Why HUB?

I’ve been asked a few times recently:

  • Why is Shugo expanding into the time and attendance market?
  • Isn’t it outside of Shugo’s current focus of “delivery”?
  • Is Shugo deserting PUSH?

I thought taking a few minutes to answer these questions would give everyone insight into why we’re offering HUB and how PUSH is an integral part of everything we’ll be doing in the future.

Why is Shugo expanding into the time and attendance market?

It’s actually quite simple: a number of our clients ask if we were interested in offering a time and attendance product. They felt it would be a great extension to the current FGX employee pay stub and W2 delivery.

We already had intentions of adding a document and link repository to our existing pay stub delivery system, so expanding that with time and attendance made sense.  It would give employees of small companies, their own intranet portal – a single place to sign in for all their needs.  Where else does that exist in the payroll industry?

Within the document and link repository employers can post copies of their employee handbook, information on the company’s healthcare plan, and links to industry events and articles for employees to view. Read receipts can be required on documents ensuring employees have “viewed” certain items.

When we announced HUB, a few people said to me “Rick, are you sure you want to get into time and attendance with all its variations, accruals, etc…?” My answer is YES, but we want to be the Chevy/Kia/Neon of time and attendance.  We don’t have plans to get into the hardware side of the market.  We won’t be including accruals, we’ll let the payroll software handle that since we know there are so many variations that people use. HUB will provide a simple and efficient way for employees to clock in/out via any device (PC, tablet, phone).  Plain and simple…

Sure the time and attendance market is already saturated. There’s a number of great solutions with all the bells and whistles. We don’t want to compete with them, we want the clients who see the current offerings as to complex.

Simplicity is our focus for HUB’s clock in/out process. If an employee is on their PC, they can clock in from there. If a PC is not available, then clocking in/out from their cell phone is available: either through HUB’s mobile website or via text messaging (if allowed by their employer).  We’re even building iPhone and Android apps making accessing HUB’s mobile website simple. The Android version is actually built with the iPhone app in progress.

Isn’t it outside of Shugo’s current focus of “delivery”?

Yes but we see all the feature’s we’ve identified for HUB as natural extensions providing a full intranet for the 1-50 employee company. What some may not know is that Rob and myself spent 10 years of our life writing payroll software. So the features we’re adding to HUB are not new to us. They may not be “delivery” focused, but provide so much value for our clients.

We actually had plans to add the document and links repository to pay stub delivery this year. That feature was requested by clients so we were already going to venture outside of the delivery scope a bit.

Is Shugo deserting PUSH?

No way!  We see PUSH as integral to our future.  In fact, PUSH is going to have a prominent part within HUB (and probably any new product we bring to market). Within HUB, employers will have a client communication center to send mass alerts to employees.  PUSH will be its delivery mechanism for these alerts.

We also have some future extensions planned for PUSH for payroll companies.  I can’t reveal what they are, but I can’t emphasize enough how big a part of our future PUSH will be.

When will HUB be available?

A full public release will probably not happen until mid-fall. Prior to the public release, we’ll be releasing an alpha and beta version for anyone who’d like to be an early adopter. The good news is that the early adopter program will be completely free. It provides a great opportunity for our clients to get acquainted with HUB in July and August.  If you’re not registered yet for the program, visit http://www.myshugo.com/custom/hub.  Registration can be found at the bottom of the page.

Our team will actually start using HUB soon.  We want to make sure we understood the experience a typical user would be going through so what better way than for us to use it. I think this will provide valuable insight on ways to simplify features within HUB – having a positive effect for future HUB users.

So there you have it – why we’re building HUB and how integral PUSH will be in everything we do. If you have any other questions, email me and I’ll be glad to answer them as well!

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