Accessibility healthcare provider decreases helpdesk calls

As one of the nation’s largest family-owned providers of prosthetics, orthotics and accessibility solutions, Wright & Filippis is committed to helping their patients get back to a better health set point. But in an industry known for embracing new technology, the company’s legacy network and end-of-life voice system led to frustrating outages at many of the company’s 32 clinics. After scanning their options, the firm turned to Windstream Enterprise to develop a robust networking and telephony solution that could help them meet their mandate of being first to serve, first to care. 

Industry: Healthcare
Customer: 22 clinics in Michigan, 10 clinics in South Carolina, 390 employees
Challenges: Inadequate network resiliency, frequent outages at clinics, slow application performance, obsolete voice systems
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, Dual access active/active connections, Managed Network Security, OfficeSuite UC® and Mitel UCaaS, Mitel CCaaS
Results: Significantly reduced outages, faster application performance, better call center experiences, single provider, reduced costs

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Network impediments required a check-up

As the head of a two-person IT team, Rob Chaney Jr., manager of IT for Wright & Filippis, has his work cut out for him.

“IT is the interface between the technology and the clinics,” says Rob. “But we’re also here to support the infrastructure of the company as a whole.”

Faced with a legacy MPLS network, day-to-day maintenance consisted of a constant struggle to service multiple sites that went down on a weekly basis. Since the company’s network was single-threaded, it offered no resiliency—in the form of redundancy or diversity—which meant frequent outages. If a connection was lost, employees couldn’t serve their patients.

Driving the downtime was the company’s move to the cloud. Like many healthcare organizations, Wright & Filippis uses electronic medical records (EMR)—datarich but infamously large files to move by traditional networks. In the company’s case, locations routinely complained about slow Internet performance, as their EMR applications were slow to load and process, causing an undesirable patient experience.

Meanwhile, the company’s on-premises voice services at their Michigan locations were beyond end-of-life, difficult to manage and expensive to maintain. Employees had no flexibility to manage their settings. The South Carolina locations used a combination of legacy POTS and VoIP services that offered a disjointed, non-unified experience.

With so many challenges and so much at stake, Rob and his team couldn’t handle the network alone. They needed a fully managed solution.

“Windstream Enterprise has been always available and extremely responsive to my requests for support.”

Rob Chaney Jr., Manager of IT, Wright & Filippis

Reparation for an ailing system

Through Rob’s research, he had developed a keen interest in SD-WAN. It offered an ideal solution to the company’s bandwidth and uptime challenges. With automatic failover from dual, active/active connections—along with its ability to prioritize existing bandwidth to critical applications—SD-WAN was capable of supporting the company’s cloud-based bandwidth challenges while still allowing the clinics to function as customer-serving businesses.

When Rob contacted Windstream Enterprise, they presented Wright & Filippis with SD-WAN Concierge™ that included fiber and cable connections to fulfill the active/active connectivity. That diversity gave the network the resiliency to significantly reduce outages while allowing Rob to optimize the company’s EMR performance.

Additionally, Windstream Enterprise implemented UCaaS solutions at all Wright & Filippis locations. Rob and the Windstream team implemented an OfficeSuite UC solution at their South Carolina locations, while a Mitel UCaaS and contact center (CCaaS) solution handled communications within the Michigan sites. Completing the company’s solution, Windstream Enterprise deployed MNS Cloud Service to replace the existing on-premises security devices and protect their broadband connections—enabling Rob to extend the reach of the Wright & Filippis network with site-to-site VPN and remote access VPN connectivity across the Internet for remote workers.

Throughout the design and deployment process, Rob was pleased with the level of service he received from Windstream Enterprise:

A healthy network experience

Today, Rob can ensure a better experience for Wright & Filippis patients and employees alike. He’s seen significantly reduced helpdesk calls regarding Internet performance, and network outages have also dropped drastically.

SD-WAN Concierge with dual active/active connectivity allows Rob to optimize corporate application performance—including the company’s cloud-based EMR—from the solution’s greater resiliency, higher uptime and reliable bandwidth. The fiber and cable provided by Windstream Enterprise supported that resiliency by significantly reducing outages.

On the voice side, the newly installed UCaaS solutions have made business communications much easier for Rob to manage. His admin now has the power to make changes on the fly with an intuitive, easy to use management console.

Performance-wise, Wright & Filippis is experiencing far fewer voice outages. While most of the staff traditionally worked in company offices and clinics, the advanced softphone features were a delightful surprise when the employees shifted to work-from-home during COVID-19. Employees actually improved productivity thanks to their new chat and collaboration options. As a bonus, the solution is far less expensive for the company to maintain.

Greater accessibility for all

With a fully managed SD-WAN and UCaaS solution, the Wright & Filippis IT team can focus more on strategic plans instead of living with the stress of constant network issues. Rob uses the WE Connect portal as a key resource for troubleshooting issues—it’s the first place he looks to when an alert appears related to slow performance or an outage. The company help desk uses the OfficeSuite UC portal to manage calls.

Post-deployment, Rob is happy with the service he’s receiving from Windstream Enterprise. As Wright & Filippis continue to innovate accessibility solutions, Rob looks forward to being able to focus on helping the business move forward, confident in the knowledge that Windstream Enterprise has his back.

“Our Windstream Enterprise Technical Service Manager helped make our SD-WAN and UCaaS migration a seamless experience.”

Rob Chaney Jr., Manager of IT, Wright & Filippis

About the Author

Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise believes people should expect more from their service provider. Our mission: as network, security and application performance become continuously more critical, WE will be the partner that responds to unique customer needs—a pathfinder to help lead them through technology transformation. A trusted advisor to help them connect, transform and elevate their businesses.

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