Advicare is a rapidly growing company based in Florida that advocates on behalf of their clients in resolving healthcare claims. In its first year of business, Advicare doubled in size. By the end of 2019, the company plans on opening a second location and increasing staff from 100 to over 200.
Nortec was initially engaged on a project basis to support Advicare’s expansion goals by designing and implementing cloud-based solutions. As Nortec worked more closely with Advicare, providing guidance on device management and implementing additional solutions, Advicare realized their previous IT providers did not offer similar levels of support. This had created obstacles which would have been avoided with Nortec. Before the project ended, Advicare decided to partner with Nortec for managed services and strategic IT support.
Advicare operates entirely in the cloud, with 85% of their employees working remotely. The company was overpaying for hosting, which unnecessarily tied up capital and limited growth potential. Advicare knew they could quadruple in size with the right cloud infrastructure in place and reached out to Nortec for help.
At the onset, Nortec assessed Advicare’s environment and uncovered two additional issues.
First, operational efficiency was hindered because every employee had three different sets of credentials. Each was used every day; one to log into their laptops, a second for email and a third to access line-of-business applications through the server.
More concerning, however, Advicare had no tracking or management of devices that were used remotely – causing a significant number of security and compliance threats. The majority of their users had admin access to download and install any application, and some computers lacked basic security – such as antivirus software to detect malware in the programs they downloaded. Furthermore, employees used disparate systems (some using Windows 7 and some Windows 10) making basic security features inconsistent.
If malware infected one laptop, the virus could easily spread to the entire network when the computer connected to a company server. Or, keystrokes could be recorded and confidential client information extracted from line-of-business applications. Because protected health information (PHI) could be accessed from lost or infected devices, the management of mobile devices was a compliance challenge needing immediate attention.
Using Advicare’s short- and long-term objectives, Nortec highlighted cloud-based solutions to achieve the company’s growth goals and compliance needs and developed a strategic roadmap to reach those goals quickly and within the client’s budget. Before moving data and applications or building out the new servers, Nortec followed a rigorous testing process for each cloud migration to prevent costly mistakes and downtime. This involved creating everything in a test environment and conducting additional trials before migrating to the new environment and turning off the old system.
Throughout the process, Nortec provided Advicare updates at every step and explained what was happening. IT experts were available to answer questions the Advicare team had, and a solid working relationship was established between the two companies. When Nortec approached Advicare with the operational and security issues, Advicare entrusted Nortec to identify and implement the necessary solutions.
Nortec implemented Office 365 and Windows 10 on all workstations and unified the users’ credentials, creating one easy identity per person. Using Intune, Nortec worked with Advicare to establish a comprehensive program for managing remote devices, removing admin access from users who didn’t require it and providing for the inventory, tracking and updating of all laptops and mobile devices. In addition, Nortec standardized Advicare’s laptops, so that any new ones purchased would contain the right software and permissions before being shipped to the user.
Prior to engaging Nortec, the client’s IT support was minimal, with employees seeking their own resolutions to problems. Their cloud use was unsecure and unmanaged, with no overarching strategy. Resolving these challenges has empowered Advicare to pursue growth goals in the following ways:
- Improvements in their cloud environment immediately reduced costs and put Advicare in a position to scale and grow securely.
- Mobile device management established greater visibility and control of endpoints.
- Security frameworks were put in place to ensure Advicare remains HIPAA compliant and PHI is protected.
- Unifying identities, consolidating vendors and simplifying the management of the company’s network and devices streamlined operations.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Nortec’s expert knowledge helps clients maximize their return on investment on Microsoft solutions. After learning the central role reporting and analysis play in Advicare’s operations, Nortec continues to help Advicare adopt new innovations through the Microsoft stack, such as Power BI, which increases visibility of vital business data and drives success. Nortec also highlighted other applications within Office 365 suite Advicare can use to create more opportunities for collaboration.
“Nortec continues to provide IT guidance, manage Advicare’s network and devices and serve as a strategic business partner. Their recommendations have helped us navigate our rapid growth and successfully manage our remote devices to provide our clients with secure, reliable support. We chose them because, even though they are based out of Washington D.C., we could not find another company with the depth of knowledge, expertise and level of support they offered us.” –Advicare