The challenges inherent in big corporate changes can be a losing proposition, but they can open doors to great opportunities.When Merastar Insurance Co. of Chattanooga, Tenn. became an independent property and casualty firm in 2004, CIO Ken Lytle grabbed the chance to update the company's aging systems, and devised a five-year plan that will replace its technologically grizzled V4 legacy system, which runs on an AS/400, with all-new applications.

"At the end of the five-year process, we expect to be fully off the 400, and have all our systems running on SQL, Java, PHP and server-based technologies," he says.

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