Medihelp Relies On BiPS' Cognos Expertise

Medihelp's ongoing commitment to building an infrastructure that enhances efficiency and improves service delivery within the organisation is being assisted by a select group of service providers.

BI Planning Services' (BIPS) depth of experience and specialised knowledge of the Cognos Business Intelligence application has ensured the medical aid administrator can depend on a stable, reliable system for its daily operations.

Says Charlene Sutherland, Senior Manager: Business Intelligence at Medihelp: "Medihelp is an open medical scheme that caters to 218 000 beneficiaries with a data warehouse that currently stores six years of detailed information, including member and supplier claims, processing and payments.

"Reliance on Cognos Client and Web Applications for decision-making is high and we consider it a mission-critical application. Our challenge was to find a specialist vendor that could support us in this demanding environment, assisting us to resolve some of our trickier Cognos issues quickly and efficiently.

"Cognos is used at Medihelp for strategic decision-making as well as for handling our daily tasks. It is assisting us to determine product pricing, manage and maintain good customer services, do financial analysis and ensure tariff regulation, as well as delivering standard reporting on claims, membership and human resources, among others."

BIPS was initially approached in 2003 to sort out some challenges with Cognos' reporting Web application that neither Medihelp's in-house IT team, or its Cognos partner at that time, could resolve. BIPS proved to be the only partner that could resolve this problem. It has continued to service the company in the capacity of specialist troubleshooter for the application.

Says Corneil Lubbe, Director at BIPS: "Medihelp's in-house team is highly skilled and manages day-to-day technology issues easily and well, including ensuring up-time of the applications and servers. Our expertise is required when Medihelp have exhausted their own knowledge base and the Cognos online knowledge base and documentation has not been able to resolve their issue."

With six years of experience in scoping, designing, implementing and maintaining data warehouse systems and BI applications, BIPS has the depth of knowledge necessary to sort out some of the more taxing application errors, incompatibilities and product bugs in Cognos, fine-tuning the application to ensure operations are not interrupted or are quickly resumed. BIPS has also taken Medihelp through several successful upgrade versions of Cognos during the past few years.

"BIPS' service over the past three years has been exemplary. They continue to meet our stringent requirements for fast and efficient response, helping us ensure this mission-critical application remains stable."

Says Lubbe: "Our business philosophy is to partner with our clients, making their needs and the success of their business our priority. Medihelp is a complex organisation whose quality of service directly impacts the lives of their clients. BIPS' role is to ensure the tools they need to sustain their high levels of service are always available and functional.

"This philosophy has assisted us to build a solid reputation across numerous business sectors as a reliable, competent and cost-effective business intelligence and performance management solution provider."