Meet the demand for new application functionality. To support business growth, demand for new functionality had trebled, adding pressure to deliver more releases. This insurer did not have enough mainframe capacity to provision the additional test environments required to meet the new business requirements.
Operating in a highly diverse IT environment, this Major Global Insurer’s application development team serve many business units with varying requirements. The core insurance policy application supports multiple brands. Eight different IT environments were set up to test and maintain business-critical COBOL, GUI, and Web applications. The environments consisted of different platforms, ranging from Windows to mainframe and various database solutions, such as DB2, SQL Server, and Oracle. Each environment cost $3 million per annum to support and maintain.
The customer needed more mainframe capacity to meet new business requirements. It had acquired new companies, added mobile and web channels and in three years demand for new IT projects had trebled. However, the mainframe components of the environment did not scale and TCO for the mainframe environments was increasing every year. There was no appetite to increase spending on the mainframe and yet there wasn’t enough test and development capacity to meet the demand.
To meet business requirements, change requests had to be developed faster, but mainframe capacity constraints meant the customer couldn’t meet this challenge. It looked for alternatives to reduce the time it takes and the costs involved to provision and maintain new test environments.
Following a thorough cost analysis, the customer embarked on a strategic journey to the cloud, leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS), and a low cost, automated DevOps toolchain. The decision was made to create a virtual, full end-to-end, Windows-based continuous integration solution. This would accommodate the core mainframe policy and claims system, and web/Java front-end and middle-tier applications.
OpenText™ technology was already in use and the customer was convinced that OpenText could help. It was extremely important to the customer that the environment configuration and deployment was kept as simple as possible to be successful. Every platform, operating system, and application must be deployed and configured through automation scripts and tools and all design elements must support both external and internal cloud-based deployments. Micro Focus™ Enterprise Test Server by OpenText™, Micro Focus™ Enterprise Developer for z by OpenText™, Micro Focus™ Enterprise Analyzer by OpenText™ and Micro Focus™ Enterprise Sync by OpenText™ supported these plans seamlessly.
With Enterprise Test Server low-cost Windows platforms are used for continuous integration and automated testing. This was particularly useful as the customer was starting a number of transformation projects which would each require 6–12 months of continuous development and testing resources. An effort that could not be supported using the existing main frame test environments.
In order to further optimize the deployment pipe line for multiple projects, the customer needed to remove source code management bottlenecks and automate the build and release processes in line with the Java and mid-range applications. Enterprise Sync integrates with Enterprise Developer for z and the mainframe Endevor SCM and also agile development technologies to enable faster and more efficient parallel development at scale, maximizing developer productivity. This is fundamental to accelerate the delivery of new functionality to the business.
35 virtual mainframe test environments hosted in an Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure increased test capacity without relying on mainframe resources. Automated development processes have enabled a more agile development environment to support continuous integration and test automation so that any issues are found early and higher quality applications are delivered to the business.
The flexibility to automatically provision Enterprise Test Server cloud-based environments has increased flexibility and IT capacity so that the customer can efficiently and effectively respond to business requirements. Mainframe tests run faster and more cost-efficient in the cloud infrastructure than they did in the mainframe environment.
Using the OpenText™ DevOps solutions the customer can provision new cloud-based test environments in two hours. This used to take six weeks on the mainframe and represents a massive cost saving. Testing time has halved and business agility has increased to support a tripling of the number of production releases. QA teams can now run testing on demand and get faster results, increasing confidence in the application and reducing the time to identify and fix any issues before go-live.
The customer has drastically increased development productivity and improved the output quality. Annual costs have reduced from $3 million to $120,000 per environment while time to market has decreased. This customer now has a scalable and agile infrastructure which allows it to meet business demands and respond to new market opportunities.
This Major Global insurer employs more than 15,000 people. Its businesses underwrite over $8 billion of premiums per annum, selling insurance under many leading brands.