Volume 18, Number 1 -- January 5, 2009

BlueZone Gives Financial Firms Big Discounts on Emulators

Published: January 5, 2009

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

While the biggest financial services firms in America and sometimes Western Europe have been getting all of the headlines with their failures or acquisition by competitors in recent months, there is a far larger number of small banks and credit unions who are just as integral to the global economy and who are hurting as credit is tightening.

Not surprisingly to anyone who has been around the IBM midrange for a few decades, a lot of these smaller financial institutions have used proprietary minis or Unix boxes to run their back office systems for decades. Big banks, brokerages, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, of course, are big users of mainframes and Unix boxes, as well as the occasional proprietary box.

Financial institutions of all sizes are in need of a break these days, and BlueZone Software, the terminal emulation software subsidiary of conglomerate Rocket Software, is giving these customers, who are clearly hurting, a deal. Specifically, BlueZone's deal gives customers using terminal emulation software from its competitors a free upgrade to the latest releases of its emulators and a 50 percent discount on maintenance contracts for the software. To take part in the deal, which you can read about here, a customer has to be able to show BlueZone that they already pay in excess of $25,000 for the maintenance contracts on their terminal emulation software seats. (OK, so this is obviously not for small banks, but then again, BlueZone is offering to cut this cost in half, and will cut deeper for longer-term contracts.) The deal is available to banks, insurance companies, investment firms, mortgage lenders, credit unions, and credit bureaus, and it runs through March 31. As part of the deal, BlueZone is also kicking in evaluation and migration planning services for terminal emulation, since customers usually have a lot of customization in their emulators and the PCs they run on.

"Banks and other financial institutions are really feeling the pain in this economy, and we know that they're cutting back on spending," explains Jeremy Sharp, senior vice president of sales at BlueZone. "At the same time, BlueZone generates real and tangible cost savings for our users, so this is a way for them to improve their bottom line in these difficult times." And, perhaps more importantly, it is a way for BlueZone to get some sales in a difficult financial climate.

BlueZone's eponymous terminal emulation software is a competitor to Rumba, Extra, Reflection, and a bunch of other programs (many of which ended up inside Attachmate or Micro Focus thanks to industry consolidation). The company's emulation software runs on desktops or in Web browsers and accesses IBM mainframes (TN3270), AS/400 and successor machines (TN5250), Unisys mainframes, (T27 & UTS), and Unix servers (VT), and also has a secure FTP program for moving files between servers and PCs.


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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Brian Kelly, Shannon O'Donnell,
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