Founded 100 years ago, P&V is Belgium's sixth largest insurance group. It distributes insurance products through a network of approximately 300 independent agents.
To remotely access the portfolio of P&V's CICS applications (CRM, policy, rating, marketing, etc), agents had to use dedicated workstations leased from and supported by P&V.
The workstations came with IBM PCOMM 3270 terminal emulation software preinstalled on top of highly reputable but expensive hardware. The agents complained that leasing P&V's
dedicated workstations was excessively expensive compared to purchasing generic workstations. And they didn't like being restricted from using the leased workstations for anything
else than connecting to P&V applications. It was becoming critical for P&V to find a more flexible and less expensive access solution for its agents, a solution that would be both
secure and stable.
After evaluating several solutions, P&V concluded that the solution that best met their requirements was SysperTec's Virtel Web Access, because it offered:
- Secure access to CICS applications from any web browser
- Nothing to install on client workstations: no applet, Java, or plug-in
- No intermediate server: nothing to deploy outside the mainframe
- Competitive pricing
- Simple and fast implementation
P&V initially left the "green screen" presentation and navigation unchanged to avoid changing the application user experience.
SysperTec replaced several automated functions that were activated with PF keys in the previous emulation solution by equivalent Virtel scenarios, and modified Virtel to
support a few TSO-specific features.
Virtel was then installed on the z/OS platform with the help of P&V's z/OS systems programmer, network engineer, and IT security manager. No training was required. Validating
the solution took only one month and proved instantly conclusive.
"As stated in the documentation, it took less than two hours to install Virtel Web Access. And we only had to provide an URL with signature-secured
access to our end-users."
Mark SCHEERS, Account Manager at P&V Assurances
Very satisfied with the results of Virtel Web Access, P&V quickly switched its 300 independent agents to the new web access solution.
P&V's on-call application support staff started using the new solution to access CICS and TSO applications from anywhere using any web-enabled device.
Having eliminated the leased workstations, 3270 emulation, and VPN has allowed P&V and its agents to drastically reduce the application access TCO.
Today P&V is preparing to use Virtel to:
- Access the host and its applications from mobile devices
- Convert the legacy CICS application screens to user-friendly web pages (GUI)