ROCKVILLE, Md.--(Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L), the leading provider of enterprise application modernization, testing, and management solutions, today announced that Saginaw County, Michigan, is using Micro Focus Enterprise Server within .NET to transform its core business applications by moving them onto a flexible Windows server environment. Once complete, this modernization initiative will yield significant savings in ongoing operating costs for applications that have traditionally been hosted on a mainframe platform. By choosing Micro Focus Enterprise Server as the target platform, the COBOL/CICS applications are being moved with virtually no change, removing any risk from the process.)--
“It’s something that our in-house developers created decades ago, and we wanted to keep the business processes in place”
With a population of more than 200,000, Saginaw County depends on its core applications to deliver critical services for its citizens including payroll, finance and the county’s jail management system. These applications have evolved over 30 years with much expertise invested in developing the four million lines of COBOL code, which represents this county’s critical business processes.
In considering application modernization, Saginaw County assessed several options, including rewriting applications, and migrating and normalizing data into commercial off the shelf (COTS) packages based around relational databases. However, given the time and resources needed, it was clear that none were going to be viable options for the county.
“Redeveloping our applications from scratch was simply an impractical, wasteful and cost-prohibitive approach for us,” said Johnathan J. Miller, Information Systems and Services Director, Saginaw County. “For more than three decades, our COBOL applications have been tightly integrated with our business process developments. We quickly shifted our thinking from re-engineering code to a modernization approach which would involve re-hosting our existing COBOL applications onto the managed code .NET framework on Windows, while associated VSAM data was moved to Microsoft SQL Server.”
To begin this modernization journey, Johnathan and his team first needed to sell the cost savings and resource benefits of this approach to their “customers”, which included elected officials, department heads, judges, the CIO/Controller, and the county’s board of commissioners. They highlighted that an application re-hosting program using the most widely used target environment from Micro Focus would prove to be a sound investment, deliver initial savings in as early as eight months, and ensure increased value from those applications in the future.
“It’s something that our in-house developers created decades ago, and we wanted to keep the business processes in place,” continued Miller. “By recompiling this application’s code with Visual COBOL and hosting it on Enterprise Server on Windows, we retained all of its core functionality, imperative to our county’s legal process, and this will translate to dollars saved.”
After realizing the benefits of modernization with this initial application, Saginaw County launched a multi-phase project in which additional core applications, including its court systems, finance and jail management applications, will ultimately be re-hosted in the same manner.
“As IT departments in the public and private sector continue to face budget constraints, they are under increased pressure to do more with less, without adding to existing IT debt,” said Ed Airey, Product Marketing Director, Micro Focus. “This is one of the many reasons Saginaw County turned to Micro Focus. A replacement strategy was regarded as too risky and expensive, while the Micro Focus strategy of re-use demonstrated they could realize real cost savings early and fund additional business innovation to take these applications into the future.”
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About Micro Focus
Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization, Testing and Management software enables customers' business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk. For additional information, please visit www.microfocus.com.