How do you know when it’s time to replace your organization’s legacy IT infrastructure?
There are always new technologies offering advantages over what you have. Just like there will always be questions about whether to invest in those technologies when what you have is working, however imperfectly.
Inevitably, all legacy systems get replaced. But what makes the timing right?
For Gaston Family Health Services (GFHS), adopting advanced networking became a necessity when legacy infrastructure no longer supported the organization’s mission.
Distributed organizations increasingly depend on modern IT solutions
GFHS operates 23 primary-care facilities across five North Carolina counties. These clinics address the needs of 55,000 (and increasing) patients who can’t afford insurance and would otherwise get their primary care from emergency departments.
As demand grew over the years for GFHS health services, so did the bandwidth requirements of primary applications – a double-strain on GFHS’ WAN technology. It reached the point where the GFHS team of six IT professionals were frequently consumed by responding to reports of network slowdowns that could not be permanently fixed.
GFHS was similarly hampered by an older, hosted PBX phone system that couldn’t keep up with growing call volumes – and the phone system offered no reporting on call metrics that could guide improvements.
Diagnosis, treatment and recovery
GFHS engaged Windstream Enterprise to explore potential data and voice solutions. An initial needs analysis pointed to replacing T1s with fiber, plus cable broadband back-up for redundancy and reliability, and SD-WAN for network-wide visibility with application‑level monitoring and reporting.
Calls from clinics reporting network slowdowns disappeared after implementation. Now, IT professionals monitor the system for potential issues, which they can proactively correct using the SD-WAN self-service portal.
On the voice side, new unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions overlay the SD-WAN, delivering a wealth of functionality and customization far exceeding that of the old PBX system. Spikes in call volume are no longer an issue, and a variety of reports provide insights for fine-tuning.
Improving data and voice services delivered productivity gains for the GFHS IT team, which has shifted from addressing continuous problems to initiatives that improve the patient experience. Reference the complete case study here for full details on the improvements GFHS has seen.
If efforts to wring maximum life and value from legacy IT infrastructure are impeding your own organization’s ability to achieve its mission, it’s time to consider your options.
Molly True is the Industry Marketing Staff Manager at Windstream Enterprise for the healthcare, retail and financial services industries. She has previous experience at Avaya as a Senior Healthcare Marketing Manager. She holds a CPHIMS (Certified Professional in Health Information & Management Systems) from HIMSS and is a national member of HIMSS. Molly has her MBA from Meredith College and her BS in Computer Science from Appalachian State University. She also has product management, service product management, and product marketing experience.
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