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Replace Applications with a Standard Software Solution

The LzLabs Software Defined Mainframe® (SDM) can bridge the gap between the mainframe contract end and the rollout of a new “off-the-shelf” software – saving significant cost, ensuring interoperability and gaining time for business process modernisation.

Meeting the fixed Mainframe exit deadline

Our customer faced a challenge in the quest to replace their Mainframe applications with industry-standard software. Their primary objective was to transition to an Off-The-Shelf (OTS) software solution while safeguarding their Mainframe exit date, which marked the deadline for mainframe contract renewal. The driving force behind this effort was the desire to avoid the complexities associated with reevaluating both hardware and software licenses.

The Challenge

The transition to standard software presented significant technical challenges. A major hurdle lay in the loss of distinctiveness and bespoke functions that had evolved within their Mainframe applications over decades. Integrating an OTS package required leveraging standard functions, but assimilating proprietary elements and unique business functions demanded time and often lacked comprehensive documentation, particularly for ageing modules.

Our customer also faced constraints related to resource availability, as team members were committed to multiple projects. Dependencies with applications on release cycles meant that a sweeping approach wasn’t feasible. Consequently, an iterative approach emerged as the optimal strategy.

The Solution

Our approach to this challenge unfolded in carefully orchestrated phases:

Business Logic Migration: Initially, LzLabs and the customer focused on migrating the business logic within the applications to a software-defined Mainframe environment. This move ensured the security of the Mainframe exit date by removing technically intricate applications. Simultaneously, data interconnected with other applications remained on the Mainframe’s DB2 on zOS, accessible via DRDA protocols.

Integration and Interoperability: Modernised applications and those re-hosted onto the new environment shared interfaces with Mainframe applications, bypassing the need for extensive alterations. This was the pivotal breakthrough.

Gradual Data Transfer: The second stage involved constructing an interoperable bridge between the software-defined Mainframe and the standard software package, facilitated by REST APIs and open APIs. This mechanism enabled a gradual transfer of business logic and data to the standard software solution. The customer could orchestrate migration waves based on resource availability and release cycles.

Safety Measures: For instances where some logic couldn’t be transferred, complex functions could be called from the Software Defined Mainframe®, ensuring uninterrupted operations. These instances showcased the harmonious fusion of re-hosting and replacement strategies in achieving strategic goals.

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The Summary

In conclusion, our client’s mission to replace Mainframe applications with industry-standard software was met with formidable technical challenges. However, our carefully planned approach, including business logic migration, seamless integration, and gradual data transfer, ensured a successful transition. The ability to call upon the Software Defined Mainframe® as a safety net for complex functions underscored the effectiveness of our strategy. This story exemplifies our commitment to helping clients achieve their strategic goals with innovation and precision.

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