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Less than two years ago, data traffic at Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) Department had slowed to a crawl, with licenses taking up to six weeks to process and titles up to six months.

A constant blizzard of paper forms from hundreds of far-flung statewide affiliates contributed to a high error rate when DVS staffers in St. Paul keyed the data into a proprietary Supra database running on an IBM S390 mainframe. The database lacked open interfaces and allowed only flat data file extraction. Data was often out of date. There was a huge backlog.

But during the expoQ webinar Leveraging Your Host Systems, part of our The Evolution of Host Integration series sponsored by WRQ, DVS Enterprise Support Technology Manager Judith Franklin detailed a true integration success story -- a four-week “Webinization” program that slashed license-processing times by 75 percent and saved $260,000 in programming and legacy storage costs.

By November of 2001, it had resulted in a very different DVS, which has only continued to fine-tune its technology. “Every transaction we do on our site involves legacy data, so we’re using the (WRQ Verastream) integration suite to access that and integrate it with new databases we’re maintaining.” Data is much more accurate and timely. Titles are being printed in a day, licenses in two days. What’s more, state law enforcement officials tell Franklin their real-time access to driver information is “the most important invention for them since the mobile radio.” And manual mail processing is down by more than a-third.

This service-oriented approach also resulted in real-time accessibility for citizens as well as DVS staffers and business partners, while helping the DVS (Minnesota’s second-largest source of revenue) make the most of its business logic, existing data and employee skill sets.

“We wanted to fit our information to our business needs, not just to build a fancy information system.” Franklin noted. “[The Department] believed in that legacy system and business logic, so if we could deliver a system that played off of that, not only could we go to market sooner, but we’d have the buy-in from staffers.

DVS was able to migrate staffers no longer doing data entry to new responsibilities. “We value that in terms of our commitment to our personnel. It also enables them to work with us to design and rethink new info systems without feeling threatened that their job will go away,” said Franklin, who noted that the DVS was the only department to escape layoffs during Minnesota’s current fiscal crisis.


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