Ford-Versicherungs-Vermittlungs (FVV) manages insurance and pensions for tens of thousands of active and retired Ford employees throughout Germany, as well as for employees of Ford’s partner companies.

The company prides itself on outstanding service levels, tailored specifically to the needs of Ford employees. “We’re not insurance agents,” the company’s website says, “we’re your colleagues.” Their attention to service shows up in the way they do business. The company offers telephone-based person-to-person service, for example, without the usual wait times that often frustrate customers of other companies. They even encourage their constituents to directly contact the company’s CEO if they’re not fully satisfied with FVV’s service.

Since its inception, FVV has leveraged technology to improve its service to Ford employees. The company also offers an FVV mobile app, for example, that puts life insurance, health, and property insurance information at each employee’s fingertips.

FVV’s CRM system dates back to 1989, and was originally developed on Wang technology. Around the year 2000, as that system faced obsolescence, technology leaders at the company engaged Astadia to help them migrate their COBOL code to a more modern platform. That project was highly successful, enabling FVV to extend the life of their investments in the CRM system.


The move away from the Wang platform has served FVV well. But as the world of technology continued to advance, the company saw that it was falling further into “technical debt,” building upon their mainframe Wang COBOL code with even more legacy code.

Technical leaders at FVV still wanted to preserve their investments in existing applications, but they wanted to shift their development strategy to modern, object-oriented languages that would serve them better over the long term. They were also having difficulty hiring people with the specialized COBOL skills they would need to continue maintaining their legacy code.

FVV wanted to improve their IT agility as well. In their quest to innovate on behalf for the Ford employees they serve, leaders at the company recognized that modern languages would better enable them to integrate, extend, and improve their customer-facing applications, as well as to integrate with external business partners.


IT Leaders at FVV had a good relationship with Astadia, based on the project they had completed together years before. They reached out and asked for Astadia’s help forging a path forward. In the time that had passed since the initial project, Astadia had developed a new product aimed at running legacy COBOL code alongside Java and/or C#. This makes it possible for developers to transition to Object-Oriented languages such as Java or C# gradually over time, for example, team by team.

The CobolBridge product enables developers to work in Microsoft Visual Studio, transforming the COBOL code to Java/C# and then compiling the Java/C# code using CodeTurn. Using this new tool set, FVV could dispense with their third-party COBOL licenses and standardize around a single, sustainable platform.


Astadia successfully completed the project on schedule and within budget, moving the company to a more flexible and adaptable development environment. CobolBridge is enabling the FVV team to move forward with new developments, without incurring the technical debt that has plagued them for years. “This has put us on a much more sustainable path,” said Andreas Knuth, Chief Technology Officer at FVV.

Now that they are using more modern programming languages, FVV can hire from a broad pool of skilled developers, and they can more easily integrate with external applications and trading partners. “We needed a solution that would help us continue operating the technology we have developed over several decades,” said Susanne Bongers, CEO, of FVV. “Astadia completed the project successfully and offered us an effective bridge to the future.”

About the client


Ford-Versicherungs-Vermittlungs GmbH


Financial Services




Preserved the company’s existing investments, increased agility

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