23 Nov MediHelp moves into cloud and reduces costs with 50% by removing the equipments
When what you are doing best is health insurance, IT is invariably a chore. Complicated and noisy equipment, maintenance, configuration, in other words, costs and a lot of stress. This was also the logic of MediHelp, which gave up its IT infrastructure and opted for Microsoft’s cloud computing services and CRESCENDO, an experienced IT & C integrator, as an implementing partner. Dynamics CRM online and Office 365 are just as important as MediHelp’s electricity, but they have become as easy to use, and payable.
Active on the market since 2005, MediHelp International is the leading provider of private health insurance in Central and Eastern Europe. The company is a representative of Bupa International in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, as well as other established suppliers such as Lamp Insurance. Initially addressed to expats, MediHelp’s plans and services have expanded over time coverage and diversity. The company currently has more than 5000 clients, both individuals and companies. The MediHelp team is made up of 12 people and is distributed in three main locations: Bucharest, Budapest and Sofia. For efficient sales and customer relationship management, MediHelp has invested in 2011 in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, installed on its own IT infrastructure. For email, the company uses Microsoft Exchange, also hosted on the internal infrastructure.
The profile of MediHelp’s activity involves insurance policies consultative sales and creating customized offers for each client. Therefore, interaction with the client is lengthy and involves many discussions and meetings to understand the profile and its needs. These aspects lead to a relatively long sales cycle and to a rich history with each client. Moreover, over 80% of meetings take place at the client’s premises, so mobility is a core element in MediHelp’s activity, provided by accessing two relevant components: the CRM solution and the email. MediHelp employees rely on these solutions to have the necessary mobility and effectively manage sales through access to documentation, customer relationship history, and more. Therefore, for MediHelp, any interruption in the functionality of the two solutions directly and immediately affects activity, generating delays in contract execution.
The initial situation
MediHelp hosts both CRM and email on an IT infrastructure managed by external providers because the company does not have a dedicated IT Department. However, the solutions were difficult to manage in the absence of professional equipment, both at server level and in redundant power supply.
Email storage and the size of the attachment were limited, and adding and removing users was only possible through requests to the external provider. Moreover, this provider could not proactively manage crisis situations or security issues, which led to disruptions in functionality and, implicitly, frustrations from MediHelp management, which considered the costs to be relatively high and unjustified for the quality of service delivered.
“The disruptions in both email and CRM have prompted us to move servers to an external provider, but we’ve hit security issues and the provider has not been able to provide us with the necessary support. It is very difficult when you do not have the technical skills to understand the situation and find a solution, so the frustrations are pressing and the costs are not very negligible, “says Laura Afrasine, MediHelp General Manager. Therefore, in the second part of 2013, the need for a solution to ensure the continued operation of CRM has become more and more obvious for MediHelp.
After discussing with suppliers and analyzing possible alternatives, contracting cloud computing services was becoming the most appropriate solution for MediHelp.
“We knew what cloud computing was and after the vendor presentations we understood exactly the benefits of eliminating equipment and licenses, which was exactly the solution we were looking for,” Laura Afrasine said. Based on cost analyzes, MediHelp has decided to switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, basically the same customer relationship management solution as previously used, but contracted through a subscription and accessed from Microsoft’s own infrastructure. The same decision was made for Office 365.
As a partner for implementing the project, MediHelp has selected CRESCENDO, a Microsoft GOLD partner. “The Cloud is perfectly suited to the MediHelp specificity because it takes care of IT equipment. With Office 365 we have email access from anywhere, we can share documents with anyone in the team, and Office suite can be installed on five devices. I found it very efficient not to print my offers to clients, but to access them anytime via the Internet, “Laura Afrasine said.
- Eliminate interruptions in CRM and email solutions;
- Reducing IT costs;
- Access to collaborative work facilities;
- The ability to easily add and remove users;
- Predictive costs.
Running the project
MediHelp started the migration process to Dynamics CRM Online in the fall of 2013, and Office 365 in January 2014, at the end of February, the services were already in operation. The whole process was carried out by CRESCENDO, a time period when the company’s activity was not affected.
The project included a series of menu-level personalizations for Dynamics CRM, as well as integration with MediHelp’s lead-taking site. In addition, improvements have been made at the reporting level by expanding the types of reports and analyzes to improve decision support.
At CRM level we focused on sales processes, but we also began to find useful features for marketing and customer support,” says Laura Afrasine. For Office 365, CRESCENDO has defined the new accounts, has taken over the information from the previous provider, and has transferred the email boxes to the new service. Migration of email accounts was accomplished in one day, no messages were lost, and by keeping the Outlook interface, the change was almost unnoticed for users.
Any disruption of the company’s business generates a potential lack of client satisfaction and even financial loss, matters that matter most to MediHelp. To add to the stress and frustrations caused by the previously used IT infrastructure. Having the functionality of CRM and email services, the company can focus on core business, generating customer satisfaction, revenue and profitability. On the other hand, cloud transition has benefits that are easier to evaluate and measure.
Reduce IT costs by 35 to 50% by removing their own equipment.
Both Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 are fully managed by Microsoft on a monthly subscription basis. Thus, MediHelp no longer pays space for servers, power for power, and maintenance services to other providers. “The integrated CRM Online-Office 365 project results in a 35% reduction in IT infrastructure costs, and for the email service, we estimate a 50% cost reduction. Very important: costs are monthly and predictive, “says Laura Afrasine.
Increase availability of CRM and email.
For Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365, Microsoft guarantees a availability of more than 99%, complemented by the support agreement signed with CRESCENDO. Through these integrated services, MediHelp ensures the continuity of critical services for its own business. This level of operation is virtually impossible for a small or medium company to achieve by its own investments. “The quality of service has grown obviously,” says Laura Afrasine, “and practically there are no disruptions in operation, neither in terms of CRM nor in the case of emails. Moreover, I know that Microsoft takes responsibility for this continuity in operation, which adds more comfort.
Improve email service by adding relevant functionality.
With Office 365, MediHelp users benefit from 25 GB of storage space, attachments of up to 25 MB antispam filters, presence indicators, videoconference, etc. In addition, Dynamics CRM has been integrated and synchronized with Outlook, which allows you to share your calendar and receive alerts on any device – tablet, phone, PC. As well as customizations requested by MediHelp, all the integrations were made through the contribution of CRESCENDO specialists.
Flexibility in adding and removing users, depending on the activity’s evolution.
Other obvious benefits of cloud services include the freedom and simplicity of adding or removing users without IT support. “I liked this degree of control provided by Microsoft’s cloud computing services. Without being a technical person, I can easily add a user to the system and become active immediately. Previously, for any change, I had to send a notification to the external vendor and wait for confirmation, “says the MediHelp General Manager.
Generalization of mobility for the entire MediHelp team.
For a team that runs 80% of meetings outside the office, accessing email anywhere and on any device is an essential condition. Moreover, with the functionality of SharePoint and OneDrive included in Office 365, MediHelp employees have permanent access to all the necessary documents in customer relationships. “With Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365, we have all the documentation required regardless of location. People can work at home, obviously in line with company policy, “said Laura Afrasine.
In conclusion, moving to the cloud has brought many benefits to MediHelp. Moreover, videoconference, collaboration, marketing, etc., are gradually being discovered and exploited.