It should be no surprise that companies that offer better benefits packages attract—and keep—better job candidates and workers. But benefits can be complex, confusing, and expensive for employers and employees alike. What if there was a way to minimize costs while optimizing coverage?
That was the goal Liazon set for itself back in 2007. An industry-leading private benefits exchange for businesses, Liazon helps enterprises control benefits costs while also allowing employees to select and customize their coverage.
So how does it work? Through the Bright Choices Exchange, a system in which Liazon’s proprietary algorithm matches employees’ needs to the best available benefits package for them. Those packages are offered by top national and regional insurance providers and sold through a network of broker partners.
High traffic, high risk
If that all sounds like a win-win, it is. But consistently satisfying businesses, employees, insurers, and brokers all at once presents some challenges—especially during the crush of open enrollment periods at the end of the year.
The benefits business is highly cyclical, with 80% of transactions occurring between October and December. For Liazon, open enrollment season means high website traffic and high risk. Issues with user experience at peak times carry the danger of poor retention and lost revenue for multiple parties.
Michael Fleming, Liazon CTO, dreaded entering another open enrollment season without the necessary tools at his disposal. So, he made a decision. “We were not going to go blindly into another open enrollment,” he says. “We needed a software analytics solution and we needed it fast.”
With a new busy season looming, Fleming and his team installed New Relic APM. Straight away, they saw they’d made a good call.
“The day we turned on New Relic, it was like somebody suddenly turned on the lights in the room,” recalls Edmund Kaczynski, director of software engineering at Liazon.
Soon, the company expanded its use of the New Relic platform, adding New Relic Browser, New Relic Insights, and New Relic Synthetics to the mix. Deploying these tools across development, testing, and production environments helped Kaczynski and his colleagues achieve new levels of visibility.
For Liazon, using analytics in development works like preventive healthcare—addressing potential problems before they have the chance to become actual ones and saving time, money, and heartache along the way.
Today, before any code sees the light of day, New Relic helps Liazon make sure it’s ready for prime time. “On our last deployment, we identified during testing that certain patterns of usage resulted in some ugly performance degradation,” Kaczynski says. “Without New Relic, it probably would have slipped through the cracks to production. Every time we can solve an issue before it hits production, it’s a huge win.”
Though open enrollment is now less daunting than it used to be, the pressure on Liazon is still immense. A single company offering benefits to 1,000 employees can add up to millions of dollars in revenue for Liazon’s broker partners. Downtime isn’t an option, and rapid reactions are a must. Thanks to New Relic, Liazon can more easily identify and resolve issues before customers start calling support.
As the company expands internationally, including rolling out a new globalized interface that operates in multiple languages, Fleming and his team know that New Relic has their back.
In fact, Kaczynski adds, “It’s probably the most helpful tool we’ve ever added to our stack.”