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Neusoft Corporation is the largest IT solution and service provider in China. The company provides reliable, high-quality, industry-related software, platforms, and business solutions to customers in the telecommunications, energy, financial, government, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation sectors. It is also the largest social security, technical-solution provider in China. It has more than 230 social security customers across 13 provinces, 18 provincial capitals, and 170 cities, covering more than 400 million people.
To meet the challenges of China’s changing social services infrastructure and support an increase in concurrent usage rates and data administration, Neusoft decided to upgrade its social security solution using Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle WebLogic Suite. Neusoft improved the performance of some batch processing tasks by 15x, under test conditions; cut capital expenditure by 20%; and enhanced government public services by enabling social security staff to quickly and easily access and analyze cross-regional pension, healthcare, and funding information.
Neusoft’s integrated social security solution is used by the National Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security; as well as city-, regional-, and union-level governments, and governments in provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities. The solution supports a number of the Chinese government’s subsystems, covering public service, pensions, healthcare, industrial injuries, unemployment, maternity, and funds and finance. It helps governments implement social security policies and improves cross-regional cooperation, administration quality, decision-making and analysis abilities, as well as social security auditing and fund supervision.
The social security solution also deals with service-related inquiries and reports and the issuance of social security cards, as well as providing a convenient and immediate, one-stop public service for Chinese citizens.
China’s social security infrastructure was moving from separate, city-based management to a more centralized, province-based management structure. To support this change, Neusoft wanted to upgrade its social security solution to facilitate greater cross-regional cooperation and enable services, such as cross-regional pension and healthcare payments.
“We wanted to help optimize China’s social security services by developing a system that supported a large number of concurrent users, an increased amount of data administration, and real-time, online analysis and review of social security data,” said Dr. Zhang Xia, senior vice president, chief technology officer, and chief knowledge officer, Neusoft Corporation.
In addition, Neusoft wanted to reduce the number of products used in its previous social security solution, which could result in lengthy diagnosis and troubleshooting, due to the number of vendors involved. It also wanted to cut complex system administration processes and high costs, which were constraining the ability of various governments to develop and offer timely social security services to citizens across the region.
Neusoft is the first IT partner in China’s social security industry to implement Oracle Exastack—including Oracle Exadata and Oracle WebLogic Suite—to optimize social security services and business operations. The database machine will support cross-regional public services—such as healthcare and pension insurance—business operations, and personnel transfers, by encouraging governments to more easily share integrated and standardized social security information through a national network.
“Using Oracle Exadata, we are helping governments meet the requirements of China’s informatization strategy and promoting governments as forerunners in improving the amount of accurate and accessible online social security information available in the national economy,” said Zhang.
“By integrating cross-regional registration, review, payment, and auditing information for processes, such as unemployment benefits, our solution will help governments modernize social security services management methods and standardize procedures across different subsystems,” she said.
“This will help improve social development by supporting governments’ transformations from service administrators into public service providers. It will also improve public satisfaction by enhancing the transparency of social security services and providing a one-stop shop for information about pensions, healthcare, injury, and unemployment payments.”
Under test conditions, Oracle Exadata has improved the performance of some of the social security solution’s batch processing tasks, such as the speed of running data analysis, statistics, and extensive data reviews, by 15x.
“We ran different tests for a number of social security processes,” said Zhang. “The results show we have reduced the time governments will take to process and approve 9,000 social security payments from 400,000 citizen accounts from 10 hours to 12 minutes. We’ve also cut the time taken by governments to complete healthcare insurance processing tasks by 99%—from 36 hours to 29 minutes.”
During the tests, Oracle Exadata enabled the solution to process savings carry overs from annual pension allowances contained in 45 million records in one hour, compared to 15 hours, previously. It also reduced query response times for pension payment data from six minutes to less than three minutes, and for medical billing data from seven hours to around 15 minutes.
“The performance improvements will help enhance the satisfaction of social security staff by ensuring the system and application performance meets their requirements,” said Zhang.
“In addition, Oracle Exadata’s superior abilities ensure the system can support more than 400 concurrent users, which are required to service the average city,” she said.
Neusoft is taking advantage of Oracle Exadata’s Smart Scan and storage index features to quickly and easily conduct real-time, targeted data searches by completing queries in the storage layer, and only returning relevant data.
By accessing data that is only relevant to a particular social security service, region, or office, governments can more efficiently supervise services and related administration, and easily detect any problems related to quality, efficiency, or fraud.
“Oracle Exadata identifies areas of disk storage that don’t contain the values a query is searching for and avoids reading those areas,” said Zhang. “This has eliminated I/O performance bottlenecks in the solution by significantly reducing I/O consumption and data transmission times during data searches and analyses.”
Using Oracle Exadata’s Hybrid Columnar Compression, Neusoft has decreased the amount of data storage space required for its social security solution by 80%.
“Implementing cross-regional services will increase the amount of social security data that needs to be stored in the social security solution, and the number of concurrent users,” said Zhang. “By improving the solution’s storage capabilities, we will be able to meet increasing storage requirements over time without needing to add new storage.”
Neusoft also took advantage of Oracle Exadata’s powerful administration tools to ensure efficient disaster recovery and reduce costs.
“Oracle Exadata’s advanced performance and administration features have reduced complex system administration processes and the number of administration and maintenance personnel required.
“Previously, our customers would have required many technical engineers to maintain servers, storage devices, and databases from different vendors, but now they only need maintenance staff from a single supplier,” said Zhang. “The reduction in staff and, subsequently, the costs helps ensure the social security solution can be extended across regions and to grassroots government and community groups.”
By implementing Oracle Exadata, Neusoft has also saved on capital expenditure and the total cost of ownership.
“Compared with traditional hardware environments with separate servers and storage capacity, and without considering operational expense, we have reduced capital expenditure by 20%,” said Zhang. “We also expect to lower the total cost of ownership for our customers by 50%.”
For the past 17 years, Neusoft has been building a robust social security solution using Oracle products, such as Oracle Database, to best fit the needs of China’s evolving social security infrastructure.
Although most Chinese social security system databases run on traditional UNIX server platforms, Neusoft felt that Oracle Exadata was a better fit for the social security sector.
“We have 17 years of rich experience in the social security industry and fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of using hardware servers that support a database system from a different vendor,” said Zhang. “It is critical for us to introduce competition, improve the performance of individual database nodes, cut down overall costs, and reduce system administration and maintenance personnel and expenses by integrating Oracle Exadata.”
Neusoft was especially impressed with the outstanding features in Oracle Exadata, including its 96 GB memory, integrated cache and client-cache results, and a high-speed 40 GB network with InfiniBand.
“Oracle Exadata’s world-leading capabilities powerfully support the healthy development of China’s social security system and will increasingly provide a better hardware option for Chinese users,” she said.
Neusoft began its social security solution upgrade project in October 2011 and conducted the first pilot project with Benxi Social Insurance Bureau in January 2012.
Oracle’s technical experts helped Neusoft’s software research and development team to migrate its social security solution to Oracle Exadata Database Machine Quarter Rack and Oracle WebLogic Suite, and take full advantage of the database machine’s advanced capabilities. In June 2012, Oracle helped Neusoft run tests to optimize the migration and the system, eliminate major technical risks before the social security solution went live, and ensure its staff was fully trained.
“Oracle Consulting and Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services helped our technical team to build up its Oracle Exadata skills,” said Zhang. “They also helped solve complex technical problems to ensure the rapid and steady operation of our social security solution.”
In August 2012, Neusoft successfully deployed its social security solution to the Social Security System of Inner Mongolia.