Medibank looks beyond ‘Project DelPHI’ teething problems

Core policy management system to be bedded down in FY17

Medibank Private says its new core policy management system, Project DelPHI, will be key to improving customer perceptions of the health insurer, as it moves to bed down the system in FY17 after data-migration woes earlier this year.

Medibank said today in its full year results announcement that it was battling negative perceptions about its lack of customer centricity and value for money, as well as broader public attitudes that view the health insurance industry as not being affordable or transparent.

“Customers' needs and outcomes have to be our number one priority. To deliver on this we will need to increase our investment in our customer service and product offering. We know that we need to do more, and that we need to be easier to deal with,” CEO Craig Drummond said in a statement.

“Key to this is the implementation of our new core policy management system, Project DelPHI,” the CEO said.

Project DelPHI has involved replacing the health insurer’s core policy and customer relationship management system and comprised the key part of a broad IT renewal program at Medibank.

It had a rocky debut this year when data migration caused a delay to issuing customers with their annual tax statements. Drummond issued a public apology in the wake of the problems.

“Despite initial implementation issues, we expect that in 2017 this system will be fully operational and will deliver a significant improvement to our customer experience,” Drummond said today.

Alongside Project DelPHI, the IT renewal program involved decommissioning Medibank’s legacy mainframe, upgrading its digital sale and services systems and improving data warehouse and business intelligence systems.

The SAP-based Project DelPHI was led by IBM Australia and involved replacing Medibank’s customer, policy, premium and product management systems with a single, integrated commercial insurance software suite.

Medibank’s IT expenses declined to $54.7 million in FY16, from $59.7 million in the previous financial year. The final stages of Project DelPHI were responsible for a $51.1 million increase in Medibank’s net balance of intangible assets.

Medibank reported group net profit after tax of $417.6 million, up 46.4 per cent from $285.3 million in FY15.

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