At CenterGrid, we’re a bunch of problem solvers. Sometimes we can all rally around an obvious one. I’ve personally helped several animal welfare organizations overhaul their IT and kept bumping into one repeat problem. The de-facto, primary veterinary software solutions in the market all required on-premises servers and hardware to function.
This meant that no matter how much technology progressed, taking advantage of cloud-based solutions, veterinarians were stuck with a more and more out-of-date experience. It was especially frustrating in the shelter space where most all the other operations were handled in web-based tools – except for veterinary patient record systems.
Solving Three Veterinary IT Problems – DaaS Integrated with Cloud
Long before COVID and remote work became the buzzwords of the past two years, we were building our Desktop as a Service (DaaS) platform to integrate tightly with our Compass Cloud. Even software applications that weren’t built for the cloud can be supported with this model, effectively removing the need for server hardware onsite.
This allowed us to solve three veterinary problems together:
- Move all veterinary data to a secure, reliable, resilient location – rather than under the receptionist’s desk or the broom closet.
- Allow anywhere access to these inflexible veterinary software solutions.
- Reduce the cost of computer hardware because veterinary practices no longer needed to purchase servers and beefy PCs to run their most critical applications.
It also provided some less obvious benefits:
- Security –The IT configurations necessitated by the software were not always secure or best practice. With DaaS we could now enable more secure practices for the computers and business users while still allowing the veterinary software to function – and get full support from the vendors.
- Performance –Layer in standard monitoring and management solutions to keep performance tip-top, and online, alleviating the veterinarian from also being the IT support lead.
- Flexibility –Ability to access these tools on Macs, iPads, Chromebooks, etc. reducing costs and better supporting individual preferences
- Comfort –Gave the receptionists their leg space back by removing computer hardware from underneath desks and workspaces.
Treat the Veterinary Gear as Integral Part of Network
We did work through a few other issues, and those issues are why I think we’re one of the few doing this work. First, no one ever wants to deal with the network and overhauling it takes to make this possible. If there’s one thing I’ve found, many of these organizations need help putting together a cohesive network design that treats the veterinary gear as an integral part of the network. The vendors don’t sell it that way. What this means is, the users are left with extra frustrations and are completely dependent on the vendors to help solve what are basic networking problems. Solve them once and you’ve removed tons of lost productivity from your teams – it’s a death by a 1000 papercuts problem.
That’s why everyone at CenterGrid is encouraged to learn networking. It’s really a Matrix “red pill” thing. We don’t allow for “blue pill” thinking. We want cohesive solutions that consider the end-users, the network, the servers, and the data itself. We don’t shy away from providing an end-to-end solution to the veterinary practice, whether it’s a part of a larger organization or the entirety of the business. That means your diagnostics, imaging, and lab equipment all become a secure part of your systems – and you get all the value you saw in the sales pamphlet.
We also learned that the tempo at these organizations is intense. Customer and employee satisfaction, profitability, and animal welfare itself are all tied to the performance of these systems. That’s why we staff our end-user Service Desk and Network Operations Centers 24×7. That way, if your end-users see a problem, we can relay it through our teams all the way to the Solution Architect that helped onboard you initially.
Our Experience is Relevant to Animal Welfare
While CenterGrid is primarily built to handle larger, complex enterprises and technology, each animal welfare organization is its own enterprise. They have all the challenges (and then some!) of multi-faceted businesses. Our experience in manufacturing, professional services, and service organizations is all relevant to the animal welfare industry. The best part, and why we are so passionate about these organizations is because 1) we’re all animal lovers and 2) we actually see the difference in what we do every day. These organizations are not just pushing numbers around or stamping a widget.
We are helping organizations transform the lives of animals and the people who love them. That makes building solutions and supporting them all the better.
About the Author
Chris Beard is the Chief Operating Officer at CenterGrid.