"We used MitemView to provide the critical legacy connection in a new Web-based application to automate and integrate the high volume of eligibility data changes and updates we previously received as hardcopy change forms. Now our clients can process these changes themselves, using a wizard-like GUI, and employee benefits information is instantly updated on our backend system, rather than waiting for our staff to enter it."

Damon Sutherland
Systems Analystf
AmeriBen


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MITEM Enables AmeriBen's New Self-Service
Benefits Administration Solution

Helping employers help themselves just became easier, thanks to the non-invasive approach to legacy integration pioneered by MITEM

MENLO PARK, Calif., - November 20, 2001 - MITEM® Corporation, a leading provider of legacy integration software and e-Business solutions announced today that AmeriBen Solutions, a benefits administration organization, servicing some of the leading employers in the country, has deployed MitemView to provide direct legacy systems access for its new self-service benefits administration package.

This self-service Web application enables Ameriben's clients to manage employee benefit eligibility information themselves, rather than manually creating and sending change order forms to AmeriBen for processing. To accomplish this, AmeriBen needed a reliable approach to directly link to their clients' legacy systems allowing automatic updating of employee eligibility information. MitemView is designed to enable real-time application integration without requiring changes or additions to existing applications. This non-invasive approach, pioneered by MITEM, has been used effectively in a wide variety of projects ranging from call center management and procurement to Web-based self-service.

AmeriBen's third-party administrator (TPA) services are in high demand by the growing number of organizations opting for self-funded benefits plans versus fully-insured plans. AmeriBen's success depends on its ability to help client companies recruit and retain employees by offering comprehensive benefits packages that make it easy to enroll employees, make changes and access information.

Two years ago, AmeriBen's clients were mostly small companies with 100 to 500 employees enrolled in each company's plan. As AmeriBen grew and attracted larger clients (5,000 to 8,000 individuals), these clients wanted to manage employee eligibility information themselves, rather than manually sending change order forms to AmeriBen for processing. To address this need, AmeriBen developed a self-service Web application that links directly to their legacy system to automatically update employee eligibility information.

"We used MitemView to provide the critical legacy connection in a new Web-based application to automate and integrate the high volume of eligibility data changes and updates we previously received as hardcopy change forms," said Damon Sutherland, Systems Analyst, of AmeriBen. "Now our clients can process these changes themselves, using a wizard-like GUI, and employee benefits information is instantly updated on our backend system, rather than waiting for our staff to enter it."

MitemView serves as the link between AmeriBen's legacy system, a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Alpha ES40 server running OpenVMS, and a SQL server housing each Web transaction. The clients' human resources department enters their employee's eligibility data and MitemView takes that data from the Web application and integrates it with the legacy database, instantly updating eligibility information at the source.

Prior to selecting MitemView, AmeriBen explored many other technology options.

"A batch file approach wasn't real time. It wasn't quick enough and the system was limited in the ways information could be sent. Front-end options, such as screen scraping, were too slow and couldn't handle the amount of traffic we anticipated. We also tried a DDE link to a Telnet server, however when an undiscovered state occurred, the Telnet server wasn't able to recover and the system went down," said Sutherland. "When we looked at MitemView, we found it easily handled the problem of undiscovered states and was much more robust and reliable. MitemView allows the ability to recover, and you can tell exactly why the error occurred."

With MitemView solving the complex legacy integration problem at the back-end, AmeriBen's eligibility system has provided significant business value. The system has been live since May 1 and has never gone down, while competitors' systems have experienced downtime. AmeriBen's competitiors using off-the-shelf claims processing software have reported spending more time and money on system maintenance, while AmeriBen has been able to decrease its eligibility department staff by nearly 50 percent and simultaneously grow its business by 33 percent.

"MITEM has enabled us to meet new demands of our larger customers so they could incrementally grow their business. Plus, it has enabled us to decrease our costs in administering eligibility information, while handling a higher volume of business - 650 transactions per day. It provides a sophisticated, accurate, reliable system that was easy to deploy and is simple to maintain. In many respects, MitemView has far exceeded our expectations," said Sutherland.

AmeriBen plans to use MitemView to add more features and options to its basic eligibility system. Additional options for HMO style plans and COBRA maintenance may be added. These features would give AmeriBen additional plan design options it could offer via their MitemView enhanced Web enrollment package, helping to make it easier for their clients to retain employees - a primary industry benchmark for competitiveness.

About AmeriBen Solutions

Founded in 1964, AmeriBen Solutions (www.ameriben.com) is one of the oldest benefit administration organizations in the country. For over 35 years, the company has provided benefit and human resource solutions for some of the leading organizations in the country. And as a wholly owned subsidiary of IEC Group (one of the nations' premier human resource consulting organizations) AmeriBen possesses the technology, expertise and stability necessary to service employers of virtually any size or industry.

Contact:


MITEM Corporation
Andy Nelson
650.323.1500
pr@mitem.com

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