Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Resolution: Modernize Legacy Applications

Happy New Year! In case your calendar does not state it, 2013 is the year of legacy software application modernization.

Momentum has been building for over a decade and several factors are now coming together to force the issue for many organizations.

It is retirement time for the Baby Boomer generation who were supporting these legacy applications. The COBOL, PL/1, and 4GL developers are no longer available to handle the workload. The new kids coming into the IT shop to replace the outgoing retirees have no knowledge of nor any desire to shoulder the burden of these legacy technologies.

The legacy software vendors are not making life easy for their customers either. Instead, it seems to be time to milk those licenses before those inevitable product end-of-life events happen.

A major emerging option is the Cloud. As more software gets hosted as a Cloud solution, more companies will dismiss their major hardware investments.

Many legacy applications are blocking the move from the expensive legacy platforms to more affordable solutions by being too difficult to port. That is why many different companies have jumped in to help.

In particular, the non-mainframe hardware vendors want to help mainframe customers move to their platforms. Here are some examples (with links to help you contact these firms).

Hardware/Software Vendors with Modernization Groups

Hardward/Software Vendor
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Plano, Texas, USA
Armonk, New York, USA
Newbury, Berkshire, England
Redmond, Washington, USA
Redwood Shores, California, USA

There are also pure-play modernization firms offering assistance in the form of both software products and services.

Modernization Vendor
Dallas, Texas, USA
Herzlia, Israel
Budapest, Hungary
Austin, Texas, USA
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Marietta, Georgia, USA
Kirkland, Washington, USA

The big player of these vendors appears to be BluePhoenix Solutions, a 20-year old Israeli firm with about $20 million in annual revenue. Info-Tech Research did a white paper on these vendors and had this to say about BluePhoenix:
"Of the vendors evaluated, Blue Phoenix was the vendor all other vendors agreed was the competition; as well, they offered the most complete service associated with legacy modernization, including testing and training of the client development resource pool on the newly transformed system."

While these firms focus on the platform, database, and transaction systems, we at Partner Intelligence specialize in modernizing just the Business Intelligence applications. We have partnered with several of these companies and participated in their modernization projects. 

If you are interested in modernizing your legacy reporting applications, see these previous articles:

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With over 20 years of industry experience, Doug Lautzenheiser has provided business intelligence services for well-known organizations such as Procter & Gamble, JPMorgan Chase, Omnicare, Wendy’s International, the State of Indiana, and the State of Oklahoma. ComputerWorld recognized one of Doug's projects with honors for innovative use of technology.  Doug is a featured blogger on BI software at Smart Data Collective.

With his broad knowledge of technologies, business processes, and industry best practices, Doug provides client value by performing strategic advisory services; leading tactical BI application development projects; and enabling dramatic reductions in time, cost, and risks through his unique automated BI consolidation application.

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