Brown County is a
local/municipal government agency based in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Brown County itself comprises 16 towns, 6 villages and 2 cities, of
which Green Bay is the most progressive and rapidly growing city.
Home of the Green Bay Packers, National Football League champions on
12 occasions, Green Bay itself relies heavily on its paper industry.
It is also the largest cheese processing, concentrating and shipping
center in the United States. Paper converters, recycling, custom log
homes, furniture, fisheries, meat processing, dairy products, cold
storage are other important industries established in the County.
Brown County's Human
Resources Department provides both City and County human resources
and labor relations services. One of the department’s aims is to
improve and promote quality customer service. To support this
objective the department looked to extend it's reporting capability.
The requirement was simple: a reporting solution that could provide
non technical ‘end users’ with access to HR data to develop
their own reports quickly and efficiently with minimal IS
Brown County had already implemented
the MPAL Human Resource Management System, an application that is
now maintained in house. With a recent hardware upgrade to an IBM iSeries
RISC machine Brown County took the opportunity to upgrade to
the latest version of MPAL and also the client-server version of
Momentum’s OPEN/DB-Jacana-Valet reporting system. Already using a
green screen derivative version of OPEN/DB called MPALwrite they
decided to take advantage of the intuitive desktop Windows report
design and report running capabilities available in Jacana and Valet
respectively. This project required implementation of the latest
software release of OPEN/DB-Jacana-Valet; conversion of data subsets
and their expansion to include new files and fields; and training in
the benefits and use of Jacana and Valet in particular.
One of the major features of the
Momentum solution is its Information Interface (sometimes referred
to as ‘data subsets’) that enables the file relationships of an
application to be described to the report writer. With this feature
the user is presented with easily recognizable fields and is not
required to know the field and file relationships of the underlying
database. Brown County had already invested time and effort into
writing data subsets and it was important that this work was not
"The implementation went so
smoothly, Momentum converted our old subsets to enable us to take
advantage of Jacana and Valet (using OPEN/DB) and they enhanced our
existing subsets to incorporate the new data elements in the MPAL
software. Momentum held our hand the whole way, with both telephone
support and on-site training we were able to develop our mission
critical HR and Payroll reports quickly and easily."
comments Laura Workman, Assistant Manager Information Services.
Now Brown County's HR and Payroll
clerks are writing their own reports with minimal support from the
IS Department. Within a few months over 140 reports providing a
comprehensive range of reporting were introduced, including employee
lists (e.g. by job title, seniority, department etc), performance
reviews, wage analysis, insurance and deduction information, medical
plans, vacation details as well as data extracts for Excel analysis
and mailing labels. With the data subsets and basic reports
established, the focus turned to making the reporting available
throughout the HR department. To achieve this Valet has been
installed so that the running of reports can be initiated from the
Advanced features of OPEN/DB allow
security to be applied at a ‘record level’ so that different
users running the same report will receive only the information they
are authorized to view (e.g. only the employees in their
As Laura confirms "I believe the
users are very happy with the ability to really customize the way
each report will look. The true benefit for all of us here is that
the users have the ability to create their own reports without the
assistance of the I.S. team. This not only helps them keep their
costs down, they are able to get exactly what they want, when they
These changes benefit both the user
and the IS department. The IS department can now leave the report
writing to the HR department, significantly reducing their costly
involvement in writing and maintaining HR reporting. Most
importantly the Information Interface ensures that all the file
linkages required in the construction of the reporting is not
compromised by an end user’s lack of technical knowledge. In
addition, OPEN/DB also provides the security and statistical
housekeeping information to ensure that I.S. retain operational and
audit control over who does what reporting and when. The users on
the other hand are empowered, no longer needing intimate knowledge
of the MPAL application’s database, with Jacana and Valet they
have the tools to write and run their own reports as they need them.
Sandie Motkowski - Human Resources
Coordinator confirms the benefit to their users. "I think
the most obvious benefit for us is the greatly reduced turn-around
time in getting reports designed and generated. We know the
information we want, and now we know where it is, and how to make
best use of it."
Looking ahead Sue Pable - Asst
Finance Director comments "The great advantage of using
OPEN/DB-Jacana-Valet is that we are not restricted to using it for
just HR reports. OPEN/DB can be used with other applications as
well, so there are no reasons not to implement the system elsewhere
in the organization."
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Momentum's report writer OPEN/DB is also marketed under a variety of derivative names including Info WorkPlace, Midas/Q,
S/RW and R2/D2. The Information Interface functionality itself is the same at comparable release levels.