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“The majority of our employees use our online applications, so we can’t afford any downtime. Oracle Real User Experience Insight picks up response times of our online applications that were built using Oracle Forms. This ensures we can identify and fix problems before they affect the service we provide to our customers.” – Philip Dunlop, Manager, Technical Services, State Revenue Office
The State Revenue Office (SRO) is an Australian tax collection agency responsible for collecting 40% of revenue, or around $10 billion annually, for the Victorian Government. SRO is an independent agency that operates under an agreement between the Victorian Treasurer, the Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Commissioner of State Revenue. It collects duties, payroll, and land tax, and several levies; distributes the First Home Owner Grant and First Home Bonus; and administers unclaimed money. It employs about 550 staff members in its Melbourne and Ballarat offices.
Around 300 SRO employees use a revenue management system (e-Sys), developed in-house using Oracle Forms, Oracle Database, and Oracle Application Server, to manage revenue collection and compliance activities. SRO staff use around 400 forms to navigate and collect the data they need to deal with customer queries.
Around 30,000 payroll tax customers also use a Web-based application to submit electronic tax returns and pay taxes. e-Sys is combined with the agency’s records and document management system to complete transactions and manage customer records. Oracle Database supports several Web applications that manage payroll tax, land tax, and duties transactions.
Historically, SRO used a third-party software tool to determine network and application response times and ensure application and system performance met its requirements. However, as the agency moved to the Web-based Oracle Forms, the tool could no longer detect application response times.
This prevented the agency from monitoring online application performance and identifying issues that may cause outages.
In mid-2009, SRO deployed Oracle Real User Experience Insight to monitor its key applications and network to identify issues that may affect performance, and ultimately customer service.
“The majority of our staff use our online applications so we can’t afford any downtime,” said Philip Dunlop, manager, technical services, State Revenue Office of Victoria.
“Oracle Real User Experience Insight picks up the response times of our online applications that were built using Oracle Forms. This ensures we can identify and fix problems before they affect the service we provide to customers. It is particularly useful at identifying network issues that will impact service at our front counter.”
SRO uses Oracle Real User Experience Insight to monitor its network, identify glitches, and determine why performance is declining, in real time.
SRO staff who are serving customers at its offices need the revenue management, land tax and duty applications to respond quickly. The agency uses Oracle Real User Experience Insight to monitor when its network goes above a certain threshold so IT staff can investigate the problem.
“We also undertake document and records management as part of our revenue management, and if many large files are moving across the network at one time, we can experience a degradation in performance,” said Dunlop.
According to Dunlop, the agency’s IT department hasn’t received a single helpdesk call from customer service staff working at the front counter of its Melbourne offices since implementing the solution. Previously, IT staff would receive on average one call from these employees every two weeks.
“Around 300 staff members at our front counter, call centers, and back-office use our revenue management system every day, so response time and availability is extremely important to them,” said Dunlop. “Users particularly enjoy the fact that they can run multiple application sessions at one time.”
The SRO also uses Oracle Real User Experience Insight to analyze and report on service levels, which helps the IT department meet predefined key performance indicators (KPIs). Each day, Dunlop monitors the time it takes the network to respond and process Web pages to ensure the KPIs are being met.
“For instance, our servers must respond within 0.5 of a second; our network in Ballarat within 0.02 of a second, and 0.1 of a second in Melbourne,” said Dunlop.
“Oracle Real User Experience Insight provides the right real-time monitoring to ensure that we can quickly identify the reasons we may not be meeting certain KPIs, and it can fix the issue quickly.”
The agency has also reported 99% system and application availability over the past 18 months.
“Ultimately, Oracle Real User Experience Insight helps us avoid major incidents because we can see what is occurring across our network,” said Dunlop.
Oracle Real User Experience Insight has also helped the agency identify and solve integration issues between its TRIM records management system and e-Sys revenue management system.
“There are many interactions between these systems, and occasionally the TRIM workgroup server appears to have started but is not accepting transactions,” said Dunlop. “Oracle Real User Experience Insight helps us identify and fix this issue.”
A key reason SRO chose Oracle Real User Experience Insight was that it enabled the agency to measure the response of Oracle Forms in a Web environment developed using Java.
“We also had a long history working successfully with Oracle products, so it made sense to continue the relationship,” said Dunlop.
In early 2009, the SRO engaged Oracle Consulting to conduct a pilot of Oracle Real User Experience Insight, which lasted around three months. The agency then developed a proof-of-concept to demonstrate that the application could monitor Oracle Forms in a Web-based environment. The application went live in mid-2009.
The State Revenue Office is an Australian tax collection agency responsible for collecting 40% of revenue for the Victorian Government. It collects duties, payroll and land taxes, and several levies; distributes the First Home Owner’s Grant and First Home Bonus; and administers unclaimed money.