For 16 consecutive years, EMA provided a broad range of managerial accounting and financial analysis functions for the DOT. In support of these functions, EMA developed IT systems, performed IT analyses, and provided strategic IT planning for its customers. The following sections summarize key IT accomplishments EMA made at the DOT.
Office of the Secretary (OST) Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
EMA integrated billing, procurement, vendor invoice analysis, and budget formulation and execution functions into a sophisticated fee-for-service financial management system. This system uses the Microsoft .NET platform for web and desktop forms and reporting, with Oracle as the back-end database. As an example of the level of detail in this system, it aggregates over 100,000 billing transactions each month into a series of pre-formatted worksheets for upload into the DOT's accounting system (Oracle Financials). Customer statements provide detailed billing backup for each type of service producing a customer charge. Services relate to desktops, servers, web sites, databases, IT Security, telephones, PDAs, cell phones, pagers, special services (labor), and special customer purchases (materials). This system is reconciled with the DOT accounting system (Oracle Financials) each month to ensure that charges are posted to the correct customers and accounts.
EMA developed a web-based customer reporting tool that enables customers to extract reports (pdf and MS Excel) each month as soon as each period closes. Customers pull detailed reports for telecommunications and desktop service requests, employee detail reports, and summary reports by organization and division. Customers use these reports to verify charges, support their internal budget processes, and monitor services against agreements and internal funding.
In order to improve integration between operational asset management and billing functions, EMA developed Service Order Management (SOM), a Remedy application that links Remedy workflow with business management functions. This system enabled us to coordinate moves, adds, and changes performed by the Service Desk(s) with billing activities. It enabled customers to manage their services and accounts, including requests for In/Out processing of employees and contractors; assignment of billing codes; management and financial approvals; and coordination of service desk activities (tickets and change requests) with customer billing statements.
EMA developed a web portal to support the telecommunications and facilities activities related to the move to the new DOT HQ building. Specifically, this portal tracked information about each employee moving to the new building, including locations, office information, telephone configurations, telephone training classes, move schedules, and more.
When the installation of key modules within Remedy was delayed, EMA was tasked with managing the Remedy implementation for the OCIO's IT Services operations. EMA hired several senior Remedy developers who quickly identified key areas where development would add functionality, improve technician response time, and improve manageability of IT assets. EMA was responsible for integrating operational and business management rules. As a result of our efforts, confidence in the system increased and the system became a key operations tool.
Transportation Administrative Service Center (TASC)
At the outset of this contract, EMA discovered that existing financial support systems were either inadequate or non-existent. EMA developed several small systems in MS Access that immediately enabled us to track documents flowing through our office. The Vendor Invoice Tracking System (VITS) was developed to track vendor invoices and prevent penalty fees for late invoices. At the time our contract started, our organization had the highest level of penalty payments in TASC. With the implementation of our tracking systems, penalty payments have been virtually eliminated.
EMA also discovered that the billing process was manual, laborious, and highly inaccurate. No cumulative billing data was available - only paper copies existed prior to our support. One of our first tasks was to build an MS Access database to hold cumulative monthly billing data. We created tables, queries, forms, and reports that enabled us to accumulate, aggregate, and report billing data across months and fiscal years. As a result of our efforts, we were able to respond to customer questions with accurate information; billing statements were based on justifiable charges; and customers had the information necessary to break down charges for internal cost recovery. This database has since been migrated to an Oracle database with MS VB.NET for the front end.
EMA replaced a manual telecom report distribution system with an automated e-mail based system that eliminated the labor to photocopy, collate, and manually distribute the reports through the DOT and USPS mail systems. EMA's process reduced a 45,000 page report to 500 pages, eliminated 12 boxes of copy paper per month, and reduced the time and labor to process from 2 man-weeks to 1 hour. The result of our process was significantly reduced cost and increased customer satisfaction.