Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taking root; modernization in practice!

After several blog postings of late discussing modernization of NonStop and the applicability of Client Server Link (CSL) in helping the process, it is good to discuss a real world example. In this post I look at what was done at Intesa Sanpaolo Card where CSL was used to modernize BASE24!

In the weeks leading up to the 2010 NonStop Symposium I published a post to Real Time View “Still clinging to the sides?” that started with observations about my time spent crisscrossing the Alps. From Switzerland down to northern Italy and to its famous lakes, then a drive west to pick up more mountain passes in France before returning through France to Switzerland and onto Germany. I had been mixing business with vacation and my guest really wanted to experience firsthand some of the more famous passages over the Alps, and in one day we traversed three separate summits!

Unfortunately we were well to the west of where I would have liked to go and as viewers of the popular TV show, Top Gear, will attest the pass that has proven most popular of all is Italy’s Stelvio Pass, the second highest in all of Europe, and then heading further east you cross into the Dolomites proper before entering Slovenia, with some of the most amazing roads of the modern era. However, the trip we took last year had as its objective our arrival at the Nürburgring, this was just too many passes, too far away!

I have attended many European BASE24 User Group (EBUG) meetings over the years and I have always recalled the active participation by folks from Slovenia. I have long forgotten the names of those present but I do recall the enthusiasm that they had for BASE24 and for the NonStop Server platform. And I do recall how interested they were to absorb everything they could from those present from other parts of Europe as well as from America. Yes, Slovenia is a place I surely must visit and if I can find the time during my next trip to Italy, I am going to head to Slovenia and nearby Croatia and take a look for myself.

The post I referenced in the introduction began with “we are on the threshold of big ‘firsts’ as we head towards deploying hybrids, clouds, services and other mostly ‘meshed’ technologies that are required to break down silos.” A little later I make the connection between NonStop and other technologies “halo products” and observed how “the modern NonStop server, utilizing blades packaging, likewise retains its status as a halo product.” I then began another thought by suggesting “with so much focus on modernization as we drive to greater innovation” essentially intimating of how many users today are really taking modernization very seriously.

In presentations I have made of late I continue to emphasize how modernization is a journey where the destination appears only when we have successfully turned data into information, leveraged the information for greater productivity, and freed resources to innovate! But who is actually doing this and how widespread is this modernization pursuit? Imagine my surprise then when I found in my inbox a case study on Intesa Sanpaolo Card, out of Croatia, who had chosen Client Server Link (CSL) from comForte to modernize their implementation of BASE24 Classic.

While I am not going to revisit all that the case study addresses, I will include a link to where it can be found: http://www.comforte.com/news/intesa-sanpaolo-card/ and I will cover one particular aspect of their pursuit, that I believe is of particular value to the NonStop community. When it came to the card payment processor’s requirements, they recognized that “to boost efficiency and agility, while leveraging its BASE24 investments, the IT organization within Intesa Sanpaolo Card embarked on an initiative that would enable them to deliver access to BASE24 capabilities through a single, intuitive, Web-based interface.”

In other word, pretty much any client device equipped with a browser, could access critical applications running on their servers, including those on the NonStop Server platform. The very essence of what many corporations equate today with modernization as even mobile devices now come equipped with browsers. “The IT team was tasked with developing new applications for clients and for developing and maintaining applications for the NonStop platform,” a situation well understood by nearly every IT manager where NonStop Servers are present.

Taking advantage of the skills and services on offer from comForte, Intesa Sanpaolo Card deployed CSL and met these requirements and today it has a well-integrated, clearly as modern as it gets, NonStop Server and solutions. I have covered CSL in several posts of the past and it’s always good to actually provide commentary on a company who has successfully taken advantage of the technology and who is pleased enough with the results to publically endorse what CSL provided. In the months to come I will be looking for more success stories in support of CSL – to date, more than two dozen major corporations have already experienced a similar result so it has definitely taken root and begun to flourish!

I may make it to Slovenia and Croatia when I am next in that part of Europe; perhaps later in the year. And I will make every effort to use an ATM supported by Intesa Sanpaolo Card, and support the company utilizing CSL. After all, I may not get to drive through the mountain passes I would so much like to do, but I will be able to at least help drive additional transactions!

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