Case Snapshots

See how GuideIT has helped companies achieve their business goals.


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National Retailer Deploys Covid Contact Tracing with GuideIT

As Coronavirus began spreading in the US, a nationwide retailer was facing issues with handling the growing number of Covid positive team members at each of their stores. With the sudden onset of the virus, it became difficult to manage each employee’s time off, store cleanings, and the CDC reporting requirements. GuideIT implemented a Covid response process to help manage the growing number of cases while preserving the safety of the employees and customers at all retail locations.

Covid positive team members as well as all close contacts are identified and interacted with regularly throughout their quarantine. GuideIT acts as the liaison between the employee and the benefits department, to assist the employee with their leave of absence pay. GuideIt also initiates the store cleaning protocols to shut down the store when needed and dispatch the cleaning vendor to the correct store. CDC reporting requirements are then handled appropriately based on federal and state guidelines.

The nationwide retailer was able to continue focusing on their customers and day to day operations, knowing they could trust GuideIT to manage their Covid Response needs quickly and safely.

Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Solution: Contact Center as a Service

A large regional healthcare organization wanted to provide vaccination hub services to their community of over 200,000 members. Recognizing that they lacked the infrastructure nor the resources to support this initiative, they reached out to GuideIT to provide a solution.  In less than 30 days, the infrastructure was in place and the GuideIT Vaccination call center resources were performing patient screening, scheduling, and demand management functions for the provider.

Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network. Discover how GuideIT can help you reduce IT strain today!

Telecom Services Cost Optimization

A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

Healthcare Management Organization Realizes Cloud Cost Savings with GuideIT

GuideIT was engaged for this project as our customer was experiencing cost inefficiencies with their current server which caused them to have less flexibility and control over their solution. GuideIT recommended moving the customer from their current provider, and moving it into AWS EC2 and AWS SE. Through this solution, the customer will realize a reduction in cost, and greater durability and recoverability.

Healthcare Collaboration Provider Achieves Cloud Resiliency & Cost Savings with GuideIT

A leading healthcare collaboration provider was seeking to improve the costs and resiliency of their cloud environment. GuideIT leveraged the latest tools and techniques available to deliver higher availability, durability, and recoverability in their cloud environment. The customer was able to transition to an OpEx model and achieve a 15% decrease in ongoing monthly cloud spend.

Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network.

Telecom Services Cost Optimization

A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

Accelerating Business Outcomes

A diversified global provider of energy services had established a strong set of analytics to run its business, but the flow of information was slow, and the cost associated with manual reporting was excessive.

We developed and implemented a data integration strategy and deployed 22 real time business performance indicator dashboards, effectively eliminating a costly data warehouse solution and supporting a real-time, anytime, anyplace working environment.

Retail Campus Overhauls Email Security

A large campus retail environment serving over one million guests annually was facing security challenges with the rise of email-based attacks. Large email volume paired with a non-technical staff created a heightened risk of security breaches.

GuideIT implemented a Managed Email Security Solution that scans all inbound traffic to identify and isolate spam and malware, threatening URLs and attachments, while also reducing the threat of imposter and spoofed email addresses.

GuideIT Managed Email Security initially scanned over 83,000 emails protecting the organization from nearly 20 different malware threats and over 50 phishing attempts. 27,000 links were scanned and protected, resulting in 70,000 clean messages delivered during the initial deployment.

Banking Institution Improves Security Management & Response

A publicly traded financial firm was seeking to better manage security requirements facing the business. Disparate systems within the IT environment required constant updating as new security patches were released, exposing the company to the risk of falling short of regulatory requirements.

GuideIT designed and implemented a patch management process to address ongoing updates within the environments. The patch management solution identified and updated over 130,000 security patches in the first 6 months.

GuideIT also provided a dedicated Incident Response Analyst to triage alerts and escalations, addressing a critical gap within the security organization. Working with the CISO, the analyst evaluated the infrastructure, policies and procedures, recommended improvements, and improved response time with alerting, reporting, and remediation.

Risk and Security Management Solutions Provider Modernizes Go-To-Market Application

A leading provider of risk and security management solutions needed to re-write and modernize its core go-to-market application.  GuideIT collaborated with the organization on defining its business requirements and developed the new application utilizing a hybrid agile/waterfall development method and continues to enhance the product leveraging agile sprint and release cycles.  The application, with its modern interface, and improved features and functionality, helped the customer expand their subscriber base by more than 95% in a 20-month period.

Electronic Medical Record Consolidation

In support of its EMR system consolidation, a large health system engaged GuideIT to abstract patient records from more than seven legacy systems into one cohesive record. Through this engagement, our team abstracted on average over 60,000 patient records a month with an average 98% quality rating. We were selected for this abstraction based on our best-in-class data conversions of EMR systems, unique qualifications, and track record of success providing similar solutions to health system organizations.

Leveraging Service Management Best Practices to Strengthen IT’s Perceived Value
A diversified investment firm was experiencing IT perception issues because their services were not presented in a manner that business leaders could quantify and evaluate. Building upon the tactical service management processes and system in place, we developed and documented more than 80 service categories and created a business-oriented service catalog used to communicate business value, govern the provisioning of services, and increase perception of the value created by IT.
Rapidly Growing Healthcare Provider Optimizes Cost of Expansion through GuideIT
In support of its rapid facility expansion plans, a provider of specialized health services needed scalable healthcare project management expertise to oversee the technology infrastructure and software deployments associated with facility launches. We trained a team of project managers who can be deployed on demand via an optimized, variable cost structure.
Healthcare Provider Meets Rigorous Deployment Deadline Through GuideIT
A healthcare provider needed to upgrade the technology infrastructure at approximately 175 locations to prepare for a new EHR in slightly more than two months. We evaluated the technology configuration at all locations and then deployed approximately 160 new networks, 1,700 new PC’s, and migrated existing infrastructure components to the new networks in seven weeks to meet the EHR implementation deadline.
Enhance Cyber Protection

A healthcare organization had their cyber security approach assessed but needed expertise to evaluate the findings and establish a strategy and road map for improvement. We helped the organization rationalize the assessment plan, prioritize actions and investments, and develop a road map for implementation.

Enhance Essential Infrastructure Security
A national financial investment advisor and benefits firm wanted to enhance their Office365 environment and increase the protection of critical information. We implemented Microsoft Office365 security enhancements to ensure that the organization could collaborate and communicate both effectively and securely, while implementing data loss prevention measures to ensure critical business data remained safe and secure.
Optimize Technology Infrastructure

A regional bank set out to strengthen their technology infrastructure, improve end user support and optimize expense. We assumed responsibility for their IT infrastructure and end user support functions, reducing expense, transforming the end user experience, and re mediating approximately 30,000 uncompleted critical infrastructure and applications updates that had exposed the bank to cyber security risk.

Reduce Cycle Time and Optimize Expense
A technology company set out to transform the technology infrastructure that supported customer-facing solutions and key business applications. Its objectives were to eliminate stranded capacity, reduce step-functions in cost driven by physical infrastructure and gain better linearity and visibility into the unit cost of capacity.
We migrated the customer-facing security solutions and business applications to a public cloud environment. By doing so, we reduced the time it took to onboard new customers due to a shift from physical infrastructure to scalable AWS capacity, optimized expense related to underutilized capital investment caused by the previous step function additions to capacity, and increased the availability and reliability of the environment by utilizing the AWS architecture across availability zones.
Implement an Advanced Protection Program
One of the largest global business travel providers wanted to enhance their overall security program.
We implemented an assurance and advanced protection program that increased intrusion prevention, strengthened information flow in support of cyber security processes and provided employees with direct feedback on potential information leakage risks.
Strengthen the Bond with Employees
A business wanted to create a stronger bond with its employees by improving collaboration and creating a work environment that was not tied to a physical office. The business deployed a technology infrastructure that supported secure anytime, anywhere access and provided the social tools necessary for their staff to stay connected while working in separate locations.
With this new digital workplace, we helped increase the employee Net Promoter Score by 17%.
Transform Patient Care
A leading health system set out to decrease emergency room admissions and increase Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) savings.
We set up a system that alerted them of “at risk” patients by integrating patient data from multiple sources, applying health-system-defined business rules and refining event-driven automation. This helped to increase MSSP annual shared savings by 70%.
Telecom Services Cost Optimization:
A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.
Centrally-Managed Networking Solution:
A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network.
Realize a Continuum of Care
A Critical Access Hospital network set out to improve their financial performance and enhance the continuum of care for local patients.
We enabled EHR and business system connectivity between the network’s participants that would provide for increased revenue, strengthened reporting for physicians and developed a set of clinical and financial dashboards for management and operational reporting.
Accelerate the Pace of Business

A diversified global provider of energy services had established a strong set of analytics to run its business, but the flow of information was slow, and the cost associated with manual reporting was excessive.

We developed and implemented a data integration strategy and deployed 22 real-time business performance indicator dashboards, effectively eliminating a costly data warehouse solution and supporting a real-time, anytime, anyplace working environment.

Eliminate the Spreadsheet Culture

A rapidly growing business had assembled a cost-effective suite of cloud-based corporate systems, but the lack of integration and reliance on spreadsheets slowed the pace of business.

We integrated data from more than 10 systems, applied business logic and provided leadership with real-time, anywhere access to critical information. We helped them reduce back office process time by as much as 83%.

Develop a Health Analytics Program

A healthcare provider needed a single health analytics source to better serve their patients. Even though electronic medical systems have centralized and aggregated information, understanding a patient’s complete health activity required data from multiple sources.

We helped integrate information from multiple sources to map 253 separate data file formats to form a single customer health analytics program.

Increase Service Desk Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
A provider of eyecare services experienced rapid growth through acquisition but lacked a scalable support model and the tools to facilitate such growth.  The eyecare provider was looking at a 23% increase to service desk expense to meet target operational metrics.  We helped them to design, implement and manage a U.S.-based service desk.
This new service desk not only prevented the cost increase, it delivered approximately a 20% cost savings while increasing the service desk's satisfaction rating and providing a platform to support future growth.
Strengthen Caregiver IT Experience
An operator of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities needed to increase its IT support for its caregivers, optimize cost and improve service desk metrics.
We implemented a new service desk, which increased customer satisfaction, while reducing expense by 20% and eliminating a backlog of IT requests.
Increase Application Management Efficiency and Productivity
A large health system wanted to outsource support of its existing applications, so it could focus its internal team on the implementation of a new EHR and increase efficiency.
We provided a 28% savings on IT support spend while improving the overall level of service.
Transform and Fortify Technology Infrastructure
A provider of a broad range of financial services set out to increase the quality, responsiveness and cost effectiveness of their IT function. They also had an objective of fortifying the company against cyber threats.
We consolidated the IT infrastructure into a centralized data center facility, implemented a service desk, and deployed endpoint management and data loss prevention to strengthen its cyber security position.
Strengthen Customer Satisfaction for IT Function
One of the nation’s largest industrial real estate developers shifted their IT infrastructure from a global technology services provider to GuideIT.
We conducted a data center migration to shift their IT infrastructure to a new facility, increase the project success rate and increase the IT function’s customer satisfaction by more than 25% in the first year following the transition.
Produce IT Operational Efficiencies
A healthcare payer needed to strengthen after-hours support, but also needed to implement IT cost reductions to meet budgetary constraints. We assumed responsibility for a 24/7 network operations center and implemented an after-hours service desk.
Despite a greater scope of service, a cost savings of approximately 15% was realized.
Secure Productivity Improvements From Expected Growth
A physician practice and population health organization had made technology investments but was not realizing efficiencies as they grew. We created a solution to achieve targeted operational metrics, while tying the service fee to the customer's revenue.
We provided a path to a 35% improvement to IT cost as the company grew while achieving targeted performance metrics.
Strengthen IT Environment by Identifying and Addressing Risks
A global materials science company needed to understand gaps in its IT environment and evaluate associated risks. We performed an IT operational assessment.
We provided a comprehensive risk assessment, disaster recovery roadmap and actionable plan to remediate gaps in the IT environment.
Meet Large-Scale Deployment Requirements
Facing a software deployment deadline that missing would have cost and productivity issues, we were engaged to implement the solution.
We migrated the system software and more than 7,000 PC’s in 10 months, achieving the targeted deadline and preventing cost and productivity issues.
Accelerate IT Separation and Cost Efficiency
A mortgage company needed to accelerate an IT infrastructure separation in order to meet regulatory requirements. We were engaged to facilitate the separation.
We insourced an IT support function supporting more than 12,000 users, improved network and application performance and enabled a reduction to expense of approximately $20 million annually.
Transform Technology Infrastructure
A healthcare payer who administers benefits to more than 50 million people launched a major IT infrastructure modernization and enhancement initiative.
We consolidated five data centers, engineered and deployed a software image to approximately 700 end user devices and delivered a stronger endpoint security layer.
Accelerate a Path to Enhanced Patient Care
A company that manages urgent care clinics acquired 15 facilities across the country. Each operated different IT and EHR environments, resulting in an objective to standardize and optimize the IT and EHR environment.
We performed workflow optimization that increased productivity by more than 30% and remediated more than 20 compliance issues.
Diagnose IT Challenges and Realize Improvements
A leading oil and gas data company with frequent system outages needed to stabilize its technology infrastructure and implement new IT best practices. We initially performed an IT infrastructure assessment and subsequently deployed an IT director.
We reduced system outages by 65% and improved the overall IT experience.
Reduce IT Expense During a Period of Rapid Growth
A global travel business executing an acquisition strategy was experiencing rapid telecommunications expense growth. It needed a more efficient network design.
We redesigned the network that produced 10% savings in a period of growth while implementing a governance process to sustain the greater efficiency.
Transform Business Management Approach
A global business services firm wanted to change its business management approach from product-centric to customer-centric.
We designed a financial systems and data approach that enabled management not only by product, but also by customer and the intersection of product and customer so the travel business could identify opportunities for expansion within its existing customer portfolio and optimize its business.
Gain a Path to Greater IT Efficiency
A leading medical equipment supplier was experiencing consistent IT cost increases. We performed an enterprise assessment, which lead to a GuideIT-led IT transformative program.
We reduced IT spend by 16% while increasing the group’s effectiveness.
Transform Business Management Approach
A global business services firm wanted to change its business management approach from product-centric to customer-centric.
We designed a financial systems and data approach that enabled management not only by product, but also by customer and the intersection of product and customer so the travel business could identify opportunities for expansion within its existing customer portfolio and optimize its business.
Gain a Path to Greater IT Efficiency
A leading medical equipment supplier was experiencing consistent IT cost increases. We performed an enterprise assessment, which lead to a GuideIT-led IT transformative program.
We reduced IT spend by 16% while increasing the group’s effectiveness.
Strengthen IT Environment by Identifying and Addressing Risks
A global materials science company needed to understand gaps in its IT environment and evaluate associated risks. We performed an IT operational assessment.
We provided a comprehensive risk assessment, disaster recovery roadmap and actionable plan to remediate gaps in the IT environment.
Meet Large-Scale Deployment Requirements
Facing a software deployment deadline that missing would have cost and productivity issues, we were engaged to implement the solution.
We migrated the system software and more than 7,000 PC’s in 10 months, achieving the targeted deadline and preventing cost and productivity issues.
Accelerate IT Separation and Cost Efficiency
A mortgage company needed to accelerate an IT infrastructure separation in order to meet regulatory requirements. We were engaged to facilitate the separation.
We insourced an IT support function supporting more than 12,000 users, improved network and application performance and enabled a reduction to expense of approximately $20 million annually.
Transform Technology Infrastructure
A healthcare payer who administers benefits to more than 50 million people launched a major IT infrastructure modernization and enhancement initiative.
We consolidated five data centers, engineered and deployed a software image to approximately 700 end user devices and delivered a stronger endpoint security layer.
Accelerate a Path to Enhanced Patient Care
A company that manages urgent care clinics acquired 15 facilities across the country. Each operated different IT and EHR environments, resulting in an objective to standardize and optimize the IT and EHR environment.
We performed workflow optimization that increased productivity by more than 30% and remediated more than 20 compliance issues.
Diagnose IT Challenges and Realize Improvements
A leading oil and gas data company with frequent system outages needed to stabilize its technology infrastructure and implement new IT best practices. We initially performed an IT infrastructure assessment and subsequently deployed an IT director.
We reduced system outages by 65% and improved the overall IT experience.
Reduce IT Expense During a Period of Rapid Growth
A global travel business executing an acquisition strategy was experiencing rapid telecommunications expense growth. It needed a more efficient network design.
We redesigned the network that produced 10% savings in a period of growth while implementing a governance process to sustain the greater efficiency.
Reduce Cycle Time and Optimize Expense
A technology company set out to transform the technology infrastructure that supported customer-facing solutions and key business applications. Its objectives were to eliminate stranded capacity, reduce step-functions in cost driven by physical infrastructure and gain better linearity and visibility into the unit cost of capacity.
We migrated the customer-facing security solutions and business applications to a public cloud environment. By doing so, we reduced the time it took to onboard new customers due to a shift from physical infrastructure to scalable AWS capacity, optimized expense related to underutilized capital investment caused by the previous step function additions to capacity, and increased the availability and reliability of the environment by utilizing the AWS architecture across availability zones.
Transform and Fortify Technology Infrastructure
A provider of a broad range of financial services set out to increase the quality, responsiveness and cost effectiveness of their IT function. They also had an objective of fortifying the company against cyber threats.
We consolidated the IT infrastructure into a centralized data center facility, implemented a service desk, and deployed endpoint management and data loss prevention to strengthen its cyber security position.
Strengthen Customer Satisfaction for IT Function
One of the nation’s largest industrial real estate developers shifted their IT infrastructure from a global technology services provider to GuideIT.
We conducted a data center migration to shift their IT infrastructure to a new facility, increase the project success rate and increase the IT function’s customer satisfaction by more than 25% in the first year following the transition.
Produce IT Operational Efficiencies
A healthcare payer needed to strengthen after-hours support, but also needed to implement IT cost reductions to meet budgetary constraints. We assumed responsibility for a 24/7 network operations center and implemented an after-hours service desk.
Despite a greater scope of service, a cost savings of approximately 15% was realized.
Secure Productivity Improvements From Expected Growth
A physician practice and population health organization had made technology investments but was not realizing efficiencies as they grew. We created a solution to achieve targeted operational metrics, while tying the service fee to the customer's revenue.
We provided a path to a 35% improvement to IT cost as the company grew while achieving targeted performance metrics.
GuideIT’s Solution to the Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model
The Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

It is no secret that there has been an evolution in the healthcare industry over the past 120 years. As technology has advanced, so too has the healthcare model, in which technology plays a bigger role than ever. The advancement of technology has allowed physicians and providers to monitor and treat patients remotely, ultimately changing the entire healthcare experience. GuideIT is here to help providers navigate through the changing healthcare landscape by creating roadmaps for seamless technology integration. Here is everything you need to know about the technological innovations in healthcare and how GuideIT can help providers:

A Transition to Virtual Healthcare

At the turn of the 20th century, most people were receiving their healthcare at home in the form of physician house calls. The healthcare model was fragmented and mostly powered by individual physicians, rather than the centralized model we see today. By the late 20th century, we saw an office-centric approach where individual physicians had their own place of care, requiring patients to visit their primary care physician, rather than a physician visiting their home.

Today, there are many factors at play that have inspired another shift in the healthcare system. As healthcare providers transitioned from physical records to electronic records, there was a boom of electronic health records that made it easier for providers to share information. In 2020, we saw a return of at-home primary care in the form of Telehealth, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a much greater use of Telehealth to support virtual visits for patients.

The Rise of Virtual Healthcare

The global pandemic, evolving technologies, a rise in chronic conditions and many other factors have created a different set of needs for both providers and patients alike. These forces have resulted in providers looking into technology to drive the future of healthcare. With many of these technologies already in place, such as the opportunity for video conferencing and Telehealth, the global pandemic accelerated a change in healthcare that was already happening.

The Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

While the pandemic is waning and people are returning to normal life, the shift to technology-enabled remote patient-monitoring and virtual health are here to stay. Remote patient-monitoring technologies allow providers to check-up on patients daily, while the patients are in the comfort of their homes. This is a benefit to both providers and patients alike, creating a seamless form of care that does not require an extensive use of resources.

One example of how remote patient-monitoring has proven its ability to improve on the traditional delivery model comes from the pandemic. As the pandemic created a surplus of patients with limited space, PPE and resources, it became nearly impossible for providers to treat all of their patients within their four walls. To combat this problem, many providers worked to create a different model, where they would monitor COVID-19 patients virtually rather than in person. They provided remote patient monitoring to their patients that allowed for monitoring symptoms and providing care based on their every day, overall health. The new model has opened the door to a multitude of opportunities to improve healthcare outcomes such as improved length of stay, readmission, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. The table below shows some of the potentials of the evolving virtual healthcare delivery model:

How a Technology Partner Will Help Healthcare Providers

The process of shifting to a virtual healthcare model is different for every organization. A good technology partner will help you figure out the optimal way to integrate virtual care into your delivery of care. The end goal should be helping your organization get to the point where patients are receiving the same level of care as they would within the four-walls of a traditional care setting, but in the comfort of their own home. This is a shift that will require a deep level of understanding of integrating healthcare technology into a seamless anywhere, anytime environment.

While providers look at hundreds of different vendors to work within the Telehealth field, a good technology partner will help you sort through all of the clutter. Finding the right technology partner means that you will have someone to help you make those decisions, while also implementing, managing and maintaining the variety of different tools it takes to make Telehealth happen successfully. Your partner's goal should always be to create a unified system of technologies that communicate simultaneously.

Finding Your Focus in Virtual Healthcare

There are countless ways in which you can implement virtual healthcare for your patients, but without a specific focus, it can become a much more complex transition. The first step is asking yourself what you want to accomplish in virtual

healthcare. Are you trying to decrease readmissions? Are you trying to promote overall wellness? Are you trying to improve the patient experience? Knowing what you want your overall focus to be on will not only help your customers but also help with the transition to digital.

Virtual Care Enabling Technologies

There are a number of virtual care enabling technologies that will help providers navigate through the changing environment. Each serves a specific purpose for maximizing the efficiency, support and effectiveness of your virtual healthcare delivery model. Here are some of the virtual care technologies that will become increasingly important for organizations moving forward to support a virtual care delivery model:

Clinical & IT Service Desk:  Support for clinicians and patients, as well as patient family members and caregivers, to assist with procedural and technical questions and issues as well as provide outreach services. This service can also provide around-the-clock monitoring and alerting, as well as patient follow-up services.

Patient Engagement:  Provides a conduit for the patient and provider to interact and allows the patient to actively participate in their healthcare journey. Provides the following functionality:

•          Tool to facilitate patient-provider communication and feedback

•          Condition-specific patient prompts

•          Patient motivation

•          Condition-specific educational material

•          Care coordination

•          Health coaching

•          Prevention and wellness guidance

•          Medication management

•          Scheduling

•          Monitoring and alerting

Digital Front Door: This is how patients interact with the health system or provider. It provides a patient, and the community, a means to get information as well as obtain services. It is the digital front desk for a provider’s practice or health system. In order for it to be effective, this service requires a clear strategy and an integrated marketing plan.

IT Management & Cloud Enablement: The technical infrastructure required to provide remote patient monitoring, the cloud hosting of the application and the communication tools required to provide virtual health services.

Device Asset Management: This service provides the asset management functions for any device or monitor required to support the virtual health offering: deployment, configuration, security, maintenance and support.

Provider Analytics & ML: The capability to collect, aggregate and analyze data that allows for reporting and evaluating the effectiveness of the virtual health offerings.

There are a large number of virtual care enabling technologies that will play a role in a transition into a virtual healthcare delivery model. The transition is different for every organization, depending on your offerings, focus and overall goal for the patient experience. GuideIT offers all of these services and more to help providers create a seamless experience for their staff and patients. Contact us today to learn more about what it will take for your organization to transition into the world of virtual healthcare.

Photo Sourced from Getty Images: #1264364849

[EVENT] AWS Immersion Day – 5 NOVEMBER 2021

November 5th at 9:30 AM CT

Join us for a half-day technical immersion day covering Microsoft workloads on AWS!

Agenda:

Topic Time
Welcome and Opening 15 Minutes
Why AWS for Microsoft Workloads 30 Minutes
Introduction to Architecting Microsoft Workloads on AWS 45 Minutes
Break 15 Minutes
Lab – Deploying AWS Managed Microsoft AD  45 Minutes
Automating Infrastructure with Windows Servers 45 Minutes
Lab – Using Systems Manager to Manage EC2 Instances and/or On-Premise Machines 45 Minutes
Closing 15 Minutes

What is the Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day?

The AWS for Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day is a customizable AWS experience designed by solution architects to help move customer and partner opportunities forward. AWS helps customers build, deploy, and manage Microsoft applications quickly, easily and cost-effectively. During this Immersion Day customers are presented with AWS solutions to challenging real world Microsoft use cases that relate to their business and IT needs. This Immersion Day is a powerful tool for showing customers the art of what’s possible on AWS for their Microsoft workloads and changing the dynamics of a competitive Microsoft opportunity.

Benefits of the Microsoft Immersion Day

The goal of the Microsoft Immersion Day is to show customers the power of AWS as a platform for running Microsoft workloads and inspire customers to get started building and deploying Microsoft workloads on AWS. We an agenda that covers a broad range of Microsoft topics including Windows Server, SQL Server, .NET and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with deploying and running Microsoft applications on AWS. Customers will also have the opportunity for valuable face to face time with an AWS SA to discuss and receive advice on their particular use cases.

Register Below:

    National Retailer Deploys Covid Contact Tracing with GuideIT

    As Coronavirus began spreading in the US, a nationwide retailer was facing issues with handling the growing number of Covid positive team members at each of their stores. With the sudden onset of the virus, it became difficult to manage each employee’s time off, store cleanings, and the CDC reporting requirements. GuideIT implemented a Covid response process to help manage the growing number of cases while preserving the safety of the employees and customers at all retail locations.

    Covid positive team members as well as all close contacts are identified and interacted with regularly throughout their quarantine. GuideIT acts as the liaison between the employee and the benefits department, to assist the employee with their leave of absence pay. GuideIt also initiates the store cleaning protocols to shut down the store when needed and dispatch the cleaning vendor to the correct store. CDC reporting requirements are then handled appropriately based on federal and state guidelines.

    The nationwide retailer was able to continue focusing on their customers and day to day operations, knowing they could trust GuideIT to manage their Covid Response needs quickly and safely.

    Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Solution: Contact Center as a Service

    A large regional healthcare organization wanted to provide vaccination hub services to their community of over 200,000 members. Recognizing that they lacked the infrastructure nor the resources to support this initiative, they reached out to GuideIT to provide a solution.  In less than 30 days, the infrastructure was in place and the GuideIT Vaccination call center resources were performing patient screening, scheduling, and demand management functions for the provider.

    Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

    A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network. Discover how GuideIT can help you reduce IT strain today!

    Telecom Services Cost Optimization

    A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

    Healthcare Management Organization Realizes Cloud Cost Savings with GuideIT

    GuideIT was engaged for this project as our customer was experiencing cost inefficiencies with their current server which caused them to have less flexibility and control over their solution. GuideIT recommended moving the customer from their current provider, and moving it into AWS EC2 and AWS SE. Through this solution, the customer will realize a reduction in cost, and greater durability and recoverability.

    Healthcare Collaboration Provider Achieves Cloud Resiliency & Cost Savings with GuideIT

    A leading healthcare collaboration provider was seeking to improve the costs and resiliency of their cloud environment. GuideIT leveraged the latest tools and techniques available to deliver higher availability, durability, and recoverability in their cloud environment. The customer was able to transition to an OpEx model and achieve a 15% decrease in ongoing monthly cloud spend.

    Application Development of Core Software Product

    GuideIT provides comprehensive Application Development and Modernization services to a global risk and compliance leader through consulting, development, and hybrid agile/waterfall methodologies to implement a continuous delivery strategy and position the organization for the future.

    The Customer

    A leading, privately-held information security company maintains one of the most widely adopted certifiable risk and compliance management frameworks for safeguarding sensitive regulated data.

    The company’s flagship go-to-market product is a software application utilized by customers to assess and maintain compliance with various regulatory regimes such as ISO/IEC 27000-series and HIPAA.

    The Challenge

    The company was seeking to significantly redesign its core SaaS-based risk management platform to make it easier and more cost-effective for subscribers to manage information risk and meet international, federal and state regulations concerning privacy and security.

    The original application was based on an outdated third-party platform and was not optimized for performance or scalability. The company also had a strategic goal to maintain complete ownership of the intellectual property making up the application and to deliver the product as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform. Furthermore, the company desired a robust, modernized user interface in line with industry best practices for interface design and user experience.

    The existing security solution was NOT:

    » Based on modern technologies
    » Scalable for cloud-based delivery
    » Optimized for performance
    » Utilizing UX/UI best practices

    GuideIT Application Development Services provide end-to-end solutions for modernization, management, and development of software tailored to specific business needs. Leveraging top industry talent, GuideIT Application Services teams develop, deploy, and maintain best-of-breed software solutions while leveraging modern development frameworks for continuous delivery such as DevOps, Agile, and hybrid models.

    The Solution

    GuideIT developed a plan to modernize the application and address the shortcomings of an aging architecture while also implementing a comprehensive strategy for ongoing development. The modernized application would be based on the latest cloud-based technology stack to allow fluid scaling to meet demand. Leveraging skilled User Interface and Experience designers, the application would benefit from a refreshed look and feel, based on a material design framework. Finally, the data and application architecture would be re-engineered from the ground up to provide a robust and responsive experience to end users who carry with them the expectation of world-class performance.

    Solution Benefits

    » Continuous development approach
    » Secure code validation
    » Increased user satisfaction
    » Collaborative development partnership
    » Modernized user interface & experience
    » Scalable application architecture
    » Increased product revenues
    » Enhanced application performance

    Why GuideIT

    DISCOVER > DESIGN > DEVELOP > DEPLOY

    GuideIT understands the needs of organizations to not only pursue the benefits of cutting edge approaches but also maintain support for late-cycle technologies that still form the basis of many critical business services. Customers benefit from industry-best talent and a disciplined yet flexible development life cycle approach which incorporates the principles of DevOps, Agile, Waterfall, and other management frameworks paired with a consultative, strategic approach.

    GuideIT developed a comprehensive plan to redesign and modernize the core application product utilizing best-of-breed technologies and methodologies. Levering industry best practices and a hybrid agile/waterfall development framework, GuideIT assessed the requirements and selected the best-suited architecture and approach, created a plan to address strategic goals, and engaged within a continuous delivery methodology.

    The Implementation

    1. REQUIREMENTS– Upon initiation of the project, GuideIT performed a comprehensive requirements gathering exercise to document existing functionality and map new feature requests and requirements for the application. We consulted with the customer who had developed an extensive product scope based on their business needs. GuideIT then adapted the requirements into an initial development plan.
    2. DEVELOPMENT– With the development plan in place, GuideIT worked with the customer to prioritize the efforts into sprints, which enabled completion of a minimum viable product version that would then be enhanced through continuous development and integration methodologies incorporating an agile approach.
    3.DEPLOYMENT– Within a continuous deployment framework, GuideIT maintains up to six environments to advance new features and enhancements in coordination with the customer product managers and in alignment with the product road map for development, QA testing, UAT, and deployment.

    The Results

    The GuideIT Application Services teams partnered with the customer for the development of the new application. The customer was seeking to counteract declining user satisfaction and subscribers resulting from outdated features, architectures, and experience. Since implementation of the new application with improved interface and features, the customer has expand their subscriber base by more than 95% in a 20-month period resulting in higher revenue.

    As the core go to market offering, ongoing development of the application was crucial to maintaining relevance by offering customers new and updated features. GuideIT implemented a continuous development framework, modernizing the approach and allowing more responsiveness to the customer’s ongoing product goals.

    Leveraging a cloud application architecture with modern techniques, overall improvements were made in performance, scalability, compatibility, and interface, resulting in higher user satisfaction.

    Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

    A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network.

    Telecom Services Cost Optimization

    A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

    Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Solution: Contact Center as a Service

    A large regional healthcare organization wanted to provide vaccination hub services to their community of over 200,000 members. Recognizing that they lacked the infrastructure nor the resources to support this initiative, they reached out to GuideIT to provide a solution.  In less than 30 days, the infrastructure was in place and the GuideIT Vaccination call center resources were performing patient screening, scheduling, and demand management functions for the provider.

    Healthcare Collaboration Provider Achieves Resiliency & Cost Savings with AWS

    Customer Profile

    Our customer is a healthcare communications solutions provider specialized in nurse call systems, enterprise reporting & analytics tools, and industry-leading software applications for caregivers and clinical staff.

    The Challenge

    Our customer was experiencing resource constraints and delays in implementation with their current data center provider. The architecture was not making best use of available technologies and best practices leading to lack of resiliency and higher, uncontrolled costs.

    The Solution

    GuideIT recommended & architected an optimized solution for the customer in AWS. Through this optimized architecture, the customer will realize a reduced cost, and higher availability, durability, and recoverability.

    AWS Services

    • AWS FSx for Windows
    • AWS Systems Manager Session Manager
    • AWS Systems Manager Patching
    • AWS Backup
    • AWS Certificate Manager
    • Amazon EC2
    • Elastic Load Balancing
    • Amazon EBS
    • Amazon CloudWatch
    • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Gateway
    • Active Directory Application Integration

    Metrics for Success

    • Introduce cost savings with new AWS solution
    • Provide for better scalability
    • Transition to Op-Ex cost model
    • Achieve targeted timeline for migration

    The Result

    • Achieved 15% operational savings
    • Implemented Solution well within target in under 3 months
    • Delivered solution within budgetary requirements
    • Obtained greater than 50% faster deployment of new capabilities

    The Integration Architecture

    • Managed highly available Windows File Services
    • Single Sign-on Active Directory Integration for Jira, Confluence, & Nexus
    • Secured International Access for key business applications
    • Managed Patching for fleets of servers
    • Secured and logged administrative access to protected system

    The Sultion Architecture

    Accelerating Business Outcomes

    A diversified global provider of energy services had established a strong set of analytics to run its business, but the flow of information was slow, and the cost associated with manual reporting was excessive.

    We developed and implemented a data integration strategy and deployed 22 real time business performance indicator dashboards, effectively eliminating a costly data warehouse solution and supporting a real-time, anytime, anyplace working environment.

    Retail Campus Overhauls Email Security

    A large campus retail environment serving over one million guests annually was facing security challenges with the rise of email-based attacks. Large email volume paired with a non-technical staff created a heightened risk of security breaches.

    GuideIT implemented a Managed Email Security Solution that scans all inbound traffic to identify and isolate spam and malware, threatening URLs and attachments, while also reducing the threat of imposter and spoofed email addresses.

    GuideIT Managed Email Security initially scanned over 83,000 emails protecting the organization from nearly 20 different malware threats and over 50 phishing attempts. 27,000 links were scanned and protected, resulting in 70,000 clean messages delivered during the initial deployment.

    Banking Institution Improves Security Management & Response

    A publicly traded financial firm was seeking to better manage security requirements facing the business. Disparate systems within the IT environment required constant updating as new security patches were released, exposing the company to the risk of falling short of regulatory requirements.

    GuideIT designed and implemented a patch management process to address ongoing updates within the environments. The patch management solution identified and updated over 130,000 security patches in the first 6 months.

    GuideIT also provided a dedicated Incident Response Analyst to triage alerts and escalations, addressing a critical gap within the security organization. Working with the CISO, the analyst evaluated the infrastructure, policies and procedures, recommended improvements, and improved response time with alerting, reporting, and remediation.

    End User Protection for Large Campus-Style Retail Environment

    GuideIT provides strategic cybersecurity partnership to a campus-style commercial retail environment through consulting, infrastructure, and end-user protection security solutions to implement a defense-in- depth security strategy and position the organization for the future.

    The Customer

    A sprawling, campus-style retail environment routinely serves over one million annual visitors. The IT infrastructure has become an increasingly important component of the operations touching everything from facilities operations to customer care and internal communications. As the organization continues to grow, new technologies will further enhance operations and marketing outreach as it seeks to expand the customer base.

    The Challenge

    The organization recently sought a strategic technology partner to provide a comprehensive managed security solution protecting users and the IT environment from risks related to malware, ransomware, email threats, and critical security updates. It faced numerous challenges related to implementing and managing a defense-in-depth cybersecurity strategy.

    An aging infrastructure and application environment paired with a lack of internal resources led to a struggle on the part of the organization to keep pace with a changing threat landscape and cybersecurity best practices. The customer realized that email in particular represented significant risk due to the ever-increasing volume of spam and potentially dangerous attachments at the email threat vector. non-technical end users did not have the proper training or awareness to protect the organization, leading to increased risk of a potentially damaging attack.

    The existing security solution did NOT:

    » Actively monitor the environment
    » Centrally manage patches and updates
    » Enable scalability & adaptability
    » Provide for remote management & Maintenance

    GuideIT Cyber Security solutions safeguard organizations against malicious cyber threats. We utilize individualized approach to provide comprehensive protection that aligns with industry best practices. GuideIT end-user protection enables defense-in-depth strategies for end-user devices such as laptops, desktops and mobile devices which are targeted by malicious actors to gain access into enterprise networks.

    The Solution

    GuideIT developed a solution to holistically address shortcomings of the aging infrastructure and application environment with a fully managed approach. Comprehensive management and monitoring services focused on endpoint security would address the risk to the environment at the end-user attack surface. A robust strategy for patch management would ensure the environment was properly safeguarded against existing vulnerabilities with the latest updates available. Email security comprising of inbound traffic scanning, link protection, and threat quarantine, would mitigate the risk of ransomware phishing attempts, and malicious payloads. A centrally managed data protection strategy would protect against data loss with full data encryption and in browser web monitoring.

    Solution Benefits

    » Central management & monitoring
    » End-to-end data encryption
    » Web monitoring & protection
    » Real-time malware protection
    » Patch management and deployment
    » Email link & attachment scanning
    » Outbound data protection
    » End user threat awareness training

    Why GuideIT

    IDENTIFY > PROTECT > DETECT > EDUCATE

    GuideIT takes a holistic view of the security environment to evaluate the full threat landscape and identify unique vulnerabilities within an organization. Customers benefit from best-in-class security tools paired with a consultative, strategic approach. Leveraging a defense-in-depth framework that aligns with NIST best practices, the GuideIT security solutions methodology focuses on root cause analysis, visibility, and data-driven decision making to deliver an end-to-end cybersecurity strategy that hardens the IT infrastructure against attacks while also promoting security awareness within the entire organization.

    GuideIT developed a comprehensive plan to transform the cybersecurity strategy with a defense-in-depth model. Levering industry best practices and the NIST framework, GuideIT assessed the landscape to identify threats and vulnerabilities, created a plan to address risks and promote awareness, and deployed solutions to secure the infrastructure and change end-user behavior, securing the IT environment.

    The Implementation

    1. ASSESSMENT - Upon initiation of the project, GuideIT quickly performed a comprehensive assessment of the environment to identify and evaluate legacy and stand-alone security solutions in place. High risk devices were identified and prioritized for phase one. Infrastructure and existing security postures were evaluated and tested.
    2. PLANNING - With data collected from the assessment, GuideIT cybersecurity professionals developed a comprehensive plan and to address issues with patch management, end-point protection, infrastructure security, and email security.
    3.DEPLOYMENT - With data collected from the assessment, agents were deployed within a week to immediately deploy the centrally managed end-point protection solution. The patching program was also deployed targeting the most critical and vulnerable devices first.

    The Results

    The team identified systems in the environment that had not been actively patched in over six months. The systems were updated and brought into compliance with the policy. Initially, less than 35% of the environment was current with patches released within 30 days. Since implementation of new patch management processes and tools, the environment now maintains a 30-day rolling update ratio of over 95%.

    Since the deployment of managed anti-virus, over 400 threats associated with malware, exploits and attempted access have been either blocked or resolved, ensuring the endpoints and users are secure. The email security solution initially scanned over 83,000 emails effectively protecting the organization from nearly 20 different malware threats and over 50 individual phishing attempts. 27,000 links were scanned and protected, resulting in 70,000 clean messages being successfully derived during the initial deployment.

    GuideIT Once Again Recognized Among Fastest Growing Private Companies by SMU Caruth Institute & Dallas Business Journal

    Monday, October 26, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT, a leading provider of managed IT and cloud solutions, today announced that it has once again been named one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial companies for a third year in the SMU Cox Dallas 100™ awards.

    The Dallas 100, co-founded by the SMU Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Dallas Business Journal, recognizes the innovative spirit, determination and business acumen of area Dallas-area entrepreneurs.  The award focuses not only on growth, but an organization’s character and creditworthiness.

    “We are once again honored to be selected for the Dallas 100.” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “It demonstrates our continued commitment to bringing leading edge solutions to market. We place a high value on the entrepreneurial spirit which has contributed to the success and growth which we have experienced over the last several years.”

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT delivers solutions to drive business success through technology. Through consulting, managed services, digital business, and cybersecurity solutions, GuideIT partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence while delivering technology with an industry specific context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. 

    Founded in 2013 and building on a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  Learn more at www.guideit.com

    Healthcare Management Organization Realizes Cost Savings with AWS

    Customer Profile

    Our customer is a premier national provider of population healthcare management programs. For more than 40 years, they have offered value-added programs to plan sponsors that improve the overall health of engaged participants, including Integrated Clinical Solutions, Chronic Care Management, Behavioral Health Solutions, Wellness/Lifestyle Coaching, and Care Coordination.

    The Challenge

    Our customer was experiencing cost inefficiencies with their current server which caused them to have less flexibility and control over their solution.

    The Solution

    GuideIT recommended moving the customer from their current server, Armor, and moving it into AWS EC2 and AWS SE. Through this solution, the customer will realize a reduction in cost, and greater durability and recoverability.

    AWS Services

    • Managed Microsoft Sequel Server (RDS)
    • AWS EC2 with Microsoft Server
    • AWS S3

    Metrics for Success

    • Introduce cost savings with new AWS server
    • Increase data durability and recoverability
    • Reduce administration needs

    The Result

    • Achieved greater than 30% reduction in cost through new solution
    • Successfully migrated server from Armor into a Managed Microsoft SQL Server
    • Eliminated the costly necessity of administrators manually pulling reports from the old system
    • Increased durability and recoverability through daily snapshots of AWS EC2 and AWS RDS

    The Integration Architecture

    • TIBCO BusinessWorks installed on the EC2 instance retrieves Medical files from HMC clients, pushes a copy to AWS S3, processes files and pushes converted X12 data to HMC Healthworks
    • The file processes match customer data and create unique ids using Amazon RDS “Microsoft SQL Server”
    • Snapshots of AWS EC2 and AWS RDS are created daily to AWS S3
    • Recovery involves restoring snapshots and rerunning files for day

     

    Introducing a New Website and Online Experience from GuideIT
    Introducing a New Website and Online Experience from GuideIT

    As the world of technology continues to evolve into the future at a rapid pace, so does GuideIT. We are proud to announce that our new and improved website is here to provide more functionality for your outsourced IT experience. Here are all of the ways that our revamped website is working harder to provide a new online experience for your GuideIT services:

    Continuing
    Education from GuideIT

    Our new website provides continuing education on all of the latest trends in the IT industry from our perspective. Here, you can stay up to date on the changing world of technology by diving into the details of what makes it great. We understand that being dedicated to IT strategy and transformation means providing our clients with the details they need to succeed.

    A New
    Design to Match Our Services

    Our new website comes complete with an updated look designed to make navigating through our information easier. Just like with our services, we want the online experience we provide our customers to be as quick, simple and efficient as possible. We respect your time and money in everything we do, and our new website is certainly no exception to that rule.

    Case
    Studies to Learn About Our Services

    We have implemented several case studies that are aimed at helping our customers learn more about our services and understand their importance. Here, you can get an in-depth look at how GuideIT has helped a countless number of companies optimize their technology and achieve their business goals. Take a look at our new case studies today to learn about the impact our services have made for our clients.

    No matter how you hope to achieve operational excellence in your business, GuideIT is here to help with the same services you know and love. From managed IT services to management consulting and all of your cyber security needs, we provide services that can help businesses of all kinds thrive. Want to learn more about how GuideIT can help you? Check out our blog today!

    The Latest Trends in Information Technology

    GuideIT’s very own Chuck Lyles, CEO, recently sat in on the HIMSS SoCal Podcast to discuss emerging trends in information technology and how it relates to the healthcare industry. Listen in to learn about COVID-19’s impact to the IT industry, the importance of the Clinical Service Desk and the latest outsourcing trends in technology. Click the link below to learn more.

    Catalyst Health and GuideIT’s Strategic Services Relationship

    GuideIT serves as Catalyst Health’s strategic IT services partner and enables better results through increased customer satisfaction, improved cost-efficiency ratios, and greater infrastructure reliability and availability. Services include clinical and technical service desk, end user support, service management, infrastructure technology operations support, network management, and information technology security support.

    The Customer

    Catalyst Health is a URAC-accredited clinically integrated network of primary care physicians who have come together to provide high-quality care, helping communities thrive. Catalyst Health began its network of independent primary care physicians in 2015 in North Texas. In the four short years that followed, Catalyst Health has grown to nearly 1,000 primary care providers, with over 300 office locations, and 100 care team members, serving over one million patients. To date, Catalyst Health has saved more than $55 million for the communities it serves. Catalyst Health coordinates care, improves health, and lowers cost – creating sustainable and predictable value.

    The Challenge

    To support the rapid growth they were experiencing, Catalyst Health needed to transform their current Information Technology environment. The organization was building a new care management platform and expanding upon their existing professional service offerings to independent physician practices. Support of these initiatives would require remediating their current environment as the existing infrastructure support model was too costly.

    The organization was seeking a partnership with a Managed Services provider to aid in implementing and supporting a 24x7 scalable model that would improve overall customer satisfaction, provide greater alignment to the business owners, and reduce overall cost as growth occurred. To achieve success of these initiatives, the organization would need to address the following:

    • Implement a high availability infrastructure to minimize downtime and service interruptions
    • Greater focus on end users and responsiveness with Service Level metrics and continuous improvement to support caregivers across the organization
    • Implement ITIL-based best practice standards across the organization that align IT services with the needs of the business
    • Improve cost efficiency ratio as growth occurs

    “The integration of technology has been a vital part of Catalyst’s growth, driving our innovation and allowing us to accomplish our mission of helping communities thrive. GuideIT’s strategic direction has not only made our internal team more connected but has also allowed the physicians in our network to strengthen their relationships with their patients, all while saving everyone time and money. It’s been a win-win situation for all”
    - Dr. Christopher Crow

    The Solution

    Catalyst Health determined the best approach to achieve the objectives of the business expansion would be to engage GuideIT to tap into their Managed Services solutions that would assume IT leadership and provide subject matter experts. GuideIT would deliver a solution that encompasses infrastructure management, monitoring, end user support, clinical applications service desk, technical service desk, vendor management, call center technology support, and security services. This would provide Catalyst Health with the environment to deploy a new Electronic Medical Record platform which will enable greater access to clinical data for caregivers and offer improved responsiveness while improving the long-term health of their patients. Goals of the IT partnership would include:

    • Stabilization of the enterprise infrastructure through Change Management and Best Practice adoption
    • Implementation of IT roadmap and modernization that included a new EMR platform
    • Greater control of IT cost as a percentage of total revenue that would generate cost savings
    • Business stakeholders prioritize IT initiatives for greater focus on success that would drive greater business results

    Why GuideIT

    With GuideIT’s focus on healthcare expertise combined with its technology capabilities to manage a customers support requirements; a set of best practices and processes would be deployed to provide an improved result for Catalyst Health’s technology environment. GuideIT would operationalize a set of technology metrics to allow for greater transparency of performance, resiliency, and predictable results for the organization.

    The best practice approach would create the foundation of operational excellence for Catalyst Health’s IT environment to achieve greater business results as well as on-time delivery and within budget. The underlying cost structure converted from a fixed to variable cost structure to support the scalability and allowed to realize a lower expense cost ratio as quality improved. Having access to critical skill sets that otherwise would be difficult to hire and retain would be of additional value to the organization.

    The Implementation

    GuideIT began with a consultative approach that included fully understanding the unique business model and support needs of Catalyst Health and its customers. Services were built around nine distinct areas: Infrastructure Management and Optimization, Service Desk, End User Field Support, Clinical Applications Support, Project Management, Vendor Management, Invoice Management, Security Enhancement, and Clinic Support.

    1. Service Desk Management - Stakeholders identified the need to implement a more robust service desk that would aid in first call resolution for internal and external customers.
    2. Infrastructure Management Transition - As the business grew, the need to support a larger, more diverse and scalable technology portfolio emerged. GuideIT assessed the environment and identified areas for immediate remediation. These included infrastructure standards procedures and performance management solutions were implemented to optimize the current exiting technology. As a part of this transition, GuideIT transitioned existing customer IT staff and filled identified gaps in skill sets with additional resources.
    3. Expansion of Infrastructure Support - With continued growth and dependency on technology, Catalyst Health expanded the relationship to include 24x7 Service Desk, Clinical Applications Service Desk, and project management. This expanded scope allowed for greater end-to-end problem resolution.
    4. ENHANCEMENTS TO SUPPORT TODAYS ENVIRONMENT - The events of the Pandemic in 2020 brought about new challenges and new solutions. In partnership with Catalyst Health, GuideIT responded with solutions for remote work, remote support, COVID 19 Hotline and most recently a Pharmacy Call Center.

    The Results

    • Improved operational performance of IT systems with improved system availability
    • Seamless integration with the business departments to function as one-team
    • Improved IT solutions and responsiveness to the business
    • Improved efficiency cost ratios for the organization during a high growth period
    • Ability to support increased IT demand with a variable cost structure
    Regional Health System to Accelerate Information Flow and Automate Back Office Processes through GuideIT

    April 25, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced it signed a new contract to provide business intelligence solutions for a regional health system.

    With the objectives of accelerating information flow and optimizing back-office processes, the health system launched an initiative to replace manual reporting that requires information from multiple sources, including its EMR.  GuideIT will integrate critical data sources into a common platform, apply business logic and develop the visualizations necessary to meet the health system’s management objectives.

    “In healthcare, there is an opportunity to strengthen patient care and operating performance through greater and more timely access to information,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “Healthcare providers have more information about their patients and businesses than ever before.  At GuideIT, our healthcare and data specialists help healthcare providers leverage this information to produce tangible business accomplishments.”

    GuideIT Digital Business solutions, which incorporate Digital Transformation, Business Intelligence and Digital Workplace, help organizations to operate more efficiently, convert ideas for creating new business value a reality, and facilitate a dynamic, anytime-anyplace business environment.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Risk and Security Management Solutions Provider Modernizes Go-To-Market Application

    A leading provider of risk and security management solutions needed to re-write and modernize its core go-to-market application.  GuideIT collaborated with the organization on defining its business requirements and developed the new application utilizing a hybrid agile/waterfall development method and continues to enhance the product leveraging agile sprint and release cycles.  The application, with its modern interface, and improved features and functionality, helped the customer expand their subscriber base by more than 95% in a 20-month period.

    How to Protect Your Business From the Growing Complexity of Email-Based Security Attacks

    The Threat Landscape

    Organizations face a growing frequency and complexity of email-based security threats as the predominance of targeted attacks begin with an email. Advanced malware delivery, phishing and domain and identity spoofing can penetrate the primary layer of security provided as part of the email service and damage your business. With the increasing complexity of attacks, relying solely upon base security features and employee training is no longer adequate. Additionally, the types of organizations receiving these email attacks is expanding to include not only large and well-known businesses, but also small businesses because of a perception that there will be fewer security layers.

    Our Approach

    With GuideIT Advanced Email Protection you receive the extra security necessary to address this growing threat. We provide a service configurable to the level of protection you seek that is priced on a variable, per mailbox basis. Based on the requirements established, which encompass the level of protection, filter rules and user parameters, we implement and operate the advanced protection, while also providing you visibility into the threat environment and actions to protect your business.

    How It Works

    We implement a protective shield monitored by security experts in which all email traffic is routed through. Inbound messages are checked against know fraudulent and dangerous URL’s and email addresses, while attachments are scanned for malware. When an incoming email is flagged, it is blocked, quarantined and the GuideIT security team notified. We then work with your team to revise the protective rules as necessary for your business. All outbound messages are scanned to ensure that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) do not leave the organization accidentally or maliciously.

    Read next: How to Protect Your End User Devices from COVID-19 Phishing Attacks

    How You Will Benefit

    Through our Advanced Email Protection solution, you will realize:

    • Greater protection from advanced email threats
    • Increased visibility into the threats being experienced
    • Enhanced email encryption and data loss prevention
    • Extended protection to social media accounts
    • Better compliance and discovery readiness

    Contact us to get started today.

    GuideIT Supports Catalyst Health Network with Seamless Business Continuity Deployment and Continued Care through COVID-19 Pandemic

    June 23, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced the successful implementation of a business continuity plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for Catalyst Health Network, and their independent provider clinics that encompasses over 300 office locations, nearly 1,000 primary care providers and more than one million patients.

    This partnership was developed during an unprecedented time, as Catalyst Health Network were engrossed in meeting the significantly increased healthcare demands of their communities. As a provider of technology managed services, GuideIT managed the transition of the technology process, including telemedicine solutions, remote call center support, work from home support for other clinical support staff, and an expanded health network and COVID-19 hotline.

    “Since the onset of COVID-19, our team has been laser-focused on providing access and available resources to our communities, all while keeping our staff members informed and safe,” said Christopher Crow, M.D. President of Catalyst Health Network. “We are grateful for the partnership we have with GuideIT and their ability to quickly and effectively manage our technology transition during this unprecedented time.”

    As a result of the seamless implementation of the business continuity plan, Catalyst Health Network was able to quickly and successfully deploy many of the first drive-thru testing centers in North Texas, introduce antibody testing at their testing sites and increase the number of their practices using telemedicine from 1 percent to 99 percent, among many other achievements throughout the early stages of the pandemic.

    “Catalyst Health Network and their independent providers have been instrumental in providing access and information to their community at this most critical time,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “We are proud to have supported them during the pandemic and will continue to do so through our partnership moving forward.” 

    About Catalyst Health Network

    Catalyst Health Network is a URAC-accredited clinically integrated network of primary care physicians who have come together to provide high-quality care, helping communities thrive. With nearly 1,000 primary care providers, with over 300 office locations, and 100 care team members, serving over one million patients, Catalyst Health Network improves health, coordinates care, and lowers cost – creating sustainable and predictable value. For more information, visit www.catalysthealthnetwork.com.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    ###

    Leading Regional Bank and GuideIT’s Strategic IT Partnership

    GuideIT serves as a strategic partner to the regional bank's overall IT organization and enables better results through increased responsiveness, end-user satisfaction, and improved cost efficiency ratios. Services consist of End User Management, End-to-End Infrastructure Management and Enterprise Security Services.

    The Customer

    The regional bank is a large commercially oriented, community bank that serves local entrepreneurs, businesses and families. With more than $8B in assets spanning 40 locations, they are one of the largest locally based banks in their area. In addition to commercial, business, and consumer banking, they also offer a full range of mortgage services through their Mortgage Division.

    The Challenge

    The Information Technology organization was seeking alternatives to enable more innovation while continuing to provide great support of its existing business. The bank was embarking upon key strategic initiatives such as greater growth through M&A and rapid deployment of Digital Banking solutions to transform the business. Support of these initiatives and scaling to meet the needs of deploying and operating those new tools while delivering the day to day demands was challenging.

    Secondarily, there were IT support challenges to deploy industry standards and IT best practices throughout the enterprise, and the bank wanted greater responsiveness from the IT organization. The areas of focus included operationalizing a best in class delivery model to achieve improved quality and cost efficiency ratios. Therefore, the organization would also have objectives to address the following:

    • Create an exceptional end-user experience that is responsive and affordable to the business
    • Consistent quality delivery of IT that links technology results with business objectives
    • Management of change that would not disrupt key objectives in support of the strategic growth initiatives

    GuideIT Financial Services Solutions contribute to institutions thriving in a competitive landscape by establishing a cost-effective, strategy-enabling IT function; enabling technological innovation; and converting data into actionable intelligence that enables increased operational efficiency, fraud detection, and risk mitigation. GuideIT also provides solutions in the areas of compliance management, M&A, and cyber security.

    The Solution

    As part of a strategic decision to define a new support model that allowed the bank to focus on these challenges, GuideIT was engaged as an experienced provider of IT services to implement solutions that would bridge operations across their enterprise infrastructure environment and enable business growth. The solutions in the partnership included Engineering, End User Support, Security focused on End Point Protection. The agreement outlined deployment and operationalizing an ITIL-based best practices framework to establish standards of a service delivery model to ensure the achievement of targeted operational improvement, end user satisfaction and cost savings. Key indicators of measurement for the ongoing management and operations included:

    • Identification and management of end user request and service level-based outcomes that measured results
    • Measurement of responsiveness of the IT support function to the business
    • Prioritization and development of IT roadmaps that supported key business drivers with greater results
    • Implementation of a vendor optimization program that resulted in greater cost controls

    Why GuideIT

    Through their breadth and depth of technology skills to manage a complex infrastructure environment, GuideIT deployed a set of best practices and processes to provide an improved result for the bank’s technology environment. GuideIT deployed and managed a set of technology metrics that allowed for greater transparency of performance, resiliency, and predictable results for the constituents and end users of the bank.

    The best practices approach would create the foundation of operational excellence for the bank’s IT environment to achieve greater results measured by service level performance as well as on-time delivery and within budget. The underlying cost structure converted from a fixed to variable cost structure to support the scalability and allowed the bank to realize a lower expense ratio while improving quality; items such as managing telecom cost and utilization of cloud technologies yield greater economic benefit. Having access to critical skill sets that otherwise would be difficult to hire and retain would be of additional value to the organization.

    The Implementation

    GuideIT began with a consultative approach that included the creation of a project plan and acceptance criteria based on ITIL best practices standards. In preparation for transition, GuideIT established a training program to ensure understanding of the applications being transferred for a seamless transition of services. During transition, a command center was created in order to closely track and monitor progress and remediate issues immediately. Post-transition agreed upon responsibilities were assumed and service metric collection began.

    1. Assessment and Planning - Conducted a project initiation workshop to level-set stakeholders on what must be accomplished and by when to develop successful acceptance criteria and to ensure controls were in place for a smooth transition of services support.
    2. Implementation - Developed a plan to perform due diligence for all operational service areas to collect existing procedural documentation to prepare for transition into GuideIT’s ITIL based operational practices.
    3. Training - Developed and rolled out intense multi-week training prior to cutover as part of the service desk transition in order to ensure GuideIT expertise in the applications and related security roles transferring to GuideIT.
    4. Command Center - Created a command center to track and monitor all reported issues during coverage hours from 7am to 7pm to ensure a successful transition of all the banking and operational centers.
    5. Post Go-Live - Assumed operational responsibility of the bank’s IT environment and worked closely with the bank’s IT leadership to monitor and measure all post transition operations. The collection and tabulation of all agreed upon service metrics began in preparation for monthly service level reporting.

    The Results

    • Reduced operational requirements of IT leadership
    • Improved IT solutions and responsiveness to the business
    • Greater linkage to IT initiatives to support the business initiatives
    • Decreased efficiency cost ratios for the organization
    • Use of Industry best practices for support and security services
    • Ability to support increased IT demand with a variable pricing structure
    • Seamless integration with the internal IT department to function as one-team
    Electronic Medical Record Consolidation

    In support of its EMR system consolidation, a large health system engaged GuideIT to abstract patient records from more than seven legacy systems into one cohesive record. Through this engagement, our team abstracted on average over 60,000 patient records a month with an average 98% quality rating. We were selected for this abstraction based on our best-in-class data conversions of EMR systems, unique qualifications, and track record of success providing similar solutions to health system organizations.

    GuideIT Welcomes Jamie Dye to our Advisory Board

    June 16, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that Jamie Dye joined its Advisory Board. The GuideIT Advisory Board helps to shape GuideIT’s strategy and solutions by providing perspectives on business and technology trends.

    Jamie Dye has more than 30 years’ experience in accelerating performance for healthcare services organizations. As the Chief Development Officer for Cedar Gate, a value-based care software and services performance management company, Jamie is responsible for strategic business development and marketing.

    Prior to Cedar Gate, Jamie served as the Chief Development Officer for Global Healthcare Alliance (GHA), the bundled payment solutions provider acquired by Cedar Gate in late 2018. Prior to GHA, Jamie was Chief Development Officer for MedSynergies (now Optum360 Ambulatory Services), a for-profit ambulatory services company focused on improving physician enterprise performance. MedSynergies grew its business from a local to national healthcare services provider, resulting in the company’s strategic acquisition by Optum in 2014.

    Jamie’s prior experience also includes a 20-year tenure with Perot Systems helping to build the organization into a multi-billion-dollar market leader in healthcare services. Jamie received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and his master’s degree in health law from Nova Southeastern University.

    Through its Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Advocare and GuideIT’s Strategic Services Agreement

    GuideIT serves as Advocare’s strategic IT services partner to provide clinical service desk, technical service desk, and infrastructure support services, along with continued EHR management and support of organizational transformational initiatives.

    The Customer

    Advocare, LLC (“Advocare”) is a physician-owned and physician governed multi-specialty medical group operating in New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia metropolitan region. Founded in 1998 as an alliance of 26 physicians in Southern New Jersey, Advocare has grown to become widely recognized and highly respected as one of the region’s largest, independent, multi-specialty physician groups. With 600 providers, Advocare serves approximately 590,000 patients at nearly 200 locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Advocare physicians are regularly recognized among the region’s top doctors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by both patients and consumer magazines.

    The Challenge

    As part of a strategic decision to define a new administrative support model for the organization that included the design and operation of a new set of technology solutions and a new delivery model, Advocare embarked upon an enterprise initiative to in-house all services including Finance, Credentialing, Legal, Compliance, Coding, Human Resources, Marketing, Information Technology, and Revenue Cycle Management. To transition successfully their legacy EMR and Practice Management system to one new platform across nearly 200 practice locations that serve 590,000 patients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Advocare needed to build an infrastructure to support the new transitioned services. The Advocare challenge was to:

    • Access legacy systems (EMR and PMS)
    • Build a new infrastructure to support the in-house and hosted services
    • Order new equipment to support the new platform
    • Train 600 providers and 2,500 employees
    • Transition to the new platform across the enterprise the same day while minimizing business interruption during the implementation
    • Convert to “One Chart”
    • Ensure historical data and all interfaces (lab and radiology) were available day one

    “GuideIT is an exceptional strategic IT partner. They not only understand technology, but also how it is deployed and optimized to enable patient care objectives. GuideIT has supported us through every step of our strategic IT transformation. With technology playing an increasingly important role in patient care, our investment in technology is also an investment in our patients. Advocare is committed to providing the highest quality healthcare to the communities we serve.” – Howard Orel, MD, President and CEO for Advocare

    The Solution

    GuideIT provided IT services and experts in the areas of Infrastructure, Data Migration, Interfaces, Practice Optimization, and Revenue Cycle Management to ensure a successful implementation. To transition to the new platform across the enterprise the same day, GuideIT had to design and implement a parallel network to access the legacy system. In addition, GuideIT recommended to implement a strong Governance structure to manage Advocare’s program to implement a best-in-class Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the supporting organizational transformation initiatives. Post implementation, GuideIT provided clinical service desk, technical service desk, and infrastructure support services. During implementation, the governance structure allowed Advocare to:

    • Monitor progress through command center to ensure a successful transition
    • Coordinate the effort across seven workstreams and identify transition plan
    • Implement solution for quick escalation and resolution of reported issues
    • Ensure all parties involved were informed of the progress and challenges

    Why GuideIT

    Advocare selected GuideIT for not only their understanding of technology, but also their knowledge of how to manage complex implementations by leading an organization through every step of a strategic IT transformation. Advocare selected GuideIT as both organizations share the same culture and vision.

    Through their Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    “We share Advocare’s clinical vision and are committed to helping Advocare leverage technology in order to achieve their patient care objectives. Our team is passionate about IT relationships built upon high quality services, an active and engaging style, and value for money. We are grateful for the opportunities provided by Advocare and excited to write the next chapter in this important relationship.” - Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT

    The Implementation

    GuideIT began with a consultative approach that included the creation of a strong governance structure, identify stakeholders across the organization and build seven (7) distinct workstreams: Contracting, Communication, IT Infrastructure, Implementation, Practice Optimization, Data Migration and Revenue Cycle Management. Two major areas were closely monitored: 1. Data Migration as Advocare wanted to ensure patient safety would not be compromised. 2. New infrastructure as Care Centers needed to have access to the new services day one

    1. Assessment and Planning - Stakeholders were identified to be part of each workstream where they then identified a plan to transition to the new platform. A master plan was established, and a governance framework was created to ensure a quick escalation and resolution of issues and communication across the leadership team.
    2. Implementation - A plan was developed to implement IT and data infrastructure standards and procedures, which included the deployment of new hardware. From there, data extraction from legacy systems was planned, tested, loaded and signed off by each care center using best practices.
    3. Training - Curriculums and a scheduling application were developed to track users and ensure they attended the mandatory web-based modules and instructor-led classes to receive their credentials.
    4. Command Center - A command center was created to track and monitor from 7am to 10pm all reported issues to ensure a successful transition of all the care centers.
    5. Post Go-Live - IT support team took over the support of each care center and worked closely with the appropriate support.

    The Results

    • Successfully transitioned all care centers to the new platform
    • Trained all providers and staff via instructor led classroom and web-based modules
    • Implemented a standardized workflow process
    • Empowered physicians to access patient records from legacy systems to minimize disruption
    • In-housed departments including finance, credentialing, billing, human resources, marketing, compliance and coding
    Considerations for Successful Medical Record Abstraction

    As healthcare organizations implement and transition to new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems, they frequently find that they cannot transfer all of the needed patient data electronically. Through our medical record abstraction services, our team of experts can help analyze and manually migrate pertinent patient data into your new system seamlessly.

    Our Approach

    Patient safety and physician satisfaction is dependent on having a complete medical record.  Our U.S.-based team of medical records experts ensures the seamless movement from one medical record to another without impacting your organization’s ability to deliver quality to your patients and providers. Our abstraction team consists of experienced abstractors, quality assurance specialists, and leaders whose primary focus is on your patient data.  We use proprietary tools to assign, track, QA, and report on your data to ensure the process and outcomes meet your organizational standards.

    How We Do It

    • Engage – We engage with our customer during the analysis portion of our work to create a scalable approach based on patient population. Our approach allows both parties to get an understanding of what data needs to be moved, where the data is located and how the end users will access the data in the new system.
    • Analyze – We analyze our customer’s data before combining data from multiple systems or multiple locations into a shared data set in an effort to define the critical data.  We augment electronic conversion to bring data into our customer’s new system that is too risky to move through automated tools.
    • Plan – Once we have identified the critical data and defined the source and target systems, we develop and implement a plan that specifies how the abstractors will locate specific data and how it will appear in the new EMR system.
    • Train – Our trainers work with our customer to ensure our team is trained to customer standards. Our abstractors cannot access live systems until they are proficient.
    • Report – We report on agreed metrics at the frequency our customer needs to track the progress of migration

    Through GuideIT Healthcare Solutions, we help healthcare organizations to improve the quality of care, reduce cost, and respond to industry imperatives. More information is available at: https://www.guideit.com/industries/healthcare/

    Dental Insurance Provider and GuideIT Renew Information Technology Partnership

    June 1, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced the renewal of an Information Technology agreement with one of the nation’s premier dental insurance providers spanning coverage to approximately 30 million consumers throughout the US.

    Under the agreement, GuideIT will continue to provide managed services solutions of critical infrastructure management including network management for all devices across the dental network in support of their business needs. GuideIT has assembled a network operations team that provides 24x7x365 supervision, monitoring, and management of the network, servers, databases, firewalls, devices and related external services. In addition, GuideIT’s services include Technical Service Desk support for problem resolution enhancing user satisfaction.

    “We have had the pleasure of working with this customer for many years and are proud to have the opportunity to continue serving in support of their business,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “Through this extension, we look forward to our continued partnership providing IT managed services solutions that deliver real business value.”

    Through its Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Large Financial Services Corporation and GuideIT Sign AWS Consulting Partnership

    May 12, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT is pleased to announce the signing of a contract to provide AWS Consulting Services to one of the ten largest banks in the US and early adopter of AWS.

    In an effort to get the majority of their team members AWS Certified, the financial services corporation engaged GuideIT to build and teach an internal curriculum to jump-start the initiative. In a three-month period, GuideIT successfully built and trained the team members on phase one of the program. The customer was pleased with the progress we made in the first phase of the program and asked GuideIT to continue to provide consulting services. The goal of having all team members certified allows for greater collaboration between their executives and technical level team members.

    “In our continuing high-growth AWS Practice, we are excited to help our customer reach their goal of having all their employees AWS Certified,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “In being an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, our experienced team members are not only able to provide external expertise, but they can also provide internal guidance and training.”

    GuideIT banking solutions contribute to banks thriving in a competitive landscape by establishing a cost-effective, strategy-enabling IT function; enabling technological innovation; and converting data into actionable intelligence that enables increased operational efficiency, fraud detection, and risk mitigation.  GuideIT also provides solutions in the areas of compliance management, mergers and acquisitions, and cyber security.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Skilled Nursing Facilities Provider and GuideIT Sign Contract Renewal and Expand Scope of Services

    May 4, 2020 – Plano, TX – A large skilled nursing facilities provider with facilities in Texas and Louisiana and GuideIT today announced the signing of a contract renewal for continued Service Desk support and Security Management Solutions.

    Functioning as the skilled nursing facilities providers strategic IT partner, GuideIT will continue to provide Service Desk support for level 1 user resolution and also enhance user satisfaction by adding level 2 support for problem management to caregivers throughout the organization. Included as part of the extended partnership, GuideIT will deploy and operate End User Protection Security solutions across the enterprise to enhance a more secure work environment. These services will span all the nursing home providers IT and applications, along with desktop security for more than 1,700 devices. GuideIT began working with the skilled nursing facilities provider in 2017 when the two organizations entered into an agreement for service desk solutions.

    “We have enjoyed a great partnership with the skilled nursing facilities provider over the last few years and are excited to provide an expanded scope of service desk support and providing our Security Management solutions,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “Our experience in providing solutions to healthcare organizations allows greater confidence and results in the delivery of IT for caregivers providing care.”

    Through its Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Meals on Wheels Collin County
    COMMUNITY
    Meals on Wheels Collin County
    We are proud to support Meals on Wheels Collin County and their mission to combat hunger and isolation in disabled and older adults by providing nutritious meals enabling them to remain healthy and independent within their families, homes, and communities.
    Community Hospital Strengthens Clinical Support Through GuideIT

    April 27, 2020 – Plano, TX – A private, nonprofit, safety-net hospital serving 1.3 million residents and GuideIT today announced a new multi-year clinical end user support agreement.

    With the increased healthcare demand supporting COVID-19, the hospital will be doubling its bed capacity, which will require the support of additional clinical staff. The hospital is partnering with GuideIT, a leading provider of IT solutions in the healthcare industry, to support the hospital’s clinical needs in this environment.  GuideIT will implement and operate a multi-level Clinical Service Desk solution that will allow caregivers to focus on patient care for the healthcare organization.  With this new solution in place, the hospital will realize better productivity, improved clinician satisfaction and increased visibility across delivery teams. GuideIT was selected for this implementation based on its unique qualifications and track record of success providing similar solutions to health care organizations.

    “Our team is dedicated to serving our customers by providing high-quality solutions that contribute to their business objectives,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “We look forward to contributing to the hospital’s plans to provide clinical IT solutions designed to strengthen patient care and improve quality of care throughout the communities the hospital serves.”

    Through its Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    GuideIT Providing Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loan Application Support

    GuideIT is supporting community and regional banks to expeditiously process Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan applications. We have a history of developing creative solutions in order to meet the needs of our customers and are readily available to provide the following PPP support services:

    • Assist with updating the status of PPP loans in process
    • Assist with PPP reconciliations
    • Assist with data entry needs
    • Participate in review of PPP systems logic
    • Participate in review of PPP data integrity

    These loans are critical in supporting businesses and their employees during this COVID-19 crisis. Contact us today to see how we can help: https://www.guideit.com/contact-us/

    How to Protect Your End User Devices from COVID-19 Phishing Attacks
    With more employees working from home due to the COVID-19 crisis, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to ensure their networks are secure. Since the start of the pandemic, phishing and SMS phishing attacks have increased over 600% as cybercriminals are exploiting public fears to target individuals. Now, with the release of government stimulus checks, the attacks will likely increase over the next weeks and months. Be wary of emails that include the following in subject lines or information:

    • Coronavirus or COVID-19
    • Unsolicited stimulus check status or registration
    • Messages offering something in short supply, or premium services for free (e.g., Free Netflix Premium Service)
    • Offers for cures or vaccines for COVID-19
    • Being told there is a limited time to respond (e.g., in 24 hours or immediately)
    • Any message written to create panic, fear, hope, or pique curiosity (e.g., Hospital notification of close contact with a patient diagnosed with COVID-19)
    • Any sender claiming to be someone official (e.g., bank, doctor, lawyer, government agency; IRS, WHO)

    In a time where cybercriminals are united, focused and motivated in exploiting the fear and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, it is important to remain calm and skeptical when receiving unsolicited email or text messages. Review unsolicited messages for the following:

    • How would the sender have this specific contact information?
    • Research reputable online resources for any unsolicited offers that seem too good to be true
    • No government agency or corporate entity will ask for credentials or personal information via email or text

    GuideIT Managed Security Services has solutions designed to help your company combat phishing and SMS phishing attacks. Remain vigilant, aware and be safe. You can find more information about GuideIT’s solution to test and address vulnerabilities here: https://www.guideit.com/cyber-assurance/

    Tips on How to Maintain High Security Standards While Working From Home

    As the number of employees working from home continues to rise due to the COVID-19 crisis, companies are finding themselves in unchartered waters as they make the move to a remote workforce. The number of team members working from home has increased to over 90% of the company, a sharp increase from the former average of 15%. While organizations scramble to adjust to the “new normal”, they risk becoming targets for hackers and scams. Fortunately, there are a few simple actions that companies can recommend to their employees to improve security and mitigate risk around the work from home strategy.

    1. Make sure that WI-FI passwords are complex and utilizing WPA2 encryption at a minimum
    2. Ensure that the usernames and passwords on home routers have been changed from the default (admin – admin or admin-password login combinations)
    3. Do not use wireless SSIDs that can be associated with, or are easily identifiable to the employee, the employee’s family or the employee’s home address
    4. The router’s remote management setting should be disabled
    5. Ensure router firmware is up to date
    6. Location doesn’t matter, treat the home office as if it is the corporate office:
      • Only use work computers for work related activities
      • Stay away from questionable websites and suspicious hyperlinks
      • Don’t allow family members to use work computers for non-work-related activities such as:
        • School work
        • Gaming
        • Home business
        • Social media

    Though this “new normal” may be temporary, companies should employ an “always on” end-user protection strategy that ensures all devices are secure, regardless of the network. GuideIT Managed Security Services provides managed anti-virus and patch management protection that not only secures devices in the office but wherever the office needs to be at a point in time on any given day. You can find more information about GuideIT’s secure device enablement here: https://www.guideit.com/solutions/cyber-security/end-user-protection/

    How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams
    GuideIT Selected to Provide Managed IT Services to Zoological Park

    March 26, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced they signed a three-year managed services agreement with a large zoological park in Texas.

    As the Zoo continues to expand their operations, they will rely on GuideIT to optimize and standardize their IT environment. Through this agreement, GuideIT will provide a multi-level support solution that includes end user support, technical service desk, service management, server and network support and endpoint protection. GuideIT was selected for this project based on their prior work with nonprofit organizations and their continued support of the Zoo’s mission of providing a great experience for the community.

    “We are excited for the opportunity to implement an integrated delivery model for the organization,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT.  “The strategic implementation of services will help them realize a stronger and more efficient IT environment resulting in greater productivity, IT satisfaction and security.

    GuideIT provides the experience, proven processes and expertise necessary to successfully implement technological change.  Its result-focused approach to empowering business emphasizes delivering services that enable the creation of value, leveraging its broad expertise of technology executives and practitioners, and simplifying the complex while bringing the flexibility and creativity needed to succeed.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    GuideIT Statement on COVID-19

    The health of GuideIT’s customers, team members and business partners is our first priority.  In response to the risks posed by the COVID-19 Coronavirus and taking into account the recommendations of public health authorities, GuideIT is taking the following actions:

    • Eliminating non-essential travel for its team members.
    • Implementing work-from-home strategies where practical.
    • Coordinating efforts with its customers where GuideIT team members are onsite at customer locations.
    • Encouraging its team members to practice social distancing techniques, including substituting virtual meetings for in-person meetings when practical and avoiding large gatherings whether for work or personal purposes.
    • Encouraging team members to heighten their hygiene practices.

    Our team will be working to continue providing services to our customers and we are keeping those who have been personally affected in our thoughts.

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    GuideIT Selected to Provide Managed IT Services to Registered Financial Advisory Firm

    January 8, 2020 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced the signing of a three-year managed services agreement with a registered financial advisory firm with approximately $4.5 billion in assets under management.

    With its IT infrastructure in need of immediate change, GuideIT was engaged to assume responsibility to manage the entirety of its environment in less than two weeks. GuideIT is providing a multi-level support solution that includes technical service desk, server and network support, Salesforce support and optimization, vendor management, and Cloud AWS. GuideIT was selected for this project based on its prior infrastructure management experience, ability to deploy experienced agents to rapidly resolve issues, and track record of success providing similar solutions to financial institutions.

    “We are excited for the opportunity to work with this customer to lead their day-to-day IT needs and realize a stronger and more efficient operating environment,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “Our experience in managing infrastructure, applications and service desk allows us to meet operational standards, while maximizing return on investment.”

    GuideIT financial solutions contribute to institutions thriving in a competitive landscape by establishing a cost-effective, strategy-enabling IT function; enabling technological innovation; and converting data into actionable intelligence that enables increased operational efficiency, fraud detection, and risk mitigation. GuideIT also provides solutions in the areas of compliance management, mergers and acquisitions, and cybersecurity.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cybersecurity solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    The Importance of Implementing a Data Protection Strategy in Your Organization

    Businesses, large or small, are being exposed to a growing number of cyber threats on a daily basis. Recent trends show that data breaches and hacks are targeted at common workplace endpoint devices that serve as the initial gateway into corporate networks. In addition, many companies do not have a well-rounded security program in place, making them vulnerable to malicious hacks. Here are some quick tips on how our Cyber Security solutions can help identify and test key exposure points into your network and safeguard your business and protect your data, systems and people.

    Identify Network Vulnerabilities

    In today’s highly mobile and connected environment, end-user devices such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices are targeted by malicious actors to gain access into enterprise networks. Once a network has been infiltrated, hackers are privy to customer and employee information, which may include intellectual property, legal information, protected health information (PHI), and personally identifiable information (PII). Once this information is collected, it is often impossible to replace and can be dangerous in the hands of criminals.

    With our comprehensive set of primary security countermeasures, we can protect your most vulnerable devices, secure your data, and reduce the potential for breaches or outages.

    Test Key Exposure Points

    In the age of IoT, it is important to understand the strength of your current cyber security program, as well as the types of threats around you. According to market research, cybercrimes accounted for more than $2 trillion in losses in 2019. In more than 50% of cases, companies experienced cyber-attacks through distributed denial-of-service (DDos), phishing, and social engineering.

    Through our Cyber Assurance services, we can identify gaps in your organization’s cyber security strategy through phishing tests and infrastructure penetration testing to provide a 360O view of the effectiveness of your current strategy.

    Implement Best Practices

    It is no longer safe to assume that your business is not worth being attacked. According to 2019 data, over 40% of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses because they don’t have and/or believe they need a well-rounded security program. If you are a small to medium-sized business, here are some best practices to consider:

    • Deploy an enterprise-class anti-virus software
    • Create and implement a patch management program
    • Create and implement a backup and recovery program
    • Test and validate backups
    • Consider purchasing an incident response retainer from a reputable MSSP
    • Consider investing in an email protection solution
    • Inspect what you expect
    • Train your staff and ensure that security is discussed early and often

    When implementing a Data Protection Strategy, it is recommended to consult a trusted partner to guide you through the process. At GuideIT, our Cyber Security solutions safeguard your business from malicious cyber threats by utilizing a configurable straightforward approach that provides you with the most protection for your investment. Contact us to learn more.

    How Healthcare IT Consulting and Medical Data Abstraction Can Improve Your Health Records

    As the need to aggregate clinical data with the consolidation of Electronic Health Record platforms (or EMR) increases, conversion of data to assist in the lowering of cost and improved quality of care is a large undertaking for an organization. Data abstraction is the process to build a consolidated database for greater use by clinicians. The result is a medical source of truth that will optimize the safety, security and efficiency of the patients' electronic health record. Here’s everything you need to know about data abstraction and healthcare consulting at GuideIT:

    Maximize Efficiency with Healthcare Consulting from GuideIT

    In general, abstraction is the process of reducing information into a set of essential characteristics for efficiently managing medical records. It allows disparate patient data to become readily available in the form of a consolidated electronic chart. Undergoing this process allows providers and their staff to care for each patient without needing to reference multiple legacy software systems for historic and reporting purposes.

    Supports Patient Safety by Triggering Decision Support Alerts

    Data abstraction allows for the triggering of decision support alerts that are related to the information entered during abstraction. Commonly abstracted data includes allergies, medications, immunizations and patient history to better assist providers in caring for patients. When documentation is entered which could contradict best practice of care, the system is able to alert the provider based on the abstracted historical data. The decision to abstract data into a new EHR will provide a more cohesive and longitudinal record with which the provider can make better informed medical decisions.

    Consolidating different forms of information and documentation systems can be complicated and time-consuming. Maximizing the benefits of abstraction means devoting massive amounts of time and people to complete the job correctly. If you’re interested in data abstraction, our healthcare consulting specialists are ready to guide you through the process of enhancing your medical records. Contact us to learn more.

    GuideIT Named as One of Dallas Fort Worth’s 2020 Best And Brightest Companies to Work For®

    December 2, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it was recognized as One of Dallas Fort Worth’s 2020 Best And Brightest Companies to Work For®. This is the fourth year of recognition for GuideIT.

    The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are assessed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more.

    “We are committed to running our business with distinction and being a great place to build a career,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “This is why one of our main strategic programs is our Human Capital Management program, which supports the mission of hiring top talent, recognizing and rewarding team success and individual accomplishments, and emphasizing the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.”

    GuideIT establishes corporate objectives emphasizing career advancement, professional development, internal communications, and people programs innovation.  In its most recent team member satisfaction survey, 94% of respondents indicated that they enjoyed working at GuideIT, and 90% would recommend GuideIT to a friend.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    GuideIT Acquires Cloud Service Provider Entasis Technology

    GuideIT, LLC today announced that it completed the acquisition of cloud service provider Entasis to expand its solutions in support of providing customers with optimized and elastic cloud solutions.

    Entasis, whose solutions include strategic cloud advisory, agile development, and cloud integration and implementation will expand GuideIT’s cloud capabilities.  These capabilities focus on optimizing IT environments by shifting from physical infrastructure to scalable capacity, optimizing expense related to underutilized capital investment caused by the previous step function additions to capacity, and increasing infrastructure and application availability and reliability.  Both GuideIT and Entasis are AWS partners.  Matthew Mattoon, CEO for Entasis Technology, will take a leadership role in the further development of GuideIT’s cloud solutions.

    “This acquisition underscores our commitment to investing in solutions that contribute to our customers advancing their businesses,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “Sharing a great entrepreneurial spirit and customer commitment, Entasis makes a great addition to our company.”

    “GuideIT’s approach to managing technology within an industry and business-specific context, reputation for an exceptional customer experience and commitment to team culture and development creates an exciting opportunity for the Entasis team,” said Matthew Mattoon, CEO for Entasis Technology. “As our two companies began working together, the benefits of approaching the market together became clear.  We are excited for what the future holds.”

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    About Entasis

    Entasis Technology is a cloud consulting business that modifies conventional approaches to technology to achieve a more optimized and targeted set of outcomes.  Through its advisory, implementation, and development services, Entasis delivers cloud solutions that are elastic by nature, resilient in design and achieve targeted performance levels on demand.

    Leveraging Service Management Best Practices to Strengthen IT’s Perceived Value
    A diversified investment firm was experiencing IT perception issues because their services were not presented in a manner that business leaders could quantify and evaluate. Building upon the tactical service management processes and system in place, we developed and documented more than 80 service categories and created a business-oriented service catalog used to communicate business value, govern the provisioning of services, and increase perception of the value created by IT.
    Rapidly Growing Healthcare Provider Optimizes Cost of Expansion through GuideIT
    In support of its rapid facility expansion plans, a provider of specialized health services needed scalable healthcare project management expertise to oversee the technology infrastructure and software deployments associated with facility launches. We trained a team of project managers who can be deployed on demand via an optimized, variable cost structure.
    Healthcare Provider Meets Rigorous Deployment Deadline Through GuideIT
    A healthcare provider needed to upgrade the technology infrastructure at approximately 175 locations to prepare for a new EHR in slightly more than two months. We evaluated the technology configuration at all locations and then deployed approximately 160 new networks, 1,700 new PC’s, and migrated existing infrastructure components to the new networks in seven weeks to meet the EHR implementation deadline.
    Enhance Cyber Protection

    A healthcare organization had their cyber security approach assessed but needed expertise to evaluate the findings and establish a strategy and road map for improvement. We helped the organization rationalize the assessment plan, prioritize actions and investments, and develop a road map for implementation.

    Enhance Essential Infrastructure Security
    A national financial investment advisor and benefits firm wanted to enhance their Office365 environment and increase the protection of critical information. We implemented Microsoft Office365 security enhancements to ensure that the organization could collaborate and communicate both effectively and securely, while implementing data loss prevention measures to ensure critical business data remained safe and secure.
    Optimize Technology Infrastructure

    A regional bank set out to strengthen their technology infrastructure, improve end user support and optimize expense. We assumed responsibility for their IT infrastructure and end user support functions, reducing expense, transforming the end user experience, and re mediating approximately 30,000 uncompleted critical infrastructure and applications updates that had exposed the bank to cyber security risk.

    Reduce Cycle Time and Optimize Expense
    A technology company set out to transform the technology infrastructure that supported customer-facing solutions and key business applications. Its objectives were to eliminate stranded capacity, reduce step-functions in cost driven by physical infrastructure and gain better linearity and visibility into the unit cost of capacity.
    We migrated the customer-facing security solutions and business applications to a public cloud environment. By doing so, we reduced the time it took to onboard new customers due to a shift from physical infrastructure to scalable AWS capacity, optimized expense related to underutilized capital investment caused by the previous step function additions to capacity, and increased the availability and reliability of the environment by utilizing the AWS architecture across availability zones.
    C.K. Lee Joins GuideIT’s Advisory Board

    June 5, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT, LLC today announced that C.K. Lee joined its Advisory Board. The GuideIT Advisory Board helps to shape GuideIT’s strategy and solutions by providing perspectives on business and technology trends.

    C.K. Lee is the Dallas-based Managing Director of Financial Services Investment Banking for Piper Jaffray & Co. He has an extensive background in banking strategic planning, regulatory advisory services and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Lee began his career as a staff member on Capitol Hill and was a federal regulator for ten years at the FDIC and the Office of Thrift Supervision. He has led dozens of merger and acquisition and capital-raising transactions on behalf of clients throughout the country, representing nearly $2 billion in aggregate deal value.

    “C.K. brings comprehensive banking and regulatory expertise and an exceptional track record of success in serving community and regional banks, said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “His perspectives will be exceptionally valuable to our company as we continue to expand our solutions to serve the needs of financial institutions.”

    “A significant opportunity exists for banks to enhance the customer experience, increase efficiency and strengthen compliance management,” said CK Lee, GuideIT Advisory Board Member. “GuideIT is bringing a promising new perspective and approach to these business challenges. I am excited by the opportunity to assist this dynamic and growing team.”

    Financial Solutions by GuideIT contribute to banks thriving in a competitive landscape by strengthening the customer experience, improving efficiency, managing regulatory requirements and protecting the enterprise. Its solutions span regulatory compliance, information technology, security, and business process automation. GuideIT is the sponsor of a multi-bank coalition who are collaboratively working to address banking technology challenges and opportunities.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Healthcare Providers Optimize Benefits of EHR Systems Through GuideIT

    May 29, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced a series of business outcomes healthcare providers realized through its Electronic Health Record (EHR) optimization solutions.

    GuideIT’s healthcare solutions position technology from a business and patient care perspective to best serve the healthcare provider’s business objectives; optimize technology investment and ongoing expense; achieve the security, compliance and privacy necessary for success; and enable data-driven business management.  Optimization of the EHR and the supporting application environment is a focus area for healthcare providers because of the importance of taking a holistic approach to new system deployment, prior investments in EHR solutions that have not yielded the expected returns and healthcare provider acquisition and consolidation activity.

    “EHR optimization is central to achieving clinical efficiency and caregiver satisfaction,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT.  “We blend an approach that encompasses implementation, conversion and support with a flexible style of engaging in the best way to support a customer to produce the results desired."

    For its customers, GuideIT:

    • Managed, for a major physician practice, implementation of a best-in-class EHR, supporting organizational transformation initiatives, developing system interfaces, and building a secure infrastructure to safeguard the systems and patient information
    • Assessed an in-progress EHR implementation, recommending a remediation plan and then providing the program management, interface and testing expertise to position the program to achieve expected outcomes
    • Built a health system’s first clinical service desk in support of a transition to a new EHR with the objectives of providing a high degree of first call resolution and enhancing caregiver productivity
    • Reduced runout healthcare application support expense by more than 25% for a regional health system, while enabling the internal team to focus on implementing the new EHR
    • Optimized clinical workflows that increased productivity by more than 30%
    • Developed a health analytics program by integrating approximately 250 data file formats in order to provide a complete health history on patients
    • Converted more than 240,000 patient records through an accelerated medical record abstraction project meeting all time, quality and budget objectives

    “Technological challenges can be inhibitors to healthcare providers achieving targeted success factors,” said Jeff Smith, Vice President, Healthcare for GuideIT.  “Our healthcare expertise and technology solutions are central to enhancing the return on investment from EHR’s, achieving the expected benefits from acquisitions, and strengthening the operational technology foundation that supports caregivers and the business.”

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

     

    Elara Caring Selects GuideIT to Help Information Technology Transformation Across the Enterprise

    ADDISON, Texas, May 17, 2019 – Elara Caring, one of the nation’s leading provider of home health care services, selected GuideIT to assist with the consolidation and transformation of information technology (IT) infrastructure that enables Elara Caring to care for approximately 60,000 patients across 16 states daily.

    GuideIT is providing program management on IT infrastructure projects including network, cloud, security and email.  

    Helping Elara Caring’s 35,000 team members provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place is a critical component of the company’s IT responsibilities.

    “We are excited to be working with GuideIT as we transform Elara Caring into a national leader,” said Dave Marchand, Elara Caring Chief Information Officer. “We take our role in providing patient comfort and care very personally, and our IT infrastructure is a major component of our strategy.”

    “Elara Caring has a compelling vision for providing exceptional care,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT.  “With our focus on supporting growth and acquisition strategies for healthcare providers though cost-efficient technology services, we are committed to contributing to Elara Caring’s transformation.”

    GuideIT provides IT services that makes technology contribute to business success. GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. 

    About Elara Caring

    Elara Caring is one of the nation’s largest providers of home-based care, with a footprint in the Northeast, Midwest and South. Elara brings together three award-winning organizations — Great Lakes Caring, National Home Health Care, and Jordan Health Services — into one transformational company, which provides the highest-quality comprehensive care continuum of personal care, skilled home health, hospice care and behavioral health. The company, comprised of 35,000 caregivers serving over 60,000 patients and their families daily, in 225 locations across 16 states, is focused on providing patients with the “right care, at the right time, in the right place.”

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Solis Mammography to Leverage GuideIT to Support Growth Initiatives

    April 16, 2019 – Arlington and Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced it has been engaged to provide project management services in support of Solis Mammography, the nation’s largest independent provider of breast screening and diagnostic services. Solis Mammography is rapidly expanding across the United States.

    To facilitate the technological preparation required to launch new centers, Solis Mammography will rely on GuideIT to project manage start-up activities related to its technology infrastructure and applications. GuideIT will also coordinate with business functions to support new facility launches. Through this arrangement, Solis Mammography will realize an optimized, variable cost structure, while gaining a technology partner with a deep background in healthcare technology and deployment management.

    “Technology is a critical component of our expansion plans, said Guhan Raghu, Solis Mammography’s Chief Information Officer. “GuideIT’s background, solution fit, and flexibility make them an excellent partner.”

    “We are excited for the opportunity to contribute to Solis Mammography’s expansion,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “We specialize in enabling healthcare organizations to overcome the technological complexities of rapid growth, whether organic or through acquisitions.”

    Through its Healthcare Solutions Group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices, achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments, accelerate the benefits of acquisitions, and realize greater visibility. This enables an accelerated pace of business and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    About Solis Mammography

    The nation’s largest independent provider of breast screening and diagnostic services, Solis Mammography has been dedicated to helping women achieve and maintain breast health and peace of mind for more than 30 years and more than 5 million procedures. As a pioneer and innovator in 3D mammography and as an architect and early advocate for SmartCurve, Solis Mammography has stayed at the forefront of breast health by continuing to deliver a better experience and a more accurate mammogram to the generations of women we serve. For more information, go to www.solismammo.com.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success. Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers. Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth. More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Provider of Primary and Specialty Care to Strengthen IT Function Through GuideIT


    March 11, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it has been engaged by a provider of primary and specialty care to assess and strengthen its IT function.


    In support of its strategic technology objectives, GuideIT will provide a Chief Information Officer to lead its IT function.  GuideIT will conduct a comprehensive enterprise IT assessment, including assessments of the IT function’s alignment with and support for the provider’s business strategy; process, procedures and tools; IT organization and personnel; information technology risk and compliance; and a review of active projects.  GuideIT began working with the healthcare provider early in 2018, with a focus on clinical consulting, program management and application architecture and testing.


    “Despite increased investment, the strategic benefit of technology can remain elusive for healthcare providers,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “With an approach that spans advisory services to implementation, we position IT as an efficient, strategic asset that enables the creation of business value.”


    GuideIT Management Consulting positions technology to be an efficient, responsive enabler of a business.  Through its enterprise assessment, IT strategy and transformation, strategic sourcing and program management practices, customers achieve better alignment of IT to their business strategies, realize the targeted benefits from acquisitions, reduce risk, and increase efficiency.

    About GuideIT


    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

     

    Advocare and GuideIT Sign Strategic, Multi-Year Services Agreement


    March 7, 2019 – Plano, TX – Advocare,
    LLC a leading physician owned multi-specialty medical group with nearly 600
    providers and 200 locations, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, representing
    pediatrics, adult primary care, and specialty providers and GuideIT today
    announced they signed a strategic, multi-year IT services agreement.


    This agreement represents the
    next step in Advocare’s strategic IT Transformation Program launched in
    2017.  Functioning as Advocare's strategic IT partner, GuideIT will
    provide clinical service desk, technical service desk, and infrastructure
    support services.  GuideIT will continue to manage Advocare’s program to
    implement a best-in-class Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the supporting
    organizational transformation initiatives.


    “GuideIT is an exceptional
    strategic IT partner”, said Howard Orel, MD, President and CEO for
    Advocare.  “They not only understand technology, but also how it is deployed
    and optimized to enable patient care objectives.  GuideIT has supported us through every step
    of our strategic IT transformation.”


    Guide IT was initially engaged to
    advise Advocare on its separation from its current IT provider and to support
    the procurement of a new Electronic Health Record system.  Last year,
    GuideIT’s services expanded to lead the EHR transformation.  This strategic IT Services Agreement
    represents the next step in the relationship.


    Dr. Orel added, “With technology
    playing an increasingly important role in patient care, our investment in
    technology is also an investment in our patients.  Advocare is committed to providing the
    highest quality healthcare to the communities we serve.”


    Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT
    said, “We share Advocare’s clinical vision and are committed to helping
    Advocare leverage technology in order to achieve their patient care
    objectives.  Our team is passionate about
    IT relationships built upon high quality services, an active and engaging
    style, and value for money.  We are
    grateful for the opportunities provided by Advocare and excited to write the
    next chapter in this important relationship.”

    Through its Healthcare solutions
    group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to
    strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and
    return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the
    benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace
    of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological
    foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes. 

    About Advocare


    Advocare, LLC (“Advocare”) is a physician-owned and physician governed multi-specialty medical group operating in New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia metropolitan region. Founded in 1998 as an alliance of 26 pediatricians in Southern New Jersey, Advocare has grown to become widely recognized and highly respected as one of the region’s largest, independent, multi-specialty physician groups. With nearly 600 providers, Advocare serves approximately 590,000 patients at nearly 200 locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Advocare physicians are regularly recognized among the region’s top doctors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by both patients and consumer magazines.  https://www.advocaredoctors.com/

    About GuideIT


    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

     

    GuideIT Named as One of The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in Dallas-Fort Worth

    Plano, TX - March 4, 2019 - GuideIT today announced that it was recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Dallas-Fort Worth for 2019.  This is the second consecutive year of recognition for GuideIT.

    The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® competition identifies and honors companies that deliver exceptional human resource practices and an impressive commitment to their employees. Organizations are assessed based on categories including communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, and retention.

    "We are a business that succeeds because of our people,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “This is why one of our main strategic programs is our Human Capital Management program, which supports the mission of hiring top talent, having a supportive career management and rewards system, and making our company a great place to work and grow a career.”

    GuideIT establishes corporate objectives emphasizing career advancement, professional development, internal communications, and people programs innovation.  In its most recent team member satisfaction survey, 94% of respondents indicated that they enjoyed working at GuideIT.

    Lyles added, “We are excited to provide a great entrepreneurial experience and supportive environment to help our team members achieve their professional and personal goals.”

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    KLAS Recognizes GuideIT for Customer Satisfaction in 2018 AMS & Help Desk Report

    February 26, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT, LLC today it announced that its managed services offering is fully rated by KLAS and was included in the 2018 AMS and Help Desk report as top-rated Broad Firm with a 93.3 overall performance score received through customer feedback.

    KLAS Research is a healthcare IT data and insights company providing the industry with accurate, honest and impartial research on the software and services used by providers and payers worldwide. KLAS puts forth significant effort to find the true story of what is happening with every vendor solution.

    “We are committed to IT services relationships built upon high-quality services, an active and engaging style, and value for money,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT.  “Our healthcare team has decades of experience helping healthcare organizations leverage technology to improve patient care and achieve business objectives.  This experience, our drive to make technology a business enabler and an approach emphasizing an IT experience that delivers is central to the results we achieve.”

    GuideIT rated above market average for overall satisfaction, value for money, service delivery met timelines, quality of service staff, strategic expertise, executive involvement, innovative tools and/or processes, and avoids nickel-and-diming.  Customers rated GuideIT at 100% for, “Would you buy again?”.  Customers highlighted GuideIT’s accountability for meeting timelines and SLA’s, its focus on building collaborative relationships with internal IT teams, and the level of executive experience for a smaller company.

    Lyles added, “Our team rallies behind a goal to redefine the very nature of IT services.  It guides us in how we provide services, conduct business and interact with every member of a customer’s team.  The 93.3 overall rating and customer relationship feedback received through KLAS’ independent research confirms that we are creating an IT experience that delivers.”

    Through its Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    2018 AMS & Help Desk: Which firms are exceeding expectations and how?, December 2018, © KLAS 2019, https://klasresearch.com/report/ams-and-help-desk-2018/1276

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cybersecurity solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    About KLAS

    KLAS is a data-driven company on a mission to improve the world's healthcare by enabling provider and payer voices to be heard and counted. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals, KLAS collects insights on so ware, services and medical equipment to deliver reports, trending data and statistical overviews. KLAS data is accurate, honest and impartial. The research directly reflects the voice of healthcare professionals and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. To learn more about KLAS and the insights we provide, visit www.KLASresearch.com.

    Regional Health System Extends Applications Services Contracts with GuideIT

    January 18, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it has extended contracts in support of a regional health system’s applications.

    The regional health system will utilize GuideIT to provide support on more than 15 applications utilized by its patient-facing team.  GuideIT will implement system changes, provide end user support, and monitor applications and associate interface queues.  This is the second extension of this contract.

    “Starting with small projects three years ago, we collaboratively built an operational and consulting relationship spanning application support, clinical service desk, applications consulting, and infrastructure program management," said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. Serving customers by providing high-quality services, value for money and an exceptional customer experience continue to create new opportunity to contribute to customer business objectives.”

    Through its Healthcare solutions group, GuideIT deploys the technologies that enable healthcare organizations to strengthen business management practices; achieve the clinical outcomes and return on investment expected from technology investments; accelerate the benefits of acquisitions; and realize greater visibility, an accelerated pace of business, and better information flow through a stronger technological foundation and enhanced IT operational expertise and processes.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    theAppPlace (TAP) Innovations and GuideIT Announce Partnership to Offer Complete Digital Workplace Solutions

    January 16, 2019 – Keller and Plano, TX – theAppPlace (TAP) Innovations, a leading provider of cloud-based integration solutions across people and data enterprises, announced today that it will partner with GuideIT to incorporate TAP Digital Tools into GuideIT’s digital workplace solutions.

    TAP Digital Tools enhance collaboration and process efficiency through multi-source data integration in order to automate business processes, reduce the reliance on spreadsheets, and accelerate information flow. It enables organizations to overcome corporate system limitations and achieve interoperability goals.

    “Technology plays a central role in optimizing business processes, enhancing the employee experience, and accelerating the pace of business,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “The ability for TAP to leverage existing corporate investments to implement incremental or holistic change aligns to customer priorities and our approach to creating a digital workplace.  We are excited to be working with the TAP team.”

    “GuideIT has established tremendous credibility for its customer experience and ability to implement technological change for all types of organizations,” adds John Ragsdale, Co-founder and President of theAppPlace (TAP) Innovations.  “The addition of TAP Digital Tools to their technology offering means customers can fast-track system integration goals and eliminate manual processes so teams can collaborate efficiently, and organizations can grow quickly.”

    The GuideIT Digital Workplace contributes to a dynamic work environment that strengthens employee engagement, enhances the customer experience, and optimizes cost. The target business environment is achieved through a combination of business applications, automation, a virtual work environment, communications and collaboration tools.

    About theAppPlace

    theAppPlace (TAP) Innovations delivers cloud-based solutions for business Digital Transformation. TAP…THE Integrated Digital Toolbox automates manual processes and greatly reduces spreadsheet sprawl, actions data into information and performs intelligent content organization across people and entity enterprises. A growing set of Digital Tools for CRM, Business Intelligence, Integrations, and more are web and mobile enabled and quick to fill data interoperability gaps with core business systems. TAP Innovations solutions have been implemented to streamline business processes for leading healthcare and financial management organizations as well as internal departments for companies from 50-15,000 employees and users. Visit www.TAPInnov.com to learn more.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

    Regional Bank to Enhance Cyber Security Program Through GuideIT

    January 10 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it signed a contract to enhance the cyber security defenses for a regional bank.

    GuideIT will provide integrated cyber security incident response services focused on enhancing the bank’s existing cyber security program.  It will actively review and collaboratively address alerts and incidents, enhance the effectiveness of the bank’s Security and Incident Management (SIEM) system, and monitor and assess the overall security posture.

    "Cyber security is a strategic imperative for banks,” said Chuck Lyles CEO for GuideIT. “Having established a strong technological foundation for the bank, the confidence we inspire creates the opportunity for us to become an integral part of strategic initiatives encompassing business optimization, innovation and security.  Our flexibility of seamlessly fitting into our customer’s existing security framework was essential to gaining this opportunity to serve.”

    GuideIT banking solutions contribute to banks thriving in a competitive landscape by establishing a cost-effective, strategy-enabling IT function; enabling technological innovation; and converting data into actionable intelligence that enables increased operational efficiency, fraud detection, and risk mitigation.  GuideIT also provides solutions in the areas of compliance management, mergers and acquisitions, and cyber security.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

     

    GuideIT to Provide Banking Compliance Services for a Regional Financial Services Institution

    January 7, 2019 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it signed a contract to provide banking compliance services for a regional financial services institution with a banking and mortgage portfolio being formed through a merger.

    Through its banking solutions group, GuideIT will establish the framework for enterprise-wide compliance activities in support of the institution’s growth and operating objectives.  GuideIT will also strategies and implement supporting processes, procedures and controls to facilitate the new institution’s compliance with laws and regulations.

    ‘The banking sector is subject to stringent regulatory and compliance requirements,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “We provide the expertise needed to implement an enterprise compliance program using a scalable cost structure that balances implementation and operation.  We are excited to be a central part of this enterprise’s merger integration program.”

    GuideIT banking solutions contribute to banks thriving in a competitive landscape by establishing a cost-effective, strategy-enabling IT function; enabling technological innovation; and converting data into actionable intelligence that enables increased operational efficiency, fraud detection, and risk mitigation.  GuideIT also provides solutions in the areas of compliance management, mergers and acquisitions, and cyber security.

    About GuideIT

    GuideIT provides IT services that make technology contribute to business success.  Through its consulting, managed IT, digital business, and cyber security solutions and the way it partners with customers, simplifies the complex, and inspires confidence, GuideIT utilizes technology in an industry context to enable the creation of business value and create an IT experience that delivers.  Founded in 2013 and part of a heritage that dates to the industry’s founding, GuideIT has been recognized for its service quality, positive work environment and growth.  More information is available at www.guideit.com.

     

    Minnie’s Food Pantry
    COMMUNITY
    Minnie’s Food Pantry
    We chose to support Minnie’s Food Pantry on their mission to provide healthy meals and resources to those in need. Founded in 2008, Minnie’s Food Pantry has since distributed over six million meals to families experiencing food-insecurity.
    North Texas Food Bank
    Penetration Testing

    GuideIT Penetration Testing provides you with the actionable visibility necessary to address security vulnerabilities that expose your business to cyber-attacks.


    Slider
    COMMUNITY
    North Texas Food Bank
    Our company is proud to support the North Texas Food Bank in their mission to close the hunger gap in North Texas by providing access to nutritious food. Founded in 1982, NTFB continues to strive to be the best nonprofit hunger relief organization by providing access to nearly 190,000 meals every day.
    Implement an Advanced Protection Program
    One of the largest global business travel providers wanted to enhance their overall security program.
    We implemented an assurance and advanced protection program that increased intrusion prevention, strengthened information flow in support of cyber security processes and provided employees with direct feedback on potential information leakage risks.
    Strengthen the Bond with Employees
    A business wanted to create a stronger bond with its employees by improving collaboration and creating a work environment that was not tied to a physical office. The business deployed a technology infrastructure that supported secure anytime, anywhere access and provided the social tools necessary for their staff to stay connected while working in separate locations.
    With this new digital workplace, we helped increase the employee Net Promoter Score by 17%.
    Transform Patient Care
    A leading health system set out to decrease emergency room admissions and increase Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) savings.
    We set up a system that alerted them of “at risk” patients by integrating patient data from multiple sources, applying health-system-defined business rules and refining event-driven automation. This helped to increase MSSP annual shared savings by 70%.
    Telecom Services Cost Optimization:
    A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.
    Centrally-Managed Networking Solution:
    A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network.
    Realize a Continuum of Care
    A Critical Access Hospital network set out to improve their financial performance and enhance the continuum of care for local patients.
    We enabled EHR and business system connectivity between the network’s participants that would provide for increased revenue, strengthened reporting for physicians and developed a set of clinical and financial dashboards for management and operational reporting.
    Accelerate the Pace of Business

    A diversified global provider of energy services had established a strong set of analytics to run its business, but the flow of information was slow, and the cost associated with manual reporting was excessive.

    We developed and implemented a data integration strategy and deployed 22 real-time business performance indicator dashboards, effectively eliminating a costly data warehouse solution and supporting a real-time, anytime, anyplace working environment.

    Eliminate the Spreadsheet Culture

    A rapidly growing business had assembled a cost-effective suite of cloud-based corporate systems, but the lack of integration and reliance on spreadsheets slowed the pace of business.

    We integrated data from more than 10 systems, applied business logic and provided leadership with real-time, anywhere access to critical information. We helped them reduce back office process time by as much as 83%.

    Increase Service Desk Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
    A provider of eyecare services experienced rapid growth through acquisition but lacked a scalable support model and the tools to facilitate such growth.  The eyecare provider was looking at a 23% increase to service desk expense to meet target operational metrics.  We helped them to design, implement and manage a U.S.-based service desk.
    This new service desk not only prevented the cost increase, it delivered approximately a 20% cost savings while increasing the service desk's satisfaction rating and providing a platform to support future growth.
    Develop a Health Analytics Program

    A healthcare provider needed a single health analytics source to better serve their patients. Even though electronic medical systems have centralized and aggregated information, understanding a patient’s complete health activity required data from multiple sources.

    We helped integrate information from multiple sources to map 253 separate data file formats to form a single customer health analytics program.

    Strengthen Caregiver IT Experience
    An operator of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities needed to increase its IT support for its caregivers, optimize cost and improve service desk metrics.
    We implemented a new service desk, which increased customer satisfaction, while reducing expense by 20% and eliminating a backlog of IT requests.
    Increase Application Management Efficiency and Productivity
    A large health system wanted to outsource support of its existing applications, so it could focus its internal team on the implementation of a new EHR and increase efficiency.
    We provided a 28% savings on IT support spend while improving the overall level of service.
    Transform and Fortify Technology Infrastructure
    A provider of a broad range of financial services set out to increase the quality, responsiveness and cost effectiveness of their IT function. They also had an objective of fortifying the company against cyber threats.
    We consolidated the IT infrastructure into a centralized data center facility, implemented a service desk, and deployed endpoint management and data loss prevention to strengthen its cyber security position.
    Strengthen Customer Satisfaction for IT Function
    One of the nation’s largest industrial real estate developers shifted their IT infrastructure from a global technology services provider to GuideIT.
    We conducted a data center migration to shift their IT infrastructure to a new facility, increase the project success rate and increase the IT function’s customer satisfaction by more than 25% in the first year following the transition.
    Produce IT Operational Efficiencies
    A healthcare payer needed to strengthen after-hours support, but also needed to implement IT cost reductions to meet budgetary constraints. We assumed responsibility for a 24/7 network operations center and implemented an after-hours service desk.
    Despite a greater scope of service, a cost savings of approximately 15% was realized.
    Secure Productivity Improvements From Expected Growth
    A physician practice and population health organization had made technology investments but was not realizing efficiencies as they grew. We created a solution to achieve targeted operational metrics, while tying the service fee to the customer's revenue.
    We provided a path to a 35% improvement to IT cost as the company grew while achieving targeted performance metrics.
    Strengthen IT Environment by Identifying and Addressing Risks
    A global materials science company needed to understand gaps in its IT environment and evaluate associated risks. We performed an IT operational assessment.
    We provided a comprehensive risk assessment, disaster recovery roadmap and actionable plan to remediate gaps in the IT environment.
    Meet Large-Scale Deployment Requirements
    Facing a software deployment deadline that missing would have cost and productivity issues, we were engaged to implement the solution.
    We migrated the system software and more than 7,000 PC’s in 10 months, achieving the targeted deadline and preventing cost and productivity issues.
    Accelerate IT Separation and Cost Efficiency
    A mortgage company needed to accelerate an IT infrastructure separation in order to meet regulatory requirements. We were engaged to facilitate the separation.
    We insourced an IT support function supporting more than 12,000 users, improved network and application performance and enabled a reduction to expense of approximately $20 million annually.
    Transform Technology Infrastructure
    A healthcare payer who administers benefits to more than 50 million people launched a major IT infrastructure modernization and enhancement initiative.
    We consolidated five data centers, engineered and deployed a software image to approximately 700 end user devices and delivered a stronger endpoint security layer.
    Accelerate a Path to Enhanced Patient Care
    A company that manages urgent care clinics acquired 15 facilities across the country. Each operated different IT and EHR environments, resulting in an objective to standardize and optimize the IT and EHR environment.
    We performed workflow optimization that increased productivity by more than 30% and remediated more than 20 compliance issues.
    Diagnose IT Challenges and Realize Improvements
    A leading oil and gas data company with frequent system outages needed to stabilize its technology infrastructure and implement new IT best practices. We initially performed an IT infrastructure assessment and subsequently deployed an IT director.
    We reduced system outages by 65% and improved the overall IT experience.
    Reduce IT Expense During a Period of Rapid Growth
    A global travel business executing an acquisition strategy was experiencing rapid telecommunications expense growth. It needed a more efficient network design.
    We redesigned the network that produced 10% savings in a period of growth while implementing a governance process to sustain the greater efficiency.
    Transform Business Management Approach
    A global business services firm wanted to change its business management approach from product-centric to customer-centric.
    We designed a financial systems and data approach that enabled management not only by product, but also by customer and the intersection of product and customer so the travel business could identify opportunities for expansion within its existing customer portfolio and optimize its business.
    Gain a Path to Greater IT Efficiency
    A leading medical equipment supplier was experiencing consistent IT cost increases. We performed an enterprise assessment, which lead to a GuideIT-led IT transformative program.
    We reduced IT spend by 16% while increasing the group’s effectiveness.
    Dental Insurance Provider Engages GuideIT for Acquisition Integration Planning

    August 23, 2018 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it has signed a business consulting contract with one of the premier providers of dental insurance in the country.

    Following an acquisition that continues to build upon prevention-focused health approaches and expands its reach into rural communities, the dental insurance provider launched a technology assessment and integration program.  GuideIT was selected because of the two companies’ multi-year relationship spanning consulting and managed services, solutions that drive acquisition benefits, and the ability to rapidly mobilize a team of specialists.

    Under the agreement, GuideIT will initially perform its Enterprise Assessment, which provides a roadmap for technological improvement by using a proprietary 360-degree approach that evaluates every aspect of an IT function.  It will then deliver a plan to consolidate delivery into one centralized organization that operates on a consolidated technology and application platform.

    “Effective integration is essential to making acquisitions successful and realizing expected value creation,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT. “With industry consolidation being a trend within Healthcare today, solutions focused on IT integration, rationalization, and efficiency are important to serving customers.  We are excited to play an important role in a long-term customer’s initiative to shape its business.”

    Technology plays a vital role in acquisitions and divestitures.  GuideIT has powered the technology deliverables for billion-dollar divestitures, multi-enterprise consolidations, and acquisitions.  GuideIT’s services are designed to help customers with the rigors of non-organic business activity include acquisition enablement, acquisition planning, major initiative management, and vendor management.

    About GuideIT

    While technology is critical for every business, it’s also complex and ever changing, often making it difficult to manage.  Because of this complexity, many business leaders find themselves in need of advisors they can trust... people who can guide them through getting the most out of technology, relative to their business priorities and the results they seek. That’s why people put their trust in us.www.guideit.com.

     

    Assisted Living Provider to Realize Acquisition Consolidation Efficiencies Through GuideIT

    August 16, 2018 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it has signed a new contract for consulting services with a provider of home-based care.

    Following its formation through merger, the home health provider launched a strategic IT initiative to consolidate and standardize the IT operating model and increase efficiency.  GuideIT will lead the architectural design and implementation of an efficient cloud-based technology platform that enables rapid integration of future acquisitions, while optimizing its existing IT function.

    “Technology optimization plays a vital role in healthcare consolidation,” said Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT.  “The opportunity to create value through IT integration and related synergies, while creating a platform for the rapid integration of future acquisition is significant.  We are proud to have been selected due to our portfolio of work in enabling companies achieve their acquisition-related business objectives.”

    Technology plays a vital role in acquisitions and divestitures.  GuideIT has powered the technology deliverables for billion-dollar divestitures, multi-enterprise consolidations, and acquisitions.  Services designed to help customers with the rigors of non-organic business activity include acquisition enablement, acquisition planning, major initiative management, and vendor management.

    About GuideIT

    While technology is critical for every business, it’s also complex and ever changing, often making it difficult to manage.  Because of this complexity, many business leaders find themselves in need of advisors they can trust... people who can guide them through getting the most out of technology, relative to their business priorities and the results they seek. That’s why people put their trust in us.www.guideit.com.

     

    Amazon VPC Basics

    For the past five weeks, we have been getting deep in our Scalable Solutions series.  At Entasis we work with our customers to help them build solutions that are Scalable in design, Resilient by nature, with Performance on demand.  We feel that these three components are the pillars that all truly scalable solutions are built with. Here is what we have gone over thus far:

    Week 1 – Amazon Route 53 Basics

    Week 2 – AWS Certificate Manager

    Week 3 – AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store

    Week 4 – AWS Application Load Balancer

    Week 5 – Amazon EC2 Security Groups

    Today we are going to dive into another core service of AWS, Amazon VPC, now inside of the Amazon VPC product there are actually multiple constructs (one of which is named VPC) we are not going to limit ourselves to this, but rather we will go over core networking in AWS.

    Create a VPC

    The first thing we should discuss is why you might want to create a VPC.  The single biggest reason is if you plan on interconnecting multiple AWS accounts.  All AWS accounts come with a Default VPC which has an IP space of 172.31.0.0/16. This, of course, means that routing between one accounts Default VPC and another accounts Default VPC is not possible (or another cloud or datacenter location with the same 172.31.0.0/16 IP space in use).  However, we can simply create a replacement VPC with the correct settings, early in the life of an account this is very simple.

    The VPC is a regional construct, meaning that when you create a VPC it is created in all availability zones in a region.

    PS> aws ec2 create-vpc –cidr-block 172.30.0.0/16 –region us-east-1

    {

    “Vpc”: {

    “VpcId”: “vpc-1194576b”,

    “InstanceTenancy”: “default”,

    “Tags”: [],

    “CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [

    {

    “AssociationId”: “vpc-cidr-assoc-d53fedb9”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.30.0.0/16”,

    “CidrBlockState”: {

    “State”: “associated”

    }

    }

    ],

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “State”: “pending”,

    “DhcpOptionsId”: “dopt-970141ef”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.30.0.0/16”,

    “IsDefault”: false

    }

    }

    Now here we can see that we have created vpc-1194576b with a CIDR block of 172.30.0.0/16.

    Create a Subnet

    Now that we have a VPC we need to set up some subnets, here we are going to specify the VPC we created earlier and a subset of IP’s that are in the VPC CIDR block.  So for example, if we specified 172.30.0.0/16 this would mean we could only have a single subnet in this VPC.

    A few things to remember about subnets and availability zones.

    • Subnets can only be associated with a single availability zone.
    • Not all services are available in all availability zones.
    • On account creation the availability zone is randomized, so if you have multiple accounts you will need to keep in mind that us-east-1a in one account and us-east-1a in the other account are not necessarily the same availability zone.
      • Practically this means that in the event of a total failure of a single availability zone, that we can actually experience different effects in different accounts (my us-east-1a could be your us-east-1d), our architecture must account for this.  With the most important component being full multi-AZ where applicable.
    •  When designing your subnets you must remember to split your workloads across availability zones, so if you had a db tier and web tier and you wanted them to be in their own subnets (perhaps the DB tier is in a private subnet, and the web is in the public) you must make sure that you end up with one of each in each availability zones.

    PS> aws ec2 create-subnet –vpc-id vpc-1194576b –cidr-block 172.30.0.0/24 –availability-zone us-east-1a –region us-east-1

    {

    “Subnet”: {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1a”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 251,

    “DefaultForAz”: false,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-1194576b”,

    “State”: “pending”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: false,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-ae2767e4”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.30.0.0/24”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    }

    }

    A very simple pattern is to use a /16 at the VPC level but then to use /24 on the subnet level.  This allows significant room to grow and it is very easy to visualize even for folks without a networking background, that said you do not need to use these, you can specify a smaller or larger CIDR block based on your requirements.

    Now of course if we only create the one subnet, then we are tied to a single availability zone.  This is not good for resiliency, let's create another subnet and ensure that we specify a different availability zone than we did in the first example.

    PS> aws ec2 create-subnet –vpc-id vpc-1194576b –cidr-block 172.30.1.0/24 –availability-zone us-east-1b –profile entasisawsug

    {

    “Subnet”: {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1b”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 251,

    “DefaultForAz”: false,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-1194576b”,

    “State”: “pending”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: false,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-a8f845f4”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.30.1.0/24”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    }

    }

    Excellent now we have two subnets in two different availability zones.

    Create Internet Gateway

    Of course most use cases are going to require external connectivity, we have a couple of options for that but first, let's talk about the Internet Gateway.  Basically, if we assign an Internet Gateway to a VPC, we can then assign public IP addresses (Dynamic or Elastic IP) to resources in our VPC.

    First let's create an internet gateway.

    PS> aws ec2 create-internet-gateway –region us-east-1

    {

    “InternetGateway”: {

    “Tags”: [],

    “Attachments”: [],

    “InternetGatewayId”: “igw-8c8fbcf4”

    }

    }

    This creates an internet gateway however it is not attached to any VPC, there for it is not used.

    Attach Internet Gateway to VPC

    Let's attach our internet gateway to our VPC.

    PS> aws ec2 attach-internet-gateway –vpc-id vpc-1194576b –internet-gateway-id igw-8c8fbcf4 –region us-east-1

    So at this point, it is now attached which means we can create routes that utilize this as a target.

    Create Route Table

    First, we must create a route table to hold our routes.  This gets created in our VPC.

    PS> aws ec2 create-route-table –vpc-id vpc-1194576b –region us-east-1

    {

    “RouteTable”: {

    “Associations”: [],

    “RouteTableId”: “rtb-fedb4181”,

    “VpcId”: “vpc-1194576b”,

    “PropagatingVgws”: [],

    “Tags”: [],

    “Routes”: [

    {

    “GatewayId”: “local”,

    “DestinationCidrBlock”: “172.30.0.0/16”,

    “State”: “active”,

    “Origin”: “CreateRouteTable”

    }

    ]

    }

    }

    Create Route for Internet Gateway

    Now we can create a default route which will point all traffic 0.0.0.0/0 to our internet gateway that we created before.

    PS> aws ec2 create-route –route-table-id rtb-fedb4181 –destination-cidr-block 0.0.0.0/0 –gateway-id igw-8c8fbcf4 –region us-east-1

    {

    “Return”: true

    }

    At this point any subnets that utilize this route table however since this was a new setup that association must be done manually.

    Associate Route Table with Subnets

    To actually make the routes effective you must associate the route table with every subnet that you would like to use its routes.

    PS> aws ec2 associate-route-table –route-table-id rtb-fedb4181 –subnet-id subnet-ae2767e4 –region us-east-1

    {

    “AssociationId”: “rtbassoc-e22da89c”

    }

    You can also set a route table as the main route table, this basically makes it the default association for the VPC, so that you do not need to manually associate it with each subnet.

    Create VPC Peering Connection Request

    Now there comes some times where you will need to enable connectivity between two different VPCs.  This can either be inside of the same account or it can be across two accounts. This will create the request which needs to be accepted on the other VPC.

    PS> aws ec2 create-vpc-peering-connection –vpc-id vpc-bfa608c4 –peer-vpc-id vpc-1194576b –region us-east-1

    {

    “VpcPeeringConnection”: {

    “Status”: {

    “Message”: “Initiating Request to 310843369992”,

    “Code”: “initiating-request”

    },

    “Tags”: [],

    “RequesterVpcInfo”: {

    “PeeringOptions”: {

    “AllowEgressFromLocalVpcToRemoteClassicLink”: false,

    “AllowDnsResolutionFromRemoteVpc”: false,

    “AllowEgressFromLocalClassicLinkToRemoteVpc”: false

    },

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “Region”: “us-east-1”,

    “OwnerId”: “310843369992”,

    “CidrBlockSet”: [

    {

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/16”

    }

    ],

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/16”

    },

    “VpcPeeringConnectionId”: “pcx-bf259dd7”,

    “ExpirationTime”: “2018-08-01T04:48:48.000Z”,

    “AccepterVpcInfo”: {

    “OwnerId”: “310843369992”,

    “Region”: “us-east-1”,

    “VpcId”: “vpc-1194576b”

    }

    }

    }

    Now that we have created the VPC Peering request we need to accept that peering request on the distant VPC.

    Accept VPC Peering Request

    Once we accept the peering request we can the use the peering connection as a route target.

    PS> aws ec2 accept-vpc-peering-connection –vpc-peering-connection-id pcx-bf259dd7 –region us-east-1

    {

    “VpcPeeringConnection”: {

    “Status”: {

    “Message”: “Provisioning”,

    “Code”: “provisioning”

    },

    “Tags”: [],

    “AccepterVpcInfo”: {

    “PeeringOptions”: {

    “AllowEgressFromLocalVpcToRemoteClassicLink”: false,

    “AllowDnsResolutionFromRemoteVpc”: false,

    “AllowEgressFromLocalClassicLinkToRemoteVpc”: false

    },

    “VpcId”: “vpc-1194576b”,

    “Region”: “us-east-1”,

    “OwnerId”: “310843369992”,

    “CidrBlockSet”: [

    {

    “CidrBlock”: “172.30.0.0/16”

    }

    ],

    “CidrBlock”: “172.30.0.0/16”

    },

    “VpcPeeringConnectionId”: “pcx-bf259dd7”,

    “RequesterVpcInfo”: {

    “PeeringOptions”: {

    “AllowEgressFromLocalVpcToRemoteClassicLink”: false,

    “AllowDnsResolutionFromRemoteVpc”: false,

    “AllowEgressFromLocalClassicLinkToRemoteVpc”: false

    },

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “Region”: “us-east-1”,

    “OwnerId”: “310843369992”,

    “CidrBlockSet”: [

    {

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/16”

    }

    ],

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/16”

    }

    }

    }

    We will need routes on both sides.

    Create Route for Peer VPC (Requester to Accepter)

    We need routes on both sides in order to allow traffic from the network to another.

    PS> aws ec2 create-route –route-table-id rtb-fedb4181 –destination-cidr-block 172.31.0.0/16 –vpc-peering-connection-id pcx-bf259dd7 –region us-east-1

    {

    “Return”: true

    }

    Create Route for Peer VPC (Accepter to Requester)

    We need routes on both sides in order to allow traffic from network to another.  This enables the return traffic.

    PS> aws ec2 create-route –route-table-id rtb-2c31ec50 –destination-cidr-block 172.30.0.0/16 –vpc-peering-connection-id pcx-bf259dd7 –region us-east-1

    {

    “Return”: true

    }

    Describe Existing VPC(s)

    Of course one of the things we often need to do is describe all of the VPCs in a region.

    PS C:\Users\MatthewMattoon> aws ec2 describe-vpcs –region us-east-1

    {

    “Vpcs”: [

    {

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “InstanceTenancy”: “default”,

    “CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [

    {

    “AssociationId”: “vpc-cidr-assoc-4a3c9627”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/16”,

    “CidrBlockState”: {

    “State”: “associated”

    }

    }

    ],

    “State”: “available”,

    “DhcpOptionsId”: “dopt-970141ef”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/16”,

    “IsDefault”: true

    }

    ]

    }

    Describe Existing Subnet(s)

    Of course we also often need to describe subnets.

    PS C:\Users\MatthewMattoon> aws ec2 describe-subnets –region us-east-1

    {

    “Subnets”: [

    {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1f”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 4091,

    “DefaultForAz”: true,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “State”: “available”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: true,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-45b36c4a”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.64.0/20”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    },

    {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1a”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 4091,

    “DefaultForAz”: true,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “State”: “available”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: true,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-233dd569”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.16.0/20”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    },

    {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1b”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 4091,

    “DefaultForAz”: true,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “State”: “available”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: true,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-5d88ac00”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.32.0/20”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    },

    {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1c”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 4091,

    “DefaultForAz”: true,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “State”: “available”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: true,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-aa525fce”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.0.0/20”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    },

    {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1d”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 4090,

    “DefaultForAz”: true,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “State”: “available”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: true,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-ce0627e1”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.80.0/20”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    },

    {

    “AvailabilityZone”: “us-east-1e”,

    “AvailableIpAddressCount”: 4091,

    “DefaultForAz”: true,

    “Ipv6CidrBlockAssociationSet”: [],

    “VpcId”: “vpc-bfa608c4”,

    “State”: “available”,

    “MapPublicIpOnLaunch”: true,

    “SubnetId”: “subnet-ad742d92”,

    “CidrBlock”: “172.31.48.0/20”,

    “AssignIpv6AddressOnCreation”: false

    }

    ]

    }

    Leading Museum and Educational Institution Extends IT Services Relationship with GuideIT

    August 2, 2018 – Plano, TX – GuideIT today announced that it signed a three-year contract extension to provide IT managed services to a leading museum and educational institution.

    The museum engaged GuideIT three years ago for data center migration and IT support services.  Since then, the two organizations have worked together to introduce new cyber security and data preservation solutions, while advancing delivery support and optimizing IT support expense.

    Chuck Lyles, CEO for GuideIT said, “We are proud of the accomplishments achieved over the past three years and look forward to continuing our partnership providing strategic IT solutions that meet the needs of the museum’s mission.”

    About GuideIT

    While technology is critical for every business, it’s also complex and ever changing, often making it difficult to manage.  Because of this complexity, many business leaders find themselves in need of advisors they can trust... people who can guide them through getting the most out of technology, relative to their business priorities and the results they seek. That’s why people put their trust in us. www.guideit.com.

    Amazon EC2 Security Groups

    In this installment of our Scalable Solutions series, we are going to be reviewing one of the core components of EC2, the security group.  We have found that our customers find that the elasticity provided by security groups allows them to build more resilient solutions and expand them as performance dictates it, with consistent security policies.

    In case you missed our previous articles you may want to go back and review these great resources.

    Week 1 – Amazon Route 53 Basics

    Week 2 – AWS Certificate Manager

    Week 3 – AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store

    Week 4 – AWS Application Load Balancer

    If you are just looking to learn more about AWS and you are in the North Dallas area we sponsor the AWS User Group of North Dallas at our offices in McKinney, TX.  You can find this group on meetup.com.

    Security Group Basics

    Security groups are essentially a virtual firewall inside of your instance that controls ingress and egress traffic.

    1. By default, a security group doesn’t have any ingress rules and therefore doesn’t allow any inbound traffic, but has a default egress rule which allows all outbound traffic.
    2. You cannot specify deny rules.  The lack of an allow rule triggers the implicit deny.
    3. Security group rules are stateful.  This means that traffic that is allowed by a rule will have it return traffic allowed as well.
    4. Security group rules can allow traffic from another security group, or even its own security group.

    Of course, in addition to Security Groups we can also leverage Network ACL’s to provide another level of security and traffic filtering.

    Multiple AWS resource types can have a security group associated with it, such as EC2, RDS, ELB, but essentially anything with an Elastic Network Interface will have a security group.

    In this example, we will be creating an ELB with some backend web servers.  We are going to enable the entire internet to access TCP 443 on the ELB, but from the ELB to the web servers we are only going to allow TCP 80.  This is called SSL termination, where we aren’t going to manage any SSL configuration on the web servers themselves since it gets terminated at the load balancer.  This lets us conserve CPU cycles on the web tier.

    Create Security Group for Load Balancer

    Firstly we need to add a security group, this one will be applied to the ELB, and will allow HTTPS inbound from the internet.  It will also be used to identify the traffic from the load balancer to the webserver security group.

    PS&gt; aws ec2 create-security-group --group-name &quot;external - squirrelbox traffic&quot; --description &quot;allows external access to squirrelbox load balancers&quot; --vpc-id vpc-bfa608c4<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;GroupId&quot;: &quot;sg-8b9d27c1&quot;<br />

    }

    We will need to use the GroupId elsewhere, so please reserve this.

    Allow HTTPS from Anywhere

    Next let's allow the HTTPS inbound from the internet.  Of course simply modify the command to accomplish specific protocols, ports and sources.

    PS&gt; aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-id sg-8b9d27c1 --protocol tcp --port 443 --cidr 0.0.0.0/0

    At this point, we are ready to associate this security group with our ELB.  If you haven’t jumped ahead we should see gateway errors from the ELB if we try and hit the ELB.

    Create Security Group for Web Servers

    Next, let's add a security group which we will associate with our web server instances.

    PS&gt; aws ec2 create-security-group --group-name &quot;internal - squirrelbox traffic&quot; --description &quot;allows load balancers access to squirrelbox servers&quot; --vpc-id vpc-bfa608c4<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;GroupId&quot;: &quot;sg-78a51f32&quot;<br />

    }

    Now we need to create some rules.

    Allow HTTP from Load Balancer Security Group

    Here we are going to enable the load balancer to reach the web nodes on port 80.

    PS&gt; aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-id sg-78a51f32 --protocol tcp --port 80 --source-group sg-8b9d27c1

    Notice the –source-group parameter, we can use this instead of specifying a CIDR address.  Now at this point, if your ELB, Web Server, and DNS setups are completed (out of the scope of this article) then you should be able to see your website.

    At Entasis we assist our customers in building elastic and resilient solutions with performance on-demand.  If you need help making your cloud initiative a reality we would love to help.

    AWS Application Load Balancer

    This week in our Scalable Solutions series we are going to be covering the Elastic Load Balancer (specifically the Application Load Balancer or v2). At Entasis we help our customers build elastic and resilient solutions with performance on-demand.  If you need help finalizing your design or implementing your vision please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at sales@entasistech.com. Also if you are just looking to learn more about AWS and you are in the North Dallas area we sponsor the AWS User Group of North Dallas at our offices in McKinney, TX.  You can find this on meetup.com.

    If you did not catch our earlier articles please take a peek at what we have been up to in this series.

    Week 1 – Amazon Route 53 Basics

    Week 2 – AWS Certificate Manager

    Week 3 – AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store

    One of the most critical concepts in any scalable solution to understand is horizontal scaling.  Basically, when scaling a solution we have two directions that we can scale in. We can scale vertically which means we are going to take our one system and make it bigger or we can scale horizontally which means that we can add more machines to the existing solution to help share the load with the previous node.

    So let's look at a simple web workload.  We are going to make the assumption for a second that this is a static website (read: no server-side components, and no database backend requirement).  This workload is literally the easiest workload to scale horizontally. This is because we just put the content on a new box, configure the webserver the same (read: automation) and then we add it to DNS and we move on.  Now when we “add” it to DNS this means that we actually create an extra DNS record of type “A” with the IP address of the new system. When we do this it actually gets handled as round-robin DNS or “poor man’s load balancing” which basically means if you have 2 nodes in a DNS record that the response will alternate between the two records, this is not bad for distributing load (and it keeps working as you add more nodes – say 50) so if you have 2 nodes then each node will get 1/2 of your workload, if you have 50 then each node will get 1/50 of your workload.  This, however, has a number of weaknesses.

    Connection Distribution Versus Workload Distribution

    Not all users are created equal, so in our simple example, you could have a user which generates 5kb of data transfer, and another one who generates 50kb of data transfer.  This is 10x the workload. Now if you end up by complete randomness with a good portion of your users being serviced on one node which are 10x users, then that node has the potential to provide a poor experience due to having a higher number of active users then the other node.  So while the connections get distributed with ultimate fairness – the workload does not.

    Failover Capability

    The largest weakness, in my opinion, is an inability to deal with failure scenarios.  So since connections are distributed (1/2 and 1/50 in our examples) if we lose just one node, this means that we will lose the ability to provide services to the connections which will still be distributed among all of the nodes (including the failed one).  This is because there is no concept of a health check in DNS in general. Route 53 actually has the concept of a failover record which fills this gap nicely for certain workloads. We will cover this in a later article.

    Load Balancing

    So enter load balancing.  This enables us to have more intelligent workload distribution.  Based on our workload we can determine how we want to distribute our traffic, Least Connection Count for example (this actually will monitor the state of existing connections, so instead of sending 1/2 of the connections it will send 1/2 of the Active Connections which keeps the current connections even across all nodes).  Of course, there are still users that are 10x users but this ensures that our users will be routed to the quietest node at that time. Now combine this with health checks and the load balancer can mark a workload as unhealthy and thus choose to no longer route traffic to it until it becomes healthy again. This sort of capability protects your end users from experiencing and outage due to a single node failure.

    OK so now that we know the why let's create some resources.

    Identify Our VPC, Subnet and Security Groups

    This requires us to create resources in a network, so we need to know where we want that to be.  I am using a demo account and such I only have the default VPC’s and subnets. If you have custom VPCs and specific subnet placement requirements you will want to ensure you use the correct resource ids.  However, if you aren’t picky or if you can recognize them by the id, this command will save you some work. I am simplifying the output using Powershell if you are on bash those portions will not work, but you can manually parse the aws command yourself.

    VPCs

    PS&gt; (aws ec2 describe-vpcs --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).Vpcs.VpcId<br />

    vpc-bfa608c4

    Subnets

    PS&gt; (aws ec2 describe-subnets --region us-east-1  | ConvertFrom-Json).Subnets.SubnetId<br />

    subnet-45b36c4a<br />

    subnet-233dd569<br />

    subnet-5d88ac00<br />

    subnet-aa525fce<br />

    subnet-ce0627e1<br />

    subnet-ad742d92

    Security Groups

    PS&gt; (aws ec2 describe-security-groups --region us-east-1  | ConvertFrom-Json).SecurityGroups.GroupId<br />

    sg-205f1956<br />

    sg-49e21d03<br />

    sg-d49732a2<br />

    sg-8b9d27c1<br />

    sg-78a51f32

    So here is a list of the resources we will use.

    vpc-bfa608c4

    subnet-45b36c4a

    subnet-233dd569

    sg-8b9d27c1

    sg-78a51f32

    You will only see one of the security groups in the setup, the other one is applied to our ec2 nodes and it allows the traffic from the load balancers to the web servers running on ec2.

    Create Load Balancer

    In order to create the load balancer we will need the following information:

    1. The desired name of the load balancer
    2. At least two subnets (in the same VPC)
    3. The security groups which allow traffic inbound from the client, and also that allow the ELB to communicate with the actual servers.
    4. The region in which to create the resource (which of course must be the same as the subnets and security groups.

    Here is the basic syntax of the command.

    $ aws elbv2 create-load-balancer --name [ load-balancer-name ] --subnets [ subnet1 subnet2 ] --security-groups [ security-group1 security-group2 ]--region [ region ]

    In our example, our workload is going to be a couple of EC2 instances that are running apache over HTTP on port 80.  This is going to be accessible via the internet at www.squirrelbox.io over HTTPS on port 443. When we have a configuration like this where the web tier itself doesn’t run SSL, but the load balancer does this is called SSL termination, basically we are terminating the LS at the load balancer to save CPU cycles on the web nodes themselves, reduce the management overhead of having SSL certificates on all of our web nodes, but this is with one big caveat, we must trust the network between the load balancer and the web nodes.  In AWS this is not a problem due to the VPC architecture. However, if you have different requirements you can also look at using dedicated tenancy for your VPC and instances.

    PS&gt; aws elbv2 create-load-balancer --name squirrelbox-external --scheme internet-facing --ip-address-type ipv4 --subnets subnet-45b36c4a subnet-233dd569 --security-groups sg-8b9d27c1 --region us-east-1<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;LoadBalancers&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;IpAddressType&quot;: &quot;ipv4&quot;,<br />

    &quot;VpcId&quot;: &quot;vpc-bfa608c4&quot;,<br />

    &quot;LoadBalancerArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a&quot;,<br />

    &quot;State&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;Code&quot;: &quot;provisioning&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    &quot;DNSName&quot;: &quot;squirrelbox-external-1261228970.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com&quot;,<br />

    &quot;SecurityGroups&quot;: [<br />

    &quot;sg-8b9d27c1&quot;<br />

    ],<br />

    &quot;LoadBalancerName&quot;: &quot;squirrelbox-external&quot;,<br />

    &quot;CreatedTime&quot;: &quot;2018-07-21T16:29:24Z&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Scheme&quot;: &quot;internet-facing&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;application&quot;,<br />

    &quot;CanonicalHostedZoneId&quot;: &quot;Z3XXXXXXXXXX7K&quot;,<br />

    &quot;AvailabilityZones&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;SubnetId&quot;: &quot;subnet-233dd569&quot;,<br />

    &quot;ZoneName&quot;: &quot;us-east-1a&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;SubnetId&quot;: &quot;subnet-45b36c4a&quot;,<br />

    &quot;ZoneName&quot;: &quot;us-east-1f&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    Once we have created it we need to refer back to it, for example to check the state and ensure it is active, or perhaps to pull the ARN for a subsequent action.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-load-balancers --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).LoadBalancers</p>

    <p>IpAddressType : ipv4<br />

    VpcId : vpc-bfa608c4<br />

    LoadBalancerArn : arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a<br />

    State : @{Code=active}<br />

    DNSName : squirrelbox-external-1261228970.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com<br />

    SecurityGroups : {sg-8b9d27c1}<br />

    LoadBalancerName : squirrelbox-external<br />

    CreatedTime : 2018-07-21T16:29:24Z<br />

    Scheme : internet-facing<br />

    Type : application<br />

    CanonicalHostedZoneId : Z3XXXXXXXXXX7K<br />

    AvailabilityZones : {@{SubnetId=subnet-233dd569; ZoneName=us-east-1a}, @{SubnetId=subnet-45b36c4a; ZoneName=us-east-1f}}

    I often find myself needing the ARN (we will use it a few more times in this article) so I like to find ways to shortcut that output.  This will return just the ARN on Powershell.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-load-balancers --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).LoadBalancers.LoadBalancerArn<br />

    arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a

    Keep this ARN handy we will use it later.

    Create Target Group

    So now we have created a load balancer, well the next step is to create a target group, this is essentially the collection of backend services that will represent a single workload.  So in our simple example of a web server, we might have 4 back end ec2 instances that would-be members on port 80. However, it is also important to note that you can have different ports in the same target group.  This is especially helpful when it comes to containers.

    Here is the basic syntax of the command.

    $ aws elbv2 create-target-group --name [ target-group-name ] --protocol [ HTTP | HTTPS ] --port [ PORT ] --vpc-id [ vpc-id] --region [ region ]

    Now when we create the target group we simply need a name, VPC, and the protocol and port combination.

    PS&gt; aws elbv2 create-target-group --name squirrelbox-webnodes --protocol HTTP --port 80 --vpc-id vpc-bfa608c4 --region us-east-1<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;TargetGroups&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;HealthCheckPath&quot;: &quot;/&quot;,<br />

    &quot;HealthCheckIntervalSeconds&quot;: 30,<br />

    &quot;VpcId&quot;: &quot;vpc-bfa608c4&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Protocol&quot;: &quot;HTTP&quot;,<br />

    &quot;HealthCheckTimeoutSeconds&quot;: 5,<br />

    &quot;TargetType&quot;: &quot;instance&quot;,<br />

    &quot;HealthCheckProtocol&quot;: &quot;HTTP&quot;,<br />

    &quot;UnhealthyThresholdCount&quot;: 2,<br />

    &quot;HealthyThresholdCount&quot;: 5,<br />

    &quot;TargetGroupArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Matcher&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;HttpCode&quot;: &quot;200&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    &quot;HealthCheckPort&quot;: &quot;traffic-port&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Port&quot;: 80,<br />

    &quot;TargetGroupName&quot;: &quot;squirrelbox-webnodes&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    After creating it we might need to refer back to it to check the settings.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-target-groups --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).TargetGroups</p>

    <p>HealthCheckPath : /<br />

    HealthCheckIntervalSeconds : 30<br />

    VpcId : vpc-bfa608c4<br />

    Protocol : HTTP<br />

    HealthCheckTimeoutSeconds : 5<br />

    TargetType : instance<br />

    HealthCheckProtocol : HTTP<br />

    LoadBalancerArns : {}<br />

    UnhealthyThresholdCount : 2<br />

    HealthyThresholdCount : 5<br />

    TargetGroupArn : arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd<br />

    Matcher : @{HttpCode=200}<br />

    HealthCheckPort : traffic-port<br />

    Port : 80<br />

    TargetGroupName : squirrelbox-webnodes

    This will return just the ARN of the target group.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-target-groups --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).TargetGroups.TargetGroupArn<br />

    arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd

    Keep this ARN handy we will use it later.

    Create Listener

    Next, we must create the listener, the listener does exactly that it listens for the customer traffic.  So this is going to declare the external protocols and associate a certificate (if appropriate) with the load balancer.

    Here is the basic syntax of the command.

    $ aws elbv2 create-listener --load-balancer-arn [ load-balancer-arn ] --protocol [ HTTP | HTTPS ] --port [ port-number ] --certificates &quot;CertificateArn=[ certificate-arn ]&quot; --default-actions &quot;Type=forward,TargetGroupArn=[ target-group-arn ] --region [ region ]

    The listener will setup the external listening port on the load balancer, and associate a certificate as well as create a default rule referring to the target group we declare.

    PS&gt; aws elbv2 create-listener --load-balancer-arn arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:11223344556:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a --protocol HTTPS --port 443 --certificates CertificateArn=arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:310843369992:certificate/0e8046d4-3625-49ff-9fee-c1485e314dc7 --default-actions Type=forward,TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:310843369992:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd --region us-east-1<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Listeners&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Protocol&quot;: &quot;HTTPS&quot;,<br />

    &quot;DefaultActions&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;TargetGroupArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;forward&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ],<br />

    &quot;SslPolicy&quot;: &quot;ELBSecurityPolicy-2016-08&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Certificates&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;CertificateArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:112233445566:certificate/0e8046d4-3625-49ff-9fee-c1485e314dc7&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ],<br />

    &quot;LoadBalancerArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Port&quot;: 443,<br />

    &quot;ListenerArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    Here we can check the listener’s configuration after its creation.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-listeners --load-balancer-arn arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).Listeners</p>

    <p>Protocol : HTTPS<br />

    DefaultActions : {@{TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd; Type=forward}}<br />

    SslPolicy : ELBSecurityPolicy-2016-08<br />

    Certificates : {@{CertificateArn=arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:112233445566:certificate/0e8046d4-3625-49ff-9fee-c1485e314dc7}}<br />

    LoadBalancerArn : arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a<br />

    Port : 443<br />

    ListenerArn : arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83

    Of course we can also just display the ARN.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-listeners --load-balancer-arn arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:loadbalancer/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a --region us-east-1 | ConvertFrom-Json).Listeners.ListenerArn<br />

    arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83

    Keep this ARN handy we will use it later.

    Create Rule

    If you have complicated load balancing requirements (multi-tenant, api endpoints, etc) then rules will be your friend.  Anything that you want to route differently than the default will need its own rule and this will be how that traffic is controlled.

    Here is the basic syntax of the command.

    $ aws elbv2 create-rule --listener-arn [ listener-arn ] --conditions &quot;Field=[ path-pattern | host-header ],Values=[ /squirrelbox/* | www.squirrelbox.io ]&quot; --actions &quot;Type=forward,TargetGroupArn=[ target-group-arn ]&quot; --priority 1 --region [ region ]

    Here we are going to set a host-header rule so that anything that comes in via the name www.squirrelbox.io will get routed to a specific target group.

    PS&gt; aws elbv2 create-rule --listener-arn arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83 --conditions &quot;Field=host-header,Values=www.squirrelbox.io&quot; --actions &quot;Type=forward,TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd&quot; --priority 1 --region us-east-1<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Rules&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Priority&quot;: &quot;1&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Conditions&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Field&quot;: &quot;host-header&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Values&quot;: [<br />

    &quot;www.squirrelbox.io&quot;<br />

    ]<br />

    }<br />

    ],<br />

    &quot;RuleArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener-rule/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83/3303294d17235cd9&quot;,<br />

    &quot;IsDefault&quot;: false,<br />

    &quot;Actions&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;TargetGroupArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;forward&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    Let’s describe the rules we now have.

    PS&gt; (aws elbv2 describe-rules --listener-arn arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83 --profile entasisawsug | ConvertFrom-Json).Rules</p>

    <p>Priority : 1<br />

    Conditions : {@{Field=host-header; Values=System.Object[]}}<br />

    RuleArn : arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener-rule/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83/3303294d17235cd9<br />

    IsDefault : False<br />

    Actions : {@{TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd; Type=forward}}</p>

    <p>Priority : default<br />

    Conditions : {}<br />

    RuleArn : arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener-rule/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/862c694eafb01c83/e8a9ec74d438b479<br />

    IsDefault : True<br />

    Actions : {@{TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:targetgroup/squirrelbox-webnodes/2ad2df8c47d5a0fd; Type=forward}}

     

    Additional Certificates

    If you have multiple hostnames on the same load balancers you will likely need to have multiple certificates associated with the listener so that it can use SNI to apply the correct cert.  Here is how you would add a second one.

    Here is the basic syntax of the command.

    PS&gt; aws elbv2 add-listener-certificates --listener-arn [ listener-arn ] --certificates CertificateArn=[ certificate-arn ] --region [ region ]

    Here we will add a second certificate for another domain, this one is for www2.squirrelbox.io.

    PS&gt; aws elbv2 add-listener-certificates --listener-arn arn:aws:elasticloadbalancing:us-east-1:112233445566:listener/app/squirrelbox-external/df9f9a3bb1f5007a/8 62c694eafb01c83 --certificates CertificateArn=arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:112233445566:certificate/b9625a00-9b05-4d4f-81e3-5084d8f8bd59 --region us-east-1<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Certificates&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;CertificateArn&quot;: &quot;arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:112233445566:certificate/b9625a00-9b05-4d4f-81e3-5084d8f8bd59&quot;,<br />

    &quot;IsDefault&quot;: false<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    So with all of these components this can enable us to horizontally scale our applications as we need to increase our capabilities.  This is one of the core components to a Scalable Solution. For additional learning I suggest you look into healthchecks and registering instances into a target group.  Of course you can also follow me on LinkedIn to be notified of our latest articles.

    Regional Health System Engages GuideIT to Support Technological Transformation

    July 19, 2018 — Plano, TX — GuideIT today announced that has been engaged to provide services in support of major technological transformation for a regional health system.

    With many concurrent initiatives underway in support of its technology transformation goals, the health system engaged GuideIT to manage legacy applications support and execute a major server decommissioning program in support of a technology infrastructure modernization program.

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    GuideIT provides the experience, proven processes and expertise necessary to successfully implement technological change.  Its result-focused approach to empowering business emphasizes delivering services that enable the creation of value, leveraging its broad expertise of technology executives and practitioners, and simplifying the complex while bringing the flexibility and creativity needed to succeed.

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    AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store

    At Entasis we help our customers understand and modify their technology stacks so that scaling is a function of cost not a function of technology.  However, when we look at scaling one of the largest problems is the consistency of an environment. When we are running 100 application nodes then the opportunity for one node to go sideways and start handling traffic differently is much higher than if we only have 2 application nodes.  So we work with our customers to help them abstract the configurations of their services from their code to enable their applications to auto-scale regardless of your hosting location. We are very familiar with public cloud, private cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. If you need help in this area please reach out to our team at sales@entasistech.com.

    This article is part of our series on Scalable Solutions.  This article doesn’t require knowledge of the other articles however please check out our other articles – Amazon Route 53 Basics and AWS Certificate Manager.

    Today we are going to look at one of the central components of AWS Systems Manager, and frankly, this is one of the easiest to implement.  The Parameter Store is a centralized location to store configuration data. This helps us to know how our applications are being configured across an entire fleet.  This allows us to avoid more brittle solutions such as file deployment, or shared file systems for configuration data. So let's dig in.

    For the purposes of this article, we are going to use the CLI to handle all of our interactions with the Parameter Store.  Depending on your solution you will want to use the appropriate SDK to interact with the values in the parameter store. Additionally, you have the option of using another solution (there are a few out their or you can roll-your-own) that will load all of the values of the parameter store as environment variables, then the application can read its settings from the environment.

    For details on Parameter Store: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/systems-manager/latest/userguide/systems-manager-paramstore.html

    Parameter Store Values

    • String – this is an unencrypted string.
    • StringList – this is an unencrypted list of strings.  This must be comma-separated with no spaces.
    • SecureString – this is an encrypted string.  This is encrypted with a KMS key if you use this your application is also going to need IAM permissions to use the defined key to decrypt items.

    Recommendations:

    1. Always use SecureString, in my experience, it doesn’t add much complexity but it does provide the protection of having the data encrypted by default.  This provides additional protection in the case of “grey” data which isn’t definitely sensitive (credentials) but can be sensitive in the wrong hands (connection endpoints, ports, etc).
    2. Use isolated KMS keys for each application and/or environment.  If one application is compromised you don’t want it to be able to be used as a launch platform to other applications (imagine if you were able to pull down all configurations from all applications after compromising a single machine).
    3. Admin oversight is critical here you really need to look at what admins can do once you start solutioning for this, can your read-only admin decrypt the parameters in the parameter store for all of the different applications.  How do you secure this and ensure that there is no leakage.
    4. Credentials can be stored in Parameter Store if SecureString is the key used.  However, if you are using RDS (or other select AWS Services) Secrets Manager might be a better fit.  The line should be if Secrets Manager can rotate the credential then it is better to use Secrets Manager for that credential. Then you can use a shorter rotation window (database credentials rotated once a day as an example).  This limits the blast radius in the attempt of a compromise.
    5. Store all configurations in Parameter Store.  All of them. If you put anything in local configuration files then that opens you up for divergence.
    6. Use descriptions in your parameters.
    7. Also, don’t include Parameter Store calls in your workflow.  For example, if you have an API call that your workflow has to make then don’t perform a get-parameter for each invocation of that API.  Rather refresh the local values on service reload/refresh/restart, then log any problems and fail to start the service if necessary.

    Writing a Parameter in the Parameter Store

    This pattern will use the default key of alias/aws/ssm, you can use your own created key bypassing the –key option.  The output of these is simply the version number of the string created (always 1 if it is a new string).

    $ aws ssm put-parameter --type [ String | StringList | SecureString ] --name [ name ] --value [ value ]

    Now first we are going to create a parameter of the String type which is unencrypted.  We will call it “naked string” and it will have a value of “unencrypted string”.

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --type String --name nakedstring --value unencryptedstring<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }

    Next, we will create a parameter of the StringList type which is also unencrypted.  The big caveat with these are that your strings cannot contain any special punctuation as each string is separated by a comma.  If your string contains a comma you are better off using a String or SecureString and separating from a string into multiple strings with logic (or by having each string in their own parameter).  We will call this “nakedstringlist” and it will have a value of “unencryptedstring1,unencrpytedstring2”.

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --type StringList --name nakedstringlist --value unencryptedstring1,unencryptedstring2<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }

    Finally please forget the other two and just use this one.  This is an encrypted string (everyone say yay!) and it requires a little more work on the IAM side but the security it provides is definitely worth it, additionally, it also makes it a sane proposition to store credentials here.  We will call this “clothedstring” (since we are dressing it in encryption) and it will have a value of “encryptedstring”.

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --type SecureString --name clothedstring --value encryptedstring<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }</p>

    <p>&lt;strong&gt;Updating a Parameter in the Parameter Store&lt;/strong&gt;</p>

    <p>Now no doubt at some point if you are using Parameter Store you will need to make a change to an existing parameter.  This is essentially the same process as above, we just need to tell it that we want it to overwrite the existing value.<br />

    &lt;pre&gt;

     

    $ aws ssm put-parameter --type [ String | StringList | SecureString ] --name [ name ]--value [ value ] --overwrite

    This is simply going to update the parameter called "clothedstringlist" with the value of "updatedencryptedstring".

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --type SecureString --name clothedstringlist --value updatedencryptedstring --overwrite<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 2<br />

    }</p>

    <p>Now we see the output of the version number indicating that this has been updated to a new version.</p>

    <p>&lt;strong&gt;Reading a Parameter from Parameter Store&lt;/strong&gt;</p>

    <p>So of course putting parameters in place is wonderful, however if we can't get them back then it is massively non-helpful.  So lets do that next.<br />

    &lt;pre&gt;

     

    $ aws ssm get-parameter --name [ name ]

    Here we are going to retrieve our parameter called "nakedstring".

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameter --name nakedstring<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameter&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;String&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;nakedstring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;unencryptedstring&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    }

    Next lets retrieve our parameter called "nakedstringlist".

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameter --name nakedstringlist<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameter&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;StringList&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;nakedstringlist&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;unencryptedstring1,unencryptedstring2&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    }

    Of course who can forget my personal favorite parameter called "clothedstring".

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameter --name clothedstring<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameter&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 2,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;clothedstring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAENa7JnNj6xxG+VDWrVw8JDAAAAdDByBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagZTBjAgEAMF4GCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMOF4jFo0YR2cKU2xMAgEQgDFEmBYI8sWEIzSIJoLWU4xZBIMO/WNloQcIsVj7OPuk5VjqYxJJATyZYuUCgMeU3DUY&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    }

    So of course if we retrieve an encrypted string then it must come back to us encrypted.  However that is not useful.

    $ aws ssm get-parameter --name [ name ] --with-decryption

    Lets pass it the option to also decrypt the parameter so we can use it.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameter --name clothedstring --with-decryption<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameter&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 2,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;clothedstring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;updatedencryptedstring&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    }

    Now one other interesting thing to mention.  We have versioning on all of this, so lets say we want to go look at the previous version of the parameter.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameter --name clothedstring:1 --with-decryption<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameter&quot;: {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;clothedstring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;encryptedstring&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    }

    This versioning of course brings up an interesting point to ponder.  If we have a parameter that starts out as a String (unencrypted) with a value of "Password1234" and we then realize our mistake and update it to be a SecureString (encrypted) with the same value of "Password1234" our previous version is still stored in unencrypted form.  In this scenario I would encourage a few things...

    1. Change the password, not just because my example is a really bad password, but rather because it is now stored unencrypted in the cloud.
    2. If changing the password cannot be accomplished then a better approach would be to delete the parameter and recreate it as a new parameter that is encrypted.  This will enable you to make the changes in your app which have you so dependent on that password not changing.

    Delete a Parameter from Parameter Store

    So now to set ourselves up for the next phase of this article we are going to delete everything we created.

    $ aws ssm delete-parameter --name [ name ]

    Earlier we created and updated 3 different parameters called "nakedstring", "nakedstringlist" and "clothedstring" the delete-parameter does not actually return anything if it is successful so I am just going to give you them all at once since the explanation is not necessary.

    PS&gt; aws ssm delete-parameter --name nakedstring<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm delete-parameter --name nakedstringlist<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm delete-parameter --name clothedstring

    Now we no longer have those parameters.

    Parameter Hierarchies

    Parameters can be stored in a hierarchical fashion, doing so can make it easier to craft scalable IAM policies which will allow applications to only access their parameters and not other applications parameters.  For example /app1/param1, /app1/param2, /app2/param1, /app2/param2 we can create an IAM policy to allow read for /app2/* only and grant that policy to the role supporting app2, with a corresponding policy for /app1/*.

    This helps us to secure our implementations from each other, however, it also makes it easier to code our applications to.  For example in the above non-hierarchical examples we would need to read a parameter for each and every configuration, now keeping in mind that these configurations can be anything from connection strings, to credentials, to memory settings, to whitelists, or anything in between it is not inconceivable for us to have 20 parameters per application.  Which means 20 calls, which means 20 delays (or opportunities for delays at least), when we utilize hierarchical parameters we can turn this into one call for all parameters at a given path. So the call can actually be something like /app1/* (or "give me all parameters having to do with app1").

    We can further segment it by environment and tiers, so here is a rough example of a hierarchy for an application called "squirrelbox":

    /squirrelbox/dev/database/readstring

    writestring

    /squirrelbox/dev/application/debug

    maxmemory

    /squirrelbox/dev/web/port

    url

    Creating our Squirrelbox Dev Environment

    Let's create the parameters that I outlined above with some dummy data to demonstrate how this might work in practice.

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --name &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/readstring&quot; --value &quot;ReadDatabaseConnectionString&quot; --type SecureString<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --name &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/writestring&quot; --value&quot;WriteDatabaseConnectionString&quot; --type SecureString<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --name &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/debug&quot; --value &quot;true&quot; --type SecureString<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --name &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/maxmemory&quot; --value &quot;500M&quot; --type SecureString<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --name &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/port&quot; --value &quot;8080&quot; --type SecureString<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }<br />

    PS&gt; aws ssm put-parameter --name &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/url&quot; --value &quot;app.squirrelbox.io&quot; --type SecureString<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1<br />

    }

    Now lets assume that we have three teams: DBA, APPDEV, and WEBDEV.  Now these teams are going to have different permissions for example perhaps the DBA's can read/write to the /squirrelbox/dev/database/* however they have no permissions elsewhere.  APPDEV's have read to /squirrelbox/dev/database/* and read/write to /squirrelbox/dev/application/* and no permissions elsewhere. WEBDEV's have read to /squirrelbox/dev/application/* (there would likely be a API endpoint parameter in there too that they would want to read) and they could read/write to /squirrelbox/dev/web/* with no permissions elsewhere.

     

    Reading Parameters by Path from Parameter Store

    Now let's take a look at a few different ways to collect our parameters by path.  This first example will only grab parameters that are under the path one level deep.

    $ aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path [ path ]

    In our environment, this actually returns no parameters, since we have nested them deeper than that.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path &quot;/squirrelbox/&quot;<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameters&quot;: []<br />

    }

    If we add the recursive option this will give us all of them.

    $ aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path [ path ] --recursive

    In an actual implementation IAM policies would determine what we see in the tree.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path &quot;/squirrelbox/&quot; --recursive<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameters&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/debug&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAHnlf92F7rVUYHWw+hiyd4WAAAAYjBgBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagUzBRAgEAMEwGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMe00Pz+/4yyVqtCUEAgEQgB82SyAFaxf2NC2m/RqOB4BI2Ug6+VsYX/sEmWovU7IZ&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/maxmemory&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAG7XidJjVTYL7xzz8sWxw3iAAAAYjBgBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagUzBRAgEAMEwGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMrt1iN9zqFLLwdzTyAgEQgB+fXMhRQJTgtMz5DDiQmjuN92xPAS9p4Ay0AEp78fmP&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/readstring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAFAR2CpRSd7DJYMJs1+TD+bAAAAejB4BgkqhkiG9w0BBwagazBpAgEAMGQGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQM9EZjxkJYZdRSPtHLAgEQgDdTEeHutrjQQH/S7cbTxjKF08XeIZPr+L5GtEuji9+njA/3subjWLJxlPTActjesYxmRrMAvmW5&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/writestring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAGUJc6avKhbHFvdaYxTrALzAAAAezB5BgkqhkiG9w0BBwagbDBqAgEAMGUGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQM/gavBkD1mzK6jTfTAgEQgDipBXD5HiVn9ImrYhBm8fnJOpoULlpFcShWT0YkoTnYvRKbVgKt+UoJtXWqy0NVLKVbvvSxfTmn+w==&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/port&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAHuyyqfVhe0yTjYZn0sTcH3AAAAYjBgBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagUzBRAgEAMEwGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQM1t2/dsd3Y3mbvUz3AgEQgB/ExDPrZ0Xc0gOT3I1DUOiK0Rny/WFi32DhYuo2otoC&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/url&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;AQICAHhVdKbFht5ReQADBixWDt1CeIfSYZwDVCmC9QqTnFypxAH2X9/mCJqpdzelmbSV9DRfAAAAcDBuBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagYTBfAgEAMFoGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMOua5pSAK35Albf1jAgEQgC3tWc60afeByeKUQk20jBFwbLYzQ6GVzqtlVOhmLFNlU/6Tk6BUfjT0qQGj+30=&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    So to see the unencrypted values we actually need to use the --with-decryption option like we did in our previous examples.

    $ aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path [ path ] --recursive --with-decryption

    So lets take a look at what the DBA team would see.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/&quot; --recursive --with-decryption<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameters&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/readstring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;ReadDatabaseConnectionString&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/database/writestring&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;WriteDatabaseConnectionString&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    The APPDEV team would see the following.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/&quot; --recursive --with-decryption<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameters&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/debug&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;true&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/application/maxmemory&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;500M&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    Finally the WEBDEV team would see the following.

    PS&gt; aws ssm get-parameters-by-path --path &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/&quot; --recursive --with-decryption<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Parameters&quot;: [<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/port&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;8080&quot;<br />

    },<br />

    {<br />

    &quot;Version&quot;: 1,<br />

    &quot;Type&quot;: &quot;SecureString&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Name&quot;: &quot;/squirrelbox/dev/web/url&quot;,<br />

    &quot;Value&quot;: &quot;app.squirrelbox.io&quot;<br />

    }<br />

    ]<br />

    }

    If you use the Parameter Store to store all of your configurations for your applications it enables you to have a very resilient system that stays consistent across many nodes.  In the event of configuration changes these changes can be deployed wide very quickly with a rolling restart of services to maintain up time.

    If your organization needs help making your applications more elastic by nature, resilient in design, and performance on demand please send me an email sales@entasistech.com architecting scalable solutions is what we do.

    Increase Service Desk Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
    A provider of eyecare services experienced rapid growth through acquisition but lacked a scalable support model and the tools to facilitate such growth.  The eyecare provider was looking at a 23% increase to service desk expense to meet target operational metrics.  We helped them to design, implement and manage a U.S.-based service desk.
    This new service desk not only prevented the cost increase, it delivered approximately a 20% cost savings while increasing the service desk's satisfaction rating and providing a platform to support future growth.
    Strengthen Caregiver IT Experience
    An operator of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities needed to increase its IT support for its caregivers, optimize cost and improve service desk metrics.
    We implemented a new service desk, which increased customer satisfaction, while reducing expense by 20% and eliminating a backlog of IT requests.
    Increase Application Management Efficiency and Productivity
    A large health system wanted to outsource support of its existing applications, so it could focus its internal team on the implementation of a new EHR and increase efficiency.
    We provided a 28% savings on IT support spend while improving the overall level of service.
    Transform and Fortify Technology Infrastructure
    A provider of a broad range of financial services set out to increase the quality, responsiveness and cost effectiveness of their IT function. They also had an objective of fortifying the company against cyber threats.
    We consolidated the IT infrastructure into a centralized data center facility, implemented a service desk, and deployed endpoint management and data loss prevention to strengthen its cyber security position.
    Produce IT Operational Efficiencies
    A healthcare payer needed to strengthen after-hours support, but also needed to implement IT cost reductions to meet budgetary constraints. We assumed responsibility for a 24/7 network operations center and implemented an after-hours service desk.
    Despite a greater scope of service, a cost savings of approximately 15% was realized.
    Secure Productivity Improvements From Expected Growth
    A physician practice and population health organization had made technology investments but was not realizing efficiencies as they grew. We created a solution to achieve targeted operational metrics, while tying the service fee to the customer's revenue.
    We provided a path to a 35% improvement to IT cost as the company grew while achieving targeted performance metrics.
    Accelerating Business Outcomes

    A diversified global provider of energy services had established a strong set of analytics to run its business, but the flow of information was slow, and the cost associated with manual reporting was excessive.

    We developed and implemented a data integration strategy and deployed 22 real time business performance indicator dashboards, effectively eliminating a costly data warehouse solution and supporting a real-time, anytime, anyplace working environment.

    Accelerate the Pace of Business

    A diversified global provider of energy services had established a strong set of analytics to run its business, but the flow of information was slow, and the cost associated with manual reporting was excessive.

    We developed and implemented a data integration strategy and deployed 22 real-time business performance indicator dashboards, effectively eliminating a costly data warehouse solution and supporting a real-time, anytime, anyplace working environment.

    Eliminate the Spreadsheet Culture

    A rapidly growing business had assembled a cost-effective suite of cloud-based corporate systems, but the lack of integration and reliance on spreadsheets slowed the pace of business.

    We integrated data from more than 10 systems, applied business logic and provided leadership with real-time, anywhere access to critical information. We helped them reduce back office process time by as much as 83%.

    Develop a Health Analytics Program

    A healthcare provider needed a single health analytics source to better serve their patients. Even though electronic medical systems have centralized and aggregated information, understanding a patient’s complete health activity required data from multiple sources.

    We helped integrate information from multiple sources to map 253 separate data file formats to form a single customer health analytics program.

    Transform Business Management Approach
    A global business services firm wanted to change its business management approach from product-centric to customer-centric.
    We designed a financial systems and data approach that enabled management not only by product, but also by customer and the intersection of product and customer so the travel business could identify opportunities for expansion within its existing customer portfolio and optimize its business.
    GuideIT’s Solution to the Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model
    The Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

    It is no secret that there has been an evolution in the healthcare industry over the past 120 years. As technology has advanced, so too has the healthcare model, in which technology plays a bigger role than ever. The advancement of technology has allowed physicians and providers to monitor and treat patients remotely, ultimately changing the entire healthcare experience. GuideIT is here to help providers navigate through the changing healthcare landscape by creating roadmaps for seamless technology integration. Here is everything you need to know about the technological innovations in healthcare and how GuideIT can help providers:

    A Transition to Virtual Healthcare

    At the turn of the 20th century, most people were receiving their healthcare at home in the form of physician house calls. The healthcare model was fragmented and mostly powered by individual physicians, rather than the centralized model we see today. By the late 20th century, we saw an office-centric approach where individual physicians had their own place of care, requiring patients to visit their primary care physician, rather than a physician visiting their home.

    Today, there are many factors at play that have inspired another shift in the healthcare system. As healthcare providers transitioned from physical records to electronic records, there was a boom of electronic health records that made it easier for providers to share information. In 2020, we saw a return of at-home primary care in the form of Telehealth, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a much greater use of Telehealth to support virtual visits for patients.

    The Rise of Virtual Healthcare

    The global pandemic, evolving technologies, a rise in chronic conditions and many other factors have created a different set of needs for both providers and patients alike. These forces have resulted in providers looking into technology to drive the future of healthcare. With many of these technologies already in place, such as the opportunity for video conferencing and Telehealth, the global pandemic accelerated a change in healthcare that was already happening.

    The Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

    While the pandemic is waning and people are returning to normal life, the shift to technology-enabled remote patient-monitoring and virtual health are here to stay. Remote patient-monitoring technologies allow providers to check-up on patients daily, while the patients are in the comfort of their homes. This is a benefit to both providers and patients alike, creating a seamless form of care that does not require an extensive use of resources.

    One example of how remote patient-monitoring has proven its ability to improve on the traditional delivery model comes from the pandemic. As the pandemic created a surplus of patients with limited space, PPE and resources, it became nearly impossible for providers to treat all of their patients within their four walls. To combat this problem, many providers worked to create a different model, where they would monitor COVID-19 patients virtually rather than in person. They provided remote patient monitoring to their patients that allowed for monitoring symptoms and providing care based on their every day, overall health. The new model has opened the door to a multitude of opportunities to improve healthcare outcomes such as improved length of stay, readmission, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. The table below shows some of the potentials of the evolving virtual healthcare delivery model:

    How a Technology Partner Will Help Healthcare Providers

    The process of shifting to a virtual healthcare model is different for every organization. A good technology partner will help you figure out the optimal way to integrate virtual care into your delivery of care. The end goal should be helping your organization get to the point where patients are receiving the same level of care as they would within the four-walls of a traditional care setting, but in the comfort of their own home. This is a shift that will require a deep level of understanding of integrating healthcare technology into a seamless anywhere, anytime environment.

    While providers look at hundreds of different vendors to work within the Telehealth field, a good technology partner will help you sort through all of the clutter. Finding the right technology partner means that you will have someone to help you make those decisions, while also implementing, managing and maintaining the variety of different tools it takes to make Telehealth happen successfully. Your partner's goal should always be to create a unified system of technologies that communicate simultaneously.

    Finding Your Focus in Virtual Healthcare

    There are countless ways in which you can implement virtual healthcare for your patients, but without a specific focus, it can become a much more complex transition. The first step is asking yourself what you want to accomplish in virtual

    healthcare. Are you trying to decrease readmissions? Are you trying to promote overall wellness? Are you trying to improve the patient experience? Knowing what you want your overall focus to be on will not only help your customers but also help with the transition to digital.

    Virtual Care Enabling Technologies

    There are a number of virtual care enabling technologies that will help providers navigate through the changing environment. Each serves a specific purpose for maximizing the efficiency, support and effectiveness of your virtual healthcare delivery model. Here are some of the virtual care technologies that will become increasingly important for organizations moving forward to support a virtual care delivery model:

    Clinical & IT Service Desk:  Support for clinicians and patients, as well as patient family members and caregivers, to assist with procedural and technical questions and issues as well as provide outreach services. This service can also provide around-the-clock monitoring and alerting, as well as patient follow-up services.

    Patient Engagement:  Provides a conduit for the patient and provider to interact and allows the patient to actively participate in their healthcare journey. Provides the following functionality:

    •          Tool to facilitate patient-provider communication and feedback

    •          Condition-specific patient prompts

    •          Patient motivation

    •          Condition-specific educational material

    •          Care coordination

    •          Health coaching

    •          Prevention and wellness guidance

    •          Medication management

    •          Scheduling

    •          Monitoring and alerting

    Digital Front Door: This is how patients interact with the health system or provider. It provides a patient, and the community, a means to get information as well as obtain services. It is the digital front desk for a provider’s practice or health system. In order for it to be effective, this service requires a clear strategy and an integrated marketing plan.

    IT Management & Cloud Enablement: The technical infrastructure required to provide remote patient monitoring, the cloud hosting of the application and the communication tools required to provide virtual health services.

    Device Asset Management: This service provides the asset management functions for any device or monitor required to support the virtual health offering: deployment, configuration, security, maintenance and support.

    Provider Analytics & ML: The capability to collect, aggregate and analyze data that allows for reporting and evaluating the effectiveness of the virtual health offerings.

    There are a large number of virtual care enabling technologies that will play a role in a transition into a virtual healthcare delivery model. The transition is different for every organization, depending on your offerings, focus and overall goal for the patient experience. GuideIT offers all of these services and more to help providers create a seamless experience for their staff and patients. Contact us today to learn more about what it will take for your organization to transition into the world of virtual healthcare.

    Photo Sourced from Getty Images: #1264364849

    [EVENT] AWS Immersion Day – 5 NOVEMBER 2021

    November 5th at 9:30 AM CT

    Join us for a half-day technical immersion day covering Microsoft workloads on AWS!

    Agenda:

    Topic Time
    Welcome and Opening 15 Minutes
    Why AWS for Microsoft Workloads 30 Minutes
    Introduction to Architecting Microsoft Workloads on AWS 45 Minutes
    Break 15 Minutes
    Lab – Deploying AWS Managed Microsoft AD  45 Minutes
    Automating Infrastructure with Windows Servers 45 Minutes
    Lab – Using Systems Manager to Manage EC2 Instances and/or On-Premise Machines 45 Minutes
    Closing 15 Minutes

    What is the Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day?

    The AWS for Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day is a customizable AWS experience designed by solution architects to help move customer and partner opportunities forward. AWS helps customers build, deploy, and manage Microsoft applications quickly, easily and cost-effectively. During this Immersion Day customers are presented with AWS solutions to challenging real world Microsoft use cases that relate to their business and IT needs. This Immersion Day is a powerful tool for showing customers the art of what’s possible on AWS for their Microsoft workloads and changing the dynamics of a competitive Microsoft opportunity.

    Benefits of the Microsoft Immersion Day

    The goal of the Microsoft Immersion Day is to show customers the power of AWS as a platform for running Microsoft workloads and inspire customers to get started building and deploying Microsoft workloads on AWS. We an agenda that covers a broad range of Microsoft topics including Windows Server, SQL Server, .NET and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with deploying and running Microsoft applications on AWS. Customers will also have the opportunity for valuable face to face time with an AWS SA to discuss and receive advice on their particular use cases.

    Register Below:

      National Retailer Deploys Covid Contact Tracing with GuideIT

      As Coronavirus began spreading in the US, a nationwide retailer was facing issues with handling the growing number of Covid positive team members at each of their stores. With the sudden onset of the virus, it became difficult to manage each employee’s time off, store cleanings, and the CDC reporting requirements. GuideIT implemented a Covid response process to help manage the growing number of cases while preserving the safety of the employees and customers at all retail locations.

      Covid positive team members as well as all close contacts are identified and interacted with regularly throughout their quarantine. GuideIT acts as the liaison between the employee and the benefits department, to assist the employee with their leave of absence pay. GuideIt also initiates the store cleaning protocols to shut down the store when needed and dispatch the cleaning vendor to the correct store. CDC reporting requirements are then handled appropriately based on federal and state guidelines.

      The nationwide retailer was able to continue focusing on their customers and day to day operations, knowing they could trust GuideIT to manage their Covid Response needs quickly and safely.

      Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Solution: Contact Center as a Service

      A large regional healthcare organization wanted to provide vaccination hub services to their community of over 200,000 members. Recognizing that they lacked the infrastructure nor the resources to support this initiative, they reached out to GuideIT to provide a solution.  In less than 30 days, the infrastructure was in place and the GuideIT Vaccination call center resources were performing patient screening, scheduling, and demand management functions for the provider.

      Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

      A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network. Discover how GuideIT can help you reduce IT strain today!

      Telecom Services Cost Optimization

      A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

      Healthcare Management Organization Realizes Cloud Cost Savings with GuideIT

      GuideIT was engaged for this project as our customer was experiencing cost inefficiencies with their current server which caused them to have less flexibility and control over their solution. GuideIT recommended moving the customer from their current provider, and moving it into AWS EC2 and AWS SE. Through this solution, the customer will realize a reduction in cost, and greater durability and recoverability.

      Healthcare Collaboration Provider Achieves Cloud Resiliency & Cost Savings with GuideIT

      A leading healthcare collaboration provider was seeking to improve the costs and resiliency of their cloud environment. GuideIT leveraged the latest tools and techniques available to deliver higher availability, durability, and recoverability in their cloud environment. The customer was able to transition to an OpEx model and achieve a 15% decrease in ongoing monthly cloud spend.

      Application Development of Core Software Product

      GuideIT provides comprehensive Application Development and Modernization services to a global risk and compliance leader through consulting, development, and hybrid agile/waterfall methodologies to implement a continuous delivery strategy and position the organization for the future.

      The Customer

      A leading, privately-held information security company maintains one of the most widely adopted certifiable risk and compliance management frameworks for safeguarding sensitive regulated data.

      The company’s flagship go-to-market product is a software application utilized by customers to assess and maintain compliance with various regulatory regimes such as ISO/IEC 27000-series and HIPAA.

      The Challenge

      The company was seeking to significantly redesign its core SaaS-based risk management platform to make it easier and more cost-effective for subscribers to manage information risk and meet international, federal and state regulations concerning privacy and security.

      The original application was based on an outdated third-party platform and was not optimized for performance or scalability. The company also had a strategic goal to maintain complete ownership of the intellectual property making up the application and to deliver the product as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform. Furthermore, the company desired a robust, modernized user interface in line with industry best practices for interface design and user experience.

      The existing security solution was NOT:

      » Based on modern technologies
      » Scalable for cloud-based delivery
      » Optimized for performance
      » Utilizing UX/UI best practices

      GuideIT Application Development Services provide end-to-end solutions for modernization, management, and development of software tailored to specific business needs. Leveraging top industry talent, GuideIT Application Services teams develop, deploy, and maintain best-of-breed software solutions while leveraging modern development frameworks for continuous delivery such as DevOps, Agile, and hybrid models.

      The Solution

      GuideIT developed a plan to modernize the application and address the shortcomings of an aging architecture while also implementing a comprehensive strategy for ongoing development. The modernized application would be based on the latest cloud-based technology stack to allow fluid scaling to meet demand. Leveraging skilled User Interface and Experience designers, the application would benefit from a refreshed look and feel, based on a material design framework. Finally, the data and application architecture would be re-engineered from the ground up to provide a robust and responsive experience to end users who carry with them the expectation of world-class performance.

      Solution Benefits

      » Continuous development approach
      » Secure code validation
      » Increased user satisfaction
      » Collaborative development partnership
      » Modernized user interface & experience
      » Scalable application architecture
      » Increased product revenues
      » Enhanced application performance

      Why GuideIT

      DISCOVER > DESIGN > DEVELOP > DEPLOY

      GuideIT understands the needs of organizations to not only pursue the benefits of cutting edge approaches but also maintain support for late-cycle technologies that still form the basis of many critical business services. Customers benefit from industry-best talent and a disciplined yet flexible development life cycle approach which incorporates the principles of DevOps, Agile, Waterfall, and other management frameworks paired with a consultative, strategic approach.

      GuideIT developed a comprehensive plan to redesign and modernize the core application product utilizing best-of-breed technologies and methodologies. Levering industry best practices and a hybrid agile/waterfall development framework, GuideIT assessed the requirements and selected the best-suited architecture and approach, created a plan to address strategic goals, and engaged within a continuous delivery methodology.

      The Implementation

      1. REQUIREMENTS– Upon initiation of the project, GuideIT performed a comprehensive requirements gathering exercise to document existing functionality and map new feature requests and requirements for the application. We consulted with the customer who had developed an extensive product scope based on their business needs. GuideIT then adapted the requirements into an initial development plan.
      2. DEVELOPMENT– With the development plan in place, GuideIT worked with the customer to prioritize the efforts into sprints, which enabled completion of a minimum viable product version that would then be enhanced through continuous development and integration methodologies incorporating an agile approach.
      3.DEPLOYMENT– Within a continuous deployment framework, GuideIT maintains up to six environments to advance new features and enhancements in coordination with the customer product managers and in alignment with the product road map for development, QA testing, UAT, and deployment.

      The Results

      The GuideIT Application Services teams partnered with the customer for the development of the new application. The customer was seeking to counteract declining user satisfaction and subscribers resulting from outdated features, architectures, and experience. Since implementation of the new application with improved interface and features, the customer has expand their subscriber base by more than 95% in a 20-month period resulting in higher revenue.

      As the core go to market offering, ongoing development of the application was crucial to maintaining relevance by offering customers new and updated features. GuideIT implemented a continuous development framework, modernizing the approach and allowing more responsiveness to the customer’s ongoing product goals.

      Leveraging a cloud application architecture with modern techniques, overall improvements were made in performance, scalability, compatibility, and interface, resulting in higher user satisfaction.

      Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

      A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network.

      GuideIT’s Solution to the Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model
      The Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

      It is no secret that there has been an evolution in the healthcare industry over the past 120 years. As technology has advanced, so too has the healthcare model, in which technology plays a bigger role than ever. The advancement of technology has allowed physicians and providers to monitor and treat patients remotely, ultimately changing the entire healthcare experience. GuideIT is here to help providers navigate through the changing healthcare landscape by creating roadmaps for seamless technology integration. Here is everything you need to know about the technological innovations in healthcare and how GuideIT can help providers:

      A Transition to Virtual Healthcare

      At the turn of the 20th century, most people were receiving their healthcare at home in the form of physician house calls. The healthcare model was fragmented and mostly powered by individual physicians, rather than the centralized model we see today. By the late 20th century, we saw an office-centric approach where individual physicians had their own place of care, requiring patients to visit their primary care physician, rather than a physician visiting their home.

      Today, there are many factors at play that have inspired another shift in the healthcare system. As healthcare providers transitioned from physical records to electronic records, there was a boom of electronic health records that made it easier for providers to share information. In 2020, we saw a return of at-home primary care in the form of Telehealth, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a much greater use of Telehealth to support virtual visits for patients.

      The Rise of Virtual Healthcare

      The global pandemic, evolving technologies, a rise in chronic conditions and many other factors have created a different set of needs for both providers and patients alike. These forces have resulted in providers looking into technology to drive the future of healthcare. With many of these technologies already in place, such as the opportunity for video conferencing and Telehealth, the global pandemic accelerated a change in healthcare that was already happening.

      The Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

      While the pandemic is waning and people are returning to normal life, the shift to technology-enabled remote patient-monitoring and virtual health are here to stay. Remote patient-monitoring technologies allow providers to check-up on patients daily, while the patients are in the comfort of their homes. This is a benefit to both providers and patients alike, creating a seamless form of care that does not require an extensive use of resources.

      One example of how remote patient-monitoring has proven its ability to improve on the traditional delivery model comes from the pandemic. As the pandemic created a surplus of patients with limited space, PPE and resources, it became nearly impossible for providers to treat all of their patients within their four walls. To combat this problem, many providers worked to create a different model, where they would monitor COVID-19 patients virtually rather than in person. They provided remote patient monitoring to their patients that allowed for monitoring symptoms and providing care based on their every day, overall health. The new model has opened the door to a multitude of opportunities to improve healthcare outcomes such as improved length of stay, readmission, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. The table below shows some of the potentials of the evolving virtual healthcare delivery model:

      How a Technology Partner Will Help Healthcare Providers

      The process of shifting to a virtual healthcare model is different for every organization. A good technology partner will help you figure out the optimal way to integrate virtual care into your delivery of care. The end goal should be helping your organization get to the point where patients are receiving the same level of care as they would within the four-walls of a traditional care setting, but in the comfort of their own home. This is a shift that will require a deep level of understanding of integrating healthcare technology into a seamless anywhere, anytime environment.

      While providers look at hundreds of different vendors to work within the Telehealth field, a good technology partner will help you sort through all of the clutter. Finding the right technology partner means that you will have someone to help you make those decisions, while also implementing, managing and maintaining the variety of different tools it takes to make Telehealth happen successfully. Your partner's goal should always be to create a unified system of technologies that communicate simultaneously.

      Finding Your Focus in Virtual Healthcare

      There are countless ways in which you can implement virtual healthcare for your patients, but without a specific focus, it can become a much more complex transition. The first step is asking yourself what you want to accomplish in virtual

      healthcare. Are you trying to decrease readmissions? Are you trying to promote overall wellness? Are you trying to improve the patient experience? Knowing what you want your overall focus to be on will not only help your customers but also help with the transition to digital.

      Virtual Care Enabling Technologies

      There are a number of virtual care enabling technologies that will help providers navigate through the changing environment. Each serves a specific purpose for maximizing the efficiency, support and effectiveness of your virtual healthcare delivery model. Here are some of the virtual care technologies that will become increasingly important for organizations moving forward to support a virtual care delivery model:

      Clinical & IT Service Desk:  Support for clinicians and patients, as well as patient family members and caregivers, to assist with procedural and technical questions and issues as well as provide outreach services. This service can also provide around-the-clock monitoring and alerting, as well as patient follow-up services.

      Patient Engagement:  Provides a conduit for the patient and provider to interact and allows the patient to actively participate in their healthcare journey. Provides the following functionality:

      •          Tool to facilitate patient-provider communication and feedback

      •          Condition-specific patient prompts

      •          Patient motivation

      •          Condition-specific educational material

      •          Care coordination

      •          Health coaching

      •          Prevention and wellness guidance

      •          Medication management

      •          Scheduling

      •          Monitoring and alerting

      Digital Front Door: This is how patients interact with the health system or provider. It provides a patient, and the community, a means to get information as well as obtain services. It is the digital front desk for a provider’s practice or health system. In order for it to be effective, this service requires a clear strategy and an integrated marketing plan.

      IT Management & Cloud Enablement: The technical infrastructure required to provide remote patient monitoring, the cloud hosting of the application and the communication tools required to provide virtual health services.

      Device Asset Management: This service provides the asset management functions for any device or monitor required to support the virtual health offering: deployment, configuration, security, maintenance and support.

      Provider Analytics & ML: The capability to collect, aggregate and analyze data that allows for reporting and evaluating the effectiveness of the virtual health offerings.

      There are a large number of virtual care enabling technologies that will play a role in a transition into a virtual healthcare delivery model. The transition is different for every organization, depending on your offerings, focus and overall goal for the patient experience. GuideIT offers all of these services and more to help providers create a seamless experience for their staff and patients. Contact us today to learn more about what it will take for your organization to transition into the world of virtual healthcare.

      Photo Sourced from Getty Images: #1264364849

      [EVENT] AWS Immersion Day – 5 NOVEMBER 2021

      November 5th at 9:30 AM CT

      Join us for a half-day technical immersion day covering Microsoft workloads on AWS!

      Agenda:

      Topic Time
      Welcome and Opening 15 Minutes
      Why AWS for Microsoft Workloads 30 Minutes
      Introduction to Architecting Microsoft Workloads on AWS 45 Minutes
      Break 15 Minutes
      Lab – Deploying AWS Managed Microsoft AD  45 Minutes
      Automating Infrastructure with Windows Servers 45 Minutes
      Lab – Using Systems Manager to Manage EC2 Instances and/or On-Premise Machines 45 Minutes
      Closing 15 Minutes

      What is the Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day?

      The AWS for Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day is a customizable AWS experience designed by solution architects to help move customer and partner opportunities forward. AWS helps customers build, deploy, and manage Microsoft applications quickly, easily and cost-effectively. During this Immersion Day customers are presented with AWS solutions to challenging real world Microsoft use cases that relate to their business and IT needs. This Immersion Day is a powerful tool for showing customers the art of what’s possible on AWS for their Microsoft workloads and changing the dynamics of a competitive Microsoft opportunity.

      Benefits of the Microsoft Immersion Day

      The goal of the Microsoft Immersion Day is to show customers the power of AWS as a platform for running Microsoft workloads and inspire customers to get started building and deploying Microsoft workloads on AWS. We an agenda that covers a broad range of Microsoft topics including Windows Server, SQL Server, .NET and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with deploying and running Microsoft applications on AWS. Customers will also have the opportunity for valuable face to face time with an AWS SA to discuss and receive advice on their particular use cases.

      Register Below:

        National Retailer Deploys Covid Contact Tracing with GuideIT

        As Coronavirus began spreading in the US, a nationwide retailer was facing issues with handling the growing number of Covid positive team members at each of their stores. With the sudden onset of the virus, it became difficult to manage each employee’s time off, store cleanings, and the CDC reporting requirements. GuideIT implemented a Covid response process to help manage the growing number of cases while preserving the safety of the employees and customers at all retail locations.

        Covid positive team members as well as all close contacts are identified and interacted with regularly throughout their quarantine. GuideIT acts as the liaison between the employee and the benefits department, to assist the employee with their leave of absence pay. GuideIt also initiates the store cleaning protocols to shut down the store when needed and dispatch the cleaning vendor to the correct store. CDC reporting requirements are then handled appropriately based on federal and state guidelines.

        The nationwide retailer was able to continue focusing on their customers and day to day operations, knowing they could trust GuideIT to manage their Covid Response needs quickly and safely.

        Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Solution: Contact Center as a Service

        A large regional healthcare organization wanted to provide vaccination hub services to their community of over 200,000 members. Recognizing that they lacked the infrastructure nor the resources to support this initiative, they reached out to GuideIT to provide a solution.  In less than 30 days, the infrastructure was in place and the GuideIT Vaccination call center resources were performing patient screening, scheduling, and demand management functions for the provider.

        Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

        A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network. Discover how GuideIT can help you reduce IT strain today!

        Telecom Services Cost Optimization

        A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

        Healthcare Management Organization Realizes Cloud Cost Savings with GuideIT

        GuideIT was engaged for this project as our customer was experiencing cost inefficiencies with their current server which caused them to have less flexibility and control over their solution. GuideIT recommended moving the customer from their current provider, and moving it into AWS EC2 and AWS SE. Through this solution, the customer will realize a reduction in cost, and greater durability and recoverability.

        Healthcare Collaboration Provider Achieves Cloud Resiliency & Cost Savings with GuideIT

        A leading healthcare collaboration provider was seeking to improve the costs and resiliency of their cloud environment. GuideIT leveraged the latest tools and techniques available to deliver higher availability, durability, and recoverability in their cloud environment. The customer was able to transition to an OpEx model and achieve a 15% decrease in ongoing monthly cloud spend.

        Application Development of Core Software Product

        GuideIT provides comprehensive Application Development and Modernization services to a global risk and compliance leader through consulting, development, and hybrid agile/waterfall methodologies to implement a continuous delivery strategy and position the organization for the future.

        The Customer

        A leading, privately-held information security company maintains one of the most widely adopted certifiable risk and compliance management frameworks for safeguarding sensitive regulated data.

        The company’s flagship go-to-market product is a software application utilized by customers to assess and maintain compliance with various regulatory regimes such as ISO/IEC 27000-series and HIPAA.

        The Challenge

        The company was seeking to significantly redesign its core SaaS-based risk management platform to make it easier and more cost-effective for subscribers to manage information risk and meet international, federal and state regulations concerning privacy and security.

        The original application was based on an outdated third-party platform and was not optimized for performance or scalability. The company also had a strategic goal to maintain complete ownership of the intellectual property making up the application and to deliver the product as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform. Furthermore, the company desired a robust, modernized user interface in line with industry best practices for interface design and user experience.

        The existing security solution was NOT:

        » Based on modern technologies
        » Scalable for cloud-based delivery
        » Optimized for performance
        » Utilizing UX/UI best practices

        GuideIT Application Development Services provide end-to-end solutions for modernization, management, and development of software tailored to specific business needs. Leveraging top industry talent, GuideIT Application Services teams develop, deploy, and maintain best-of-breed software solutions while leveraging modern development frameworks for continuous delivery such as DevOps, Agile, and hybrid models.

        The Solution

        GuideIT developed a plan to modernize the application and address the shortcomings of an aging architecture while also implementing a comprehensive strategy for ongoing development. The modernized application would be based on the latest cloud-based technology stack to allow fluid scaling to meet demand. Leveraging skilled User Interface and Experience designers, the application would benefit from a refreshed look and feel, based on a material design framework. Finally, the data and application architecture would be re-engineered from the ground up to provide a robust and responsive experience to end users who carry with them the expectation of world-class performance.

        Solution Benefits

        » Continuous development approach
        » Secure code validation
        » Increased user satisfaction
        » Collaborative development partnership
        » Modernized user interface & experience
        » Scalable application architecture
        » Increased product revenues
        » Enhanced application performance

        Why GuideIT

        DISCOVER > DESIGN > DEVELOP > DEPLOY

        GuideIT understands the needs of organizations to not only pursue the benefits of cutting edge approaches but also maintain support for late-cycle technologies that still form the basis of many critical business services. Customers benefit from industry-best talent and a disciplined yet flexible development life cycle approach which incorporates the principles of DevOps, Agile, Waterfall, and other management frameworks paired with a consultative, strategic approach.

        GuideIT developed a comprehensive plan to redesign and modernize the core application product utilizing best-of-breed technologies and methodologies. Levering industry best practices and a hybrid agile/waterfall development framework, GuideIT assessed the requirements and selected the best-suited architecture and approach, created a plan to address strategic goals, and engaged within a continuous delivery methodology.

        The Implementation

        1. REQUIREMENTS– Upon initiation of the project, GuideIT performed a comprehensive requirements gathering exercise to document existing functionality and map new feature requests and requirements for the application. We consulted with the customer who had developed an extensive product scope based on their business needs. GuideIT then adapted the requirements into an initial development plan.
        2. DEVELOPMENT– With the development plan in place, GuideIT worked with the customer to prioritize the efforts into sprints, which enabled completion of a minimum viable product version that would then be enhanced through continuous development and integration methodologies incorporating an agile approach.
        3.DEPLOYMENT– Within a continuous deployment framework, GuideIT maintains up to six environments to advance new features and enhancements in coordination with the customer product managers and in alignment with the product road map for development, QA testing, UAT, and deployment.

        The Results

        The GuideIT Application Services teams partnered with the customer for the development of the new application. The customer was seeking to counteract declining user satisfaction and subscribers resulting from outdated features, architectures, and experience. Since implementation of the new application with improved interface and features, the customer has expand their subscriber base by more than 95% in a 20-month period resulting in higher revenue.

        As the core go to market offering, ongoing development of the application was crucial to maintaining relevance by offering customers new and updated features. GuideIT implemented a continuous development framework, modernizing the approach and allowing more responsiveness to the customer’s ongoing product goals.

        Leveraging a cloud application architecture with modern techniques, overall improvements were made in performance, scalability, compatibility, and interface, resulting in higher user satisfaction.

        Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

        A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network.

        GuideIT’s Solution to the Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model
        The Evolving Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

        It is no secret that there has been an evolution in the healthcare industry over the past 120 years. As technology has advanced, so too has the healthcare model, in which technology plays a bigger role than ever. The advancement of technology has allowed physicians and providers to monitor and treat patients remotely, ultimately changing the entire healthcare experience. GuideIT is here to help providers navigate through the changing healthcare landscape by creating roadmaps for seamless technology integration. Here is everything you need to know about the technological innovations in healthcare and how GuideIT can help providers:

        A Transition to Virtual Healthcare

        At the turn of the 20th century, most people were receiving their healthcare at home in the form of physician house calls. The healthcare model was fragmented and mostly powered by individual physicians, rather than the centralized model we see today. By the late 20th century, we saw an office-centric approach where individual physicians had their own place of care, requiring patients to visit their primary care physician, rather than a physician visiting their home.

        Today, there are many factors at play that have inspired another shift in the healthcare system. As healthcare providers transitioned from physical records to electronic records, there was a boom of electronic health records that made it easier for providers to share information. In 2020, we saw a return of at-home primary care in the form of Telehealth, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a much greater use of Telehealth to support virtual visits for patients.

        The Rise of Virtual Healthcare

        The global pandemic, evolving technologies, a rise in chronic conditions and many other factors have created a different set of needs for both providers and patients alike. These forces have resulted in providers looking into technology to drive the future of healthcare. With many of these technologies already in place, such as the opportunity for video conferencing and Telehealth, the global pandemic accelerated a change in healthcare that was already happening.

        The Virtual Healthcare Delivery Model

        While the pandemic is waning and people are returning to normal life, the shift to technology-enabled remote patient-monitoring and virtual health are here to stay. Remote patient-monitoring technologies allow providers to check-up on patients daily, while the patients are in the comfort of their homes. This is a benefit to both providers and patients alike, creating a seamless form of care that does not require an extensive use of resources.

        One example of how remote patient-monitoring has proven its ability to improve on the traditional delivery model comes from the pandemic. As the pandemic created a surplus of patients with limited space, PPE and resources, it became nearly impossible for providers to treat all of their patients within their four walls. To combat this problem, many providers worked to create a different model, where they would monitor COVID-19 patients virtually rather than in person. They provided remote patient monitoring to their patients that allowed for monitoring symptoms and providing care based on their every day, overall health. The new model has opened the door to a multitude of opportunities to improve healthcare outcomes such as improved length of stay, readmission, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. The table below shows some of the potentials of the evolving virtual healthcare delivery model:

        How a Technology Partner Will Help Healthcare Providers

        The process of shifting to a virtual healthcare model is different for every organization. A good technology partner will help you figure out the optimal way to integrate virtual care into your delivery of care. The end goal should be helping your organization get to the point where patients are receiving the same level of care as they would within the four-walls of a traditional care setting, but in the comfort of their own home. This is a shift that will require a deep level of understanding of integrating healthcare technology into a seamless anywhere, anytime environment.

        While providers look at hundreds of different vendors to work within the Telehealth field, a good technology partner will help you sort through all of the clutter. Finding the right technology partner means that you will have someone to help you make those decisions, while also implementing, managing and maintaining the variety of different tools it takes to make Telehealth happen successfully. Your partner's goal should always be to create a unified system of technologies that communicate simultaneously.

        Finding Your Focus in Virtual Healthcare

        There are countless ways in which you can implement virtual healthcare for your patients, but without a specific focus, it can become a much more complex transition. The first step is asking yourself what you want to accomplish in virtual

        healthcare. Are you trying to decrease readmissions? Are you trying to promote overall wellness? Are you trying to improve the patient experience? Knowing what you want your overall focus to be on will not only help your customers but also help with the transition to digital.

        Virtual Care Enabling Technologies

        There are a number of virtual care enabling technologies that will help providers navigate through the changing environment. Each serves a specific purpose for maximizing the efficiency, support and effectiveness of your virtual healthcare delivery model. Here are some of the virtual care technologies that will become increasingly important for organizations moving forward to support a virtual care delivery model:

        Clinical & IT Service Desk:  Support for clinicians and patients, as well as patient family members and caregivers, to assist with procedural and technical questions and issues as well as provide outreach services. This service can also provide around-the-clock monitoring and alerting, as well as patient follow-up services.

        Patient Engagement:  Provides a conduit for the patient and provider to interact and allows the patient to actively participate in their healthcare journey. Provides the following functionality:

        •          Tool to facilitate patient-provider communication and feedback

        •          Condition-specific patient prompts

        •          Patient motivation

        •          Condition-specific educational material

        •          Care coordination

        •          Health coaching

        •          Prevention and wellness guidance

        •          Medication management

        •          Scheduling

        •          Monitoring and alerting

        Digital Front Door: This is how patients interact with the health system or provider. It provides a patient, and the community, a means to get information as well as obtain services. It is the digital front desk for a provider’s practice or health system. In order for it to be effective, this service requires a clear strategy and an integrated marketing plan.

        IT Management & Cloud Enablement: The technical infrastructure required to provide remote patient monitoring, the cloud hosting of the application and the communication tools required to provide virtual health services.

        Device Asset Management: This service provides the asset management functions for any device or monitor required to support the virtual health offering: deployment, configuration, security, maintenance and support.

        Provider Analytics & ML: The capability to collect, aggregate and analyze data that allows for reporting and evaluating the effectiveness of the virtual health offerings.

        There are a large number of virtual care enabling technologies that will play a role in a transition into a virtual healthcare delivery model. The transition is different for every organization, depending on your offerings, focus and overall goal for the patient experience. GuideIT offers all of these services and more to help providers create a seamless experience for their staff and patients. Contact us today to learn more about what it will take for your organization to transition into the world of virtual healthcare.

        Photo Sourced from Getty Images: #1264364849

        [EVENT] AWS Immersion Day – 5 NOVEMBER 2021

        November 5th at 9:30 AM CT

        Join us for a half-day technical immersion day covering Microsoft workloads on AWS!

        Agenda:

        Topic Time
        Welcome and Opening 15 Minutes
        Why AWS for Microsoft Workloads 30 Minutes
        Introduction to Architecting Microsoft Workloads on AWS 45 Minutes
        Break 15 Minutes
        Lab – Deploying AWS Managed Microsoft AD  45 Minutes
        Automating Infrastructure with Windows Servers 45 Minutes
        Lab – Using Systems Manager to Manage EC2 Instances and/or On-Premise Machines 45 Minutes
        Closing 15 Minutes

        What is the Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day?

        The AWS for Microsoft Workloads Immersion Day is a customizable AWS experience designed by solution architects to help move customer and partner opportunities forward. AWS helps customers build, deploy, and manage Microsoft applications quickly, easily and cost-effectively. During this Immersion Day customers are presented with AWS solutions to challenging real world Microsoft use cases that relate to their business and IT needs. This Immersion Day is a powerful tool for showing customers the art of what’s possible on AWS for their Microsoft workloads and changing the dynamics of a competitive Microsoft opportunity.

        Benefits of the Microsoft Immersion Day

        The goal of the Microsoft Immersion Day is to show customers the power of AWS as a platform for running Microsoft workloads and inspire customers to get started building and deploying Microsoft workloads on AWS. We an agenda that covers a broad range of Microsoft topics including Windows Server, SQL Server, .NET and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with deploying and running Microsoft applications on AWS. Customers will also have the opportunity for valuable face to face time with an AWS SA to discuss and receive advice on their particular use cases.

        Register Below:

          National Retailer Deploys Covid Contact Tracing with GuideIT

          As Coronavirus began spreading in the US, a nationwide retailer was facing issues with handling the growing number of Covid positive team members at each of their stores. With the sudden onset of the virus, it became difficult to manage each employee’s time off, store cleanings, and the CDC reporting requirements. GuideIT implemented a Covid response process to help manage the growing number of cases while preserving the safety of the employees and customers at all retail locations.

          Covid positive team members as well as all close contacts are identified and interacted with regularly throughout their quarantine. GuideIT acts as the liaison between the employee and the benefits department, to assist the employee with their leave of absence pay. GuideIt also initiates the store cleaning protocols to shut down the store when needed and dispatch the cleaning vendor to the correct store. CDC reporting requirements are then handled appropriately based on federal and state guidelines.

          The nationwide retailer was able to continue focusing on their customers and day to day operations, knowing they could trust GuideIT to manage their Covid Response needs quickly and safely.

          Covid-19 Vaccine Hub Solution: Contact Center as a Service

          A large regional healthcare organization wanted to provide vaccination hub services to their community of over 200,000 members. Recognizing that they lacked the infrastructure nor the resources to support this initiative, they reached out to GuideIT to provide a solution.  In less than 30 days, the infrastructure was in place and the GuideIT Vaccination call center resources were performing patient screening, scheduling, and demand management functions for the provider.

          Centrally-Managed Networking Solution

          A Regional healthcare Provider was seeking to decrease labor operating costs and improve how the organization handled ongoing management and maintenance. GuideIT designed a networking approach custom-tailored to the customer's needs and implemented a lower-cost, cloud-managed network across over 200 care centers and 800 devices. The solution reduced IT strain and related expenses by 35% through centralized management while maintaining high availability metrics across the network. Discover how GuideIT can help you reduce IT strain today!

          Telecom Services Cost Optimization

          A National Full-Service Benefits provider partnered with GuideIT to reduce costs and improve quality of their telecom services. GuideIT designed a solution to transition the company away from expensive MPLS through implementation of SDWAN and taking advantage of lower costs circuits. The plan reduced their monthly telecom spend by 50% while also improving the performance and resiliency of the network.

          Healthcare Management Organization Realizes Cloud Cost Savings with GuideIT

          GuideIT was engaged for this project as our customer was experiencing cost inefficiencies with their current server which caused them to have less flexibility and control over their solution. GuideIT recommended moving the customer from their current provider, and moving it into AWS EC2 and AWS SE. Through this solution, the customer will realize a reduction in cost, and greater durability and recoverability.

          Healthcare Collaboration Provider Achieves Cloud Resiliency & Cost Savings with GuideIT

          A leading healthcare collaboration provider was seeking to improve the costs and resiliency of their cloud environment. GuideIT leveraged the latest tools and techniques available to deliver higher availability, durability, and recoverability in their cloud environment. The customer was able to transition to an OpEx model and achieve a 15% decrease in ongoing monthly cloud spend.