Speedware, a provider of legacy management and IT modernization solutions, today announced that it has signed an agreement with COBOL-IT to distribute COBOL-IT’s enterprise class open source COBOL in the North American market and to provide North American based support to COBOL-IT users. According to the terms of the agreement, Speedware will be the latest North American sales and support center, providing 24/7 technical support, re-hosting/system integration services, and training.

Stéphane Croce, president of COBOL-IT, said “Sites with COBOL applications on Linux, Unix and Windows platforms are beset with declining support quality and steadily rising support costs. COBOL-IT reverses that, providing high quality support through our network of technical hubs on a low cost, open source model. Mainframe COBOL users can rehost their workloads to mainframe Linux, or to non-mainframe platforms, and still enjoy enterprise class support.”

According to various estimates, COBOL remains the language of over 60% of the programs used daily by enterprises around the world.  Mainframe sites in particular have the highest cost structures and the largest collections of COBOL programs. These sites can benefit the most from the professional tools that will allow them to access the cost savings available to users of open systems and open source products.

More and more organizations are opting for non-proprietary but professionally supported open source technologies such as Linux and MySQL. Open source has proven itself as a viable strategy to reduce and contain operational costs, and to avoid being locked in to one vendor. An open source solution for COBOL workloads allows sites to take advantage of the open systems world without having to pay premium prices for proprietary COBOL compilers.

“Mainframe sites need robust re-hosting solutions to securely move their workloads to other platforms” said Don Estes, COBOL-IT Regional Director for USA/Canada. “Drawing on our ecosystem of legacy modernization partners, COBOL-IT provides the technology for an integrated solution to a wide variety of complex modernization challenges, including requirements for both COBOL and languages other than COBOL.

“Speedware is a natural partner for us with their modernization expertise, SCP-certified support organization, and impressive history of successful projects. Speedware and COBOL-IT together can secure the bottom line advantages of open systems and open source for our North American customers.  We welcome them as our newest technical hub.”

Speedware provides complete rehosting as well as more complex modernization solutions that resolve the cost and agility issues facing organizations operating on legacy platforms, including mainframes. These organizations have programs written in many languages, but most commonly COBOL. Speedware’s solutions replace aging computing platforms with more agile and flexible infrastructure, and transform older, legacy computing languages to modern technologies. Open source COBOL can now be offered as a viable option for many customers interested in legacy re-hosting and modernization. Successful legacy modernization projects can result in technology consolidation and simplification, increased business agility and lower operational costs.

“We are excited by our new partnership with COBOL-IT,” said Andy Kulakowski, President of Speedware. “By offering our legacy customers the option of moving to open source COBOL, we give them the opportunity to substantially save on licensing costs while still benefiting from enterprise grade support and services. COBOL-IT is to COBOL what Red Hat is to Linux, and we are proud to be North American distributors.”