold:  first, the load would not increase for the Citrix clients; and second, minimize the impact of changes to ESS for those employees who are non-GP users.  Based on various demos I’ve seen, ESS delivered via the web client has much the same process and ‘feel’ as the Business Portal ESS delivered via SharePoint, with a much different ‘look’.

      As I understand it, not all of the Dynamics GP core products–and not all of our add-ins–can be delivered via a Web Client at this time, otherwise we might consider doing away with the Citrix client altogether.  😉

      Regards,

      ——————————
      Joanne Herzog
      Programmer Analyst
      Grant County PUD
      Ephrata WA
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