“Through the re-hosting of our mainframe application from the z/OS operating system to Sun Solaris, we managed to save 80% of our annual IT budget, and created a more agile environment."
Rob Groenestein, Ahold Project Manager for Solution Delivery


Customer Profile

Ahold is a major international supermarket operator based in Amsterdam. With 120,000 employees worldwide, Ahold has yearly revenue of approximately €28 billion.

Business Situation

Ahold needed to move its mission-critical logistics applications from the mainframe to a more cost-effective and efficient open platform. The applications are vital to Ahold’s business and any migration had to be low-risk.

Challenges and Opportunities

Ahold is a major international supermarket operator based in Amsterdam. Listed on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Ahold has revenue of € 28 billion per year, with approximately 120,000 employees worldwide. Logistics is the heart of their business, operating a rigid just-in-time replenishment model, enabling Ahold to operate their supermarkets and hypermarkets successfully. The logistics applications were hosted in a logical partition on a shared mainframe. Ahold needed to convert these applications into a less-costly, more modern architecture, free of development and integration barriers.

The Solutions

Ahold studied the situation carefully, but most solutions were deemed too risky. But with XFRAME, they found a solution that provided low cost and a powerful, low-risk migration toolset. To achieve a truly stable migrated environment, they chose the open-source COBOL-IT compiler, which is accompanied by experienced support services. After a careful analysis by Ahold’s technology partners, the company realized that the risks were minimal and began the project. In addition to using XFRAME and COBOL-IT, Ahold chose to move its DB2 data to Oracle 10g to complete the migration solution. Ahold chose Sun Solaris as the destination platform.


Value to Business

Ahold’s logistics applications have been migrated to Linux with COBOL-IT, costs have been drastically reduced, and the ROI break-even point was achieved in only 18 months.

Return On Investment

Ahold’s return on the money and effort invested was startling. After only 18 months, Ahold reached the ROI break-even point, and within five years of completing the project, the company was already saving € 1M per year.

Technology Enablers

  • XFRAME Enterprise Edition
  • Sun Solaris OS
  • Oracle 10g


Ahold’s experience tells the story. The actual ROI for their modernization project clearly beat any projection for replacement or re-writing, and the risk incurred was minimal. Proven modernization tools and proven modernization methodology are the key to success.


Reduces cost of running legacy applications on expensive hardware.

Return On Investment is rapid — the break-even point is often reached within two years.

Permits a staged conversion, reducing potential impact of modernization on company resources.

Reduces or eliminates concerns about the cost and availability of support for legacy software systems.