RelateCare – a joint venture between Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. and Rigneydolphin in Ireland –combines Cleveland Clinic’s healthcare expertise and Rigneydolphin’s experience in contact-center management to provide patient communication services to hospitals worldwide, including three of the top 10 in the U.S.
To build solutions at speed – while meeting regulatory requirements – RelateCare works with IT partner Arkphire. An expert in Dell Technologies, Arkphire has supported RelateCare since it launched and over the course of their partnership, the two companies constantly faced challenges centered on how best to improve service delivery; specifically, onboarding RelateCare’s customers faster and driving service development while ensuring healthcare compliance data.
To satisfy this need for speed and compliance, Arkphire proposed Dell Technologies APEX Flex on Demand.
Flexibility without concerns around security
Historically, when a new client came along, RelateCare would procure the hardware from Dell Technologies and Arkphire would deploy and manage it. This process was lengthy compared to newer cloud-based IT offerings which, it’s worth pointing out, came with zero procurement cycles and pay-as-you-go finance models.
Unfortunately, Public Cloud was not an option because of the regulatory requirements around the sensitivity of patients’ personal data and the requirement for data residency (to be onsite rather than in the Cloud).
Enter APEX Flex on Demand through Dell Financial Services, which gave RelateCare a cloud-style IT consumption model while ensuring the company’s data stayed on-premises. Arkphire oversaw the deployment of Dell’s latest hyperconverged infrastructure EMC VxRail appliances at its data center. Once in place, APEX Flex on Demand enabled RelateCare to onboard faster, using pre-positioned, highly cost-effective VxRail nodes to handle growth and sudden spikes in workloads. This solution created a buffer for those spikes, and RelateCare paid only when the buffer was used.
With APEX Flex on Demand, RelateCare could now achieve a lot without having the financial burden of paying for five years of server equipment in one instance. What’s more, where onboarding customers previously took three to four weeks, this process was now brought down to just a couple of days.
There’s also the improved agility RelateCare could now enjoy. The company’s systems could now be available, even when its services are offline. Estimates suggest they’re now at five times availability, double what it once was.
Finally, the RelateCare IT team could also use APEX Flex on Demand to spin up virtualized servers to allocate networking and storage, and begin the integration work with a client’s own systems. The company is now as flexible and cost effective as any cloud solution, but without the concerns over data residency.
Today, RelateCare is developing new services using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Chatbots that use natural language processing, a form of AI, to deliver contact-center services is a good example of this. These chatbots answer high-frequency, straightforward questions, freeing up the company’s human agents to tackle more complex queries.
Over the next three years, RelateCare expects to triple in size as it increases the number of services to customers. Managing that growth — which will see the number of employees grow to around 2,000 — will be key. The IT systems will need to scale with no loss of performance and stay available around-the-clock.
Arkphire and Dell Technologies will no doubt be up for this task.