Obermeit needed to address stability and performance problems it was experiencing following a move from ACUCOBOL to an alternative COBOL dialect, representing a significant customer satisfaction issue.
The OfficeReady ERP suite from Obermeit is a modular software solution developed for organizations dedicated to import and export. It currently serves more than 40 global companies. Like many independent software vendors (ISVs), industry reputations are won and lost on the strength of their software solution and the reliability and performance of the business application. Delivering highly-available, fault free solutions is a key corporate objective for Obermeit.
Around 2008, in order to comply with a new, post-acquisition corporate strategy, Obermeit decided to move from ACUCOBOL-GT, part of the Micro Focus extend portfolio, to an alternative COBOL dialect from another vendor. This was intended to give Obermeit direct access to the Java platform and enable them to deploy the OfficeReady ERP system to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). In reality, the new COBOL environment caused numerous and significant business problems for Obermeit.
“This switch turned out to be a serious mistake, which cost us at least 500,000 euro. Once we reached this figure, we stopped counting.” says CEO Oliver Westfehling. Recalling the events of this prior project, he went on to explain; “after the initial rollout, we soon realized there were serious issues with the new ERP system and underlying technology platform. OfficeReady performance was reduced by up to 10 times from previous, ACUCOBOL-GT levels.
We also had frequent user reports of stability problems, including up to 10 system outages every day. Any outage is unacceptable so this represented a significant customer satisfaction issue for us. We struggled with this new ERP environment for several years and went to great efforts to overcome these issues but in the end, we were simply unable to sell our ERP product, using this technology platform, to new customers. The move away from ACU had clearly cost us greatly and the only way forward was to return to a proven solution, ACUCOBOL-GT”.