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Project Enables Access to Legacy Systems and Data with SOA Strategy
Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan selects GT Software's Ivory

GT Software announced that Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan has launched a new Customer Center using Ivory Visual Connect and Ivory Data Access. Ivory Data Access enables new legacy-SOA integration strategies that tap into mainframe performance, security and programming resources, as well as valuable data.

Farm Bureau Insurance was faced with two problematic situations: a legacy mainframe and based applications, when they selected GT Software’s solution set.

What started out as a project to modernize a mainframe-based inquiry system evolved into the full-scale Customer Center that now serves 1,500 users. In the process, some 150 mainframe “green screens” have been updated with graphical user interfaces making the system more effective for agents and home office customer service to address customer needs.

While the majority of data and information resided on the mainframe, more and more critical data was housed in SQL.  Farm Bureau Insurance wanted to integrate these environments into a seamless graphical user interface delivered in the browser.  The staff had extensive COBOL programming knowledge, and needed a tool that they could use to write non-COBOL applications without having to become experts in .NET or Java.

Although the initial goal for modernizing the customer inquiry system was to put a GUI on the back-end mainframe systems, senior programmer/analyst Steve Dietz related, “The ability to truly integrate our disparate systems was a key benefit of Ivory. We can do SQL calls off-platform and then use Ivory to do COBOL calls on the mainframe. It allows us to actually extend our systems, not just put a GUI in front of a green screen.” 

As a result Farm Bureau Insurance was able to improve its inquiry system with the addition of SQL data into the application.

Ivory also enabled Farm Bureau Insurance to integrate its billing administration system. “The system keeps a log, allows the agent to easily balance payments, do deposits, and so on. It’s been very well accepted,” said Dietz, “and since the agents themselves can do the processing, we are processing lien holder changes much faster now. That has a positive impact on our customer service.”

Farm Bureau Insurance’s use of Ivory to integrate its mainframe systems and resources has grown since its initial adoption. “The product grew with our needs, and has continued to grow over the years we’ve used it. GT Software has listened and been very responsive,” concluded Dietz

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SOA World Magazine News Desk trawls the world of distributed computing and SOA-related developments for the latest word on technologies, standards, products, and services and brings key information to you in a timely and convenient summary form.

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