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In 2013 I was tasked with finding modernization solutions for some of our core line-of-business systems. One of those systems was a short-term insurance administration system based on Microsoft Visual Basic 6 (VB6). It’s important to highlight that before I came across GM, I had already spent a significant amount of effort evaluating service providers who at the time were regarded as the VB6 migration “usual suspects”—leaving me disappointed at what I regarded as being a surprisingly low standard of offering.

Upon making their acquaintance, I realised that George and Mark maintained the high standards necessary for the sort of fundamental change to a core system which we were considering taking on. A key requirement from our side was that the architecture of the migration solution be inherently automated, end-to-end. The need for automation was in anticipation of the unavoidable requirement for the painless rolling of ongoing BAU-related system changes into the migrated product. GM’s scientific approach and suite of tools are specifically designed to accommodate this reality of any migration effort—a breath of fresh air compared to the difficult-to-scale “software sweat shop” style proposed by other solution providers.

Through the duration of the migration project, GM demonstrated a consistently high standard of product and service, and towards the end of 2014, the migration was completed and signed-off against an agreed-upon suite of acceptance tests.

Around the middle of 2015, in an attempt to revive the migration of another legacy core system, I reached out to GM to assist us with a COBOL to C# migration effort. George and his colleagues rallied to help us with the very challenging prospect of migrating a decades-old pension administration system running in a niche operating environment (HP OpenVMS) to Windows, .NET and C#. Unsurprisingly, GM delivered in record time—producing, as a proof of concept, an entirely C#, Windows-console-based equivalent of one of our terminal-driven HP COBOL programs within three months! Unfortunately, we were unable to convert this effort into a full-scale project due to changes in priority brought on by, amongst other things, an unavoidable internal restructuring initiative.

I am happy to recommend Great Migrations to anyone seeking to modernize an existing legacy system with a view to doing so in a considered, low-risk and sustainable manner. GM’s comprehensive approach, informed by years of academic and professional experience, together with a philosophy of no compromise when it comes to quality has made me completely confident in their ability to deliver, irrespective of the complexities involved.

Eric Smith
Solutions Architect, Alexander Forbes Group and Technology Services