SA Health Managed Services

Bringing flexibility to government digital transformation with Managed Services



Government health agency SA Health is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of all South Australians, and is the largest employer in the state. Within SA Health, the Office of Ageing Well focuses on meeting the evolving needs of older Australians.

Its priorities are to respect the diversity and values of its customers, to combat ageism, and support older Australians so they feel valued and connected. The Office showcases age-friendly customer service and is leading the way for other government agencies by defining and demonstrating best practice.


SA Health’s overall digital transformation began in 2009 when Evlynn Hayes joined the team as Manager of its Seniors Card and Business Services unit. She saw an immediate opportunity to grow revenue from business partners by streamlining their systems and modernising how the Office interacted with increasingly tech-savvy customers.

While her initial thinking was to deliver benefits through large IT projects, Hayes came to realise that an Agile approach to development would deliver better outcomes over the longer term. This allowed a more
flexible approach to digital transformation, which would better adapt to customers’ changing needs. Hayes engaged the Managed Services team from Simplus to help shift legacy systems across to a multicloud Salesforce solution, beginning with the migration of data and systems to Sales Cloud.

Across government agencies, there can be a tendency to wait for a whole-of-government solution. Knowing that a whole-of- government solution would take too long before delivering benefits to her customer base, Hayes developed her own digital transformation timeline.

"Our ongoing relationship with SA Health sees our team act as partners, guides, troubleshooters, strategists and innovators for SA Health. Our deep level of specialist expertise ensures SA Health continues to get the most out of the Salesforce ecosystem through customisations and innovations.”


Curtis Williams

SA Health partners with Simplus Managed Services to deliver incremental change across technology in the organisation. While initially the engagement was focused on the Office of Ageing Well and its Seniors Card unit, it later expanded to meet the digital challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated Managed Services team has become an extension of SA Health’s internal team.


Turning South Australia’s Seniors Card member services into a revenue stream

In 2011, the first project in SA Health’s digital journey was to improve revenue and business processes for the South Australian Seniors Card program. Evlynn Hayes saw an advantage in bringing the marketing function in-house to save money and invest in technology.

Working with Simplus Managed Services, Hayes’s team migrated membership and customer data into Sales Cloud so that SA Health could better understand its 350,000 Seniors Card members, including the 20,000 who had already subscribed to email communications.

That data revealed that members were increasingly digitally savvy, and in 2013 the Managed Services team integrated Marketing Cloud, giving the Office new ways to communicate with members and streamline processes based on real-time data. This represented a shift of focus in the digital transformation – from remedying outdated legacy systems to driving stronger customer experiences.

The Seniors Card unit, using data and content to attract and grow new members, had begun to attract advertising revenue from more than 1,000 businesses looking to market to a more financially powerful demographic. With data-driven digital communications, advertising revenue steadily grew and helped to fund ongoing operations while the team continued to refine the member experience.


Streamlining customer service processes for compliance

Following a legislation change in 2018 that required the team to establish and manage an elder abuse prevention phone line, SA Health worked with Simplus Managed Services to implement Service Cloud.

The platform would significantly streamline the way that an already stretched team managed its caseload in compliance with requirements. The Managed Services team navigated its way through many complexities and sensitivities to deliver a solution in a short time frame.


Helping South Australia meet the digital challenges of COVID-19

Through earlier phases of its digital transformation journey, SA Health had already developed a direct communications channel with more than 100,000 older South Australians. This channel would prove invaluable through the COVID-19 pandemic in keeping its most vulnerable citizens up-to-date with information to help them stay safe.

As community transmission of COVID-19 began in Australia, better contact tracing became essential. SA Health engaged Managed Services to implement a scalable, easy-to-use contact tracing system to stay on top of outbreaks within the state.

The solution had to be intuitive, with guided workflows to reduce the need for training and allow information to be entered quickly and accurately. The system also had to incorporate SMS and online survey functionality, data validation, and automation of supporting documentation to keep manual handling to a minimum.

The Simplus Managed Services team and SA Health delivered a contact tracing solution within weeks, which allowed the South Australian government to prepare for and respond to risks The challenges of the pandemic reinforced Hayes’s flexible and agile approach to transformation. Scalable partnerships and technology allowed SA Health to keep its community informed and better serve its members in South Australia.


Throughout each phase of digital transformation for SA Health, the team has delivered tangible results to help SA Health deliver better quality of life outcomes for its citizens.

  • In the first year of switching to Salesforce, SA Health saved more than $150,000 by bringing its marketing function in-house.
  • The Seniors Card membership has grown 300% since the introduction of new digital communications, while customer complaints reduced to zero within 12 months of streamlining the communications process. EDM click-through rates average 35% – an incredible level of engagement for any industry.
  • The COVID-19 contact tracing system reduced the time taken to conduct contact tracing surveys by almost two-thirds.

While each of these tangible outcomes help SA Health deliver age-friendly customer service, the benefits of the overall relationship between SA Health and Simplus Managed Services are ongoing. Under Hayes’s direction, the SA Health team continues to improve and develop its digital capabilities with support from the Managed Services team.

Other benefits of the relationship include:

  • Scalable skilled talent: The ongoing relationship with Managed Services has provided SA Health with access to a skilled team in a tough market for sourcing talent. The internal team also gained from knowledge transfer to help keep their skills up to date.
  • Security and compliance: With a focus on secure handling of data and information, the Simplus Managed Services team has become a trusted, reliable and valuable technology partner for SA Health.
  • Access to Salesforce expertise: Specialist expertise with the dedicated Managed Services team is augmented with the expertise throughout the Simplus network.
  • More planning, less reacting: Streamlined processes and partnership with an innovative team helped SA Health to move beyond addressing the backlog of tasks, and to focus on the transformation roadmap ahead.
  • Freed up the internal team – working alongside Managed Services freed up time for SA Health’s internal team to spend on more strategic activities and projects that delivered higher value for SA Health.

"I truly feel like Simplus is an extension of my team. We have gone from strength to strength, and we have now set up new projects that are bringing additional value to our community and to our members"​


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