The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CCMA) is an independent body that provides a critical service to members of the public who have experienced some form of labour dispute. The organisation is reliant on its Information Communication Technology (ICT) department for support of its systems and database which houses information that is crucial to service it delivers – dispute resolution.
The CCMA receives and deals with labour issues and cases on a daily basis and makes use of its primary Case Management system which is dedicated to process the increasing number of disputes that the CCMA receives daily. In addition, the CCMA receives up to 600 cases per day, further making ‘uptime’ crucial. A few hours of downtime can seriously impact productivity and hinder the progress of the volumes of cases they receive. The organisation needed to upgrade its Oracle data base from version 126.96.36.199 to a 10.2.0.4 and in addition, as they did not employ a permanent Database Administrator (DBA), looked for a partner that could provide the necessarily skills to maintain their database.
In early 2011 the CCMA issued a closed tender to find a suitable partner that could provide a database maintenance service. Says Nersan Govender, General Manager: Operations at the CCMA, “We had previously engaged with a number of companies for our database management and support requirements. However, we always experienced problems with their response times and more than often, they did not have the appropriate skills for our environment.” The CCMA required a database maintenance service that would allow our Systems Engineer’s tasks to be more streamlined and have a positive impact on the organisation’s service levels. The Case Management System and Oracle database supports branches on a national basis and therefore the maintenance and support thereof was a priority.
“We needed a partner that could assist us to manage the increased volumes of cases. In addition, we had plans to further increase our user based from 400 to include an additional 1000 users with a national roll out of our Case Management Systems to sister organisations. This is part of our goal to take our services to the ‘poorest of the poor’ and make a difference to the lives of ordinary people. We also required a company that could assist us with the upgrade to a later version of our Oracle database.”
RDB Consulting was chosen based on their track record, expertise, skills and price competitiveness — a choice that Govender has not regretted.
In addition, RDB Consulting assisted the CCMA with their Oracle database upgrade. Gerrit-Jan Albers, Service Delivery Manager at RDB Consulting says, “The rationale behind the upgrade was to improve database stability and improve the speed of retrieving and saving information. In addition, the new version of Oracle’s database would eliminate some of the ‘bugs’ relating to materialized and index views.”
Govender adds, “RDB Consulting provides us with database management on a weekly basis which ensures that our database is proactively managed. This ensures problems are resolved before they negatively impact the organisation.”
An additional benefit is the skills transfer that RDB Consulting has provided by working closely with our in-house staff. To date, RDB Consulting has been the longest serving database management company that the CCMA has engaged with. Govender says “RDB Consulting has assisted us to achieve a stable database that supports our Case Management System, upgrade our Oracle database in order to meet our future requirements to scale and provides us with a proactive service that provides us with peace of mind. This is allowing us to deliver a better service to South African employees as well as their employers; ensuring social justice is achieved for all citizens in South Africa.”
About RDB Consulting
Established in 1995, RDB Consulting is an outsource and consulting company that specialises in four areas: Relational databases, Operating Systems, Monitoring and Enterprise Resource Planning. The organisation also offers project management, solutions architecture, on-going maintenance and support. Our services are designed to provide businesses access to expert technical resources whether full time, part time, co-managed or via remote administration. This allows companies to focus on their ‘core’ business and leave their ICT issues to the experts.
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