As calls for digital services continue to grow, UnipolSai Assicurazioni wanted to modernize its IBM® Z® application environment to support innovation, streamline management and boost performance.
UnipolSai Assicurazioni upgraded its compiler solution and optimized its COBOL code, reducing the CPU demands of its mission-critical business applications and facilitating further development.
10% lowerCPU usage on average, boosting performance of core applications
>30,000programs optimized and moved into production in a matter of weeks
Facilitatesthe development of new digital services for customers
Business challenge story
Preparing for change
Digital technology is transforming the way we live, work and do business. The insurance industry is no exception. To meet evolving customer expectations and demands, insurers must be ready and able to innovate.
As a result of a recent merger, leading Italian insurance company UnipolSai Assicurazioni found itself with a second legacy IBM Z environment to manage. Both the existing and inherited application environments consisted mainly of IBM CICS® and IBM Db2® workloads with COBOL code for the business logic.
To unify IT operations, UnipolSai Assicurazioni knew it needed to integrate its two disparate application environments – but set out to go one step further.
“We saw the merger as a great opportunity to consolidate and modernize our backend systems,” says Carlo Romanella, Chief Technical Officer at UnipolSai Assicurazioni. “We wanted to improve the performance of our core business applications and foster innovation by reducing complexity and making it easier for developers to add new features.”
Working with IBM, UnipolSai Assicurazioni set about modernizing its application environment in two stages. First, the company migrated all applications undergoing development to IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS® Version 6.2.
“Upgrading our existing compiler solution to the latest version means that we can take advantage of all the latest features of the IBM Z architecture, including improved hardware utilization and reduced CPU usage,” says Carlo Romanella. “Any applications that are under development benefit from enhanced performance, and we also free up system resources for other workloads.”
Next, UnipolSai Assicurazioni deployed IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS to optimize the performance of the remaining legacy applications. Similarly, IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS enables applications to get the most out of latest-generation IBM Z hardware – but without the need to recompile any code.
“We were delighted to find that we could optimize the performance of legacy applications without having to make any changes to the COBOL logic,” says Fabrizio Marca, Mainframe Department Manager at UnipolSai Assicurazioni. “We thought that the easiest, most efficient approach was to keep the proven logic of our production applications unchanged, and to migrate only new applications that were still in the development phase to the latest compiler version.”
With support from IBM, the insurer was able to optimize more than 30,000 CICS and DB2 COBOL programs and move them into production in just a few weeks. These programs were a mix on both batch and online. “IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS made the process very quick and easy,” recalls Fabrizio Marca.
Boosting performance and innovation
By upgrading to the latest version of IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS and using IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS, UnipolSai Assicurazioni has significantly improved the performance and efficiency of its most critical business applications.
“In particular, IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS enables us to get the maximum value out of our IBM Z platform,” says Carlo Romanella. “It means that even our oldest legacy applications can harness the latest hardware facilities. We have already reduced CPU usage by 10 percent on average, releasing MIPS for other requirements while simultaneously improving application performance.”
Crucially, by consolidating and modernizing its IBM Z application environment, the company has made it easier for development teams to create new value-added services.
“We have reduced the complexity of our application environment, simplifying management and facilitating new development,” concludes Carlo Romanella. “As we continue our drive to adopt new technologies and develop the digital services that customers crave, the IBM Z tools are helping us to innovate and stay ahead of the game.”
Founded in 2014 and based in Bologna, Italy, UnipolSai Assicurazioni is the insurance arm of the Unipol Group, a leading Italian financial services company. UnipolSai Assicurazioni operates across Italy, with over 3,000 agencies and more than 6,000 sub-agencies through which it offers a complete range of insurance solutions to over 10 million customers, including vehicle, health and travel insurance products.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Z solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/systems/z
For more information about IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS, please visit: ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/ibm-cobol/details