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Wachovia insources mainframe code maintenance

Pressed by worried auditors, Wachovia launched a project that would take maintenance of its core mainframe applications out of the hands of a small value-added reseller (VAR) and put it back within its own IT department, saving costs and netting another VAR a loyal customer.

Under fire from auditors to reduce the risk to its critical, but arcane, mainframe application, Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia Bank decided to insource maintenance of the application by training its own people to replace the tiny service provider that had been doing the job.

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The bank hired Raleigh, N.C.-based Relativity Technologies Inc. to help modernize the application using PC tools that could analyze the code, identify dead or redundant sections, and extract metadata from the software. The process reduced the code from 10 million lines to less than 7 million, dropped Wachovia's code-maintenance bill from $14 million to $5 million, and trained the bank's 15 mainframers on maintaing the application.

The project reinforced Wachovia's recent tendency to be "very conservative" about outsourcing anything but small, "time-waster" applications.

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