It’s business as usual during COVID-19 for this government agency.

As the largest U.S. municipal public employee retirement system, one agency has substantial technology needs all year long, let alone during a pandemic. The agency assists more than 350,000 workers from both civilian and uniformed vocations, administers pension benefits, and offers a variety of financial and retirement planning services. When the coronavirus emerged, many of the city’s citizens counted on this agency to continue running smoothly.

Given that, there is little room for error in the agency’s aging IT infrastructure. Their systems issue approximately 50,000 loans and process thousands of refunds and buy-back applications each year. At the same time, they must verify retirement allowances and ensure all payments are correct and timely. It’s a demanding workload for any system.

The Challenge

Interestingly, at the core of this operation, a mainframe-based pension system built in the 1980s runs the show. This system stores mission-critical data like members’ personal information and pension figures. When the agency adopted modern applications to increase efficiency, there was simply no way to connect the apps to the system of record on the mainframe. Despite being extremely stable and reliable, legacy systems were never designed to interact with external systems or modern applications, making simple transactions outside of the mainframe very complicated and time consuming.

The Solution

As the need to increase efficiency grew, exposing their mainframe posed a significant challenge to the agency’s ability to architect a meaningful IT enterprise. Instead of trying to build an integration themselves, they needed an efficient solution that offered real-time access to the mainframe using modern APIs. They chose GT Software’s Ivory to make it happen.

Using ViaSQL, a GT Software companion product, the agency can now issue real-time queries to instantly retrieve mainframe data. They can also integrate queries via RESTful APIs used by their front-end applications and business intelligence (BI) tools. For such a large organization, integrating the mainframe with these BI tools is critical to understanding and managing their day-to-day operations and increasing overall efficiency.

Using GT Software, the agency can now leverage their legacy systems to:
• Pull data from the mainframe in support of real-time analytics
• Build interfaces to distributed and cloud-based applications
• Integrate with modern systems, such as Salesforce, to enhance client services

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