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Customer Story

Global Manufacturing Firm Reduces Support Risk and Saves Money with Elevate IMS


As with many IBM IMS shops world-wide, IMS was working smoothly and reliably for the North American division of a global company.

However, the IT department was losing its IMS skills to retirement, their IMS version was out of support from IBM, and their continuing IMS licensing and third-party support tools and services were costing millions per year. All these factors indicated that a shift to Db2 was inevitable and could not be delayed any longer. Furthermore, the company could see that there were significant opportunity costs in being able to take advantage of current technologies in Db2.

The obstacle was the knowledge and confidence that a solid, affordable solution existed that would allow for a transparent migration from their existing IMS solution to Db2, with minimal to no impact on their existing application infrastructure.


After several years of the IMS issue being on a list of IT projects to be addressed, it became a priority when key IMS staff members began announcing retirements and asking, “Who should I help train to replace me before I phase out?” So in 2015, the company began exploring the possibility of using an IMS-to-Db2 migration software package from Syncsort, a long-time trusted vendor of “sort” technology and related mainframe utilities. Elevate IMS is a completely transparent solution to move IBM Information Management System (IMS) and Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) to Db2 on z/OS without requiring any application changes. The company engaged Syncsort to run a Proof of Concept (POC) for Elevate IMS to get a reliable estimate of expected ROI and ease of migration. The POC was completed in a few weeks and the decision was made to move forward with the Elevate IMS implementation.


Most importantly, the company saw significant reductions in IMS software licensing charges as well as fees for third-party database and application support. Additionally, they realized other important benefits:

  • New flexibility in application modernization and easier application maintenance with data migration to the Db2 relational model.
  • Less risk of costly problems with IMS due to an expiring version being used as well as the critical support skills beginning to retire.
  • Next up for this customer is to evaluate Elevate ZPSaver solution to reduce CPU usage to save on their monthly license charges and related costs.