Firm keeps network intelligence systems healthy

Providence Health System Alaska, a part of the American health organization Providence Health System, is using a Vancouver-based company’s network intelligence system that started paying off before it was even paid for.

Providence started using appareNet, jaalaM Technologies Inc.’s network intelligence system, to validate its application service provider (ASP) relationships, ensure its networks are providing service with performance, and determine whether its network or applications are the cause of performance-related issues.

John Proffitt, lead network engineer for Providence Health System Alaska in Anchorage, Ala., said he was having a number of problems with the ASP he was using when he went shopping for an alternative.

Providence Health System is a not-for-profit health organization with health facilities, services and programs in Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington.

He negotiated the deal with jaalaM early because his ASP ignored his claims that problems Providence had been experiencing were not at home.

“They (the old ASP) thought that because we were based in Alaska that we didn’t really have access to the Internet,” he said. “In fact, Alaska has pretty good access. It’s one of the most wired states in the U.S.”

appareNet helps Providence manage ASPs proactively and provide network performance, he said, adding that it enabled him to diagnose problems in the Oregon Providence office because he can quickly shoot from one location to the other easily.

“We also connect to other regions and it has to be able to say definitively where the problems are,” he said. “We could see, for any step of the way, for example, where a bottleneck is.”

appareNet enables movement of patient information, billing data and other information between all its hospitals, clinics and administrative operations within each state and, where necessary, between states over WANs that have linked, in the past, with both internal and external ASPs. During the trial of appareNet, Providence was able to test and validate an ASP using nonintrusive performance testing.

Irfhan Rajani, president of jaalaM, also pointed to the reduction of anticipated network expenditures and the establishment of a baseline for benchmarking network service providers as major selling features to Providence.

“Within the demo, about a half an hour, we were able to determine that the application they were having problems with had little to do with the network and more to do with a configuration issue at the hosting facility,” he said.

He continued that the product actually launched officially at the end of February. The typical solution for an enterprise starts at around $100,000 and an entry-level solution is approximately $25,000.

“It can be delivered either as shrink-wrapped software, usually for a laptop, or the enterprise solution is delivered as an appliance,” he said.

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