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BUPA AUSTR ALIA AND NEW ZE AL AND

DIGITAL REPORT 2020

The company’s journey and the challenges of COVID-19 IN ASSOCIATION WITH


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Bupa: the company’s journey and the challenges of COVID-19


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B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand, discusses the company’s journey and the impact COVID-19 has had the industry

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verything within the business strategy at Bupa is organised around its purpose to help people live longer, healthier, happier

lives, and to ensure people can fund their health through insurance-and good quality, trusted healthcare services,” comments Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand. 04

“Bupa as an organisation operates within interesting market contexts. In the last five to seven years, a lot of the focus has been on developing as an organisation – not just commercially in terms of proposition – but realising the role that technology plays in our journey. Bupa didn’t exist as a heritage brand in the same way that it does within the UK, so I would say over the last decade – particularly in the Australian market – Bupa has been building up our brand. We have been expanding to provide a variety of services to our customers, and with that growth, digital transformation has provided a lot of opportunities for us. Across the Technology team, we manage various digital estates such as data platforms, and have worked with companies along the way including Cloudera to explore our options for continued development.”


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B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

“Like many organisations at the moment, we are trying to hold true to our purpose: to help customers live longer, healthier, happier lives” — Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand

When it comes to the future of Bupa, Wong explains that like many other organisations it is in an extraordinary time in history. “There’s a lot of uncertainty for many organisations which could potentially create a completely new normal going forward. We are holding true to our purpose as best we can to help customers live longer, healthier, happier lives whilst also managing within our current conditions - both in the near term but also potentially for conditions that may

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last longer. “It is important for us to ensure that we can continue to provide value to our customers and potentially introduce new services that may help them through this period, even if it’s a diversification from some of the stuff we’ve done classically.” Wong reflects on the challenges that Bupa has faced, and highlights its key to success. “I think the major challenges have been around adapting to market conditions which are influenced by the broader financial and economic environment. I believe Bupa has also faced challenges in terms of how it


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07 continues to show meaningful value

respects that it has one of the largest

to customers.

customer bases and it doesn’t take it

“But I think Bupa’s key success is that

for granted. It really does pay atten-

the organisation is very robust and it is

tion to those things amidst all the

looking at ways it can continue to help

challenges that it faces, working hard

customers get the best out of their

to maintain its position as a premier

healthcare. I think that’s going to be

brand in the health insurance space

one of the most important things going

and continuing to support customers

forward, as well as the value that it has

via its propositions and services to

to hold in terms of the relationships it

add value to their lives.”

has with customers,” says Wong, who is very proud of the organisation’s

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 FOR BUPA

respect for its large customer base.

From a technological standpoint,

“I believe that this is one of Bupa’s

Wong explains that when it comes

biggest strengths, the fact that Bupa

to the impact of COVID-19, Bupa is w w w.bu p a . com


B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

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having to react to the conditions that

Zealand but as a global organisation.

people are facing such as “not being

Across our operations we are sharing

able to go to retail stores and having to

insights and learning from different

move our workforce to work remotely

healthcare markets across Europe,

to support people’s health insurance

Latin America, the UK, Australia and

needs. This is alongside the restric-

New Zealand.”

tions around elective surgery, the

Amidst the outbreak, now more

opportunity for treatments and some

than ever Bupa is needed by its cus-

ancillary treatments being reduced.

tomers to provide health advice and

“One of the challenges we are look-

reassurance. Wong reiterates that it

ing at is how we support the needs of

is Bupa’s purpose to help customers

customers, while meeting the govern-

live longer, healthier and happier lives,

ment guidelines regarding COVID-19

and with the outbreak of COVID-19

- and not just in Australia and New

“it is Bupa’s responsibility - like many


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other organisations - to look at what we can do to help people continue to get the services they need, even

Year founded

during financial hardship. So far Bupa

4mn+

mium increase for all health insurance

Bupa Health Insurance members

has delayed the annual 1 April precustomers for six months, effectively returning $134mn to these customers. Bupa is also providing more than $50mn in assistance for customers suffering financial hardship due to

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E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E :

Nick Wong Title: Director of Technology Delivery Industry: Healthcare

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand, started his career in the UK working in the media and telecom industry. He spent over eight years working at British Telecom (BT), and prior to that, worked at Accenture. Wong joined Bupa in 2014, leading the Digital team for a number of years, before moving into his current role in the Technology team. Wong describes a pivotal moment in his career back in his early days when he worked on the introduction of broadband internet, something which was transformational at the time.

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“Bupa’s key to success is that the organisation is very robust and is looking at ways in which it can continue to help customers get the best out of their healthcare” — Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand

and villages, we sent devices out to our homes so residents could connect face to face with their families. “These urgent technological interventions have led me to believe that

COVID-19. To date we have received

technology has a big role to play in

more than 27,000 applications, and

helping to address the emerging chal-

we also confirmed that customers with

lenges of COVID-19. We are seeing

any hospital policy will be covered for

that the industry is facing a lot of pres-

COVID-19 related claims, irrespective of

sure around efficient remote activities

policy terms.”

and the need to be able to run things

To continue to provide its services, Wong details that “the industry has

quicker for rapid responses.” “Technology such as intelligent

had to move to a new way of operating

automation are areas where I think we

quickly. However, this abrupt change

can combat some of these challenges.

has forced problem solving to move at

Then, when it comes down to supporting

a more focused and faster pace.

the broader societal intervention around

“In order to efficiently implement a

managing the impact of COVID-19,

working from home strategy we have

technology will play its role in that too,

had to implement new capabilities to

for example in the form of COVID-19

support areas especially impacted

tracking apps that are directly related

by social distancing measures. For

to our ability as a society to relax

example, when there were restric-

or manage some of the controls and

tions to visitors in our aged care home

restrictions that are in place.” w w w.c o mpa ny w wwe w.bu bsite. p a . com

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B U PA A U S T R A L I A A N D N E W Z E A L A N D

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“Across our operations we are sharing insights and learning from different healthcare markets across Europe, Latin America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand that we’re trying to apply where challenges and/or restrictions relating to COVID-19 are similar” — Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand


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“Bupa respects that it has one of the largest customer bases and it doesn’t take it for granted” — Nick Wong, Director of Technology Delivery, Bupa Australia & New Zealand

When it comes to the future of the industry, Wong highlights that there is still a lot of uncertainty around the virus. However, he comments that “obviously there are initial shock impacts around the availability of certain service provision now and a strain could be put on to our health infrastructure if the conditions were to worsen. But I think the most important


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thing is the way we manage to ensure

experts and societal experts to be

people’s health, quality of life and men-

able to provide that assurance.”

tal health so it is balanced. “The future will be around physical and mental health and ensuring that people will be operating safely at work or at home, or in a community with other people. The healthcare industry has a key role to play in this because people are looking towards healthcare w w w.bu p a . com


www.bupa.com

P0WERED BY

Profile for Business Review Asia

Bupa Australia & New Zealand June 2020  

Bupa Australia & New Zealand June 2020