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DCS Automotive (France)

Global Automotive Ltd. is the No. 1 supplier of automotive Importer/Distributor systems in the world and one of the top three suppliers of Dealer Management Systems in Europe. Global has 3 offices in the UK, plus a network of subsidiaries and partners worldwide to provide delivery and support on a local basis.
Jan Jarvis, Global's Marketing Manager, explains how, using BABYiSeries, the company has extended the life-cycle of its existing software packages to help retain the loyalty of its customer base and enable new business opportunities.
Using the INFINITE Corporation range of products, Global Automotive is now able to offer several of its solutions, originally developed for the IBM midrange market, on Unix platforms.

The company

Global Automotive is part of the DCS Group plc whose headquarters are based in London. We are a recognized leading international supplier of computer systems and services for the automotive industry. The Company's unique identifier is its ability to supply systems to cover the complete automotive distribution process from the time a vehicle leaves the factory to its arrival in the customers' driveway. Our fully integrated systems control the process from the importer/distributor level through to the franchised dealer operations.
With thousands of satisfied customers, Global Automotive is a market leader in the worldwide automotive distribution sector. Our importer solutions are used by over 30% of franchises in the UK and we have more than 5000 Dealer Management System installations across Europe in local languages and currencies.

Communication is the key to dealership success

The automotive dealership market is highly specialized and the industry is constantly changing. Good communication between distributor and dealer is the key to success. An advanced level of data exchange is essential so that all members of the chain can communicate directly with each other. Our applications are designed to meet the needs of motor dealers, whether they are single location sites or multi-franchise, multi location groups. By understanding our customers' ever changing business needs, we are constantly developing our applications to deliver real, tangible benefits for the day-to-day business operations.
Global Automotive is one of IBM's largest Business Partners, with the distinction of being accredited 'Centre of Excellence' for both the IBM AS/400 and AIX platforms for outstanding technical support services.

Unix chosen for speed, capacity and independence

Originally our application packages were written for the IBM Midrange System/36 and AS/400. These platforms were reliable, efficient and popular with both our customers and ourselves. However, in recent years, manufacturers have demanded Unix applications for their dealer networks as they felt this was the way forward in building business solutions. The appeal of Unix was the much improved speed and capacity it offered compared with IBM's proprietary systems. Furthermore, it would mean independence from a single hardware supplier, plus would allow access to a wider range of leading-edge Unix software. The result was that we adapted several of our solutions for Unix to meet the requirements of all the major franchises.

UNIBOL36 delivers modern applications without rewriting

We needed to get our older applications, named Dealerman, Motis and RDS, to Unix. All three were originally developed for the System/36 platform. Rewriting the packages for Unix was not an option, as this process would have been too complicated, time-consuming and costly. More importantly, our DMS packages were well established in the marketplace and very popular amongst our customers.
INFINITE Corporation’s UNIBOL36 tool provided us with the perfect solution. UNIBOL36 replicated the complete System/36 development and execution environment on Unix. This has enabled us to protect our customers' investment in their existing software and staff skills, whilst benefiting from the numerous valuable extensions to the System/36 environment.

BABYiSERIES opens doors to modern technology

Now we are in the process of converting many of our Motis customers to our MOTIS/Unix package, using BABYiSERIES. MOTIS was also developed for the AS/400 but has been rehosted to Unix using BABYiSERIES, the most cost effective method of rehosting AS/400 applications to Open Systems. The Unix version of MOTIS, running under BABYiSERIES, has provided our customers with a much richer product in terms of its functionality.
BABYiSERIES proved to be the ideal tool to get MOTIS onto Unix. It totally avoided the need to rewrite our applications. Since BABYISERIES rehosted MOTIS at source code level, the applications on Unix have the same look and feel as they do on the AS/400. This means that our developers can maintain the familiar AS/400 environment, minimizing the need for retraining of our customers and enabling them to enjoy all the benefits of Unix.
Using BABYiSERIES, we have been able to move our customers forward onto modern hardware technology, and provide applications which are faster and which require minimum storage space. An additional benefit has been the reduced volume of physical space required to house an RS/6000 over an AS/400 machine. This has been particularly beneficial for smaller retail dealers.
Customer base is protected against Unix competitors
Most importantly for us, BABYiSERIES has allowed us to safeguard our customer base. Had we not been able to provide our clients with a Unix solution, we would undoubtedly have lost them to our Unix competitors. What's more, BABYiSERIES has given us the opportunity to grow our business, allowing us to market and sell our MOTIS solution into a market which was otherwise inaccessible.
BABYiSERIES implemented at Renault Trucks
We recently installed the package at Renault Trucks (RVI). With its headquarters based in Dunstable, there are 15 Renault Truck dealers throughout the UK. Renault Trucks are now using our MOTIS solution running on Hewlett Packard's HP 9000, using BABYISERIES, at all of its 15 sites. MOTIS has provided them with the ideal solution to ensure excellent data exchange between headquarters and dealers.
Naj Quaddrei, Operations Manager at Renault Truck Commercial is delighted with the new software:

"BABYiSERIES is totally seamless and crucial to our business success. We are delighted with BABYiSERIES. One of its greatest benefits has been its seamless integration into our product. It is now an integral part of our MOTIS software. Customers do not know it is there! This is how it should be and is a real testament to how it suits our purpose."
"BABYiSERIES has been crucial to the success of our business. We are greatly encouraged by the new business opportunities it has brought us."