Alabama’s modernized Unemployment Insurance system meets the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 era and is poised for continued success in 2021.
Alabama’s implementation of Solid State Operations’ UI platform and management system has revolutionized the way the state serves the needs of its residents. The system provides solutions to problems that have plagued State Workers Associations for decades, offering unique, affordable, scalable technologies and integrated support services.
“The reason for our success in Alabama has to do with the use of new, best-in-class technology,” explains Gregg Tahmisian, CEO of Solid State. “But it also has to do with people – with our incredible team of qualified subject-matter experts, our best-of-breed vendor partners, and with the dynamic relationships that we develop with our clients.”
The UI Platform is the culmination of a technology modernization program that Alabama began in 2017 to take them from a mainframe back-end system to a fully cloud- and web-based infrastructure. The program included several unique features: it specified that ADOL would not have to change their established processes, it included a software-as-a-service model of ongoing support partnership, and it also specified that the state would incur no costs until the system was ready to go live.
The new system launched in January of 2020 featuring the Netacent Data Station UI modules along with a secure, single sign-on that integrates with existing systems, and a robust Disaster Recovery component. The system’s elastic infrastructure handles instantaneous scaling, and real-time processing. This is a model that is adaptable and repeatable for other states in terms of cost and services.
Fortunately, the system is also exceptionably scalable. In March 2020, the COVID crisis hit, and claim volume spiked 3000%. In April 2020, all new federal pandemic programs (PUA, PEUC, FPUC) were paid by Alabama, one of the very first states to fulfil these program initiatives. Solid State took over hosting Alabama’s front-end systems and deployed a UI Claim Tracking Application to allow claimants to see their claim information in detail and in real-time. Despite millions of hits per day at its busiest, there was no slowdown on the websites.
“Workforce Agencies across the country need to be able to expand and contract operations rapidly to deal with situations like the Great Recession or the Coronavirus pandemic,” says John Demas, IT Director for the state of Alabama, who has been instrumental during the transition. “The Solid State team helped us handle the situation with highly scalable automated systems, chat systems, call center support, and more. They couldn’t prevent the challenges, but they made them manageable.”
Alabama ranked #1 in the nation in benefits payment timeliness in September, and by the end of the year, the system had paid over $4 Billion in benefits payments for 2020.
Not surprisingly, Solid State Operations has grown in terms of employees, vendor partners, and states serviced. “2021 will be a very busy year for us,” says Mr. Tahmisian. “We will respond to changes in laws, requirements, new administrations, and the evolving pandemic situation and its economic impacts.”
As a software and services provider, Solid State Operations will continue to partner with state workforce agencies and best of breed vendor allies to offer fully integrated, accessible programs that meet all state and federal requirements.