Eclipse Relieves Cloud Migration Headaches for “Sister” Hospitals Using Self-Paced Strategy
Located in the heart of Kitchener, Ontario, St. Mary’s is the second-largest acute care hospital in the St. Joseph’s Health System and a Regional Cardiac Care Centre. St. Mary’s proudly serves the residents of Waterloo, Wellington County, and extend their reach to Dufferin, Grey-Bruce and beyond. St. Mary’s core programs and services are provided at their main hospital site. Their community-based programs and services are offered at a number of locations throughout Waterloo Region and Cambridge.
Grand River Hospital provides exceptional care to patients in Waterloo-Wellington through highly experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate professionals. Grand River Hospital, one of the largest and busiest community hospitals in Ontario, providing a comprehensive range of care to patients across two main campuses, six partner locations for cancer and kidney care and three community treatment centres.
St. Mary’s and Grand River Hospitals are considered “sister” hospitals, leveraging each other’s expertise when needed. The IT departments at both St. Mary’s and Grand River work together to create a unified approach for all their IT needs, including all of their voice and data requirements, if and when it is feasible to do so.
St. Mary’s uses an older Avaya phone system (CS1000) and voicemail system (Call Pilot) and Grand River hospital uses Cisco’s CUCM on-prem solution. The systems at each hospital run independently of each other and the IT department for each hospital envisions a single, unified system moving forward. This is their long-term goal and Eclipse Technology Solutions was chosen as their strategic partner to bring it to fruition.
Both hospitals selected Microsoft for their desktops, so all voice solutions must integrate with Microsoft Teams. Cisco is well-positioned and Eclipse has the expertise to fully integrate during the different phases of deployment.
Phase I: COVID-19 Testing Application
In October of 2020, Grand River hospital reached out to Eclipse with an immediate requirement—provide a voice-based solution for a handful of administrators where the public can book COVID-19 testing appointments. The criteria was to set this up immediately in an area where the existing phone system could not be leveraged. Also, there was no requirement to tie it into the existing voice solution.
We discussed several Cisco options with the Grand River Hospital IT team:
In the end, Eclipse setup a cloud-based solution, leveraging Cisco Broadcloud, in a very short period of time. This solution has been up and running since October 2020 without any issues. In fact, Eclipse implemented this solution in other hospitals with similar requirements. Our team worked closely with the Grand River team to make sure that the handsets were compatible for the longer-term goal of using Cisco’s Webex Calling solution, their strategic cloud-based solution of choice.
Phase II: Cardiac Rehab Clinic
In the spring of 2021, St. Mary’s Hospital was in the process of moving their Cardiac Rehab clinic to a new location. They wanted to implement a cloud-based, voice solution quickly to accommodate this requirement. After several discussions with their IT staff, it was decided that a Cisco Broadcloud solution would be implemented to accommodate this request. Again, all handsets recommended were compatible with the longer-term, strategic Cisco Webex Calling solution. The main criteria was to provide a solution that was simple, yet stable, and based on Grand River’s COVID-19 testing application experience, their comfort level was high with Cisco Broadcloud.
Phase III: Cisco Webex Calling – Strategic Direction
In parallel with this effort, Eclipse and the St. Mary’s/Grand River IT teams are in the process of architecting a migration of both the Cisco CUCM on-prem at Grand River and St. Mary’s Avaya solution to Cisco Webex Calling. The current Broadcloud solutions at both St. Mary’s and Grand River will be migrated to Cisco Webex Calling as well. The solution will include a hybrid model (for migration purposes), leveraging the local gateways of the Cisco Webex Calling solution, to integrate with the existing Cisco UCM on-prem and the Avaya PBX. Once this is complete, the two Cisco Broadcloud solutions will be moved over to the Cisco Webex Calling solution.
We are also in the process of adding 50 Webex Calling users to St. Mary’s environment. Fifteen will be used for executives, including deskphone and softphone, and the remaining would be 35 wireless handsets (840/860). We will leverage 4-digit dialing between the PBXs and will re-use their existing PSTN services (PRIs) for the Webex Calling users.
Below is a high-level view of the hybrid model for St. Mary’s Hospital migration (Avaya) to Cisco Webex Calling:
Below is a high-level view of the hybrid model for the Grand River Hospital migration (Cisco UCM) to Cisco Webex Calling:
Eclipse continues to provide guidance and direction to both St. Mary’s Hospital and Grand River Hospital. The journey to a 100% cloud-based UC solution is currently underway and both hospitals have found success with Cisco’s UCaaS solutions. The self-paced migration strategy has been well received by both hospitals and the comfort level of moving to cloud has been established with the current Cisco Broadcloud platform solutions.
Eclipse leverages its “Eclipse on Eclipse” program to help guide customers in their decisions. We leverage our internal production and lab environments to showcase what is possible. Our current production network uses both the Cisco UCM on-prem solution, as well as the Cisco Webex Calling solution, fully integrated and aligned to the hospitals’ strategic direction.
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