The City's reliance on aging IBM mainframe risked catastrophic failure of its mission-critical 911 emergency services computer-aided dispatch system
Rockville, MD, September 8, 2011
The City of Inglewood, CA, and Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L), the leading provider of enterprise application modernization, testing, and management solutions, today announced the successful migration of the City's most mission-critical software system – a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) for 911 emergency services. As a result of moving off a costly and dated IBM mainframe to a Windows server using Micro Focus solutions, the City is saving more than $120,000 each year in maintenance and support fees, while preserving the CAD's 99.99 percent fault resilience. The City of Inglewood chose Micro Focus after assessing several migration solutions, including a $2 million commercial packaged solution.
Effective emergency response requires long-term reliability on and seamless integration across multiple disparate systems including command centers, dispatch servers, and in-car radio systems for police, firefighters, healthcare providers, and government officials. By deploying enterprise application modernization solutions from Micro Focus to migrate their CAD system from DOS/VSE on an IBM mainframe to Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition on a Windows server, the City of Inglewood preserved the CAD's very high resiliency while saving hundreds of thousands per year in maintenance costs.
"The mainframe system was incredibly reliable, fast, and accurate," said Michael D. Falkow, Assistant City Manager and CIO, City of Inglewood. "But it was also incredibly costly, so we knew it was time to seek alternative solutions to host CAD and our emergency dispatch call center."
With more than 250 calls each day, Inglewood's police department receives more emergency service requests than all of its neighboring cities combined. The vital and time-sensitive nature of the CAD system, which transmits information between emergency control centers and patrol units, means that downtime is not an option. As the mainframe which hosted Inglewood's most crucial and sophisticated application aged, Inglewood experienced increasing problems locating replacement parts and resolving technological failures, leaving the CAD system – and the City – at risk.
The CAD system was the last and most critical application to be migrated as outlined in the City's four-year upgrade project. The Micro Focus solution provided the configuration options to support the CAD's unique reliability and security requirements. Inglewood's CAD system now runs on two Windows servers – one for production running Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition and one for development running Micro Focus Studio Enterprise Edition via remote desktop. The minimal ongoing development is implemented against the development Windows server, while the production server connects to around 50 terminals, along with in-car console displays and emergency control center desks.
"The strength of the partnership between Micro Focus and the City of Inglewood helped us overcome significant operational hurdles," continued Falkow. "We knew we couldn't tolerate another failure, and Micro Focus shared our determination in keeping the City of Inglewood citizens safe and secure by ensuring this project was a success."
"As with any city service, constituents expect everything to be 24/7. But it's a whole other level when it comes to a crucial service such as CAD," said Richard Novak, President of Micro Focus, North America. "Downtime is not an option with this system or for the City of Inglewood, and we are pleased that they chose Micro Focus for support in this complex, mission critical migration."
The City of Inglewood looked at several solutions to migrate from the costly mainframe environment, including a costly commercial packaged solution and an intricate code conversion. Ultimately, the Micro Focus offering was able to deliver a seamless and cost-effective transition from the old mainframe while protecting the core functionality of the application.