Established in 1949, Gujarat University is a public state university in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, and serves as an undergraduate education but also a teaching university at the post-graduate level. The university had a customized and proprietary software application for its examination management system. The system also serviced payroll for about 400 employees. These applications ran on an aging 18-year-old DEC VAX system that was no longer supported and with no parts available.
For a couple of months, the IT department at the university, along with their IT consultant, Infoworld Consultancy, searched for a solution to protect and extend the life of their essential applications. The team explored rewriting the application and using a new system, but rewriting the source code and testing the applications would be a time-consuming and expensive solution. The university found themselves in an increasingly desperate situation.