How Visana uses Magnolia to become
the digital service leader among
Switzerland’s health insurers

Visana Services AG had already been using Magnolia for a few years for its intranet, but only recently started using the digital business platform for its external-facing digital presence. With Magnolia, it aspires to become Switzerland’s leader in digital healthcare services - the website is a crucial element of its digital transformation strategy.

Industry: Healthcare, Insurance
Country: Switzerland
Implementation partner: Namics
Site:, Intranet

Why Visana Services AG chose Magnolia


Intuitive content editing

New editors learn quickly and get productive within days.


Open architecture for easy integration

With Magnolia’s best of breed approach, Visana Services AG can easily integrate their favorite third-party tools.


Personalized content

Personalization ensures intranet users are served up relevant content.


Global and local community

Visana Services AG benefits both from personal, local connections with Magnolians and a global support community.


Performance and scalability

With close to 1 million page views a month, Visana Services AG’s properties can’t afford to go down.


Quality and standards

Magnolia’s use of standard technologies enables fast development and high reliability. Magnolia also fit in the existing architecture really well.


Magnolia’s initial training was incredibly useful for understanding the basic concepts. We also appreciated the in-depth follow-up workshops about more current topics, for example solution design.

The challenge: moving on from an expensive legacy system

The size of the business is reflected in Visana Services AG’s web stats: Visana Services AG’s intranet platform receives 350k page views a month, with 15k monthly document downloads. These documents are important resources for employees, from manuals and statistics to spreadsheets. On its outward-facing digital presence, Visana Services AG records 400k page views a month, making the website an essential communications channel. With its previous CMS, Visana Services AG couldn’t manage the channel properly or efficiently, and this posed a serious threat to its digital leadership position.

Visana Services AG’s previous CMS - Vignette (now OpenText) - was much too complicated and had reached its natural end of life. It was cumbersome to develop with, and hard to integrate into existing development processes - especially for deployment and automation. Further, it had poor usability for editors - adding simple pieces of content and maintaining them was far more complicated than it should have been. To top things off, the system was also costing Visana Services AG an arm and a leg.

In the evaluation process to switch its CMS, Visana Services AG considered a few alternatives: Jahia, Adobe Experience Manager and OpenCMS - but Magnolia clearly came out on top.

Visana Services AG is a big organization: the health insurer has 1.2 million customers, including 1670 business clients. It has 1300 members of staff and maintains 130 branches throughout Switzerland. Every year, it sells premiums worth CHF 3 billion.


Visana Services AG's homepage

The solution: choosing a well-known enterprise system

Because of the issues with the previous CMS implementation, Visana Services AG’s strategic business requirements for a new platform were clear:

  • straightforward content creation and maintenance
  • personalized content
  • a reliable and stable platform
  • a clean, open architecture for easy integrations
  • scalability

The intranet editorial team is about 20 staff strong, while 25 additional editors take care of editing the insurer’s digital presence. The editors’ needs were therefore clear as well:

  • personalized content
  • the ability to copy paste components in and across pages
  • a maintenance app with an expiry date and a link checker for content
  • good search capabilities
  • social content support (rating, commenting, related content)

In Visana Services AG’s experience, open products always have considerable benefits when it comes to integrating third-party tools. Visana Services AG integrated Magnolia with several tools, especially in its intranet. It uses two approaches: connecting a module to web services (SOA) and iframes. For example, it turned its employee directory into a Magnolia module. Via a web service, the module accesses employee data in SAP and feeds it back into the directory. In another case, Visana Services AG integrated an old webapp that lets people buy office materials on the intranet - all via an iframe.  

Within 9 months after the decision, Visana Services AG’s new corporate website went live, taking into account all the above requirements. Magnolia partner Namics provided the concept and design, Visana Services AG took care of the technical implementation and all integrations


The onboarding process for new publishers is so much faster now. I have to train new people every couple of months, and now it takes hours, instead of weeks. They can get productive and start producing relevant content pretty much immediately.

The result: a modern digital presence that centers around the visitor’s needs

The website is available in three languages, the intranet in two. For the external-facing website, Visana Services AG used three language trees (for SEO reasons). For the intranet, they just used one (including a fallback option which redirects a piece of content to the other language if it’s just available in one). The mobile version of the website was implemented by using responsive design.

The website includes two important customer tools: the MyVisana portal and an online premium calculator. On MyVisana, clients can organize and update their personal contact details and insurance policies, as well as download important documents such as their contracts and bills. In the online premium calculator, potential customers can quickly and easily calculate how much their monthly health insurance would cost (based on gender, birth date and location of residence). 

Personalization was an important aspect for both the intranet and the external site. On the intranet, content is personalized mainly for relevance - different department automatically see their own content. 

After implementing Magnolia, Visana Services AG thinks of these Magnolia traits as particularly business relevant:

  • its usability and its clear authoring concepts (resulting in fast on-boarding time and little to no training)
  • the fact that it’s easy to extend (making it easily customizable to the organization's needs)
  • the quality product documentation (leading to quick problem solving and a go-to resource for questions)
  • the use of standard technologies (enabling fast development and high reliability)

Visana Services AG is now enjoying the benefits of a much more stable platform. It has a development process in place that’s fast and flexible, if needs be. And, last but not least, it lowered the overall cost of its technology expense - and increased the traffic on its digital presence significantly.

The premium calculator

Independent analyst review of Magnolia

Magnolia has earned deservedly high marks for extensibility and integration potential. Few systems can claim to be as open or as amenable to custom app development.

Kas Thomas, J. Boye

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