Over the years, Mapador’s technology has been used for a variety of client needs. While the software is generally utilized to implement an IT Application Portfolio Management solution, its power also rests in its flexible application to very specific business needs. A few sample project descriptions are listed below.
CASE #1 Overview:
Mapador’s technology is used to create a centralized, easy-to-access repository of a major Pension Fund Administrator’s IT assets, providing quick in-house application understanding for an externally developed application.
Technical Platform: Documentation: Word, Visio, Excel, Source Code: PowerBuilder, Oracle, C, C++, Scripts, Java Infrastructure.
The Scenario: This large pension fund company took delivery of its mission critical, core application after a long and involved development project by a well-known organization. The problem is, in-house knowledge of the system is non-existent. The documentation, while fairly new, is already outdated. How are they going to maintain and expand this system? Furthermore, each new release / implementation of the client’s systems requires thorough and extensive impact analysis, at the requirements gathering, design and development stages. In order to effectively perform this analysis, the Client recognized the need for an analysis environment that can capture the “current state” of documents, application objects and their relationships as well as address the following needs:
• Integrated repository of the different objects comprising the current production environment and their interrelationship
• The repository must be automatically updated (or refreshed) to reflect changes in the objects and their relationships
• Online access, for both business and IT users, to the repository and a user friendly interface to its contents
• Printable “dependency” reports from the analysis environment
• Be able to perform basic impact analysis (i.e. if I change object ABC, what is the impact to XYZ?)
• A single environment for all technology platforms
The Client’s existing documentation framework provides a blueprint for creating and maintaining a central repository of the entire IT asset portfolio. Mapador’s technology implementation sits on top of other initiatives such as Knowledge Management, by connecting those with other areas of the IT organization.
The ultimate success of individual initiatives such as Document Management and Application Mining initiatives will depend on how well these areas connect to each other. Having a solid document management process by itself will not answer the questions: how do my documents relate to what I have? – Or, which documents contain relevant information?
The Solution: With Mapador’s technology, detailed, dry knowledge automatically extracted from the code and documentation is summarized in generated diagrams and pictures of the system, providing an easy-to-understand, living picture of the application. In fact, the repository becomes a continuously up-to-date knowledge base of all source code (PowerBuilder, J2EE, Oracle based), documentation (Business Objects, Word, Excel, Visio, etc.) and infrastructure (hardware, logs, etc), all linked to one another. Finding out relationship information, impacts, etc. is just a couple of clicks away, any time.
We also organize and deliver highly successful seminars and lunch & learn sessions to promote the effective usage of the repository. Within weeks, knowledge of the system becomes apparent throughout the floor. Enhancement requests take 40% less time to do – and not just by a selected few – but all! By the way, the project got nominated for CIO Magazine’s ITX Excellence Award, given to the most innovative and beneficial IT solution.
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CASE #2 Overview:
Mapador’s technology is first used to organize systems documentation, then expanded to include cross-platform applications spanning across several IT groups, written in various languages, including in-house developed, unique code.
Technical Platform: Documentation: Word, DCF, Visio, PowerPoint, Source Code: COBOL, JCL, JCL PROCs, Link Cards, CICS, SAS, Eztrieve, PL/1, C++, Perl, Shell Scripts, CA-GEN, DB2, IMS, MS Access, Assembler, CA7, Netron Cap, VB, GDF.
The Scenario: A major bank identifies the state of its business systems documentation as a significant contributor to cost overruns. The original documentation is now almost two decades old. Over the years, changes to the documentation have been piled on; ‘changes to the changes’ have created a web of documentation that reside in paper format, DCF, WordPerfect and Word. To design new system features, each project must dig through this information. In fact, only a few ‘work-magnets’ know how to even start. As a result, the analysis phase of each project is a long, costly exercise and QA and Testing phases are left to overcome issues missed during analysis. The bank hires a summer student to look at its documentation. She spends four months just to find and index documentation relevant to one of the 299 workflows this business unit uses. Hands are in the air – to identify and organize all 299 workflow documentation would require 100 person-years to do! And, as soon as the first one is done, it would be outdated as changes constantly occur.
The Solution: First, we deliver a proof of concept to deal with the immediate business issue at hand. In four weeks, we collect, organize and hyperlink 32 of the workflows. Simultaneously, the bank creates a benchmark to show that using the repository for its documents would save a conservatively estimated 17% of project costs, defining an ROI of less than four months. In the following four months, we implement all remaining workflows and hook Mapador’s technology into MicroSoft SharePoint Portal to increase the value of both investments. We also define and implement the automatic refresh of the repository, keeping documents organized and current dynamically.
In subsequent phases, Mapador’s technology is used to load various applications into the repository, accomplishing a true IT Portfolio Management portal for all to use.
Mapador’s technology is used to carry out Mass System Change – from analysis to implementation.
Technical Platform: Source Code: COBOL, PL/1, Assembler, JCL, JCL PROCs CICS, DB2, IMS, SAS, VB.
The Scenario: A major life insurance company faces an impending breakdown of its systems: within a few short months, the systems will become unable to support the dramatically increased sale of funds. The task involves expanding the processing capabilities of an estimated 3 million lines of code across a variety of platforms. The project must be completed within eight weeks. Mission impossible? Many think so, including a half a dozen other vendors.
The Solution: Based on Mapador’s technology, along with a perfect combination of skilled analysts and methodology and solid management processes, we propose, present, answer every conceivable question, and…win the assignment. We plan, organize and launch the project within a few days. We don’t send five “consultants” on site to figure things out. We already know what to do. After a thorough Inventory, the repository is set up by the end of the week. Customized reports are generated pin-pointing exact areas where the code must change. Trained and skilled programmers immediately begin to work following a well-defined and proven process. Within 5 weeks the entire application portfolio is modified and unit-tested. Along the way, we also help the client to identify alternate solutions to maximize cost-effectiveness, as well as point out obsolete, unused and misused code. With Mapador’s technology, we have a clear and precise understanding of all relationships and intricacies of the systems: suggesting improvements becomes easy. We document all our findings in detail, create summary reports, executive overviews and implement the fully tested code base on the original target date. Mission accomplished.
At the post-implementation review, the client stated: ‘The assessment, analysis, modification and implementation of the entire changed code base was faster than other vendors would spend negotiating page 1 of their contract’.