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September 13, 1990

MAJOR IBM MAINFRAME USER JOHN HANCOCK STARTS MOVING KEY APPLICATIONS DOWN TO MS-DOS

By CBR Staff Writer

It’s just the kind of thing that the ES/9000 launch was meant to prevent happening, but John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co, described by Computer Systems News as a top IBM customer, has offloaded an important marketing application from the mainframe down to the personal computer level – and says that the project has been so successful that it now intends to move other applications. It has taken four years to complete the migration from an IBM 308X mainframe to the Intel 80286-based personal computers used by Hancock’s 400 agencies. The application gives clients a breakdown of costs and options on policies, and it required a great deal of rewriting to tailor it to the MS-DOS computers. Pieces of the application were written by Hancock Mutual, and the company hired Benefit Technologies of Ohio to do the rest. It has also developed its own common user access, function keys and enhanced help function. While Hancock has derived significant cost benefits and been able to free both the mainframe and network, the company acknowledges that critical applications will remain on the mainframe for a number of years because of the lack of security on personal computers.

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