It’s a common problem faced by many businesses: how to use and manage legacy document systems to meet the business demands of today. For many organizations, these systems, which often involve a range of documents, data, and technologies, have been in place for many years. They can be difficult to integrate with modern platforms and applications.
The trouble with older systems that create critical business documents is that companies or their vendors designed the systems for the technology in place at the time. For some of the oldest platforms still running today, that technology was a mainframe computer that accepted programs written in languages almost no one uses anymore like COBOL, RPG, or BAL. In other instances, the computing platforms were PC servers, but the customized document composition software was pretty basic compared to off-the-shelf solutions now available.
Legacy Document System Challenges
Print-generating programs of days gone by often created print streams meant for a particular variety of printer from vendors like Xerox or IBM. The print streams coming from these programs included embedded commands using languages like Xerox LCDS/Metacode or IBM AFP. Most companies have replaced those old printing devices, but the print streams, along with their printer-specific control commands, are still there.
To make the old print programs work with new printers and eDelivery formats requires print transformation software, or “transforms”. Crawford Technologies built many of these transforms and still supplies companies worldwide with this software that allows our customers to wring more value from their legacy software.
Companies are Stuck
The difficult truth is that many companies cannot afford the risk and the cost it would take to migrate their legacy print programs to a modern platform. These projects can take years to complete and may require the skills of a rapidly shrinking set of technical experts with experience in those older languages and methods. The drive to digital transformation comes to a halt once the challenges associated with mission-critical print applications become apparent.
The result? Companies are virtual captives of their legacy document systems, unable to make the improvements necessary to meet current business requirements.
Crawford Technologies develops and supports tools and utilities to help organizations that feel their only choice is to continue running their limited-functionality document systems. Crawford’s proven solutions provide a path to implement the flexibility and performance you need, without embarking on a complex, multi-year, system migration project.
Print Stream Transformations convert your legacy printer-specific print streams into contemporary formats like PDF so you can print those documents on your new inkjet or toner-based print devices or deliver them electronically.
Operations Express takes those page layouts from the past and adds tracking barcodes, repositions text, adds color, and more–all without ever editing that scary, over-patched source code nobody wants to touch.
PRO Conductor is the production automation and dashboard monitoring solution that lets you connect all parts of the document production workflow. The platform gives you real-time visibility into operations, alerts you to problems or delays, and tracks performance.
An Answer Exists
With tools like these, companies operating with legacy print systems can address their concerns about regulatory compliance, staffing, budget control, and customer experience. The cost and time to carry out these objectives with help from Crawford Technologies will be much less than the vast development projects necessary to recreate existing functionality with a totally new technology stack.
Legacy document systems will continue to exist. But by using the right tools now, organizations can meet rapidly evolving customer communication requirements while they transition to modern digital platforms at a pace and a cost they can manage.