Dental firm improves network uptime and bandwidth

Mid-Atlantic Dental Partners (MADP) supports dental service offices across 14 states and approximately 2,700 employees. Their goal is to provide quality healthcare services through a partnership with dentists who are respected in their communities. To meet that objective, MADP needed to modernize their network, voice and security solutions to ensure support services are always up and running at peak performance. 

Industry: Healthcare
Customer: Locations in 14 states, 2,700 employees
Challenges: Obsolete IP VPN and POTS, lack of resiliency and uptime, obsolete on-premises security, inconsistent WiFi, small IT staff
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, Professional Services, Dual Broadband Connections, MNS Cloud, Secure WiFi, WE Connect Portal
Results: Expanded bandwidth, improved application performance, reduced network outages, consolidated service providers, improved patient experience

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A network in decay

Headquartered a few miles northwest of Philadelphia, PA, MADP is a growing regional dental support organization with affiliate practices in 14 states. MADP 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. MADP is 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.

That level of care requires a network that allows seamless communications between affiliates—along with the ability to handle patient records securely. MADP’s legacy IP VPN, phone system and on-premises security devices weren’t up to their mission.

Their VPN offered no redundancy, leaving some locations to experience two to three outages per month—sometimes lasting as long as 24 hours—while their POTS phone system experienced frequent outages. MADP’s 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. 

“We selected Windstream Enterprise because of their ability to provide a fully managed solution. They have been highly attentive, flexible and responsive to meeting our needs.”

Todd Rogers, Chief Technology Officer, Mid-Atlantic Dental Partners

Laying a healthy foundation

To solve MADP’s network performance problems and help ensure the personalized experience that is the organization’s trademark, the partnership chose SD-WAN Concierge 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 Todd Rogers, Chief Technology Officer at MADP.

Windstream Enterprise delivered a fully managed solution for all-access, data, voice, security and WiFi with traffic running over the SD-WAN for optimized performance. The Professional Services team at Windstream Enterprise provided a white glove installation, including all network hardware devices, phones and cabling, across 77 locations.

Reconnecting practitioners with patients

To ensure high resilience and uptime, Windstream Enterprise implemented dual access for all MADP 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 MADP’s legacy on-premises voice equipment with state-of-art phones with advanced, easy-to-use features that enable employees to be more productive and responsive to patient needs.

Additionally, the Windstream Enterprise team deployed cloud-based Managed Network Security (MNS) services to protect MADP’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 offloaded to the Internet via the broadband connection so it doesn’t consume network bandwidth.

Regular checkups

Todd now has complete visibility and control over MADP’s new infrastructure. He uses the WE Connect portal to monitor application performance, modify application priorities, manage security policies and handle trouble tickets.

Todd remarked, “The ability to make application priority and firewall policy changes via WE Connect is a great value to me.”

A clean bill of health

For MADP, 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 eliminated voice service outages.

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

On the security side, MNS Cloud from Windstream Enterprise enables MADP 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 Todd, the ability to consolidate to a single vendor was a key reason he chose Windstream Enterprise. The Professional Service team’s ability to manage the details of implementation— along with their accountability for all aspects of the solution—were a significant benefit to MADP.

“I use the WE Connect portal on a daily basis to quickly identify issues and take corrective action.”

Todd Rogers, Chief Technology Officer, Mid-Atlantic Dental Partners

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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