Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. is a Florida licensed health maintenance organization with health plans for people enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs. Acquired by Anthem several years ago, Simply Healthcare Plans and its affiliates serve more than 200,000 members through a network of over 10,000 doctors, 165 hospitals and hundreds of ancillary providers and pharmacies throughout Florida.
Ease the company’s transition to Office 365, and deliver user single sign-on for an array of SaaS apps. Minimize help desk tickets for password resets, and reduce the time and effort required for IT to onboard new employees.
In recent years, Simply Healthcare has experienced significant growth — doubling its membership and increasing its employee count by nearly 1,000 percent over the last four years.
While rapid growth is great for business, it can present a number of challenges both for employees and infrastructure teams. For Simply Healthcare it has meant a new telecom system, multiple new SaaS applications, additional websites and a transition from on-premises software to cloud solutions.
The infrastructure team is tasked with everything from server and network maintenance, to help desk requests and employee onboarding. Looking for something to reduce the pressure, the decision to switch from on-premises Microsoft Office to Office 365 was made.
“We knew that switching to Office 365 was the best move both for us and for employees,” says Richard Smith, Director of IT Infrastructure and Network Operations at Simply Healthcare Plans. “And we knew we needed a solution to help with identity federation.”
Smith and his team undertook the challenge to identify a solution that would not only ease the implementation of Office 365, but would also:
SoftwareOne introduced Simply Healthcare to the Idaptive solution as a means to ease the roll out of Office 365, federate user identity, provide user SSO capabilities and minimize password reset requests.
Simply Healthcare called on technology solutions provider SoftwareOne to help determine essential solution features and identify providers. SoftwareOne suggested the company evaluate Microsoft’s single sign-on solution and compare its functionality with Idaptive.
“Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) were an early option, but our analysis found that to build out our own system–to deploy multiple servers, replicate the servers to avoid a single point of failure, and then assign a team of engineers to manage it would have required significant investments in both hardware and manpower. We estimated that approach would cost in the tens of thousands of dollars,” says Smith.
The company then looked to Idaptive for an alternative, turn-key solution. “We gathered some background information and then requested a demo so that we could see exactly what Idaptive had to offer. Our conclusion was that Idaptive met all of our specified needs, and was rich with complimentary features like app usage auditing. After a 30-day trial, we were sold,” says Smith.
To assist with the implementation, Simply Healthcare purchased Idaptive’s Jump Start service and was assigned an engineer to respond to any questions or issues. “It was a huge benefit to take advantage of the Jump Start program especially since we were deploying the solution ourselves,” says Smith. “Jump Start cut deployment time in half.”
Office 365 was federated in minutes. The company avoided large expenditures associated with building out their own AD FS system. Password reset requests for Office 365 became negligible.
Idaptive met Simply Healthcare’s main goal to provide identity federation services for Office 365. “Idaptive eased the transition to Office 365 significantly. It was a matter of minutes and we were federated. It’s incredibly easy to deploy an app and make it available to users. I can’t say enough about how valuable it’s been for us.”
Smith estimates that the manpower cost for his team to build out AD FS would have been in the thousands. And beyond the dollar amount, the time impact on his six-person IT team would have been counterproductive.
As part of the project, the company also wanted to ease the user experience and minimize password resets. “On any given Monday, 60 to 70 percent of all help desk tickets were for password resets, and with a six-person help desk team supporting a thousand users, that was a challenge,” says Smith. “With Idaptive’s single sign-on capabilities for Office 365, we rarely see tickets for username and password resets.”
In addition, employee onboarding has been simplified due to Idaptive’s ability to pre-assign roles and groups so that users get quick access to the entire set of applications required for their jobs.
The effort to remain HIPAA-compliant also received a significant boost from Idaptive. “Reporting capabilities are essential in maintaining HIPAA compliance, and you can really minimize risk when you can see what everybody’s doing and when. Idaptive makes the job of the auditors much easier.”