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Huawei implements a hospital LAN network for Thumbay Group, linking a number of hospitals onto a single, centrally managed architecture

Tags: Huawei Technologies CompanyThumbay Group ( Arab Emirates
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Linked in Unadkat: Our bandwidth requirement has really increased as more systems are brought onto IP.
By  Tom Paye Published  December 16, 2014

Huawei, then, was commissioned to develop a LAN network that would link the four GMC hospitals with the headquarters in Ajman over MPLS. The solution was made up of firewalls and core Ethernet switches, providing the backbone for the network, and Huawei also provided wireless connectivity around the university campus, according to Unadkat. Perhaps most importantly, however, the solution came with a monitoring dashboard that would allow Thumbay’s IT department to proactively monitor the network, identifying bottlenecks at any site and fixing them before they snowballed into serious problems.

“Initially we replaced the core switches. And then we found that it was good, and we had a few pieces of equipment that we tested out in the lab. And we said that it looked fine, so we went ahead with the rest of the deployment. We trained our staff in terms of monitoring the whole network, so that it becomes very easy for us to maintain, rather than ad hoc working,” Unadkat says.

“We had an entire solution — the wireless solution, the backbone switches, and everything was from Huawei. Right now we have five sites connected. We also have eight coffee shops connected here through MPLS.”

Business benefit

The solution was up-and-running in four months, and, according to Unadkat, was implemented with minimal disruption — an important point when it comes to healthcare providers. He says that the solution has reduced the group’s network downtime by 70% and increased performance across the hospitals by over 25%.

However, perhaps the most important part of the implementation, Unadkat says, is the fact that Thumbay Group can now centrally monitor the network across all of the disparate locations. This has resulted in cost savings as well as increases in network reliability, he says.

“We see one saving from being able to monitor from a central location. We don’t have to send people to or keep people at different locations. Now, it’s just that, whenever it’s required, we can send people. And we do a lot of preventative measures having now implemented the new solution, so that’s another advantage. We are using the same amount of bandwidth, but now what happens is we segregate the traffic, so it becomes easier. We also now have unified communications everywhere,” he says.

What’s more, the new implementation allows Thumbay Group to confidently pursue its expansion plans. Unadkat says that, when the group decides to open new hospitals, the networking aspect will be much easier to handle — the new hospitals will simply be connected to the LAN that Huawei deployed, and monitored from the headquarters in Ajman. He says that, as an IT director, he appreciates the fact that everything is now standardised — “It becomes very easy,” he explains.

Based on a user-friendly interface, the IT team at Thumbay is able to configure the network quickly centrally across the four hospitals, enabling medical administrative staff the means to perform more effectively and productively in their daily operations. Network downtime has also significantly reduced allowing, for instance, less waiting time for patients to receive their prescription while being able to quickly help them identify a time that they can book an appointment with their doctors.

Going forward, Unadkat says that Thumbay Group would be confident doing business with Huawei as and when it needs to upgrade its equipment. He explains that the group’s founder is keen on using IT to drive Thumbay’s business forward, and that, because of the level of support that Huawei has provided, the vendor is now regarded highly.

“We welcome seeing any new technologies because, as a group, IT is a driving force, and that’s true for any company that wants to move forward. You have to have IT in place. Our president is the key to this,” he says.

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