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The Logicalis Enterprise Cloud Provides API Healthcare a Launch Pad for its Workforce Management Software-as-a-Service Offerings.API Healthcare is an independent software vendor (ISV) that offers a comprehensive workforce management solution to healthcare organizations of all sizes. Its product line includes everything from a touch-screen badge reader for employee self-service to business analytics that help departments effectively manage the complex staffing requirements of their organizations. API Healthcare has been in business for over 30 years and has more than 1,600 hospitals and healthcare organizations as clients.
API Healthcare’s clients had been asking about accessing its solutions as a service instead of having to host it in their own data centers. A classic operating expense vs. capital expense argument. The problem for API Healthcare was that providing their software-as-a-service would require building up their own data center, not their core competency.
The cloud computing model seemed like a potential solution, but not just any cloud would do. API Healthcare had specific technical requirements and healthcare clients that must comply with specific industry regulations.
"Our solutions, aren’t something you can just throw on your basic public cloud," says API Healthcare Technical Product Manager Jon Hardenbrook.
Hardenbrook says when he asked his contacts at HP and IBM for a recommendation, they all told him he should talk to Logicalis.
Logicalis Enterprise Cloud
The Logicalis Enterprise Cloud had everything API Healthcare needed—and was, in fact, developed in part with API Healthcare in mind. Logicalis Enterprise Cloud is a multi-tiered cloud infrastructure built on a set of predefined services with flexible support levels. The infrastructure underlying the platform incorporates ITIL V3 best management practices. It is designed for complete redundancy, leveraging enterprise-class servers, storage and networking infrastructure. It is SAS70-certified and has implemented safeguards that are in line with HIPAA and other regulations.
Hosting its solutions in the Logicalis Enterprise Cloud platform made it possible for API Healthcare to give its clients what they wanted without having to expand its own data center and hire employees around-the-clock to support it. The Logicalis Enterprise Cloud is supported by Logicalis’ more than a decade’s worth of experience as a managed service provider. For API Healthcare, that means Logicalis is able to monitor and manage everything from the operating system down, leaving API Healthcare free to focus on managing its solutions for its clients. "Logicalis managed services auto-generates incident reports and we have a dashboard so we can see exactly what resources we are consuming—everything we need to know," Hardenbrook says. "Logicalis does a lot for us."
Before going live with its first hosted solution for a client, Hardenbrook says API Healthcare performed extensive tests to prove that it could meet the needs of a hypothetical healthcare organization with 170,000 employees. Not only did the platform and the solution pass all the tests with flying colors, but conducting the test also dramatized one of the benefits of cloud computing: API Healthcare was able to deploy 100 virtual servers, run its tests, and then undeploy all 100 servers in under one week’s time.
"There’s no way you could do that in the physical world," Hardenbrook notes.
The ability to offer its software as a service provided API Healthcare a competitive advantage, Hardenbrook says. "Our clients don’t have to buy anything, and we can significantly reduce the timeframe for implementation by hosting it on the Logicalis cloud as opposed to installing it at their data center."
API Healthcare’s clients like the hosted model on several levels: Their departments like the workflow capabilities of the API Healthcare solutions that make it possible to more effectively manage their staff and provide better quality care to their patients while controlling labor costs. Their CFOs like the idea of being able to pay a fixed fee for the service out of their operations budget. And their IT departments like the fact that they don’t have to support, monitor or manage the solution in their already crowded data centers.
API Healthcare now offers all of its solutions in the hosted model. Hardenbrook notes some clients who had an API Healthcare solution in their data centers have since migrated to the hosted version. "I sincerely think that this is a trend. It makes too much fiscal sense for the life of the solution to move it out to a managed format instead of keeping it all in-house. Logicalis has put us on the leading edge of that trend."
Hardenbrook says there has been a very high comfort level working with Logicalis since their earliest conversations. "Our companies had similar thought processes on where we wanted to go," he says. "It was a great fit for us organizationally. Logicalis has been everything we thought a cloud provider should be—and more. They’ve been so willing to work with us every step of the way. It’s a great relationship. Logicalis is a true partner."