Mount Pleasant, SC (PRWEB) May 16, 2013 – eGroup, the Southeast’s leading provider of cloud, application, and end-user computing services, today announced it has received the 2012 EMC® Velocity™ Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Velocity Services Quality (VSQ) program.
This marks the third time eGroup has won the exclusive award.
The EMC VSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Velocity Services designations to solicit customer feedback regarding the quality of the partner’s service engagements.
“We’re thrilled that our mission to be a trusted advisor, focused solely on positive project outcomes, is once again recognized by EMC and our customers,” said Mike Carter, Principal, eGroup. “eGroup’s project delivery team is continually laser focused on saving the customer time, money and enabling a competitive advantage. Receiving the Velocity Services Quality Award is an endorsement that our smooth project experience process is successful and delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction.”
“EMC’s Total Customer Experience hinges on superior customer satisfaction and quality and is a cornerstone of EMC’s success. I’m delighted to see an increasing number of Velocity Solution Provider partners from around the world who continue to drive and deliver outstanding levels of customer service to their customers. The latest survey results demonstrate that these partners have embraced and honed their EMC services skills set to maintain increasingly high levels of customer satisfaction,” said Jeff Schmitt, Americas Theatre Lead, Global Services Partners, EMC Corporation. “As an EMC Velocity Services Quality Award winner, eGroup demonstrates leadership in service delivery quality and exemplifies the high standards to which EMC holds its own Global Services organization.”
The EMC Velocity Services program enables a select community of trained and certified EMC authorized partners to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of services ranging from technology implementation to technical support. These partners provide value-added services to address the most crucial aspects of a customer’s information technology infrastructure.
You already read about how we helped Beaufort Memorial Hospital with its disaster recovery strategy.
Here are a few more recent articles in which eGroup provided insight:
Computer Reseller News: Is Software-Defined Storage For Real Or A Lot Of Hot Air?
Mike Carter, eGroup’s Principal, provided an email response to reporter, Joe Kovar, on his analysis of the SD storage market
Computer Reseller News: Software-Defined Data Centers: Should You Jump On The Bandwagon?
Rich Young, eGroup’s Marketing & Communications Manager, spoke with Joe Kovar about the marketing term, “software-defined” and its effectiveness, or lack thereof.
Computer Reseller News: EMC’s New Partner Program Motto: ‘More Simple, Predictable, Profitable’
Young applauds EMC’s announcement about the new Business partner program while at EMC World 2013.
SearchITchannel.com: Channel Recruitment and VAR Staffing Best Practices
Young offers commentary around eGroup’s recruitment challenge.
At last month’s VMware Users Group meeting in Savannah GA, I told a story about a company’s IT department and how their world was turned upside down when an absent minded employee and lax security policies met head on. The purpose of the anecdote was to show how it was possible to secure sensitive data while introducing more flexibility and choice to the end-user. The resulting solution was founded on a solid and secure implementation of VMware View.
With the recent release of the VMware’s Horizon Suite, I can’t help but wonder how these products would have changed or improved the original solution. When I look at the product portfolio of the Horizon Suite, I see a lot of opportunity for what could have been. There are three major points that could have really improved that initial deployment of View.
Access to Remote Applications
Horizon Workspace would have set the stage for a more simplified implementation of a BYOD policy. The delivery of full desktops to end-users can be cumbersome and financially prohibitive. From one SSO portal, Workspace allows users to access individual applications and files. The enhanced security provides peace of mind and allows IT management deeper insights and controls through auditing and quotas. The best part is that the end-user will now have a multitude of secured devices to choose from in order to access their data. From home computers to library kiosks, there will be no excuse for not having access to the data you need when you need it most.
Controlling the Handsets
In the example I provided, we discussed the use of a mobile device management system in order to control access and security from the end-user handsets and tablets. As I tote around my six pounds of laptop, I can surely attest to the rise in popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Since most of these devices are personally owned, they become increasingly more difficult to manage. It is not so difficult to imagine what might happen to unsecured corporate data on a smartphone if it were to fall into the hands of a…toddler. So how are we, as IT managers, supposed to allow people to use their personal devices while maintaining the security of our corporate data? VMware Horizon Mobile is the answer. This tool allows IT to deliver a customized corporate persona to the end-user device allowing them to maintain their own personalization while enforcing corporate security on the company provided device.
No Man Left Behind
One of the biggest issues we found during our View deployment was that not all of our end-users were easily converted to a Virtual Desktop. These end-points felt extremely detached from the infrastructure as a whole and required a lot of extra attention. This detracted from the benefits we were gaining through our View deployment. If we had been able to use Horizon Mirage, our management capabilities for these end points would have been significantly more streamlined. The policy-driven remediation of applications would have meant a few hours of repair for branch offices instead of the days it would have required in order to ship the device, complete the repairs and ship back. It would have also been extremely cheaper. Have you ever mailed a laptop overnight express with insurance? Twice?
As you can imagine, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the entire portfolio of the VMware Horizon Suite. The sheer scope of this product is enough to overwhelm any sized IT department. At eGroup, we’re ‘getting our hands dirty’ with all this great technology so you don’t have to!
April 16, 2013 by Richard R. Rogoski
Beaufort Memorial’s disaster recovery plan emphasizes redundancy
It never hurts to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. For smaller hospitals that rely on a single data center, backing up data so they can be recovered may not be enough if the data center is down for any length of time. Leaders at Beaufort Memorial Hospital in Beaufort, S.C., took that into account when developing a disaster recovery plan, says Ed Ricks, CIO.
A 197-bed community hospital that serves over 100,000 people, Beaufort Memorial is located near the Atlantic coast, making it vulnerable to hurricanes and floods. And while Ricks says his disaster recovery plan has “morphed over the years,” he emphasizes that in addition to its in-house data center, the hospital also rents space in a building further inland that serves as a “warm” site.
In the past, as real-time data was replicated, the data were sent to the warm site where it was stored. But because that warm site was not an active site, it lacked the ability to run any of the hospital’s information systems.
However, since the hospital had already approved another medical arts building on the campus, Ricks says the decision was made to put a second data center in the new building. “That’s now our secondary data center but it will soon become our primary center,” he explains. “We want it to be an active-active data center.”
Ricks says the hospital partnered with Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based eGroup to design a plan that would incorporate two data centers instead of one. In addition, Beaufort Memorial had already set up its backup storage solutions with the Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp., so EMC was brought back to work on the expansion project.
Now, says Ricks, the two data centers are linked with a fiber optic cable owned by the hospital with a current capacity of 10 gigabytes per second. The warm site also is connected, but by a leased line that is part of the backbone for the state’s health information exchange (HIE), he says.
Ultimately, Ricks says, he would like to turn the warm site hot in case both on-site data centers ever go down. “The long view is to turn the warm site into another active data center — probably in a few years.”
In backing up data to disk, one copy is now stored in the secondary data center while a second copy is stored at the warm site, he says.
Working with eGroup was fortuitous for Beaufort Memorial, since that applications and services provider has strategic partnerships with EMC, Cisco Systems, and the Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware.
Beaufort Memorial continues to add new technologies to its arsenal: not only does it no longer use paper charts, but it also added a virtualization platform using VMware’s vSphere, Ricks says. “We run 225 servers and about 95 percent are virtual.”
Developing a disaster recovery strategy and building in redundancy with a second data center was not without its challenges. “You can do anything you want to do with enough time and money. But you’re always looking at competing dollars,” he says, noting that IT expenditures are often at odds with those on the clinical side.
As for offering advice to other CIOs who are planning to implement a disaster recovery strategy, Ricks urges, “Have a long-term plan but make sure you have an end point in mind. Communicate what you want to do, get everything in place, then test it.”
Plus, he notes, “It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity.”
Let the VMworld session voting begin!
eGroup and our customer, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, are asking for your vote for “#5369 Beaufort Memorial Hospital Enhances Patient Care with Secure Mobile Solutions.” We have the abstract below for your review.
Voting is fast and easy. Go to VMworld’s session page to quickly register (very easy). Once finished, you’ll see a list of sessions featuring a “thumbs up” icon. To vote, simply click on the thumb and it will turn green. That’s it!
Also, check out Chad Sakac’s great roundup of his favs on Virtual Geek to vote for more.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital Enhances Patient Care with Secure Mobile Solutions
Attend this session to learn how secure, one-touch roaming sessions helped to encourage use of electronic medical records (EMR) and pave the way for CPOE at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
The move to EMR was a foregone conclusion from the start at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Yet, while the long-term benefits that a paperless environment would have on hospital efficiency, PHI security and improved patient outcomes were substantial, the immediate impact on caregiver workflow had the potential to turn clinicians away. New online systems would introduce more complex passwords to users already overburdened with remembering credentials. Multiple log ins/out, user lock-outs and time spent calling the help desk could frustrate users and jeopardize the EMR project. Any technology that reduced the amount of time spent caring for patients would be resisted by clinicians, and it was clear that electronic engagement was going to be a challenge, particularly with physicians.
For Ed Ricks, Beaumont Memorial Hospital’s VP and CIO, understanding the physicians’ requirements and presenting a flexible solution that actually improved their productivity – while at the same time securing patient data – was key to their engagement, and ultimately attesting for Meaningful Use. By rethinking the way clinicians access the data they need, the IT team was able to develop an electronic system that delivered faster workflows and higher efficiency. Through a combination of virtual desktops, single sign-on and strong authentication, clinicians today have secure, one-touch access to roaming sessions that follow them throughout their shifts. Users access data at standalone office PCs, generic shared workstations, and virtual roaming desktops. They log in once at the start of their shifts, and move throughout their day during a predefined grace period, logging in and out of their sessions with a simple tap of their employee ID badges.
In this presentation, Ricks will describe the path that his team took to reach Stage 1 Meaningful Use and how they won over doctors and nurses by redefining the parameters of access to PHI.
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