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Accelerating Software Innovation on System z

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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 four key objectives for the project: it had to be done within a limited budget and in a short timeframe; be secure and reliable; and be flexible enough to add new services.

Many applications needed for the self service Web site were in existing mainframe systems. These applications were not originally designed for integration, and modernizing them was central to meeting JK’s objectives.

Since mainframes have the superior qualities for running new workloads, they make the ideal platform for JK to combine their existing mainframe 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 claim 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 customer self-service website. They plan to leverage the power of their System z and WebSphere Application Server for z/OS to run new workloads.

First, JK Insurance can modernize their existing CICS applications for wider internal use. IBM Host Access Transformation Services, or HATS, provides a quick and easy way to add a Graphical User Interface to their green-screen CICS applications, making them faster to learn, and easier to use.

HATS can also provide Web services interfaces for integrating 3270 screen-based applications with other applications in the enterprise. Now, JK can extend their CICS applications to employees through the Web, Portals, and mobile devices.

To build the self-service Web site JK needed a deep understanding of their existing applications. Rational Asset Analyzer provides an enterprise-wide view of applications and their inter-relationships and can be used on a Windows platform for quick installation and to offload mainframe analysis.

Rational Transformation Workbench provides in-depth analysis and helps identify potential services from existing business logic.

After identifying the reusable services within existing CICS applications, JK used Rational Developer for System z, RDz, along with the IBM Debug Tool for z/OS and Fault Analyzer for z/OS; both part of the IBM Problem Determinations Tools suite to complete componentization and help extend their CICS transactions as services on System z. These Problem Determination tools helped JK examine, monitor and analyze any resource constraints and system failures to ensure the new services meet JK’s service level agreements.

JK also wanted customers to file claims on-line with the highest possible service, so they used the Rational Developer for System z with EGL offering, to develop modern Web 2.0 based user interfaces. They integrated these with new services created quickly and easily by graphically composing a sequence of CICS application interactions, using the CICS Service Flow Feature. JK used RDz with EGL to create a new claims status check service as well, completing the new application spanning CICS and WebSphere platforms.

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

Finally, RDz with EGL can be used to deploy the new customer self-service components to both CICS Transaction Server and WebSphere Application Server for z/OS.

JK’s modernization shows how a process involving a call center representative navigating through several CICS applications simplifies to the customer choosing from the options needed to report and check claims in the easy-to-use Claims Web site, round 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 System z 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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