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Express Newspapers eliminates mainframe costs of £830,000 with Micro Focus and MSS

  • 14 November, 2005 12:11

<p>Micro Focus® (LSE: MCRO) today announced that Express Newspapers has successfully migrated a critical legacy application from a proprietary mainframe environment to the Microsoft® Windows® platform. The migration was completed in partnership with migration specialist MSS International and has enabled Express Newspapers to eliminate annual mainframe costs of £830,000, increase systems performance and free up IT staff resources.</p>
<p>The migration has seen Micro Focus and MSS International partner to move Express Newspapers’ critical Pre-Press Control System to a Microsoft® Windows® platform. The Pre-Press Control System is a key application that must be available 24x7x365. The system looks after all of Express Newspapers’ production needs, controlling the way in which the newspaper is produced. Without this system, Express Newspapers would be unable to get the news to its 3.4 million customers, and its printing presses would grind to a halt.</p>
<p>Whilst the Pre-Press Control System resided on a mainframe, many of the databases that were also previously located on the same mainframe system (e.g., pensions, payroll, advertising, circulation systems) had either already been outsourced or previously migrated to other platforms such as Sun Solaris or Microsoft Windows, making the existing mainframe an expensive option to maintain. After an internal consultation, Express Newspapers decided that the Micro Focus Lift and Shift™ approach to mainframe migration to port the existing applications to Windows was the best option available.</p>
<p>Using the services of MSS International, Express Newspapers has migrated from proprietary Unisys hardware and software, COBOL and a hierarchical database system to HP/Intel Xeon hardware running Microsoft Windows with Microsoft SQL Server for data access, MSS technology as middleware and Micro Focus Studio and Server, which provides a high level of reuse of the existing COBOL business logic.</p>
<p>“This is really an impressive migration - the cost savings we have experienced since migrating off the mainframe have been exceptional,” says Simon Cohen, development manager, Express Newspapers. “We have gone from a mainframe costing hundreds of thousands of pounds and taking up a huge slice of space in a dedicated computer room, to potentially running the same system on a laptop from the comfort of your home. Efficiency of the system has improved threefold and IT staff resources have been freed up to focus on other projects. With the benefits that we have already achieved, the decision to migrate with MSS and Micro Focus really was a no-brainer.”</p>
<p>“Working with Micro Focus enabled the migration to run very smoothly. The process has enabled Express Newspapers to leverage existing business logic and transfer operations to a new platform quickly and safely. More importantly, the automated migration approach meant that Express Newspapers had to use very few internal resources to accomplish this task, which is a tremendous benefit,” says Maurice Shnaps, CEO of MSS.</p>
<p>“We are delighted to be partnering with MSS to help leading publishers like Express Newspapers get the news to their customers on time and more cost effectively,” says Mike Gilbert, vice president of worldwide marketing at Micro Focus. “Once again our ‘Lift and Shift’ approach to modernizing legacy has proved beneficial to a major organization, delivering reduced costs, greater performance and increased agility.”</p>
<p>About MSS International</p>
<p>Founded in 1978, MSS provides a spectrum of services in migrations, and in the improvement of effectiveness of established infrastructures. As organisations mature, merge and add new functions, their IT platforms become more complex and more costly. MSS has an enviable reputation for completing complex projects on time and within budget.
For more information, visit</p>
<p>Micro Focus - Unlocking the Value of Legacy™</p>
<p>Micro Focus is a leading provider of legacy development and deployment software for enterprise platforms. Micro Focus enables organizations to reduce costs and increase agility with minimal risk by reusing their legacy applications with contemporary architectures and Web services. Founded in 1976, Micro Focus is a global company with principal offices in the United Kingdom, United States and Japan. For more information, visit</p>

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