August 29, 2019 Mainframe Agility

Mainframe Modernization on Platform – Here’s How It’s Done

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Overview:  What does mainframe modernization look like? Read the first in a two-part series of real-world stories of how companies with different needs successfully transformed how they do business.

What does your company want to achieve this year? In the next five years? How about 20 years from now?
As “Your Mainframe Software Partner for the Next 50 Years” we want to help you get there.

We ask questions of our customers, like “How does IT support your company’s business goals?” “What are your data security needs?” “Do you need to expedite your software delivery?” and “How are you ensuring application quality?”

These are important questions, but especially for the banking, insurance, retail, transportation and shipping industries, as well as government agencies. We know how important the mainframe is to your business. The mainframe holds and processes all your customers’ records, transactions, everything—and they want the assurance this information will be accessible to them in an instant but also kept secure. The cloud or distributed servers cannot provide the same level of speed and security.

In the next couple of blogs, we’ll look at how Compuware’s Topaz Suite has helped customers modernize their mainframe environment, without costly or risky re-platforming. We hope their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire us.

Societe Generale is a leading European financial organization, and they had ambitious plans for their mainframe.
They wanted to:

  • Drive digital transformation by integrating the mainframe using a DevOps strategy
  • Modernize the development environment with Agile DevOps technology
  • Increase collaboration within the business and provide innovation to customers
  • Enable their next-gen developers to easily work on the mainframe

In response to their request, Compuware suggested the Topaz Suite. It’s intuitive and adaptive for next-gen developers, equipped with dynamic visualization capabilities, capable of plug-ins, is customizable and cost-efficient.

Topaz was installed by the bank’s developers themselves within an hour and was operational on day one. Societe Generale’s team appreciated the easy installation, setup and startup of Topaz and Compuware’s excellent customer support. They used Topaz to modernize their mainframe—on platform—enabling better communication, collaboration and transparency between teams, better customer-facing innovations, speed, efficiency and security.

For 35 years, we had been using the V-Model, an extension of waterfall and a model in which the mainframe had to adapt,” Gatien Dupré said. “By changing the paradigm, the mainframe has adapted again to fit an approach of agile and sustainable innovation. The mainframe will remain a powerful, adaptable and scalable technology that we rely on to co-create value with the business.”

AXA Belgium is a large insurance and banking organization. They wanted to empower brokers to support a stronger customer-first approach.

Cloud-based applications could provide digital access to services and seamless integration; however, it was important to have the backend work with this software because most of the revenue-generating business was still running on the mainframe.

Topaz Workbench was chosen to help transform the old mainframe environment that had been supported by Micro Focus Mainframe Express. Topaz helped create a modern mainframe environment that was faster, secure and closed the skills gap between retiring mainframe developers and next-gen programmers.

Topaz was what AXA Belgium needed. With Topaz, they were not debugging a program on a virtual machine to emulate the mainframe behavior—they were debugging the mainframe program itself. The organization’s debugging process is now expedited and doesn’t tie up all their resources.

Without so many motivated and skilled people, Compuware tools would only be as good as any others: Buy it and use it as built. Here we have an evolving tool with strong support in the event of issues and of new customer expectations. I feel confident that the product is future proof.”

Standard Bank is an international financial services group based in South Africa. They wanted to grow their digital offerings and modernize their application software engineering capabilities. However, because so much of their core business—corporate and private banking—was on the mainframe there were a few challenges:

  • 80 percent of the processing was done on the mainframe
  • Lack of innovation and modernization and ungoverned development practices
  • DevOps toolchain had not been integrated into the system
  • Inadequate source code management

The solution was found in Compuware Topaz and ISPW. With these tools, the mainframe could be modernized and repositioned to mitigate risks between the platform and the rest of the bank’s Agile and DevOps framework. It could support CI/CD and overcome several cultural, process-related and tooling impediments to mainframe agility and DevOps.

Using Compuware’s ISPW SCM Migration Services, Standard Bank installed and facilitated the source code migration of 61 applications, 55 application types, almost 400,000 each of active application and historic components. Standard Bank was able to successfully install the software and utilize the baseline capability of the application without customization.

When we began our journey, there was no real point of reference or thought leadership from an executive standpoint in the market—other than Chris O’ Malley’s advocacy and viability of introducing Agile and DevOps practices on the platform.”

Three companies found the solution to modernize their businesses in one company: Compuware.

In second half of this series, we’ll tell you about two more companies that transformed the way they do business today—right into the future.

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Margie Topous

Margie Topous is a Content Manager/Strategist for Compuware. She’s developed digital content for many industries, including automotive, technology, small business, nonprofits and many more. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Wayne State University.
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