Founded in 2006, UK Biobank is a large-scale biomedical database and research resource, containing in-depth, de-identified genetic and health information from more than half a million UK participants.

TLWR? Here’s the short version…

• UK Biobank is a large-scale biomedical database and research resource that directly contributes to the advancement of modern medicine.
• In this case study, we look at UK Biobank’s experiences with Cezanne’s Customer Success Teams when it came to maximising their use of the software.
• We also discover that whilst having access to an HR software platform is incredibly useful for people professionals, the support provided by the supplier is often the key to making everything come together.

When we speak with clients about Cezanne’s successes, it’s often from the point of view of the software having solved a long-standing issue or barrier to success.

For example, we’ve seen many examples of how the Cezanne HRIS has banished manual or paper-based processes, or perhaps replaced aging or disjointed HR software platforms that were no-longer fit for purpose. This case study however, is a little different!

UK Biobank were in something of a unique position. The Cezanne HRIS had already been implemented for some time and being used by both their employees and HR teams. But, as their new People Services Manager Stuart Holt explained, trying to make sense of plans and processes that had been put in place over the years was a real challenge, and were causing more problems than solving…

Taming an HR Monster

“I joined the company about 6 months ago, and inherited quite a challenge with our holiday absence plans within the Cezanne system. Like with anything you create in an HR system, quite often you build on it, you build on it, you build on it… and ultimately you end up creating a little bit of a monster!” Explained Stuart. “The problem is sometimes you just you create more and more plans and it just becomes really, really difficult to manage… and they end up not getting to the root of the problem, either.”


In essence, before Stuart’s arrival, the business had indeed been using the wealth of functionality within Cezanne – but it could be argued it wasn’t being used in the best or most efficient way. As a result, Stuart wasn’t able to make sense of why certain plans had been put in place or indeed, what they were there to do. Plus, their HR team simply wasn’t enjoying the best user experience, and frustratingly, wasn’t getting the information they needed – despite the data they needed being tantalisingly close!

Clearly, Stuart and his team needed the help of some HRIS experts… and that’s where the Cezanne Customer Success Team came to play.

Putting a team together

Whilst many HRIS platforms are incredibly user-friendly, it’s still the case that users will need some expert guidance to ensure they have the best experience possible – and this was exactly the case for Stuart and UK Biobank.

“I spoke to Emma, who’s our Account Manager and went through what the challenges were, what we were looking for and what we wanted to achieve. We were then able set up a little mini working group but had Dorothee (a member of Cezanne’s Customer Success Team) as our main contact and with whom we had updates every week – and this was really important.”

“We gave her lots of information, but she was able to review it and manage the whole end-to-end project. I think it was vital to have that dedicated support for this type of activity as it kept the flow of information going and a high level of support continuity as well. This was a real win for us.”

Bringing everything together

Once Stuart and Cezanne’s Customer Support Team had agreed on what they wanted to achieve, the next step was going through what absence plans were on the Cezanne system, and identifying what was working, and what wasn’t.

“Dorothee [from Cezanne’s Customer Success Team] worked closely with us and gave us options and suggestions that we hadn’t considered. Eventually, we were getting to the root causes of why some holiday plans existed, what they were there to achieve and what value they could offer – in fact, we reduced over 50 holiday absence plans down to just 3! These now work for the business, which is great.”

The refinement of UK Biobank’s absence plans didn’t just benefit the organisation’s HR team. The project also meant a much better user experience for their employees, too – as Stuart explains: “Before this project, I’d say for every 20 queries we got relating regarding holiday plans, we perhaps now just get one – that’s the that’s the reduction that we’ve had. We were getting a query about a holiday plan every day, but I hardly see anything now. We can now spend time doing more important things!”

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