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June 2006
Business cases

• Banco de Previsión Social (Uruguay)
• Ministry of Education and Science (Poland)

• Broadway Management Services (Iowa, USA)
• Onderwijs Service Groep (Netherlands)

Bull GCOS 7 Intel® based server and SQL*XT provide concrete solution for Broadway Management’s future IT needs

Broadway Management Services, a division of EFCO Corporation, has ordered a new Bull GCOS 7 system (Diane) with Bull’s SQL*XT eXtended Technology relational data base solution. Broadway Management Services provides administrative services including accounting, human resources, and information technology to EFCO, which is a world leader in concrete forming systems and solutions.

EFCO, headquartered in Des Moines Iowa, is a 75-year old company that specializes in developing innovative solutions for the concrete forming industry. EFCO’s solutions are used in bridges, dams, tunnels, power plants, residential, and major industrial and commercial projects throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe. EFCO boasts the world's largest steel form manufacturing plant and has a strategically located form distribution network with 15 District Offices in 10 Countries.

Broadway Management Services has been a Bull GCOS 7 user for many years and uses the system to drive their core business operations at EFCO. According to Joe Solem, Legacy Systems and Migration Manager for Broadway Management, “From the point of where we sign a contract with a customer, all the way through engineering, manufacturing, distribution, invoicing, and so forth is what we use our primary TDS (Transaction Driven System) system for, which runs on GCOS 7. We also use the GCOS 7 system for the normal applications that most IT departments do like payroll.”

As Solem stated, the new Bull GCOS 7 server fits Broadway Management’s IT strategy for the future: “We have been working for several years to come up with a plan to move into the open systems world and a relational database capability with either Microsoft’s SQL Server or Oracle. The primary reason for this is really business driven. In most industries today, and not just in the concrete or construction industry, decisions need to be made faster. And in order to make what you hope is the correct or intelligent decision, you need the data to back it up. So for us to change the data we collect into information so that the managers can make the decisions to react faster, we decided to go to a relational world.

We looked at a number of options, including other vendors and outsourcing, but at the end of the day, we were still emulating the Bull system. We decided that the new Diane with Bull’s SQL*XT was potentially a long-term solution, since it would not only suit the needs of EFCO and Broadway Management today, but well into the future without doing a forklift upgrade.

Bull’s SQL*XT solution allows GCOS 7 applications to access and manipulate data from a relational data base (either Oracle or SQL Server) using the SQL language. As Solem said, “Bull’s SQL*XT technology will allow us to share information between our GCOS 7 core business application (TDS) and Windows applications, so our managers can make real-time decisions and serve our customer better. Bull’s demonstration of its SQL*XT solution helped convince us we were making the right decision for our business.

According to Solem, there was also another big benefit of the new system, “Because batch processing on the new GCOS 7 “Diane” server is 3 to 4 times faster, we also expect to reduce our night operations from 8 to 3 hours freeing the system to support users for a longer day. While this was not our primary motivation in making the purchase, it certainly helped!

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