UK cloud provider lands in New Zealand

Legacy business process migration specialist establishes presence

Activate New Zealand has signed an exclusive agency deal to represent UK start-up CIMTrek, which has released a suite of tools designed to migrate legacy business processes to the cloud. Initially, CIMTrek has targeted Lotus Notes/Domino.

Unisys confirms that it is in discussions with Activate about hosting the CIMTrek suite on a global basis.

While there are plenty of tools to help migrate Notes email, there is said to be no such support for other Notes applications.

CIMTrek founder Jon Pyke is a noted business process management specialist and author. He has been a software developer for 30 years and is a former chief technology officer for Staffware, which was acquired a few years back by Tibco. He is an AiiM (Association for Information and Image Management) laureate for workflow.

He says he was looking at a project about migrating to a cloud environment and asked himself what the big impediment was. “I concluded that there were plenty of applications to migrate mail and messaging, but nothing to migrate applications. I saw an opportunity.

“Most people don’t know what they are using. The first phase, then, is to mine the databases and find all the applications being used, then to do the analysis and boil that down to a common XML-based format. That means when you move an application, you have a common base to start from.

“Notes is complex but, boiled down, it is about input, output and update.”

The CIMTrek suite performs three basic functions: discovery, migration and execution. Once the applications, forms and documents have been reduced to a common format, they can then be moved to a platform such as Google Apps or a more sophisticated business process management engine. (CIMTrek has its own cloud-based workflow engine.)

Pyke estimates operational savings of 50 to 80 percent by migrating Notes applications to the cloud.

“There’s no capex so nothing appears on the balance sheet. It becomes commodity pricing.”

Over the next six to nine months he plans to expand the suite to Sharepoint, then probably Groupwise and Salesforce.com.

“There is nothing new in the cloud, though it is probably better architected today,” he says.

CIMTrek expects to charge on a subscription basis for the discovery and migration tools, based on the number of users being moved.

“All proprietary environments can be migrated and all modern workflow environments can be deployed into a private cloud,” Pyke says.

Activate NZ director Mike Lowe says the potential for CIMTrek in New Zealand is to enable companies to significantly reduce their IT operating costs, by helping transition both their in-house workflow applications and collaboration tools to the cloud.

“There are many hosting companies in New Zealand that are offering public and private cloud computing that compares favourably to that of in-house hosting,” he says. “However, if companies have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars migrating their applications to those cloud servers, then their business case will fail. CIMTrek provides the automation tools that significantly reduce the cost of migration.

“The challenge for hosting companies is not in the building of their cloud computing infrastructure, but in their ability to transition their customers to it.”

Activate NZ represents several multinational vendors, focusing on performance improvement.

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