Web Enhancement A

Rediscovering the power, reliability and value of the mainframe

A major global financial services firm based in the Northeastern U.S. was facing a series of challenges with its existing infrastructure. Most of the firm’s mission-critical applications were running on an older mainframe that had fallen behind the technology curve. The technology issues were beginning to impact the business. The company was experiencing performance issues in providing services to existing customers and expanding the business to add new customers. That, of course, was unacceptable.

The challenges were severe enough that the organization was strongly considering moving away from the mainframe environment altogether. It had begun exploring distributed systems. One of the goals was to reduce costs and the management team believed that distributed systems might be more cost effective.

At that point the firm engaged Vicom Infinity as a trusted partner. Vicom Infinity was able to look at their existing environment and do a number of studies analyzing different go-forward strategies, comparing business case scenarios using distributed systems versus mainframe solutions. Included in the analysis were capacity planning studies and a variety of reports looking at total cost of ownership (TCO) using different solutions. In addition, Vicom Infinity performed applications assessments looking at critical applications and how they would perform in the various environments.

The comprehensive analysis revealed several key findings, including:

  • The organization could stay within the mainframe environment and still deploy a complete solution within their targeted budget for the systems upgrade.
  • By staying with the mainframe platform, the organization would have a more robust, reliable, secure and scalable solution that would deliver far better application performance across the board than any potential distributed solution.

In the end, the firm decided to upgrade to a new System z mainframe running Linux along with IBM Cognos business intelligence software, the IBM WebSphere Portal application server and a range of other software tools and applications.

A major part of the business case for using the System z was the realization that the company would be able to scale more cost efficiently and effectively using the System z and, in particular, would pay far less in software licenses for IBM Cognos using System z versus any other solution. The company now runs its entire corporate portal on WebSphere Portal on Linux on z/VM because of its superior scalability, reliability and availability for the best customer experience possible.

In addition to significant price/performance advantages of upgrading with a next-generation mainframe, one of the driving factors in the decision to stay with a mainframe was the availability of Vicom Infinity as a trusted partner and liaison to IBM.

Throughout the entire process the customer recognized the added value Vicom Infinity could bring to the table, not just in helping to make the right decision, but in implementing, managing and expanding the solution for now and the future. Sometimes it’s hard to measure the intangibles of having a partner that really is able to view things from the customer’s perspective. In the case of this leading global financial services firm, the intangibles delivered by Vicom Infinity became a critical piece of the success story.

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