- Security - flexibility to a wide variety of types of users.
- Expansion - When acquisitions happen it was quick to add a company.
- User Exp - Users find it easy to navigate and find what they need.
- Job History - Too many areas that dates populate.
- ATS - There is a lack of flexibility for applicants when applying for multiple jobs.
- Searching - The functionality is a little limited, would be nice to type in any information on a person and search.
- Vista HRMS is very flexible, it does everything we need for HR, benefits and payroll. It’s user-friendly and intuitive to use, when we roll out new self-service items our employees have no problems and require minimal training or documentation.
- PDS has excellent customer service and support. We get answers to the majority of our questions and problems quickly, within the day that we call. More complex issues that may require PDS’ technical support are usually addressed within a few days. We were upgrading our production servers to Windows 2012 over a weekend and a key person in our organization was on leave. When we checked with PDS to see what cost would be involved if we needed their help, they said it was included in our regular maintenance, no extra cost.
- The PDS User’s Conference is an excellent learning opportunity for training on everything Vista does, including using Crystal Reports for custom reporting. You also get to meet and talk to the executive and development staff and have direct input into the future product development.
- The time entry features historically weren’t robust enough for our needs so we went with a separate application. We haven’t evaluated Vista’s current improvements so it may be better now. We do use the leave accrual processing in Vista though and it works perfectly.
- Sometimes we have trouble reporting on our old historical data. PDS has improved their history and reporting on it, we need to review our data. We would like to have PDS add employer benefit costs to history though.
Self-service provides immediate access for employees
Open enrollment is so easy, our HR staff love it
Fully integrated HR, benefits and payroll information means less errors and saves time
- Good at record retention and ease of historical data for recall and report writing. We use the entire employee benefits processing function and it works very well.
- Good flexibility for payroll processing and special pay runs and bonus calculations.
- It's pretty stressful to get hit with multiple releases at the end of the calendar year when we are already stressed about getting our year end processes completed. One suggestion might be to rank the error warnings in some way that gives them a severity rating, or maybe something that tells you this is a recurring warning that you might have already reviewed at the last release, and this time around you can ignore it again rather than investigate it.
- Employee self-service is easy to use. We have challenges getting security to work properly for people who don't use the system on a regular basis. We are going to try giving our employees cards to write their log on and password on it.
- Vista allows us to have different "Distribution" areas within each FEIN. These distribution types sort and subtotal by type and then provide a grand total for the FEIN. We can organize more efficiently and have subtotals by distribution available to management in a very timely manner.
- Navigating through Vista is extremely intuitive. You don't have to memorize screen names, labels or numbers to find information.
- The standard report process quickly and can be save in excel for sorting and analysis.
- Due to our established SOX requirements, we do a lot of screen prints. There are many screens that have a printer icon facilitate this process. There are instances in which we need to drill down and require a screen print from a different level, the printer icon is there, but it prints without the employee's name or number which is not adequate.
- There are times we would prefer to key specific information rather than choose a validated item from a drop down screen.
- We have multiple FEINs, companies, districts and distributions. There are a few areas/screens where it is difficult to see exactly what company, etc you are working on in the table set ups. We have gotten in the habit of triple checking the company.
- User-friendly and easy to learn.
- Reporting options through Crystal Reporting.
- The best support team when something is not right, especially if they are aware that you are currently running payroll.
- If you manually input a transaction into the payroll entry screen once payroll is run you can no longer see that transaction. It would be nice to be able to see a history of all transactions per employee.
- Future changes cannot be made on the HR side during the payroll processing time frame or the changes will occur during the current payroll. For example, if someone is getting a wage increase it cannot be future dated because payroll will pick it up even though it is future dated.
- Customer Service
- Ease of using the system
- VistaHRMS' open, customizable architecture which provides ultimate flexibility and opportunities for integration. We can use our technical development skills to create any new module we may need as well as extend the base system code to handle our unique requirements, special circumstances and processes. This also aids greatly in troubleshooting and identifying issues because you can get right down to the source code.
- VistaHRMS provides flexibility for security so that any employee in the company can have access to the HR information that is pertinent to him or her.
- PDS staff are spectacular to work with. They provide high-quality, timely support and are always willing to spend the time to get your questions answered.
- PDS is deeply and sincerely interested in customer feedback. This is the best way to improve the product: listen to your customers. They not only listen to the request, they actually implement many of the changes in base system. PDS is a strategic partner for our organization based on the level of service they have provided and their willingness to act on our feedback.
- Typical of any system built for the unknown requirements of hundreds or thousands of customers with varying needs, PDS sometimes doesn't fit our processes precisely out of the box. However, this con is far outweighed by the ability to configure and customize the system.
- The most significant pet peeve of our users is the necessity for so many clicks to navigate between different areas or the system or to review applicants. These items are being addressed based on feedback from the user community in an upcoming release.
- We can evolve reports to produce metrics that fit the specific needs of the organization. A user can define and create what they need, or contact PDS for assistance. Our ideas don't seem to be impossible - confident that the system can drill into any metric we can think of.
- Customer support from PDS is fantastic. They respond to our inquiries quickly and professionally.
- All-in-one package -- this is helpful with planning how to deploy modules without breaking the bank.
- Visually, it can improve. It may not be as "cool" as other systems on the market, but the functionality makes up for that tenfold.
- Upgrades do not always go smoothly on our end but there are diverse factors involved here. We also resolve the issues quickly with PDS.
Vista is being used by our HR, PR and Recruiting teams. It has an easy self service interface for our employees. It's flexibility allowed us to rollout self service in stages, as we were ready. The security allows us to lock out or conceal certain screens or fields, which has allowed us to use Vista as an online employee directory in addition to an HR/PR solution. We are very pleased with the product and the company.
- General HR--everything is there
- Integration with SQL based systems
- Integration with time systems
- Processing our complicated PR
- The recruiting feature is constantly being enhanced. It still has room to grow in order to compete with the industry leaders.
- Adding an integrated On Boarding solution would be helpful.
- I wish I was able to edit screens and employee self service without the need for SQL.
- Vista HRMS is web-based; easy to navigate and easy to customize. If your company doesn't have a technically saavy individual, PDS can take care of it for you.
- Their customer service is second to none. Reps can be contacted by phone or email with quick responses to resolve any question or issues quickly
- Vista HRMS is constantly providing updates to the system, whether it is tax related issues or the latest regulation changes to the Affordable Care Act
- Some customizations can be costly; although they are worth investing the money to further personalize the system to your specific needs
- The recruiting module still needs further work for it to function as a true ATS.
- In order to create your own custom reports, you will need someone knowledgeable in Crystal Reports.
There are additional modules that we aren't currently making use of, but each company should learn about the functionality of each of them as some may be more beneficial than others.
When gathering your questions, ask all potential users of the system what they would want to see in an HRMS. We did so before selecting Vista HRMS and we got pages and pages of questions and comments and made sure that each item was addressed beforehand and was something that we would be able to incorporate into the system.
You have the option of taking the system in house or being a hosted client. Make sure you figure out what resources your IT department has available. If you have a dedicated administrator who will do all the upgrades and enhancements great, otherwise you may need PDS to help out and having PDS host may be a better option.
By utilizing a fully integrated HR/Payroll database, we have reduced data entry time, enhanced payroll accuracy and streamlined the entire HR/Payroll function.
- Ability to customize. Many programs we've used previously do not have the ability to customize to the specific user's needs. Vista is extremely flexible and customizable, which has served our company well.
- Automation of data entry. Many of our payroll adjustments impact multiple employees, so the ability to upload time card entries is a real time-saver!
- Ability to interface easily with our Accounting software. Updating our General Ledger with the bi-weekly payroll amounts is a breeze!
- Troubleshooting problems that cross modules (e.g.: HR/Benefits/Payroll) can be difficult, since each area has it's own specialist...who oftentimes is not proficient in the other modules.
- The Help Screen within the program is not always updated, as new enhancements and upgrades are added. This makes it difficult to independently troubleshoot issues that may occur.
- Some of the Vista reporting is a bit outdated. I would love to see the Payroll Registers updated, so they could be easily exported to Excel for sorting and manipulating.
How much flexibility do you need?
- Vista HRMS is extremely configurable, from being able to update the webpages to adding additional columns in tables. No system is perfect right out of the box, but Visa HRMS gives us the tools to make it perfect.
- Customer service is awesome. When I have a problem, they normally get back to me within a business day. If it's an emergency, they're there right away. Their reps do build a relationship with you
- Updates to the system from Vista HRMS are very easy. They have a tool called VistaFresh that you use. You click a button and watch it spin. It handles everything from database updates to webpage updates
- I think their interfaces could use some, I can't say improvement, but let us say robustness. Their interface mechanism lets you import or export data from the system. It seems to handle just about every datasource except Excel files, which my people live and die by. We don't want to have to convert Excel files, it makes the auditors take a second look and plus it's an extra step for some already very busy people.
- More documentation. They have a very good technical resource, but I'd like to see a system user guide. There's many features, I just don't know what they do and having a user guide written for the end user would be very helpful. A lot of times, I receive this documentation after I have a problem and contact support.
- They could do better capturing payroll history employer paid amounts. We have a home-grown way of doing it, but with ACA, we have found some new challenges with the way we're doing it. It would be nice if payroll processing would capture these amounts
- Having to have a separate environment for Year End processing, it would be nice if we didn't have to have multiple production environments
- The core HR and Payroll functions work very well together out of the box but they can be modified to answer any business process. The system is completely configurable and will allow any number of custom fields not only to be created to capture data points, but to be used in custom procedures, wizards and reports. In the 7+ years I've been working with Vista HRMS, we have always been able to customize the application to meet our needs.
- Custom reporting from the Vista HRMS database is easy and can be completely integrated into the front end user interface. We've gone from hundreds of custom reports stored on back office computers to a few dozen reports accessible by managers and employees directly through the application.
- Interfacing with other systems is seamless and allows Vista HRMS to be our system of record. As of now, Vista HRMS is supporting 8 other business or 3rd party applications.
- I manage several systems and the support we get from PDS is like no where else. The entire phone support team is great and we've got to know many of them on a first name basis. PDS expends a great effort on their Users Conferences which are highly valuable to the organization. The intimate gatherings are a great place to let them know what you think of their software and they listen by regularly adding in our suggestions.
- We currently use another vendor for timekeeping and tracking. Our organization requires complex pay processing rules to handle both union and non-union employees and provides a scheduling component suitable for a 24hr healthcare facility. I understand that PDS has partnered with a vendor to provide a better timekeeping solution, but a few years back it still was not adequate for our needs. For the amount of time and investment it would cost to switch vendors and applications, the PDS offering would have to be spectacular.
- We also outsource our benefits and online benefit enrollment. We had used the PDS Benefits module for two years (2010-11) but with limited online enrollment functionality, changing benefit plans each year, and bundled enrollment processing from our benefit vendor, it became too time intensive for us to manually build and change the configuration each year and reconcile charges monthly. I have heard of significant improvements to the Benefit module and the online enrollment capabilities in recent years but plan to stick with what we have for now.
- Benefit Module - Prior to VISTA, AACOG was unable to electronically allow employees to register or maintain their health benefits. The system has allowed for each employee to have a view access to their benefits and if changes are required, communication can be sent to their HR Specialist to request the change. This process has helped eliminate a paper process in which the employees and HR staff would have to manually register and track benefits. AWESOME
- Payroll - Until the implementation of the Payroll Module, AACOG's employees had to complete a paper version of their work hours and submit to the payroll department. The VISTA Payroll Module allows each employee to enter their time into a system that allows the supervisors to approve and submit automatically to the payroll department. This process eliminates the payroll specialist from having to manually track down supervisor for the employee's paper time report. The system also tracks the employee leave accruals as well as leave that has been used. The system eliminates the need to have multiple tracking systems and all is maintained in one area.
- This is a truly a hard question to fairly answer, due to our recent implementation of the VISTA HRMS system it would be unfair to say that the system is not meeting our expectations. There are so many areas and components that we are not utilizing or under utilizing that it will take some trial and errors before we are fully functioning to the best the system has to offer.
- Self Service is a great module which helps to cut down on calls to both the HR team and the payroll teams
- The benefits wizard is invaluable at the time of open enrollment. The ability to customize the wizard makes it very user friendly and flexible
- Workflows when configured properly not only cuts down on paperwork, but also ensures that everyone is in the loop and nothing gets lost
- With the proper technical know how, the PDS Enterprise server can be use in the back end to automated processes and run scheduled job
- Reports generated by the PDS Enterprise server. It would be nice to have more ways to display and sort the generated data
- Vista HRMS is extremely configurable. It's completely adaptable to your specific business needs.
- Security is very robust and you have the ability to easily create and adjust access amongst security groups
- I feel like the payroll process is pretty simple and the system will generate multiple reports for each step so you are able to verify information along the way. You can rerun steps and processes as many times necessary until all your data is accurate and ties out to your business standards. This is always a welcome feature before you hit that magical 'pay' button!
- Time entry is very manual, you have to be very specific in your time entry by inserting the colon and also the AM/PM. Military time entry will work if you're settings are set to accept military time entry. A time punch button would be a great addition to this module, or a quick drop down option of base hour or half hour entries.
- Currently, the system allows employees to enter more leave accrual time then they have available. This error does generate on reports when payroll is run, however as a business rule we do follow up with each individual who has gone over and see if they would like those hours moved over to other available accruals or let them know that it will be unpaid if no other accrual balances exist. I believe you can configure a 'User Exit' to notify employees as soon as they enter the time in that those hours are not available, however it is not part of the base system. This would be a helpful addition and would save quite a bit of time on the follow up during payroll processing.
- I was not here during implementation of this product, so I am not sure of the training that our administrators received at the time. However I have not had much luck in finding best practices for the system or training manuals. My knowledge has come through trial and error and calling our hosted support team to help walk me through issues. More FAQ material or even module training materials would be great for newly hired employees who need to have access to Vista HRMS in more than a basic time entry capacity.
Vista HRMS really is a good product for keeping all HR and Payroll related records in one system, I just stress the fact that you have to have someone on hand who wants to own the product and be willing to learn as much as possible. The more you put into this product, the more you will get out of it.
- Their staff are available to talk to about existing issues.
- Their open enrollment process was easy for employees to understand without a high amount of training. Our last software also had employees step through enrollment.
- The database table names are pretty self explanatory, previous systems I have used this is not always the case.
- The inplementation/training is when you are expected to 'set up' your organization etc.It is very difficult to make these decisions that later turn out to be incorrect and difficult to change when you are just being introduced to the system.
- We had reviewed some very specific wants/needs with sales/demo staff, spent a lot of time filling out documentation that we believe were never passed on to the Implementation specialist so we had to start over at square one. Some of those items we found out in truth, the system could not do after all and we had to create work arounds.
- We were leaving our last system partially because there always were patches needing tested and for our size company it is expensive to test all the time. We believed PDS did not have this same cycle of patches, but we have found their have been quite a few. Often until you can test a whole PTF they will send out scripts to fix one thing. Our company does not install things straight into production, so we spend a lot of time having to test the whole system.
- We have total control of our data. It's awesome having it in a single database! Custom reports through Crystal are easy to create, and to post on Vista for others to access.
- Based upon their security level, managers can have access to data about their subordinates, without having to request this info from HR or Payroll
- Annual Open Enrollment for benefits is completely on-line and easy for everyone to complete.
- Payroll processing is easy to review and complete.
- We have a large workforce in warehouse jobs where they receive auto increases based upon the time they are in their job. Vista HRMS easily tracks this, processes the auto increases on the correct dates and sends out an e-mail to HR and the manager when the increase was processed.
- We do not utilize the performance appraisal process in Vista because our process requires our employees to have individual goals that are tracked and measured in addition to the traditional competencies.
- We have a very involved bonus calculation process which Vista is not able to support
- We currently use another product for Time and Attendance because we've been with that system well before Vista added it to their functionality.
- I like the employee and manager self-service screens that are available to employees. They are straightforward and easy to use with little training needed.
- From a technical point-of-view, I like the fact that we can make modifications to the system using built-in functionality that does not require us to modify the base code. Also, with the use of Crystal reports we are able to access the information we need for reporting.
- Performance evaluation is one of the weaker areas, admittedly so by PDS, of the system. The delivered base system is quite simple for this area.
- The recruiting tab within the HR function of Vista proved to be a great asset to our organization. It makes reviewing resumes and posting jobs to our website very easy to do. The set up can take awhile and you need a great IT team to support you, but once it is up and running things work great. You are able to change an employee's status, schedule interviews with departments, and view their resumes/applications without having to print anything! You can also create an electronic flow chart to route new job postings for approval through the appropriate chain of command. If your HR department is looking to become leaner and go paperless this is a great tool to use.
- Tracking of employee's education and courses/certifications. Our company likes to have a detailed trail of all courses/certifications/degrees that an employee has for performance review evaluations and for future career planning of individuals. Vista does a particularly good job of tracking courses and making this information easy to access for department supervisors and employees. It will also allow you to enter an expiration date of a certificate and notifies you when you are due to re-certify or take another safety course. It makes tracking this information very easy.
- Review process. Every company, especially in the HR department, cringes at review time. It's a huge undertaking regardless of how many employees your organization has. With the Vista HRMS system, it allows department supervisors/managers to easily access a past employee review. It also allows the employee to read their past reviews to assist in writing their current one. It also allows for reviews, once completed, to be submitted electronically through an approval process and attached to the employee's record for future references.
- Vista HRMS was written by IT-minded individuals which makes it sometimes difficult for someone who is not IT-minded to leverage the system to do the things you want/need it to do for your organization. If your company has a very strong IT department this may not be an issue. However, if you are a small organization who doesn't have a strong IT department, you will have to heavily rely on Vista to walk you through challenges or read up on their manuals (which can be difficult to understand since they are geared towards an IT professional).
- Getting the proper reports that you need can be an issue. The system allows you to write new reports but can be very difficult to do and to export into a format that you are wanting. This is probably the area our organization struggled with the most. We knew the data was in their but had a hard time finding a way to get it out. Our IT department was gracious in helping us but often times had to find some sort of work-around to get the data we needed. This is definitely an area that Vista can approve.
- Vista HRMS tracks benefits accurately.
- It allows us to provide accurate payroll to all of our employees with minimal resources.
- As a US-based company, PDS supports Canadian clients very well. There are Canadian technical specialists and Canadian legislation is accommodated across all provincial jurisdictions.
- Our company has struggled with upgrades in the past. We have worked with PDS to develop custom code but this has created issues in staying up to date. But to be fair, PDS has been willing to work with us to correct this.
- We use Vista to track training courses in a basic way. However, as a LMS its functionality is limited. It specializes in payroll/HRMS.
- In general, reporting could be more user-friendly. Basic functionality requires knowledge of Crystal Reports to prepare any kind of robust reporting. However, there have been imporvements in this regard in recent years.
Also, I would ask about in-house technical resources needed. There are options to have the data hosted in-house or hosted centrally by PDS. I would explore both options.
- User Friendly application.
- All information for employees is a click away.
- Customer Service for Vista is very helpful.
- Reports are very useful and easy to pull.
- Manual check process is very long and drawn out.
- Importing a large batch from an excel spreadsheet - without having to ask someone to write a function for that.
- It would be great if the system gave you some kind of an alert if something was wrong, without having to wait until the employee came to you.
- Payroll reports that could be more user-friendly.
Vista Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
License pricing is based on the number of full and part-time active employees within bands (e.g. 751-1,000). SaaS pricing is based on PEPM.
Vista Customer Size Distribution
|Small Businesses (1-50 employees)||0%|
|Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)||27%|
|Enterprises (> 500 employees)||Enterprises (> 500 employees)||73%|
Vista Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
Vista Technical Details
|Deployment Types:||On-premise, SaaS|
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Linux, Mac|
|Mobile Application:||Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Mobile Web|
|Supported Countries:||U.S. & Canada|