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Helsana: Stronger customer experience thanks to modern integration

How does a new integration platform help Helsana improve its customer experience and thus attract new policyholders?

The existing central integration platform has not received any significant functional updates from the manufacturer for some time. In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find internally lost know-how for the platform on the market. As a result, this legacy platform is becoming a bottleneck in the implementation of new functional requirements.


With the development of a new, modern integration platform and the migration of the offer and application process to this platform, the users will be provided with relevant information faster, more flexibly and in a more targeted manner, which is required for an optimal and fully comprehensive decision-making process.


Through the consistent use of open source and cloud-native technologies for process control and integrations, as well as the conversion to a distributed microservice architecture, Helsana can provide its customers, partners and employees with a lean and efficient process that massively improves the user experience.

Challenges

The process for creating and processing offers and applications is a core process at Helsana. Its digitalisation repeatedly pushes the existing integration platform to its limits, both in technical and organisational terms.

These are the top challenges Helsana is facing:

  1. Missing features make it difficult to use modern protocols and technologies. Acquiring know-how on the legacy platform is difficult, which leads to bottlenecks and thus delays in implementing new technical requirements.

  2. Releases for the legacy platform are complex and full of dependencies, which is why the go-live of new applications is limited to the restricted release cycle of the legacy integration platform.

  3. Due to the lack of cloud capabilities in the legacy platform, Helsana cannot push ahead with the implementation of its cloud strategy as desired and cannot use new cloud services for its products.

  4. Due to the architecture and lack of self-service options of the legacy platform, a product-oriented organisation with a sophisticated developer experience is very difficult or impossible to implement.

Impact

The current integration platform has become a bottleneck for many projects and plans.

Ignoring the above challenges would have the following consequences:

  1. The implementation of technical requirements is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult. Know-how has to be sought and maintained at great expense and new technologies have to be integrated with complex workarounds.

  2. New requirements cannot be implemented to the full extent or at the speed desired by the trade, which can diminish the customer experience.

  3. New business applications are primarily developed for the cloud and operated there. In many cases, this leads to an unnecessarily complex, hybrid integration architecture and correspondingly high costs in implementation and operation.

  4. The organisation cannot benefit from agile approaches because integrations still need to be developed and maintained centrally and outside of product teams.

«The transition to a decentralised integration approach is a long journey and has challenged us in many ways so far. However, thanks to the further development of our DevOps capabilities, we are convinced that we are on the right track.»
David De Prado Head of Integration, Helsana

Solution

The new integration platform was designed and built by Helsana together with ipt. In an interdisciplinary team of specialists and IT, the offer and application process is now being migrated to the new platform and the resulting feedback is being used directly to optimise the platform.

The new solution, which Helsana has implemented in collaboration with ipt to address the challenges, delivers the following benefits and business value:

  1. Better customer experience

    Information can now be made available more easily and efficiently, and new channels can be opened up more quickly. This creates potential for extended self-service functionalities and process digitalisation.

  2. Ready for the future

    The cloud as an important pillar of Helsana's IT strategy can now be tackled and integrated with core systems. This means Helsana has the full range of current and future cloud services at its disposal to optimise its products.

  3. Cost and time savings

    Modern open source technologies allow for faster and cheaper implementation of new technical requirements, as the relevant know-how is readily available on the market and strong communities react quickly to feature requests and other enquiries.

Business Value

The following business value was generated through the solutions implemented:

Click here for the explanation of the ipt Value Spider - Make technology valuable

This was achieved

The following could be achieved with the solution.

 

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The new integration platform is productive...

...and initial implementations are benefiting from the newly acquired hybrid cloud capabilities.

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Product teams are able to develop integrations themselves...

...and are no longer dependent on a central team.

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The organisation has built up broad expertise in cloud-native technologies...

...and can benefit from this for the further implementation of the IT strategy.

«The ipt has helped us to make progress in the areas of decentralisation and developer experience with the new integration platform - without compromising on standardisation, governance and security.»
Michael Würsch IIntegration Architect, Helsana

Tech-Box

The following was requested from a technological point of view:

  • For use in hybrid / multi-cloud scenarios, only cloud native technologies should be used.
  • Integrations should be able to be developed and operated by development teams themselves.
  • Whenever possible, open source software with an active community and industry standards should be used.
  • Self-service, automation and CICD should be easy to implement via APIs or CLIs.

The following was used:

  • BPM in Camunda
  • Integration with Red Hat Fuse
  • Messaging with Red Hat AMQ Broker
  • API Management with Red Hat 3scale
  • Container Platform with Red Hat OpenShift
  • CICD with Azure DevOps

We were on the project

Feel free to contact us with any questions.