Applied Benefits Designer Paves the Way for a Smoother Renewal Process
Technology | Connections Editor | Feb 4 2020
As technologies have developed over the last decade, the need for intuitive benefits software has grown exponentially. Applied Systems' Applied Benefits Designer has been gradually introduced into the industry as a solution for that need.
A hot topic at Applied Net 2019, benefits renewal has remained top of mind when it comes to technological advancements. Applied Systems’ Dan Morrill, Director of Client Services, and Kelly Wiza, Director of Project Management, discussed Applied Benefits Designer’s core functions and greater implications for facilitating the benefits renewal process.
In late 2018, Applied Systems acquired Dynamis and introduced Applied Benefits Designer to their comprehensive software suite.
“I was actually hired into Applied about a month or so before Applied Systems acquired Dynamis,” said Wiza. “My role is project management and strategy for benefits across the product suite. I was really excited about the decision to acquire [Dynamis], because it was obviously going to be key part of our strategy for benefits moving forward.”
“I think since this software was designed specifically around the benefits process, we spent a lot of time doing research, not just how agencies handle their benefits renewal process, but really focusing as much on the employer and getting them to tell us what they were looking for from their broker as far as the renewal process goes,” said Morrill. “Applied Benefits Designer allows us to look at data in ways that we wouldn’t be able to if we were still trying to build manual spreadsheets for everyone.”
With regards to the core functions of Applied Benefits Designer, Morrill explains the greater ease in assisting employers and employees with common questions when approaching the benefits renewal period.
“The system itself is a dashboard where we get to plug in all the different factors that go into the plan designs. More than just what the plans are, we can configure employer contribution strategies, funding of HRA’s, etc.” said Morrill. “By having all of this information in a cloud-based solution, we can collaborate with the employer in real time. Being able to answer those ‘what if’ questions cuts down on the number of meetings in the renewal process.”
Wiza, among others, reified the need for the integration of Applied Benefits Designer into Applied Epic considering the bigger push for user migration to the Epic platform.
“I knew the product was well-regarded in the market and that they had filled a very specialized niche for benefits,” said Wiza. “Our focus has been integrating Applied Benefits Designer with Epic. We knew that was going to be a primary ask right out of the gate once we announced the acquisition. We’ve had a lot of interest from our customer base to make sure the two products talk to one another.”
Although Applied Benefits Designer is integrating with Applied Epic, Wiza clarified that Applied TAM users can still take advantage of this robust benefits software.
“Applied Benefits Designer operates without any interdependencies on Epic. We will likely never build an integration with TAM given the drive is to migrate users to Epic, but there is still an ability for TAM users to utilize Applied Benefits Designer,” said Wiza.
At the Applied Net conference in Las Vegas this past October, Applied Systems offered three different courses for members to get a better feel for Applied Benefits Designer and ask pressing questions as they prepare for the upcoming integration.
“We actually offered three different Applied Net sessions on Applied Benefits Designer,” said Morrill. “We expanded our offerings for benefits for Applied Net, given the high demand, and this past year Applied Benefits Designer was the focus. In general, most of the inquiries and interest from the offered courses were around quoting.”
After engaging with ACN members, Morrill and Wiza deduced that attendees were optimistic with the knowledge that Applied Systems has plans to continuously develop solutions for the benefits process. Given Applied Systems’ commitment to excellence and service, navigating the benefits renewal process appears it will only get easier from here.
Tags: Technology , Applied Systems , Applied Benefits Designer , Benefits Renewal