Lantik ran its IT operations from a mainframe for many decades. Valentin Garcia Souto, Head of Innovation, Lantik, explains: “We were happy with the mainframe functionality and performance, but as our requirements grew, we felt limited by the MIPS consumption cap we had agreed contractually. We could of course exceed this, but it was expensive. At a time when we wanted to increase our development flexibility, while managing our investments effectively and efficiently, in light of the financial crisis in Spain, we decided to look for alternatives.”
One critical business function is local tax collection. This application has to be available at all times. If performance slows down, the delays in payment are immediately visible and regional government is alerted.
Over the years, other technologies, such as MS Active Directory, SQL Server, and DLRS Printing Technology, had already been introduced at Lantik. With two separate data repositories, and the inconsistencies this caused, consolidating the IT infrastructure became a priority. This made it easier to decide on a path towards a distributed, open systems, environment. Valentin Garcia Souto and his team wanted to increase the flexibility of the IT operations to respond quickly to new business requirements. Although a move to a distributed systems platform seemed right, they worried how it would impact the applications and their users.
Market research showed that Micro Focus had relevant experience with its Enterprise solution set. A rapid assessment with Micro Focus Enterprise Developer® and Enterprise Server® showed that 98 percent of COBOL code would be compatible for a straight re-host onto a new platform. This meant that the 52,000 COBOLbased programs, a mix of online and batch programs, could move easily into a technology stack that Lantik was already familiar with.
Following the rapid assessment, Micro Focus introduced Lantik to HPE as its professional services partner on this project. Valentin Garcia Souto: “The role of HPE was fundamental in the project. They managed all content rehosting from the mainframe to the distributed environment.”
Micro Focus worked with Lantik to identify the code and data that would be transferred to the new system. Valentin Garcia Souto comments: “The Micro Focus analysis gave us the opportunity to really take a critical look at our systems and only consider active programs and code for the re-hosting exercise. This was something we had meant to do for a long time and we were surprised at the level of obsolete code and data which immediately allowed us to make the new systems far more efficient and streamlined.”
Rather than adopting a ‘big-bang’ strategy, Lantik executed the re-host carefully, by department. The team moved 3,300 MIPS to a distributed Intel and Windows-based platform. Micro Focus Enterprise Server provided continuity with minimum disruption to applications, people, and processes, in a modern and efficient infrastructure. All data now resides centrally within SQL Server on the consolidated platform.
With multiple non-production environments, Lantik now has the flexibility and agility it needs to improve its time to value. Its overall system performance has improved too, resulting in faster response times for users and reduced batch transaction cycles. The new environment enables future growth without further hardware cost increases.
The new Visual Studio-based development environment was welcomed by Lantik’s developers who are very comfortable with its intuitive and user-friendly interface. Valentin Garcia Souto comments: “The new Micro Focus environment has improved development team collaboration and increased development agility so that new business requirements can be implemented fast.”
The new distributed environment was so robust and mainframe-compatible that the move was entirely transparent for Lantik end-users, though they soon spotted the faster response times. They also enjoyed the benefit of a seamless single sign-on experience. This was achieved through increased integration capabilities with authoritative source systems (such as the HR database, and Active Directory records).
Lantik achieved the agility and flexibility it was hoping for, and was pleased to discover substantial operational cost savings too, according to Valentin Garcia Souto: “We have saved 85 percent of our operational costs which directly contributes to providing additional services to our citizens. Of course with a project of this size, there are going to be hurdles along the way. However, the successful partnership between Lantik, Micro Focus, and HPE meant we could meet any challenges and be proud of the end result.”