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Accelerating Software Innovation for IBM i on Power Systems

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Part One

JK Insurance wants to grow its market share – to attract new customers and retain existing ones by offering higher quality service than their competitors.

The company decided to transform claims processing by allowing policy holders to report and track status of their claims online 24/7 without the need for phone calls.

The company set three key objectives for the project: it had to be done quickly within a limited budget; be secure and reliable; and be flexible enough to add new services.

Many applications needed for the self service Web site already existed, but they were in different languages and were written by different development teams. These applications were not originally designed for integration, and modernizing them was central to meeting JK’s objectives.

Since the IBM Power system has all the superior qualities for running new workloads and multiple operating systems, it is the ideal platform for JK to combine their existing IBM i transactions with new business applications.

First, JK identified programs from existing systems that were necessary parts of the claims reporting process. They combined these programs – like claims entry, routing and scheduling – into a new automated customer process.

JK went “live” with their new self-service claims website in just three months.

The new system relies on existing proven applications, so the solution cost a fraction of one built from scratch. Security and reliability came built-in. And the modernized applications are integration-ready, so components can be easily reused in future applications.

JK's customers were pleased they could file claims in just 5 minutes without using the phone, and JK was able to reduce operating costs and enhance customer satisfaction.

Part Two

In an increasingly competitive market, companies that can leverage and modernize their existing systems to improve underlying business processes can gain significant competitive advantage.

IBM’s Enterprise Modernization Solution is the roadmap that helps companies bridge different systems distributed across the entire enterprise.

Implementation can start small, and grow to cover all of a company’s integration and modernization needs, internal and external. This solution supports a Service Oriented Architecture so software can be delivered as reusable, sharable services.

Let’s look at a company that uses IBM Enterprise Modernization Solution products to streamline customer service by creating a new self-service website. They plan to leverage the power of their core business applications and WebSphere Application Server Express to run new workloads.

JK’s applications were written in several different languages including RPG, .Net, and Java, and were managed and maintained by several different development teams. In order for this new self service application to work properly, they needed a tool that would manage source control, work items and company policies, as well as coordinate the disparate teams. JK used Rational Team Concert for i as the foundation for the developers to collaborate. It also provided dashboards for the project managers to efficiently control the project.

Using Rational Team Concert for i, JK was able to divide the project into multiple work items and activities.

To ensure new business goals and application requirements drive downstream design, development and testing, JK used Rational Requirements Composer to manage requirements to improve traceability, strengthen collaboration, and reduce project risk from the start.

JK started with a 5250 screen modernization project. They used Rational Host Access Transformation Services, or HATS, for 5250 applications to provide a quick and easy way to add a GUI to their existing green-screen applications, making them faster to learn, and easier to use.

HATS can also provide Web services interfaces for integrating 5250 screen-based applications with other applications in the enterprise. Now, JK can extend their IBM i applications to employees through the Web, Portals, and Mobile devices.

To build the self-service website, JK needed an understanding of their existing applications. Rational Developer for i provides the capability to graphically view different i resources and their inter-relationships.

Rational Developer for i allows existing RPG and COBOL developers to use a modern integrated development environment.

This allowed them to be more productive because of RDi's advanced syntax checking and debugging capabilities. It also allowed JK to standardize on a single eclipse-based development environment.

JK wanted customers to file claims online with the highest possible service, so they used RDi SOA, to develop modern Web 2.0 based user interfaces using EGL.

EGL is IBM’s newest business language that enabled JK to accelerate Web 2.0 and SOA development for the i platform, increasing productivity and skills flexibility.

JK also used RDi SOA to create a new claims status check service, completing the new application spanning the IBM i and WebSphere environments.

They also used Web Services to integrate with business partners, such as repair centers and car rental companies.

Finally, to ensure highest level application quality and security, JK used Rational's quality management solutions to improve application reliability, performance and security throughout the application lifecycle.

Rational AppScan was used to strengthen application security by automatically scanning and testing the new self-service application for common vulnerabilities.

Rational Functional Tester was used to automate manual and regression testing of the new claims self-service applications to speed time to market.

Lastly, Rational Performance Tester was used to ensure the new claims self-service application can handle the increased load without impacting end user response time.

JK’s modernization has allowed a call center representative, navigating through several IBM i applications, to simplify the customers’ choices in terms of the options needed to report and check claims on their easy-to-use Claims Website. And best of all, the site is available around the clock.

In JK's challenging environment, IBM’s Enterprise Modernization Solution provided all the tools to help make this seemingly complex task straightforward. It delivered an advanced solution in a short time.

To get started with building your next generation IBM i applications, ask your IBM representative to schedule a free, Enterprise Modernization Exploration of Technology workshop with an IBM Rational Enterprise Modernization Solution Specialist.

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