LANSA Managed Application Services

Managed Services

The cost effective way to reengineer, modernize & transform your IBM i applications allowing IT to help & grow your business.

The IBM i (AS/400, iSeries, Power systems) user base is now facing new challenges and threats based on the longevity of the platform and the age and maturity of many of the key applications which typically are the primary LOB (line of business) applications in use today.  In summary – “it’s all getting very old, tired and dated”.

Many IBM i IT managers  tell us that they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the applications they have to maintain and that the problem is further compounded by an aging and diminishing developer base available with the skills required.

IT management is rightly  being questioned on the future of the platform (specifically OS/400) and,  more importantly, on their ability to reengineer and modify the business applications to meet modern day standards, as well as their ability to bring innovation and agility to support and improve business process evolution and improvement. Some of the key risks and concerns that exist today can be summarized as follows…

  • My RPG code base is largely undocumented and  I am reliant on key staff members who are nearing retirement to maintain it.
  • My current RPG team does not have the skills to deliver new Windows and Web based applications.
  • Our applications aren’t integrated and this always causes bottlenecks and timing issues, with data duplication and reconciliation being an ongoing concern.
  • We are overwhelmed by maintenance tasks and just do not have the time to devote to the development of new, innovative solutions that would help the business be more competitive.
  • We now have at least one .Net developer who works on new applications which further compounds integration problems and data reliability within our business.
  • My CFO and business sponsors are questioning the viability of the platform and whether we should be investing more on this current platform or looking to move to a new platform with a more certain future.
  • My business sponsors want to rip and replace the IBM i applications with new packages but the high package/consultant costs and the well-documented risks associated with project failures and business interruptions make this a very high risk strategy which we are loathe to undertake.
  • Training new staff with old technology and systems is becoming increasingly difficult  and we worry our key super users will be impossible to replace.
  • We know we have to do something as the problem is getting worse each year, but where do we to start?

LANSA’s Managed Application Services offering has been designed specifically to address these concerns and to provide a path that reduces your risk and cost whilst evolving your applications into workflow driven rich windows or web fully integrated applications that can now run on both the IBM i platform and the Windows platform to ensure that the costs are minimized  should you decide to migrate one day.

What’s more is that the newly engineered applications will add agility and flexibility into your business process allowing you to adapt and change much faster to meet new competitive demands or trading partner requirements.

How?

LANSA Managed Application Services is constructed around a multi-step proven process which harnesses the strength of both our consultants and LANSA solutions to move our customers forward to meet their goals.

  1. De-risk & stabilize
    At this stage, we would look to assume the maintenance of your existing applications to remove any concern over staff availability and knowledge whilst introducing and bedding-down a consistent service level. As part of this process, we will be working with any existing IT resources to ensure a smooth transition into our new methods of operation.  We aim to do this on a cost neutral basis so that the business can feel secure that ongoing operations will not face any major disruptions and there will be no unexpected costs to be incurred.
  2. Design Recovery
    In this stage, we use software tools that have the unique ability to analyze existing systems and automate the production of documentation and information needed to understand each of the applications.  This allows us to determine how we can best recover and capture the important business logic and design components, whilst leaving behind the mass of unstructured code which typically exists and offers no real value moving forward.
  3. Prioritize & reengineer
    Now that we have a stable documented environment, we can look at the business priorities and start a transitional process to migrate the captured logic we need into new multi-channel windows and web applications that can be used by employees, trading partners and end consumers where appropriate. Application integration needs can be visualized and built to allow data to flow on an asynchronous basis with constant monitoring and controls.
  4. Trusted Advisor
    The next step is to truly innovate in alignment with your business needs. Now we are looking at ongoing process improvement to boost quality and cut costs combined with new ideas for bringing new business opportunity and competitive advantage to the table.

Timeframe & success

We can align the pace and evolution of these steps on timeframes that work for you to meet business deadlines or to allow for the evolution to take place without causing revolution. We have done this many times and understand that each business is unique.  Importantly, we need to work with your staff members to integrate them into the project so that they are part of the success story.

Taking the first step

It’s easy.  We can provide an initial assessment of your current environment and resources and to perform an automated analysis of your existing systems. We will discuss your needs and goals, from both a business and IT perspective, and produce a roadmap that you can understand, with a timeline that makes sense and with costs that work within the budgets and constraints of your business.

LANSA Managed Application Services is designed to de-risk, stabilize, transform and innovate,  bringing your applications into an environment that will see IT bring positive benefits to your bottom line.

Steve Gapp

Author: Steve Gapp

Steve Gapp, President of LANSA Inc. Steve is responsible for LANSA's sales, marketing and services in the Americas. Steve has over 30 years experience in the industry. His background in midrange systems include working for London based Compass Ltd, a small software consultancy company active on the IBM System 32, 34, 36, 38, AS/400 platforms. Steve founded Oasis 400 Software Ltd in 1988, which was bought by the American change management company, SoftLanding in 2002. Steve then moved to the US and became president and CEO of SoftLanding, before joining LANSA Inc. in 2007

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