Photo - Dr Mubbashir Iftikhar, CIO, KPJ Healthcare.
Malaysian healthcare provider KPJ Healthcare has upgraded its overall IT infrastructure with cloud solutions, which includes Office 365, from technology solutions giant Microsoft.
"From a business perspective, managing IT expenses for an expanding network of hospitals was a huge problem for us as each new hospital's IT deployment was previously done in isolation," said KPJ Healthcare chief information officer, Dr Mubbashir Iftikhar. "Consolidating licensing procurement and administration was another issue as most OEM purchases were decentralised for users in different subsidiaries and locations."
"[In addition] there was a mismatch of solutions that were deployed across our hospitals - from the backend data centre all the way to client-facing applications," said Iftikhar.
"Our own data centre was set up on the VMware platform to host our Hospital Information Technology System and Clinical Information System; the hospital network's email system was running a mix of different solutions on Google Apps and open source; the standardisation of Office support for in-ward applications; and our overall desktop strategy needed to be managed more efficiently. All this pointed to the need for a more streamlined deployment and management of IT," he said.
Dr Iftikhar said KPJ Healthcare [KPJ] selected Microsoft to provide a complete end-to-end as well as cost-effective solution, using a hybrid mix of on-premise and cloud-based solutions.
KPJ plans to upgrade its data centre from VMware onto Microsoft's Private Cloud platform, he said. "KPJ will also deploy 5,200 Microsoft Office 365 and 2,800 Pro Desktop licences across its hospital network for a truly holistic IT environment."
Dr Iftikhar said KPJ has started realising some early benefits. "A company-wide standardisation of email systems to cloud-based Office 365 has improved email manageability for both the IT support team and hospital staff end-users, further contributing to increased productivity and reduced IT expenditure."
In addition, he said Microsoft's platform and applications were flexible and scalable. "KPJ is looking to lay down a strong IT infrastructure to enable its future expansion plans. It was [therefore] paramount that we selected a solution that is flexible and scalable because we are very determined in our strategy of expanding our network of hospitals."
"IT management has become streamlined for both our cloud and on-premise licences, which also comes with excellent long-term customer support post-deployment. We can now look to Microsoft as a trusted technology partner that we can call upon for new strategic initiatives and projects we want to implement," said Dr Iftikhar.
Microsoft Malaysia's acting lead for small and midmarket solutions and partners, Abhijit Das, said: "We are proud that KPJ Healthcare has chosen Microsoft as its preferred technology partner to transform healthcare in Malaysia. Healthcare is one of the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) of the country's Economic Transformation Program and this partnership with one of the leading healthcare providers in the region is a clear sign that all the industry players are doing their part to help transform Malaysia together."
"KPJ is showing true thought leadership in adopting a holistic approach that enables the Group to not only deliver top-notch healthcare services for all Malaysians, but also improved communication and collaboration between its hospitals," said Das.
Listed on the KL Stock Exchange, KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ) has a network of 21 hospitals in Malaysia and two in Indonesia. With more than 2,600 licensed beds, KPJ hospitals offer a full range of medical services and have treated more than 2.4 million outpatients and 240,000 inpatients in 2011.
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