OS/400 Edition
Volume 2, Number 46 -- December 10, 2002

New ACOM Software Enables Direct Deposits from OS/400 Servers

by Alex Woodie

Have you ever thought about using the national banking network, which your employer uses for direct deposit of your paycheck, to send payments directly from your OS/400 server? Well, now you can. Last week ACOM Solutions announced an add-on module to its EZPayManager/400 that allows users to transfer funds over the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network using their AS/400 or iSeries as the primary server.


ACOM's base EZPayManager/400 application is designed to reduce companies' reliance on pre-printed checks by allowing them to print their checks on standard laser printers, including those equipped with Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) toner. In the past, if customers wanted to augment their EZPayManager/400 system with electronic payment capabilities over the ACH network, ACOM had a solution for them, but it didn't run on OS/400. That's why ACOM developed EZPayManager/400-ACH.

"EZPM/400-ACH is an all-new native iSeries AS/400 module developed from the ground up to supersede an earlier solution that required an intermediate stop at a Windows server, which forwarded the electronic documents to the ACH network," said Greg Church, ACOM's vice president of marketing, communications, and product development. "The new solution satisfies a strong preference within the iSeries community for pure solutions."

The ACH is a vast electronic processing and delivery network that was originally developed in California in the early 1970s to streamline the process of handling and settling paper-based checks. The National Automated Clearing House Association was formed soon thereafter to manage the ACH network, set rules, and admit members into the network. NACHA has admitted more than 12,000 financial institutions into the ACH network, which transmits more than 19 million transactions per day. In 2000, the ACH network handled transactions worth more than $20 trillion.

With EZPayManager/400-ACH, ACOM is giving OS/400 shops access to the ACH network to make payments and submit remittances to their suppliers or vendors. The module automatically formats payments into a NACHA-compliant file that is sent to your vendor's bank for processing. It uses the same back-end interfaces to access accounting and ERP applications that EZPayManager/400 uses. (ACOM says there is no custom coding required to integrate either solution into existing applications.) EZPayManager/400-ACH also allows users to specify which vendors or suppliers are to receive their payments electronically over the ACH network, and which ones are to receive a check in the mail.

Sending payments electronically is faster and less expensive than printing and mailing a check, ACOM says. The Atlanta, Georgia, software company cites a recent United States Treasury study that found the average electronic payment costs 22.5 times less than paper checks. ACOM says the study also revealed the payment inquiry rate for electronic payments was 32 times less than for paper checks, and the average time to resolve inquiries for electronic payments was 24 hours, compared to about two weeks when using paper checks.

EZPayManager/400-ACH is available immediately. Pricing starts at $3,995. For more information, visit ACOM online at

Sponsored By

What makes IBM different from Microsoft regarding Fast400??

What is Fast400?

You are hearing a lot about Fast400 aren't you? But what is Fast400? Fast400 is a "tuning" product for the iSeries. Fast400 will allow an iSeries server to utilize the available CPW for interactive processing. IBM would have you believe that these interactive cards that cost thousands to millions of dollars, actually add value to your server. By buying Fast400, you do not ever need to buy anther interactive card for your iSeries. For a free demonstration of Fast400, please visit .

Why Fast400?

A few years ago Microsoft would not let other software companies build tools to work with the Windows operating system. Microsoft did all kinds of scurrilous things to stop other manufacturers software from working on their platform. They would put code in the base operating system that prevented other companies code from working properly. IBM even had these issues with Operations Navigator. In the early days of Operations Navigator, the developers in Rochester had to scrap early versions because Microsoft did not want IBM leverage on what was proprietary to them. Netscape also had a few problems using the Windows operating system.

The result

Now we all know what happened to Microsoft. After spending tens of millions of our tax dollars in the trial, the US government told Microsoft that they were acting as a monopoly and what they did was not right or fair.

The similarity

IBM is doing exactly the same thing to Fast400 as Microsoft did. IBM has changed the operating system of the iSeries 400 to prevent Fast400 from working. In fact this has been done several times now, and each time the Fast400 developers produce a new fix to circumvent the IBM action. Why does IBM do this? because Fast400 takes money out of IBM's pocket. The potential for IBM to make billions from its user base, for delivering virtually no product is tantamount to corporate deception! Did IBM change the operating system when EMC introduced a low cost storage solution for the iSeries?

The future

The cat and mouse game between IBM and Fast400 is already a year old. Every time IBM changes the operating system to disable Fast400, the developers of Fast400 produce a new version within days to enable it again. Does Fast400 have a commercial agenda? Of course it does. Fast400 is in business to provide its clients with added benefits, which will maximise the interactive performance of iSeries 400 servers. And as we are a business, why shouldn't we charge a nominal fee for that service? A fee that our clients see as being fair and proper. After all, it's not Fast400 that is making enemies in the user base. As long as IBM wants to play "David and Goliath" we will continue to "out" the giant. Fast400 is not running, you can be assured!!

For more information, please visit


BCD Int'l
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Electronic Storage Corporation


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News Briefs and Product Shorts

Alex Woodie

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Timothy Prickett Morgan

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Jenny Thomas

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Kim Reed

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Last Updated: 12/09/02
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