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Sage Software Introduces Sage Abra Benefits Connect to Simplify How Mid-Market Companies Communicate Enrollment Data With Their Benefits Carriers

Sage Software Introduces Sage Abra Benefits Connect to Simplify How Mid-Market Companies Communicate Enrollment Data With Their

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 10/06/06 -- 9th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition -- Sage Software announced today that it is adding a new service offering for Sage Abra HRMS customers, Sage Abra Benefits Connect. The electronic service securely automates communication of Sage Abra customers' employee benefits enrollment data to their specific insurance carriers, eliminating the need for mid-market companies to submit paper enrollment forms and giving them greater flexibility in adding benefits programs or switching among insurance carriers. Abra Benefits Connect is being introduced to attendees of the 9th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Chicago this week, where Sage Software is also exhibiting its Sage Abra solution in Booth #1220.

"Current open enrollment processes tend to be highly paper-intensive and error-prone," said Karl Grass, senior vice president and general manager for Specialized Business Solutions at Sage Software. "Abra Benefits Connect simplifies the back-end of the enrollment process between the employer and the carriers. It is easy-to-use and affordable. When paired with Abra Benefits Enrollment, our employee enrollment portal, Abra Benefits Connect virtually eliminates the need for handling paper throughout the entire enrollment process, resulting in even greater labor and paper cost reductions."

Abra Benefits Connect eliminates the costly errors associated with duplicate data entry and 'missed enrollments' both during annual open enrollment periods and for employee changes throughout the year by automatically extracting the benefits data from the customer's Abra HR database and re-formatting it to meet the specific requirements of each benefit carrier. The service requires an Internet connection, but no IT support or customized programming on the part of the customer. Abra Benefits Connect service is secure, and supports the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ANSI X12 834 specifications for benefit enrollment and maintenance transactions.

"Today, mid-market companies who handle their own benefits administration have two basic methods for sending employee enrollment data to their insurance carriers: paper forms or customized electronic files," said Mark Dresser, president of Dresser & Associates, a Sage Select Business Partner representing Sage Abra. "Both methods are costly and time-consuming to implement and maintain, plus each time companies change plans or switch carriers, additional time and costs are incurred. Abra Benefits Connect gives mid-market companies a better alternative."

For mid-market companies, especially those with fewer than 1,000 employees, it is not uncommon for HR departments to have responsibility for communicating benefit enrollment data to their carriers. Depending on the carriers selected, companies may end up working with multiple custom formats, including spreadsheets, ASCII text files, XML, EDI, hard copies and fax forms. Abra Benefits Connect eliminates all this complexity and cost by using a standard format to pull enrollment data from Abra HR, transforming the data into the specific data formats and media required by each carrier, and delivering the data to the carriers. And, as more and more carriers require electronic connections in order to increase their efficiencies, the flexibility of Abra Benefits Connect gives mid-market companies more provider choices.

Abra Benefits Connect will be available from Sage Software and certified Sage Abra business partners in late Fall 2006.

Sage Abra is Sage Software's flagship HR/payroll offering from its portfolio of complementary front- and back-office solutions, including accounting, fixed asset management, customer relationship management (CRM), and solutions for specific vertical industries. In addition to its best-of-breed status, Sage Abra integrates with Sage Software's Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage MAS 200 ERP, Sage MAS 500 ERP, Sage MIP Fund Accounting, Sage Accpac and Sage Timberline Office products, plus its Sage Payroll Services offerings, as well as third-party solutions for the mid-market.

For more information about Abra Benefits Connect or other Sage Abra HRMS offerings, please contact (800) 424-9392 or visit www.sageabra.com.

About Sage Software

Sage Software supports the needs, challenges and dreams of more than 2.6 million small and mid-sized business customers in North America through easy-to-use, scalable and customizable software and services. Our products support accounting, operations, customer relationship management, human resources, time tracking, merchant services and the specialized needs of the construction, distribution, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit and real estate industries. Sage Software is a subsidiary of The Sage Group plc, a leading international supplier of accounting and business management software solutions and related products and services for small to mid-sized businesses. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and the Group now has 5.0 million customers and employs over 10,500 people worldwide. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.sagesoftware.com/moreinfo or call (866) 308-2378.

© 2006 Sage Software. All rights reserved. The Sage Software logo and the Sage Software product and service names mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sage Software or its affiliated entities.

Contacts:
Cynthia Sutton
Sage Software
703/793-2700, x3032
[email protected]

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