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Case Studies

IBM i Cloud Solutions Creates Efficiencies in UK Data Centre

Transcontinental Advanced Coatings transitioned from a 1997 AS/400 system over to a cloud-hosted IBM i environment, with minimal disruption

Legacy hardware and operating systems are supported by Service Express, as well as new ones. We have transitioned many IBM AS/400 and iSeries workloads onto the modern IBM Power platform.

This specialist manufacturer, renowned for its precision coating technologies, recognised there was an increased risk in continuing to use their platform and that it would become unsustainable.

Through our expertise, they moved from an outdated and slow OS/400 v3r2 CISC system to fully supported, stable hardware at v7 in Service Express’ IBM i cloud.

Moving on from hardware established over three decades ago posed a series of challenges.

The AS/400 system was business-critical, running the manufacturing around the clock, seven days a week. Several issues had to be overcome to make the transition a success:

  • Moving from such an old OS meant a “stop-gap” transition to a stable version before proceeding to the current release
  • The UK arm split from the business to become a single entity, which meant a delay in the migration project
  • Intense planning and testing phases were required to maintain critical business continuity across the applications
  • The need to align with the manufacturer’s ERP roadmap

Industry:
Manufacturing

Location:
Wrexham, UK

“The overall performance is just multiplied by a factor of several hundreds, if not thousands.”

– Neville Taylor, UK IT Manager, Transcontinental Advanced Coatings

The Service Express advantage

Complete comprehensive solution for migration, hardware support, Disaster Recovery (DR), hosting and monitoring

In the process of a long-awaited transition to the cloud, Service Express created significant improvements for Transcontinental’s platform:

  • Speed – end users can now compile reports in under 2 minutes, compared to waiting up to 40 minutes when working on the AS/400 hardware
  • Physical tape is obsolete, replaced with virtual tape libraries, which enables a full system DR restore in a matter of hours
  • Daily hardware monitoring is taken on by Service Express, allowing the manufacturer’s IT staff to focus on areas of productivity
  • An increase of backup strategies has helped to reduce waiting times substantially
  • The manufacturer is now planning to add new features that could not be installed on the previous hardware

The outcome

Moving to a modern cloud-hosted platform has brought productivity to new heights.

For many years, Transcontinental relied on our aptitude in hardware maintenance to ensure that their legacy system served its purpose. Now our world-class cloud services have created many new opportunities.

“We’ve had a long relationship with Service Express in terms of hardware support. They’ve always been able to extend the life of our products. The engineers that come to our site have always been knowledgeable and whenever we’ve had a problem they’ve always managed to deliver, give us a solution and get us up and running quickly.”

– Neville Taylor, UK IT Manager, Transcontinental Advanced Coatings

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