Untitled Document

Merit Raise - Barr Systems Elevates Distributed Output Management to a New Level for Human Resources Giant

If a company's greatest asset is its employees, then Ceridian Corporation could be said to process millions of transactions every day that rival the wealth of some of the world's largest stock and commodity exchanges. Ceridian helps companies—both large and small—integrate human resource, payroll, tax, time, benefits management and employee effectiveness services. Ceridian is so successful at what they do, they manage information for more than 20 million employees collectively or about 18% of the workforce in the United States.

A Taxing Situation

Due to their impressive growth and rapidly changing technology, Ceridian recently determined that it was time to streamline and automate their distributed output management systems. Their print management operations, in particular, presented a number of classical challenges for large companies running multiple legacy operating systems and networks over a wide geographical area. Print centers could not communicate seamlessly with each other, and adding a new print center meant installing expensive mainframe hardware and software. Customer reports often had to be manually split into multiple delivery packages.

As John Calkins, national director of production at Ceridian explains, "Our former solution relied on legacy communications, and therefore could not print without a mainframe." Ceridian's print network includes mainframes in Atlanta, Chicago, Hawaii and two other locations, as well as print centers in more than twenty metropolitan areas nationwide. A new print center was planned for St. Petersburg, Florida.

Ceridian contacted Moore Wallace Incorporated, a nationally recognized provider of outsourced communications and print management solutions. Moore's resource management tool, Nable, was an excellent choice to provide document control for the multitude of Xerox printer resouces. Experts at both Ceridian and Moore also recognized the immense potential cost savings associated with an integrated, streamlined distributed output management system.

A Great Hire

With the complex communications infrastructure of Ceridian's networks in mind, Moore began to look for a balanced mix of pre-packaged hardware/software and custom applications.

That's where Barr Systems comes in.

"We felt the Barr proposal was the best solution to meet the needs of our client," Doug Heffner, senior sales executive at Moore says. "It has allowed for much more efficient connectivity and transfer of information than our client was able to achieve in the past. It also allowed for flexibility in designing a custom solution."

By implementing the Barr solution, Heffner and Barr consultants projected dramatic benefits in cost savings, improved processing throughput, network integration, and elimination of twenty-three mainframes.

"Working with Moore and Ceridian on this project was a rewarding experience," remarks Mike Remer, sales manager at Barr. "The immense cost savings and improved efficiency of print operations at Ceridian illustrates the benefits of working with the Barr team on a complete solution."

A Corner Office

As the centerpiece of Ceridian's distributed printing solution, the Barr solution consists of two major elements: the Barr Enterprise Print Server, with its remote connectivity and advanced integrated print management features; and a custom "bundling" application (Bundle Builder) that repackages print data to allow for much more efficient job handling and integration with high-speed Xerox printers.

Together, the Barr solutions allow elimination of mainframes, better disaster recovery planning,load balancing and rerouting of print jobs between print centers as needed.

In simplified terms, here's how the pieces of this complex puzzle fit together. First, the Barr server at the Ceridian's data center accepts print data via BARR/PRINT CHANNEL, making it easy to get the print job off the mainframe. This channel connectivity technology accepts simultaneous jobs and provides banner page recognition and variable field extraction, among other features. It is also easy to implement, requires no major changes on the host (i.e., it emulates a channel-attached printer), and is low-maintenance.

After further processing by the Bundle Builder,the job is directed to the appropriate print center via the TCP/IP queue.

The local Barr server receives the file using BARR/PRINT TCP/IP, a software module of the Barr Enterprise Print Server that accepts files over TCP/IP networks with LPD/LPR or with direct socket connections.

If the destination is a channel-attached production printer, the job is sent from the Barr server to the printer using BARR/PRINT390, a scalable software and hardware module of the server. This module includes an adapter that connects up to eight printers; and up to four adapters can be used with a single Barr server.

A New Reliability Standard

For Calkins, the overall cost savings achieved by working with a single vendor was a major contributor to the decision to implement the Barr solution. Also important was the improved connectivity of the network. "Channel connectivity for mainframes and printers to the network, with customization, provides the ability to selectively concatenate specific files together to print in remote locations without interleaving or mixing other files," Calkins notes. "Printers also relied on mainframe Bus & Tag connections and did not have native networking connectivity. Without an effective connectivity solution", Calkins says, "we would have had to upgrade all printers to newer versions at significant cost."

Barr professionals, working closely with Moore Wallace and Ceridian, designed and implemented the custom solutions and met the needs of Ceridian's data management plan by automating their production printing operations. The Barr offerings allowed Ceridian to eliminate many of the mainframes at its regional print centers, and establish the new St. Petersburg center without installing a mainframe, representing a spectacular potential cost savings.

Ceridian's production printing system is now highly automated and efficient, and job tracking capabilities are also much improved.

Reflecting on the project, Heffner says "the Barr solution seems to be very robust and meets the needs of the project. The solution works. The Barr professionals are very talented in being creative with a solution that met the needs of our client."

Now that's a great perk for companies turning to Barr for comprehensive, customized output management solutions.


"The immense cost savings and improved efficiency of print operations at Ceridian illustrates the benefits of working with the Barr team on a complete solution."

Our Partners

Proud print management software Partner of Xerox Proud print management software Partner of HP    Proud print management software Partner of Oce USA Proud print management software Partner of Canon Proud print management software Partner of Konica MinoltaProud print management software Partner of Ricoh
Proud print management software Partner of IBM Proud print management software Partner of Sharp Proud SAP partner