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Case Study in 5 "W"s: 21st Century Migrates Mainframe with Clerity

The auto carrier walks Insurance & Technology through its effort to consolidate its policy and quoting systems onto a Unix-based platform.

Who: 21st Century Insurance, a Wilmington, Del.-based direct auto writer, wanted to consolidate its application platform and data centers onto a Unix-based platform.

"We had a number of duplicate systems, most notably around policy and quote administration, and there were two technical platforms, Unix-based and mainframe," says John Rosandich, account executive for 21st Century's applications portfolio. "We were looking for a solution where we could take our processes we had on a mainframe and port them onto a Unix-based platform."

What: The insurer reviewed several options before selecting the UniKix Mainframe Rehosting software from Chicago-based Clerity to help it complete the migration. An important aspect of that selection was UniKix's ability to work with the legacy batch programs written in COBOL and CA Easytrieve Plus.

"What we liked about Clerity was their ability to provide an end-to-end solution that allowed us to port directly from the mainframe to the Unix platform," says 21st Century account executive for vendor and contract management Dave Grever.

Where: The mainframe applications 21st Century was migrating mostly comprised batch programs that perform calculations and stat-reporting. The migration had to keep the functionality of the programs intact throughout.

"They were very thorough and astute and knew what they were looking for," says Clerity VP Paul Holland. "They really wanted to avoid any significant change to the application — they wanted a clear path and something that they could continue to maintain and take forward in the way they were used to with that [original] code base."

When: The process began in late 2010 with a two- to three-month RFP process, and took about 10 months following vendor selection.

"The goal was not to bring in new skill sets; it was only to replatform," says Sundher Muthevi, 21st Century's program manager financial systems and applications. "We didn’t want to touch the functionality of the applications. We wanted the same technical teams to be operational and productive from day one."

Why: Migrating these programs was important as it allowed 21st Century to switch off its mainframe and save maintenance costs while improving performance, Rosandich says.

"Part of our objective was to shut down our mainframe system by the end of [2011]," he explains. "For us, having two data centers and duplicate sets of applications didn't make sense."

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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