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PROFILE: Cloud Success for Healthcare Clients

How a former medical IT engineer has convinced doctors' offices to move to the cloud. By Sam Heard By ChannelPro

How a former medical IT engineer has convinced doctors’ offices to move to the cloud.

By Sam Heard

 Data Integrity Services has customers in various fields, but doctors’ offices and clinics are a particular specialty for us. That’s mostly because I used to work in the healthcare vertical myself.

PROFILE: Just What the Doctor OrderedBefore going out on my own, I was an IT engineer for a major regional hospital here in central Florida. We worked with a number of local solution providers, most of whom weren’t terribly skilled. It occurred to me one day that if these guys can make money helping healthcare companies with their technology needs, then I would probably thrive at it.

And I was right. When we opened our doors back in 1997, the company was just me and my wife. Today, we have multiple technicians on staff and clients all over the state.

Up until now, Data Integrity Services has focused on networking and security, but more recently we’ve been moving into cloud computing as well, since it’s pretty clear the entire industry is headed in that direction rapidly. The trick, though, is that few doctors will even consider entrusting their medical records to a public cloud solution. From their perspective, there’s just too much risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands, which would not only cost them patients, but potentially expose them to stiff regulatory fines as well.

That’s why we’ve opted to build our evolving cloud strategy around private cloud solutions. Many of the same physicians who reject public cloud offerings out of hand are open to private clouds, since they provide complete control over your data.

A SOLID FOUNDATION
Not that it’s an easy sale, mind you. Closing a cloud computing deal takes a lot of work. But we’ve figured out some good ways to accelerate the process. For one, we focus our initial sales efforts on business continuity solutions. People may have difficulty grasping the benefits of cloud computing, but they rarely have trouble understanding the importance of backing up their data and recovering quickly from disasters. Deploying a business continuity solution on a private cloud infrastructure establishes a solid foundation that we can gradually build on over time to accommodate all of a client’s servers, storage, and desktops.

We’ve also learned to make generous use of realworld demos. When we first started in private cloud computing, we convinced several of our best clients to serve as reference accounts in exchange for discounted installation services. Now we periodically invite sales prospects to visit a reference customer’s office late on a Friday and watch as we deliberately shut down a production server and then swiftly get the customer back online again. Seeing the whole process with their own eyes makes a powerful impression and usually clinches the sale.

DYNAMIC DUO
Of course, a demo like that only works if you’re using the right technologies. That’s why we’re building our emerging cloud practice around Zenith Infotech’s Smart- Style cloud computing solution and MirrorCloud business continuity system.

SmartStyle is a cutting-edge, integrated hardware and software platform that comes with all of the processing capacity, storage, and virtualization technology needed to support a complete private cloud environment.

MirrorCloud adds the ability to mirror the contents of a physical or virtual server in near real time and recover data in minutes. However, MirrorCloud is more than just a backup system. Thanks to its failover capabilities, which enable companies to restore operations quickly after a server failure or disaster, it’s a true business continuity solution. Our clients really appreciate that.

Together, SmartStyle and MirrorCloud make an unbeatable combination. And our technicians love them too, because they’re not only scalable and secure, but extremely reliable as well. Both systems just work, which makes an engineer’s life easier. Meanwhile, thanks to Zenith’s pay-as-you-go pricing, SmartStyle and MirrorCloud enable our customers to step into cloud computing without making steep up-front investments.

Best of all, Zenith’s cloud products position us to tap into growing demand for cloud-based solutions without jeopardizing our client relationships. That’s the advantage of selling private clouds. Many public cloud vendors insist on contacting your customers directly, and you never know when they might switch from partnering with you to competing with you. Private cloud solutions like Zenith’s spare you that anxiety, because they never place a third party between you and your accounts.

But then again, eliminating worries is what Zenith does best. Cloud computing represents a giant market opportunity for companies like mine, and Zenith’s products and strategic vision are making it much simpler for us to get in on it early—and profitably. 

NEXT STEPS
Zenith Infotech Inc.To learn more about partnering with Zenith Infotech, visit www.zenithinfotech.com and click "Partner Programs."

SAM HEARD is president of Lakeland, Fla.-based Data Integrity Services Inc.

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