KMR Taps looksoftware to Modernize i5/OS Apps
March 27, 2007 Alex Woodie
KMR Systems is a Long Island, New York, company that has been providing consulting and application solutions for the IBM midrange market since 1982. The company develops a series of solutions for various industries, including a benefit funds system, a union management system for labor unions, a claims processing system, and a pension system, among others.
Recently, the company has realized a need to modernize its system with modern interfaces, better integration to Microsoft Office, support for Web services, and better integration with third-party products, such as SQL Server.
KMR analyzed the competing offerings for two years before settling on look software and its suite of modernization tools and runtime products, including soarchitect, mobileclient, smartclient, and lookdirect.
Within three weeks, the company was able to develop a pilot product that delivered new interfaces covering 75 percent of its benefits system, including a browser-based GUI using thinclient, a Windows-based interface with smartclient, a portable interface for PDAs with mobileclient, elimination of 5250 OLTP, integration with Office, and support for two-way Web Services.
That initial pilot project impressed KMR, and the company is committed to modernizing the rest of its products. Company officials think they can finish the transformation in just two months, a length of time that would normally be unfathomably ambitious. However, on April 1, the company is expected to take delivery of one Trevor Perry, former developer for looksoftware and Clear Technologies and highly decorated COMMON speaker, who has taken a position at KMR.
Michael Galligan, president and CEO of KMR, says the modernization gives KMR a competitive edge. “I’m comfortable we can compete and win against any platform,” he says. “Lookdirect means our applications can leverage the Power5 System i Standard Edition, reducing total solution cost. We have maintained the high level of functionality and robustness that has driven our success to-date, but now we also support the latest technologies. Our sales team can be more aggressive in pursuing the large industry sector we serve. Our current outlook anticipates significant growth in all aspects of our business.”
Marcus Dee, CEO of Australia-based looksoftware, says that while KMR’s solutions are unique, what it’s done with the looksoftware tools are not. “Like many of our application partners, they need to deliver new capabilities that reuse this existing code, quickly and easily,” he says. “The need for rich, thin and mobile GUIs and easier integration is immediate. They understand web services and SOA is their future and we can get them there without them having to change their RPG code.”