Micro Focus
Irish Life & Permanent Group

Irish Life & Permanent Group
Success Story

On a mission to cut Unisys resource requirements and usage costs, Irish Life & Permanent Group turns to Micro Focus Databridge™.

“There are many efficiencies and good news regarding the business and bank from the group. Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) provided us with extremely good customer service We turned everything around in two weeks—it was just unbelievable.”

Permanent TSB Team Leader, Unisys Operations and Technical Support
Irish Life & Permanent Group

At a Glance


Financial Services




  • Minimized mainframe resource requirements, usage costs, and data-replication costs
  • Added security solution for anti-fraud efforts
  • Facilitated integration with multiple relational databases (Oracle and SQL Server)
  • Achieved significant ROI


Irish Life & Permanent Group is a leading provider of personal financial services in the Irish market. Formed in 1999, the group is the country’s largest leading life assurance and pensions company, with a domestic market share of over 30%. Permanent TSB, formed after the acquisition of Trustee Savings Bank (TSB) in 2001, is the retail banking operation of the group and the foremost provider of residential mortgage finance in Ireland.

Permanent TSB does all of its retail banking on Unisys hosts. When it was time to renew a deal with Unisys, Paul Coakley, leader of the Unisys operations and technical support teams at Permanent TSB, picked Databridge to help him run his operation more cost-effectively.


“When I joined in an operations role, the bank had just signed a Unisys deal,” Coakley said. When it was time to re-sign, Coakley looked at options for resource management and learned about metered platforms.

“In talking with people at UK banks, Unisys, and the world in general, we learned how metered platforms could provide cost savings,” Coakley said. “Additionally, we needed a more cost-effective way to do data queries.”

Unisys recommended that Coakley go with Databridge, an all-in-one extract, load, transform (ETL) solution that integrates critical information for business intelligence analysis. Databridge extracts and transforms master control panel (MCP) host data for improved, real-time decision support and data warehousing. In a demo, Coakley saw how Databridge could replicate tables to SQL Server. “I had never seen this before. It looked good and we knew it would work.”


It was important to enable users to see business objects, web intelligence, and desktop intelligence—and have user-friendly ways of querying data. Now that Databridge is set up and incorporated into the environment, day-to-day procedures are running smoothly. “We built many automated processes around our implementation, and the product pretty much looks after itself at this stage.

The company also used Databridge Enterprise Server, the component that offloads host processing to a Windows server, to get the data migrated to SQL. “Cloning the DMSII data cost-effectively was critical to us,” Coakley said. “And Databridge Enterprise Server made the process much more efficient, cutting replication time from days to a matter of hours.”

The SQL environment now serves as the bank’s primary data store for all management information system and business information system reporting. “From a cost savings perspective, we expect savings of between €190,000 and €250,000 over the life of the Unisys metered license contract,” Coakley added. “Databridge has been hugely successful in ensuring that our mainframe resource usage remains at a minimum.


Following the success of the initial Databridge implementation, Irish Life & Permanent is planning another Databridge project that involves real-time feeds from a variety of sources to an anti-money laundering and anti-fraud package from Norkom. “We are able to take sensitive data from DMSII, replicate it to the SQL environment, and with simple SQL scripting, send it to the Norkom front-end,” said Coakley. In short, the company can now manage anti-fraud initiatives in real-time without purchasing or reprogramming solutions.

Another new group-wide business initiative is the Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC). The company is currently implementing data replication from DMSII to Oracle to feed the BICC. Oracle will host a ‘golden copy’ of each of the group’s critical business systems, with a view to generate new business opportunities and campaign management. This will also feed a new predictive analytics solution for Permanent TSB.

Since putting the Databridge solutions to work, Irish Life & Permanent has seen savings from five to ten MIPS per month and has improved the run time on existing MIS reporting. In an environment where Unisys resources need to be kept to a minimum, Databridge is key.

“Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) provided us with extremely good customer service,” Coakley concluded. “We turned everything around in two weeks—it was just unbelievable.