Vista 3.2 in Production!

In September of this year PDS released Vista 3.2, our latest version in the Vista 3.x family! Feedback from customers who have seen the product and those who have already begun the implementation has been extremely positive! Already we have a few customers LIVE on the 3.2 version! They are thrilled with the many new features that have been added to the product. Many of the specific features were a direct result of our Brainstorming process at past PDS User Group conferences, where we gather many product enhancement ideas.


Recruiting continues to be a hot topic for our Human Resource Users. Many of our clients use Vista to store applicant information, but struggle with the logistics of getting the data into the system. Vista 3.2 now offers an External Applicant tool that will allow you to have candidates enter their own resume data in a separate database, where they can preview job openings and show their interest. Recruiters can review candidates who have recorded information within the database, then selectively transfer appropriate applicants back into the Vista database for further recruiting activities.


Using new technology that .NET offers, our Development team has incorporated a variety of wizards that will lead Users of the system through the various Vista pages that are relevant for an activity. For example, the New Hire wizard steps the User through the relevant pages while collecting employee information.


Other examples of wizard tools that are now available in Vista include self-service features such as Life Event wizards that lead you through the infrequent updates that employees may encounter when experiencing a life change, such as a marriage or a new child, as examples. A very configurable Benefits Open Enrollment wizard now provides you with the means to personalize the message that your self-service employees will view while they work their way through the benefit election choices for the new benefit year.


The key is that we continue to address YOUR needs! Another example of giving you what you’ve asked for is our latest release of the “My W2” self-service W2 access feature, which we released as a year-end update for the Vista 2.4.1 and 3.2 versions. We recognized that not all of our customers would be able to take advantage of it so we “rolled it back” to the 2.4.1 version.


I could go on and on about the many features, but instead I’ll encourage you to review the detailed Vista 3.2 Release Notes that are available on the PDS Support Site, under Update Center/New Releases.


More importantly I want to share the message that I presented at the San Antonio User Group Conference for those of you who weren’t in attendance. It is our intent to focus on assisting our clients in their migration from older versions to the latest release. We’ve developed tools to facilitate the migration process that will certainly assist in the process; however it will still take an investment from your organization to make the change.


Hopefully you’ll be able to justify the effort due to the increased functionality that the new version offers! For those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to catch up to our latest version, you’ll be happy to know that our plans are to slow down new development and focus on helping our many clients ‘catch up’ with us! Though we do have some specific features under development for the next release, the Development group is focusing on addressing some of the features that you’ve been asking for. Hopefully your plan for the New Year is to take advantage of our efforts and our latest and greatest version! And oh, what a Happy New Year that will be!



Pat Palmer

PDS Steering Committee Member


Senior VP and Product Manager



PDS and the PDS User Group Association

December 2005 Newsletter