EXL Health creates cost-savings through cloud migration

Health plan can now effectively move multiple business units to the cloud as part of comprehensive data modernization initiative

EXL Health gets results

Recently, the EXL Health data & analytics team partnered with a large national health plan to:

  • Reduce cloud migration turnaround time and complexity by 60% using efficient extract, transfer, and load (ETL) design, as well as a well-structured data mart and automation function
  • Replace the unreliable QlikView solution with a more stable, scalable, and dynamic Power BI product
  • Reduce cloud migration costs by 50%
  • Reduce costs by eliminating technical debt
  • Decrease total cost of data systems and apps ownership
  • Leverage the cloud migration framework as an accelerator for multiple business units to move to the cloud
  • Achieve a high level of satisfaction with end users by building well-received dashboards
  • Empower business units to comply with corporate mandates to move to the cloud
  • Optimize new technology that can be supported in the cloud to achieve strategic business goals
  • Use the Power BI solution to conduct outreach to facilities and providers, allowing for reduced procedure costs

Our approach

Because the health plan needed to modernize the data management efforts of several business units, EXL Health not only moved an initial set of systems and apps to the cloud, but also developed a repeatable framework that leveraged as a guide to implement subsequent cloud migrations.

To start, the EXL Health team worked with the health plan on an initial pilot project to demonstrate the full spectrum of capabilities associated with Power BI and to create a framework that operates as a foundation to migrate multiple dashboards and applications to the cloud. The framework was built in a manner that would not only enable EXL Health to expediently move other business unit’s apps and data to the cloud, but also make it possible for the health plan’s internal IT teams to independently carry out these projects in the future.

To kick off the project, EXL Health relied on a Microsoft SQL server to design the data model and load the data. Building a common data model on Microsoft technology made it possible to lay the foundation that would support additional cloud migrations and enable the construction of data dashboards for each business unit.

In addition, EXL Health developed unique and specific visuals that were not available “out of the box” in Power BI. The visuals, which included a search box, were used as starting points for the dashboards that were subsequently developed by each business unit.

The EXL Health difference

The EXL Health data & analytics team offered the large health insurer the expert human capital needed to either lead entire cloud migration efforts or supplement internal IT teams as they moved systems to the cloud. More specifically, EXL Health offered significant knowledge of solutions such as Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI, as well as an in-depth understanding of the health insurer’s data, technologies, processes, and people.

Perhaps most importantly, EXL Health rendered services in a cost-effective manner, as our model provided a combination of onshore and offshore services. More specifically, to keep costs low and customer satisfaction high, EXL Health handled 20% of services through onshore team members, and 80% via offshore resources. As such, the onshore workers engaged directly with key stakeholders at the health plan to coordinate the cloud migration work. At the same time, the “heavy lifting” associated with the data management was completed by the offshore team.

Client's challenges

Although it is easy to recognize the value of moving to the cloud, making the transition is not so simple. In fact, the health plan faced a variety of challenges during the process, including:

  • Empower numerous business units to move to the cloud
  • Migrate a substantial inventory of systems and dashboards to the cloud
  • Maintain access to historical member information
  • Deliver large, automated PDFs (7,000 pages) as well as on-the-fly report generation based on user input
  • Establish a robust, scalable, normalized, and repeatable framework that could be used to guide additional cloud migrations

Perhaps most importantly, the health plan needed to “change the wheels on the bus while it was still moving” – and to do that as cost efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, recruiting and training internal staff to independently handle this migration loomed as an expensive and time-consuming proposition.

That’s why the health plan chose to leverage the deep domain expertise and industry-recognized services of the EXL Health data & analytics team.