Several approaches.

Various boxes at various points in history have claims they are faster for
certain functions.  Do they take turns being ahead so that overall if you
pick one horse it won't always be the winner?  Is one box more often the
winner?  Do the areas where one beats the other match up with what is
important to your site?

Make a list of what will be different & attach a price estimate budget
starting point expectations.

You will probably need a different software package on Unix & will need
conversion of your data to that package.  To make this work will need people
who understand Unix, the 400, the old package, the new package.  There is no
such person, so the consultants will have to put a team together.  Figure on
a budget of several million dollars for that job to get completed.  Ask the
consultants (or whoever sold some manager on Unix) for a reference of some
other company they did this with (if they cannot come up with one then that
should tell someone something) then ask the reference what was their cost to
get the job done & how happy they are with the conversion & what sacrifices
did they have to make (like data that was too much trouble to convert).

The company will probably have to replace their loyal 400 folks who are
familiar with the current system with new Unix folks who know the new system.

What is a typical staff complement for 400 vs. for Unix environment?

Do you know what a Unix Data Base Administrator does?
It is all stuff that 400 does automatically without need for a human on staff.
What does such a person earn?

We know that in the Microsoft world, administrators have to spend a good 1/3
of their time loading the latest M$ patch to fix the previous M$ patch to fix
.... and the people who do that work are paid .... divide by 1/3 to get the
cost to those companies of operating in the M$ world.  Does Unix have
anything comparable to this?

How are all your devices connected to the 400 today?
Do they use twinax or some other system that will not work on Unix & will
have to be replaced?
Do you have any dumb terminals & printers that will have to be replaced?
What kind of cost associated with that?

Every time I have done a conversion, the biggest cost is the retraining of
the personnel of the company on the new system.  Figure several weeks worth
of classes times the number of people who work for the company.

Weigh that against the alleged benefits of switching to the 400.

Check the archives of midrange dot com ... I believe variations on this kind
of topic may have come up before ... my bookmarks probably dated. white papers from D H Andrews (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac)

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