Glaxo Wellcome uses OfficePath/SMTP to deliver z/OS application data to Microsoft Exchange

Glaxo Wellcome Inc., based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., is one of the nation's leading research-based pharmaceutical firms, employing nearly 10,000 people across the U.S.

For many years the company had been using IBM’s OfficeVision/MVS and DISOSS products for corporate e-mail communications. RAPID and DISOSS were used to "e-mail enable" over 300 batch jobs in order to automatically deliver reports to users' in-boxes. For example a TSO/ISPF based control process for moving mainframe programs into production was e-mail enabled to alert users of successful software implementations. (RAPID is a software product that provides IBM z/OS applications with a simple, control statement interface to IBM's SNADS e-mail systems.)

Strategically, the company was an early adopter of Microsoft's Exchange e-mail system. Today OfficeVision has been decommissioned and there are now 43,000 users on Microsoft Exchange worldwide, distributed across 160 Exchange servers.

Once all users were moved to Exchange the delivery of e-mail from existing mainframe applications became more convoluted. Each message had to be routed to an intermediate e-mail system through SNADS and X.400 gateways on its way to Exchange. "Messages looked crummy, but they got there" explains Jay Brame, Principal Consultant in the Global Architecture and Planning Group.

Moreover this convoluted path was old, unreliable, not Y2K compliant, only partly unsupported and had no obvious upgrade path. "We were faced with having to replace the whole system at a potential cost of over $200,000 in a very finite timeframe" explains Brame.

Glaxo Wellcome turned to TBS Software for a solution. OfficePath/SMTP-Send (OPSS) is a replacement for RAPID and DISOSS that uses industry standard SMTP instead of SNADS to deliver e-mail. With OPSS e-mail travels directly from the company's mainframe system to the Exchange SMTP MTA. In addition OPSS, because it uses the same JCL and control statements as RAPID, is completely transparent to existing applications, a key requirement for Glaxo Wellcome. "Users had developed their own JCL interfaces to RAPID to which we had no access. Therefore we had to ensure no changes were required to existing JCL under the new scheme" said Jay Brame.

"We are very pleased with the final solution and support has been superb" Brame says. Glaxo Wellcome will not only use OPSS for existing e-mail enabled applications but intends to develop new ones. "By standardizing on OfficePath we have a platform to build on. This insulates us from the support issues of using the IBM z/OS delivered SMTP product where an SMTP message has to be built line by line and there are no management tools. OfficePath/SMTP-Send takes away those issues."






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