Leading Medical Imaging Provider Drives Digital Transformation Efforts Using Netreo, Helping Avoid $4 Million in Downtime Costs Annually
Who is SimonMed?
SimonMed Imaging (est. 2003) is one of the largest outpatient medical imaging providers and largest physician radiology practices in the United States and aims to provide the newest diagnostic imaging technologies in an accessible and affordable fashion. With over 150 locations across 9 different states, Simon Med is a sprawling enterprise generating a huge amount of data daily. Since the end of 2018, Simon Med has embarked on a digital transformation journey to optimize IT Operations. To do so, they have taken advantage of Netreo’s platform services for full stack monitoring, AIOps and Automation.
In 2018, SimonMed began a journey of rapid growth expanding from 110 locations across 7 states to over 150 locations in 9 states across the US, with additional call centers and administrative offices in the Dominican Republic and India. Many of these sites expanded from just a few imaging modalities to full imaging centers. Since these imaging centers are across all time zones in the US, they operate 18 hours per day to provide imaging services from coast to coast.
A lack of standardization and minimal best practices, plus the use of a multitude of siloed monitoring and management tools, left the SimonMed IT team flying blind when it came to the performance, availability, and utilization of their infrastructure.
• the SimonMed team was inundated with 100’s of alerts per day from their disparate monitoring systems;
• those same disparate tools had a burdensome administrative footprint;
• the team had minimal visibility into key infrastructure or “what talked to what”; and
• they had no way to ensure their Internet carriers were honoring Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
All of these challenges rippled into an even greater impact – downtime. The instability of SimonMed’s environment was leading to 2-4 hours of downtime per day, per employee. At 2000 employees, the costs of lost productivity due to downtime were well into the millions.
In early 2019, SimonMed embarked on its 15-month digital transformation journey, an initiative driven by SimonMed CIO Duleep Wikramanayake. Duleep knew that minimizing alerts, consolidating tools, and gaining control over SimonMed’s highly unstable environment would be a tall ask, but he had just the tool for the job. In January 2019, SimonMed subscribed to Netreo and the digital transformation journey began.
The Netreo Solution
Following a rapid implementation, it was time to turn Netreo on in SimonMed’s environment. Upon flipping the switch, to Duleep’s delight, Netreo’s dashboards lit up like a Christmas tree. For many IT leaders, this may have induced severe anxiety, or coronary failure, but for Duleep and team it meant they finally had insight into the instability of their environment at the site and device level.
Before Netreo, SimonMed had a mix of under-configured NMS systems and vendor monitoring tools that led to a disjointed IT operation. Netreo was able to replace the disparate systems and servers with just one, with the added benefit of a consolidated global view for Duleep, and detailed “single source of truth” dashboards for individual teams.
When the SimonMed team turned Netreo on in their environment, it was immediately apparent that everything was broken. Netreo uncovered that 90% of SimonMed’s devices had critical issues, servers were misconfigured, and CPU and bandwidth were maxed out. Once Netreo had observed the SimonMed environment, it was clear that the foundation of their infrastructure needed to be fixed.
Having consolidated monitoring systems and identified critical issues, within a couple weeks following implementation the SimonMed team made significant progress in stabilizing the environment and ensuring all integration applications were repaired.
Netreo has acted as a “looking glass”, allowing SimonMed to understand the particulars of the system in a holistic manner rather than relying on information generated by the native tools present in the environment.
With such rapid growth, SimonMed’s IT operation continuously grows in scope with the team constantly spinning up new sites. Netreo has allowed for seamless expansion as new device onboarding is automated, allowing for future growth and change in a simple and seamless manner.
Beyond tool and server consolidation, Netreo has also helped SimonMed significantly reduce costs in other areas of the business. Using Netreo’s reporting and analytics, SimonMed has been able to bring accountability to their internet carriers to ensure SLAs are being met, especially related to latency.
One of the biggest benefits SimonMed has gained with Netreo is bringing a high level of stability to their environment. SimonMed is now able to prioritize issues and fixes while fast-tracking digital acceleration. Because of this, SimonMed has reduced downtime to near-zero, resulting in a downtime and productivity loss cost avoidance of over $4 Million annually.
A key philosophy to maintaining a functional IT ecosystem is to have an effective alert system that is clear and concise. Key challenges with SimonMed’s incumbent monitoring systems were the deluge of false and redundant alerts and inability to quickly uncover the root-cause of the issue.
Before Netreo, SimonMed’s team was dealing with 100’s of alerts daily, many of which were being ignored. Using Netreo’s intelligent alerting engine, anomaly detection, and AIOps capabilities to filter through the noise and only bring attention to what is necessary, SimonMed was able to bring this number down to just 30–40 alerts per day!
Another contributor to SimonMed’s reduction in alerts was Netreo’s cascading template and auto-configuration capabilities. Netreo discovered, mapped, and configured thousands of servers and network devices that had never been properly managed or inventoried.
More accurate and automated configuration of devices and an improved device naming convention allowed SimonMed to minimize alerts, more quickly identify the root cause of issues, and repair them if something went wrong.
Netreo provides both a tool and partnership with its clients in creating an efficient IT system that allows the enterprise to reach its operational goals, whether at the enterprise or team level. SimonMed credits Netreo as the reason there could be a paradigm shift (from a fractured system to a centralized one) in its IT operating systems, more proactivity, and more time for digital acceleration.
To summarize, Netreo has had the following impact to SimonMed’s digital transformation journey:
- Better data for informed executive decision-making
- 100% single, centralized monitoring tool adoption
- MTTR (Mean Time to Repair) has been reduced by 61%
- Daily alert volumes have been reduced by 90%
- Proactive, automated incident resolution allows minimal user disruption
- The time it takes to train IT staff has been reduced by 80%
- Downtime cost avoidance of over $4 Million annually.