Our client has been dedicated to fueling the growth and success of open shop businesses in western Canada’s construction and resource development sectors. By offering an array of services, including human resources assistance, wellness programs, innovative professional development courses, wage and benefit surveys, and job boards, it empowers its members to enhance their teams and improve their bottom lines. Beyond this, they are a prominent provider of group benefits, a major sponsor of trades apprentices, and a leader in public policy analysis, advocacy, and training, fostering a strong economy while supporting responsible resource development.
Our client was managing their Tradition Benefit Plan using Bridge App, software that they had built in-house. The Hour Bank Benefit Plan was managed by one of the group benefits administration software. Having two different benefit administration solutions created the following challenges:
Training and Administrative Burden: Having two different software solutions doubled the maintenance and IT burden and required the team to learn and work within two different systems, introducing unnecessary inefficiencies.
Expensive Licensing Fees: Using a third-party software application came with annual licensing fees per customer, based on usage, that could quickly add up.
Inefficiencies: The benefit administration software generated monthly invoices within the system, requiring the client’s team to manually approve them for further processing.
To overcome these challenges, the client needed to be able to administer both plans with a single software application and determined that the in-house solution, Bridge App, was the right path forward.
A Microsoft Solutions Partner, Optimus Is certified in Azure Infrastructure, Data & AI, and Digital and App Innovation (specializing in infra and database migration and enterprise application migration). After receiving a strong referral from a legacy Optimus client, our client was sold after seeing their ability to structure the overall project into manageable parts, create a flexible operating model, and provide thought leadership in accomplishing the overall objective.
Once they selected Optimus, they went to work building out the missing functionality in the Bridge App. The steps included:
- The Optimus team started by gathering user requirements and doing overlap assessments, culminating in developing user stories.
- From there, the Optimus team built the system architecture to update the Bridge App to meet the managing and administering requirements of the Hour Bank Plan.
- Finally, Optimus built the hour Bank Plan features into the existing Bridge App, including the following features and functionality:
- Build hour remittance from the Bridge Customer Portal and the Admin Portal
- Transfer employee management to the Hour Bank billing group from the Admin Portal and Bridge Customer Portal.
- Enable access to the employee hours history from the Benefit Admin Portal and Bridge Customer Portal.
- Develop the ability to manage Hour Bank directly from the Admin Portal.
- Develop the ability to automatically remit hours.
- Build in the ability to calculate coverage based on remitted hours.
Azure DevOps was used for task management throughout the project. Using DevOps ensured the project would have the following:
- Centralized Project Management
- Structured Code Review Process
Today, the client has not only reduced the cost of licensing and maintaining third-party benefits administration software but has also been able to streamline the team’s ability to manage the benefits plans from a single platform. They no longer have to duplicate users in both apps and have eliminated the need for manual intervention to manage invoices across both software applications.
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