Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) was experiencing significant costs in operating their mainframe processing environment, primarily due to the high costs of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) software. At the time, the company had a single mainframe that handled loads for development, testing, and production processing activities. As the business grew, and more mainframe horsepower was needed to support this growth, the ISV software costs also increased proportionally. This software cost increase was significant and almost 3 times the cost of the actual hardware upgrade. LabCorp needed a solution to reduce the costs of a mainframe upgrade due to business growth.

As Director – Development Technologies, I was responsible for providing primary leadership to negotiations and project management for a project to replace ISV software products with IBM offerings. The objective of this project was to save significant costs in future mainframe upgrades by using IBM products to replace as many ISV software products as possible. A further objective was to do this with minimal impact to the organization. The project evaluated each software product running on the mainframe to determine their necessity and benefit to LabCorp’s IT organization. If the software product was purchased from an ISV, further research was done to evaluate any comparable products offered by IBM. Each comparable IBM product was then evaluated against a minimum feature and functionality list and evaluated for performance.

At the end of this project the majority of ISV software products were replaced by IBM products. This allowed a large, multi-year ELA to be negotiated with IBM that included a stepped approach to future mainframe growth. As a result of this ELA, LabCorp saved over $12 million over a 5 year period in software upgrade costs.