Hospital dumps Microsoft Exchange for Linux-based clone
In the end, it all came down to the price
Network World - Taking a page from the doctors at Moses Taylor Hospital, IT staffers at the facility in Scranton, Pa., last year diagnosed their messaging system and came up with an effective treatment that has turned out to be a lifesaver.
The patient in this case was an aging Microsoft Exchange 5.5 environment that couldn't support increased message loads and was going to cost a bundle to upgrade.
After conducting an evaluation of alternatives, the hospital decided not to upgrade to a newer version of Exchange. Instead, it went with a Linux-based Exchange clone that it felt could meet the needs of its 700 users without forcing them and IT to learn a whole new system.
As it turns out, it wasn't feature sets that swayed the decision. It was the price, according to Frank Fallo, manager of network systems and workflow development at Moses Taylor.
"[With Exchange], I saw extremely high cost, especially the [client access licenses]," he said. "The Microsoft billing structure was considerably more expensive, and that is just talking about the software side. If you want to include hardware, we also needed a more robust server."
"We have estimated that PostPath saved us 50% over the cost of Exchange," Fallo said, not counting what Microsoft Corp. would have charged for maintenance and support. (He declined to get into the project's specific dollar figures.)
The hospital also went from three staffers managing e-mail to one.
Another benefit is that PostPath is a "very good representation of the Exchange server," Fallo said.
So good, in fact, that everything on the network that talks to the server thinks it is Exchange, including Active Directory, making integration of Microsoft and third-party tools and other add-ons much less of a headache, Fallo said.
The integration also includes the Outlook clients that run on desktops at Moses Taylor, a 173-bed hospital that was opened in 1892 by New York merchant/banker/industrialist Moses Taylor to care for the railroad workers and coal miners of the region.
Fallo said the integration with Outlook has eased any training issues for the hospital and numbed the inevitable end-user complaints.
However, the one client difference that has worked in Fallo's favor is the AJAX-powered Zimbra Web mail client that PostPath uses. The hospital likes it better than the Outlook Web Access client of Exchange 5.5 (Microsoft has since improved its Outlook Web Access client).
"You can basically do anything with the Web mail client that you can do in the [Outlook] desktop client," Fallo said.
Apple has assembled an all-star team featuring some of the world's most proficient and well-connected biosensor engineers. Is this extensive investment entirely dedicated to an iPhone app called Healthbook and an accessory called an iWatch?
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Patient Portals: A Platform for Connecting Communities of Care
- Connecting patient health data across the care continuum is essential to achieve improved care, increased access to personal health records and lowered costs.
- 3 Ways Clinicians Can Leverage a Patient Portal to Craft a Healthcare Community
- With a bevy of vendors offering patient portal solutions, it can be challenging for a hospital to know where to start. Fortunately, YourCareCommunity...
- Healthcare Firm Ramps Up for Claims Processing Spikes
- Huge increases in claims processing loads and stringent SLAs for Medicaid patients prompted Molina Healthcare to enhance their IT infrastructure with VCE.
- Path Selection Infographic
- Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic
- A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster... All Healthcare IT White Papers
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- All Healthcare IT Webcasts