Robert Graybill President and CEO, FMS Solutions. Photo credit: Marisa Guzmán-Aloia

IBM Systems Magazine recently put the spotlight on an ambitious FMS Solutions modernization project completed with the help of CM First Group, a successful project resulting in significant savings in time and resources.

Getting Results

First, the results from IBM Systems Mag:

…by undertaking this partnership with CM First, Robert Graybill, president and CEO, FMS, estimates his company saved roughly $750,000 and six months of development time over taking on the effort solo. As Graybill further notes, ‘In the end, the project came in on budget and only one month off schedule. For a smaller IT shop like ours, this was a blessing both from an expense perspective and our ability to deliver.’

Baltimore-based FMS Solutions Holdings LLC (FMS) is a leading provider of financial, accounting and consulting services to more than 4,000 independent retail grocers and independent supermarket operations across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Faced with increasing competitive threats from superstores, home delivery, changing demographics, and constantly evolving technologies, these customers rely on FMS products and services to make strategic decisions involving every facet of business.

Time to Modernize

Seeing their client’s need to stay competitive, FMS Solutions decided it was time for an upgrade. A total rewrite of their system was off the table, so they chose to modernize.

FMS needed to upgrade critical systems to meet expectations in the modern age of web-enabled, anywhere computing. This is especially true for companies like FMS Solutions that provide a critical product used day-to-day by ever-younger generations that expect more functionality, better performance, and a more polished user experience from the systems they’re using.

Once FMS had decided that modernization was the only logical alternative to a complete rewrite, they sought out a partner to get the project done. They decided on CM First.

‘We began investigating companies that specialized in modernization,’ Graybill recalls. ‘And CM First is the company that brought up the CA Plex tool—which suited our needs—and given the prior work we had done with them, we had already developed a good, trusting relationship. They’d delivered before without a lot of hassle and they’re just easy to work with.’

A key aspect of the effort involved converting CA 2E (Synon) and RPG/COBOL code to Java and JavaScript code, bringing with it a whole new field of performance and functional upgrades including modern web-enabled computing. After considerable effort with the help of CM First Group, the latest FMS offering is now on par with or exceeding their competitors’ products, advancing their competitive edge to a whole new level.

For more detail, you can read the full story in our own case study, or visit the IBM Systems Magazine article.