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ACR/Detail Software Solution Helps Ensure Data Integrity for TSYS

  • March 01 2004, 1:00am EST
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CATEGORY: Data Quality, Profiling & Augmentation

REVIEWER: Michael Thibault, director of application systems for TSYS.

BACKGROUND: TSYS brings integrity and innovation to the world of electronic payments as the integral link between buyers and sellers in this rapidly evolving universe. With more than 264 million accounts on file, TSYS makes it possible for millions of consumers to use their credit, debit, stored value, commercial, smart and retail cards anytime, anywhere through any medium or portal. TSYS offers a full range of acquiring and issuing services from accepting and settling electronic payments for goods and services to designing, administering and fulfilling loyalty programs to credit applications, bankruptcy management and collection services. Based in Columbus, Georgia, TSYS serves companies on three continents representing 16 currencies and seven languages.

PLATFORMS: TSYS runs Unitech Systems ACR/Detail software on an MVS platform.

PROBLEM SOLVED: At TSYS, we are committed to achieving information integrity ­ the accuracy, consistency and reliability of information ­ throughout our global business. Our company's vision statement ­ bringing integrity and innovations to the world of electronic payments ­ emphasizes the importance of information integrity, which is a key component of our company's strategic growth initiatives. When we realized that we wanted to more proactively detect and resolve errors and validate the integrity of our information, we contacted Unitech Systems.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Unitech Systems ACR/Detail tool has helped TSYS establish automated controls for all of our payment platforms, electronic payment life cycle steps, outbound client transmissions and client billings. These data integrity controls provide key information quality checks, assurance that our mission-critical data is accurate, and increased satisfaction for both internal and external customers. In addition, using ACR/Detail has increased our compliance with service level agreement (SLA) availability, timeliness and accuracy goals ­ which, in turn, has helped improve our overall corporate profitability.

STRENGTHS: Our clients demand controls that ensure the integrity of their information, and we have gained a clear competitive advantage due to our use of ACR/Detail within our existing information integrity strategy. The ability to extract data easily and efficiently from large files with ACR/Detail allows us to put data integrity checks into our production stream without affecting our SLA windows and job run times. In addition, the ability to store the extracted data for historical comparisons ­ and to easily retrieve historical data ­ enables us to code our programs efficiently and gives us the flexibility that we did not have before implementing the ACR/Detail product.

WEAKNESSES: Our software uses a large volume of IMS databases, but the product cannot interact directly with IMS. The product also does not incorporate copybooks, but uses positional parameters that cause additional changes as data files change. In addition, the product cannot interpret data at the bit level, and is limited to 8 characters and 15 packed or signed.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We tested the Computer Associates CA- APCDDS automated report balancing tool, but chose to stay with the Unitech Systems ACR/Detail solution because the CA product could not perform control breaks where we needed them for detail information.

DELIVERABLES: ACR/Detail includes automated processing features that download nightly abend information and impacts to our intranet for review by representatives from all areas of our organization. ACR/Detail also provides variance reporting that compares month-to-date information and produces trend analyses. These kinds of deliverables enable us to effectively monitor the integrity of our enterprise-wide information flows.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The technical support area at Unitech Systems has been helpful when we have had questions or problems that we could not solve. In addition, our Unitech Systems service representative was very helpful on several projects that dealt with new processes that we had not encountered before.

DOCUMENTATION: The Unitech Systems documentation is thorough, with every field of every screen defined and explained. The primary user manual does not include many examples, which would give the user a better idea of the purpose and interplay of the various software features. Additional information for product report and update utilities, as well as further documentation on debugging and trace reporting functions, would also be helpful.

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