HELIOS IT SOLUTIONS

Helios IT Solutions (“Helios”) provides technology solutions that facilitate efficient management of healthcare services, particularly in the administration of medical schemes and health risk management. Helios is the technology backbone of the Group and a key enabler of the vertical integration of healthcare delivery. The Company is a strategic partner to Medscheme and its client medical schemes, and has a number of prestigious external clients, South African and international, who utilise its systems under licence.

OVERVIEW

Helios was born in 2011 through the refocus of the Medscheme IT division. It is a fairly young company driven by a quest for innovation. We are continually analysing the market to identify improved technologies that can increase efficiencies and deliver added convenience to our clients.

Controlling risk in an IT environment is critical. To that end, Helios adopts secure IT processes and stringent governance structures to ensure effective risk management and compliance with all legislative and best practice security measures.

STRATEGY

Customer centricity is a pillar of the business strategy and a philosophy which flows through all the other strategic objectives.

Strategic objectives   Why this is important Link to Group
strategy
 
Customer centricity   Helios has embedded a culture of customer centricity in its operations, with the aim of enabling highly technical individuals to grasp the impact of their activities on the end customer experience. This is achieved by aligning behaviour positively to business strategy.
 
100% uptime of core systems   Delivering client satisfaction means providing uninterrupted service, which in turn relies on robust systems that remain fully functional at all times.

 


 
Revenue growth   Helios supports AfroCentric’s strategic objectives of diversifying revenue streams and maximising growth. Licensing the Helios systems and offering support services to external partners generates additional revenue for the Group.
 
Care and growth of employees   Within the ICT environment, attracting and retaining critical skills remains a challenge. The market is competitive and certain specialist skills are in demand. Helios attracted some of the best talent in the country from diverse backgrounds and is committed to developing our employees through learnership and other capacity-building programmes. Through the realisation of this strategic objective, Helios invests in a dedicated team with the technical skills, passion and ommitment to support the business imperatives.
 

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

Helios operates at the intersection of healthcare and ICT and the Company is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that arise, responding to challenges without undue disruption to the business.

KEY OPPORTUNITIES:

Fusion – the enhancement of the current core IT platform, Fusion is expected to be implemented in 2019 and will provide the Group with scalability across large membership bases and the stability to provide solutions to a changing healthcare market.
Licensing – offers IT solutions to external clients, in the international market and domestically, and currently has a pan-African customer base for its platforms. Fusion offers further opportunities to increase revenue through licensing of the integrated system as well as individual modules.
Infrastructure support – as the developers of the Fusion platform, Helios can offer an ongoing maintenance and support package to licensees. There are added opportunities to sell other platforms and continue to provide a maintenance service to those customers.
Integration platforms and skills – Helios purchased an established integration solution that, combined with strong technical skills capability, provides quick and flexible integration enablement solutions to the market. AfroCentric’s partnership with Sanlam and the WAD acquisition creates opportunities to realise synergies and efficiencies across the Group, using technology as an enabler.
Switching services – Helios’s 51% holding in Allegra allows the Company to sell switching capabilities and pharmacy management software to multiple providers, particularly within the pharmacy sector.


It is difficult to quantify the opportunities that may emerge from the NHI in the ICT environment. Helios is, however, optimistic that as the government’s strategy is codified and tenders start to be issued, the Company is in a strong position to provide a competitively priced and technologically superior offering to the industry. As such, we are working collaboratively with key role players to provide tailored solutions in order to secure a successful tender for ICT services.

RESPONDING TO CHALLENGES:

Employee retention – there is a market demand for skilled technical employees and Helios is vigilant in efforts to retain skilled employees through above average levels of remuneration. The Company aims to create a compelling and engaging environment where employees feel valued and are able to experience career progression.
Cybersecurity – one of the greatest areas of concern for all businesses globally, particularly for the IT sector. Cyber penetration and malicious intent (“hacking”) as well as data theft represent substantial risks to companies such as Helios. A cybersecurity audit was performed by KPMG which highlighted further areas of improvement, which Helios will focus on going forward. To mitigate this risk, the Company regularly updates software and has improved physical and logical security measures.
Stability of platforms – Helios has a dedicated team of professionals to overcome matters as they arise, to ensure prompt query resolution and to achieve the strategic objective of 100% systems uptime.

PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW AND OUTLOOK

The integration of the Sanlam and the WAD acquisition and the on-boarding of the Polmed scheme increased the demands on Helios in 2016. The stability of core systems, however, was a critical enabler in the smooth implementation of the new businesses. A number of infrastructure platforms were also refreshed with minimal disruption to the business and an unannounced disaster recovery exercise was successfully executed.

Average response time was two and a half seconds per real time claim submitted, and remained this efficient in 2016.

Helios also successfully completed a number of other projects such as the integration of the Sanlam Reality member rewards programme into the administration of several client schemes.

There have been significant investments in technology and employees over the past three years. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future, as Helios builds the systems and foundation to support the consolidation that is currently being seen in the market.

Strategic diversification within the Group involves ensuring access to diverse revenue streams to facilitate growth. Helios is well positioned to provide the technological platforms and specialist resources necessary to support the new products and services that current and future partnerships and acquisitions may generate.