Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ question 1: What makes Actus different from other software?
It is really hard to tell from a website or brochure how software differs so it is probably most helpful to share what our clients told us when we asked them: “Over my career, I’ve worked with most of the big names in HR Software and this is the first one that feels like it is genuinely aimed at the user, it actually encourages behaviour change” explained Steve Graham HRD at South Coast Ambulance Service. “We chose Actus because of the expert consultancy and guidance that comes as part of the package, we really feel like we are partnered with you” shared Claire Harrowing from Millbrook Proving Ground. “The software ticked all our boxes as well as a few that we hadn’t realised we needed” was HR Director Susan Laycock’s view from Incommunities.
So we think our differentiator is genuinely ‘easy to use’ software that is thought through from an HR perspective (after all, that’s our background) supported by expert consultancy and guidance (all part of the service) and we offer the personal service that many of the other providers don’t.
FAQ question 2: Where is Actus hosted & how secure is the data?
Actus™ is securely hosted in the UK cloud (which basically means in Reading!) Why is this important? Well, first of all, because the software is cloud based it means it is available 24/7 via the internet. It also means that you always have the most up-to-date version and you don’t have to install anything to use it. This in turn means you don’t have to hassle (or really involve) your overworked IT guys in order to use it. Now clearly it is important that the data is safe, which is why we choose professional hosting with leading provider Memset, you can see from this link that they have all the credentials that are needed to keep your data safe. More details on our security and back up policy are available below. However, the fact that we host in the UK cloud is really relevant too (lots of the other software companies are US based which can be a bit complicated). The UK has some of the most stringent laws around data protection and because we host in the UK your data is bound by this. Some companies don’t like hosting in the US or even Europe because (in theory) the US government can demand access to any data (not that they are likely to be that interested in your appraisal – but it is the principle). If you want to know more look up Safe Harbour . It may not be your biggest concern, but because we are fully hosted and backed up in the UK there is no need to worry! Oh and by the way we are also registered on the UK’s digital market place which means we have had to jump through lots of hoops to show we are accredited to sell to government.
Any more security or technical concerns, just get in touch!
FAQ question 3: How long does it take to set up and roll out?
Well to be honest this depends on you! To give you an example of how quickly we can move, we have set up, implemented and trained the system out in less than a week – this is because the client wanted to move quickly and worked with us providing their data upon request. We’ve then had companies who wanted to roll it out over a longer time period (9 months to be exact) and again, we worked with them, at their pace to ensure implementation aligned with their project timelines! Essentially, because the system is configurable, all we need to get started is to understand what aspects you want to turn on and off, agree terminology and look and feel. The next step is to get your data uploaded which is really quick and easy if your data is accurate and up-to-date, we just need a few fields on a spreadsheet. In reality, what takes the time is paperwork and logistics (getting ‘bums on seats’ for training) so 6-8 weeks is a reasonable lead time. Talk to us and it is likely we can meet your requirements.
FAQ question 4: If the software’s so easy to use, why do I need training?
To be honest, if you were motivated to do so, you could probably find your way around the software without training as it is very intuitive. However 90% of our clients are dissatisfied with the quality of their existing appraisal process – perhaps it is viewed as a tick-box exercise or the conversations lack quality. Essentially they want to use this move as an opportunity for culture change – to drive high performance and engagement and that’s why we recommend training. Our consultants are experts in culture change – yes you learn how to use the software, but more importantly we motivate your managers and staff to first want to use it and secondly to use it well. So the training includes ‘Hearts and Minds’ and skills like writing a good quality objective or giving great feedback (we also offer lots of other training too if you are interested – check out the Learning resources section of the website to download our brochure).
We think it was Deming who said that: “80% of software initiatives fail due to people issues” – our training and change management support means that you can be one of the 20%!
FAQ question 5: How much does it cost?
Actus™ is costed on a licence basis and will vary subject to your volume of users. Following a free system demo we issue you with a full proposal that we know is highly competitive – try us and you’ll see!