June 19, 2023 | IBM Z

Rightsizing Your Mainframe Report Management and Archiving Solution: When to Begin?


Where they were once considered specialty products, today’s IBM Z report output management solutions have become commodity products. As a result, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a new Z report output management solution is significantly lower than for older legacy products.

How legacy specialty products cost you money.

Many organizations are still running legacy IBM Z report output management products, such as CA-View and ASG-ViewDirect. These products still command sky-high specialty product pricing and maintenance fees, even though the market now offers more cost-effective, viable solutions with more capabilities, including Software Engineering of America’s (SEA’s) Total Report Management System (TRMS) offering.


The sad truth is that most organizations know they can save 25% to 50% of their annual licensing maintenance fees by rightsizing to a more cost-effective solution..

Afraid to make the switch? Here’s how to do it.

SEA developed a proven methodology for rightsizing your Z report output management solution to a more economical, and modern offering that will significantly reduce your total spend and TCO by 25% to 50%.

What are these roadblocks and why do they cost money?

Organizations frequently become hamstrung in saving money by moving to a lower cost solution because of these roadblocks that must be overcome before a software conversion can occur.

Let’s discuss each of these items, and how it can be addressed to enable making a change and reducing the spend.

#1: Cost of conversion in time and money, and overall Return on Investment (ROI).

It must be economically compelling to commit to a conversion of any enterprise software application.  The ROI must be almost ‘guaranteed’ to take the risk.  Further, the ROI typically must be realized within 2 years to be considered.


Look at the hypothetical conversion cost and ROI, from a legacy report management tool that is still charging Specially Product pricing (such as CA-View or ASG-ViewDirect) to a more reasonably priced and modern solution, such as TRMS. In this case, the ROI will be in hard dollars in terms of the annual maintenance fee differential.


Most organizations won’t spend $100K to save $20K per year; a 5-year ROI. However, spending $100K to save $100K annually (1-year ROI) will be a ‘no brainer’ assuming the ROI is in ‘hard dollar’ savings. Here’s a table of potential ROI savings on a report output management replacement based on ROI, and how management might respond to each proposal.



And if you convert to TRMS, SEA charges no additional fees for their conversion services, so the migration costs have significantly less impact on time to ROI.

#2: Concerns of unforeseen issues extending the conversion effort.

The keys to mitigating the risk of a conversion disaster can be separated into the following areas:


Automation – The new vendor must be able to automate the conversion of all the report and recipient definitions from the old tool. A typical enterprise may have thousands of report configurations that need to be converted to the new tool. Partnering with a vendor like SEA and using TRMS can ensure that the report configurations will be automatically converted in a very short (1-2 week) time frame, mitigating much of the risk of project overruns.


Methodology & Expertise -SEA specializes in converting from the expensive legacy solutions to TRMS using a standard methodology and provides experienced professional services expertise to ensure a successful conversion in a defined time frame. There are two key aspects to this methodology that are critical to a successful conversion ‘on time and on budget’.

  1. Accumulating reports in both old & tools: After the report definitions are automatically converted, the new reports are accumulated into both the old tool and TRMS, in parallel.  Within a period of weeks, the critical mass of current reports is in TRMS.  At the appropriate time, the educational aspect of the conversion begins to teach users to use the new solution.  This methodology also provides ample opportunity to validate the TRMS active report repository configuration via a spot check comparison of reports in both tools.
  2. A proven methodology to address archived reports. Most organizations have hundreds of thousands to several million archived reports.  The process involves restoring the archived reports, retaining their meta-data of when they were originally created/archived, and moving those reports into the TRMS archive using the correct attributes.  This is the most time-intensive portion of the conversion but is often somewhat mitigated by taking the opportunity to clean up and optimize your archive of obsolete data.  SEA helped one client convert 800,000 archived reports while cleaning up an additional 400,000 obsolete reports from the archives.  Fully addressing all archived reports is typically a 2-3-month effort, depending on the size of the archive.

#3: Risk of service interruption during the conversion.

Parallel capture of new reports into both the old tool and TRMS ensures continuity of service during the conversion.  Since both tools are running simultaneously during the core of the conversion, the risk of service interruption is greatly minimized.

#4: Priorities/resources needed that won’t be available for other activities/projects.

Vendor expertise and vendor skilled professional services are critical.  We all have more projects than we have time and resources.  Partnering with a vendor with a proven methodology, and the professional services expertise to take a lead role in doing the conversion, means your organization can realize the savings of rightsizing your online report distribution and archiving solution while not having a major impact on the projects already in the pipeline.

#5: Education and organizational change.

A major aspect of any software conversion is education.  SEA professional services personnel are experts at defining and executing training programs suitable to all users on the TRMS fundamentals and user interfaces:TSO/ISPF, Web UI, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) Plugins, and RESTful APIS .

Want to Save Money on Maintenance?

Most companies using legacy online report viewing/archiving solutions like CA-View and ASG-ViewDirect Repository are paying a premium for this service.  Maintenance fee savings can be realized by rightsizing to an appropriate solution such as TRMS. SEA has the methodologies and professional services expertise to ensure a fast and cost-effective conversion with no interruption in service and minimal impact on other top projects.


Feel free to contact SEA if you’re interested in learning more about how to save money by swapping out your old legacy specialty report output management solution for a modern solution such as TRMS. All you have to lose is your high licensing & maintenance fees.