Selling ‘legacy’ COBOL applications in today and tomorrow’s market

It isn’t news to hear that a CIO’s daily challenge is to balance increasing demand from customers, while meeting boardroom expectations to control costs.  As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), you get it—the task is becoming tougher.

The reality is that your business is to market and sell an application that is written in ‘legacy’ COBOL.   A dependable language known for its strengths of performance, accuracy, reliability and the speed in which it can be learned. Or, let’s be honest, you simply use it because you always have.

Either way, that doesn’t have to change.  Because this older, dependable language is also the ideal platform to take you – and your customers – forward.

The scene for an ISV

As an application provider, you are working in a fiercely competitive industry that offers your customers a growing range of alternative solutions. Technology changes have enabled your rivals to threaten your share of the market. But equally, the design and development advancements in COBOL provide you with enormous opportunity to surpass your competitor.

Modern COBOL is that genuine game changer.  It also happens to be more than 50 years old. So as an ISV, how can you be confident in the future of your application? And how much value does your invested IP really have? Consider this—

  1. The age and language is a non-issue. What counts are the platform and the delivery method. It’s the look and feel of the user interface and the competitive edge it creates. Consider also the cost base, legal compliance, efficiency and the ability to meet the needs and aspirations of your customers – and your ability to lead the market with innovation and agility – that count.
  2. Your IP is that of the highest quality code being able to handle 50-year old applications.  Integrating that longevity with new languages in modern development environments, such as Visual Studio, amounts to extreme value.
  3. COBOL continues to match today’s business needs and is one of the most portable languages around.  A program developed on one machine can, if no machine specific-instructions are included in the code, be run on a Windows, Unix or Linux platform.
  4. There are plenty of positive examples out there to make the case for COBOL. Both Aquilon Software and Spears boosted developer productivity to achieve faster application deployment.
  5. Opening up the channels of two-way communication through initiatives like Developer Days. These UK and US based events represent a great opportunity for us to truly see where your challenges are – an important first step towards refining the tools that will address them.

The vision for your application

Micro Focus has a clear plan for – and proven investment in – our ISVs.  We believe that we are partners united in delivering the right technology for the end user. If we are to help you realize your business goals, it is crucial that we focus on the following areas together:

Effective and Productive Development

  • Modern Integrated Development Environments (IDE) Visual Studio, Eclipse and  the Cloud
  • Cross-language, simple and efficient use of whatever languages the target application currently encompasses or should encompass going forward
  • Achieving the highest productivity levels for developers
  • The availability of a full range of application analysis and understanding tools
  • Creating the highest quality code, both ours and yours, through the growing range of tools in our portfolio
  • Industrializing the development processes to achieve efficiency and quality
  • It takes the highest level of application understanding to enable quick and agile development
  • Remote development, enables the full cycle of development, testing and deployment without the need to travel
  • Ensuring our tools offer a fast learning curve to enable quick results
  • Delivering portability: develop once, deploy anywhere

Godfrey

Supported and Reliable Deployment

We believe that you should be able to run your application on whatever platform the market demands and achieve the same levels of performance, accuracy and reliability whatever platform you choose. In addition, creating compelling new GUIs are important in winning new sales and increasing end-user satisfaction. Achieving mobile access is a key addition to your application and that Cloud and SaaS solutions will enable you to enter new geographies and markets.

Next Steps

Micro Focus can help our application provider partners maximize the lifetime value of their distinctive differentiation to the market. Your client base, requirement s and technological profile will be different to your rivals so engaging with us to discuss your specific requirements is key. And remember – your journey with COBOL is nowhere near over—it’s just about to take off.

Check out our screentest and Visual COBOL trial. We’ll be publishing a new, downloadable asset very soon. It considers COBOL from an ISV viewpoint, assesses its standing today and suitability for tomorrow, both from a marketplace and developer perspective. Finally, we take a look at our vision for COBOL through its next decade.

Can’t wait? Sign up for our value profile service. It’s where we take a look under the hood, check out what you have and see how we can help you get more value from your COBOL applications.

Alexa Rutledge

Account Manager, NA Channel Sales

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1 Comment

  • Great Article! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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