Case Study

How Calgary Foothills PCN’s IT Team Gained Greater Visibility into Network Performance with WhatsUp Gold

Summary:

As Calgary Foothills’ network got more complex, IT struggled to stay ahead of network performance issues. WhatsUp Gold gives them the network visibility they need to stay proactive, often finding and fixing problems before users even notice them.

Challenge

Network stability is vital in modern healthcare. However, maintaining this stability is no easy task, given the evolving nature of healthcare networks—new systems and devices are added all the time.

At Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network, a lean IT team is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s networked infrastructure works properly for 250 primary care employees at 7 different locations.

Calgary Foothills’ IT team was very dependent on pre-built dashboards to stay on top of the organization’s network. However, as new systems, virtual machines and sites were added to the network, multilayer issues began to emerge.

To make matters worse, the Calgary Foothills PCN IT team was also unable to spot these network issues unless users submitted support tickets. This means that network issues were often already having a negative impact on the business long before they were brought to the attention of the IT team.

“We wanted to be able to take care of our network issues immediately, even before our users realize its down,” explained Thayer Ramahi, Director of IMIT, Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network.

Solution

At first Calgary Foothills PCN used email-based notifications for service interruptions and server downtime, but that was a very cumbersome and reactive approach. That’s when Calgary Foothills PCN decided to use Progress WhatsUp Gold to get the proactive network monitoring capabilities their IT team needed.

WhatsUp Gold offers IT teams complete visibility into the status and performance of network devices, applications and servers. This enables them to:

  • Create an interactive, detailed network map that offers at-a-glance visibility
  • Identify issues as soon as they crop up with real-time alerts and dashboards
  • Resolve issues quickly and reduce mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • Monitor critical services and applications

With previous experience using WhatsUp Gold at other companies, Ramahi also noted he was impressed by the roadmap of the solution.

“I’m the kind of person that, if I like a product, I keep it in mind and it will be the first in line when I evaluate products,” Ramahi said. “WhatsUp Gold has matured every year since I first used it in 2000, it just has more features and the technical support is fantastic.”

The Calgary Foothills PCN IT team worked with Progress to identify the needs of their specific use case and get the right licenses. Ramahi pointed to this as another strength of WhatsUp Gold—it’s very easy to just configure it and let it go.

Results

With WhatsUp Gold, the Calgary Foothills PCN IT team now has a unified view of the entire network and infrastructure. This is critical for troubleshooting critical issues in a quick, cost-effective manner.

“WhatsUp Gold makes it easy to spot server issues or recognize network events,” Ramahi said. “And because everyone in IT gets notifications, we can respond immediately by troubleshooting issues or getting on the phone with a service provider.”

In fact, the IT team even has the network map displayed on a giant screen in the IMIT room for easy visibility. When different devices on the map go from green to red, it’s time to jump into action.

“We can see the status of everything—networks, servers, switches, firewalls, etc.,” Ramahi explained. “WhatsUp Gold gives us the 24/7 visibility we need.”

As Calgary Foothills PCN grapples with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, WhatsUp Gold has been even more valuable. With more physicians and users connecting remotely, access for some systems like electronic health records and internal services has jumped by 10x. WhatsUp Gold helps ensure smooth operations, with the IT team able to devote more network resources to specific systems as needed.

About Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network

The Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network (PCN) is a non-profit organization that includes health care professionals that support more than 490 family doctors located NorthWest of Calgary to offer patients the best in primary health care. 

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