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Customer Story: Employease
Employease, a leader in employee information management, needed a business process management solution to track issues in quality assurance and development. The company evaluated a number of solution offerings and determined that the Serena® TeamTrack® solution would offer the greatest ease of use, as well as the scalability to meet evolving needs.
Although initially implemented for bug tracking in development, Serena TeamTrack has become integral to Employease’ business process management across the entire organization. Today, the company uses 10 separate TeamTrack workflows across nine departments. TeamTrack’s Web-based architecture is a good fit for Employease, providing around-the-clock access from any computer on the corporate network. Anytime access to issue status, coupled with TeamTrack’s automation and notification capabilities continually improves communication, shortens resolution cycles, and enhances customer service. In addition, TeamTrack’s extensive reporting keeps Employease on track with its Service Level Agreement (SLA) and resolution goals.
Implement a business process management solution to track issues
“From requirements gathering to bug tracking to customer care, TeamTrack is valuable at every single point of the process.”
- Alicia Rosario, Director of Quality Assurance, Employease
From open enrollment to performance reviews to tax requirements, human resources personnel juggle a number of responsibilities. To help them perform their jobs more efficiently, Atlanta-based Employease offers innovative human resources and benefit administration solutions. The company’s hosted, web-based application allows HR administrators and employees to take care of a variety of HR activities online, anytime. Additionally, Employease offers a variety of outsourced HR services to help organizations cover entire HR-related functions or for extra help during busier times. With a unique combination of technology and services, Employease helps more than 1,000 organizations reduce costs and improve service to employees.
At Employease, the pursuit of quality software and service delivery never ends. When seeking a business process management solution to track issues in Quality Assurance and Development, the company looked at a number of different options. After several in-house teams evaluated and tested the top candidates, Employease selected TeamTrack. Compared with other applications, TeamTrack offered greater ease of use and scalability. Plus, TeamTrack’s web-based nature—the same thing that sells Employease—would give HR staff and employees around-the-clock access from any computer on the corporate network with no more than a URL, log-on name and password.
Today, Employease counts TeamTrack as an integral member of its team. While the company initially implemented TeamTrack mainly for bug tracking in Development, it now employs as many as 10 separate workflows to manage business processes across the organization. Its primary workflow, bug and issue tracking, helps manage processes in Quality Assurance, Development, Product Strategy, Production Operations, Customer Care, Training, Integration Services, Project Management, and Account Management.
With the company's multiple departments collaborating on projects and interfacing with customers, TeamTrack ensures that everyone communicates effectively and resolves issues in a timely manner. “From requirements gathering to bug tracking to customer care, TeamTrack is valuable at every single point of the process,” explained Alicia Rosario, director of Quality Assurance for Employease.
The strength of TeamTrack’s workflow is its simplicity. Because of the workflow-centric nature of TeamTrack, the system provides immediate process improvements for teams like those at Employease. In minutes the system can be configured to support complex custom workflows, too. This workflow comes into play in two key areas. First, the company turns to TeamTrack for managing its development and testing processes. Through each phase of development, and as they close in on a new release, Development and QA must meet strict exit criteria regarding the number of issues they are permitted to leave in the software. Reporting in TeamTrack empowers Employease to measure its performance throughout the process.
Likewise, TeamTrack tracks issues found in the company’s software after release. Account managers or Customer Care representatives log issues reported by customers in TeamTrack, which then routes them to Development for patching. During the resolution process, Development continuously updates the status in TeamTrack so Customer Care can report back to customers.
TeamTrack automatically notifies the appropriate departments as soon as issues are logged, ensuring nothing goes unattended for long. If Development makes any changes to the software’s functionality, developers have an option within the workflow of automatically notifying Documentation or the user interface team so they can make any necessary changes in their areas. Such automation and centralized tracking enable the company to resolve issues rapidly. “We’re now fixing issues in as little as one hour,” Rosario said. “By shortening the communication time between the customer and QA, and between QA and the developer, we speed the development test process, which saves money and results in better service to customers.”
Employease has realized further efficiency by integrating TeamTrack with its customer resource management (CRM) software. Prior to linking the two, customer service representatives were forced to enter issues twice, logging them once into the CRM system and again into TeamTrack. With the integrated system, representatives create issues in the CRM system only, which then routes them to TeamTrack. After QA validates issues, they send them on to Development for fixing and testing, then route them back to Customer Care.
The CRM system detects any changes that take place in TeamTrack, and automatically shoots an update to Customer Care. Reps are always armed with the most recent information about an issue, allowing them to pass that information on to customers. Prior to the integration with the CRM system, issues routinely took up to a week to resolve, whereas today same-day turnaround is the norm.
Employease has continuously discovered new ways to integrate TeamTrack further with its business processes. Integration Services, which handles custom client configurations, also uses a development and production workflow. Additionally, project managers in multiple departments use a project management workflow to oversee project tasks. Within that, a “lessons learned” workflow enables managers to note any problems that arise, which gives them a big-picture view needed to later avoid the same pitfalls.
Employease also uses TeamTrack as a knowledge base for storing best practices for use of the company's software. Account Management and Customer Care tap into the knowledge base to more effectively resolve customer issues. That way, everyone interfacing with customers draws from the same and most up-to-date information on best practices.
Employease will soon implement another knowledge base in TeamTrack for the production operations team to quickly pinpoint repeat hardware issues and corresponding resolutions. Additionally, it plans to add a workflow that tracks bugs occurring in its in-house testing automation tools.
By meeting the company’s evolving needs, TeamTrack has proven its exceptional scalability. Rosario sees no end to the company's growing use of the software. As the TeamTrack administrator, she finds the software incredibly easy to maintain and quick for new hires to learn. In fact, employees value it such that they regularly approach Rosario with ideas for new workflows.
Powerful reporting in TeamTrack also gives Employease insight into its performance and software quality. Per the industry standard, the company tracks the number of issues found prior to a release compared to the number of those reported by customers to derive a ratio. Based on that ratio, they set improvement goals.
Additionally, QA has established objectives for the number of outstanding issues. With reporting, the department can quickly gauge whether it's meeting its goals. Similarly, Development has a service-level agreement (SLA) with Customer Care that dictates how quickly issues should be resolved. By tagging issues based on priority and notifying the right individuals, TeamTrack ensures that the team meets those demands—and gives the team a way to continuously assess and improve its resolution times.
Ultimately, improved SLA resolution adds up to enhanced customer service. “I think that the entire company would agree that our turnaround time in resolving issues and our SLA performance exceeds expectations,” Rosario said. “And, TeamTrack definitely plays a part in that.”
Overall, TeamTrack has become an indispensable asset at Employease by improving communication, never letting issues fall through the cracks, promoting process improvement, and guaranteeing that customer concerns are always addressed quickly. “With all issues documented in TeamTrack, it makes communication basically seamless,” Rosario said. “We couldn’t live without the workflows and repositories of information.”