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Financial services

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HBOS migration with Asysco

HBOS is a banking and insurance group in the UK and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group. Back in 2004, the company migrated all its applications and data onto a Windows-based platform using Asysco’s AMT-Lion. Since then, HBOS has turned to Asysco again to complete the second stage of the mainframe migration project.

The AMT-Lion system had already improved HBOS IT operations, yet a change in business strategy in the company had resulted in a dramatic increase in business volumes across a number of key products, and an increased emphasis on e-commerce. Additionally, projects were in the pipeline that would have required substantial work on AMT-Lion applications. It was getting to a point where the infrastructure needed replacing.

Asysco proposed migrating from the existing Linc-based Lion systems to Microsoft C# .NET, as well as a move from a 32 bit to a 64 bit architecture. This solution meant that the company would avoid the cost of upgrading the existing system to AMT-Lion 5.3, a move that would have cost £780,000. Another advantage of the proposed solution was that by moving to C# .NET it would be easier to develop and maintain products in the future.

Testing for the new Asysco Migration Technology Visual Studio (AMT-VS) product commenced in January 2007 and was held within the Insurance and Investment division of HBOS. Wintellect was also selected to provide an independent validation of the proposed solution, results of which were extremely complimentary of both the solution and of the ability of Asysco’s staff.

Asysco says the project was primarily about business risk avoidance and providing strategic alignment of systems. Most notably, AMT-VS has allowed HBOS to align with its strategic goals for .NET and C# development under Microsoft Visual Studio and enable growth and capability through industry standards. All of the Insurance and Investment division’s internal developers were sent on training courses to familiarise themselves with the new environment. However, a significant benefit of the migration is that the company can now access a greater pool of external C# and ASP .NET developers.

Batch processing times have also benefited from the mainframe migration: taking from 4.5 hours to three hours to complete daily; eight hours to six hours at weekends; and 10.5 hours to 8.5 hours per month. As a result of this, system unavailability in the morning is now unheard of, and the division has even been able to extend system availability for its users to 6am to 10pm every day.

Following the implementation of AMT-VS, company IT strategy manager Patrick McNaught says: “I was delighted to find that despite having migrated 47 systems and over 1,000 programs, 9,000 objects and 500 Visual Basic scripts, there were only 18 minor post-implementation issues.” He was also pleased with the stability of the system, despite it having to handle in excess of five million transactions per day. “The new AMT-VS system has been as stable as the mainframe system on Unisys and has provided significant performance benefits,” he concludes.

This article first appeared in the 2009/10 edition of the Finance on Windows Partner Guide.

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