Press Release: JobAcct Case Studies
For More Information Contact:
|Laurie Craig ||Sarah Grossman
|UniSolutions Associates ||S&S Public Relations
|949 488-3960 ||(847) 291-1616, ext. 257
CHARGEBACK STRATEGY BY UNISOLUTIONS
TRANSFORMS MIS OVERHEAD INTO COST SAVINGS
Corporations, Government Agencies and Consulting Firms Benefit from
UNIX-Based JobAcct(tm)'s Flexible Resource Accounting Program
DANA POINT, CALIFORNIA (March, 1998)--With resource accounting a top
priority in today's downsized, cost-conscious world,
was developed by UniSolutions Associates specifically to fill the need for a
flexible, accurate, fast and highly-customizable resource accounting program
that would transform MIS departments into profit centers. Designed to run
on all versions of UNIX, JobAcct is prized for its versatility. It performs
"actual cost" accounting and chargeback for each user, group, project and
cost center, as well as "proportional" chargeback on a project/department
level. Recently released as v. 3 to include an Oracle Accounting component,
JobAcct has won ardent fans in government and corporate sectors alike. The
program is used to track and report on connect time, disk usage, memory
usage, cpu usage, disk I/O operations, pages printed, and database usage
(connect, cpu, I/O, memory, SQLNET). Elegantly simple, customized reports
are generated that combine all the data needed to analyze charges itemized
for each user, group, project chargeback number and cost center. JobAcct
distinguishes itself from the competition by offering these unique features:
- Flexible distribution of disk charges among many chargeback numbers.
- Reports that may be easily combined and produced for many systems on the
network or a single host machine.
- The ability for users to individually preview their accounting charges for
each billing period.
- Direct account billing and project-level tracking and reporting.
- Tracking of miscellaneous charges, which enables an organization to
recover charges on any type of computer related service.
- Accounting that can include all commands, or be restrictive or exclusive
to specific commands, enabling the user to charge cpu usage only for certain
Users Cite JobAcct for Excellent Tech Support, Customization and MIS
Cost-Savings Tech Support
Laurits R. Christensen Associates, Inc., is a Madison, Wisconsin-based
econometrics consulting firm. Clients include the federal government, state
and local governments and tele-communications companies. At any given time,
the firm is juggling between fifteen and thirty projects, all of which use
computer resources that need to be accurately tracked for budgeting purposes.
"We used another leading resource accounting product first," explained Peter
Hartman, system administrator for Christensen Associates. "But we weren't
confident about its reliability. We couldn't get tech support to answer
basic questions. For instance, we needed to take our previous method of
billing and translate it into their method of billing so we could stay
revenue neutral, but they couldn't tell us how they came up with their disc
space calculation, and we need to know that to satisfy the auditor.
Because they couldn't solve this problem, we couldn't bill our customers for about a month. We lost about $20,000."
Hartman stated that their experience with JobAcct has been "tremendously better." "When you deal with UniSolutions, you're usually dealing with the developer himself [Haral Tsitsivas]," Hartman said. "He knows the company's products better than anyone and can answer any question you have. For instance, if you ask them how to compute disc space, they can tell you exactly how the figure is arrived at."
JobAcct is also less cumbersome, Hartman noted. "With the other product, you had to install the package and then create separate user groups from what you have in UNIX. JobAcct can read the UNIX group information, so you don't need to set up two separate groups. It's a lot less work and less to keep track of."
Ease of Customization
The United States Army Corps of Engineers, with its two major processing
centers in Portland, Oregon and Vicksburg, Mississippi, needed to keep track
of resources used on their three 6000s, five 2000s and one 1000 UNIX Sun
computers. Several thousand log-in users are involved. "We have Corps
people throughout the United States and overseas, and these are separated
into divisions," explained Sanda Smith, computer specialist in the
information systems department for the Corps' Portland District. Each div
ision is assigned a charge number, and users logging in specify which charge
number to bill their usage to. Smith's department adds up the usage under
each division charge number and distributes the bills accordingly. "We use
JobAcct to keep track of each division's resource usage," Smith said. "The
best part about is the customization I've been able to do," Smith said. "We
want to give our users the interface they're used to seeing on our own
proprietary system. So we have customized the standard JobAcct reports a
fair amount, to feed it back into a database that is already in place and
which collects from other processes as well." JobAcct's tech support is an
integral part of the product, Smith said. "Haral made adjustments to fit
our needs, again mostly having to deal with our need to customize the report
data fit into our unique interface."
JobAcct: Transforming MIS Departments Into Profit Centers
At TRW, a leading military aerospace contractor based in San Diego,
California, the main customer is the federal government. "Since we bid
projects by the hour, the government requires us to show workstation
computer usage by the hour," said Jon Sage, lead UNIX system administrator
for TRW. "JobAcct solves that accounting problem for us." Sage explained
that his department's primary cost is software for UNIX tools and the
maintenance on it. "We decided that we needed to bill out by user log-in
time rather than by cpu usage," Sage said. "A person may not use much cpu,
but may tie up a workstation seat for quite a while, in which case he should
be charged as much as they guy who starts up a batch job that uses a lot of
cpu." JobAcct is used to keep track of all log-in time at each of the 70
UNIX workstations at TRW. "We searched for other programs that could do
this but there weren't any available for a distributed UNIX system." Sage
admitted that he was not thrilled about having to do this kind of "bean
counting." "The user knows that once he logs in the clock is running and it
may 'de-incentify' him to use the workstation." Sage also admitted that
"the finance department loves it. The JobAcct program is all automated. It
sends the clerk the files with the hours utilized; they input it into their
financial reports and charge the software costs directly." The customized
formatting for this operation was performed by JobAcct's developer, Haral
Tsitsivas. "In this way," Sage summed up, "we are able to meet our
License fees start at $1,595-$6,445 for standalone
copies, with master copies ranging from $1,995-$6,995. For more information
about JobAcct, contact UniSolutions Associates at 949 488-3960, or visit
their website: www.unisol.com.
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About UniSolutions Associates
UniSolutions Associates was established in 1985 to accommodate system
administrators. They soon realized the changing needs of MIS departments
and have generated tools to meet these needs. UniSolutions product line
includes: UNISOL JobAcct, SysAdmin, BART, and UniMenu.