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Case study

Academic Program and Micro Focus Visual COBOL deliver next generation of developers


Genesys Software adopted COBOL as a preferred programming language in 1986, as Giuseppe Marangi, Managing Director at Genesys Software, explains: “We were impressed with its capabilities, its ease of use and fit within our development team. As an independent software vendor, we soon felt confident that we could build our business on COBOL and deliver reliable, high performance applications, and services to our clients. Our applications built using Micro Focus COBOL proved to be very stable and reliable over time. However, as new technologies entered the market, we were required to keep pace, offering new innovative capabilities to our clients. Modern programming languages such as Java offered new web and mobile capability which weren’t as easy to leverage using traditional COBOL tooling. We wanted to leverage what already worked for us - our application logic and business rules, built up over decades – as well as benefit from new technology, while adding value for our clients.”


In considering its options, Genesys Software turned to Micro Focus and its Visual COBOL solution. Visual COBOL offers a next generation COBOL development and deployment capability within a modern Eclipse environment. Giuseppe Marangi: “Visual COBOL enabled us to integrate our existing COBOL applications with Java, delivering new functionality to our clients. We were able to do this across two innovative projects: Ridati and Excarta.”

Ridati is the Cloud version of Genesys Software’s flagship management solution. It provides small businesses with a document management and organization solution. This centralized cloud solution enables Genesys Software’s customers to focus on their business rather than IT.

Excarta is the latest Genesys Software product, which provides paperless parcel tracking and management operations. This logistics solution gives Genesys Software’s customers the ability to use mobile and wireless technologies for parcel tracking and management.

Excarta and Ridati have won many industry awards for their innovation and technology excellence and were the recent winners of the popular SMAU 2013 competition, within the Mobile and Wireless category.

To support business growth, Genesys Software added new development talent to its organization. It found that blending new and senior developer talent requires mentorship and an organizational commitment to skills development and planning. Senior developers have significant experience to share with younger programmers joining the organization. Likewise, younger developers offer new solution approaches to current business problems. Successfully integrating new and senior programmers required broad collaboration across Genesys Software and a commitment to building the skillsets needed to support future business plans.

Genesys Software found that recruiting new COBOL developers was a challenge, as many local universities did not offer COBOL programming as a core part of their IT programs. Concerned, but committed to building its next generation of developers, Genesys Software reached out to the Micro Focus Academic Program for assistance. This global program enables local universities to teach COBOL in the classroom by providing schools with necessary software, curriculum, training, and support services. The program provides a bridge between academic universities, students and the business community. With over 350 worldwide academic partners participating in this program, it offers a robust channel for wider collaboration and engagement within the COBOL community.

Genesys Software’s enrollment as Micro Focus Academic Alliance Partner enabled the company to engage and collaborate with local Italian universities, and access tomorrow’s COBOL programmers. The collaboration between Genesys Software and the Academic Program has empowered a number of colleges and universities to join a real-world, multi-language software development experience, integrating Visual COBOL and Java on Linux platforms, through Cloud-delivery from Genesys Software’s backend environment.

To further the partnership within the Academic Program, Genesys Software internships and career opportunities are to be posted on the Academic Program website. Genesys Software, along with other Italian academic institutions, is collaborating with Micro Focus to discuss new ways to partner within the Academic program, going forward. This shared vision will help to support future COBOL developers.


Visual COBOL enables Genesys Software to expand its key business applications to support both cloud and mobile, while enhancing functionality and ease-of-use for its clients. Its existing COBOL business rules and application logic have been maintained and enhanced, and new business integration with COBOL and Java now enables Genesys Software to successfully bridge the old with the new.

Giuseppe Marangi: “Visual COBOL enables us to extend the capabilities of our existing software solution by delivering a cloud based service and also introducing a new pay-per-use model. New and existing customers are very happy with this enhanced offering as it provides greater flexibility, new access methods, and a more attractive billing model.”

The Micro Focus Academic Program enables Genesys Software to collaborate directly with local universities teaching COBOL. It also enables Genesys Software to prepare its next generation of COBOL programmers needed to support its critical business applications. While building a long term skills and resourcing plan, this partnership supports the skills needed for existing business systems while embracing the latest technology.

Giuseppe Marangi concludes: “Our collaboration with Micro Focus, both with Visual COBOL and the Academic Program, has been highly valuable. We have improved our customer satisfaction by delivering our key applications in new ways. It is satisfying to know that a new generation of COBOL programmers will leave university with relevant skills to support existing business systems.”

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.

Try Micro Focus Visual COBOL for Eclipse today

Genesys Software case study

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