2 page Case Study
Posted: 2/19/2014
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Hôpital Montfort Hospital Uses Cloud Services to Reduce IT Costs, Boost Productivity, Promote Security

Hôpital Montfort needed to upgrade its outdated Novell email infrastructure. The hospital recognized that cloud solutions offer labor and cost savings, but it had concerns about security and reliability. Hôpital Montfort chose Microsoft Office 365, which offers both data protection and effectively uninterrupted email service, in addition to wide-ranging collaboration capabilities. IT costs are now 50 percent lower for these services, and the IT staff has more time to work on value-added projects.

Business Needs
Hôpital Montfort believes that advanced technology is essential for providing superb service in today’s dynamic healthcare environment. “We are going through a revolution in healthcare,” explains Jean-Claude Lemonde, Chief Information Officer at Hôpital Montfort. “The adoption of advanced technologies directly improves patient outcomes, ensures safety, and streamlines administration.” The latter benefit—organizational performance—makes other benefits possible and is an essential part of any hospital’s vitality.

For example, Hôpital Montfort needed to replace its existing, unstable Novell GroupWise email system. “Our Novell infrastructure wasn’t able to support our growth,” says Lemonde. “We’ve doubled in size in recent years. Novell email, storage, servers—none of it was keeping up.”

Also, as a medical institution, the hospital needs to ensure the confidentiality of its email and attachments. “We understand the risks and impacts of security issues, so any replacement solution would have to fully address them,” Lemonde adds.

To address all of these issues, Hôpital Montfort chose Microsoft Office 365, the cloud-based solution for email, calendaring, collaboration, and document sharing, in addition to instant messaging (IM), presence, and conferencing capabilities, all working together with Microsoft Office applications.

* Data security is not just about confidentiality; it’s also about integrity and availability. We’re convinced that the data we put in the Microsoft cloud is secure. I have no issues with it. *

Jean-Claude Lemonde
Chief Information Officer,
Hôpital Montfort

The hospital chose Office 365 in part because, like any well-designed cloud solution, it reduces hardware maintenance and IT management and labor costs. Additionally, Hôpital Montfort was impressed with the interoperability among Office 365 solution components. “Office 365 is way ahead of competitors in how it offers a seamless experience to users,” says Lemonde. “And from an IT perspective, it is easy and consistent to manage the whole package using a single set of cloud-based tools.”

As part of its ongoing effort to ensure the confidentially of its data, Hôpital Montfort produced a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to make sure its technology investments meet its high standards. “The security controls that Microsoft has built into Office 365—which Microsoft did a great job explaining to us—are far better than anything we could do onsite because it’s what they do for a living,” says Lemonde. “Managing threats related to email is just one good example.” Consequently, the hospital gains a higher level of data protection than a local data center could provide and satisfies the PIA analysis.

Lemonde also assessed the cloud in the context of probability and impact. “We asked ourselves, ‘What is the probability that confidential information will be breached?’ In the case of Office 365, the probability is very low.” But what would be the impact if it did happen? “That would also be low,” he adds, referring to strong encryption and the fact that the hospital isolates electronic medical records data in separate systems.

Satisfied, the hospital migrated its GroupWise mailboxes to Microsoft Exchange Online by using Netmail from Messaging Architects, a Microsoft Partner, as part of a larger Active Directory migration. Although email had been the primary driver, the hospital recognized the value of deploying other Office 365 components sooner rather than later. “Our users had been asking for a collaboration platform, so we made the decision to go with SharePoint Online along with Exchange Online,” says Lemonde, who saw little risk of SharePoint upsetting the deployment timeline. “The first time we looked at Office 365, we had SharePoint Online up and running in just 30 minutes.”

By adopting Microsoft Office 365, Hôpital Montfort gains several cost, efficiency, and security benefits.

Robust Data Privacy and Security
Hôpital Montfort is able to draw upon the security expertise that Microsoft offers to help protect the hospital’s data. In fact, Lemonde thinks that using the cloud will someday become a matter of best practices. “As I see it, hosting corporate websites and key applications on-premises, all in one place, makes you an easier target of hackers, compared to users of the well-guarded Microsoft cloud.”

Efficient Use of Labor, Lower Costs
Because many IT tasks are now handled by Microsoft in the cloud, Lemonde can more efficiently direct his labor resources. “We had a systems analyst who spent 75 percent of his time maintaining our email server,” he says. “Now he’s free to work on other critical projects.”

Lemonde adds that he seldom had the time for software-version and patch management. “Any infrastructure-as-a-service provider can take care of such tasks, but Office 365 goes way beyond that, with portals and dashboards that make it easy to centrally manage our collaboration environment.”

Together, the server management and labor productivity benefits translate directly into cost savings. Lemonde estimates that the migration to Office 365 saves 50 percent each year for email and collaboration services.

High Reliability
Given the high uptime of Office 365, Lemonde knows that when a problem does occur, he won’t need to first investigate primary on-site systems as he tracks down the problem. “There’s a 99 percent chance that the problem is on our side,” he says. Similarly, the IT team receives only a fraction of the email-related service calls that it used to because Office 365 is so intuitive and reliable.

Lemonde concludes, “Budgets in healthcare are very limited. We have the responsibility to find ways to do more with less while continually improving patient care and services. We can’t just always ask for more staff and equipment. Switching to the cloud addresses these resource issues and helps reduce risk. And because Office 365 is always up, managing it is one thing less to worry about.”

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The French version of this case study is available to download from the sidebar.

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 1800 employees

Organization Profile

Founded in 1953, and based in Ottawa, Hôpital Montfort is a Public Medicare teaching hospital that delivers primary and secondary short-term care. It provides services in both French and English.

Third Party Software
  • Messaging Architects Netmail

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Exchange Online
  • Lync Online
  • SharePoint Online

Vertical Industries
Health Provider