As the fifth largest county in Colorado, Adams County keeps its IT team busy managing a multitude of tasks across several different systems.
While they depend heavily on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP solution for many back office functions, the team needed a simple and consistent way to automate the transfer of data between JD Edwards and other internal and external systems, authorized users, and trading partners such as banks and state government offices.
"The neat thing about GoAnywhere," said Evelyn Aldis, an ERP Systems Analyst,"is that it talks to our IBM i as well as all of our other systems in addition to our JD Edwards system, and other software we looked at didn't."
Aldis says one of her major responsibilities is supervising payroll projects. GoAnywhere has made that easier for her staff to manage.
"Different vendors require different file transfer and encryption methods," Aldis said, "and GoAnywhere is flexible enough to let us deliver the files using whatever transfer and encryption method is required."
She said she also appreciates the control she has over GoAnywhere's automation functions.
"For projects like this payroll project, we prefer using the run-time mode so we can verify that the files are correct before they go out," she said. "As soon as my staff approves the file, they just click a button and it goes."
Aaron Wiggans, the Applications Development Supervisor, manages projects such as transfers with the banks and credit card processors for the county treasurer.
"We allow online payments for building permits, traffic tickets, etc. We securely grab the files from our credit card processor and bring them to our internal systems without any user intervention," he said.
Wiggans says they've already seen a substantial time savings on a large variety of processes within the county.
"It used to take eight hours every month to print and send out our monthly accounting reports from JD Edwards," Wiggans said.
"We'd submit between 100-150 jobs to our JD Edwards System each month, and they'd each generate a PDF," he said. "Someone would then open the PDF, save it to a specific file location, determine who was supposed to receive the file, then attach it to an email and send it off."
GoAnywhere changed all of that.
"With GoAnywhere, we've got it down to less than an hour," Wiggans said. "GoAnywhere finds the files on the IBM i IFS based on a pattern match, brings them to a Windows network location where they can be reviewed, and then the accounting staff can click another button that automatically does all of the emailing of monthly reports for them. They love that."
Wiggans said they were so impressed with the time savings that they plan to utilize GoAnywhere to help the payroll staff cut their monthly report preparation time from 2-3 days per month to under four hours.
Both Wiggans and Aldis appreciate the built-in logging and error reporting GoAnywhere provides right out of the box, unlike traditional scripting methods.
"If there's a problem with one of our jobs," Aldis said, "you can look at the log in a centralized location. The log tells you EXACTLY where the job failed. You can figure it out in just a few minutes."
Another feature Wiggans likes is the ability he has to control users'; access to files.
"GoAnywhere lets us restrict access to sensitive IFS locations instead of everyone being able to see all of the files. It's a great layer of security to prevent what could otherwise allow some serious damage."
When Wiggans or Aldis have questions, they know where to go.
"You guys provide the best support I've had in years," Aldis said. "Your people know what they're doing and they also know the IBM i really well."
"I would say Linoma Software [now HelpSystems] is the best company I've ever worked with as far as support," Wiggans said. "I think your documentation is excellent. Your website is excellent. When I need something, I get a good answer and I get it quick."
Equally valuable to Wiggans is the architecture of the GoAnywhere software.
"It's so intuitive!" Wiggans said. "Once you understand the foundation, which is pretty easy, you can figure almost anything out."
He also appreciates how GoAnywhere has standardized the county's file transfer methods.
"Instead of having each programmer doing their own thing and handling the same problem twelve different ways, what's good about GoAnywhere is that you can standardize it and make it consistent among all members of the IT staff. You get everybody doing the same thing and then it's easy to support," Wiggans said. "If someone is on vacation or leaves the company, any other person who is familiar with GoAnywhere can step in and support that process if needed."
The fact that GoAnywhere projects are XML based is also a huge advantage.
Wiggans said, "We can copy existing projects that are proven and tweak details to create new projects. There is no need to re-create the wheel, which saves a ton of time and improves accuracy."
What is the bottom line for Adams County?
"The type of projects we do with GoAnywhere is just a small subset of our primary job," Wiggans said. "You make it easy for us."
Serving the Colorado communities of Aurora, Arvada, Northglenn, Thornton, Commerce City and more, the mission of the Adams County IT team includes evaluating and monitoring the adequacy of security over access to and protection of all county data while working to achieve the goals and objectives determined by the strategic planning process.