NIB gets trans-Tasman with video conferencing

NIB is using video so that marketing teams can talk between Australia and NZ

NIB Health Funds has rolled out video conferencing to boost collaboration between its teams in Newcastle, Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand.

NIB CIO Brendan Mills told Computerworld Australia that it hadn't use a lot of video in the past.

“The new model we have put in place allows us to do a lot more video between those sites, whether that be boardroom to boardroom or point to point. In this phase, it will be marketing teams talking to marketing teams on the other side,” he said.

The organisation rolled out Microsoft Lync and Polycom video conferencing for staff in early 2015.

“We do think video will become a channel of choice for customers wanting to interact with us. We are confident that we can offer that with the bandwidth we have in place,” said Mills.

NIB is also using SIP-based voice services as part of a contract with Vocus Communications. The three-year communications and data partnership will allow NIB to improve scalability in its customer contact centre voice services to assist with peak call demands.

“The SIP model we have implemented allows us to pick up calls and route them wherever we want within our cloud we have with Vocus,” he said.

The setup affords the company some flexibility as to where it routes call traffic.

“The relationship we have with Vocus is key to what we are trying to do. They get engaged early on with the design work we are trying to do from a network perspective and have the right level of technical capability,” said Mills.

In addition, the company is implementing an IP telephony system in its NZ business which will be run off the same platform as its Cisco telephony system in Australia.

“We are replacing the technology layer which runs all our contact centre voice operations. We are moving from Genseys to Interactive Intelligence. That work is in progress at moment and will go live in the July/August time frame,” he said.

The health fund has signed a five-year deal for communications-as-a-service hosted by Interactive Intelligence.

Genesys sits on top of the Cisco IP telephony platform and NIB has been using it since 2003.

“It was time to test if Genesys was still the best fit for our business and so we went through a competitive process. The best fit in terms of value and feature sets was Interactive,” he said.

Turning to other projects, NIB has established a joint venture called Digital Health Ventures. The idea is to work on the creation of technology assets that can bring disruptive change to the health industry. The project began in June 2014.

The CIO added that NIB is looking to expand its overseas operations.

“Our international ambitions are much greater than they were some time ago. Where that is playing out the most at the moment is our medical tourism business called NIB Options in Thailand.”

This is to help Australians who are travelling to Thailand for medical procedures such as plastic surgery.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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Tags Video ConferencingVocus CommunicationsNIB

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