IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Vertiscale's Healthcare Workspace-as-a-Service Solution Reaches General Availability

The new system equips channel pros to help hospitals, clinics, and medical practices collect the benefits of mobile computing securely. By Rich Freeman

Vertiscale today announced the general availability of its Workspace-as-a-Service offering for healthcare providers, at the ChannelPro SMB Forum in Dallas.

Vertiscale’s solution provides secure, remote access to applications, desktops, and protected health information (PHI) from PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, enabling MSPs to give clients in the healthcare industry safe anytime, anywhere access to sensitive information on any device. The system stores client records centrally in a hardened, professionally managed data center, and encrypts that information both at rest and in transit over the Internet, enabling resellers to keep healthcare industry customers in compliance with complex HIPAA data privacy mandates even when devices are lost or stolen.

“We now can help you manage all of your infrastructure that has PHI deployed on it and we do it automatically,” says Vertiscale CTO Jon Senger.

Licensed on a subscription-based, pay-as-you-go basis, the solution is designed to enable rapid implementation and require little end user training. It also requires minimal onsite IT resources, an important consideration for most medical practices, according to Chris Johnson, CEO of Untangled Solutions, a healthcare-focused solution provider and MSP in Los Angeles that participated in Vertiscale’s beta testing program.

“You don’t have to have a ton of infrastructure to support it,” he says. Johnson also appreciates that unlike other WaaS solutions, the Vertiscale system is specifically tailored to the vertical his company targets.

“There are a lot of solutions out there that play in the same sandbox,” he says. “What sets Vertiscale apart is their primary focus is to deliver into the healthcare space.”

At present, only a handful of Johnson’s clients are using Vertiscale, but their feedback so far has been positive. “They love it,” says Johnson, who plans to roll the system out to most of his customers in the future.

“Any client that requires remote access, which is most of them, our goal is to have it in place for all of those clients,” he says.

Today’s announcement arrives as independent experts and vendors alike strongly encourage channel partners to stave off the commoditizing, margin-sapping effects of cloud computing while establishing a durable foundation for long-term growth by cultivating vertical industry specialization, a strategy that Senger endorses as well.

“If you want to differentiate yourself from the competition you need to be able to show expertise in one area over another,” he says.

Timing for Vertiscale’s particular differentiation play could hardly be better, coming as it does just six months after research by KPMG found that 81 percent of U.S. healthcare providers have been compromised by at least one cyber-attack within the past two years; just one month after IDC revealed that 40 percent of U.S. healthcare providers increased their IT budget in the past year; and just weeks after a ransomware attack all but paralyzed Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center until the Los Angeles hospital paid a $17,000 ransom.

It also arrives no more than a few months before the federal government commences a second round of HIPAA compliance audits expected to focus more heavily than earlier inspections on smaller medical practices, according to Mike Semel, CEO of Semel Consulting LLC, a HIPAA compliance advisory firm in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“What they found out with those [first] audits was that smaller practices were less likely to even really pay attention to compliance than the big organizations,” he says. “That’s what’s driving this new audit program.”

Senger encourages channel pros to capitalize on the increased demand for secure mobile solutions that those coming audits and other issues have created in the healthcare vertical.

“There’s a ton of opportunity out there right now,” he says.

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