• New mainframe training programmes in place to replace old hands who will shortly retire.
  • T-Sys has “thickest deal pipeline” in mainframe business since 2012.

T-Systems talks up mainframe business and IBM ties

T-Systems talks up mainframe business and IBM ties

Source: T-Systems

Mainframe experts at T‑Systems enthused about the business opportunities associated with an on-premise IT tech that, in their opinion, is often (and wrongly) seen as outdated.

In a blog posted on Deutsche Telekom’s website, Lénárd Szucs, Head of Global Sales Mainframe at T‑Systems Hungary, said DT’s IT business had embarked on two new mainframe training initiatives, such is the need to meet customer demand.

One is the zMaster Programme in Germany, the other is the Mainframe Structured Development Programme based in Hungary. “More than half of our mainframe specialists and experts will retire in the next few years, so a lot of know-how will be lost”, said Szucs.

Dirk Kullmann, Head of Mainframe and AS400 Operations at T‑Systems, said there were innovative business opportunities to be had when mainframes were put in a hybrid-cloud context. “We are driving the innovative and sustainable development of mainframes in the direction of cloud and DevOps”, he said.

Kullmann added that T‑Systems had the “thickest deal pipeline”, since 2012, when it came into the mainframes space.

Z marks the spot

T‑Systems is working closely with partner IBM in developing the mainframe proposition to meet customer requirements. Rather than use “mainframe” in its product portfolio, however, T‑Systems has opted for the exciting sounding zFuture (“z” is the family name used by IBM for all of its mainframe computers).

Dieter Kölbl, T‑Systems’ Technical Lead at the zFuture Mainframe Innovations Team, warmed to the theme of IT advances using mainframes.

“There is a new mainframe reference architecture with Java as the primary language and z/Linux as the operating system. Old software is partly ‘translated’ with tools and partly rewritten. This provides for versatile possibilities. We can thus develop new applications. For example, we have implemented a block chain with open source software. With the name ‘zFuture’ instead of ‘mainframe’, we also set a clear sign for the way forward.”

— Kölbl.

New mainframe footing with IBM

T‑Systems recently succeeded in refashioning its mainframe services business at the second attempt, after forming a services partnership with IBM (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #92). The division which was prevented by regulators from offloading the unit to IBM in 2019 (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #79 and #84) opted instead to sign a “service contract for mainframes” with the US IT giant. While the original transaction would have outsourced all T‑Systems’ mainframe assets to IBM, a spokesperson told Deutsche Telekomwatch that the reworked deal was “about pure services. Computer infrastructure and personnel are not affected — they remain with T‑Systems”, he added.