Anticipating future synergism with sister agencies, Sweden’s National Pensions Board (SPV) contracted Fujitsu, in partnership with Asysco, to migrate and modernize its platform in one seamless, efficient move. The one-to-one migration meant legal agreements and functionality for members remained intact. Despite disruptions by the global pandemic just after launch, the original tight timeline and strict budget were kept in check.
SPV wanted to migrate its code and move from the COBOL mainframe to the Microsoft platform simultaneously. It needed to complete the migration within a tight deadline and to a strict budget, while restricted by security matters and remote working.
- Fujitsu orchestrated a more comprehensive process and adaptive solution by optimizing agility, competence, and project management skills
- Migration to the Microsoft Windows platform was adapted to enable remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Project goals achieved including budget and deadlines
- Migrated COBOL mainframe to the Microsoft C#.NET and Microsoft SQL server platform to sync with sister agencies
- Technical employees were retrained and retained, improving their wellbeing
Anyone can migrate code. What sets working with Fujitsu and Asysco apart was the sheer will and dedication to get it right. That made all the difference.
Jakob Björklund, Head of IT, Statens tjanstepensionsverk (SPV)
to maintain the functionality
About the customer
SPV was established in 1963 and is one of Sweden’s largest pension service providers. It is responsible for administering the government employee pension for more than 1.1 million employees and pensioners. Additionally, SPV is responsible for managing the digital pension records for more than 250 government-related employers.
Modernizing while maintaining status quo
More than 1.1 million existing and former employees depend on the services provided by SPV. With a legacy COBOL based mainframe dating back to the 1980s, the modernizing initiative was a matter of urgency.
In proactive anticipation for future collaboration with sister agencies, the prudent move was to migrate the COBOL mainframe to the Microsoft C#.NET and Microsoft SQL server platform. “The mainframe wasn’t good at communicating with other systems,” explains Jakob Björklund, Head of IT at Statens Tjanstepensionsverk (SPV). “We had different platforms when we should have the same tech platform.”
And while the benefits of the latest digital features were welcomed and expected, it is what would not change that was among the top priorities. To keep the same existing legal agreements in place for pension holders, it was critical to assure there were no changes to the functionality.
“It was a technical migration,” adds Björklund. “It was very important that there were no changes to functionality.”
Excellent project management neutralized the global pandemic
To maintain the trust of pension holders and its governing board, SPV needed to find the right partners. Keeping to deadlines and within budget are critical in any company, but especially in the public sector. Based on a reputation of excellent project management skills and the right competence and commitment to successfully execute tasks, SPV selected Fujitsu.
This was quickly tested as the global COVID-19 pandemic erupted soon after the two-year project got under way and restrictions required remote working. “There was no one who thought it couldn’t be done remotely,” Björklund recounts. “We had many rather complicated questions, and they could answer them all.”
The highly qualitative, one-to-one migration was a comprehensive process expected to take a bit more time but would deliver with fewer problematic issues. “We made the right decision choosing Fujitsu, and all relationships and roles were clearly assigned in the process,” confirms Björklund
Smooth transition for customers and employees
Despite what seemed like an insurmountable challenge, the project was completed nearly within the original timeframe and largely on budget ensuring old and new pension applications could function seamlessly. All goals were achieved, including positioning SPV to collaborate in future with other state agencies. “You could say we have had no problems with the system,” says Björklund. “It just works.”
The 1.1 million members are able to maintain the functionality, which means that there is no need to sign new legal agreements. Additionally, the positive benefits extend to satisfaction among SPV employees as well as value added for the pensions board. Older employees have easily learned how to adapt to the new platform and there is reduced pressure on the longer-serving staff who knew the original COBOL mainframe. “We have increased the competence of our staff by this move,” Björklund says.
When asked why Björklund believes the project was such a resounding success he answered: “It’s all about the project management skills with Fujitsu and Asysco, and not as much about the technical migration. Though that was excellent, too.”