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Package Migration Application Management Legacy Upgrade Interim Systems
Many large projects involve replacing legacy systems with off-the-shelf vendor packages. 

The software life cycle is significantly different for this class of projects. A simplistic, specification-driven approach can lead to excessive timescales and cost over-runs. It is common for customers to attempt to replicate existing processes and functionality despite declared intentions to do otherwise. This leads to expensive and error-prone customisation which then becomes a burden compromising system support, reliability and the benefits of product upgrades.

Package vendors and internal staff both have incentives to bloat the process and exceed budgets. The longer it goes on the more they get paid, and the longer they keep their jobs.

The best model is to choose the least complicated configuration that delivers essential functionality. Aspirations of improved business process efficiency can be addressed as a separate subsequent set of initiatives.

To identify, gain business commitment, and hold to, the essential, fastest solution requires independent input. Recitel can advise on, or manage, the most rapid route to go-live. 

Customers for Major Package Projects include:

  • Kellogg's Europe (Oracle Financials and Oracle HR)
  • Nottingham Building Society (Tieto Enator Summit)

 

IT Directors' focus should be on supporting business initiatives but it is common that considerable effort and resource are devoted to the legacy estate. Outsourcing these systems, releases your staff to acquire new skills and concentrate on delivering change.

Recitel's approach involves ensuring the right people are in place, and strengthening relationships with the business and end users, who together are key to achieving perceived service success, We improve reliability and smooth running by identifying and refreshing neglected system assets. To provide excellent responsiveness, we wrap the application with automated tests to permit rapid, frequent, safe upgrades and incremental integration. 

Recitel AM is particularly appropriate for short term outsourcing (1-3 years) where business is being migrated to a new strategic platform. Having a specific AM team allows your legacy system to economically deliver full business functionality, including support for change, until the migration is implemented.

Customers for Application Management include:

  • Barclaycard
  • Standard Chartered Bank

 

Systems tend to follow a predictable lifecycle where high levels of technical input during development and implementation give way to lower levels of maintenance. Over time, system knowledge is lost and the structure becomes more fragile. Priority is given to other IT initiatives so quality is compromised. Classically this leads to a perception of increasing costs, decreasing reliability and difficulties with making changes. Typically management perceive that  the only solution is to implement a replacement system. Such migrations, more often than not, lead to significant over-runs of budget and time. A further damaging side effect to IT credibility is the disruption caused to the Business by diverting domain experts from implementing new initiatives.

Where new systems are finally introduced (many such programmes do not get this far) there is a significant risk that one legacy situation is simply replaced by another. 

Certainly before embarking on major - and typically very costly - transformation projects, it is worth evaluating the alternative of upgrading the existing legacy system.  Recitel bring to you wide knowledge of software and hardware platforms and an independent view. Considerable savings can be made by consolidation and optimisation of servers, storage and other infrastructure. Selective code refactoring can eliminate expensive software or hardware elements. Wrapping can improve the usability of the system or allow it to integrate into a service oriented architecture. 

Recitel case studies have shown reduced costs over long periods coupled with faster and cheaper response to business change compared to implementing new packages.

Customers for Legacy Upgrade include:

  • RBS Insurance
  • EDS Insurance    

 

In most cases, when the Business decide they need a system, they actually would rather have it now. IT departments however typically have a single model for system development with no regard for the lifespan of the system involved.

Another common factor is business constantly changes so that what a system needs to do in a year or two is quite different to what is initially envisaged. It is not unusual for the original requirement to have completely disappeared - a sales force abandoned or a product not achieving viable sales volumes. 

The Interim System concept takes a more rapid short-term view to get ultra-fast implementation and quick pay-back. This could use non-strategic hardware and software, and might reduce the level of automation at the expense of greater manual effort. Typically this is a different systems lifecycle to normal corporate approaches,  and so benefits from outside support.

In fact this idea is somewhat similar to newer agile approaches where design and construction is focused on short term, concrete requirements and the system is developed incrementally.   

Where you have a candidate application (urgent requirement, uncertainty about future size and shape) Recitel can manage rapid implementation, either on-site or via a business process outsourcing solution.

Customers for Interim Systems include:

  • Shell
  • Pearl Assurance
  • 3M

Please contact us at contact@recitel.net 

0845-053-9200

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