For Southern Cross Health Society, Red Moki’s points of difference shine through

New Zealand’s largest health insurance business is benefiting from working with an IT partner that works the same way they do, delivers results and charges like a support partner, not a consultancy.

Southern Cross Health Society is New Zealand’s largest health insurance business with more than 860,000 members. The not-for-profit friendly society is part of the Southern Cross Healthcare Group: a group of five independent health and insurance-related businesses which share a not-for-profit ethos and touch the lives of more than a million New Zealanders.

The Society’s end-user compute, the management of its cloud compute solutions and support for all internal IT functionality are provided by the organisation’s Digital Operations division.

The division also operates a first-line support desk, full ticket management and escalation processes, along with tier-two support and project delivery, and a full-service management function which manages change, release, problem/incident management and configuration management.

On top of that, Digital Operations, which has a staff of 13, manages much of the Society’s third-level support through partners.

Charging like a support partner, not a consultant

The Society uses ServiceNow’s Now Platform for IT Service Management and IT Operations Management, and for orchestration and automation, explains Andy Tatarzycki, Head of Digital Operations.

The Now Platform is ServiceNow’s intelligent and intuitive cloud-based low-code development platform that enables users to accelerate application and digital process development.

The Society had previously used another consultancy for its ServiceNow deployment and development, and first engaged Red Moki to complete an upgrade of the Now Platform from the Kingston to Madrid versions.

“Engaging Red Moki to carry out the upgrade project was a chance to test and validate that our ServiceNow solution – which primarily comprised configuration components rather than customisations – had been delivered using best practice methodologies,” Andy says.

“It was an ideal opportunity to experience working with another partner, so we could see how they performed in this space, while at the same time – by undertaking a benchmarking exercise – we could see whether our other vendor had delivered a robust solution.”

The Society was attracted to Red Moki’s cost-effective subscription-based agile services delivery model.

“The main driver for us was to engage a support partner that actually behaves and charges like a support partner rather than a consultant,” Andy says.

“With the initial Now Platform upgrade, what Red Moki brought to the party was a very structured approach to an upgrade process. They’d done it multiple times before and they demonstrated a level of confidence which enabled us to jump two releases,” Andy says.

“We had been on the Jakarta release and were able to skip London and go straight on to Madrid. That was based on the sort of confidence levels that showed through Red Moki’s process documentation and skillset in terms of covering all of our questions before we even asked them.”

An agile approach that’s delivering real results

Following the successful upgrade of the Now Platform for the Society, it has engaged Red Moki on an ongoing basis to carry out its “business as usual” ServiceNow development work and Andy says he has been very happy with the engagement and what the partnership has been delivering.

As well as being cost-effective, Red Moki’s subscription-based agile services pricing model has proven to be an excellent fit with the Society’s Digital Operations division’s structure and agile delivery methodology, Andy says.

“The key differentiator is we’re not paying consultancy fees for support. Red Moki’s blended rate enables us to get support at the right rate – as well as being good quality delivery from a very knowledgeable team.”

Ongoing development work is carried out with the Red Moki team using a two-week agile sprint format, Andy explains.

“They are the first partner we’ve found that are truly engaged with this model and are really delivering results over those two-week sprint periods.”

An international team of experts that’s on the same page as the customer

Andy says he has also been impressed by Red Moki’s blended onshore/offshore development team which means the Society has cost-effective access to world class specialist ServiceNow experts.

“It’s a real value-add having their very knowledgeable offshore team who aren’t afraid to tell us, the customer: ‘Well, actually, no, that isn’t best practice, and this is the way we should do it.’”

When it comes to the ongoing development sprints, the blended team is able to work out the “what” side of the Society’s requirements which are passed on to Red Moki’s offshore experts who will deliver the necessary “how” aspect of the solution by the next morning.

“So there’s a really quick turnaround time and the two teams – locally and offshore – are really on the same page in terms of what we need.”

The productive nature of the partnership means the Digital Operations division has been able to make progress tackling a long list of development tasks it wants to complete to enhance its functionality across the Now Platform.