Healthcare provider undergoes digital transformation to better serve patients

With 40 hospitals in network, 300 physician offices and more than 50,000 employees, this healthcare provider performed significant surgery to their outdated network and communications services by replacing them with smarter, more secure solutions. In doing so, they found a trusted partner to guide them through this digital transformation and achieved better connectivity and collaboration to heal their IT pain points.

Industry: Healthcare
Customer: 40 hospitals with 300+ physician offices; 800 communities; 50,000 employees
Challenges: Expensive, difficult & static network; limited network automation; antiquated telephone systems; outdated contact centers; difficulty migrating to the cloud; too many service providers; no centralized management & support
Solutions: VMware SD-WAN Concierge™, High Availability (active/active SD-WAN), High Bandwidth Business Internet, Managed Services via Complex NOC, Avaya UCaaS & cordless phones, Avaya Contact Center
Results: Better network redundancy & reliability; greater security & automation Increased visibility & control; fully managed technical support; vendor consolidation; improved latency for critical apps; net-zero cost for new solution

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A healthier world starts with a healthier provider

The largest private, physician-owned hospital operator in the country is on a mission: Design the healthcare system of tomorrow and usher in a new era of wellness.

With a premier lineup of renowned pediatricians, sports medicine specialists and cardiac surgeons to state-of-the-art hospitals, urgent care centers and orthopedic clinics, this organization seeks to deliver unbeatable scalability, offering easier access to high-quality affordable healthcare to their 2.2 million patients—when they need it and where they want it.

To achieve this, the provider recognized there was room to increase operational efficiency, enhance patient care and reduce costs by streamlining digital processes and business-critical applications. Doing so would result in more precise and coordinated care— virtually from anywhere.

The organization conducted a wellness exam into their existing network and voice services, revealing that their wide area network (WAN) had become expensive, static and difficult to run.

After numerous acquisitions, their network performance was suffering, and their network solutions lacked the automation, visibility and reliability needed to meet today’s employee and patient expectations.

Furthermore, their telephone systems and contact centers were aging and out of support. Antiquated Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) was making it hard to achieve business continuity and limit downtime.

To make things even more complicated, they relied on five different vendors across their business, resulting in no centralized management, support or architecture to sustain their voice systems.

They knew it was time to upgrade to IP-based solutions that could integrate all of their facilities into a single, streamlined infrastructure, along with a strategic partner to reinforce their vision—a partner like Windstream Enterprise.

“Windstream Enterprise has been very flexible and willing to work within our timelines, which has made the transition to new solutions much easier.”

- Vice President, Information Services

Just what the doctor ordered

The provider started with an incision to their network by implementing Windstream Enterprise’s High Availability SD-WAN Concierge™, powered by VMware—an industry leader recognized by Gartner in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure. All SD-WAN locations are provisioned with two diverse access connections in active/active configuration for greater bandwidth and resiliency to their network.

Dedicated Internet access was provided to maximize uptime and ensure more reliable network performance.

Windstream Enterprise supplied professional hands-on support to their Complex NOC—a world-class service maintained by a team of highly experienced analysts. This team would be responsible for monitoring the network, providing help desk support and protecting their critical data from mounting cyberthreats.

Connectivity and security weren’t the only things this provider transformed. They also installed Windstream Enterprise’s fully managed Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), powered by Avaya. UCaaS would be key to increasing productivity by unifying voice, chat, mobility, conferencing and collaboration into a single platform for a secure and enhanced employee and patient experience.

Better yet, the solution is integrated with Avaya’s customizable Contact Center as a Solution (CCaaS) applications, featuring omnichannel customer interactions. This was essential to helping the provider preserve their legacy investments while also adopting new cloud-based solutions, like UCaaS.

Connectivity and collaboration all day keeps the doctor away

Since making the switch to these IP-based solutions from Windstream Enterprise, the provider has experienced a significant increase in network reliability and resiliency throughout all their locations spanning across nine states.

Their optimized network enabled aggregated, network-wide visibility and real-time performance into each location, device and user, courtesy of WE Connect—a unified portal and mobile app uniquely designed to elevate the provider’s IT experience.

Migrating to UCaaS proved to be effective at improving workplace productivity, enabling employee mobility during the rise of remote and hybrid work environments. The UCaaS solution provided simplicity and savings to their business communications infrastructure.

Today, the provider feels much more secure and stable, thanks to these managed solutions from Windstream Enterprise—even more so from the support provided by the Elite NOC team.

Overall, this healthcare provider was pleased with their decision to consolidate their solutions under one vendor to support the modernization of their network and voice services. Now they can tap into more personalized, secure and anytime, anywhere experiences. With the unwavering support from their trusted partner, Windstream Enterprise, they can now stay focused on championing the best patient care and catering to the communities they serve.

“The WE Connect portal has been a game changer. Our IT operations team is always accessing it through their mobile devices.”

- Vice President, Information Services

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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