Healthy reports created for HAMBS

Friday, 17 July, 2009

As a cooperative company currently comprising 23 private health insurers across Australia, HAMBS provides a health fund management application for its members, along with related IT services and application hosting.

HAMBS’ members are essentially part owners in the company and their investment supports software development, the running of IT services and business administration. This makes the satisfaction of its ‘end users’ absolutely critical to its success. If a member of the group were to look elsewhere for fund management software, the cost to the remaining members would increase.

To avoid such a scenario, HAMBS is committed to impeccable customer service. As Stuart Brown, technical services manager at HAMBS, explains, a challenge for the company was to provide increased visibility into its service for members.

“As the private health insurers in the group began to grow and their management boards expanded, we had more and more requests to incorporate an SLA approach into our reports. Our members wanted more detail on things like the percentage of application availability they had each month, resolution times and so on.

“Until recently, our reports were based on exceptions. When a member experienced service difficulty we’d provide a report on what happened and how it was resolved. We knew that we could improve our service through constant network monitoring, but the challenge was how to achieve this through the efficient use of funds and resources.”

HAMBS set about looking at network and application management offerings. It required an out-of-the-box solution that would minimise the costs associated with implementation and internal training. After reviewing a series of vendors, the company focused its research on two solution offerings, one being NetIQ AppManager.

Brown continues, “Out-of-the-box deployment was a key consideration for us, and it didn’t take long to rule out a number of options on the market because of the time and resources they required for implementation.

“NetIQ AppManager met all of our criteria from functionality to ease of implementation.”

HAMBS currently uses NetIQ AppManager for internal reporting on areas such as server and storage utilisation, and has considerably improved its responsiveness to issues. Automated monitoring and management has saved time and resources in an environment where a team of nine IT staff are responsible for internal application development, as well as providing IT services to 23 customers.

According to Brown, the relationship with NetIQ is set to continue for the long term. The company continues to refine its use of AppManager, and is now interested in the policy-based administration capabilities of NetIQ’s Directory and Resource Administrator.

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