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Modernizing to the Microsoft Application Platform: a vehicle for success

The need to cut costs while keeping up with change constantly challenges all companies, but these challenges are more acute with companies on legacy mainframes. Theyre losing their ability to pursue opportunities, because their IT departments must focus on maintenance instead of innovation. Their applications may also be at risk, because they must make an uncomfortable decision between a large-scale upgrade and keeping their applications in a costly environment. Modernization offers several benefits, but its important to take risk and impact into account. With Ideas help, you can implement a modernization strategy that brings your business goals within reach.

mainframe .new mindset

If your legacy mainframe is holding you back, its time to change your frame of mind modernize to the Microsoft Application Platform.
Like other companies, you want to increase profitability, but the vehicle that previously drove your success may have slowed down or stalled. You can see opportunity right in front of you, but you can no longer take advantage of it in a timely manner. In addition, youve been challenged by the worst economy in recent memory. Perhaps youve already streamlined your business every way you can possibly imagine, but you still have too much overhead to move forward. Fortunately, you have an option that may provide considerable savings: modernizing your mainframe environment.

Move to the Microsoft Application Platform

Discover the difference
Applications Data Infrastructure

Legacy mainframe
Proprietary Incompatible

External partner system

Open Compatible

Microsoft Application Platform Low TCO Customized solutions Innovation Agility Open

High TCO Uniform solutions Maintenance Inflexibility Proprietary Inside knowledge Expensive solutions Skill shortages

The Cloud

Azure and Business Productivity Online Suite

Common knowledge Inexpensive solution Skill surplus


External application

.Net package and Microsoft Oce Suite Microsoft SharePoint and Biz Talk Hypervisor Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Open-standard servers and routers



Virtualization Hierarchical or proprietary database Proprietary OS and message control Proprietary hardware


External RDBMS

OS and message control Open-standard servers and routers

------------------------green screen terminal mobile devices pc or laptop mobile devices pc or laptop

Interoperability with legacy applications in mainframe The operational and maintenance costs of your legacy mainframe have slowed you down and stopped you from focusing on innovation.

By modernizing your applications and infrastructure, you can finally move forward with your business objectives.


of modernizing

of doing nothing



Upgrade your infrastructure

In terms of hardware architecture, open-systems servers are capable of delivering 99.999% availability. With the latest generation of distributed network servers, you can upgrade hard partitions and hot swap blade servers while the system is running. Windows Server 2008 R2 provides highavailability tools including failover cluster support, database backup, database replication and database mirroring. You can retain the reliability and availability of your mainframe environment while moving to the Microsoft Application Platform.

Scale up and scale out

Todays tower, rack-mounted and blade servers are built to help you scale up or out incrementally. Forklift upgrades are no longer necessary, so you no longer have to upgrade your entire system to implement a relatively minor hardware or software changes.

Soaring costs
Legacy mainframes create a huge IT footprint, require too much power and tie you down with other costs such as MLCs. Whats more, your company exists in a business environment where the expectations of developers and users constantly change. To stay ahead, you need two things: an agile development platform and a new generation of talent to replace your retiring developers.

Lower development costs

By eliminating mainframe licensing charges (MLCs), you can develop and test your applications without the worry of going beyond your usage limits. Furthermore, open systems are supported with development tools that will make your workforce more productive and give it better tools for quality control. Also, Microsoft development tools are better understood by most of todays developers. By moving off your mainframe, youll have access to more talent.

Forklift upgrades for minor changes

The term forklift upgrade came from the practice of removing old mainframes and bringing in newer models on a forklift. In this scenario, your choices are to buy a costly new infrastructure or keep an inefficient system. Consequently, you delay application enhancements until you can justify the cost of a large-scale effort. Meanwhile, your ability to respond to rapid business changes suffers, your costs remain high and business opportunities slip away.

Enhance security
Windows Server 2008 R2 features functions such as security roles, network authentication methods, health certificate servers and group policy features. Concerned about serviceability? The Microsoft Application Platform provides all the software tools you need to get the most out of your hardware investment. You can scale up or scale out your servers as your needs grow, and Microsoft has a flexible licensing structure to accommodate.

Improve compatibility
Increasing your ability to share your data helps you achieve certification, comply with regulations and stay competitive. Your mainframe may be slowing you down or preventing you from collaborating with your partners systems. By moving to an opensystems platform, you can share your applications and data with far less effort and maintain interoperability with your legacy environment until youre ready to complete your move.

Even if you know all of these things, you may wonder how you can modernize without risking the integrity and availability of your applications. Perhaps youve heard that todays servers are just as powerful as the mainframe, but you need additional assurance. Understandably, you do not want to risk your long-standing investments. Perhaps you want the benefits of an open-systems platform, but you wonder if it can match your mainframe in terms of reliability, availability, serviceability and security (RAS+S).

Consider your culture

Before you migrate your applications, its critically important to consider the impact of that decision on your mainframe-based corporate culture. Regardless of the timeline you choose, you should probably plan for a phased approach that shows the proper amount of concern for the adjustments your people must make. For example, your mainframe developers will have to learn to use new tools and may even have to give up some control over their code. In addition, the people who use the legacy applications will eventually have to learn a new way of conducting business.

Application Portfolio Management (APM)


Legacy Culture
Proprietary, in-house applications still exist in the legacy environment. People are happy with the tools, but they may exist in a burning platform or environment with diminishing support.

Transition Culture
Applications are rehosted or rewritten to exist on the new platform or replaced, but almost nothing changes on the front end. The end user doesnt notice any appreciable changes.

Transformed Culture
Applications and infrastructure are extended to accommodate new technologies in an incremental approach that measures the impact of a change before proceeding to the next step.

Its best, therefore, to plan for three types of cultures: your legacy culture, a transition culture and a transformed culture based on the new platform.
Accommodate the transition The best way to determine the impact of change to your mainframe-based corporate culture is with Application Portfolio Management (APM). You need it at the beginning, and you may need to reevaluate your applications throughout your migration process. APM provides a proven method for gathering quantitative, qualitative and trend analysis data that give insight into the costs, business value and health of your applications.

Before migrating workloads from legacy mainframe environments to newer, more modern architectures, organizations should consider the difficulty of extricating themselves from decades of architectural dependence. Mainframe migrations have a cultural aspect that must be considered.
Dale Vecchio

Vecchio, Dale (January 8, 2010). White Paper: Mainframe Modernization:


When Migration is the Answer. Gartner Research. ID Number: G00171622.

Use an APM-informed strategy


APM finding
A high-value application that can easily be moved to the target platform with no loss to its functionality A high-value application that requires changes to preserve existing application functionality and allow for additional improvements An application that can easily be replaced or improved with a commercial off-the-shelf package An application that lacks value, has outlived its usefulness or suffered significant degradation

Rehost the application

Rewrite the application

Applications that are easy to migrate are rehosted in the target environment with minimal modification. There is little risk of compromising the integrity of the application by moving it directly to the target environment. On the other hand, there is at least some migration risk involved with applications that require modification. These applications must be rewritten or reengineered to work in a modernized environment. Some low-risk applications may be replaced with a commercial off-the-shelf package, because they offer functionality that is commonly available or better. Deciding between rehosting and replacing really comes down to the business value of the applications those that lack value are prime candidates for retirement. As you make the transition from one phase of the migration to the next, you can and should reconsider your APM data. During migration, your environment changes, and you probably wont discover the impact of these changes without APM. For example, if you replace a legacy application, youll want to know how that change can affect other applications you are either rehosting or rewriting. In some instances, a replaced legacy application may obviate the need to rehost or rewrite others and turn them into candidates for retirement. In other instances, the replaced application may require the rewriting or reengineering of business-critical applications to work with it. By using APM to inform the entire process, youll keep the costs and risks of your migration process low.

Replace the application

Retire the application



Decision matrix



Idea can help

If youve reached a point of impasse or youre faced with mandates that you cant achieve with your current IT resources, we can help you determine the best course of action and develop a strategic plan for its implementation. We have the tools to assist you, as well as the experience and expertise to remove the risk from modernizing your applications and infrastructure.
Rehosting Idea rehosts applications from mainframes to the Microsoft Application Platform. By taking advantage of Ideas knowledgeable experts, strategic partnerships, tools and practices, you can replatform or rehost your applications without losing business-critical functionality. Application Portfolio Management (APM) Idea continues to advance legacy solution development by augmenting it with proven Application Portfolio Management (APM) services. Ideas professional consultants know APM and possess the expertise to equip the entire process. With the help of Ideas consultants, your IT staff can build detailed views of your entire application portfolio and achieve strategic IT alignment. Assessment Idea has the breadth and depth of skills and tools to assess your business processes, development and deployment processes and environments, infrastructure, security, business intelligence, program and project management and APM implementation. Through its assessment capabilities, Idea can also recommend best-in-class solutions for deploying to the Microsoft Application Platform. Return on investment (ROI) strategies Idea conducts ROI studies to determine the cost savings you can realize by embarking on a mainframe modernization initiative. Rewriting applications Idea can help rewrite your applications to work on the Microsoft Application Platform, accommodate add-on technologies or address syntactical differences. Idea has the expertise, experience and tools to rewrite applications for several platforms, application languages and data environments. Package implementation Some applications are so costly to maintain that they should be replaced with commercial, off-theshelf (COTS) products. Idea can help you to determine which applications fall into this category, select the best replacements and deploy them. Application offloading Ideas technicians can help you offload your mainframe development tasks to PC workstations through mainframe emulators. By offloading your applications, youll dramatically cut maintenance, development and testing costs. Code transformation Idea processes and translates mainframe-based application code, data and operational environments with its own proven tools and methods and the technologies of its partners. Application and infrastructure extension Another modernization solution is to extend the value of your legacy applications and infrastructure through the incorporation of new technologies. Whatever the need, Ideas capable experts have the cumulative experience and knowledge to enhance the value of your applications. SOA services Idea can help integrate and extend your business applications with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that enables and supports your business tasks, processes and partners. Based on a collection of selfcontained, reusable functions, your SOA can loosely couple applications to create new services on demand. Platform integration Occasionally, companies require applications to communicate across incompatible platforms. Idea can help you to meet this challenge by building SOAs, making applications interoperable, deploying middleware options or implementing all of these options.

Extend your applications

Modernization is one of several application services we provide. Our solutions improve productivity, enhance end-user relationships and help business processes run more efficiently. We can design and implement effective solutions across a variety of industries and business scenarios. Our application services include the following practice areas: Application Portfolio Management and Modernization is the repair, maintenance, modernization and enhancement of existing applications. We provide consulting services across the software development lifecycle in a wide array of technologies and business applications. By using our services, extensive project resources and state-of-the-art technologies, youll be able to redirect your resources to your business objectives. Business Intelligence and Data Management offers proven leadership and technical expertise in the development of enterprise-level data warehousing (DW) and business intelligence (BI) solutions. We deliver enterprise data strategies and project solutions that allow you to maximize your investment in database platforms, technology and resources. Digital Strategy, Marketing and Design (Idea Digital) creates rich, thoughtful experiences that audiences can relate to, engage with, learn from and enjoy. Even though each experience is the result of specialized skill sets coming together, its the quality and creativity of the idea that drives us and ultimately, makes us unique. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) revolutionize the way we analyze and understand information. By integrating location-based data into areas such as transit systems, asset management and customer demographics, you can visualize events in powerful new ways finding new efficiency, productivity and profitability. Quality Management and Security Services increase the reliability and predictability of your software and return on investment (ROI). Our business analysts collect and document business, functional and technical requirements. With this foundation, we can build high-quality outcomes designed to meet your expectations. In addition, we offer security solutions to organizations in every vertical. We design security solutions around regulatory compliance with standards such as HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley, GrammLeachBliley Act (GLBA) and the payment card industry.

Scale up or out
We provide additional services that can help you scale up or scale out in response to rapidly changing business developments. Customer support frees you to focus on innovation by managing your administrative responsibilities to your clients. Idea professionals field an average of 155,000 requests per month for our clients at either their facilities or offsite at one of Ideas Global Solutions Centers. Weve delivered global, multilingual service desk support for over 25 years for some of the largest and most recognized brands in the world. Ideas customer support solutions include product support, outbound calling, warranty claims support, recall support, order status, account management, scheduling and clinical studies support. Infrastructure solutions reduce and manage risk, identify, prevent and resolve problems. Building and maintaining a sound IT infrastructure is critical to the success of your company and your team. We have an amazing team of infrastructure experts, and world-class partners such as Microsoft and IBM, that can help tailor robust solutions to meet your needs from the desktop to the data center. To this end, we provide the following infrastructure services: Operations support Desktop support Remote monitoring and maintenance Server and storage optimization Mobile communication encompasses managed solutions for telecom and network support projects. We provide all program and project management, labor, staffing, supplier management, training, safety program implementation, materials, tools, machinery, vehicles, transportation, equipment and facilities necessary for delivery.

Make the decision to adapt today and increase your ability succeed in the future.
In this era of rapid business change, you need a way to extend the capabilities of your business-critical and life-critical applications. The Microsoft Application Platform offers this benefit along with the ability to take advantage of a competitive market of software and hardware vendors. If youre ready to reduce your costs while improving the experience of your end users, get started by contacting Idea today. 904.360.2433


Partnerships strengthen Ideas Modernization division and enable us to provide solutions that are tailored to your needs. With hundreds of certified consultants, Idea has become a go-to partner with the industrys leading

Idea is a Gold Certified partner in five Microsoft competencies. In 2011, Idea won a sales award from Microsofts Platform Modernization Alliance.

technology firms, and our teams of experts are constantly updating their knowledge to stay on the forefront of technology. Consequently, Idea can offer consultants with all the expertise you need to make your transition from a closed environment to an open environment that is ready for change.

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2011 Idea. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. Warranties are set forth only in the express warranty statements accompanying Ideas products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Idea shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. Microsoft, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Virtual Earth, SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Dynamics are registered trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Citrix is a registered trademark of Citrix Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Cisco is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Quest is a registered trademark of Quest Software, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Trend Micro is a registered trademark of Trend Micro Incorporated in the United States and other countries. ESRI, ArcGIS and ArcSDE are registered trademarks of Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. in the United States and other countries.