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Microsoft and Micro Focus form mainframe migration alliance.

Micro Focus International Ltd. (Micro Focus) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") have announced the creation of a new alliance to enable the migration of critical proprietary mainframe systems onto the Microsoft Windows operating system using Microsoft .NET technology. The alliance lays the technology foundation to move application workloads from the mainframe to more modern Intel (Nasdaq "INTC") architecture and the Windows Server platform. It aims to help customers reduce the high cost of maintaining and modernizing their aging mainframe environments.

Redeploying mainframe legacy assets to newer, cheaper platforms saves time and money. Costs can be reduced by up to 50 percent when moving IT operations to an equivalent Windows platform. Customers have also reported improved performance, enabling them to improve key business processes without significant additional investment.

"As organizations increasingly realize that they need to re-use rather than replace their existing mainframe applications, any initiative that enables them to do this at lower cost and risk is extremely valuable to them," said Gary Barnett, IT Research Director at OVUM. "This alliance will help enterprise users take a more cost-effective and reliable approach to the task of migrating applications to the Windows platform than the expensive and risk-prone 'rip and replace' approach that was the vogue in the late 1990s."

Micro Focus Enterprise Server with its new Mainframe Transaction Option underpins the new platform alliance and now enables the migration and deployment of CICS/COBOL mainframe applications to the Windows platform. Enterprise Server offers the most rapid and lowest-risk way of re-hosting mainframe applications on Windows. Once the application has been re-hosted, it can be extended more easily and effectively through the use of the .NET Framework, SQL Server 2000, XML and Web services.

"We have seen outstanding results by migrating our IT operation to the Windows environment through Micro Focus' solutions," said Leo Theberge, Chief Information Officer of Quebec Loisir, a direct-to-consumer media corporation that is part of DirectGroup Bertelsmann. "Moving to Windows is a critical business decision for us because it provides a low cost, strategic platform to leverage critical value from our existing IT assets."

Over the years, most mainframe customers have made substantial investments that support key business processes. However, to remain competitive and deliver more value per application dollar, CIO's and technology managers face mandates to reduce these costs and drive business agility by migrating CICS/COBOL applications to a more modern and extensible platform. Customers can obtain a significant increase in their flexibility and ability to respond to business changes by migrating off the mainframe.

"The opportunity to work with world-class partners implementing enterprise-scale technology for customers is very important to Microsoft," said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Our relationship with Micro Focus helps customers move monolithic and expensive mainframe systems to the more agile Microsoft platform."

"We're pleased to be working with Micro Focus through Intel Early Access Program," said Melissa Laird, general manager, Software Enabling Division at Intel. "Our objective is to provide customers with access to resources that will help them derive more value from their existing IT investments and complement new technology initiatives that support the migration to lower cost, higher efficiency Intel architecture-based platforms."

"Micro Focus recognizes the significant investments that many organizations have made in legacy applications and the challenges the enterprises face as they evaluate approaches for deriving further value from those investments," said Tony Hill, chief executive officer at Micro Focus. "Working with partners, we are committed to providing the most reliable modernization strategy for organizations to unlock the value of their legacy systems."
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Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 12, 2004
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