Analysis

The Office of Enterprise Application Development (OEAD) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for providing a myriad of services such as administrative operations, financial management, human resources, strategic acquisition, and federal occupational health to both HHS and other federal agencies. To allow itself to operate more efficiently, OEAD launched several Business Intelligence Information System (BIIS) projects and strategic initiatives to replace old IT infrastructure and applications and consolidate resources. These projects included the retirement of the old mainframe used for payroll, development of a data warehouse, and archiving records and data center and server consolidation. To achieve success in these projects, OEAD contacted Offspring Solutions.

Solution

Successful delivery of the BIIS program required deep familiarity with UNIX, Windows, and mainframe and cloud computing administration, as well as the PeopleSoft technical environment; open source development tools; environment management tools; and extract, transformation, and load (ETL) tools. It had become increasingly difficult to maintain the code of the mainframe responsible for generating payroll files, and the program had several known issues that would need to be manually corrected each time a report was run. Using Informatica as an ETL tool, Offspring Solutions reverse-engineered the payroll program and redeveloped the reporting process.

OEAD’s continuous need to develop new databases in support of new reporting requirements resulted in the need of both database support and the development of a data warehouse. Offspring Solutions was responsible for designing the data warehouse framework and server, implementation, and reporting tools. To successfully execute the project, Offspring Solutions used Informatica, a batch processing tool, and Oracle Application Express, a web application development tool. Offspring Solutions additionally conducted application and server consolidation between software applications while archiving 50 years’ worth of records and consolidating servers.

Results

Although there were already several known issues with the previous payroll program, Offspring Solutions identified a number of additional issues that were then corrected. A key product of the mainframe modernization is that the resolution of these issues means less human interaction with payroll files, resulting in a more secure system. Furthermore, any future alterations that need to be made to the program’s code, due to wage adjustments or policy changes, can be done much easier. Additionally, by effectively archiving records and consolidating servers, Offspring Solutions was not only able to reduce the number of data centers from four to two, but also reduce licensing fees. Offspring Solutions was able to successfully complete all aspects of the BIIS projects for OEAD, resulting in more efficient use of the OEAD’s resources and making it easier to train personnel on streamlined programs.

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