Mainframe Blog

The Shark Is Broken: Mainframe Projects To Get Your Teeth Into

2 minute read
Mark Wilson

Pre-pandemic, I paraphrased a line from Jaws to describe a pressing need to expand our team and add resources to meet rising, worldwide client demand when I said, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Mainframe shops (and their customers on the business side) had been clamoring for heightened security, targeted project and application expertise, ad hoc staffing and, indeed, a wide range of mainframe-focused managed and professional services.

That demand for BMC Mainframe Services has continued to grow in the last two years. We’ve secured that bigger boat and are now steaming ahead for our clients, casting our net wider and landing interesting catches of every size. I don’t have to tell tall tales about the ones that got away because we’ve been reeling them in. I’ll give you a few examples of those “bigger boat” projects.

First, a small one: a tiddler, you may think, but still an important need. A US financial services company wanted to replace its current tape management solution with a solution from BMC. We had just six weeks to implement BMC Helix Control-M/Tape across three systems before the company’s previous contract expired. That’s how fast we can move, particularly with a focused requirement like this one.

Second, a medium-sized fish: a large media organization in the US and UK needed to swap out its current tools for a suite of BMC solutions over a nine-month period. This included automation, tape, data, and performance management tools. That was completed on time.

Third, the big one—the whopper—is just getting underway. It’s an interesting story. For a single client, we’ve begun four projects that actually represent the start of a three-year journey to remove its current software stack and replace it with a largely BMC stack that includes pretty much every BMC solution. Data, performance, security, automation, tape—you name it. If you’ll forgive me mixing my fishy allusions, this one is a Moby Dick. If not a whale of a project, then perhaps a great white shark.

Which brings me back to Jaws and another thought that occurred to me recently. A well-reviewed play that has been running in London’s West End focuses on the behind-the scenes problems during filming of the movie, and especially the fact that the mechanical shark, Bruce, kept breaking down. Hence the play’s title, “The Shark is Broken.”.

This reminded me of another reason why we’re seeing continued and rising demand from clients around the world. Many are fed up with being mishandled by the vendors they chose in the past. As in any business or marketplace, there are always sharks circling. By that I mean vendors with questionable business practices such as suddenly changing terms and conditions attached to their software products or imposing an unwarranted 300 percent price increase overnight.

But times change and people aren’t stupid. They can tell when a shark is broken. Organizations recognize if they are sailing too close to the wind, through no fault of their own, and need to change course. When it’s time to make that change, BMC is ready to help them place a steady hand on the wheel.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Mark Wilson

A thought leader and international speaker in mainframe security and technology, an IBM Champion and passionate advocate of all things Z, Mark Wilson is Senior Director, Consulting Services with BMC Mainframe Services. He is also GSE UK Region Manager and GSE UK Conference Manager.