How Fidelity Life reimagined its employees’ workspace experience
Instead, the chief technology officer and veteran of the insurance industry was confronted with a simple question.
“In my first meeting with our operations team, someone put up their hand and asked, ‘why does it take me ten minutes to log into my PC every morning?’” Dan remembers.
It was clear that the technology user experience for Fidelity Life’s 300 staff was less than ideal for a company well-known for its quality service - Fidelity Life was named New Zealand’s Life Insurance Company of the Year for the last three years running.
Wanted: digital workspace superstar
Dan set out to find a technology partner that could help his team overhaul the digital workspace experience for Fidelity Life’s employees.
That search turned out to be easier than expected. Going out to tender for the work, Dan was surprised to see some integrators pull out of the running for the work when they realised who they were competing with - New Zealand’s digital workspace specialist Deptive.
“They are the best in the industry at working with Citrix and Microsoft,” says Dan.
“What really made me sit up and take notice was that during the sales process they didn’t talk about technology. They were focused on the experience we wanted our employees to have.”
With Deptive on board, the task of overhauling that experience began. Deptive took a human-centric approach, designing a digital workspace solution built around three personas - the office-based worker, the developer/power user and the mobile user.
The new digital workplace was based on Citrix Cloud and Microsoft 365, allowing all Fidelity Life staff secure, anytime, anywhere access to the apps and data they need to be productive.
“We started with the Citrix platform as that was clearly going to most immediately answer some of Fidelity Life’s frustrations around the user experience for employees,” says Deptive Chief Executive and founder Jason Poyner.
“The other aspect of it is Microsoft Modern Management capability, which will greatly reduce the effort needed to provision and manage all devices by leveraging Microsoft Intune and Autopilot,” Jason adds.
“Device and identity security will also be improved with conditional access and multi-factor authentication.”
Parts of the project weren’t straightforward, Dan admits.
“We had to layer the new Citrix on top of the old Citrix because of the way that a lot of our legacy apps were kind of baked into it,” he explains.
“To get some of those 30-year-old applications streaming through the new Citrix Cloud platform was a technological feat of gymnastics that they pulled off really, really well,” he says of Deptive.
Fidelity Life’s employees aren’t your typical office workers. Yes, they work in Office 365 and use email and other standard applications. But immersed in the business or measuring risk and uncertainty, they also need to be able to work with big data.
“When one of our actuaries says that they need to work with terabytes of data, we have to be able to provide them with the capacity in their virtual machine to do that,” says Dan.
“I wanted to be able to cost-effectively provision hyperscale capacity to any individual in the organisation.”
A design-led approach
That’s what Dan’s team, working with Deptive was able to achieve. The whole transformation took around seven months and was guided by a pilot group, including Fidelity Life staff and Deptive’s engineers.
The result is that Fidelity Life employees have easy, secure, and high performing access all to their applications anytime and anywhere.
“We deal with sensitive information and there’s a really solid layer of security around all of it as well,” says Dan.
The solution is cost-effective, secure and crucially, the user experience is a world away from the old, slow Citrix. The upgrade, says Dan, has delivered significant productivity gains for Fidelity Life.
“People used to log onto their machine in the morning, go and make a coffee and have a chat while their system loaded up,” says Dan.
“Now a process that typically took 7 - 10 minutes, takes 30 seconds. When you consider that improvement is enjoyed by hundreds of staff, that’s saving us an incredible amount of time.”
The new and streamlined Citrix environment was, crucially, in place for Fidelity Life’s unexpected transition to remote working. Most staff up to that point, says Dan, worked in the office.
Now with all New Zealand businesses in lock down, Fidelity Life had to make sure its staff could support individuals and businesses with their insurance claims and queries, working completely remotely.
“Thanks to the work we had done and with the assistance of Deptive, it was an incredibly smooth process,” says Dan.
“We moved 300 people to work from home in the space of 36 hours.”
That flexibility in working, a necessity of the pandemic, is now an ongoing feature of how Fidelity Life employees operate.
“Citrix and Microsoft 365 are integral to that,” says Dan.
“But the key to getting there was Deptive. They behave like designers and spend a lot of time trying to understand our business. That approach is what sets them apart.”
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