Healthcare Services Get Personal

Employing more than 84,000 staff worldwide, Bupa Australia and New Zealand remains a significant market within the group, servicing 4.7 million Australians and making up a large portion of revenue and market share across the organisation. Bupa Australia/NZ includes more than 120 Bupa-owned Members First dental clinics, Bupa optical stores and Bupa GP clinics, with more on the way. Bupa also provides personalised care at more than 65 Bupa aged care rest homes.


Bupa is a leading international healthcare group serving 32 million customers across 190 countries. The group operates a broad range of services across Australia and New Zealand including health insurance and health services – dental, optical, medical, GP clinics and aged care facilities.

The Challenge

Bupa’s Global Sales Forum had an idea for a mobile phone application that would convert all Bupa staff, including non-wired workers and contractors, into salespeople who could generate qualified product leads simply by talking to their family and friends and being empowered with succinct and engaging content about each product offering.

Before Bupa could proceed, the idea needed validation. Our rapid prototyping team worked with Bupa to co-create and user-test the concept.

The Datacom Difference

In just five days, Datacom’s rapid prototyping team created a tappable prototype app (named Because You Know Me) that beautifully presents content about Bupa’s products, including videos, and allows a lead to be generated and forwarded to the relevant team within Bupa. This lead would receive VIP treatment from Bupa, and Bupa also donates money to a charity every time a connection is made. The prototype showcased a gamification concept as well, to encourage people to engage in this activity.

The prototype gained immediate support from executive stakeholders at Bupa in Australia and New Zealand, and was also showcased in the UK as a thought leadership piece. The budget was approved for creating the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which included native mobile phone apps for the iPhone and Android phones, as well as a cloud-hosted backend and API, which were built on the Windows Azure App Services platform, and Windows Azure authentication as well as a simple but secure authorisation process for non-wired workers. The MVP development and deployment were completed within three months via an Agile delivery process that closely involved Bupa’s business stakeholders in weekly showcases and reviews.

The apps went through a soft launch across Australasia in June 2016 through digital channels only. Just a month after the soft launch, 400 staff had downloaded the app, and over 40 leads had already been referred and contacted. Bupa is currently planning a full-scale launch for all its staff, as well as brochures that will be included in on-boarding packs. The app has already been exposed to the UK on the app store and their head office is considering rolling out the initiative in applicable business units around the world, both as a leads-generation tool and a staff-engagement tool.

The Results

Bupa wanted to empower its large workforce in Australia to offer their own families and friends a premier experience in engaging with Bupa services. Datacom developed a mobile-phone-based solution using our Lean innovation collaborative approach, working directly with the Bupa project team. The phone app allows Bupa staff to connect people they know with specific Bupa services and in return Bupa contributes to an aligned charity. This is innovation: a mobile phone app for salesforce staff that offers a differentiated premium-quality service, improves staff engagement and supports an important charitable cause.

“We wanted a partner that had the technology credentials and experience to be able to build an application deployment solution to speed up the time in which we created environments. The innovation that the joint Datacom and Bupa teams delivered on provided a significant productivity improvement in this specific area within Operations.”

Damian Purcell, BUPA Australia, Application and Database Support Manager