IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 24

company evolved, it recognized this overhead—including supporting the branch-office infrastructure—wasn’t cost effective. In the early 2000s, the company converted its network of local agents into independent agents. They’re now paid based on performance and work out of their own locations. Initially, P&V continued to provide the IT assets the independent agents needed, including computers and network support to ensure agents would still have reliable and VPN-secured access to the mainframe and its core applications. Within a few years, the agents were asked to contribute to the cost of supporting this infrastructure. This decision caused other issues. For example, P&V favored professionalgrade laptops over less expensive offerings. This prompted some agents to wonder why they were paying 1,000 Euros for a P&V-supported system when they could buy their own for only 500 Euros. The difference, of course, was that P&V was willing to maintain the higher-cost systems, but not the cheaper ones. As Scheers explains, “That was a value add. If one of the laptops we supplied went on the fritz for whatever reason, we’d send someone out to replace it the next day. If they bought their own laptops and something happened, they were on their own.”

Customer: P&V Assurances Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium Business: Insurance provider Challenge: Allowing its independent insurance agents to use non-controlled computers to access the mainframe Solution: Using SysperTec’s VIRTEL Web Access solution to provide secure over-theInternet access with a graphical front end Hardware: IBM System z10 Business Class server Software: VIRTEL Web Access from SysperTec

Adding It Up Whichever the case—expensive or not—all of the agents’ systems were tied to the P&V network for security reasons. The agents used their laptops to access the mainframe-based applications, but if they wanted to use those laptops to surf the Internet, they would have to go through the P&V network. Because that access was behind the P&V firewall, some sites the agents wanted to visit were restricted or blocked due to company policy. “They couldn’t go everywhere they wanted to, so some of them started asking, ‘Why do I need one laptop to do

business with P&V but then have to use another if I want to do something else? Why can’t I combine everything within the same system?’” Scheers recalls. “Of course, we couldn’t permit that for security reasons.” Discussions related to the agents’ concerns began, and P&V had to decide whether to keep the status quo, or allow agents to purchase their own laptops at lower prices and run whichever operating system they chose. The latter route required a Web-based interface that would allow agents to securely access the mainframe applications without being tied to the P&V network. Ultimately, P&V decided it would indeed be more efficient and cost effective to allow the agents to choose their own systems. “Because the agents are mobile and visiting customer sites, their laptops were taking a bit of abuse, and there were a lot of maintenance and support issues related to this. The only large issue remaining was how to give the agents access to the company’s mainframe applications on non-controlled workstations without having to install anything on the client side—without having to worry about security issues.

A Great Help In late 2009 the company began looking for possible solutions. One was somewhat viable but still required a piece of client software and only supported Windows. And as Scheers rightly points out, that would have defeated the purpose of allowing the agents to purchase their own laptops. “When we tell them it’s their choice, it should truly be their choice—and not a choice as long as it’s between HP or Dell. They should also be able to choose a Mac if they want. The only thing we require is that they have an Internet connection,” Scheers says. With that in mind, the company came across SysperTec’s VIRTEL Web Access solution. Unlike the other application P&V had considered, it doesn’t require client-side modifications and it’s platform agnostic. And just as—or perhaps more—importantly, it doesn’t require any changes to the back-end applications. VIRTEL Web Access simply translates the 3270-mainframe screens to a graphical interface on the fly. In February 2010, P&V began implementing the SysperTec solution, with a one-month trial period. Based on

24

M AY/J U N E 2 011

ibmsystemsmag.com/mainframe



IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011
Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: Before Smartphone Applications
Data Display: Who Are You?
Insider: Minimize the Impact of Failures With Restartable Batch Applications
Focus on Storage: ProtecTIER Deduplication Saves More Data on Less Disk
Case Study: P&V Assurances Reduces Technology Costs Via VPN-Free Access
Build a Solid Foundation: The zEnterprise Delivers Value as the Cornerstone for Business Applications
Leveling the Playing Field: IBM Rational Software Advances Mainframe Development
Developer: EGL is the Ultimate for Multiplatform Programming
Solutions
Advertisers’ Index
Stop Run: Meet the 2010 Mainframe Contest Winners
Reference Point
Special Supplement: Innovate 2011
Special Supplement: Services Blueprint: IBM Systems Lab Services and Training
Special Supplement: Mainframe Special Report
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - CA1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - CA2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Editor's Desk: Before Smartphone Applications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Data Display: Who Are You?
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Insider: Minimize the Impact of Failures With Restartable Batch Applications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Focus on Storage: ProtecTIER Deduplication Saves More Data on Less Disk
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Case Study: P&V Assurances Reduces Technology Costs Via VPN-Free Access
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Build a Solid Foundation: The zEnterprise Delivers Value as the Cornerstone for Business Applications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Leveling the Playing Field: IBM Rational Software Advances Mainframe Development
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 32
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Developer: EGL is the Ultimate for Multiplatform Programming
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Advertisers’ Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Stop Run: Meet the 2010 Mainframe Contest Winners
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Reference Point
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - RF2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Special Supplement: Innovate 2011
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Special Supplement: Services Blueprint: IBM Systems Lab Services and Training
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SBCover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB10
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB14
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SBCover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SBCover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Special Supplement: Mainframe Special Report
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR8
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