Docstoc

capabilities

Document Sample
capabilities Powered By Docstoc
					                                     CAPABILITIES STATEMENT


WHO WE ARE

Founded by Dan O’Hara in 1992, Universal Conversion Technologies (UCT) is the industry leader in
providing software and services for data migration and data integration in the financial services industry.
Complex high-end data migration projects are our specialty and we have completed hundreds of such
projects each in a successful, timely, and cost effective manner.

        Universal Conversion Technologies, L. P.
        16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
        Addison, TX 75001-5199
        214 348-2000
        214 348-2199 (FAX)
        www.uctcorp.com

CAPABILITIES

UCT specializes in turnkey data conversion solutions and has the tools and expertise necessary to support
all aspects of any system data conversion project. Our Data Conversion Architect (DCA) can be licensed and
used to maximize the effectiveness of our client’s business analysts and drive down our client’s conversion
costs. UCT’s expert personnel have an average of 25 years of industry and conversion experience that can
support project planning, data analysis and auditing, project management, data cleansing, programming,
conversion system development, and data balancing efforts.

                                    THE UCT DATA CONVERSION SOLUTION

Data migrations from one system to another are complicated projects. It is important to combine the right
personnel, tools, and methodology. At UCT, we have all three and turnkey solutions are what we do best.
We staff the project with knowledgeable personnel whose expertise is in data conversions and migrations.
We install our code-generation tools (DCA) on a customer’s server. The UCT process and methodology have
been used successfully for 20 years.

Project Managers, Programmer Analysts, and Business Analysts comprise each data conversion project
team. Each role is staffed by personnel with extensive, practical data migration experience. Whether the
task is project definition, data analysis, project management, business rules definition, or driver development
our people know what issues to anticipate and how to resolve them. Anticipation of the unexpected allows
you to calculate the cost of resolution and plan for it in advance. This means better budget planning, less
resolution time, and lower costs.

The DCA tool is a team collaboration tool that automatically generates conversion source code modules from
business rules collected by the team. On an Extract Transform Load (ETL) project, the generated code
modules equate to the data transformation component. The DCA tool is specifically designed with a data
hierarchy that models the typical data migration project, which moves data from a source system into a target
system. Even though DCA has been used mostly for insurance data conversions, there is nothing about this
tool that prevents it from being applied to financial, scientific, or government data or systems. In fact, on a
recent project, UCT personnel used DCA to successfully convert court records from an old record
management system to a new one.




16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, Texas 75001-5199                                                                     www.uctcorp.com
(214) 348-2000                                      Page 1 of 6
The UCT methodology is unique in that it emphasizes the role of the business analysts, clarifies and
minimizes the focus and role of the programmers, seeks to make actual data visible as early in the lifecycle
as possible, and automatically creates documentation. The traditional software development methodology
does not work for data migrations. The business analysts have the real system knowledge not the
programmers. Because of this, a conversion without UCT results in a costly co-dependence between the
business analysts and the programmers as they try to work together to evolve the high-level design, detailed-
design, and implementation into a workable conversion system. If the legacy system is particularly aged then
what was unknown about the system becomes all too clear when testing begins and the team must
repeatedly return to the drawing board to try to resolve defects and new data problems.

UCT’s methodology and tools turn the business analyst into a programmer. They record the business logic
for the conversion in a 4GL language which DCA automatically turns into source code. They do not have to
repeatedly return to the programmer for code modifications and improvements so the number of key
personnel responsible for the development of a source code module is reduced. In turn, the programmer is
allowed to focus on the I/O aspects of the conversion (or the Extract and Load portions of an ETL project),
which attempt to reuse system-specific I/O APIs whenever it is convenient. This segregation of responsibility
reduces the required number of programmers and drives down costs.

Making the data visible early is important to a successful conversion. In the UCT methodology, one of the
first phases is data analysis and auditing. In this phase, the business analysts use reporting features and
rules to create code that highlights data anomalies or any unexpected data characteristic. Since this is the
first phase, data cleansing can be started immediately to “fix” data in the legacy system and the conversion
maps and associated code modules can use the information to correctly handle all data permutations the first
time. Understanding how the legacy source system differs from historical documentation, and correcting
errors at the source the first time drives down costs and shortens timelines.

Finally, the methodology results in the automatic creation of documentation. At the end of a project, all of the
business rules are encapsulated in a set of “datamaps”. Each datamap handles the conversion of a subset of
business data and is written in a 4GL language that non-programmers can read (and create). It is invaluable
for design walkthroughs, code walkthroughs, and post-project documentation since the datamaps are used
to automatically create code modules.

                                     OTHER DATA CONVERSION SERVICES

-- CONVERSION PROJECT PLANNING SERVICES

Because of our many years of valuable data migration experience, UCT is better able to staff a conversion
project planning team. Whether or not our tools are used, our Project Managers and Business Analysts can
work with our client’s SMEs to understand our client’s specific migration needs. They can foresee common
migration issues. They can recommend techniques they’ve used successfully on past projects as well as
steer the team away from plans that they know have not proven successful in the past. They can show you
how a data migration effort is not the same as a traditional application programming effort and provide
solutions to the issues that arise. Because a data migration seldom happens in a corporation, this kind of
invaluable knowledge is scarce in the IT space. It is not scarce at UCT – it is all we do.

-- DATA ANALYSIS AND AUDITING SERVICES

At UCT, we do data analysis and auditing using DCA, which can automatically create audit source code and
has reporting features that highlight data anomalies and allow them to be analyzed and understood. Even if
DCA is not used for the actual conversion, the information that it can produce about the legacy system data
has tremendous value because it allows data to be cleansed before the conversion and/or allows data
anomalies to be known and handled correctly in the conversion source code which saves time and money.


16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, Texas 75001-5199                                                                      www.uctcorp.com
(214) 348-2000                                       Page 2 of 6
-- PROJECT M ANAGEMENT SERVICES

Every conversion project needs a strong and knowledgeable project manager (PM) to coordinate the efforts
of the vendors, the analysts, the programmers, and the auditors. Our PMs are the best in the industry and it
is not unusual for our customers to want them to stay on staff as corporate-level system migration managers
even after the UCT-driven phase of a conversion is complete. With an average of over 25 years of data
conversion and insurance system experience, our PMs perform day-to-day management of assigned
delivery order projects that involve teams of data processing and other information system and management
professionals. PMs provide leadership and guidance to both the client and the project team. The PM is
responsible for the day to functioning of the project and for the interface between UCT and client team
members and management.

-- DATA CLEANSING SERVICES

Over the course of time, a system can accumulate data anomalies that interfere with normal processing or
the processing of peripheral software. Once the root problem is fixed, the deformed data persists and can
only be fixed by converting the data back to its expected values. UCT’s tools and personnel can assist to
identify and repair data anomalies. The DCA tool automatically produces source code that can audit a
system and includes reporting and analysis features as well. Once the anomalies are identified, a business
analyst can use our tool to generate the source code necessary to fix the anomalies while the programmer
develops the driver software that performs I/O.

-- PROGRAMMING SERVICES

UCT started out as a data conversion company dedicated to the life insurance industry with the goal of
helping them move from one mainframe insurance application to another mainframe insurance application.
Since then we have diversified; we support the transfer of data between systems on any platform or written
in any language. Even so, because the bulk of our work is still mainframe-related, we have a staff of high-
quality programming experts – including COBOL. This meets the growing need for mainframe expertise in
industry due to the billions upon billions of lines of mainframe code that exists and the shrinking pool of
mainframe experts. If you need to modify or repair an aging mainframe system, call us. Our programmers
can help.

-- DEVELOPMENT OF CONVERSION CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

Conversion system development is our specialty. UCT can provide a complete solution or any part of it. A
DCA license can be purchased for our client’s team to use. UCT can provide DCA user training to our client’s
analysts and engineers. We can augment our client’s team with additional DCA business analysts and/or
programmers. If you are developing a conversion system, UCT has the people and tools to make you
successful.

-- DATA BALANCING SERVICES

A typical UCT-lead conversion includes data balancing which measures the success of the conversion by
comparing converted data to the data after it is loaded into the target system. If our client’s conversion effort
includes balancing, then our personnel and tools can assist. DCA can automatically generate the source
code necessary to compare converted target data to loaded and extracted target data. Our people can help
you identify appropriate fields to balance on, control the creation of balance maps, augment maps to perform
specialized balancing, etc.




16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, Texas 75001-5199                                                                       www.uctcorp.com
(214) 348-2000                                       Page 3 of 6
DATA CONVERSION ARCHITECT (DCA)

DCA is UCT’s data conversion tool. It is a web-based collaboration tool with a number of critical features and
components that automate parts of the conversion system development lifecycle. It is important to note that
DCA does not perform a conversion; no customer data is loaded into DCA. Instead, DCA’s role is to aid the
team as they develop a separate “conversion system” - a program(s) that converts data from one system
(the source system) to another system (the target system).

4GL to 3GL conversion turns Business Analysts into Programmers

DCA’s primary role in the development of the conversion system is as a 4GL to 3GL converter. It accepts
and stores conversion logic from the Business Analysts (BA) that is expressed in a natural form, like “move
field-1 to field-2”, and generates code modules that can be compiled and executed on the platform that will
host the conversion (usually either the source or target platform). As the BA creates the conversion logic
using the 4GL “mapping language” they periodically validate it to produce the more complicated 3GL code
modules. This has a significant advantage over other conversion solutions because it gives the BA the ability
to improve the conversion logic and resulting conversion module without involving a programmer – a key
differentiator between DCA and other ETL products. The programmer only develops the driver, which calls
the modules produced by the BA through DCA, and the I/O modules needed to move data into and out of the
source and target systems. The BAs develop the conversion modules using DCA. The mapping language
not only has commands that support conversions, but it also includes commands that perform auditing,
report errors, do balancing, and many other tasks.

DCA allows team members to work together

DCA also gives the team members the ability to collaborate on a project. DCA is a web-based application
that the team members can use at the same time. It provides data locking features that prevent users from
colliding or overwriting each other’s work efforts. It allows the team members to share files and ideas. It
allows the team members to see and evaluate each other’s work products.

DCA automates common lifecycle tasks

DCA includes a variety of other features that automate common tasks in a conversion. One DCA feature is
used to import the source system copybooks – the copybooks define the structure of incoming data and do
not actually contain any data. DCA uses the information from these copybooks to insure that the BA only
references existing source and target fields as they create the conversion logic. A different feature of DCA is
used to process the DDL for the target system database tables that need to be populated. When a DDL is
processed in DCA, it creates a copybook that references the columns in the database table and includes any
fields necessary to handle NULL values. DCA data maps can move data from source system copybooks into
copybooks derived from target system DDL. These “target system copybooks” can then be used as input to
I/O modules that load the target system database or as input to DCA-generated CSV programs that create
CSV streams from the data in a copybook. Once the source and target data elements are imported, a DCA
feature is used to create map “templates”. A map is a collection of related pieces of conversion logic. A map,
for instance, may collect all of the logic necessary to populate a single copybook or it may collect the logic
necessary to produce a transaction expression or an XML expression or a CSV row for uploading into a
database. Once the map template is created, the BA uses DCA map editing features to create conversion
logic. The DCA map validation feature executes the code generation engine that turns the conversion logic in
a map into a source code module and identifies logic errors (like an unidentified field or unsupported action).




16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, Texas 75001-5199                                                                     www.uctcorp.com
(214) 348-2000                                      Page 4 of 6
DCA utilities are reused by the programmers

Within DCA are a suite of “utilities” that exist to support the programmer who is developing the driver that
calls the conversion modules. These utilities can do a variety of things. One of the utilities that is commonly
referred to as UCT Messaging, is used to standardize the messages that are generated by a map module or
other part of the conversion system. Another utility is used to create formatted Excel reports from the
standardized messages. Other utilities can be invoked from map logic to do bit-level processing or load run-
time conversion tables that are defined inside DCA.

Testing intentionally starts early

When the conversion logic in the data maps has reached an acceptable level of maturity, the testing cycles
can begin. Within the UCT conversion system development lifecycle, the intent is for conversion system
testing and source system auditing to start as soon as possible. UCT’s solution makes this happen by
disassociating conversion module development from driver and I/O module development. With DCA being
used by the BAs to develop the conversion modules, these activities can occur concurrently. It is important to
start testing early because it is not possible to fully understand the development requirements in advance as
it is with some types of software development projects. UCT has learned that there are always data
anomalies and that the sooner the data anomalies are detected, the easier they are to deal with and the
more time all parties have to resolve complicated data issues.

DCA features evaluate conversion success

Once testing begins, DCA provides features that collect the error messages and perform success evaluation.
The generated code modules and drivers are set up by the BAs and programmers to trap and report
conversion errors from I/O failures to data format problems. Whenever an error is detected, a message is
generated and collected by UCT Messaging. These messages each specify an “owner” or the person
responsible for handling the issue. Features in DCA process the collected messages and the results from
previous tests can be compared to the new results to see how the logic is improving. The DCA Reporting
feature allows team members to drill down into the message data to understand the root cause of a problem.
The UCT BA Spreadsheet feature formats Excel reports from the messages that include summaries and
reports by user, by record, or by map.

Some maps are automatically generated by DCA

Finally, DCA features provide the ability to create complete maps of a particular type. In many conversions, it
is common to evaluate incoming source data either before or during a conversion. The UCT lifecycle calls
this “auditing” and DCA can automatically create complete audit maps and auditing code modules. Another
common task that happens after the conversion is “balancing”. One form of balancing is to extract converted
data before it is loaded into the target system and then compare it to the same data after it is loaded. DCA
features can automatically create maps and balancing code modules to perform this kind of balancing.

DCA is essential to data migration success

Many, if not all, of these DCA features are expected to be used as required during the source system to
target system conversion. DCA will turn conversion logic expressed by the BAs into source code without the
help of the programmer. As a result, the BAs will be more effective in their efforts. Programmers will focus on
I/O and the overall driver and work concurrently with the BAs. Testing and data anomaly detection with begin
earlier and there will be more time to address the unexpected. Balancing and auditing will be conducted to
ensure that data meets expectations and is converted correctly. The conversion, auditing, and balancing
data maps that are used in DCA to collect the logic can be exported from DCA as text files and reviewed or
archived for posterity. When this time saving application is combined with experts and a proven lifecycle it
ensures a successful conversion.


16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, Texas 75001-5199                                                                     www.uctcorp.com
(214) 348-2000                                      Page 5 of 6
ARCHITECTURE

Core technologies and programming language(s): DCA is developed using ASP.NET, C#, and VBScript
for the user interface and C for the code generation engine. The code that is generated by DCA is portable to
any environment.

Supported operating systems: UCT consultants have experience supporting conversions in many
operating system environments including: OS/370, AS/400, Windows and UNIX. DCA is installed and runs
on a ‘Wintel’ class server using Windows 2000 or higher.

Supported data storage formats: DCA has been used to successfully convert data to/from many common
database products such as SQL Server, DB2, Rdb, and MS Access. In addition, it has been used to convert
data in many proprietary data storage forms such as flat files, delimited data files, VSAM files, XML data, etc.

ABOUT UCT

Virtual Office Environment
UCT consultants work in a virtual office environment. This business model helps to reduce overall project
costs by reducing the travel expenses and results in working in a more productive environment without the
conflicts for prioritizing time such as competing project assignments or distracting functions that compete for
the consultants time. Depending on the client requirements, UCT consultants typically spend no more than
10% of their time on site while our project managers spend between 25-50% of their time on site if needed.

Every one of our consultants uses industry recognized anti-virus software and customer approved access
mechanisms. In addition, our methodology does not require that any of our customer data ever be stored on
consultant computers. It is always protected behind the access mechanisms provided by the customer.

Previous Clients
UCT specializes in high volume, complex data conversion projects that frequently involve multiple source
and/or target systems. We have completed in excess of 160 actual conversions that have involved as many
as 2.4 million records in one conversion.

    Number of clients:                100
    Life or health insurance:         95
    Property/casualty insurance:      4
    County Court:                     1

Previous clients include but are not limited to:
        AegonUSA                                                      ING
        Allianz                                                       MONY
        Ameriprise                                                    Mutual Marine
        American General Insurance                                    Mutual of Omaha
        American National Insurance                                   Nationwide
        American United Life Insurance                                New York Life Insurance
        AmerUS                                                        Pacific Life Insurance
        Canada Life Insurance                                         Safeco
        Conseco                                                       se2
        CUNA Mutual                                                   Securian
        GE Capital                                                    Thrivent
        Hennepin, MN County Court                                     Western National Insurance




16775 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, Texas 75001-5199                                                                      www.uctcorp.com
(214) 348-2000                                       Page 6 of 6

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:11
posted:12/4/2011
language:English
pages:6