BUPA adopts .net-based web services

BUPA has awarded Edenbrook a two-year £5m contract to develop new Microsoft .net-based systems to support its private healthcare business.

BUPA has awarded Edenbrook a two-year £5m contract to develop new Microsoft .net-based systems to support its private healthcare business.

In 2004, BUPA embarked on the development of a new system to support its membership business in the UK.

The business was supported by over 70 primarily mainframe-based systems, which were expensive to maintain and difficult to change. The challenge was to provide a modern, flexible, scaleable solution to support business growth, manage benefit spend and to provide a better service to members.

Following a successful project to re-engineer BUPA International's systems to a service oriented architecture using Microsoft's .net framework and an Oracle database, Edenbrook was hired in December 2004 to complete an analysis of requirements for BUPA UK's SME business. The contract was then extended to cover the whole of BUPA UK's insurance and membership services.

John Lister, BUPA chief information officer, said, "We chose Edenbrook because of its extensive experience of enterprise solution delivery. Its modern approach to development coupled with detailed technical and business understanding ensures we are able to achieve our challenging business and IT transformation timescales, whilst ensuring a high quality system that meets the real needs of the business."
 
The project is expected to run through to 2007. The new systems have been designed to ensure common business functions can be re-used throughout the business using web services. These web services are used by BUPA's customer facing web systems and will be combined to support configurable business processes.

The systems are accessible via the internet and have a user interface developed with Microsoft's .net Windows forms. This style of smart client application allows users to access the system via low bandwidth connections, whilst providing self-patching software and caching to ensure easier maintenance.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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