Many companies use LANSA to extend their legacy systems with new Web, Windows and Mobile functionality and with XML, EDI and JSON integration services. However, there comes a time when the core of the system itself needs modernizing and, in many cases, partial replacement. For companies with significant value in existing IBM i applications, LANSA offers several Application Modernization choices:
- aXes lets you transform 5250 screens into Web pages on-the-fly and access your RPG and COBOL applications securely via the Web from a variety of browsers and devices. For those applications that need further enhancement, use aXes eXtensions to take your screens to the next level of user interface modernization.
- Visual LANSA lets you progressively redevelop applications and add new functionality where re-facing for looks alone is not good enough.
- RAMP (Rapid Application Modernization Process) lets you combine redeveloped, new and re-faced functionality in an easy to navigate and consistent application framework. It provides a low-risk modernization path that lets you incrementally replace legacy programs with new reengineered components, as well as new functionality.
- Baustoff Union
- Beacon Insurance Company
- Bemis Manufacturing Company
- Cookson Precious Metals
- Francis Marion University
- Groupama Assurance Crédit
- Harry Fox Agency
- Japan Cash Machine
- John Wiley & Sons
- Norfolk Iron & Metal
- Office of the Board of Studies
- PartyLite Worldwide
- STRATTEC Security Corporation
Baustoff Union (BU), is a leading provider of building materials, construction services and equipment rental services in Bavaria, the largest state of Germany. BU uses SMH ERP since 1997, a solution from LANSA's German business partner S.M.Hartmann. The ERP solution's functionality, originally RPG based,
- Has been modernized and progressively replaced using Visual LANSA,
- Extended with integration capabilities using LANSA Composer and Integrator
- Extended with Mobile access using LANSA’s LongRange.
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The Beacon Insurance Company Ltd, headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and with branch offices throughout the southern Caribbean, offers a full range of insurance products and financial services, including general insurance, life & health Insurance, asset management and financing. Beacon has streamlined its procedures and modernized its Insure/90 core policy administration system, using a combination of the LANSA Workflow Framework, RAMP and LANSA Integrator. Beacon now has complete visibility and control of how documents and workflow progress through the organization, regardless of divisions and locations. This allows Beacon to re-assess how it utilizes its real estate and resources.
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Bemis Manufacturing Company headquartered in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, USA, produces and markets bathroom products, custom plastics and healthcare products. Bemis decided to capitalize on its existing ERP infrastructure (a heavily customized version of PRMS), but redevelop with LANSA where needed. Hundreds of unsupported PC applications for manufacturing were redeveloped with LANSA as well and integrated with the core ERP system. Bemis' agile RPG team trained in Visual LANSA and has delivered one successful project after another, including systems for Quality Specifications, Capacity Planning, Fore Casting, Work center Scheduling, Leave applications, eCommerce and more. Bemis business users are now experiencing productivity gains of over 20%, as well as improved effectiveness in decision making. Read the Case Study
CHS Inc, formerly known as Cenex Harvest States, is a diversified Fortune 200 company that supplies grain, food and energy products. The COBOL-based Contract Management Information System (CMIS) used by its Grain Marketing & Oilseed Processing divisions has grown in functionality over the years, but the user interface was archaic and unfriendly. Business is rapidly expanding and CHS decided to modernize CMIS with RAMP when faced with training the new employees its grain division acquired through market expansion. CMIS consists of over 500 programs and 200 screens.
Cinram Logistics UK, a division of the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of pre-recorded entertainment media, holds exclusive agreements with major movie studios, software and music publishers, including Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox, MGM and EMI. Cinram uses LANSA's RAMP to gradually redevelop and modernize its Global Distribution System. The new composite application offers the underlying strength of the existing core system, in combination with intuitive graphical front-end applications and tight MS Office integration. Read the Case Study
Cookson Precious Metals, a division of Cookson PLC, a FTSE 250 company, is the largest supplier to the UK jewellery trade with a catalog of over 10,000 products and annual sales of £280 million. Cookson's main business driver for modernizing its green-screen central business, was to increase productivity in the sales order processing area, which handles over 1,000 in-bound calls per day. A new graphical front-end - built with RAMP - reduced the keystrokes needed to complete an order from 101 to 26, a 75 percent reduction. Likewise, an order status call can now be answered by looking at a single screen, instead of navigating 14 screens. The total effect has been a 25 percent productivity improvement across 12 key business processes and a significant reduction in errors and training time for staff. New functionality has been added as well.
DEMCO Inc, based in Madison, Wisconsin USA, provides supplies, equipment and furniture for libraries and schools in North America and Europe. DEMCO uses LANSA for its core operational system and for customer and supplier facing Web sites. Recently, DEMCO used RAMP to modernize its green-screen ERP system, avoiding the high cost and disruption an ERP replacement would entail.
Francis Marion University (FMU) is one of South Carolina's 13 state-supported universities, providing strong liberal arts based programs for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Over the years FMU has used LANSA to extend its RPG-based student administration system with self-service Web access by students and faculty members for registration, class scheduling, grade enquiries, degree audits, financial aid applications and more. FMU is now progressively modernizing its large RPG-based student administration system (8,000 programs and 4,000 files, still including S/36 code), with RAMP and Visual LANSA.
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Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company with revenues of $7.4 billion. Gannett is the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S., with 85 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and daily paid circulation of approximately 7.2 million. It also has nearly 1,000 non-daily publications, 23 television stations and a large newspaper publishing operation in the United Kingdom. Since 1998, Gannett has managed circulation, advertising and marketing for most of its newspapers with a LANSA-based application called Genesys, The newspapers run Genesys and other applications independently on 56 System i servers. Internal users access the system with green-screen and Windows clients, while external users have Web access – all developed with LANSA. Gannett used RAMP as a temporary solution to enable a rapid consolidation from many down to three customer service call centers, allowing time to create new custom call center software. RAMP gave over 300 customer service representatives access to all newspapers and System i servers with a single sign on and a single application window, reducing training time and call handling time.
Groupama Assurance Crédit (Groupama AC), is a division of the Groupama Group, a mutual insurance, banking and financial services group headquartered in France. Groupama has over 39,000 employees serving 16 million members and customers. Groupama AC chose RAMP from LANSA to modernize its COBOL and IBM i-based business application with new functionality and modern technologies, while preserving its existing investment. At the first roll-out, 30% of the old core system had been redeveloped with RAMP's embedded Visual LANSA Framework tool and 70% had been visually redesigned. Using RAMP, Groupama AC expects to gradually evolve and eventually truly overhaul its business solution.. Read the Case Study
Harry Fox Agency (HFA), is the USA's leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry. HFA implemented a practical plan to up-skill its RPG developers with LANSA, and by doing so doubled its resources for Web and Windows development projects, putting the RPG team on equal footing with the Java team. Many, if not all, one-off user requests that require new development on the IBM i are now handled with LANSA instead of RPG. The RPG team also used LANSA for a large new Windows rich client project, a new Audit Uplift system. Previously HFA had already used LANSA for two of its high traffic Web solutions for publishers and music distributors. Read the Case Study
Japan Cash Machine (JCM), is the world’s leading transaction technologies supplier for the banking, retail, kiosk and gaming industries. To support its operations in Japan, JCM uses in-house developed systems that run on the IBM i operating system. JCM’s RPG-based maintenance and repair system was a prime candidate for improvement. Office staff used legacy 5250 screens, field staff did not have access at all and many of the procedures were paper based. The system was redeveloped with LANSA.
Call centre, admin and quality control staff now have a productive rich client interface to real-time and integrated maintenance, billing and customer information. JCM’s 150 repairmen now use iPads with integrated hand-writing, signature capture and camera features to create and submit their repair reports, and to look-up maintenance data. The new solution has helped to improve the quality and speed of customer service and has drastically reduced the workload for JCM’s staff.
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John Wiley & Sons, is a leading global publisher of print and electronic products, specializing in scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services. Headquartered in New Jersey, Wiley has operations in the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, and Australia. Wiley used RAMP to rapidly reengineer its applications for the Web as part of a project to take its systems global, modernize its green-screens, provide a Web look and feel, and easily integrate with other systems.
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Norfolk Iron & Metal, headquartered in Nebraska, is one of the top 30 steel services providers in the US. Family owned and run since 1908, NIM has expanded to 550 employees. To continue to support its dynamic and fast operations, NIM is planning to modernize and redevelop its entire RPG based in-house developed ERP system using Visual LANSA Framework and RAMP. As a first step NIM has modernized its Credit Hold Orders application. The entire process of invoicing, applying payments and releasing orders has been streamlined. Invoices can now be generated, viewed and emailed in PDF format and the payment module integrates with check scanning software.
The Office of the Board of Studies New South Wales (OBOS), is responsible for the content, distribution and logistics of syllabus materials and the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations for New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia. LANSA has been at the heart of the OBOS' IT infrastructure since 1989. OBOS is using RAMP with Visual LANSA Framework for .NET (VLF.NET) to modernize their Marker Appointment System, which manages the scheduling of examinations for over 140,000 students and appointments for 4,000 supervisors at 700 examination centers. It also manages the marking process, which involves over 8,000 teachers and 800 clerical assistants in 20 marking centers for a period of four weeks. Over the last 10 years OBOS developed all new functionality with LANSA for the Web. However, about 50 percent of the applications were built in the years before that and are still green-screen. Using RAMP and VLF.NET gave OBOS an economically way to combine the legacy and Web developed applications in a single mashup framework with easy navigation and a productive browser interface.
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PartyLite Worldwide, Inc., with its European IT center at Heidelberg, Germany and its American IT center at Plymouth, Massachusetts, is one of the fastest growing direct sales companies in the world with 65,000 independent sales consultants selling premium fragranced candles and a wide range of decorative accessories to consumers through the home party plan method of direct selling. PartyLite used RAMP and Visual LANSA Framework to provide its customer service centers in Europe with a faster and more streamlines solution to handle calls from sales consultants. After modernization with RAMP the application offers easy sorting and searching of consultants and orders, based on multiple criteria. The application also has new functionality, such as integrated Internet access to track and trace parcels.
STRATTEC Security Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world's largest producer of automotive locks, keys and related security access control products for global automotive manufacturers. STRATTEC uses System21 (formerly JBA now Infor) and wanted to modernize parts of this application to provide better productivity to users. One particularly time consuming procedure for staff was determining which items in inventory transfers from their plants needed to be allocated to fill backorders and which items could be kept in stock. After modernizing with RAMP, the system automatically checks all shipments for items on backorder and displays the relevant item receipts and backorders. The user only has to confirm the stock allocation and pick slips are automatically generated.
In another project STRATTEC used a combination of RAMP and LANSA Composer to streamline the procedure of retrieving customers orders, shipping them and invoicing them. In that process a LANSA RAMP-based program populates a screen with shipping information, after barcoded boxes are scanned. Again, all the user has to do is confirm the information on the screen and an invoice will be created in System21. Read the Case Study
TCM, one of the largest privately owned information technology companies in South Africa, provides integrated infrastructure and IT services. TCM has over 600 staff, offices in all major cities, plus numerous satellite branches. TCM used Visual LANSA and RAMP to modernize and progressively redevelop its homegrown systems for sales and services, to extend their functionality and to deliver them inside an integrated visual framework that also includes System21 and a document management solution. The improved efficiency of the modernized solution has contributed to allowing TCM to double in size and maintain its impeccable service record, while only having to increase its administrative support staff by 20 percent.
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RAMP provides a way to Independent Solution Vendors (ISVs) to modernize their RPG and COBOL offerings and gradually evolve them to platform independent, rich-client or browser-based solutions. RAMP lets ISVs quickly create a solution that is marketable to new prospects and existing customers, while progressively releasing re-architected modules. This approach also provides a low-risk modernization path for existing customers.
- American Health Care
- Control Systems Software
- eSipo Technology
- Investment Systems Company
- Mincron Software Systems
- Precision Solutions Group
- Rippe & Kingston Systems
American Health Care (AHC), a software solution provider based in Vermont, USA, used Visual LANSA to gradually redevelop its old-style character-based Harmony Health Care Management System that originally consisted of millions of lines of RPG and Synon code. Harmony now offers:
- A graphical user interface with integration to MS Excel and MS Word.
- Clinical modules with a touch screen interface.
- Real-time monitoring of medication distribution for nursing supervisors.
- Web services and XML integration with pharmacies, laboratories and other third parties
Harmony is used by Senior Care Communities across the USA. The gradual redevelopment process meant that AHC’s customers had an easy and low-risk migration path.
AHC employs four developers, which were hired right out of technical college. Except for the newly developed touch screen applications for clinical staff, most of the solution was developed with Visual LANSA Framework, minimizing the effort required for designers and developers. Once the last few remaining RPG routines have been redeveloped, AHC will offer its solution on Windows, Cloud and Linux platforms, in addition to the current IBM i platform. Read the case study
Control Systems Software (CSS) based in Iowa, USA, is the member-owned and -driven developer of the CONTROL agribusiness solution. CONTROL is a fully integrated system that includes POS, bulk fuel, inventory, commodities management and financial modules, with interfaces to a range of industry solutions, such as scale and feed interfaces, agronomy applications and more. Members take an active role in determining enhancements and after extensive evaluations RAMP was chosen to help CSS modernize the RPG-based solution. The LANSA Visual LANSA Framework will also give faster development down the line.
Read the IBM Systems Magazine article on Control Systems Software
eSipo Technology, based in Monterrey, NL, Mexico, provides IBM technical services and support to a community of companies. The company's eSipo Logistic solution helps to meet the warehousing, logistics and distribution needs of manufacturers and other commercial operations. eSipo Technology used RAMP to quickly modernize its solution and is now using Visual LANSA Framework to deliver eSipo Logistic V3.0, a 100 percent Web version, that will include new functionality in its Import/Export, KPIs and Financial modules. eSipo Logistic V3. will also offer Web service integration with SAP's ERP system, using LANSA Integrator.
Investment Systems Company (ISC), based in Moreland Hills, OH, has been providing integrated customized portfolio management and accounting software solutions since 1984. Over the years these IBM i based solutions have been enhanced to offer complete functionality, although still restricted by the limited deployment options that COBOL and RPG allow. Using LANSA's RAMP, ISC has recently redeveloped the most frequently used applications and refaced the remaining ones. The modernized solution is now available in a hosted environment and will be offered cross platform when the modernization project is finalized. Read the Case Study
Mincron Software Systems, based in Houston, Texas, is a leading provider of software and business service solutions for wholesale distributors, logistics companies and other businesses requiring integrated enterprise software solutions. Mincron's RPG-based ERP system, called MSS/HD, contains nearly three decades of industry knowledge and three million lines of code. MSS/HD forms the foundation for Mincron's success. With so much at stake, Mincron thoroughly researched all application modernization options and decided for a staged modernization plan with LANSA's RAMP. The time-tested solution, still mostly RPG-based at its core, is now delivered in a Windows framework and has a lot of new functionality. Mincron's modernization effort was rewarded with new sales as well as renewed interest from existing customers.
Mincron was also one of the first ERP vendors in the world to deliver an integrated native mobile application for its customers on the road. For this Mincron used LongRange, LANSA's mobile application development tool. Read the Case Study
Precision Solutions Group Inc (PSGI), based in Walpole, Massachusetts, provides customer support and professional services for the majority of North American-based companies running the PRISM process-ERP application and a growing number of JD Edwards World customers as well. PSGI was founded in 2003 with the specific goal of extending the life of its customers' legacy enterprise systems. Customers have already benefited from PGSI's service offerings, extending PRISM with business intelligence, mobile computing, product life cycle management and more. PSGI is now using RAMP to modernize PRISM, ensuring it continues to meet the needs of its users. RAMP was selected because it stood out from other modernization tools that put too much emphasis on simply developing a GUI version of what users already had. RAMP also stood out because it allows for customizations users have made.
Rippe & Kingston Systems, a highly successful software development, consulting and services firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio USA, has been a LANSA Partner since 1989. Rippe uses LANSA for several of its solutions and as an integral part of its services. Rippe's METHOS application, originally developed with a 5250 interface, is a leading product for plant and facility maintenance implemented by hundreds of companies. Rippe used RAMP to modernize METHOS and can now deliver Web and client-server capabilities for its METHOS customers, as well as offering METHOS in an SaaS model and plug METHOS directly into other portals, including Rippe's own e.ssential portal.