Miroglio Group wanted to cut IT operating costs, improve management and enhance user experience, while preserving the integrity of its existing COBOL environment.
The fashion group re-hosted its mainframe applications with Application Modernisation Services, using software tools to help manage the migration and run the new environment.
“At Miroglio Group, we consider NTT DATA a reliable and trustworthy partner. We really appreciate the direct relationship model and wide references in the field”.
Established in 1947, Miroglio Group is a textile and fashion organisation with more than 1,300 branded stores across Italy and the rest of the world. In the women’s fashion sector, the group designs, produces and distributes the collections of 11 brands. It has a distribution network of single-brand stores, 5,000 multibrand clients and a significant presence in leading department stores. In the textile sector, it develops fabrics, yarns, transfer paper and technical film. It leads the European market in textile printing.
Miroglio Group’s IT infrastructure was based on IBM running the firm’s own COBOL software platform. In a drive to convert capital expenditure (capex) to operational expenditure (opex), it had outsourced all IT services in 2010, but found this setup to be expensive and inflexible, with any expansion incurring significant costs. The group decided that it had to reduce IT spend while improving both IT management processes and user efficiency. At the same time, Miroglio Group had to preserve business continuity as well as all the data it held within the COBOL programming environment.
Miroglio Group already had a shortlist of IT providers. It was NTT DATA’s impeccable presales support that set it apart and convinced Miroglio Group that it had found a trusted long term partner. Luciano Manini, Chief Technology Officer at Miroglio Group, explains: “Their staff made several visits to our office, providing proof of concepts, fine-tuning the specifications set and taking the time to clearly understand our needs”. Miroglio Group’s IT team also valued NTT DATA’s global reputation as a trusted partner. “At Miroglio Group, we consider NTT DATA a reliable and trustworthy partner. We really appreciate the direct relationship model and wide references in the field”, says Manini.
In a cost containment initiative, any opportunity to reduce outlay is important. NTT DATA’s was the most cost-effective solution on offer, but it didn’t compromise on quality. Manini explains how getting the balance between price and performance was easily resolved: “NTT DATA’s offering was one of the most price competitive we came across, but that wasn’t the only reason we found it compelling: we also received more features and a high quality solution”. The company opted for a re-hosting solution from Application Modernisation Services by NTT DATA consisting of Enterprise COBOL with NTT DATA Services Transaction Processing Environment (TPE) software, Batch Processing Environment (BPE) software and Toad.
With the re-hosting solution, Miroglio Group was able to preserve its existing IT infrastructure, including the COBOL operating system, reducing the costs and hassle associated with a rip and replace.
Using NTT DATA TPE software, the firm can run and update mainframe applications and data on cost-effective, industry-standard systems. The software is designed to protect proven application investments. BPE software quickly migrates valuable batch applications to open systems without excessive code change or complex integration requirements. With NTT DATA Enterprise COBOL, Miroglio Group can continue to deploy its business-critical COBOL applications.
“NTT DATA has allowed us to protect our previous IT investments. By reusing hardware we’re truly making the most of our budget and existing staff expertise, so everyone’s happy. Plus, re-hosting is more predictable, helping us avoid issues in future, comments Manini. “They also provided extensive training services to IT staff, both on the job and in seminars, so we feel well equipped”.
In an ideal world, an IT implementation is fast, avoids problems and the new solution is quickly adopted by staff. Miroglio Group was satisfied that it ticked every box because no system reengineering was required. “NTT DATA enabled us to complete our project in extremely short time frames”, explains Manini.
“If we had needed a new system, the implementation times would have been much longer. It would have put the entire project in jeopardy. The NTT DATA solution was rolled out globally in less than one month”.
A period of planned downtime took place over one weekend. As a result, users didn’t even notice the implementation, and company productivity remained unaffected. Manini says: “Users have exactly the same experience, with the same functions, interfaces and colours. As a result, no end-user training was needed, which contributed to significant time and cost savings”.
Miroglio Group is well on its way to meeting – and even exceeding – its cost reduction targets. “Our calculations show that we’ll halve our IT costs over five years”, says Manini. “This figure takes services, hardware, software licences and engineering costs into account”. Moreover, Miroglio Group is now more efficient at managing load peaks and can avoid significant extra outsourcing costs. The cost for outsourcing at peak capacity is as much as four times higher than normal.
With its NTT DATA solution, Miroglio Group has the tools it needs for the ongoing migration of its mainframe infrastructure. It is on its way to less expensive, more flexible solutions based on open standards. The company is planning to complete the migration from a closed mainframe infrastructure within the next two years. “We expect the migration to go smoothly, and that’s all thanks to NTT DATA”, says Manini.*
*This case study was originally written by Dell Services, which has become NTT DATA Services as of November 2016.