GIP GmbH (GIP) is a managed service provider headquartered in Offenbach, Germany. The company provides software and services to the public sector across Germany, providing solutions that aid the production of Human Resources (HR) documents for 2.5 million public servants.
GIP needed resolve a number of business challenges. These included reducing paper usage and printing, choosing the the right archive standard and helping 15 German data centers to reduce their software and services costs.
GIP chose CrawfordTech’s industry leading software to support their PDF/A archiving strategy, eDelivery for electronic document distribution and viewing, and consolidation of software services.
GIP needed a solution to an age-old problem; how to reduce costs.
GIP provides HR systems management services that deliver — into a single management portal — functions such as benefits administration, payroll, recruiting, training and performance analysis. Millions of public servants across Germany rely on GIP’s systems, software and support teams to deliver payroll and other related documentation.
An SAP software development partner since 2008, GIP has a team of staff monitoring daily changes in payroll codes, tariffs and legislation to ensure that calculations being made are up-to-date and correct.
GIP is responsible for providing managed service and software solutions to 15 data centers across Germany, which in turn provide document output and management for 2.5 million public sector workers. The amount of documentation GIP is responsible for is staggering since each monthly salary period generates up to 300 pages of output per public servant. That means their systems and support teams create up to 9 billion pages of crucial content every year.
However, paper volume was not the only problem GIP needed to solve.
The data centers that GIP serviced are comprised of a number of software components from dozens of different vendors in order to create a full solution for their end clients. This has led to each data center having different solutions for the same problem and having to pay multiple support and maintenance contracts to various suppliers.
Additionally, GIP needed a way to interact with new archiving hardware, software and processes that conform to Germany’s laws on document retention. Depending on the document type, not only does the organization need to archive the output, but they also need to destroy it at the appropriate time. Interfacing with systems that can manage this process is paramount.
“There is a lot of paper wasted every year. We calculated that we could save 750 million pages per year in just the HR area if we could find the right solution,” said Patrick Jehle, Product Owner at GIP.
“Our main intention was not to change the whole process within each data center, but to take the AFP printing file created by each location and generate the correct documents, in the correct format, without changes,” Jehle continues.
“With public sector solutions in Germany, it takes a lot of paperwork” Jehle explains. Choosing to work with CrawfordTech products came down to two main factors; the breadth of operating systems, platforms and solutions the software will work with, and the total cost of ownership of the system. By keeping the costs relative to the task at hand, CrawfordTech was able to help GIP provide the data centers with a cost-effective solution. The flexibility and open nature of the software also helped with implementation timescales, and GIP was able to put the software in place without changing their processes – a key element in their overall strategy.
The solution now works as follows: Every month, the HR department of any public company in Germany starts the payroll process. The HR software calculates the amounts for each person and all the payment instructions, and the resulting documentation is put into an AFP file. CrawfordTech’s PRO AFP to PDF/A Transform processes this huge print file and the resulting output is printed and/or archived.
During the processing, CrawfordTech’s software also looks for instructions in the files for forms and splitting information. On the next day the employee and HR department can login to their system and access the individual documents in PDF/A format thanks to the speed of the software, despite the huge monthly volumes.
Having a local CrawfordTech reseller able to provide full software and support services has also helped Jehle and his team implement a successful solution. “We’ve worked really well with Rasterpunkt. They understand our issues and help us to solve the problems quickly.”
Rasterpunkt’s Managing Director, Richard Mayer, is quick to point out that the CrawfordTech solution was not just chosen because of its low total cost of ownership and platform independence; “CrawfordTech has the only solution available that achieves what GIP require from a technical perspective. It really is the best choice for the job.”
GIP estimated that they will save 750 million pages per year if only used within the HR-related part of their offering. GIP believe that in the future, by extending the CrawfordTech solution to other business areas, that the total saving could be closer to 2 billion pages per year.
According to Jehle, the CrawfordTech PRO AFP to PDF/A Transform, “is an important part of the solution that is responsible for saving 750 million, and possibly 2 billion, pages per year.”
In addition, CrawfordTech’s software has helped GIP realize their strategy of consolidating solutions for the data centers, helping them to reduce their maintenance and support overhead.
Finally, the production of ISO Standard PDF/A files are helping to ensure that those files that are stored for later retrieval are going to be readable in the future. PDF/A files contain all the resources necessary to reproduce the output in years to come, avoiding the issues of creating ‘graveyard archives’ of files that can no longer be used.