The final total – for Macmillan Cancer Support

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve raised £300 for this very worthy cause, following our own internal version of the Great British Bake-off.

This beats our total from last year.

There were so many cakes, we were dragging* people off the streets to help raise money!

(* obviously not literally)

 

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Swapping computers for cake – in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

It’s been a morning of cake, coffee and conversation – as the team at Jumar gathered around the table which was groaning under the weight of home-produced goodies.

Yes, it’s the Macmillan Cancer Support “world’s biggest coffee morning” and we’re only too proud to be taking part.

In typical Blue Peter style, we’re keeping an eye on the ‘totaliser’ – which we’re pleased to announce (even by 1.30pm) has already beaten last year’s final total.  More on that later.

With plenty of treats still remaining, we’re confident of smashing our previous best!

A busy few months: Jumar’s experts in CA Gen go on a road trip (well, air trip anyway)

Well, that’s come around quickly.

No, not the fact that shops are now stocking more Christmas stuff than we’re comfortable with in September… I mean the autumn series of events that we’ll be attending to discuss all things CA Gen related.

It’s Europe first – then the USA.  Let’s look at Europe first – and we’ll cover the USA in another post.

First off, it’s Stockholm and Hamburg on two consecutive days – 26th and 27th September.  By which time, we fully expect airport shops to be fully decked out in Christmas regalia.  Although it’s still only September.

Then, the following week, it’s off to Utrecht (on the 2nd October) – before a small pause, and then London on the 11th.

These “CA Gen seminar days” are something always we look forward to attending – and Paul Hughes (who many attendees will know) has already penned his presentation focusing on the trends we’ve been seeing in CA Gen over recent months and years.  He’ll also take a high-level look at various CA Gen modernisation projects we’ve been working on here at Jumar – and sharing experiences, best practice and a generous dollop of insight.

When it’s all over, it’ll all be summarised here for anyone who couldn’t make it.  Paul will also be embracing the wonderful wold of social media, and tweeting his way across Europe – so why not follow us on @JumarSolutions.  We’ll also put a brief summary of Paul’s presentation on our YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/JumarSolutions) following the events.

So that’s Europe covered.  We’ll talk about our plans for the USA – Texas in fact – over the next few days.  In the meantime, if you’re going to any of these European events, please drop us a line; we look forward to meeting you.  If you can’t make it, but would like to find out more about CA Gen modernisation or any other aspect of our CA Gen solutions, please visit our website or drop us a line at enquiries@jumar-solutions.com

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter, or ‘like’ our page on Facebook.

Jumar Solutions Press Release: Businesses urged “Don’t bin your IT – improve it!”

Until our new website is launched (hopefully in the next few days), the blog is the temporary home for our press releases.

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release (25th September 2012)

Businesses urged: Don’t bin your IT – improve it!

Innovative UK company urges global businesses to potentially save millions of pounds by modernising existing IT systems instead of replacing them

A rapidly-expanding IT company is issuing a rallying call to businesses worldwide to make considerable cost savings by modernising their IT systems, rather than replacing them.

This week, West Midlands-based Jumar Solutions, is embarking on a global campaign to convince big businesses that replacing their IT portfolio could cost them significantly but, by simply improving what they already have could save thousands – or even millions – of pounds.

Jumar claims that all too commonly, IT suppliers will recommend a wholesale replacement of long-established systems but, by doing so, businesses can waste time, money and most importantly, lose the investment and knowledge that has been built up in those applications over many years.

A team from Jumar will be touring the USA, Europe and Australia, starting in Stockholm on 26th September to demonstrate the considerable business benefits of using automation tools to bring their internal IT up-to-date.

Wendy Merricks, Jumar’s Managing Director says “Many companies have IT systems and applications which go back years – if not decades – and they work perfectly well.  But when they need upgrading, or integrating with new technology like the web, the temptation is to start over from scratch.

In doing so, not only do you lose the many years of investment in technology and knowledge that have gone into that system, but that approach could be very costly and time consuming. In some cases organisations retain the old system AND the new, adding to the cost of maintenance.

By using automation tools to streamline the modernisation process, you could save a considerable amount of time and money – and still harvest the value from what is already in place.

If you can exploit the investment in your system, rather than losing it, you are immediately at an advantage.  You’ve kept processes and procedures which you know work well – but your system is now fully up-to-date and giving you the competitive edge”.

Wendy is one of the team from Jumar who will be kicking off a series of events and visits which will see them travel to Germany, The Netherlands, London, Dallas as well as visiting other major technology companies across the USA and Australia.

Jumar itself has experienced 38% growth in the last financial year, and is targeting year-on-year growth in excess of 30%.

Growth and cost savings will be the cornerstone of Jumar’s message as it demonstrates automation software including its own Project Phoenix suite of tools, which have already been deployed on a significant number of IT modernisation projects worldwide.

For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact Andy Holmes at Jumar Solutions on 0121 788 4550

Notes to editors

Jumar Solutions is a specialist IT services and solutions company with offices in the UK and Australia and more than 150 clients in 35 countries. It provides software, services and tools specifically designed to modernise applications and specialist IT recruitment solutions to major corporates across the world.  It has won the Deloitte Fast 50 Award for growth, three times in succession.

Jumar specialises in application modernisation and development using some of the world’s most advanced development tools and methodologies.  It works with each client to create pragmatic solutions closely aligned to their individual needs, by providing a blend of consultancy, training and software solutions.  Its Project Phoenix Software is used by high-profile clients across the world.

Its headquarters are located in Solihull, UK – and it has a Sydney-based Australian subsidiary.  For more information, please contact +44 121 788 4550

Developing your CA Gen applications: know your models!

In this blog, we’re going to scrutinise a potentially complex issue faced by anyone considering a CA Gen modernisation or development project. We’ll look the importance of understanding the many models you may have within a CA Gen encyclopaedia.

So, where do you start?

Your applications may have served you well for years – and they continue to do so. But, if they need integrating with new technologies (e.g. the web) or if you’re carrying out a service orientated re-architecture, healthcheck or upgrade, you’re going to need to know how they work and interact – in great detail.

First – what is the context of your project? What do you want to achieve?

To answer this properly, you need to fully understand the ‘as is’ picture, as well as the ‘to be’ picture. That way, the CA Gen development roadmap can more easily be defined.
That ‘as is’ question is easier asked than answered, but if you COULD answer it, it would be much easier to estimate your project, and plan it, with a greater degree of confidence.
It would also help you to answer complex questions including

  • What issues and tasks are involved?
  • How many occurrences are there – and for each of those, where precisely in the models can we find them?
  • Where, in the CA Gen encyclopaedia are the complexities?
  • What are the impacts of the proposed changes?
  • How much will they cost me – in time and money?

Sounds complicated; but it needn’t be. There is a solution. Fortunately. (Otherwise this would be a rather short blog post!)

We’ve seen this (literally) hundreds of times – and we agree it’s not easy. So, we decided to develop a way to make it much much simpler. Because we’ve ‘been there, done that’ and know how much of a pain it can be, we decided to try to make life less complicated for ourselves. And the product of that, is Model Analyser – which is part of our Project Phoenix suite of software tools, which is used on CA Gen development projects across the world.
At the risk of slipping into a blatant sales pitch – Model Analyser does exactly ‘what it says on the tin’.

We designed it specifically to answer the types of questions above, quickly and accurately. This means that any risk in the process is minimised, because it allows you to be certain nothing is missed. You can therefore estimate how much effort is involved and therefore what resources are required.

So what does it do and how does it work?

First, Model Analyser produces extracts of CA Gen models (hugely simplifying the complex CA Gen metamodel) – and then give you the output in an easily understandable relational database – in this case, MS Access.

You can load many models a single database – and that means you can run custom queries across either single models or a complete application portfolio.
It doesn’t take a genius to see how this could save weeks (or even months, let’s be honest) of manual analysis which is, of course, prone to errors. The bottom line: you can make considerable savings.

Consider a procedure in CA Gen, where each procedure step potentially has screen items and windows with controls.   Model Analyser represents these in a form which any CA Gen user can understand and relate to:

When developing Model Analyser, we wanted to make sure that it could easily produce meaningful reports.

Example of complexity report output

It has an ‘Upgrade Impact Report’ which lets you know how changes between CA Gen versions can potentially impact on your project. There’s also the ‘Complexity Report’. This shows logic units with a set of corresponding complexity indicators – including number of statements (Note statements, Unique USE statements, READ statements – and more).
Armed with this, you’re a significant step closer to identifying where you need to focus your efforts – and where various skills and resources need to be deployed. On top of this, of course, you can also build this output into any future automation to make change happen.

You’re not just constrained to the built in reports. A simple bit of SQL, and – because the database has all the information in a simple form – you can ask your own questions.
Typical questions could be:

• Where have we used the Calendar OCX which now needs upgrading?
• Which action blocks use persistent views?
• Do we use Null Dates anywhere?

…and they regularly crop up before and during IT modernisation and upgrade projects. The answers could potentially have a huge impact on the project. Let’s look at the Null Dates issue. If we have to recode then, it makes a considerable difference if we’ve never used them or if we’ve used them thousands of times.

There’s another bonus here – in the form of a QA tool. The answers to these questions could demonstrate that your in-house development standards have been followed – and that there’s been a consistent approach followed in building the applications.

There’s lots more to Model Analyser than we can squeeze into a blog post – so if there’s anything that we’ve not covered here, please drop us a line.

We’ve put all this into a bitesize video which you can watch on YouTube here – or in our other post.

Don’t forget you can follow us in all the usual places: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, this blog and by signing up for more information on our website.

YouTube video: Model analysis in CA Gen development

We have recently re-launched our YouTube channel, which will feature – over the coming months – a range of CA Gen and IT modernisation videos and insights.

You can watch our first video, about the need to completely understand the models within CA Gen encyclopedias – in order to save time and cost when carrying out a modernisation or upgrade exercise.

We’ll be adding more videos over the next few months.  Next, we’ll be looking at Agile Development, and whether companies who claim to ‘do agile’, really do.