Client: Hospital Alemán
Services: Migration to Microsoft communication and collaboration cloud platform
With over 145 years of history, Hospital Alemán is one of the longest-running healthcare institutions in Argentina covering 55 medical specialties and serving 60,000 patients every month. It is staffed by over 2,300 permanent employees and professionals.
The systems department is in charge of all projects pertaining to IT (systems and infrastructure) and telecommunications. In tune with the reigning trends of the sector, it has implemented web systems to make appointments and check results of various kinds of studies and tests quickly and safely.
“We had noticed our email system –Lotus Notes-was not enough to meet our users’ needs, with limited service availability and capacity, while we had to go at great lengths to run its maintenance and administration. These two factors led us to plan for a change and we had a clear idea in mind from the start that the best option for us was to take these services to “the cloud,” states Diego Waksman, Hospital Alemán CIO.
The first thought was to change only the email platform, which was the most troublesome resource. “We had to administer a whole infrastructure ‘on premise’, take care of the antivirus and manage spam, storage servers… and all of this was duplicated, as we had a redundant architecture. We weighed the option of implementing Gmail, but we finally opted for Microsoft’s communication and collaboration cloud platform”, adds the executive.
At Hospital Alemán we migrated all Lotus Notes-based email accounts to Exchange Online / Outlook accounts using Office 365. This action was met with great approval by the staff, as they are used to working on Office on their desktops, and this integration makes their everyday work easier,” explains Waksman.
The implementation links user accounts with the organization’s directory (Active Directory), which greatly simplifies its administration. “We now leave all of the platform management to Microsoft. This has a positive impact on our area and lets us focus on other kinds of organizational needs, for instance, on the development of a collaboration environment so that medical committees can arrange all of their information and communications on SharePoint portals, where a record of each event can be kept along with their related documents,” adds the CIO.
Now they can keep it integrated with the email accounts synchronized on their cell phones and tablet PCs, which entices them to check them regularly and thus be more and better informed”, points out Diego Waksman.
A hard work was performed by Perception Group, a Microsoft Partner, on planning the stages of the project, towards efficient change management. “Migrations had to be tiered, so that users could become more familiar with the new tools, thus curbing the influx of queries to the systems team. We had expected some users to adapt quickly as we were dealing with highly intuitive applications, but we had to bear in mind that some others had also been working on a different kind of technology for too long. Additionally, the communications area was engaged to work on a joint plan which supported the implementation process”, commented the firm.
The Enterprise agreement with Office 365 licenses E1 and E3 was managed with Softline. This company, together with Perception Group, provided advice with its Pre-Sales architecture team on the assessment and definition of the kind of licensing which fit best for Hospital Alemán.
The chosen service programs included communication tools such as Lync and Skype, an internal social network, the chance of using desktop Office at all times with the latest versions available, automatically updated even on multiple devices, as well as some business intelligence features.
“By implementing Office 365 and migrating email accounts to Exchange Online, users are more satisfied and this has significantly improved the way we work in the systems department. In a nutshell, this is a benefit to the entire organization. We have estimated a productivity improvement by 20%,” stated Diego Waksman, Hospital Alemán CIO.
Using Outlook on the desktop, in the cloud and on mobile devices (including cell phones) leverages the organization’s communication policy and favors the flow of news and information and, ultimately, operational agility.
“We no longer receive complaints about spam or virus issues. App integration simplifies every day work and this allows each position to respond faster, which is of great importance in an industry such as healthcare, with patients requiring immediate answers. It is a stable platform and this guarantees operational continuity. We at the IT department have more time now and this means we can do our job in better conditions.”
Diego Waksman, Hospital Alemán CIO