For competitive advantage, you must engage and support more customers, more effectively, every day. And when it comes to customer satisfaction, quantity does not trump quality. In fact, today’s customers have demands that go beyond the actual services offered; they now care as much about how your services are offered.
Cloud computing, which is becoming an integrated part of our IT infrastructures, has enabled companies to make significant strides in the customer service realm. But to be fully successful, you need to account for all data on all systems. And that includes mainframe systems.
Despite their intrinsic customer-service value, mainframe applications don’t always play well with avant-garde solutions. That’s because mainframe systems, by design, keep their legacy data and logic locked up, even when it’s sorely needed elsewhere. There is a need and a benefit to tackling this issue.
An Everyday Business Case
To illustrate the value of cloud enabling mainframe applications, let’s look at the real-life IT challenge of a large department store. As part of daily operations, the store deploys field-based collections and sales personnel throughout their greater metropolitan area.
Because computer use is not feasible for the functions and travels of the field force, their operations are done on a paper system. They receive activity rundowns (batched from the corporate mainframes) each morning and return in the evening with their new results to be entered overnight. The company would clearly benefit from an automated system.
The ideal direction for this department store would build on the advances of a cloud computing approach. While the field force cannot carry computers, they do travel with company phones — in this case, smartphones. So why not build an online collections and sales-activity application using the phone as the client?
Scoping the Solution
Building a smartphone app for this need is relatively easy compared to the other challenge: how to include the mainframe applications in the automated process. The good news is that Attachmate® Verastream® legacy modernization solutions can help.
Verastream can quickly create services from your mainframe applications – services that can be deployed and used as needed. With a little security and firewalling, the traveling sales force can use smartphone apps to query and update the system.
That means the field staff can conduct dynamic business operations in real time. Redundant tasks are removed from the process. And use of a cloud-style architecture ensures that critical company data is never stored locally on the smartphones.
A Zero-Impact Approach to Cloud Enabling Legacy Data
The business solution above, although entirely plausible, might never be considered in some IT organizations. That’s because it’s often assumed any solution of this magnitude must be a large and daunting endeavor. The Verastream edge lies in its ability to integrate, expose, and control access to your mainframe applications, without risk. Thanks to powerful Verastream tools, no new mainframe coding is needed. You simply use the Verastream Design Studio to create reusable services and to control them with governing workflows and processes.
Competitive Advantage and The Cloud Connection
Verastream keeps your projects sized to fit the need. It enables fast migrations to the cloud by permitting you to map only as much of the mainframe application as needed to enable your desired transactions. When a new project comes along, Verastream continues to earn ROI by letting you simply map new transactions to the appropriate parts of the mainframe application.
With the Verastream family of legacy modernization solutions, your mainframe can become a back end to your own data integration cloud. You can implement new integration projects as needed, helping to achieve competitive advantage while ensuring maximum IT agility. And with Verastream, you can do it quickly, safely, and economically.
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