Medibank

Migration gives Medibank a modern cloud data analytics platform to offer ‘Better Health for Better Lives.’

Medibank move to a cloud data analytics platform with Vantage on AWS

When roughly 15% of Australia’s population trusts you with their health and wellbeing needs, you can bet on receiving more than just hospital and extras (e.g. dental, vision, physiotherapy, etc.) insurance coverage. 

Medibank first began as a health insurer more than 40 years ago and has grown into a broader healthcare company focused on delivering “Better Health for Better Lives.” Medibank aims to help its customers make better health decisions every day, working to ensure its products and services deliver more for customers. To help achieve this, Medibank is harnessing its data and utilising cloud data analytics for the agility, flexibility, and innovation needed to provide more personalised health information and advice and improve its customer experience.

Inciting a need for change

It wasn’t always this way. An unfortunate series of historic IT issues in 2016 impacted customer-facing operations such as on-time availability of customer tax statements and general customer service that created negative customer sentiment. Medibank knew it had to change.

First, Medibank needed to embark on a data transformation that included transitioning teams and technology from traditional approaches to a flexible, modern cloud data analytics platform that was future-ready. Craig Rowlands, Senior Executive for Information Management, faced an on-premises aging Teradata data warehouse nearing end of support. Tasked with leading Medibank’s migration to a cloud-first data analytics strategy, Craig and his team turned to Teradata Vantage™ on AWS, the modern cloud data analytics platform, to unify their data analytics ecosystem and deliver the capabilities needed to make the most of their data.

Creating a clear cloud migration path

“The first thing we learned is that we were slow to migrate to Vantage and we should have done it sooner. Clearing the deadwood to make the migration path more visible by removing redundant processes and storage allowed us to focus on the assets required for the migration to meet our strategic objectives.”

Craig Rowlands, Senior Executive for Information Management

Medibank by the numbers

3.76M
Customers
$5.5B
AUD benefits payable to customers
1.3M
Hospital admissions
22.7M
In extra services (dental, vision, etc.)

Provisioning access with the right guard rails allows Medibank to safely explore the data while maintaining strong data security measures.

The migration has driven improvements in three primary areas.


1. Enhanced user outcomes

The Vantage cloud data analytics platform is used for integrating data, performing data analytics, running financial and other reports, meeting regulatory and tax requirements, and other critical business functions. Medibank runs apps on the platform which support departments such as customer loyalty, member health, marketing, and actuary functions. Improved processes and increased capability lead to more relevant offers for the Medibank brand. Customer support team members have data insights to provide the best combination of products and services and advice to customers.

2. Operational processes

By law, Medibank is required to send annual tax statements to about 3.7 million customers each year. The platform supports the timely preparation of these statements and monthly amendments. Customers leaving Medibank also require documents.

3. Process efficiencies

Migrating to Vantage presented opportunities to accelerate modernisation, standardisation, and automation efforts. Through automation, Medibank has realised strong data quality, accurate completeness checks and improved availability which are important for meeting regulatory and compliance mandates.

Migrating to the Cloud and upgrading to Teradata Vantage on AWS is helping Medibank unlock unidentified intelligence, giving the data and analytics user community the ability to ask questions previously not possible against integrated and connected cross-functional data to build market-leading health service offerings and experiences.

Speed and agility with Teradata Vantage on AWS

“We must provide transfer certificates to customers who want to move to another insurer. Vantage can help us quickly identify those customers so our support team can contact them to understand what we could do to improve their experience and keep them as a customer. Time is of the essence here.”

Craig Rowlands, Senior Executive for Information Management

Migration supports business-critical needs.

The move to the Cloud took about four months, migrated 16TB of data, and required only 36-hours of downtime. Most of the migration time focused on detailed planning and testing. Rowlands credits the Vantage software for a smooth migration.

“The devil was in the details and the pre-work we had to do. We took a ‘lift and shift’ approach. Because Teradata is the same software on-premises or in the Cloud, the migration required very few application code changes.”

Craig Rowlands, Senior Executive for Information Management

As smooth as the cloud deployment and data analytics migration was, it wasn’t without its own unique hiccups.

“Funny enough, the old on-premises appliance was, literally, too large to fit through the doors of our data centre. You wouldn’t typically associate an appliance’s physical size as a challenge in migrating to the Cloud, but we had to do a bit of dismantling of the retired appliance to remove it from our data centre.” Rowlands continued, “If that was the biggest surprise of the migration, then that’s a good thing.”

Vantage on AWS now supports seven applications that had been running in the data warehouse, including those from Tableau, SAS, and MicroStrategy. The platform provides business continuity and disaster recovery and runs daily batches that include 90 critical reports. Some reports have real-time implications, like those related to fraud prevention.

Vantage integrates with first-party cloud services.

“We use a Vantage cold disaster recovery-as-a-service solution that takes Amazon EBS [Elastic Block Store] snapshots daily and spins up a secondary system on an alternative Availability Zone on AWS, when required.”

Craig Rowlands, Senior Executive for Information Management

Medibank has seen uptime increase to 100% while realising a massive reduction in incidents, resulting in less negative impact to the business.

“The 100% uptime after migration is phenomenal,” says Rowlands.

The company also saw cost-savings and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), when compared to the average on-premises spend over the last five years. Some savings are attributed to the Cloud’s flexibly and elasticity, allowing Medibank to quickly scale to meet demand. With Vantage on AWS, Medibank is now early, in fact, the first private health insurer to deliver reports to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and have its tax statements ready for customers. 

In addition, the platform seamlessly integrates customer interactions from retail stores, websites, call centre, texts, Medibank app, and more, then sends personalised communications across multiple channels.

The platform helps ensure Medibank is engaging each customer on their preferred channel, with customised messaging, to meet individual needs, prevent churn, and encourage new sales. Medibank is looking to utilise the platform to enable more automation in a number of focus areas such as improving customers’ claims experience and helping to prevent and resolve complaints. Early results are pleasing, particularly in regard to complaints.

Integrating data unlocks intelligence.

“Vantage is helping us integrate our data and better understand how our customers are interacting with us.”

Craig Rowlands, Senior Executive for Information Management

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