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Ensono Acquires ExperSolve In Mainframe Modernization Play

‘One of our strengths is that we were founded at the core as a mainframe services company. In today’s world, as we provide mainframe services, we also provide C-level executives at our clients with choices,‘ says Larry Goldberg, Ensono’s senior vice president of advisory and consulting services.

Ensono, a managed services provider with a big focus on mainframe environments, has expanded that focus with the acquisition of ExperSolve.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ExperSolve brings Ensono proprietary software for converting COBOL and other mainframe languages including Java and C#, said Larry Goldberg, senior vice president of advisory and consulting services at Downers Grove, Ill.-based Ensono.

Mainframe-based managed services and consulting, including design, build, and run services, account for about half the total revenue of Ensono, with the other half coming from midrange clients and private and public cloud services, Goldberg told CRN. The company engages with over 90 customers on mainframe-focused managed services, he said.

[Related: 5 Big Things To Know About KKR’s Ensono Acquisition]

Ensono, ranked No. 94 on CRN’s 2021 Solution Provider 500, is also one of the country’s biggest purchasers of mainframe hardware and software from a variety of vendors, he said.

“One of our strengths is that we were founded at the core as a mainframe services company,” he said. “In today’s world, as we provide mainframe services, we also provide C-level executives at our clients with choices.”

ExperSolve, Ensono’s fifth acquisition, lets Ensono enhance its capabilities for modernizing mainframes at the application level, Goldberg said.

“For example, many clients still use COBOL,” he said. “We help them convert to Java or other modern languages to help reduce costs. Other customers might want to migrate applications off the mainframe to reduce costs. If they want to go from the mainframe to the public cloud or from the mainframe to a private cloud, we can provide the services.”

ExperSolve brings the ability to assist clients at a more strategic level to identify future roadmaps than Ensono could in the past, said Chad Mead, vice president of mainframe consulting and security at Ensono

“It help customers understand their options, see where they can go with their applications, and how to get there,” Mead told CRN. “ExperSolve has been around for over 20 years, and has developed systems that allow them to automate the refactoring of applications either from older COBOL to newer COBOL, or from COBOL to Java. And they also bring in repeatable processes.”

The mainframe business is here to stay, Goldberg said.

“What will change is the mainframe‘s position as a completely integrated ecosystem to one that works in a modern environment,” he said. “Mainframes are being fit into modern IT architectures.”

This has been pushed by IBM which has programmed the technology behind mainframes to support Java and Linux, which increases the utilization of mainframes, Mead said.

“While certain workloads don’t need to work on mainframes, mainframe speed and performance is still important for clients,” he said. “There’s immense value to mainframes in high-transaction, high processing environments. Also, many times our clients are torn to choose between operating or modernizing mainframe environments. The reality is, we see the ExperSolve acquisition as a way to change the ‘or’ to ‘and,’ to operate and modernize.”

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