Like many government organizations, Cimubisa was under pressure to better synchronize its business and IT strategies, increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. Other important factors such as process integration, information and data alignment, updating applications, and the desire to introduce a flexible, virtualized development environment all pointed towards modernizing its infrastructure and applications under a cohesive platform strategy.
Manu Roibal, Operations and Systems Director at Cimubisa, explains: “We needed to simplify our operations and align our processes under commonly-accepted open standards. Our challenge was to achieve this with complete transparency to the end-users and without requiring changes to any of the 3rd party applications with which we exchange data.”
Some Cimubisa IT infrastructure was already based on HP and - in a bid to consolidate the architecture and simplify vendor relations - Cimubisa chose the HP open server architecture as the basis for its broader core systems modernization program.
Different options, including a phased approach, were considered. However, because more than 4,000 applications were involved, many of which were interconnected, it was felt a ‘big bang’ approach was the best option, as only the integration processes that were already in place would need adapting. During the next 14 months, all applications were moved to the new HP server environment while preserving business logic and database structures. This minimized risk, while the City of Bilbao’s IT operations continued as usual.
Updating the development environment was especially important to Cimubisa, as Roibal explains: “The modernization of our applications has simplified the integration of new functionalities such as XML/JSON file management, Web services and direct Web publishing, something which, before our move, would require complicated procedures.”
Deployment processes have also been enhanced, according to Roibal: “We can easily and efficiently roll out applications regardless of the destination platform, something that was unthinkable before the change.”
The new development strategy focuses on standardized applications and Web development, reducing the base costs considerably.
When delivering a project which changes the technological foundations of an organization that has seen no major change in the last 20 years, the biggest challenge is the ability of people to adapt to the change. Roibal comments: “Partners such as HP and Micro Focus proved invaluable. The experience, methodology and tools required to successfully conduct a project of this magnitude and complexity, within the budget and timescales set, can only come with years of experience.”
Teresa Alba Zubizarreta, General Manager of Cimubisa, added: “With the help of HP and Micro Focus we focused on improving the management applications to support our business processes, information transparency, the integration of new tools to help our decision making processes and improving IT governance. They all contribute to offering a better service to our city at a more optimum price.”
Roibal concludes: “The new HP and Micro Focus solution enables us to maintain the same functions at just 10% of the previous maintenance costs. It meets our strategic approach without compromise, and includes a long-term vision of scalability to provide for future growth.”
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.