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The Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) is one of the largest nonprofit health insurance and benefits administrators in the state of Michigan. Working closely with large insurers and benefits providers, MESSA has been serving a wide range of special service organizations, primarily public education systems, for over 50 years.
Offering comprehensive medical and prescription coverage as well as vision, dental, short-term and long-term disability benefits, MESSA is unlike most leaders in the health insurance market. Because of their unique business and system requirements, MESSA’s legacy system had become increasingly complex due to years of customization. With their system provider moving out of support, MESSA was challenged to make a decision: to buy or build a new system.
This allowed MESSA the opportunity to assess workflow inefficiencies and functional limitations brought on by their existing system and embark on an effort to replace it with a modern cloud-based platform. MESSA engaged X by 2 as their trusted advisor to assist in technology selection, strategy and system implementation.
X by 2 architects, working closely with MESSA’s business leadership, enterprise architecture and IT teams, conducted a series of interviews and assessments across the business to define areas of improvement.
In parallel, X by 2’s CX team conducted a usability analysis to identify the unique needs and pain points of the system’s varying users, including sales, marketing, member and field services and more.

The team discovered:

  • A more flexible architecture would enable greater agility and efficiency across the enterprise
  • Business processes could be optimized through an improved UI/UX, allowing for increased automation and self-service capabilities
  • Real-time data could enable advanced data and reporting capabilities, improving overall efficiency
As part of the initial strategy, X by 2’s CX team developed a vision cast. Leveraging their analysis of user goals and interactions, the team explored ways an ideal user interface would address gaps in functionality and improve the overall experience.
Customizable web and mobile dashboards make all billing, claims and benefits information accessible in one place.
Customizable web and mobile dashboards
One collective reporting activity dashboard displays an enterprise-wide, high level daily summary, serving as the “single source of truth” for platform users.
Activity Monitor

By the end of the initial system analysis, X by 2 delivered a best-in-class cloud-based conceptual architecture and complementary user experience vision.

To address MESSA’s challenges and unique user needs while enabling growth, agility and long-term innovation, our team concluded a custom, cloud-based platform was necessary. Intelligent business process management solutions (iBPMS) or low code application platforms (LCAP) would lead them into the future.
X by 2 reviewed market analyses and interviewed leaders in the LCAP, iBPMS and cloud markets to assess each vendor’s business and platform capabilities. We then engaged MESSA’s leadership to discuss their options and determine which would provide the strongest foundation.
Though the project began as a buy or build analysis, the vendor analysis introduced another option. Considering MESSA’s need for complex customizations and flexibility within an accelerated timeline, our team determined a hybrid approach — a buy and build strategy — would be the best solution. We recommended a market leader in the iBPMS and LCAP spaces; and created a “mostly build” conceptual vision. Business services and workflows would be built using a LCAP, and certain highly complex systems, such as rating, would be purchased and integrated.
MESSA chose to move forward with our proposed strategy, beginning with proof of concept. A multi-year program, X by 2 continues to work alongside MESSA to mobilize and later develop their modern system, leading them through their phased implementation strategy.


Enterprise Agility

Best in class platform foundation with supporting low-code solutions to simplify system customizations and integrations.



Operational Efficiency

An enterprise-wide activity dashboard and custom UX interfaces targeting specific workflows and functions.



Cloud Footprint

Modern, cloud-based architecture, improving flexibility and mobility while enabling future cloud capabilities.


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X by 2 merges more than 20 years of healthcare domain experience with cutting edge technology, advanced data analytics and human-centric design to lead you through every step of the product development lifecycle.

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