Newspaper cuts costs with mainframe migration

Case study: Express saves £800k by moving vital press application...

Case study: Express saves £800k by moving vital press application...

Express Newspapers has saved £830,000 by moving applications off its mainframe and onto Windows servers.

The newspaper publisher was keen to move its critical Pre-Press Control System off its mainframe.

Keeping the system on the mainframe was becoming an expensive option as other applications had already been moved off the hardware.

Express Newspapers development manager Simon Cohen explained: "The system controls getting our main product - the newspaper - from an editorial office to all the print sites around the world. It really is a quite central part of the business - if that fails we can't get our main product to consumers."

He added: "In the recent past a lot of the systems on the mainframe have been migrated off anyway, like finance payroll and HR. We were getting into the position where we were spending a lot of money on the rented mainframe. The leasing costs were quite high and there were fewer and fewer systems on there."

With an office move looming, the company had to choose between signing up for a new lease and taking the mainframe or moving the applications.

Cohen told "It became a no-brainer - the cost of the lease pointed us in the direction of migrating off of it."

The publisher used Micro Focus and MSS International to help migrate from proprietary Unisys hardware and software, Cobol and a hierarchical database system to HP/Intel Xeon hardware running Microsoft Windows with Microsoft SQL Server.

From conception to final hand-over the project took around a year and a half. Most of the savings involved come from cutting the cost of the mainframe maintenance.

Cohen said: "The old mainframe was our most reliable machine anyway but it only had one or two applications on it - with the migration it's just as reliable as the mainframe, and performance-wise it's much quicker."


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