CrossWinds, a rural Kansas mental health center, was plagued with IT issues. Things reached a breaking point when their network went down for four days and services ground to an abrupt halt at their 17 locations. After realizing that they didn't have a firm grasp on the scope and capabilities of their on-premises IT network, CrossWinds turned to Ricoh to help them understand the full breadth of the situation.
CrossWinds now has a much more efficient, well-rounded approach to their IT network, allowing staff to focus on their mission of providing flexible, patient-oriented care. CrossWinds' IT department has been transformed from a cost center to a partnership that supports its business objectives. Implementing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) provided significant workflow advantages for staff working outside the office. The switch to MPLS circuits replaced intermittent connectivity with a reliable connection for both the cloud strategy and VoIP technology. And a forklift upgrade of the phone system — performing the upgrade in tandem with the cloud and circuit installations — realized a savings of more than $100,000 for CrossWinds.
Within a few days, Ricoh assembled its IT experts from Boston, New York and Virginia to conduct the onsite assessment of CrossWinds’ existing IT infrastructure and recommend ways to fix and monitor the network. During the process, Ricoh uncovered a variety of factors that had led to the frequent downtime and persistent instability of the network.
“We were a bigger mess than we realized,” said Runquist. “Ricoh discovered one issue after another. Our network even went down while they were here, but they had us back up and running in 20 minutes.”
The team suggested that CrossWinds adopt a private cloud strategy to host all of their current servers in the Ricoh cloud environment. The solution included both virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and cloud servers as well as Tier 3 application monitoring and backup. VDI was a critical element to give CrossWinds’ staff the ability to seamlessly perform work in the field using their tablet or laptop.
CrossWinds gave Ricoh the green light. The team proceeded to decommission all of CrossWinds’ legacy servers and migrate the healthcare services organization to a secure, stable, highly scalable platform in the cloud. During roundtable discussions for the cloud strategy, Ricoh analyzed the data circuits for all of the CrossWinds’ sites and discovered that the current spend plus an additional 15 percent could replace the intermittent connectivity with highly reliable Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) circuits. These circuits would guarantee performance of the cloud strategy and support a VoIP solution to dramatically improve CrossWinds’ telephone technology.
Next up, Ricoh is bringing its team to CrossWinds to implement a SharePoint® intranet site that had been tabled by the previous in-house IT team. When finished, it will be a repository for policies and procedures that employees can access anywhere, anytime to stay up to date and share information.