A major American retailer, whose operating costs exceeded $1,000,000 per annum, was running their retail inventory system on a “less than current” IBM mainframe. Other than essential operational and security patches, the mainframe remained virtually unchanged for years due to the high cost of upgrading and converting to a newer system. According to the executive overseeing the project, “Projected costs to convert to a newer mainframe and OS would cost in excess of $1.2 million and the underlying mainframe operational cost structure to us would have actually increased.”
Additionally, because the mainframe was housed at the outsourcing company’s datacenter, all reports were printed remotely and delivered to the retailer’s offices. These printing and delivery charges were typically several thousand dollars per month and often involved reprint and special courier charges for mis/undelivered reports.
The retailer’s goal was to move completely off the mainframe in order to reduce operating costs and to provide a more current and adaptable platform for the future. They also desired to eliminate their outsourced printing and delivery costs.
Datatek, an industry leader in system migrations and language conversions, was contracted to migrate the retailer’s inventory system from an IBM mainframe running OS/390 to an IBM Power 570 running AIX (already in-house). The migration involved the following:
The complete migration resulted in a realized savings of $900,000 annually, with an ROI of about 12 months.
Datatek utilized the following services to successfully complete the mainframe migration:
Because Datatek’s consultants are proficient at the system, application, and operational levels, they were able to understand the intricacies of the client’s IT environment. From resolving complex operating system issues to providing a custom solution for the generation of PDF reports, Datatek’s consultants were able to help the retailer determine and meet their objectives.
With any platform migration, even one where the choice of programming language remains the same, there are changes that must be made across the entire code base. This can include changes to data access, OS calls, directory structure, direct device access, screen manipulation and much more. Datatek’s automated COBOL to COBOL conversion service allowed modifications to be made throughout the project as the requirements of the project changed.
Datatek also converted the retailer’s mainframe assembler code to COBOL. Rather than doing a line-by-line conversion, Datatek’s automated assembler to COBOL conversion service is able to take assembler modules and produce maintainable COBOL source code that will produce results identical to the original code.
As part of the migration, the retailer needed to replace the mainframe-based DYL280 report writer language with another solution. Their preferred solution was to convert it to COBOL, but the quotes they received from other vendors were unacceptable. Datatek was able to develop a DYL to COBOL converter within the time frame of the project and convert all of their DYL for almost half the cost of other solution providers.
“[T]he project has fulfilled our financial and operation objectives with very little of the anxiety and turmoil that can be associated with a large conversion of a critical business system.
“Datatek was a solid partner throughout the project and deserves a lot of credit to the success of this project.
“Datatek converted our mainframe code, Assembler, COBOL and DYL, in an efficient and cost effective manner.
“Datatek was very flexible in meeting our project schedules and in helping us adapt to changes and resolve problems throughout the conversion and implementation processes.
“I would recommend Datatek to other companies and would use Datatek again if similar opportunities present themselves.
For over 15 years, Datatek has helped companies improve their IT systems via platform, database, and language migrations by focusing on cost effective and low risk solutions that make business sense. Our migration services are based on your company’s goals and objectives, thus allowing you to retain your investment while maximizing the potential of current technologies.
Whether your company is considering a complete system migration, including language and database conversions, or only a partial language migration, call Datatek to discuss your options. Operating from a solid core of experience, providing services to both Global and Fortune 500 companies, the staff at Datatek will be able to find a solution that helps modernize your current environment.
* Project Costs include the cost of the retailer’s support and testing, third party software and hardware, as well as Datatek’s services.
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