Careers at Benefitfocus
Benefitfocus’s mission is to enable employers and insurance carriers to empower consumers to protect their individual and family’s physical and financial well-being.
Benefitfocus is a provider of benefits technology solutions. The firm operates two reportable business segments based on customer type:
- Employer – Derives revenue from customers that use its solutions for the provision of benefits to their employees, and administrators acting on behalf of employers
- Carrier – Derives revenue from insurance companies that provide coverage at their own risk
Shawn Jenkins saw a problem with the benefits industry. He felt that when choosing benefit plans, employees were forced to read piles of documents without the resources to understand the plans’ differences. He wanted to find a way make it easier for people to complete the process. Therefore, in 2000 he founded Benefitfocus, a provider of benefits-related software.
Jenkins and his team set up an office in a former Wal-Mart building in Charleston, South Carolina. They soon introduced their first product, eEnrollment, a benefits management platform that was one of the earliest multi-tenant SaaS platforms. It integrated all benefits in one place and provided informational resources, simplifying benefits enrollment and management for consumers.
By 2004 the company had 100,000 customers. In 2011 Benefitfocus unveiled BENEFITFOCUS Marketplace, a portal hosting benefits applications, as well as BENEFITFOCUS Ecosystem, an initiative designed to help third parties develop apps that integrated with its platform. In 2012 it opened its first West Coast office as well as the Design + Engineering Building to foster innovation.
In 2013 Benefitfocus completed an initial public offering, raising $74.7 million, and began trading on the NASDAQ; it was chosen as one of Yahoo Finance's "Hottest IPO's of 2013”. In 2014 it launched the Benefitfocus Customer Success Center, a building inspired by its focus on customer service. In 2016 it generated over $100 million in annual revenues, a growth of 35% from 2015.
Benefits at Benefitfocus
Business model of Benefitfocus
Benefitfocus has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs: employers (primarily large firms with over 1,000 employees) and insurance carriers.
Benefitfocus offers two primary value propositions: performance and brand/status.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. Specific positive outcomes for clients include the following:
- Midwest Health used Benefitfocus’s solutions to streamline healthcare management and mitigate risk, resulting in an increase in voluntary benefit enrollment from 1% to 20%
- Tops Friendly Markets used Benefitfocus’s solutions to increase administrative efficiency and data accuracy, and enhance employee communication
- The GEO Group used Benefitfocus’s solutions to place benefits administration and communication in one place, resulting in improved accuracy via automated data exchange
- FEI used Benefitfocus’s solutions to transition to a cloud-based benefit management platform, resulting in time- and cost-savings for employees
- Rush University Medical Center used Benefitfous’s solutions to streamline benefits management and predict costs based on expected usage
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It has over 1,450 employees and its software is used by millions of consumers daily. Its solutions can support over 100 types of benefits. Its State of Employee Benefits research has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, and various human resources industry publications. Its prominent customers include Under Armour, New Balance, Hard Rock, FEI, and Brookdale. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- Recognition as a Top Ten HCM Cloud Vendor by Apps Run the World
- Recognition as one of South Carolina’s “Best Places to Work“
- InnoVision Technology Award
- ThinkTEC award
- Solutions Superstars Award
Benefitfocus’s main channel is its direct sales team. It also conducts sales through various strategic partners. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, online advertising, direct e-mail, webinars, sponsorships and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Benefitfocus’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website features an “Insights” section that includes useful resources such as white papers, reports, eBooks, case studies, guides, webinars, and videos. It also provides access to an e-mail newsletter.
Despite this orientation, there is a personal assistance component. The company assists customers by helping them implement its solutions. Specific implementation services are discovery, configuration, testing, training, and deployment. For training, Benefitfocus offers in-person classes at its facilities in Charleston, South Carolina as well as self-paced online training through its website.
Benefitfocus’s business model entails designing and developing its software for customers and delivering related services.
Benefitfocus maintains the following types of partnerships:
- Sales Partners – The company works with firms that sell its solutions in order to extend its reach. Specific partners include Mercer and SAP.
- Implementation Partners – The company works with firms that assist its customers in implementing its solutions. Specific partners include Aasonn, AltaFlux, BenTech Labs, Deloitte, HRchitect, KPIT, and Terra Information Group.
- Integration Partners – The company works with firms that develop apps that integrate directly with its marketplace. Apps are developed in the following categories: health and wellness, voluntary benefits, benefits administration, communication, and finance. Specific partners include RedBrick Health, LifeLock, SAP SuccessFactors, and WageWorks.
Benefitfocus’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers that design and develop it solutions, the sales employees that sell them, the consulting employees that assist with implementation, the training employees that provide instruction, and the customer service employees that provide support. It maintains important physical resources in the form of two data centers in separate locations.
Lastly, it places a high priority on intellectual property, with five issued and five pending U.S. patents, two Japanese patents, two Chinese patents, and one Taiwanese, one Hong Kong, and one Australian patent. It also has several pending foreign patent applications.
Benefitfocus has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of revenue, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of research/development, sales/marketing, and administration, all fixed costs.
Benefitfocus has two revenue streams:
- Subscription Revenues – Revenues generated from subscription fees paid by customers for monthly access to the company’s cloud-based software solutions for a designated contract term.
- Professional Service Revenues – Revenues generated from fees charged for implementation and integration services provided to customers.
info: Shawn earned a Bachelor’s degree from Geneva College and an MBA from Charleston Southern University. He previously served as President of Benefitfocus, as Vice President at American Pensions, and as a Program Analyst at Rockwell Automation.
info: Mason earned an undergraduate degree at Old Dominion University. He previously served as Founder, President, and Chairman of American Pensions and currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eclipse Aerospace.
info: Ray August (President and Chief Operating Officer) earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at the University of South Carolina. He previously served as the General Manager of the Financial Services division of CSC and as Chief Technology Officer of Great Plains Software.
info: Jeff earned a B.S. in Commerce, Business Administration, and Accounting from Washington and Lee University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Infor and SumTotal Systems.
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