The Community: Your information hub and platform for support
What’s just as important as great solutions? Continually learning better ways to use them.
PeopleAdmin’s newly enhanced Community portal is designed to help you do that … and much, much more.
“The Community is an online portal where customers can access all of the services and support they need,” said Courtney Langdon, Community forum moderator for PeopleAdmin. (Get to know Courtney in the People of PeopleAdmin, below)
From learning about the latest solution enhancements to improving user knowledge to connecting with your peers through online user groups, the portal offers a vast and valuable resource to customers … and many are taking advantage of it. Since July, when we made the enhancements to the portal, the number of daily visitors has doubled.
“Our goal is to remain keenly focused on making it easier for our customers to do business with us and arming them with the tools and information they need to make the most of their PeopleAdmin solutions,” said Jamie Holden, PeopleAdmin chief operations officer. “We are focused on delivering an amazing customer experience, and the Community plays a large role in that.”
The benefits of Community
The Community portal can benefit users in many ways.
“What I like about the PeopleAdmin Community is the ability to find out about solution updates as they happen,” said Chris Mullen, assistant director of diversity at Colorado State University. “It’s also nice to recommend upgrades or potential changes and see if others agree.”
Says Courtney, “The community can provide information about customers’ individual systems, access to cases — open and closed, and the PeopleAdmin services that we provide. Customers can also learn about product updates and participate in peer discussions with users from other schools.”
“The PeopleAdmin knowledge base is phenomenal,” said Neil Jones, administrative coordinator, office of the provost and VP for academic affairs, Georgia College and State University. “Online resources are a major contributor to our success and the service we provide to those we serve.”
Join the Community!
To begin using the Community, log in and watch this video, which walks you through each featured tab:
- Cases: open, review and make changes to cases; set case priorities and attach screenshots — an exclusive functionality provided within Community
- User Groups: connect with users from other schools to share tips and tricks; join groups based on your solution, role or special interest
- Knowledge: articles, videos and handbooks to improve solution knowledge and troubleshoot
- Ideas: submit ideas for solution enhancements; vote on other ideas that have been submitted by promoting or demoting an idea
As a PeopleAdmin customer, you already have access to the portal. If you don’t know how to access it, contact a support representative at (866) 389-1245 for assistance … and join the Community!
Spotlight: Georgia Southern University
Making the case to use the latest technology to achieve the institution’s mission
Demetrius Bynes, director of employment services for Georgia Southern University, still remembers exactly how he made the business case to upgrade GSU’s talent management system from PeopleAdmin’s SelectSuite 5.8 to SelectSuite 7.0 after six years on the initial system.
“I made it all about the needs of the institution,” Demetrius said. “We did not have the money in our budget, but we knew we wanted a modern, more intuitive and user-friendly system. We convinced others how it would help the campus overall.”
Demetrius initiated and led the upgrade process successfully last year. Once on SelectSuite 7.0, the institution saw advantages in less than a month after implementation.
About two-thirds of PeopleAdmin customers currently use or have upgraded to SelectSuite 7.0. Like many at those institutions, Demetrius built a business case to make the upgrade. In fact, he had to sell the idea to the IT department, and then go before the President’s cabinet to gain approval for a systemwide upgrade.
“I remember what I told them: ‘We exist to successfully recruit, retain, progress, and graduate students, and here’s how HR does that: We attract and hire faculty and staff. SelectSuite 7.0 is a system that we need to get the job done. The system that we have now meets some of our needs. However, it’s not meeting all of our needs. If we’re ultimately interested in our mission of attracting, progressing and graduating students, we need to get the best systems in place.’”
One of Demetrius’ first steps in getting buy-in was to point out the unique advantages of SelectSuite 7.0 — including the improved reporting capabilities and the integration with mobile and, in the future, analytics. Demetrius also needed a more intuitive, easy-to-use system to address recent challenges with their data, which the upgrade to SelectSuite 7.0 would provide. He said. “I had done a few reviews of SelectSuite 7.0, and it made sense with our workflows. When we looked at the grand scheme of things, the increase in cost that we were going to encounter was going to be small in comparison to the value we got.”
Demetrius said that within one month of using SelectSuite 7.0, GSU’s managers began talking about how it was more user-friendly. “And they loved the look of it,” he said, “because a lot of times when you’re dealing with non-technical people it’s all about the user interface.”
“I believe there’s a night-and-day difference from our 5.8 system,” Demetrius said. Learn more about SelectSuite 7.0.
Bev Das, retired director of HRIS, employment and compensation, at Villanova University, poses in front of the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park. She now has time to travel … and look back on HR’s strategic role.
HR’s strategic role: Q&A with Bev Das, Retired Director of HRIS at Villanova
‘Making things easier for our employees, and more efficient for us’
Bev Das may be retired, but she never stops learning. And that’s the advice she gives to up-and-coming HR professionals.
Bev, retired director of HRIS, employment and compensation at Villanova University, takes a look back at her job, the role of HR and offers advice to those just starting out.
Q. How are you spending your retirement?
“My husband and I initially took a trip to Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands, which was wonderful. Retirement for me is about learning to enjoy that slower pace and not feel guilty about allowing yourself to do things that you’ve always wanted to do. I always looked at exercise as annoying. Now I get up every morning and walk 4 miles as if it’s one of my retirement jobs. There’s pleasure in allowing yourself to do that and not feeling like you have to run to the next thing.”
Q. What would you consider your greatest work accomplishment over the years?
“I was very fortunate to work with a great team at Villanova. I feel that my greatest accomplishment was being part of that team and taking our department out of a transactional HR role into more of a strategic HR role by automating everything we could think of. A lot of it started when we implemented applicant tracking, which was the first thing we did that made a big impact by making things easier for our employees, and more efficient for us.”
Q. What’s the greatest challenge you see in the future, or near future, when it comes to talent management?
“I think a huge concern is the retiring Baby Boomer generation — of which I am obviously a part — because it leaves a big hole in institutional knowledge in some areas. We need to make sure the next generation of leaders is ready to step into their positions, and that involves identifying good people, hiring them, training them, monitoring their performance, giving them developmental goals, and making sure they’re ready to step in as the Baby Boomers retire.”
Q. What’s the best work advice you ever received?
“I had a boss who once told me, ‘You need a poker face so no matter what people are saying to you, you’re not overreacting. It will help you develop calmness and a different kind of authority and people will look at you differently.’ It was great advice that I’ve given to other people, too, because it really helped me to advance in my career when I learned to sit there and just smile.”
Q. What advice do you have for people starting out in HR?
“My advice is to volunteer because that’s how you learn. Don’t be afraid to volunteer to help someone in benefits, even though maybe you’ve been hired to work in employment, because that’s how you expand your horizons and learn more about what’s going on. And the other thing is don’t be afraid of technology.”
Q. What’s left on your bucket list?
“One of the things I really want to do is a cruise of the Mediterranean and Adriatic, starting from Barcelona and going up to Monte Carlo, around Italy, to Venice and Dubrovnik, and maybe the Greek Isles. I tell my husband that, and I can see the dollar signs in his eyeballs, but it’s probably the only thing I would be super disappointed if I didn’t do.”
The People of PeopleAdmin: Courtney Langdon, Community Forum Moderator
‘My goal is to make the Community so valuable, customers make it a favorite bookmark’
This month, Courtney Langdon, Community forum moderator, celebrates nine years with PeopleAdmin. She spent her first seven years in customer support and now manages the Community as forum moderator. Recently she was awarded the PeopleAdmin Master Award for her skill and commitment to serving our customers. Today, she is more passionate about her role than ever before. Here’s why …
Q. What do you like most about your job?
“Our customers! Because they’re awesome! People who work in HR for higher education are unique — they care about the systems they use because they care about the people using them and serving their customers. I also like that we’re more than partners — many customers feel we’re an extension of their offices. You don’t get that at other software companies. I also really believe in how our products are built to customer specifications, not developer specifications, and I like that PeopleAdmin strives to be a place where people want to work.”
Q. What motivates you?
“Being able to provide information our customers need and communicating it in a way that’s clear and easy to understand. I always ask myself, ‘What information do people need today to make their jobs or lives easier?’ I think about that from the perspective of customers and coworkers because information and communication are the two most important things to me. I hate hearing someone say they don’t know something because it means I failed in some way or somehow the information didn’t get through. All of our Community features are geared toward providing information, from the knowledge base articles to the online user groups. It feels great that we can make all that available to our customers.”
Q. What’s your biggest challenge?
“My goal is to make the Community so valuable that our customers keep it open all day and make it a favorite bookmark. We survey our customers regularly and from that feedback we figure out what they really want to see in the Community and then deliver it through the site. They’re busy people with a lot of competition for their attention, but they help us make the Community useful and valuable.”
Q. How do you plan to set the Community apart?
“We serve an industry that likes to talk to one another, it’s why a lot of people really like our earliest idea-sharing method — the email list serve — and we got a lot of response from that, which helps us learn. The Community acts like a true information marketplace, a forum where all the things that matter to users can be addressed and it’s completely free.”
Q. You’ve almost reached your 10-year anniversary with PeopleAdmin. How do you plan to spend the 4-week sabbatical that accompanies that milestone at PeopleAdmin?
“I’m constantly reading fiction, so I’d like to spend my sabbatical trying to write — several different genres. I have a 3-year-old daughter, so I’ll see what it’s like to write a children’s book, and maybe an action-adventure or a detective story. I’m going to sit down and see, can I actually write something?”