Going against the grain of the marketplace's "latest is greatest" mentality, OpenSpan CEO Francis Carden says don't assume that you have to upgrade or replace legacy applications. Instead, "Take the most important transactions from the legacy apps and re-use and extend them" with OpenSpan, a provider of application integration and automation software.  Carden spoke with Windows IT Pro recently about ways IT departments can cut costs in difficult economic times and still offer what users and CEOs need to do business.

"Imagine if every single app had an API. Imagine the savings. We can take any app on the desktop and give it an API," Carden says. "When people see our demo, it's very visual—just drag and drop. It's like somebody's woken them up. We come at it where the app runs."

If you look over a call center agent's shoulder, you can see how to automate the numerous applications one agent has to navigate through, Carden says. With OpenSpan's  application integration technology, one telecomm call center was able to save 17 seconds of each agent's time by integrating the multiple apps agents used into one. Saving 17 seconds for each agent might seem miniscule, Carden adds, until you consider that the telecomm call center employed 8,000 agents.

OpenSpan helps companies save on IT integration costs, Carden says, by letting you keep your legacy apps and integrate them. And OpenSpan considers your users: "Some workers have over 40 different applications to navigate through to do their job," Carden says. "If you automate, you don't have to build or replace. And what most people forget is the user experience—that is, training and retraining. OpenSpan lets you use a legacy app that users are familiar with, rather than having to make them move to new apps."

To learn more about OpenSpan, see http://www.openspan.com.