Case Study: Tenzing Health Print this Case Study

Tenzing Health

"Along with UpCurve Cloud, we were easily up and running within two weeks, yet we still have a limitless platform to quickly scale the solution as our business grows."

Marty Heaner,

Using SugarCRM in the Healthcare Industry

Tenzing Health was started by two healthcare CEOs who wanted to change the focus of the healthcare industry from a passive “healthcare” approach to a proactive “health” approach. As a result, Tenzing Health is a relationship-based business that focuses on the relationship with its members, not with the healthcare provider.

Tenzing works with self-insured companies to develop relationships with its members that provide feedback to Tenzing so they can create action plans that achieve lower healthcare expenses, improve patient outcomes and achieve higher patient satisfaction. It does this by cutting through the red tape and providing its members with “personal healthcare guides.” Healthcare guides serve as a confidential resource and help its members to make informed decisions and lead healthier lifestyles.

To achieve its vision of improving its member’s health through improved relationship management, Tenzing needed a CRM solution to be the foundation of its business and support its goal of making each member relationship intensely personal. The solution had to be in place for its business to function. It knew it could not manage a single member without it.


A flexible, timely and cost-effective CRM solution was required for Tenzing to launch its business. The solution had to adapt to rapid changes in the healthcare industry, it needed to be HIPAA compliant and 24/7 access and reliability were key. As a result, an on-demand solution that had the option to be hosted on-site solution down the road was also a requirement.

Tenzing reviewed the spectrum of three CRM solution options including a system developed in-house, and SugarCRM.

Based on its key requirements, an in-house solution and quickly fell out of the mix. As Tenzing’s goal is to manage “health” relationships, not “sales” relationships, could not quickly and easily adapt from a sales automation tool to a relationship management tool. Also, it didn’t offer an on-site deployment option and it was cost prohibitive coming in at double the cost of SugarCRM.

An in-house option was also not cost, time or support efficient. In addition, healthcare-specific solutions were cost prohibitive and lacked the flexibility to customize for the future. 


Tenzing chose a SugarCRM solution and decided to work with a Sugar gold-level partner, Epicom. It realized from the beginning of its Sugar implementation that its business demands would change on a regular basis. As a result, it began its with Sugar’s out-of-the-box solution along with a strategy to customize as the business demanded. As Tenzing’s use of Sugar progressed, it planned for customizations that included Wiki integration, member surveys, member and provider management, appointment tracking and a MP3 phone archive.

“Our CEO had used SugarCRM with huge success at his previous company so it was clear very quickly that Sugar met our requirements,” states Marty Heaner, CTO, Tenzing Health. “Along with Epicom, we were easily up and running within two weeks yet still have a limitless platform to quickly scale the solution as our business grows. This has exceeded our expectations and allowed for the immediate growth of our client portfolio. Just past one year of our launch, we have exceeded our membership goals and hold contracts with firms of up to 72,000 employees.”


In the first six months of use, Tenzing customized specific fields that track member information including what doctors they were visiting and what medications they were prescribed. It was then able to produce highly customized reports that allowed them to quickly do an initial audit of member behavior. The reports reflected behaviors that indicated member visits to multiple specialists and multiple prescriptions. This behavior was driving 25 percent of the costs in the healthcare industry.

Based on reports generated in Sugar, Tenzing determined that its members needed to work with a primary care physician to reduce costs and improve their health. To support this action, it developed a team of “Health Care Guides” that direct its members to work with a primary care physician. As a result, Tenzing has experienced a 20 percent reduction in healthcare costs for employers.

Customizations in Sugar implemented by Epicom have led to greater efficiency, more detailed reporting and a higher-level of care for its members. Tenzing has reduced the processing time of member information by 60 percent and is now able to capture best practices and share them with members through its customized open source Wiki. Its member surveys module, allows Tenzing to learn from its members, what they need to be healthy, rather than telling them what they need. And, it’s able to track conversations, faxes, and emails with members that provide Tenzing has reduced the processing time of member information by 60 percent and is now able to capture best practices and share them with members through its customized open source Wiki. for deeper relationship development. Tenzing believes this communication with its members ultimately enhances their relationship and is critical to improving health.

Another key benefit of Sugar Professional’s open source nature is its ability to integrate with other systems. Along with Epicom, Tenzing is building out large data analytic functions, data warehousing and relationship management modules to communicate with doctors and provide integration with Electronic Medical Records and personal health record systems including Dossia Personal Health Platform, Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault. Heaner adds, “System integrations are much easier with the open source nature of SugarCRM. Its flexibility has transformed it into the basis of our entire infrastructure”.

“As a CRM solution provider, we want to work with a flexible CRM solution so we can provide our customers with options to scale their solution along with their business, states Bill Harrison, President, Epicom. “With the SugarCRM’s flexibility and open source approach we are always able to have a solution for our customers.”