UNICOM Global delivers support for IBM® z/OS® V2.4, Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.3 and Enterprise PL/I for z/OS V5.3

Mainframe solutions will enable digital transformation on new IBM z15 

UNICOM® Global has today announced that its mainframe solutions are ready to support the new IBM z/OS V2.4 operating system, due for release on September 30, 2019 in addition to the new releases of COBOL and PL/I recently announced by IBM. This includes Macro 4’s z/OS solutions delivered in Nordic territory by C-Net Systems.

“These are exciting times, with IBM launching new versions of its flagship operating system and compilers and unveiling the z15 mainframe, which delivers innovations across security, data privacy and resilience, as well as hybrid cloud readiness,” said Larry Lawler, Chief Technology Officer at UNICOM Global.

UNICOM has been working with IBM to ensure that its products support all of these new releases so that customers can start benefiting from the latest technical innovations from day one.
IBM has stated that z/OS V2.4 will provide an agile, optimized and resilient platform that helps businesses to digitally transform. “This perfectly ties in with UNICOM’s own solutions which enable digital transformation and modernization of mainframe systems,” said Lawler.

“I am delighted to see so many enhancements coming to the z/OS operating system that encourage digital innovation,” continued Lawler, “from features that make it easier to develop containerized applications, build data analytics capabilities and manage cloud workloads, to those that strengthen security and availability. Also important are user experience and productivity improvements that reduce the level of specialist skills required to maintain z/OS.

“What makes this even better is that it follows hard on the heels of a raft of new functions in COBOL and PL/I that help enterprises to increase development efficiency and update applications to meet their evolving business needs.”

Macro 4 will talk emerging tech and mainframe modernization at the GSE Nordic Region Conference

Mainframe integration of web, mobile, AI, chatbots, machine learning and analytics systems will be a key topic in the mainframe infrastructure session

Macro 4, a division of UNICOM® Global, will be discussing the role of the mainframe as an enabler for emerging technologies – as well as exploring how many of the same technologies will play a key role in modernizing the mainframe user experience – when the company participates at the GSE Nordic Region Conference in Aarhus, Denmark on June 11-13 with its Nordic partner C-Net Systems AB.

Neil Evans, Chief Technology Officer, EMEA, will explore how web, mobile, AI, chatbots, machine learning and analytics are being integrated with mainframe systems to help organizations improve user experience, maximize productivity and accelerate skills transfer. His presentation ‘the human face of the mainframe: using emerging technologies to foster greater technical collaboration’ will be in the mainframe infrastructure stream at 17:00 on June 11.

Diccon Grayling, Macro 4 Partner Manager said, “We’re looking forward to catching up with everyone at the annual GSE Nordic Region conference. It’s a great opportunity for the mainframe community in the Nordic region to come together to discuss exciting trends and developments that affect us all. We’ve got some really interesting new things to talk about including our vision of how emerging technologies will play a vital role in modernizing the mainframe user experience.”

Alongside the conference, Macro 4 and C-Net Systems will be exhibiting solutions for MFA (multi-factor authentication) and mainframe modernization. Visitors will be able to find out about the company’s mainframe modernization solutions including the new UNICOM® Universal Gateway: a web-enabled dashboard environment that makes it easy to access and interpret mainframe systems data, collaborate on problem resolution, and produce high quality management information.

Macro 4 enterprise content management software adds blockchain integration and document redaction for data privacy and compliance

Columbus DW 8.4 increases safeguards for sensitive personal data

Macro 4, a division of UNICOM® Global, has released a new version of its Columbus DW enterprise content management software that helps organizations to strengthen data protection and regulatory compliance. A new document redaction feature restricts access to sensitive personal information by automatically obscuring selected words or images on documents held in the Columbus DW system. To support compliance with regulations governing document processing, Columbus DW integrates with the blockchain to provide an additional trusted record of events such as how, when and by whom documents have been accessed, updated or deleted.

“Data privacy regulations such as the GDPR require you to put better safeguards in place to protect customer data, and to prove you’ve done it. Columbus DW 8.4 is designed to help you do exactly that,” said Jim Allum, Director, Commercial and Technical at Macro 4.

Also new in Columbus DW 8.4 comes support for cloud object storage. This feature enables organizations to reduce costs and increase storage flexibility by moving documents and other unstructured data into the cloud.

These enhancements will be followed in early 2019 by the introduction of a new Columbus mobile app that allows business users to work with documents securely on a smartphone or tablet.

Document redaction provides added protection for sensitive information

Columbus DW 8.4 enables organizations to prevent viewing of sensitive text or images using a variety of redaction methods which include the replacement of selected content with random characters, ‘X’s, black boxes, or blank space. The document itself can still be accessed for operational business use.
Redacted views can be applied to all users or to certain job roles or individuals.

“You can limit access to sensitive data to just those staff who actually need to view it as a legitimate part of their job, in line with the GDPR principle of data minimization,” said Allum. “Does a call center agent or accounts administrator really need to see information such as a person’s payment history or financial status when viewing bills or contracts, for example? If not then it’s best practice to redact it.”

A related capability is data anonymization. This is a process by which ‘live’ production data can be altered to create anonymous document samples for application testing. All original text can be replaced with random, but similar, characters to produce realistic documents for thorough testing, without exposing any real business data.

Blockchain integration delivers trusted audit facility

Columbus DW 8.4 integrates with the Hyperledger blockchain framework to provide an additional auditing mechanism for legal and regulatory compliance, as Allum explained:

“One of the core requirements of a legal archive is the ability to capture all the events happening around the documents you’re holding and to validate those events with the same level of integrity and security as the document itself,” said Allum. “For example, if customers exercise their ‘right to be forgotten’ under the GDPR you need a reliable record of the fact that you’ve deleted their data. Columbus DW gives you absolute proof that what should happen has actually happened by recording it on the blockchain.”

Columbus DW 8.3 introduced the capability to record document-related events using the same tamper-evident hashing mechanism as the blockchain, with the option to trigger business processes or email notifications when events occur. Columbus DW 8.4 builds on this functionality by enabling the same record to be committed to the blockchain to independently verify that the information has not been tampered with.

“By cross-checking the hashes stored locally, in the Columbus tamper-evident audit log, with the hashes recorded on the tamper-evident blockchain, it is possible to prove conclusively that nothing has been changed,” added Allum.

Cloud object storage increases affordability and flexibility

Columbus DW customers can now store documents and other unstructured content on cloud object storage. Columbus DW 8.4 supports OpenStack Swift, IBM Cloud Object Storage, and Amazon S3.

“Cloud object storage is relatively low cost and provides greater flexibility because it is very easy to scale as your requirements grow,” said Allum. “We’re giving our customers access to these benefits while ensuring very fast search speeds for users by storing document indexes locally in Columbus DW.”

Customers can choose to ‘mix and match’ storage destinations, for example by moving certain documents to the cloud while keeping others locally.

Both private on premises and public cloud storage is supported.

About Columbus DW

The Columbus DW enterprise content management software helps organizations manage the diverse documents and data that business processes and customer communications depend on. Enterprise content can be shared via email, the web, social media and instant messaging without the cost and disruption associated with changing core business systems. Columbus DW manages information throughout its lifecycle and ensures timely deletion at end of life to meet regulatory archiving obligations, while analysis capabilities deliver business insights.

Columbus DW is a core component of the Columbus enterprise information management suite.