Changing the core of everything

Digital Transformation-Changing-The-Core-Of-EverythingWhy changing the core company business application changes the whole company IT. And how Beta Systems helps to make this transition happen.

Many companies have thoughts about changing their core business application, e.g. their ERP system or – in this example – their core banking system. Those changes are usually complex, as the dependencies in IT and organization are deep and sometimes unknown. Learn how a retail bank is managing this transition process from its custom legacy mainframe solution to a leading retail banking core application in a renewed IT environment.

Today, homogeneous IT landscapes based on a technology stack (e.g. using IBM, Microsoft or Unix/Linux systems) are no longer the norm. Most customers with a longstanding Mainframe background now employ hybrid infrastructures comprising e.g. self-build programs run on the host combined with server-based applications operated on other systems. The retail bank started taking this to the next level by migrating all mainframe operations to a new server-based operating system platform. This decision was made after selecting a new core banking system which will be operated on a linux platform. The comprehensive migration project also requires the bank to migrate all scheduling, output management and print distribution products on the new platform.

Replacing custom or self-build, host-based and batch-operated programs with state-of-the-art, standards-based core banking software is the key pillar of the customer’s present modernization strategy and many other major banks as well.

Why changing the core banking application and the IT environment:

  • It allows financial institutions to reduce expenditures for system operation and maintenance.
  • processes much faster and better meet increasing legal requirements.
  • Leveraging new functionality not available for the legacy platform.

A modern core banking system such as Avaloq, which the customer started to introduce in early 2015, allows the bank to meet challenges including real-time banking, new functionality, compliance, transparency and traceability of business cases much more effectively.

Smooth Migration Service

Beta Systems Migration Services

Undertaking a technology shift of this scale naturally also has a direct impact on the operating platform. Beta Systems supports customers whatever their choice: The Beta UX Suite delivers software tools for log and output management as well as archiving, thus complementing the traditional host-based product range. The Bank serves as an excellent example. They have been using a comprehensive portfolio of Beta Systems products to manage their host-based IT processes for nearly 20 years. And now they are moving to a new system landscape with the aid of the Beta Systems Professional Services team, which has developed a dedicated standardized transition approach based on our knowhow, our own tools and checklists that reflect the experience gained in many projects. The project includes a transition of scheduling & batch processing, log management, output management as well as long-term document archive migrations.

Optimize Processes and Meet GRC Standards through Job Management

Beta UX LogMaster offers functions for automatic log processing, indexing and analysis, automatic log event response, audit-compliant archiving in the original format, company-wide provision via a web-based interface browser and many more features. When it comes to evaluating and archiving job and process logs on the hardware, operating system and application level, the tool is an invaluable helper. It enables full documentation and evaluation of business processes, thus driving process optimization and helping the operator meet internal GRC standards as well as legal regulations. The customer will use the software to manage the logs of roughly 500,000 jobs per month.

Logic Helps Regulate Output Management Dispatch Control

The switch to Beta UX DistributionMaster also improved the bank’s output management quality. While the z/OS-based predecessor mainly functioned as a ‘load distributor’ that allocated incoming documents to the respective distribution channel (printer, archive…), the customer can now define their own logic to control document dispatch. The documents are read and assigned based on certain criteria. Beta Systems adjusts the standard output management functions according to the customer’s requirements. The bank’s customers also benefit from this: For example, thanks to bundling they will now receive a single batch mailing or, even more conveniently, a PDF via e-mail rather than five different mails.

From Mere Scheduling to Workload Automation

Another task that needed to be carried out right alongside implementing job log and output management was to set up a new scheduling scheme for the core banking system. The customer decided to use the Streamworks enterprise scheduling solution developed by Beta Systems partner arvato Systems. Streamworks surpassed competing solutions in key categories, including clarity of structure: Streamworks offers a consistent solution for any requirement. As an added plus, the overall solution facilitates operation thanks to an intuitive user interface. Streamworks incorporates the know-how of Bertelsmann Group’s own data center operations and also includes the most valuable functions of other server-based scheduling systems. Owing to this design principle, the product offers the best of both worlds: Standardization and consistent structures based on the hosting environment help to simplify workflows and risks, while the look-&-feel is derived from the distributed world.

Summary

A migration project such as the one undertaken by the customer requires deep integration both of production planning and application development. The project effort is extensive, but return on investment is already achieved over the medium term. Beta Systems is actively helping in the transition and has supported the bank to meet the challenging time frame set for the project. Our products enabled the banks to renew their IT landscape with solutions similar or superior to the host-based legacy infrastructure. Due to our mainframe experience built into our Beta UX product the adoption by the bank operations team was quick and needed less training effort than expected.

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Thomas gr. Osterhues

Thomas is Senior Manager Marketing at Beta Systems. While working at market leaders Coca-Cola and Lidl, he was infected with the tech bug and moved rapidly into the software world, working for leading ECM and IAM companies in Marketing, Channel Sales and Product & Solution Management., with a strong focus on business processes and data center solutions at large clients.
He is able to rapidly understand and articulate how technology can solve specific business challenges: for sectors, channels, prospects, teams … and bring all stakeholders on board. He is someone who gets the job done – and then some.

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