In November 2017, Kronos made a few announcements about its product lineup. In addition to its brand-new Workforce Dimensions™ solution, Kronos also announced the release of an update to Workforce Central with version 8.1, a $40-million development investment, and a promise to support Workforce Central for at least 10 years. So if you’re not sure about making the switch to Workforce Dimensions, don’t worry—you don’t need to do so tomorrow.

However, that solution is clearly the future of what Kronos has to offer, so it’s best to educate yourself about it now. Let’s take a closer look at what Workforce Dimensions is, what it does that Workforce Central does not, and why migrating to Dimensions is (or isn’t) the right move for you at the moment.

Overview of Workforce Dimensions

According to Kronos, Workforce Dimensions was designed to be as powerful as Workforce Central but as easy to use as Workforce Ready, with plenty of one-click actions in the new solution, including timecard approvals, shift swaps, exception handling, and time-off request submission and approval. Three of Workforce Dimensions’ biggest selling points are its fully responsive user interface (UI), its powerful AI and advanced machine learning, and its new and flexible cloud-based platform.

The next question, then, is why use Workforce Dimensions instead of Workforce Central?

What Does Workforce Dimensions Offer That Workforce Central Doesn’t?

Workforce Central, especially Version 8, offers a ton of value, so it makes sense for companies using it to wonder whether making the switch to Workforce Dimensions is right for them. If the new solution offers feature parity, why change? For one thing, a full 50% of features from Workforce Central were not only ported over to Workforce Dimensions but improved, and for another, the new solution offers new ways of handling old problems that you won’t find in Workforce Central, including…

Fully Responsive UI

Kronos Workforce Dimensions comes equipped with a fully responsive UI that allows users to customize their view of the solution on any device, ensuring they’re able to use it more efficiently, effectively, and in a way that makes sense for their work style. It also integrates with a variety of commonly used business tools, including Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets, as well as Microsoft Outlook, helping to save time and prevent users from needing to switch back and forth between different windows and programs just to get their work done. Even better, Kronos and its Technology Partners plan to use open APIs so that the solution can grow and adapt to the needs of its users with future add-ons and extensions.

Powerful AI and Advanced Machine Learning

Kronos’ industry-first AI is a digital personal assistant called “Workforce Advisor.” A boon for both managers and employees, Workforce Advisor combines AI and machine learning to automate simple-but-time-consuming administrative tasks like shift-swapping and time-off request approvals, all in real time. Take time-off requests, for example.

Without Workforce Advisor, employees have to put in their requests, which need to be reviewed by their managers, who need to figure out how much time off their employee has accrued and then compare it to the amount they’ve requested. With Workforce Advisor, that whole process happens solely on the employee side with the system automatically checking that the numbers add up while ensuring that the request doesn’t interfere with shift coverage, safety requirements, or your company’s blackout periods.

Built-in machine learning also offers an abundance of benefits to Workforce Dimensions users, improving everything from scheduling forecast accuracy to allowing for collaborative self-scheduling. The former should see gains of up to 25%, greatly reducing the chances (and costs) of over- or under-scheduling incidents. The latter allows for employees to tell the system where, when, and how they want to work, and for the system to take that into account (as well as schedule fairness, work-life balance, and more) when creating schedules that seek to maximize employee engagement.

In addition, machine learning gives managers access to proactive compliance. By projecting current timekeeping data into the future, the system can alert managers of potential issues before they happen with hours or even days to solve the problems ahead of time. This helps to reduce the risk of compliance issues, saving everyone time, money, and headaches.

Flexible, Cloud-based Platform

Workforce Dimensions is built on a new, flexible platform (the Kronos D5 platform) that’s in the Google Cloud and utilizes a REST API framework and prebuilt Dell BOOMI connectors for people, payroll, accruals, and more to simplify integrations. It also comes equipped with in-memory computing, which means you don’t need a data warehouse for KPI and analytics computation. The D5 platform’s unified information architecture puts incredible computational abilities in the hands of its users and makes the rest of its benefits possible.

Why Migrating to Workforce Dimensions Is (or Is Not) for You

In our 2018 Kronos Survey Results, we learned that more than half (55%) of those surveyed reported they will or may consider moving to Workforce Dimensions in the future. In addition, 73% of Workforce Central users indicated they are either planning an upgrade in the next 2 years, just finished an installation or upgrade, or are currently in the middle of one, so it’s clear that the desire to stay up to date with Kronos is strong. So the primary question remains: is migrating to Workforce Dimensions for you?

Ultimately (and obviously) your company has to be able to answer that question for itself, but there are strong reasons both for against the move. If you’re happy with how your solution works for you currently and you don’t think you’ll make use of Workforce Dimensions’ new features—honestly, how many of Workforce Central’s features do you use right now?—you could probably put off upgrading for a while. After all, Kronos plans to support it for at least another decade.

However, if you’d like to more easily customize how you and your employees work in Kronos, take advantage of the power of AI and machine learning, and harness the power of Workforce Dimension’s current and future APIs, the new solution might be for you. Plus, it should be comforting to know that Kronos deliberately designed the Workforce Central to Workforce Dimensions migration process to be as simple as possible.

Migrations = Pretty Darn Easy

Customers should be able to migrate a large part of the average configuration as is, and what can’t be migrated as is requires simple re-entry and some additional configuration. Kronos says that around 70% of the average configuration is migrated as is into Workforce Dimensions. More specifically…

  • Timekeeping—65%
  • Absence—60%
  • Advanced Scheduling—50%
  • Clocks—70%
  • HR/Payroll—60%

Once you’ve officially purchased Workforce Dimensions and you get access to your non-production tenant, you’ll find that it will be configured with a vertical-specific configuration, which comes from Kronos’ database of vertical-specific recommended configurations. (This means that 60% of the application will be configured as of Day 1.)

Essentially, the migration process consists of a combination of the best of your Workforce Central configuration with Kronos’ vertically recommended configuration so that you have the maximum benefit of your Dimensions configuration as soon as possible.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the average migration to Workforce Dimensions take?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, since no migration is exactly like any other, but Kronos says the process can range from to 2 months to 6-8 months. However, as far as moving the data itself, however, the process can take as little as one day.

What if my company just upgraded to Workforce Central 8?

So long as your company purchased Version 8 Workforce Central SaaS in FY 2017 or 2018, you can migrate to Dimensions for no additional cost. Kronos will even include free services to offset the cost of this migration.

How is the implementation process for Dimensions different than the one for Workforce Central?

Remember: migrations aren’t do-overs. Kronos specifically designed Workforce Dimensions to make it easy to migrate to, including the fact that you’re able to use your existing time clocks. Dimensions combines the best elements of your existing Workforce Central solution with industry-recommended configurations.

What can’t be migrated from Workforce Central to Workforce Dimensions as is?

While a supermajority of the average configuration can migrated without any changes, there are some aspects of your previous system that will need to be modified to make the move to Workforce Dimensions. Some profiles, templates, rules, and system settings, for example, will require simple re-entry from exported reports. For business structure and labor categories, existing configuration provides a path for the fastest deployment, but Kronos recommends users consider the benefits of rediscovery to take the fullest advantage of Workforce Dimensions.

There might be a reason you set up a structure or category in a certain way in the old system, but there might be an easy way of doing things in Workforce Dimensions that’s worth making a change for.

There you have it—what you need to know about migrating to Workforce Dimensions. If you do decide to make that move, we can help you out. Our wide network of senior-level Kronos consultants can help you every step of the way, from pre-migration planning to data migration to setting up integrations and more. And if you’re comfortable sticking with what you have in Workforce Central, no worries. We also offer unbiased Kronos system assessments performed by consultants who not only have a deep understanding of the technology but also how it’s best applied. We have no skin in this game, so whichever decision you feel is right for your company, Surety is here to help make it a successful one.