Tuesday, 29 November 2011 08:44

Micro Focus Announces New Approach to Modernising IBM Mainframe PL/I Applications

By Micro Focus

It's estimated that organisations running PL/I applications on IBM® mainframes are spending in excess of US$1 billion per annum in operating costs. As a result, enterprises are looking for alternatives to deliver the same business capabilities for less while retaining the existing intellectual property built into the PL/I applications. To help organisations address this, Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L), the leading provider of enterprise application modernisation, testing and management solutions, today released Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition for PL/I, the first complete, cross-platform migration solution that enables mainframe PL/I applications to be moved, with minimal changes, from an IBM® mainframe to Linux®, Unix® or Windows Server® platforms, where they can be operated for a fraction of the cost.

Organisations now have a brand new, low-risk alternative when considering modernisation options for their PL/I application portfolios that avoids the need to rewrite, convert or replace mature PL/I applications that deliver unique competitive advantage. For many IT departments this means that they will be able to self-fund ongoing PL/I application modernisation by reinvesting a proportion of the annual operating cost savings, which can be as much as 70 per cent, into modernisation and innovation.

Leading financial organisations in Germany, the UK and Italy have already utilised Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition for PL/I to deliver significant business benefits.

A leading global integrated financial services provider has replicated its core application for management of insurance customers, contracts, claims and provisions on commodity Xeon-based servers. This means this central system is now available on low cost servers, for use in countries where they need local systems but cannot afford the operating expense of mainframe data centres. The group believes this freedom will make them more competitive while saving the group tens, if not hundreds, of millions of Euros over the coming years.

A top UK provider of business process outsourcing and integrated professional support service solutions migrated one client's complete life and pensions application to a Windows Server® with no loss of functionality or precision while improving performance and cutting operating costs by 70 per cent.

Intersistemi helped a leader in the private banking sector in Italy move a single suite of account administration and market analysis applications from the parent group's mainframe to Windows Server, in order to save an estimated €3 million in charges over the next three years.

"Organisations relying on PL/I application portfolios to run their businesses have had several options to explore for modernisation. Their choices have traditionally been to retain, retire, rewrite or replace. Re-hosting, a solution that emulates the mainframe environment on distributed platforms has historically applied to COBOL portfolios. For many organisations, re-hosting remains a good starting point for a broader mainframe modernisation strategy," said Dale Vecchio, Research VP at Gartner, Inc.

"Companies worldwide are continuing to increase their deployments of mission-critical applications on Windows Server and SQL Server. The PL/I migration solution from Micro Focus can help companies that still depend on PL/I-based mainframe applications to move to the Microsoft application platform. Companies making this switch are driven by improved agility, price/performance, and a large ecosystem of applications and skilled resources," said Microsoft's worldwide director of platform modernisation Bob Ellsworth.

Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition is the only integrated cross platform PL/I system migration product on the market. It enables the bulk of PL/I application code to be migrated without change and provides support for COBOL and all other key IBM mainframe subsystems used by PL/I applications. Having this full range of language and subsystems support on Windows Server, Linux and UNIX is essential when migrating PL/I systems as it reduces risk, a key factor for all organisations considering migration.

"PL/I applications running on IBM mainframes are nearly always business-critical. It is therefore crucial to provide a robust platform that helps organisations move applications with as few changes as possible," said Bruce Craig, general country manager at Micro Focus for Australia and New Zealand. "Our products mitigate risk, which is the number one concern of CIOs interested in exploring how migration can benefit their organisations."


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