“Helping you with healthier living and better care.” This slogan is featured on the website of VGZ. One of eight brands run by Coöperatie VGZ, VGZ is strongly committed to making healthier living easier and constantly improving the quality of care. In order to improve the services offered on the websites of the various brands and tailor them to the target group on an ongoing basis, Coöperatie VGZ assesses its IT environment every six months. Standardization and cost savings on operational processes are among the factors taken into account.
Staying ahead of the curve and avoiding complex migrations
After assessing the underlying web platform, the health insurer decided to upgrade to Sitecore Experience Platform 10.2. It wants to stay ahead of the curve, avoid carrying out extensive and complex migrations and benefit from improved functionalities such as the standard inclusion of headless publishing and the increased number of frameworks. In addition, it wants to work towards a microservices, API-first, cloud-native and headless (MACH) architecture, in which applications are built up in manageable components. This makes it easier to replace, improve, remove or upgrade services. And on top of this, the speed of implementing changes increases.
VGZ is pleased with the approach taken during the upgrade. “The excellent preparation helped us enormously,” says Chris van der Laan, Technology Officer at Coöperatie VGZ. After an assessment, it became clear that VGZ was ready for the migration, so the plan which had been drawn up was implemented in a structured manner. The upgrade was carried out according to the set timeline. “This was due to the Macaw team having the right knowledge and experience. The people who helped us had clearly gone through this kind of process before. And that paid off. Thanks to the tight process and schedule, the upgrade was actually completed much faster than the previous upgrade and the quality of delivery was also much better,” says Van der Laan.
Both members and people who are looking for insurance get information through the eight brands and associated brand websites such as IZZ.nl, Unive.nl and Zekur.nl. Coöperatie VGZ wants to take digitization ever further. Van der Laan comments: “We are increasingly becoming an IT company.”
It is clear, however, that adaptation to the business is the foremost consideration. Van der Laan: “It’s not a case of the IT department taking the lead – it’s a joint effort, with joint responsibility. Together we determine what’s needed, how the pages should be arranged and what needs to be cleaned up and adjusted.”
Sitecore Experience Accelerator
Coöperatie VGZ has a strong focus on standardization across all brands. Developing functionality once and using it several times enables efficiency and reuse and allows aspects such as maintenance, stability and safety to be taken care of more easily. At the same time, the brands retain their visual unique identity. Coöperatie VGZ has therefore opted for the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) in addition to Sitecore. This is a framework that focuses on standardization and makes website development processes more efficient. The result is a shorter time-to-market and lower development costs.
Easier, faster and less risky
Van der Laan is happy with the result: “The upgrade went smoothly and the colleagues who build the sites are very satisfied.” The words “Sitecore upgrade” were liable to cause concern among marketing and IT teams. However, the upgrade path has been simplified, and the new version goes one step further in this respect. The 10.2 release has removed a number of upgrade elements to a new database, meaning that an upgrade can be performed without touching the content data; this makes upgrades less risky. In addition, it supports headless publishing environments and the composable DXP model. Coöperatie VGZ is also pleased that it has a future-proof platform and can benefit from increased flexibility and agility. For example, the platform – which is managed by Macaw through its management services – has been designed with security in mind.
“Thanks to the tight process and schedule, the upgrade was completed much faster than the previous upgrade and the quality of delivery was also much better.” – Chris van der Laan, Technology Officer at Coöperatie VGZ