International Master Publishers IBM to Windows SQL
IMP - TCS Sweden
IMP (International Master Publishers) is a business-to-consumer company that creates products to inspire and inform its customers. Founded in 1972, it is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, with operations in 36 countries. For over 30 years, it has published high quality collections for the home and family in more than 20 languages. Customers order products online or by phone for postal delivery. Competitive pressures present multiple challenges Growing competition in the publishing industry from both incumbent players and new entrants in the digital space makes it critical for companies to improve operational efficiency while reducing IT management costs in order to reinvest resources into the core business. IMP’s in-house developed ERP application, COPS (Customer Oriented Production System), ran on an expensive 400 MIP IBM z/OS mainframe, running at 95% capacity to support worldwide operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The system, which consisted of 1000 online programs, 7500 batch jobs and 4600 batch programs, processed over 700,000 online transactions per day. COPS is reliant on a single database server handling 36 production databases. Adding to the complexity, publications are printed in a wide range of languages including Italian, Russian, Japanese, Polish, and Swedish
Over 400 users, across all time zones, rely on COPS to do everything from customer data management, accounts receivable, order fulfilment, and inventory management. Any downtime in the system would have a serious impact on global business operations. IMP had only experienced one hour downtime in ten years. Satisfied with the reliability of the system, IMP needed to find a lower cost alternative to provide the business agility necessary to deliver new capabilities faster. The extremely high cost of the mainframe was limiting IMP’s ability to invest in innovation and business growth.
A flexible platform to support business growth and innovation IMP, now completely off the mainframe, has reduced the annual costs of the COPS system by €1.2 million while at the same time increasing system capacity threefold. This has minimized incremental budget requirements to support future needs. The company has therefore achieved its goal of putting in place a modern, flexible platform capable of supporting business growth and innovation. As an added benefit, transaction processing time is at least 20 percent faster, with the result that the online user experience is improved. Batch performance has also increased by 50 percent, greatly reducing any potential risk caused by batch processing bottlenecks. Developer productivity will improve significantly as the new development environment is easier to use and provides a much more efficient platform for testing and debugging. New capabilities will be delivered significantly faster than was possible using mainframe tools. An unexpected benefit of the migration process was that IMP was able to identify redundant programs, significantly reducing the size of the inventory IT needs to support. During the project, IMP reduced the number of batch programs by 60 percent, scheduled batch jobs by 40 percent and online programs by 15 percent. This has resulted in reduced system complexity and an optimized application portfolio, enabling IT to become more responsive to business needs.