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Case Study: Dental Organization Network Consolidation Drives Internal Efficiencies

Jun 21, 2021

A dental organization supports dental offices across 14 states and approximately 2,700 employees. Their goal is to provide quality healthcare services through partnerships with dentists who are respected in their communities. To meet that objective, the organization needed to modernize their network, voice and security solutions to ensure support services are always up and running at peak performance.

The Challenge
Headquartered near Pittsburgh, PA, our customer takes pride in their ability to offer dental professionals the support of a national organization while helping them deliver a local touch to patients. The organization’s mandate is to enable dental teams to do what they do best: focus on patient care. They are responsible for an affiliate’s non-clinical activities such as billing, collections, scheduling, clinical data analytics, group purchasing, marketing and recruiting dental professionals. That level of responsibility requires a network that supports a range of secure, customer-facing activities seamlessly, day in and day out. This level of care also requires a network that allows seamless communications between affiliates—along with the ability to handle patient records securely. The organization’s legacy IP VPN, phone system and on-premises security devices weren’t up to their mission.The customer’s VPN offered no redundancy, leaving some locations to experience 2-3 outages per month—sometimes lasting as long as 24 hours—while their POTS phone system experienced frequent outages. Their onsite security didn’t offer the stringent standards they require as a healthcare provider. To make matters more complicated, the IT team had no visibility into their network. They couldn’t measure or monitor anything, from bandwidth usage to endpoint performance.

The Solution
To solve network performance problems and help ensure a personalized experience, the organization chose SD-WAN as their new network standard for 77 locations.

“SD-WAN is the most logical choice in modernizing any IT infrastructure, especially when you’re dealing with broadband,” says their Chief Technology Officer.

We delivered a fully-managed solution for all-access, data, voice, security and WiFi with traffic running over the SD-WAN for optimized performance. The customer also took advantage of the Professional Services solution, which provided a white glove installation of all network hardware devices, phones and cabling across 77 locations.

To ensure high resilience and uptime, our teams implemented dual access for all dental office locations using broadband cable as the primary access and cellular broadband (LTE) as the secondary connection in an active/passive configuration.

From there, a Mitel UCaaS solution replaced all legacy on-premises voice equipment with state-of-art phones. These devices offer advanced, easy-to-use features that enable employees to be more productive and responsive to patient needs.

Additionally, our team deployed cloud-based Managed Network Security (MNS) services to protect the organization’s customer data and help meet HIPAA requirements for patient privacy.

Finally, the team added secure WiFi that partitions private traffic from patient usage. Patient traffic is now offloaded to the Internet via the broadband connection so it doesn’t consume network bandwidth.

The Results
The organization now has complete visibility and control over their new infrastructure. They also use the customer portal to monitor application performance, modify application priorities, manage security policies and handle trouble tickets.

Complete outages are a thing of the past. With greatly improved uptime and bandwidth capacity, the organization’s new SD-WAN supports their cloud-first strategy by providing secure, resilient connectivity to cloud service providers. What’s more, voice traffic now traverses the SD-WAN network, which has improved the quality and virtually eliminates voice service outages.

Although a primary broadband circuit may occasionally go down, their cellular broadband connection immediately kicks in—leaving employees at the organization’s office unaware that an outage has occurred.

On the security side, MNS Cloud enables the organization to eliminate on-premises devices and deploy advanced security features. MNS Cloud’s remote VPN feature was critical in supporting work-from-home employees during the COVID-19 office closures.

According to the customer, the ability to consolidate to a single vendor was a key reason for our partnership. The Professional Service team’s ability to manage the details of implementation—along with their accountability for all aspects of the solution—proved to be very valuable to the organization, providing them with improved internal efficiencies.

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