Meet our customer hero
For more than 180 years, Australian Unity has embraced an understanding of wellbeing that goes far beyond physical health. Instead, standard of living, personal relationships, and community connectedness are prioritized as part of a larger goal to promote real wellbeing. This holistic view has led to the development of a complex and diverse portfolio of services encompassing private health insurance, healthcare, specialist care, financial and banking services. For a company offering such a diverse range of products and services, it was critical that Australian Unity invest in its IT to deliver what matters to its customers and members.
Guided by its belief in thinking big and doing things well, Australia Unity needed a solution that could unlock data—held in silos across numerous legacy systems—and connect it to release its true value. Following a review of solutions, Australian Unity chose webMethods.
Australian Unity’s preliminary project centered around a Salesforce integration which was completed in just one year, allowing Australian Unity to breathe a huge sigh of relief. The next—even more challenging step—was to get its critical financial on-prem application, SunGL, to integrate with Coupa—a new cloud-first app for purchasing. For many, this would have proved very difficult because there is no ready solution to connect SunGL’s GST business rules with Coupa. But webMethods has open integration wired into it, making it simple to program legacy apps to speak to new applications in the cloud. This meant Australian Unity was able to build its own interface to do the GST calculations and integrate its financial transaction processes.
In the light of its success, Australian Unity moved on from retail to integrate other data sources. Currently 60 applications are integrated within Australian Unity. As Rohit Singh, Integration Manager, says: “We used to have to do manual uploads. Now everything’s automated. Invoicing, purchase orders, even the approval process. This means suppliers are getting paid on time and as we all know—happy suppliers, happy end-customers, happy days!”
After ruling out two other major API management platforms—one because it offered no real advantages, and the other because the price did not match the value it offered, Australian Unity made the decision to stick with webMethods for the next stage in its journey.
With an upgrade to the webMethods subscription model and access to an API gateway layer, Australian Unity could begin to tackle its landmark “Project Guardian” Initiative. The goal was to create an accurate view of its customers across product lines and deliver additional value through digital channels. To do this, the company was going to need to access all different sources of customer information scattered across multiple business units. This data was there to be exposed by webMethods, but only developers knew how to develop the apps to merge it. Australian Unity built a data platform to unite this data, filter, and collect it. The API layer would then provide this consolidated data to the end user.
This was done in just months. As Rohit puts it, “for the first time in Australian Unity history, we had a central view of our customer data—across all business units—a single source of truth.”
For a member-owned company like Australian Unity, there were several rules that made the launch of Project Guardian daunting. “After a fixed number of years customers become members. The more years of membership, the more benefits across different business units. Same goes for employees in terms of length of service” says Rohit. “Project Guardian is powered by a solution that has all these rules written into the fabric of its platform. So, customer loyalty and retention are effectively pre-programmed in.”
For such an ambitious project, partnership has been key. Australian Unity has worked closely with Software AG’s professional services, and their customer success manager to champion its progress: “For any issue I face, I just call or email my CSM and the matter is escalated and resolved quickly. We really get the royal treatment,” says Rohit.
But its work is not done yet. With over 50 vendors, Australian Unity moves thousands of files a day. And given its work in banking and financing it needs to be sure it shares crucial, confidential information securely. To date this has been done with Managed File Transfer (MFT), built on top of webMethods. But this too is now a candidate for provision as a cloud service by its trusted partner.
Rohit Singh explains, “We want to be able to manage files via the hybrid webMethods.io MFT environment and let Software AG handle the security stuff. That makes our enterprise even more efficient—and we get to outsource the security stress.”
Which makes sense, because with its powerful webMethods API Gateway layer in place, the team’s attention has quickly turned to developing new data-driven services to delight customers—for example, the recent release of the My Real Wellbeing app. Featuring interactive levels, personalized activities and targets, as well as expert guidance, the My Real Wellbeing app assists users across several different areas to help boost and maintain their overall welfare. “It’s proven that physical and mental wellbeing are interconnected. We’ve literally digitalized our business around that philosophy” says Rohit.