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InfoPro Case Study: CBP Office of Finance

Integrating Financial Operations for Import Duties, Taxes, and Fees

Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for securing our nation's borders while facilitating global trade. CBP's Office of Finance manages all of CBP's financial operations, including accounting, budget, financial systems, procurement and acquisition, facilities and engineering, asset management, and investment management. In 2006, CBP collected approximately $28 billion in import duties, taxes, and fees on merchandise arriving in the U.S. from foreign countries.

The Challenge
The presence of both asynchronous and real-time interfaces between the mainframe systems and SAP R/3, the CBP general ledger accounting system, had been causing a number of infrequent but highly visible transaction failures. In December 2006, we launched a project to re-implement the real-time interfaces using a technology that was better able to meet the demands of the interfaces. The objectives were to deliver real-time messages between the mainframe and SAP R/3; to improve the system's error-handling capability; and to reduce or eliminate financial transaction failure rates.

The Solution
InfoPro experts worked with the Customer Information Control System (CICS) group to identify and develop a technique that would not only deliver real-time messages reliably between the mainframe and SAP R/3, but would also provide a greatly improved error handling capability.

InfoPro technical experts used custom IBM mainframe Java programs, IBM JCICS Java Library, JCo Java Library from SAP, and custom SAP R/3 ABAP programs to re-implement four real-time interfaces from IBM mainframe COBOL/CICS programs to the SAP R/3 System. We used the Eclipse Java Development environment in working on the mainframe Java programs; for the SAP R/3 programs, our team used the ABAP Development Workbench.

The Benefits
The redesigned system greatly improved user satisfaction with SAP R/3. It also reduced the workload of support analysts who previously had to reconcile the systems involved in an interface whenever a message was not properly processed.

Just as importantly, the tools used in this project came at no cost to the client. IBM's JCICS library was already available on CBP's systems, Eclipse is an open source tool, and SAP's JCo is free to all SAP R/3 licensees.

Why InfoPro?
InfoPro has supported the CBP Office of Finance SAP project since 2000. Our employees represent the core of the SAP Development Team, which has written hundreds of customized programs to enhance the functioning of the commercial SAP R/3 system within the CBP environment.

InfoPro's experience in this area can benefit any agency or company that wants to integrate SAP R/3 and IBM mainframe systems. InfoPro personnel can apply the same creativity and responsiveness in service to any agency or business that is seeking to improve financial management operations through technology integration enhancements.

For more information on how InfoPro can help your organization, contact us or call (703) 226-2520.