Calgary firm joins Oracle Modernization Alliance

Calgary-based software migration company CipherSoft is the first Canadian member of Oracle’s new business-generating group, the Oracle Modernization Alliance.

The group is made up of a variety of different solutions providers in the Oracle community that assist companies with migrating their legacy applications to newer technologies, according to Jennifer McNeill, president and CEO of CipherSoft.

According to the Oracle Modernization Alliance Web site, “IT organizations today want to reduce total cost of ownership, increase their ability to react to business demand, and minimize reliance on legacy skill sets while insuring that they are meeting new compliance demands. But for legacy applications of any size, this cannot be achieved just by starting over…As a result, IT organizations are looking to IT modernization to move to modern technologies while preserving the existing business content of current applications—applications that have served them well for many years but have become too costly and too rigid for today’s rapidly changing business environments.”

The Alliance unites vendors with the “best products, processes, solutions, and architectures for IT modernization to open systems, providing a one-stop shop for organizations that are looking for ways to take advantage of new technology while still preserving the business content of their existing applications,” said the Web site.

While McNeill labeled the group an objective and independent group, all members are obviously vetted by Oracle. Groups are slotted into several different categories, including systems integrators, specialty modernization partners, and Oracle Modernization Framework providers.

Despite a roster of dozens of American companies, McNeill attributes CipherSoft’s status as the lone Canadian member to the Alliance’s stringent involvement criteria. She said that many software migration companies offshore their projects, while CipherSoft produces a very specific tool-set in-house in Calgary.

In the three months since the company became a part of the Alliance, McNeill said that the company has had increased business.

The Alliance is a good match for the company, she said, due to its stance on open technology. While sponsored by Oracle, the group purports to offer, via its members, the best fit for a migratory technology for all comers. “We support open technology, not forcing clients into proprietary solutions,” she said. “The Alliance has the same mandate.”

The company instead supports solutions like pure Java that are workable for most. “This is the way things are going. It’s the only way for companies to keep from being tied into a vendor. You need open technology capability that allows companies to find other software that works for them,” she said. McNeill also pointed out that using open technologies cuts the development costs required to create applications around proprietary solutions, and eases the integration of new technologies.

Other companies have started similar alliances in the past. In 2004, for example, Microsoft began the Mainframe Migration Alliance, with the goal of providing the information and tools to aid IT organizations seeking to migrate applications from the mainframe to the Windows platform. Here, too, the association’s goals were to offer lower costs to their clients and enhanced flexibility, courtesy of newer technology (although, in Microsoft’s case, organizations would be switching to a proprietary system, rather than open technology like a pure Java set-up).