That’s exactly the philosophy that helped Benefitfocus grow from a custom software development business to an industry-leading benefits platform. Along the way, Benefitfocus has harnessed the power of data to create services and solutions that address every stage of the benefits lifecycle for the employers, carriers and brokers with whom it works.
Benefitfocus’ entrepreneurial roots led to a culture where “Let’s build it from the ground up” was a preferred method for solution development. So when the company realized its growth demanded more robust reporting on enrollment data, they set out to solve that challenge the same way — on their own.
Benefitfocus needed a way to deliver reporting and analytics capabilities seamlessly to its clients’ user base of more than 150,000 benefits administrators. Keeping every client’s compliance data, including important employee data, safe and secure was also a critical success factor. “We have a lot of sensitive data we collect for our clients, who ask us, ‘What are you doing to ensure our data is secure?’ We have that same mindset — protect the data,” said Cassie Mullins, Product Manager for Reporting at Benefitfocus.
With an aggressive timeline in place driven by an upcoming enrollment period, the team soon realized they would be unable to develop a traditionally built, homegrown solution to introduce these new reporting and analytics capabilities to their clients on time. Mullins led a comprehensive evaluation of available solutions, including SAP BusinessObjects, Tableau and QlikView.
Ultimately, Mullins selected SAP BusinessObjects, which provides the tools for effectively supporting large user audiences, while delivering the customized reporting and analytics clients expect. However, the Benefitfocus team recognized they needed support to maximize the efficiencies SAP BusinessObjects could provide. “We had great new software, and we needed help to build up our knowledge of the tool,” Mullins said. Given its impending deadline, the company realized it also needed comprehensive training for staff members who would, in turn, introduce these competencies to clients.
Benefitfocus turned to Protiviti, the partner SAP highly recommended, for answers. Protiviti deployed a flexible SAP BusinessObjects architecture to serve Benefitfocus’ large and rapidly increasing user base. The solution was integrated seamlessly with Benefitfocus’ web-based application, eEnrollment.
From the initial installation, Protiviti worked closely with Benefitfocus while they assembled a team to ultimately support all SAP BusinessObjects work in-house. The team conducted training concurrently with getting the solution up and running to ensure a seamless transition to the new platform.
Throughout the engagement, the Benefitfocus and Protiviti teams worked side-by-side to develop both standard and customized reporting to meet client requests, while at the same time ensuring that data security was paramount.
When annual enrollment began, Benefitfocus was ready. The company launched an enrollment season that was roundly recognized by early-adopter clients as a “huge success, with virtually no failures.” The solution also was well received by end users, providing them more timely access to data during their critical enrollment periods.
Following the solution’s successful rollout, Protiviti continues to support Benefitfocus with ongoing SAP BusinessObjects development and training.
“One of the positive lessons we learned is: Don’t always do it yourself,” said Mullins. “There are experts in the field we can utilize to support the delivery of new solutions we didn’t build in-house. We made the right decision to invest in SAP BusinessObjects and to bring Protiviti in to handle implementation and ongoing support. I don’t think we’d be in the position we are today — seeing success — without partnering with Protiviti, who delivered a trusted, secure reporting platform.”