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    Mass Health Data Depends on Comcast For Fast Web Collaboration


    Organization 
    Massachusetts Health Data Consortium

    Challenge
    Slow Internet access impacted the company’s ability to add media-rich content to its web site. In addition, employees could not upload or download large files to collaborate with vendors.

    Solution Requirements

    • Speed: High-speed Internet access will enable rapid and dynamic multimedia uploads to the web site and drive conference attendance. 
    • Cloud computing: The new Internet connection will facilitate cloud computing and enhance business processes, such as email and document sharing so employees can work remotely. 
    • Cost-effective: The overall solution will integrate Internet access with voice service and be cost effective. 
    Solution

    • Comcast Business Internet – 22Mbps/5Mbps 
    • Comcast Business Trunks - “right sized” 
    Results

    • Increases marketing opportunities and conference attendance 
    • Supports cloud computing for email, document sharing, and backup 
    • Fast, dependable downloads enhance employee productivity 

    Slow Internet Access Sends CEO to Coffee Shop
    The Massachusetts Health Data Consortium has two lines of business. It produces conferences for the healthcare industry about IT issues, and it repurposes and sells hospital discharge data that healthcare facilities use for marketing purposes.

    Both lines of business are powered by an Internet connection. When Internet access became too slow and unreliable to upload sponsors’ graphics to the consortium’s web site to advertise upcoming conferences or download software updates needed for the hospital discharge database, Brian Kelley, the consortium’s IT Manager, began looking for another solution.

    “Our Internet access was so sluggish that we couldn’t even entertain the thought of adding video to the web site to market our conferences,” he explained. “While slow access affected everyone in the organization, we knew it was time for a change when our CEO drove to a local coffee shop to download presentation files through WIFI because the connection was so much faster and more reliable than ours.”
    Kelley said the consortium also wanted to move its business applications like email and document sharing to a cloud environment to increase operational efficiencies. “Cloud computing wasn’t an option with our previous Internet access. We needed a faster and more scalable Internet connection to make cloud computing a reality, and we found it in Comcast.”


    Faster Internet Connection Supports Cloud Computing
    The Massachusetts Health Data Consortium implemented Comcast Business Internet. “Both lines of business are benefitting because of Comcast,” Kelley said. “For example, we can attract more attendees to our conferences, as well as more conference sponsors because we’re able to add marketing materials almost instantly to our web site, like video and graphics. And, we’re able to download software updates in minutes, not hours, for the hospital discharge database.”

    Business Internet also supports cloud computing at the consortium. “We had an old Hosted Microsoft Exchange server for email that needed to be replaced. Instead of spending approximately $30,000 for new server hardware and software licenses, we went with a hosted email service because we knew we could trust Comcast’s Internet connection to support it,” Kelley explained. “The same is true for document sharing and the backup process. We used to rely on a shared server on site for document sharing, but that meant employees had to place documents on disks if they wanted to work from home. And, we used to back up to tape on site, which was time consuming, not to mention a nightmare if we had to recover data from tape. Now we use the Comcast connection to back up to disk at a hosting site. While we haven’t had to restore from disk yet, we know it will be exceedingly faster than tape.”

    “With Comcast Business Trunks, we only pay for the nine voice channels we need, and with Comcast Business Internet, we get Internet speeds of 22/5 Mbps, which is 14 times faster than a T1. Overall, Comcast cost almost half of what the previous solution cost … that’s a substantial savings for a non-profit organization.” Brian Kelley, IT Manager of Massachusetts Health Data Consortium

    No More "Over Trunking"
    Since the consortium had an integrated Internet and voice service in the past, it decided to combine Business Internet with Comcast Business Trunks.

    “The decision was easy,” Kelley said. “Once we began talking with our local sales and support team about Comcast’s voice solution, we quickly realized that the previous phone provider had ‘over trunked’ us. In other words, we were paying for lines that we didn’t use or need. With Business Trunks, we only pay for the nine voice channels we need, and with Business Internet, we get Internet speeds of 22/5 Mbps, which is 14 times faster than a T1. Overall, Comcast cost almost half of what the previous solution cost, and we didn’t have to spend an extra $30,000 to buy, install, and support a new email server. That’s a substantial savings for a non-profit organization.”


    Mass Health Data Improves Operational Efficiencies

    Increases marketing opportunities and conference attendance
    Updating the web site with video and sending email blasts is so much faster and easier with Business Internet that the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium feels confident it will increase the number of conference attendees, as well as the number of conference sponsors. “Our goal is to double conference attendance,
    and we’re on our way with Comcast,” Kelley said.


    Supports cloud computing for email, document sharing, and backup
    The Massachusetts Health Data Consortium has moved many of its business applications to the cloud because it trusts Business Internet for a fast and reliable Internet connection. “Since we’ve engaged in cloud computing, it’s much easier for employees to work remotely or from home, especially with document sharing, which is useful in the winter because we’re prone to snowstorms,” Kelley said. “They also use Comcast Business Voice features when working remotely, such as voice mail and online voice mail management.”


    Fast, dependable downloads enhance employee productivity
    In addition to downloading software upgrades for the health discharge database in minutes rather than hours, Business Internet enables the staff to download Windows updates and virus protection to their desktop computers much more efficiently. “It’s so fast and easy with Comcast that our employees do it themselves rather than have me do it, which saves me time,” Kelley said. “And since the process is so quick, their computers aren’t bogged down like they were in the past, which frustrated them because it slowed down their productivity.”


    About
    Located in Waltham, Massachusetts and founded in 1978, the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium is a non-profit organization that creates, promotes, and supports collaborative efforts to improve health and healthcare using health data and health information technology.


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