LANSA Wins Contract for Application Modernization Software
January 22, 2008 Alex Woodie
A trip to the spring COMMON show last year eventually paid off for Control Systems Software (CSS), a developer of agribusiness software that runs on i5/OS. CSS traveled to Anaheim, California, to help it chart an application modernization strategy, which eventually led to LANSA and its Rapid Application Modernization Process (RAMP) solution.
Based in Urbandale, Iowa, CSS develops software used by American agribusiness, including companies involved in the production of petroleum, grain, feed, and other commodities. The vendor’s main application, called CONTROL, is a fully integrated suite that includes components for point of sale (POS), bulk fuel, inventory, commodities management, financial management, and others.
Over the years, CSS’ customers (which are also owners of the company) have grown accustomed to the standard green-screen interface that’s common to so many i5/OS applications. For people familiar with the 5250 screen, speed and reliability are taken for granted.
While the text-based interface worked well, the lack of a graphical interface was starting to hurt the company, according to Carol Stewart, CEO of CSS. “Our members, of course, are used to the green screen and like it, but newer hires aren’t so ready to agree to that point of view,” Stewart says. “Our companies own us and it is critical to keep them on the leading edge of technology. Because of that, we wanted to modernize, but the dilemma of how to do so was a challenge.”
So CSS set out to find a modernization tool that suited its needs. The management team decided to visit the Spring 2007 COMMON conference in Southern California last May to investigate the potential providers.
Several vendors displaying at COMMON intrigued CSS, including LANSA and its RAMP offering. At that point, CSS decided it would not go with LANSA, but with another vendor.
“However, while meeting with LANSA’s sales rep at our office, we learned several things we had missed in the first demo,” Stewart says. “So we spent more time reviewing the pros and cons of each vendor–a difficult decision–and resolved to go with RAMP from LANSA.”
In the end, modernizing CONTROL with RAMP should provide several benefits, including a higher level of productivity and efficiency for members, and faster development for CSS, Stewart says.