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Texas Medical Association

Texas Medical Association Frees Up $700,000 with Veeam and Cisco UCS S3260 to Focus on Initiatives Supporting Public Health

Company:

In 1853, 35 physicians organized TMA to improve the health of all Texans. Today, TMA is the nation’s largest state medical society, representing more than 50,000 physician and medical student members. Based in Austin, TMA employs nearly 200 people, partners with 110 county medical societies and provides IT services to 500 users.

Challenge:

TMA is a valuable resource for physicians. As a business advisor, TMA helps them set up their practices, hire staff and fulfill continuing medical education requirements. As their partner in public health education, TMA facilitates community outreach programs for immunization awareness and bike helmet safety. As their biggest advocate, TMA fights for physicians and their patients in the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress. Each year TMA asks physicians to renew their membership dues, which make up the largest part of the organization’s operating income. Slow backup and recovery of email and CRM, which support member outreach and dues renewal, put the operating income in jeopardy.

Results:

  • Protects TMA’s operating income
  • Eases SLAs with 110 county medical societies
  • Lowers TCO of backup and storage by $700,000 and intensifies DR strategy

The Business Challenge

Texas Medical Association (TMA) protects the medical profession and gives physicians a unified voice. As membership in TMA increases, that voice grows louder and the organization’s financial health grows stronger.

TMA stays in regular contact with members to keep them abreast of issues impacting medicine. Two IT systems support member communication: email and a customer relationship management (CRM) database. If email and CRM aren’t running, communication with members stops.

“Relationships with members are critical to our success,” said Aaron Haley, Network Operations Director at TMA. “Losing our ability to communicate with them impacts the entire organization. If email and CRM aren’t available during our annual membership renewal drive, we can’t renew dues and risk losing a big part of our operating income.”

Membership dues accounted for 63 percent of TMA’s operating income of $25 million in 2015. In that year alone, the operating income helped empower TMA to win the first e-cigarette regulation in Texas, secure $53 million for graduate medical education expansion and launch a program creating accountable care organizations serving more than 100,000 patients.

Slow backup and recovery of the virtual machines (VMs) supporting email and CRM prompted TMA to contact Revel Technology, an IT solutions provider and TMA partner since 2008. TMA felt the NAS storage array hosting Veeam® Availability Suite™ was holding Veeam back from delivering 24.7 Availability of email and CRM, putting TMA’s operating income at risk.

“Our operating income wasn’t the only one at risk,” Haley said. “We support the operating incomes of 110 county medical societies by providing CRM, business intelligence, reporting and billing solutions through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Slow backup and recovery put everyone’s operating income at risk.”

Revel Technology recommended TMA replace the NAS storage array in its SmartStack infrastructure with the Cisco® UCS S3260 Storage Server.

“The S3260 provides exactly what TMA requires: fast, scalable computing and very dense storage,” said Scott Greathouse, Vice President of Operations at Revel Technology. “The S3260 lets Veeam do what it does best: Deliver 24.7.365 Availability.”

The Veeam and Cisco Solution

Veeam on the Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server helps TMA protect its operating income and the operating incomes of Texas’ 110 county medical societies by keeping email and CRM running 24.7. The dynamic duo also freed up $700,000 in backup and storage costs, enabling TMA to focus on technology initiatives supporting public health.

“TMA’s vision is to improve the health of all Texans, so we use the time and money saved by Veeam and the S3260 to concentrate on ways technology can support our public health priorities, including reduced tobacco use, environmental hazards, obesity and mental health and substance use disorders,” Haley said.

Veeam and the S3260 save time and money in several ways beginning with Veeam’s support of TMA’s digital transition from physical servers to VMs. Replacing legacy backup with Veeam saved $100,000 and replacing legacy backup storage with the S3260 saved $200,000. TMA saves another $400,000 during a five-year period: hardware support ($100,000) plus overtime for an IT administrator who no longer spends 20 hours per week troubleshooting backup and recovery ($300,000).

“Veeam and the S3260 make life easier,” Haley said. “We can tell management with 100 percent affirmation that we can back up and recover more data quicker — for a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Backup and recovery are so fast that recovery point objectives (RPOs) decreased from 15 hours to four hours, and recovery time objectives (RTOs) decreased from 24 hours to 15 minutes. Reduced RPOs and RTOs make it easier for TMA to meet service level agreements (SLAs) with county medical societies for SaaS.

“If they ask us to recover their CRM we say ‘Sure, give us a few minutes,” Haley said. “Before we deployed Veeam on the S3260, our answer was ‘We will try.’ We could only restore their systems 50 percent of the time.”

Fast, easy recovery gives TMA more time for data center projects. The first project was shoring up disaster recovery (DR) by following the 3-2-1 rule (three backup copies on two different media with one being off site). Rather than spending a portion of the operating income to build an offsite infrastructure to house backup copies that can be recovered quickly in a crisis, TMA uses Veeam to transfer them to iland’s cloud, helping increase productivity significantly. iland is an enterprise cloud provider and a Platinum Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP).

Next TMA upgraded and rebuilt the Microsoft SharePoint architecture to improve productivity.

“We had several internal tools and apps related to SharePoint, but they were scattered,” Haley said. “We consolidated them along with the business silos they had created to revamp the SharePoint infrastructure, helping increase productivity. We wouldn’t have had the time to complete data center projects like these if we hadn’t deployed Veeam on the S3260.”

The Results

  • Protects TMA’s operating income
    Veeam on the Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server protects TMA’s operating income by delivering 24.7.365 Availability of email and CRM.
  • Eases SLAs with 110 county medical societies
    Reducing RPOs from 15 hours to four hours and RTOs from 24 hours to 15 minutes makes meeting SLAs for SaaS easier.
  • Lowers TCO of backup and storage by $700,000 and intensifies DR strategy
    In addition to lowering TCO for backup and storage, TMA has a complete set of backups hosted securely in iland’s cloud that can be recovered in a crisis.
Texas Medical Association
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