Ernest Iannucci and his small IT team at American Fidelity and Liberty Insurance found managing data transfers from the SQL database into DB2 tables on the iSeries was eating up significant time and resources, and demand for various reports was heavy, especially at month-end. GoAnywhere helped Ernie's team automate their processes and improve their error reporting to achieve a much more efficient workflow.
My name is Ernest Iannucci. I work for American Fidelity and Liberty, AFL Insurance Company. We're a long-term insurance company carrier, and I'm vice-president of IT.
We're a small shop, so we don't have the technical skills for SQL server and everything else that goes along with it, so myself and two other programmers - we're AS400 guys so we started looking around for an easy way to import and export DB2 files to Excel or even comma delimited - anything other than manually using the IBM products.
Give us an example of how you're using GoAnywhere.
We actually started to use GoAnywhere to go to the SQL server to import the SQL databases directly into the AS/400, and then we could consolidate the files together between the 400, because there's a lot of external systems that the claims department uses that carry a lot more data and information in the DB2 tables. Of course, our users want to access everything together, so we're able to use GoAnywhere to bring everything together and consolidate the files to get the many composite reports that they need.
The agents get reports basically related to their commission statements. There's some status on the claims side that we let them know, but there's no medical information, and no names passed on to them. But our inside folks who do all the analysis, including the actuarial, they need all of the actuarial tables, and we use GoAnywhere to export all those files out.
Any other examples?
We'll import a SQL server file into the 400, into a mapped 400 that's DB2 so we can understand it on our side what it is, and then we link those files with the parent files that we have on the 400 and we can generate any - we know who's getting paid, how old, how long their stay is, how many days, what the average stay is. It's just amazing the data that we can put together.
How often are you doing batch file transfers?
Well, at least weekly. And monthly is a big data feed because on the monthly side, we distribute all of the agents' commission reports. Some of the agents ask for Excel files, some of them ask for data delimiter files because then they can import them right into their own systems and pay their sub-agents. We give them anything they want; it automatically gets emailed out to them.
What happens if there's a problem with one of the file transfers?
Mostly what would happen if a job got hung up on the 400, the users would call up and they would complain about the fact that this is taking too long. What we've done now, using GoAnywhere, is actually put time measurements within the 400 side, and as soon as something exceeds five minutes on a batch job, we just send an email out to IT that says, "Hey, take a look at this. There's a problem." So we're using it for error reporting as well as for distribution of reports and database files.
Before GoAnywhere, how much time were you spending managing file transfers?
We'd get done at month end, and maybe it took four or five days after that just to distribute the month-end reports and files.
The time we're saving is considerable. I mean, it's … if you think about it, we were doing two- or three-hundred feeds, and it was all done manually: one file goes to this agent, and one file goes to this agent, some of them wanted printed reports, so it was just a mess.
Now it's done within, literally, two hours the next morning and everything just goes out. And it wouldn't have been that easy without GoAnywhere.
What has been your experience working with Linoma Software [now HelpSystems]?
Linoma - like I said, I've been dealing with them for a little over ten years, and I've never come across a company with their level of competence that exists today. When I make a phone call, I don't get switched over to South America or India or to anyplace else. I talk to somebody there that understands my problems. They're always helping. Everybody has really been great. Everybody has been unbelievable. Like I said, we've gone through every product that they've made. We've used, and we continue to use, and it's been great.
What would you say to someone who may be looking for a better way to manage file transfers?
I like it because it's extremely easy to set up and to use. It's almost like … you don't have to do anything but install it. You can get to anything on the 400, you can move stuff around. As far as purchasing this product, it's a no-brainer. It really is.