The State of Michigan’s Data Exchange Gateway (DEG) is an integration platform that enables the State of Michigan to manage electronic file exchange for 13 different State agencies, such as Department of Treasury, the State Police, the Secretary of State, the Department of Community Health and a number of others. The state’s external trading partners number in the thousands and include health care payers and providers, banks and financial services companies and federal and local government agencies. Managed File Transfer (MFT) is regarded as an absolute must to protect sensitive information and provide enterprise-wide compliance, visibility, reporting and management. As the underlying application engine of the DEG, Ipswitch MessageWay ensures that the State of Michigan meets those requirements.
Following a thorough competitive bid analysis, the State of Michigan selected Ipswitch MessageWay for its integration and advanced managed file transfer functionality, and support for multi-tenancy capabilities.
Enterprise application integration associated with the transfer of files and information among businesses is one of the toughest challenges facing IT professionals, but MessageWay makes the process painless. “Because of the application integration capabilities and multi-tenancy support provided by MessageWay, the State of Michigan Data Exchange Gateway can deliver services to each of our agencies that are specifically tailored to meet their unique requirements,” says Carol Sherman, Director of Data Center
Operations. “Some partners have large sophisticated mainframes, some have small servers. Some use dedicated data communication lines, others use the Internet, and a few still use dial up lines. When a partner is added or changes communications techniques, the only change needed is on the DEG. The application integration functionality of MessageWay makes the change transparent to agency applications.”
The State of Michigan decided to consolidate to a multi-tenancy model that featured MessageWay as its MFT solution where IT would serve as an internal service provider to other State agencies and partners. “We wanted to establish one consolidated place where we could pool resources, operate centralized buying, and merge electronic file exchange,” says Sherman. “We took a common function – electronic file transfer – and created a B2B integration service for all of the agencies across State government.” The State of Michigan was able to achieve economies of scale, increase control and visibility, and drastically reduce the cost of moving and translating data. “Using MessageWay automation tools allowed us to shorten the time to complete the consolidation and to migrate over 4000 users in a ﬂash cut,” says Greg Faubert, Vice President of Sales for Ipswitch. “Saturday morning we stopped the old system, moved the State over to the new platform, aimed all the IP addresses at the new system and brought them back up. There was no disruption to business as usual.”
“To be able to ﬂash cut those users without any manual intervention in a single morning with no loss of availability is significant in light of the cost, complexity, and risk associated with these types of migrations,” adds Sherman. “Ipswitch provided a lot of planning, evaluation, communication, and customization to the MessageWay tools that were going to be employed – all of that requires a very strong base of experience.”
Part of the archival information that the DEG maintains allows the State of Michigan to track the costs to move and translate files. They can then produce billing statistics which is important for charge back to each of the agencies. “The savings that the State of Michigan is achieving on file transfers and EDI translations – 60% in 2010 – are savings that the individual departments never would have been able to achieve on their own,” states Sherman.