When Australia’s largest super fund, AustralianSuper, took aim at creating a digital experience for its 2.2 million members, it sought the expertise from digital integration partner Marlo.
It took Marlo about three months to establish and implement the new API infrastructure and microservice strategy, which has played a central part in AustralianSuper’s Digital Program.
The new infrastructure enables the super fund to improve its online services and digital experiences for customers as well as reduce costly manual processes and interactions.
“Marlo have been instrumental in developing, implementing and designing the API architecture,” said Gary Martin, head of customer platforms for member experience at AustralianSuper. “It will enable a lot of new services and features that will be available to our members going forward.”
The super fund’s Digital Program aimed to address challenges within its previous platform that contained a mix of legacy technologies, data storage and presentation layers that were costly and difficult to change.
“In some cases we’re automating and providing a new real-time customer experience for our members. Whereas previously it occurred over a number of hours or days, from a manual process point of view, so it has really enabled a newer, digital experience for our members,” Martin added.
The API and microservice strategy aimed to provide access to data and services in a secure, reusable and open manner, Marlo general manager Mandeep Sahni said.
As part of the project, Marlo used Axway’s API gateway product to help secure and manage access to AustralianSuper’s APIs. It also leveraged Marlo’s onshore and offshore capabilities. Marlo has offshore centres in Thailand and Brazil.
Sahni said it done some minor projects with AustralianSuper in the past, but this was the first major project in the digital space.
“We put together a whole API methodology for them,” Sahni said.
The microservices were built in small, focused and scalable units in order to assure the integrity of the information the super fund held as well as ensuring it complied within its business rules.
Across all APIs and microservices, an extensible, standards-based security model was also developed to allow fine-grained access controls for each API consumer, allowing each to interact securely with authorised APIs over the internet.
Since the implementation, Marlo has continued to add new APIs to the super fund’s growing catalogue with each addition reusing common patterns and controls. Sahni said it started the project with 10 APIs, and this has now expanded to about 90 with a further 50 in the pipeline.
Through this API-led approach, AustralianSuper can optimise their member experience and reduce costs, leading to a much quicker and simpler guided customer ‘joining’ process, which has seen an increase in new member numbers; along with the automation of several manual processes that have eliminated costly manual handling; and improved member experience through providing more relevant and timely information.
Through this new strategy, AustralianSuper can make further inroads in building new products and relationships within its partner and business ecosystem.
“As we develop these services, it’s more about how we exploit them and get more value out of the services that we’ve developed,” Martin said. “We’ve been learning as we go and by putting the foundation in place with the microservices and APIs, we’ll be able to incrementally add to those services a lot more simpler and easier.”