Ciber Eyes $200M Of Annual Sales Growth With New App Modernization Tool

Ciber has unveiled a tool that it says can save businesses massive amounts of time by automatically reconfiguring applications for a cloud-like environment.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company, No. 37 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, said Ciber Momentum can cut the time spent on app modernization by 60 percent through automating 80 percent to 85 percent of the machine-to-machine code needed to operate in the cloud.

"We were very thoughtful and developed a technology that nobody else has," Ciber CEO Michael Boustridge told CRN. "This is an absolute need in the industry today."

[Related: Offshoring, Cross-Selling Help Ciber Notch Most Profitable Quarter Since 2010]

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Boustridge said he anticipates massive demand for Momentum, with the offering becoming a $200 million business by 2018. Ciber does roughly $1 billion of business each year currently.

He expects margins of 50 percent to 60 percent around Momentum, which should significantly boost Ciber's margins from their present rate of 25 percent or 26 percent. This, in turn, should improve the company's valuation, Boustridge said.

"Why would anyone laboriously rewrite code?" Boustridge said. "There's so much business out there."

An inability to retool legacy apps for the cloud is presently the single biggest thing holding enterprise customers back from making the plunge, he said.

Momentum can automatically translate code from legacy languages such as COBOL, JSP, XML or Java to the cloud-enabled .NET framework, Boustridge said, leaving only complex business logic -- which is roughly 15 percent to 20 percent of the overall code -- to be done manually. Momentum's machine-generator code has received an "A" rating from third-party evaluators, he said.

This will save end users money, Boustridge said, by allowing them to reduce or reallocate labor, hiring lower-paid .NET programmers to replace high-paid COBOL programmers. Momentum can fully convert apps from legacy to modern languages in six to eight weeks, Boustridge said.

Looking further down the road, Boustridge said, he believes interest in making legacy apps cloud-ready could persist for another decade. Plus newer apps come with the expectation of more frequent modernization work to stay current in the environment and take advantage of the best-available speed and agility.

Momentum will be sold to customers as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, Boustridge said, and can either be run by customers in their own environment or by Ciber on their behalf. Regardless of how it's run, he said, Ciber will be responsible for modernizing the pertinent portion of code.

Going forward, Ciber is hoping to develop more vertical-specific applications for Momentum, Boustridge said, such as translating the MUMPS health-care coding system into a more modern language.

"This is quite brilliant," Boustridge said. "I'm incredibly excited."