Case studies published on this website have been archived, and some information and links may be out of date. This follows the acquisition of Albany Software by Bottomline Technologies in September 2012.

One Complete Solution


Comprised of specialist Cleaning, Catering, Security, Transport, Technical and Hygiene services, OCS can provide single and multiple service solutions to locations nationwide. This brings with it a number of benefits, not least of which is peace of mind; the facility to pick up the phone to one central point no matter what service is required, knowing it will be dealt with quickly, professionally and economically. OCS has over 50,000 employees who work towards the concept of 'One Complete Solution' to combine depth of specialisation with breadth of service provision, all under one banner.

Established over 100 years ago, OCS is now a UK market leader in the provision of multiple cleaning and support services for thousands of clients of every size including over 80% of blue chip organisations, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Sage and Albany

OCS use Sage Line 500 v5.5 and Albany's ALBACSbureau cs solution. These solutions integrate thus enabling the company to manage the payment and collection of funds electronically for multiple sites. Albany supplied OCS with ALBACSbureau cs software for up to 25 workstations, rolling out from the 13th July 2005. OCS holds an annual maintenance agreement with Albany for their ALBACSbureau cs solution support.

OCS chose to use Sage Line 500 v5.5 as their Enterprise Resource Planning solution and use the full Line 500 functionality including the finance suite, distribution suite, purchase order processing, sales invoicing and analysis, repetitive route scheduling, contract managements, project accounting, project billing and resource ledger modules. OCS Business Partner - Datel Computing Limited - supplied OCS with 256 concurrent users across the group. With such a large user count, Sage Line 500 enables OCS to control what their employees see via the menu structures. There are distinct benefits to this functionality including the ability to segregate tasks and added security.

Sage Line 500 supports and consolidates activity across the expanding OCS business. OCS migrated from Sage Tetra CS3 on a UNIX operating system to Sage's powerful and robust Line 500 solution. Line 500 runs on the latest Microsoft Windows platform supported by Microsoft's leading database solution, MS SQL server, which offers a secure, reliable, scalable and resilient platform for OCS to build their IT strategy on.

Since its inception in 1989, Albany Software has been at the forefront of e-business, providing a powerful, integrated, strategic suite of software solutions and services designed to meet the needs of 21st Century organisations. Albany Software is the UK's number one developer and supplier of Bacs Electronic Funds Transfer software and a leading authority in the e-business marketplace, supplying thousands of organisations with advanced and integrated systems.

Albany has extensive industry knowledge and experience in the Bacs arena and is committed to providing best of breed products and first class support services to our clients.

ALBACSbureau cs saves OCS time, increases efficiency and reduces costs by automating the payment and collection of funds. It replaces the traditional paper-based methods of funds transfer (such as cheques, giros and cash), reducing both time and bank charges. OCS submits their files directly to Bacs via BacsTEL-IP and funds are then simultaneously credited and debited between bank accounts. Acknowledgements and receipts for their audit trail are fed back into ALBACSbureau cs electronically.

System Security

The latest software approval program from Bacs is designed to ensure both quality of product and quality of service, therefore only products meeting the stringent requirements of the approval program are allowed to connect to the Bacs network. Albany was one of the very first solution providers to have software approved by Bacs. Albany works alongside Bacs and their banking partners to ensure that ALBACSbureau cs meets the security needs of banks and businesses alike. Alan Whitehill, Project Manager at OCS commented, "We keep our system security in line with the recommended Bacs guidelines and follow the two stage signing process". Using the new BacsTEL-IP security measures OCS have smart cards registered to their individual users, enabling them to follow the two stage signing process, 'signing' files virtually and then sending them to Bacs.

ALBACSbureaucs incorporates a number of in-built workflows which specify the steps required for submitting Bacs payment files, downloading Bacs reports and other functions. Workflows are designed to align to standard business processes and offer greater control for OCS ALBACSbureau cs capabilities. Driving processes through OCS, workflows inform individuals of the steps they are required to perform and escalates any tasks which are not completed.

Seamless Integration

The seamless integration between Sage Line 500 and ALBACSbureau cs provides OCS with an end to end solution that enables the creation, validation and submission of files to Bacs. Sage Line 500 outputs a payment file; this file is automatically encrypted and stored in a secure area within the local network. ALBACSbureau cs imports the file once prompted to do so. Once the file is held within ALBACSbureau cs it cannot be edited, this is an added security feature as payment amounts or accounts cannot be altered. The file is automatically modulus checked and any account numbers or sort codes that are incorrect can be extracted or printed for future reference. This feature helps to prevent costly errors and reduces the drain on manpower resources further down the line. OCS is then able to return to Sage Line 500 and update account number and sort codes as required.

Whitehill concluded, "ALBACSbureau cs is easy to use and very well supported. On the rare occasions I have had cause to use it, I have been very impressed with the help desk support I have received."

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