Providing health organizations with the data and support to improve operations
WebTPA leverages colocation and Recovery Cloud to ensure its customers always have access to their data
WebTPA, a subsidiary of GuideWell, is a customized healthcare benefits administration company that supports health systems, self-funded employers, and insurance carriers. As one of the country's largest, most flexible third-party administrators, the company also helps customers process claims, manage member inquiries and perform other backend administrative tasks.
Rapid growth requires robust colocation and DR solutions to ensure availability
In 2020, WebTPA was purchased by GuideWell, a mutual holding company that put WebTPA under the Florida Blue umbrella. A leading Florida health insurance company, Florida Blue, planned to leverage WebTPA to support its large customer base.
At the time, WebTPA was operating an on-premises data center at its Irving, Texas, headquarters. With aging equipment and outdated software, the company experienced stability and performance issues that impacted its employees’ productivity and the availability of its web portal. To support the influx of new customers, improve the reliability and resilience of its technology systems and ensure its customers have uninterrupted access to their data, WebTPA needed a robust, scalable, and secure colocation deployment and a real-time disaster recovery (DR) solution.
FlexAnywhere platform delivers colocation, cloud-based recovery, and cybersecurity to promote uptime and performance
WebTPA planned to utilize its parent company’s existing Florida colocation facility for its production environment and the Flexential Recovery Cloud for its disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution.
The Flexential Recovery Cloud is a flexible and reliable cloud-based recovery solution that offers rapid, secure recovery of data, applications, and systems. WebTPA worked closely with Flexential certified experts to customize the DRaaS solution to meet its unique recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) requirements. Using this solution, WebTPA achieves near real-time replication of its mission-critical applications and data in the Flexential Denver Recovery Cloud to ensure its resiliency during any disaster.
While developing its DRaaS solution, WebTPA built a strong, trusting relationship with Flexential. The combination of this relationship and the confidence WebTPA has in the Flexential modern infrastructure allowed the company to quickly pivot when it experienced issues while implementing its Florida colocation environment. WebTPA reached out to Flexential for a scalable, dependable colocation deployment close to its Irving, Texas, headquarters. The Flexential FlexAnywhere™ Platform—a highly connected and scalable platform with a full suite of colocation, interconnection, cloud, data protection, and managed and professional services—provided WebTPA with the high-performing, reliable, and secure environment it needed.
WebTPA chose to deploy its production environment in the Flexential Dallas – Plano data center, leveraging the Flexential FlexAnywhere Solution blueprint for “Improved Application Performance and Reliability.” Designed to address common business challenges, FlexAnywhere Solution blueprints deliver business-enhancing solutions that fast-track IT transformations and drive competitive edges. This blueprint delivered a redundant system architecture, multiple, diverse connections from leading national providers, and an SLA-backed 100% uptime commitment on power, cooling, network, and bandwidth to ensure the availability of the WebTPA portal. Flexential also met the WebTPA tight timeline as it had previously negotiated an agreement with GuideWell that extended to its subsidiaries, and the Dallas – Plano facility had an existing cage with the required space.
Through continued conversations with WebTPA, Flexential also learned that the company needed better web application firewalls for its portal applications and managed detection and response (MDR) services for its core servers. The Flexential Security Product team recommended Alert Logic, a Flexential partner that offers SaaS-enabled MDR to strengthen security and help identify and respond to cybersecurity breaches. With Alert Logic, the WebTPA environment is monitored 24/7, and the company receives real-time alerts and detection and remediation guidance from experienced security professionals.
Redundant infrastructure ensures customers have uninterrupted access to their data
With its web portal hosted in the Flexential Dallas – Plano data center, its critical systems replicated in the Recovery Cloud, and its online presence monitored round the clock, WebTPA has increased application availability, minimized unexpected downtime, and reduced the risk of cyber disruptions for a more resilient and secure IT environment. This availability helps WebTPA avoid noncompliance fines, SLA fees, and reputational damage that can trigger customer churn and negatively impact revenue. The improved reliability has also enabled WebTPA to become a 24/7 operation, supporting customers that work regular business hours and customers that process claims overnight.
“Flexential colocation and DRaaS allow us to tell our customers with confidence that even in the most critical times, we will remain available,” said Garcia. “This ensures our customers will always have access to our web applications and their information.”
As a high-trust organization operating in the healthcare space, security is also critical to WebTPA. The physical security offered by the data center tightly controls access to safeguard its systems and operations. Alert Logic takes this security a step further to protect against cyber threats.
“The security offered by Flexential and Alert Logic goes a long way with our customers because security is important to them,” said Garcia. “Knowing they support government agencies, healthcare companies, and other organizations with strict security and compliance requirements provides a heightened level of confidence.”
The Flexential solution also allows WebTPA to scale its infrastructure to support continued growth. With the growth of its business, WebTPA has expanded its internal team from 520 employees to 910 since its acquisition by GuideWell and is on track to reach 1500 employees by year-end 2023. Unlike many companies that have downsized their office footprints amidst the remote-work landscape, WebTPA contracts require it to maintain an onsite team. To ease overcrowding in its headquarters, WebTPA leases office space within the Flexential Dallas – Richardson facility, providing a safe, reliable environment for its IT team to work in and store equipment. This is especially crucial as its headquarters is in a tornado alley and is susceptible to outages. The Flexential office space allows the WebTPA team to remain productive even during a disaster.
In its own business, WebTPA works relentlessly to earn its customers’ trust, and the company feels a connection with Flexential around this customer-first commitment.
“Relationships and soft skills are important,” said Garcia. “I want to work with organizations that treat us like partners. The Flexential team is always open to discussing different scenarios. Partnering with Flexential is like having another tool on our tool belt.”
Flexential also provides a first line of defense when issues arise, allowing WebTPA to leverage its onsite team as its competent hands rather than traveling to the data center to assess a situation. This support and partnership enable the WebTPA IT team to continually focus on improving its web portal to enhance the customer experience.
According to Garcia, this relationship is a key differentiator that permeates the Flexential culture.
“When I was at the data center with our executives, Richard Porter, Critical Infrastructure Manager for the Plano Data Center was leaving for the day,” said Garcia. “He stopped and gave us a full tour of the facility. Examples like this are why Flexential is a partner, not a vendor.”
“Flexential provides peace of mind. When somebody calls me, it's not to ask how my day is going. Flexential ensures the availability and performance of our environment, so I can focus on business and IT strategies that help us better serve our customers.”