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Healthcare Provider Consolidates & Modernizes


A Healthcare Solutions Provider develops software and devices for both providers and payers in the U.S. healthcare industry. With about 400 employees in the United States and Ireland, their focus is on patient outcomes, and their core products improve clinical experiences and help simplify the industry’s notoriously complex invoicing and payment processes. Changes to Healthcare regulation for provision and payment providers have accelerated in recent years necessitating the Provider to respond to new requirements at a much more rapid pace. Continuously at capacity in existing data centers, obtaining the resources needed to develop new products and adapt existing ones has become increasingly difficult. The Provider faced 3 key challenges, they lacked the agility to replace aging compute resources, deliver new capabilities, and scale storage on demand. The customer was new to the Azure cloud and were unsure of how to plan migrations from on-premises to the cloud, including Windows and Linux servers, SQL servers and a transition from OpenShift to Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).


SMX was selected as the Provider’s cloud transformation partner due to our ability to provide a holistic, value-optimized (time, cost, and outcomes) approach, designed to not only migrate the systems as-is, as a rehosting effort of their Linux and Windows based systems into Azure, but to increase the Provider’s value of cloud. Leveraging the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP), SMX was able to secure funding, provide proven tools and frameworks to support the discovery, migration, and transformation of their existing workloads.

SMX guided the customer through our FAST-consulting engagement, with the goal of identifying their business and project goals, identifying skill gaps, developing a governance model and Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE), assessing, and validating their existing Azure foundational services and designing an end-to-end, HIPAA and HITRUST compliant solution. The outputs of the strategic FAST workstreams were then used as inputs into the migration planning and execution phases. SMX worked with the customer to review and optimize current dependency mapping and application migration plans to develop a prioritized cloud migration roadmap, based on required business outcomes.

Utilizing an application migration factory approach, the team was able to rehost Linux and Windows systems and application migrations using a layered approach. SMX was able to build a DevSecOps pipeline in phases that allowed the customer to adopt CI/CD processes as they were built which helped support training and adoption. The factory also focused on reusing infrastructure as code (IaC) to automate repetitive and common tasks and feeding lessons learned into an iterative process to increase efficiency and velocity for future migrations.

While working with the customer, it was identified that key internal and external resources had left the company. SMX was asked to evaluate the current work that was underway and augment the remaining team and outstanding responsibilities. After an initial meeting, it was clear most of the existing automation was designed as a proof of concept. SMX met with key decision makers within the CCoE and defined standards for networking and security. Based on the requirements, Terraform automation was created that was modelized and repeatable. With this new automation, the client was able to programmatically create new, consistent and secure landing zones in days, rather than months.

Building on initial success, SMX was then asked to help develop “greenfield” continuous deployment pipelines that would promote infrastructure and application components from their Development environment, to Stage, User Acceptance Testing and finally Production. This repeatable framework was developed using Azure DevOps Pipelines. The solution was productionized and transitioned into Managed Services in under 2 months and developed to meet demanding security requirements from the business.

Results and Ongoing Support

SMX displaced a Big 4 consulting company and leveraged our FAST methodology to quickly gain traction and deliver immediate results. Within weeks, the Provider was able to secure their migration funding and launch a secure AZ Landing Zone, establish a CCOE, and meet the Microsoft deadline to rehost and modernize 136 Windows and Linux servers and modernize 80 applications onto their newly implemented AKS platform as part of their Wave 1 migration roadmap. Wave 2 will consist of 112 rehosting migrations, 60 AKS application modernizations, and 11 SQL managed instance migrations. SMX continues to support the environment for future migrations and provides 24x7x365 managed services.

The Provider found rapid migration success using Kubernetes containerization to lift and shift their migrations and easily exceeding their committed timelines. As a result, the Provider was the only division in their organization who met their migration timeline and Azure Enterprise Agreement spend commitments.

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