Faced with increasing application infrastructure costs and complexity and an aging mainframe development team, SLO decided to re-host a business-critical application from a mainframe platform to a modern, flexible, and cost-effective Windows environment, in line with the county’s strategic direction.
Just like in any other USA county, a property tax system is critical to SLO’s ability to bill for and collect taxes. Tax revenues are then distributed to school districts, county departments, and agencies serving the public. In SLO, 130,000 properties are liable to tax.
SLO custom-developed a COBOL-based property tax system during the 1970s. For the last four decades, this has served the county well, meeting its very unique requirements. As automation within SLO increased and the county’s IT direction moved towards a Windows environment, some isolated applications remained on the county’s mainframe. Don Stever, IT Supervisor for the county, comments: “Our mainframe environment was expensive to maintain and support and, more importantly, our team of mainframe application developers was aging. It’s not easy to find mainframe development skills and we needed to move our property tax system onto a more flexible platform, in line with our strategic IT direction.”
The county considered an emulation solution but an additional software layer to maintain and update was not desired, and it wouldn’t provide the architectural flexibility to modernize the system. Tiburon Technologies had previous relevant experience and successfully put forward a proposal which included Micro Focus® Visual COBOL as the core component of its application re-hosting solution.