1. Annual Enrollment in the Employee Cloud: System Setup and Testing Phases

    shutterstock_271062212Written By: Shannon Johnson, Product Center Of Excellence, Benefits

    Welcome Back!  We are about to enter the configuration and testing phase of our Annual Enrollment project.  To recap, by this time we have received and reviewed most, if not all, of your business requirements, plan and supplier changes.  Now it’s time for our team to start the system work.

    System Setup Phase

    Normally this phase takes about two weeks but could vary depending on the changes that you have decided to make.  Most of the work during this period is on our end but we may be reaching out to clarify things as we complete our configuration work.   If there were any outstanding requirements from the earlier phase, it is best that you get those finalized and to us as soon as possible.  The sooner we have all of the information, the easier it will be to stay on schedule.

    It’s important to note that once your requirements are finalized and signed off on, we will begin to use our Change Order process to track any changes that may come up.  This is an important tool because it allows us to track changes, assess their impact to the project and document any risks involved.  This is beneficial to all parties because it allows everyone to stay aligned on the work that needs to be completed and the time it takes to complete the change.

    During this phase you will want to finalize your communication plans.   Included in that you will want to review and update your Content Manager (ie. the HR Notes and custom pages that you may have created in the system) and your Communication portal.  These items, if utilized correctly, can be a major part of your communication strategy.  After all, what better time is there to communicate plan information than when the employee is actually completing their elections?

    Testing Phase

    Once we have the system setup and our internal levels of QA completed, we will ask you to perform testing to ensure that everything has been configured according to your requirements.  This phase can take up to two weeks to complete.  We can perform this phase during an onsite meeting or manage it through a series of team calls.  We will provide you with testing scenarios but also ask that you come up with some of your own in an attempt to “break the system”.  You know your employee’s best, so you will have a better idea how they may conduct their enrollment sessions.  And it is better to find all of the bugs during this stage rather than when we have a large volume of employees in the system completing their enrollments.  We will give you access to log any defects into our tracking system which allows us to work the issues and you to have visibility to the progress on each item.  Once testing is done and all defects fixed, you will be asked to provide an official signoff on the system.

    The system is now ready for the official enrollment period.  But we also need to complete a few other items during this phase before we can start your AE period.  First you should start any mailing or emailing campaigns to notify your employees of the upcoming AE event.  If you using posters, you should get those to the site leaders so they can be put out at the different sites.  We will be conducting training for our service center agents updating them on your changes and any other information that may be needed to ensure the highest level of service to your employees.  We will also work with you to finalize any other items that may be needed prior to your AE opening day.


You don’t learn everything in life by reading a manual. So, if you have questions about our products, services, implementation, getting started, or anything else, please ask us. Our highly trained staff is ready to help.