Sanitas finds the key to a healthier and longer life

Using analytics technologies to develop better healthcare services

Published on 29-Nov-2012

"We are extremely confident that IBM Cognos Business Intelligence 10 will enable Sanitas to comply with its ambitious mission statement: helping our clients to live better and longer." - Luis de Miguel, IT Manager, Sanitas



Deployment country:

BA - Business Analytics, Business Integration, BA - Business Intelligence, Business Performance Transformation, BA - Performance Management, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server


Part of the British health insurance company Bupa International, Sanitas is a Spanish provider of healthcare services that operates in both Spain and South America. The provision of health insurance policies is at the core of the company’s business, but Sanitas’s offerings also encompass customised medical services and the management of hospitals, health centres and nursing homes.

Business need:
Sanitas wanted to help its clients get healthy and stay healthy by developing new, more customised services based on the analysis of medical data.

Sanitas implemented IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence and IBM Cognos TM1® software, and chose to migrate to a virtualised server environment, using IBM® BladeCenter® PS701 Express blade servers to provide a more flexible analytics infrastructure.

Accelerates time-to-market for new services by more than 20 percent by enabling the IT infrastructure to respond more quickly to new business needs.

Supports complex analysis of medical data, enabling the development of new services tailored to customers’ needs. Provides a simple, user-friendly interface that helps business users dramatically accelerate the development of reports.

Case Study

To read a Spanish version of this case study, click here

Part of the British health insurance company Bupa International, Sanitas is a Spanish provider of healthcare services that operates in both Spain and South America. The provision of health insurance policies is at the core of the company’s business, but Sanitas’s offerings also encompass customised medical services and the management of hospitals, health centres and nursing homes.

Looking to maintain high-quality brand reputation
Luis de Miguel, IT Manager at Sanitas, comments: “Sanitas has always prided itself on being a top quality provider of health insurance and medical services, and this is apparent from the constant increase in the number of customers that we have been serving over the past ten years.”

He continues, “Sanitas has always positioned itself as a health ‘partner’. By ‘partner’, we mean that if you choose our services, we will accompany you throughout your whole life and support you if any health condition or medical necessity arises. Our ultimate mission, in fact, is to help our clients to live their lives in a better and healthier way. We aim to provide services that, by improving and targeting each individual’s personal condition, can contribute to a longer life span.”

To support this ambitious commitment, Sanitas knows that its IT infrastructure plays a central role. Harnessing the latest generation of technologies helps the company support its established client base as well as expanding its offerings to new customers. “Sanitas is constantly seeking new opportunities in the healthcare industry in order to grow its business and enlarge its client base,” says Luis de Miguel. “With an IT environment that helps us to catalyse all sorts of innovations, there is nothing to stand in the way of achieving our business ambitions. We can easily develop new projects, design new products and launch new services. Moreover, having reliable and resilient IT systems allows Sanitas to stay ahead of the competition, which is becoming increasingly important in these difficult economic conditions.”

Opting for an IT revamp
The volume of data collected and analysed by Sanitas – information about clients, healthcare providers and competitors – keeps growing by approximately 20 percent every year. As the total volume of data increases, it becomes a more and more valuable resource for the company to exploit. For this reason, Sanitas decided several years ago to invest in a business analytics solution that would help to mine this data for customer-related insights. The company knew that by gaining a deeper understanding of the needs of its clients, it would be able to develop new and improved services that would meet their needs more effectively. The company chose software from the IBM Cognos family as the foundation for this new business analytics capability, and has now been using these solutions successfully for more than ten years. Recently, in order to perform take advantage of new features and improved integration capabilities, the company decided to upgrade its Cognos Business Intelligence software to the latest and most advanced version – Cognos Business Intelligence 10. This project is now in progress.

“With such a huge amount of information to analyse, we knew we had to deploy leading-edge software in order to keep being innovative and maintain our promise to clients,” says Luis de Miguel.

Sophisticated scenario modelling
Sanitas is also making extensive and very profitable use of IBM Cognos TM1. More than 500 employees of the company – most of whom are managers and analysts – utilise Cognos TM1 for analysis and research, aiming at making business decisions and creating future business plans in a more reliable and rapid fashion. “With Cognos TM1 we can create ‘what-if’ scenarios that allow us to predict the performance of our insurance policies under different conditions, as well as constantly monitoring our budgets, costs and brand reputation,” explains Luis de Miguel.

Making the right decisions based on high-quality data
Cognos also enables Sanitas to control and track the quality of its financial, operational and health-related data, from the original data sources right through the whole analytical process. This helps to guarantee that the analyses its users create are based on completely reliable and up-to-date information.

“In our industry, having the right tools to handle and control millions of data-points is vital,” states Luis de Miguel. “With the right data in our Cognos environment, we can make decisions on where we should sell our services, whom we should sell them to, when we should sell them and at what price. We can also decide whether to open new hospitals and health centres, and provide more comprehensive services that give our clients greater confidence in their health insurance.”

Taking healthcare to the next level
The new version of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is expected to integrate seamlessly and rapidly with the company’s TM1 solution, and will help to generate innovative insights that will open up new business opportunities for the company. Sanitas’s IT staff is also planning on harnessing the Business Insight Advanced feature of Cognos Business Intelligence 10, which will allow users to create their own dashboards and reports quickly and easily, without needing support from IT staff.Luis de Miguel continues, “With the latest version of this Cognos software, we are confident that we will be able to create smarter, more helpful reports. Cognos helps us to gain more valuable information by combining data from numerous different systems, and finding connections between different areas of our business that we simply couldn’t see before.”

He continues: “One of the reports we are working on is designed to help us analyse the current health condition and medical history of our clients. Starting from this data, we will generate algorithms that enable us to calculate whether – and to what degree – a specific client’s health is likely to improve, maintain or worsen. If they have a condition that is likely to develop over the years, Sanitas can react promptly and help that client to manage their health more effectively. Without the IBM software, we simply wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Creating a high-performance infrastructure for analytics
To support the new version of Cognos Business Intelligence more effectively, Sanitas also decided to migrate from its existing Sun Solaris servers and install IBM BladeCenter PS701 Express blade servers, powered by IBM POWER7® processors and running the IBM AIX® operating system. Luis de Miguel says, “IBM has proved to be the right choice also for our hardware environment. With these new, fully virtualised and highly optimised servers, we can assign resources to different workloads at different times, to meet specific reporting requirements. Equally, the ability to set up new virtual systems quickly and easily, as and when we need them, has improved our time-to-market for new projects by more than 20 percent.”

Democratising analytics
When the implementation of Cognos 10 is complete, Sanitas expects to dramatically accelerate the development of reports. IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced will provide a simpler and more user-friendly way of developing personalised dashboards and reports. Business users will be able to combine data sources and apply a wide range of pre-defined analytical tools, without needing to understand the complexities of the underlying technology. “We are looking forward to harnessing the outstanding and innovative features of Cognos Business Intelligence 10,” concludes Luis de Miguel. “We are extremely confident that this software will enable Sanitas to comply with its ambitious mission statement: helping our clients to live better and longer.”

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organisations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualise trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organisations can align tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve business goals.

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

BladeCenter, BladeCenter PS701 Express, BladeCenter running OS - AIX

AIX, PowerVM, Cognos TM1, Cognos Business Intelligence

Legal Information

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