Matthews International Corporation Takes the Axe to Application Sprawl

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         :  Matthews International Corporation

Industry       :  Consumer Goods

Practice Area  :  ILGS  



Matthews International Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a provider of brand solutions, memorialization products and industrial automation solutions. Brand solutions include graphics imaging products and services, and merchandising solutions. Memorialization products consist primarily of bronze and granite memorials and other memorialization products, caskets and cremation equipment for the cemetery and funeral home industries. Industrial automation solutions include marking products and fulfillment systems.

Matthews International Corporation was founded by John Dixon Matthews who emigrated from his native England and opened up a small shop in Pittsburgh in 1850. Matthews International Corporation outstanding growth continued throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. When the organization first went public in 1994, it reported sales of $159 million. In 2014, Matthews International Corporation achieved more than $1.1 billion in sales. It boasts more than 10,000 employees on six continents at more than 100 locations.

Matthews International Corporation acquired Schawk in 2015 which is a leading global brand development, activation and deployment company that drives brand performance. By creating brands, helping sell brands, producing brand assets and protecting brand equities, Schawk, Inc helps clients achieve higher brand performance

Business Challenge:

After acquiring Schawk in 2015, Matthews International Corporation decided to embark on a comprehensive Data Retention and decommissioning program to proactively address the accumulation of inactive data in legacy systems that had become inefficient and expensive to maintain. Redundant legacy systems were using up valuable resources and were making data access difficult for reporting and compliance purposes. They needed to archive large volumes of historical data that was using up storage and degrading application performance. They also needed to retain and manage legacy data for reporting and compliance.

Their challenge, therefore, was to create a data retention strategy that completely eliminated the need for the existing costly and outdated application while:

  • Preserving legacy data for regulatory compliance or corporate governance reasons.
  • Ensuring that they could access this data after the legacy application was decommissioned.
  • Preserving the referential integrity and business context of the data even for the most complex data model like Character Large OBject (or CLOB) and Binary Large OBject (BLOB).

The Estuate Solution:

Estuate helped Matthews International Corporation take advantage of the IBM InfoSphere Optim Application Retirement Solution to retire their old legacy applications and have access to the archived data without requiring database licenses. Estuate leveraged this product to develop a solution that:

  • Provides an effective method to retire outdated legacy applications while maintaining their data in a unified fully-compliant archive.
  • Archives BLOB/CLOB data separately by importing the BLOB/CLOB data into an in-house standalone database instance.
  • Preserves the business context of the archived data, even for complex data relationships.
  • Supports intelligent indexing, providing an accurate and fast way to identify archived data for easy retrieval.
  • Provides a selective restore capability that allows a narrow set of data to be retrieved from the archive on demand.
  • Ensures audit and discovery requests with application independent access to archives.

Business Impact:

Estuate’s solution helped Matthews International Corporation improve application performance and reduce storage costs while addressing information lifecycle management (ILM) and compliance requirements for the data associated with decommissioned applications.

By adopting a proven approach for archiving historical data, Matthews International Corporation efficiently archived application data, keeping the historical data accessible while supporting ongoing archiving and compliance requirements. The solution:

  • Reduced hardware, storage, and maintenance costs by allowing to archive historical data from decommissioned applications and systems, freeing valuable resources.
  • Improved the Matthews International Corporation application performance by controlling ongoing database growth.
  • Shortened disaster recovery process with custom and on-demand report retrieval methods.
  • Minimized risks by retaining historical data in a read-only, legal archive to meet compliance obligations.

        Estuate made it easier to remodel a complex application landscape inherited through an acquisition. They helped us retire legacy applications while making certain that the historical data was available if needed. They helped us optimize our processes around data management and have positioned us well for future growth. Their professionalism and commitment to customer success is evident in every interaction we have had with them, and we could not have asked for a better partner in a key corporate initiative.

Kenneth Moore
Infrastructure / Applications Hosting Manager