Rehosting and downsizing for CNP Unicredit Vita

Costs, quality, continuity of service and performance incentives: a technological advantage that translates into an organizational advantage.

Goal of the operation was the porting of a life insurance policy application from the Mainframe z/OS platform to a Unix AIX environment, with the aim of reducing IT costs and guaranteeing continuity and quality of service.

“A fully achieved goal, given that costs were reduced by about 50% and that none of the users realized that downsizing was ongoing, states Filippo Del Boca, Information Systems Area Manager for CNP UniCredit Vita.” A much appreciated result by the Italian company management, who wanted this project and by the French CNP managers, who encouraged it globally and monitored it from close up”.

The advantages of downsizing - The solution touches on downsizing policies with results, above all, in terms of time optimization, reducing the duration of the technological phase of source code migration using automatic tools and minimizing the possibility of error.

The organizational impact is reduced too: the legacy applications and user interfaces functions are kept unchanged, reducing the impact of migration on the organization and on processes to a minimum.

Finally, costs are also reduced, by redefining the TCO with a cost saving of 50%. Greater efficiency, therefore, also confirmed by improvement in processing performances. “We were able to record improvement in the realm of processing performance by 35% through technological innovation, says Del Boca. For example, thanks to virtualization of machinery, we have obtained the possibility of processing large batches during working hours, without affecting the sales network activity”.

The aim of the project
To obtain a substantial reduction in costs without abandoning the mission critical application procedure on the Mainframe: this is the request made by CNP UniCredit Vita for the management of its life insurance policies.

Further to work collaboration starting in 2005, the partnership with CNP Unicredit Vita has moved on to become a Rehosting

and downsizing from Mainframe project, with the three-yearly management of the new platform.

Continuity of service
The rehosting project includes the operational and system management of the new Unix AIX environment, physical backup of data, monitoring and control services, reporting on the level of services and the immediate disaster recovery service. All this without interrupting continuity of service.

“It was a particularly delicate aspect, connected with typical bank insurance operations, says Mr Del Boca. We couldn't allow a suspension in accessing the application as the branches connect to it online in some branches every time the client comes to the desk and asks to access his policy or to change it. Quality of issue was good and we are satisfied”.

From a legacy environment to an open one
From a technological point of view, this innovation has been implemented thanks to the potential of rehosting to exploit the capacity of Cobol language (still present in 80% of mission critical applications in companies), of evolving and being "taken" from one system to another, with flexibility and adaptability, avoiding rewriting of applications, apart from limited cases.

In fact, the solution adopted has allowed a transfer of the application from one legacy environment, i.e. restricted to one operating system supplier, to an open one, without making any substantial application interventions on the source code and on the application design itself, but intervening with automatic translation tools or with protocol standardization interfaces.

Complementary low cost solutions
Compared to the Mainframe platform previously used by CNP UniCredit Vita, the new Unix AIX platform proposed allows companies to have greater flexibility in using additional resources at lower costs, thanks to the open destination environment, which offers a wide choice of technical solutions for application and network use.