When Allianz UK migrated to Windows 7, they also upgraded their Micro Focus Rumba® emulators—gaining new productivity features without losing existing work.
“For many years Rumba has given us great performance. It runs effortlessly and without any problems. Our regular market assessments have always come out in favor of continued use of Rumba and our recent upgrade is testament to our ongoing commitment. We envisage using Rumba far into the future.”
Senior IT Manager
At a Glance
- Provided efficient, productive mainframe and server access to around 4,000 users
- Created positive ROI for continued Rumba use
- Standardized Rumba estate
Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK. It is part of the Allianz SE Group, a worldwide leading integrated financial services provider, employing over 4000 people across more than twenty offices. Allianz offers commercial insurance with a full range of products for sole traders, through to large commercial organizations. It also provides a range of retail products, such as property and motor insurance, which are distributed directly and through brokers, comparison sites, retailers and veterinary practices, to name a few.
Allianz’s core policy administration system for the broker business is a mainframe-based application developed in-house, which includes modules for managing new business, renewals, claims, etc. Used on a daily basis, it is the absolute core of its broker business. Until the late 1990s, these applications were accessed using dumb terminals. However, with the advent of the PC, it wasn’t practical or cost-effective to provide both, so a solution was sought.
Allianz investigated the market for reliable terminal emulator technologies, evaluating several options, including Rumba from Micro Focus. Rumba enables connectivity from Microsoft Windows to virtually any host system with mission critical reliability. It is designed to bring green-screen technology to the modern end-user with a set of compelling features.
Adam Rates, senior IT manager, explains the decision process: “Although Rumba has been in use for longer than I have been with Allianz—I joined in 1998—every few years we assess the market to ensure we are still using the right toolset for the organization.
Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 is a necessity for Allianz and part of this process means upgrading the Rumba estate to the latest Rumba 9 version.
Rates comments: “Our Rumba assets are administered in a software catalogue, with version, number of users, etc. This way we know exactly how many licenses we have and how many are deployed within the organization. In addition, it shows us which users have accessed which applications, when. This tells us Rumba was in very active use, but over the years we ended up with an estate of various versions, some out of support. We wanted to standardize and roll out the latest Rumba version as part of our Windows 7 upgrade.”
It was important to Allianz that the look and feel of Rumba 9 was similar enough so that no further training was needed. Also, existing macros had to work in the new version. With these reassurances in place, the roll-out went ahead, using a Windows packaged distribution environment. Users received a new Windows 7 desktop, which includes a Rumba 9 version with all their existing work and macros intact. Rates discusses the transition: “Everything went smoothly and the upgrade is completely painless for the users.”
For Allianz the green-screen environment is more productive than a modernized Windows UI with drop-down boxes. The application has been refined over the years and works exactly as it should. Users within the organization rank from call center agents to service users to skilled underwriters, so Rumba is used pervasively. Macro functionality, personalized reminders, and bookmarks are cited as reasons why the tool continues to improve productivity and efficiency. Rates concludes: “For many years Rumba has given us great performance. It runs effortlessly and without any problems. Our regular market assessments have always come out in favor of continued use of Rumba and our recent upgrade is testament to our on-going commitment. We envisage using Rumba far into the future.”