The Healix Group of Companies provides innovative health, travel and security-related risk management solutions to clients worldwide. With numerous corporate, government, NGO and insurance clients relying on its services, Healix must ensure it is available 24/7/365. For this reason Healix has employed Sungard Availability Services to ensure the recovery of its systems and data and provide a well-equipped alternative workspace for its employees in the event disaster strikes.
Founded in 1992, the independently owned Healix Group of Companies has offices in the UK, USA, New Zealand, Kenya, Singapore and Spain. Its dedicated medical team of fully qualified doctors and nurses makes for the highest ratio of clinically trained staff in the managed health services industry. Many of these individuals have extensive experience in international medicine, emergency evacuations and aviation medical care – working with airlines to look after crew members who become unwell overseas and acting as medical escorts on repatriation flights. Healix also provides medical claims management services for corporate healthcare schemes and for insurers.
The group also has a highly qualified team of global security specialists whose role is to identify escalating situations worldwide that could become crises and manage those risks effectively. This could involve providing ground support and protective services, evacuation planning and counter terrorism services to ensure the safety of its clients' employees and the security of their global resources.
Results of providing business continuity services to Healix
- Ensures potentially life-saving operational continuity for Healix and its clients
- Mitigates the risk of financial penalties for breach of Service Level Agreements
- Provides reassurance that Healix can continue providing vital support to international travellers and globally mobile employees in need of their help, even if its operations are affected by a crisis
- Supports the speedy resolution of health insurance claims
- Safeguards against reputational damage caused by failure to deliver
- Peace of mind that customer data is safe and secure
Service availability is key to us as we’re running medical and security systems. Quite literally, lives could be at stake.
Ensure that Healix can access critical information at all times
Like most businesses today, Healix depends heavily on its IT systems to support its operations, which run around the clock. Its contact centres operate a 'follow the sun' model so Healix would be able to temporarily transfer operations between offices to fulfil its obligations in the event of a short-term outage. However, Healix recognised that a protracted outage would cause it serious difficulties and put lives at risk so wanted to put reliable external support in place.
In a medical emergency seconds count so any delay in authorising urgent medical care could literally make the difference between life and death. And if a client's employees or representatives are trapped in a dangerous situation overseas, knowing the precise location of evacuees and having the ability to communicate with them are critical to a successful extraction operation.
From a commercial point of view, downtime could result in financial losses for breach of clients' service level agreements, serious reputational damage to Healix and potentially lead to serious illness, disability or even a fatality.
Consequently, when it comes to disaster recovery planning Healix leaves nothing to chance, building in resilience to both its business processes and IT infrastructure. This includes workplace recovery provision that will give its employees a fully-equipped workplace should its own offices be out of action for more than a few days.
Workplace recovery services that protect people, systems and data
Healix chose Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) as its business continuity provider, reassured by our 40-year track record of protecting and recovering customers' systems and data. With several government departments among its customers, our Government Cloud platform was also a critical factor.
The Healix group contracts over 120 seats at one of Sungard AS' UK workplace recovery sites – enough to cover more than a quarter of its workforce - which will enable employees to continue working productively in the event its own offices or IT systems are out of action.
CIO Graham Christie explains, "Our clients are governments, insurance companies and large corporates who all perform stringent due diligence covering our business processes, security and availability. So our business continuity planning has to be more than a piece of paper. We need to show it actually works."
To this end, Healix performs internal tests of its business continuity plans quarterly and conducts full-blown exercises involving operational personnel from all three arms of the group at the Sungard AS recovery facility annually.
With several sites in both central and outer London and an international network of workplace recovery centres, Sungard AS can offer customers a 'rollback' capability to a second or even third choice recovery centre in the event of a large-scale incident.
Priceless peace of mind for Healix - and its customers
Commenting on his company's ten-year relationship with Sungard AS, Graham Christie says, "We feel well looked after by Sungard AS – there's a lot of continuity, which I value as a longstanding client. And I find the Sungard AS people we deal with knowledgeable and responsive."
Remarkably, Healix's approach to building resilience through rigorous testing and building in redundancy to its IT infrastructure means the company has not yet needed to call on Sungard AS' services in a live invocation. But Healix's rigorous testing programme means Graham Christie has no doubt that when the group's plans are put to the test for real, they will not be found wanting.
“One of the things that sets us apart from our competitors is that most of our call handlers are medically trained for quick resolution of claims,” he explains. “They often need to make instant decisions so it’s vital they always have the information they need at their fingertips. By partnering with Sungard AS, I’m confident this will be the case.”