- Replace its existing Cisco WLAN with a more manageable, reliable, and centrally cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution
- Keep pace with rapidly growing customer base in the electronic healthcare record (EHR) industry
- Meet company-wide, cloud-based IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS network initiatives
- Dramatically reduce time spent managing, monitoring, and upgrading the wireless network infrastructure
- Aerohive’s controller-less WLAN is easy to deploy and manage as promised
- HiveManager Online NMS meeting cloud-based initiative requirements
- Using HiveManager Online NMS to manage the entire wireless network from a single location
- Able to provide continuous wireless infrastructure support to its corporate workforce as well as nationwide customer base of end-user medical practices attendees during the company’s annual PrimeLEADER User Conference
Healthcare IT Provider Chooses Aerohive WLAN for Cloud Networking-Enabled Management, As Well As Increased Scalability and Reliability
Reducing costs while increasing patient care coordination and quality are top-of-mind issues these days. Healthcare providers want information at their fingertips so that time spent with patients is more productive. At the same time, physicians’ medical practices need to ensure billing is effortless, and compliance with privacy requirements is met without concern.
With these needs in mind, Greenway Medical Technologies’ web- native integrated practice management, managed care and electronic health record (EHR) solution is enabling medical practices to increase care quality, enhance patient satisfaction and facilitate adherence to compliance guidelines—all while maximizing profitability and ensuring positive results for its customers. However, as a growing company that relies heavily on its enterprise wireless network to make its own business run efficiently, Greenway needed to replace its existing WLAN with a more scalable, manageable and reliable Wi-Fi solution that leverages a cloud-enabled platform.
Greenway’s growth was behind its decision to search out a more manageable and reliable enterprise wireless network solution. Through the Recovery Act/HITECH Act of 2009, the US government began offering medical practices—typical Greenway customers—an incentive program for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The government is offering a financial bonus to medical practices for the early adoption of EHR software, such as Greenway’s PrimeSUITE® application. As a result of Greenway’s innovative solutions to lowering healthcare costs and improving patient care delivery, combined with the nationwide increase in overall EHR deployments, there is a continuous increase in new customers for Greenway, which has users across the country.
“Medical practices in all fifty states and beyond are utilizing PrimeSUITE to manage their practice and clinical patient care on a daily basis,” said Ty Puckett, Greenway’s director of Information Technology.
In addition to Greenway’s PrimeSUITE solution being a web-native solution, the company itself relies heavily on cloud-enabled platforms such as Salesforce.com to run its core business. In fact, more than a year ago Greenway launched a company-wide cloud-based initiative. Any new business software solution—from meeting and project collaboration to CRM software to network infrastructure products— must be graded according to its cloud-enabled value before being purchased and implemented. The company’s new wireless network would therefore need to leverage the cloud in its deployment and management functions in order to meet Greenway’s cloud-based criteria.
However, Greenway’s legacy wireless LAN—a Cisco Aironet solution with individually monitored APs—was not cloud-enabled, nor could it keep up with Greenway’s rapid growth. When problems arose under the Cisco solution, IT staff had to manually track down the access point (AP) that was causing problems and troubleshoot the issue at the source. This proved to be time-consuming, inefficient and unreliable.
“We had reached a growing point where we either had to bring on full-time wireless staff or find an alternative solution to our Cisco Aironet wireless infrastructure,” said Puckett. “We needed a Wi-Fi solution that would allow us to efficiently manage a wireless infrastructure and leverage a platform, without taking up a lot our IT staff’s ‘time-to-resolution’ or extend change management windows for device software updates and config modifications.”
In keeping with its cloud-based mandate, Greenway is managing its network using Aerohive’s Cloud Services Platform—HiveManager Online. Aerohive’s HiveManager Network Management System (NMS) enables simple policy creation, firmware upgrades, configuration updates, and centralized monitoring throughout an entire Aerohive deployment, whether building-, campus- or global-wide, from within a single console.
The cloud-enabled version of Aerohive’s management platform— HiveManager Online—is designed to make it cost-effective to start small and grow a network with no upfront capital costs beyond the access points. HiveManager Online offers the same enterprise-class features, but it’s easier and less expensive to implement because it is all set up and ready to use, and organizations are not required to deploy another device in their network. HiveManager Online is hosted within secure Tier IV SAS 70 Type II data centers, with scheduled backups and disaster-recovery capabilities, and it is accessible via a web browser on Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX.
“I can be at home or literally anywhere away from the office via a secure HTTPs Internet session, and with the proper login credentials; quickly diagnose a Wi-Fi problem from my laptop or iPad browser— all with complete visibility across my corporate wireless network using HiveManager Online”, said Puckett. “This means I can monitor, diagnose, and resolve any wireless issue that arises without the need to VPN connect or drive back to the office—it doesn’t get any easier or more efficient than that. Aerohive’s HiveManager Online is a great example of the type of cloud-based application that perfectly aligns with Greenway Medical Technologies’ corporate cloud strategy.”
HiveManager Online was also a key component behind Greenway’s easy Aerohive deployment. Configuration of access points takes place within HiveManager, and then they are simply pushed out to each AP as it is installed.
Greenway has replaced its Cisco access points with Aerohive’s HiveAP 120 APs across four corporate campus locations, with a goal of eliminating network downtime while reducing the amount of time it takes to manage its WLAN. With this goal in mind, the company chose Aerohive as its wireless vendor because of its easy-to-manage and reliable Cooperative Control architecture.
“We have historically standardized on Cisco for virtually all of our network components, but the ease-of-management and the ability to manage those APs provided by Aerohive was such a game changer, it didn’t matter at that point what vendor we had previously standardized on. Aerohive was the obvious answer to our Wi-Fi cloud-enabled requirements,” said Puckett.
Wireless networks based on Aerohive’s Cooperative Control solution are more reliable than controller-based networks, because controllers’ “single points of failure” are eliminated. The Aerohive HiveAPs provide secure fast roaming, ease of management, and state-of-the-art security without network controllers or overlay networks. Instead, software in the HiveAPs enables them to self- organize into groups called “hives”, to share network control information, and to deliver QoS, identity-based policy enforcement and other advanced functionality.
Greenway has its fair share of guests on its campus due to its on-site research, development and training center and it required a secure internet connect for visitors. Puckett set up separate SSIDs and encryption for visitors requiring standard Internet access.
“If our customers want to schedule a whole week on campus, we have a training facility with classrooms that are equipped with smart boards and other training equipment in a classroom type of environment,” said Puckett. “Our Aerohive Wi-Fi solution is now providing those visitors with secure firewalled guest wireless and Internet access while they are on our campus.”
Greenway is using Aerohive’s mesh networking capability forAP redundancy. “We will eventually use outdoor APs to extendthe wireless network to an outdoor courtyard seating area for employees where they can eat lunch and work from their laptops and iPads,” said Puckett.