Rafael Victor

Systems Engineer, Microsoft Azure

SHI-Raphael-VictorRafael Victor is a Systems Engineer in the SHI Enterprise Solutions group. He joined the company in 2011 as a Microsoft Licensing Specialist. Today Rafael is responsible for supporting Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-based platform and offering pre-sales technical, licensing, and software asset management support to organizations across myriad verticals.

Prior to joining SHI, Rafael was a Software Solution Manager at Market Resource Partners (MRP) where he helped the organization become a Microsoft Partner and trained its licensing specialists. Before his time with MRP, he worked for CDW as a Microsoft Partner Specialist.

Rafael holds a number of technical certifications, including:

  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Volume Licensing Specialist, Small and Medium Organizations
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management
  • Microsoft Business Intelligence Pre-Sales Technical Specialist
  • Microsoft Private Cloud, Management and Virtualization Pre-Sales Technical Specialist

In his spare time, Rafael watches Japanese anime, volunteers for Toastmasters, and cheers on his favorite soccer team, the Philadelphia Union.

Send your Windows Azure questions to Rafael at rafael_victor@shi.com.

How health care IT and value-based care are shaking up the industry

Spending on health care makes up about one sixth of U.S. GDP, making the industry an influential force—and one that can be slow to change. Still, health care—and its technology—needs to be able to keep up with the latest trends if providers want to survive and give the best care to their patients.

One of the biggest shifts occurring in the industry is the switch to value-based care, in which physicians and health care providers bill patients for all service related to treatment of a particular condition, rather than on a procedure-by-procedure basis. It involves more sharing between different providers and, usually, better quality care for the patient.

It also means changes in how care is delivered and the role technology plays. Here’s how health care technology is evolving to meet these new trends. (more…)

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Cisco Live preview: 4 topics to talk about

Once again, SHI will be setting out to conquer the Cisco Live conference this year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Covering everything from security to contract and asset management, there’s going to be a lot to take in, and a lot to talk about. That’s why we’ve pulled together some of the top topics to discuss at this all-encompassing event.

We’re excited to talk about all things Cisco, but stop by SHI’s booth (#4617) for a special focus on the following four topics, plus a top-of-the-line virtual reality experience. (more…)

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Closing the availability gap with a combo of hyperconverged and recoverability

People want information at their fingertips, faster and more immediately than ever before. Waiting around for pages or apps to load, come back online, or restore simply isn’t an option anymore. Technology needs to be fast, efficient, and reliable—24/7.

A survey of more than 1,000 IT leaders showed that 69 percent believe that this kind of availability for services and applications is a requirement for digital transformation. Yet 82 percent see a gap between what their business requires and what they can actually deliver. This “availability gap” is said to hinder the modern enterprise, as 66 percent of those surveyed admitted that unplanned downtime was holding back digital transformation initiatives.

Clearly, companies would like to close the availability gap—it’s a crucial part of completing a digital transformation. Figuring out how to do that, however, can be trickier. Fortunately, we have some expert advice to get you started. (more…)

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SHI breaks into top 10 on CRN’s 2017 Solution Provider 500

Exactly 20 years ago, I walked into a company called Software House International for my first day of work. Three weeks before that, I hadn’t even heard of the place (much like everyone else I knew). Soon after I would learn that Microsoft Office 97 was readily available on both CD and 3.5” diskette, and that the Verve Pipe song “The Freshman” was virtually impossible to get out of your head.

Times have most certainly changed.

That is why I was extremely proud last week to learn that same company, now called SHI International Corp., has been recognized by CRN as the 9th largest North American IT solutions provider—a climb of four spots from our 2016 ranking. (more…)

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How a 1,700-tablet rollout helped transform this health care company

When you’re in the back of an ambulance, you want your EMTs to have the newest, most reliable, most easy-to-use technology. You don’t want clunky computers and tablets from 10 years ago, and you don’t want a slow, messy deployment process of new technology to cause hiccups in your ongoing care. If your life is on the line, you want to know everything related to saving it is as efficient and up-to-date as possible.

Health care is in a more precarious place than most industries, as failures can have life or death consequences. That’s why, when one ambulance dispatch company wanted to replace 5,500 of the computers and tablets in its ambulances, it needed the process to be efficient, move quickly, and—most importantly—improve the lives of both doctors and patients.

Here’s how it did exactly that.

Emergency vehicles with problems of their own

The company dispatched ambulances all over the country, meaning that it had a huge supply of mobile devices. The tablets and laptops the company deployed ran the company’s enterprise app, which EMTs used to check patients and catalog their vital statistics, but device management issues regularly popped up across the board.

There was no unified management system that could easily image all of those devices. The ruggedized laptops and tablets were old, heavy, bulky, expensive, and on strange lifecycles. The company struggled to tell when old devices should be retired and disposed of, or how data was transferred or deleted, or if training was needed for a new device.

With all of these troubles, the company was looking for an enterprise-wide upgrade: an army of the same devices that could be managed by one system for seamless device and information integration. A big draw for the company was Windows 10, which it was hoping to implement in all areas of business in order to streamline imaging and management. It turned to Microsoft, which offered a good deal on Surface 3 tablets, InTune, and Azure to complete the deployment.

Tight turnaround, high demand

Despite this generous offer from Microsoft, challenges remained. The first came in the form of inventory. As the company’s longtime partner, SHI was responsible for sourcing the 1,700 Surface tablets and accompanying accessories, such as Urban Armor Gear cases and Compulocks DoubelGlass Screen Shield screen protectors, that would be used in the ambulances—no easy feat, considering the Surface tablets best suited for the company were not new models. However, by working with multiple distributors and leveraging its strong relationship with Microsoft’s Surface team, SHI was able to get access to Surfaces as they became available.

The second challenge came in the form of prioritizing the rollout. With so many locations and only a four-month rollout period, it was important that the schedule ran tightly to the expected timeline and properly prioritized each site in terms of need. By engaging with suppliers and the health care company’s key stakeholders, SHI was able to figure out which locations would implement the rollout first, manage the supply chain to accommodate that, and simplify the timeline. SHI also encrypted, imaged, and asset tagged each device, so that they could be sent to the proper location and work right out of the box—a process partly made possible by SHI’s new Integration Center.

Making it all come together

Upgrading its hardware allowed the company’s enterprise app to run much more smoothly, meaning doctors and EMTs can share patient information more easily than before. The Surface 3 is lighter and more user-friendly than the old machines the company was using, and adding the functionality of the included Surface pen and other accessories means that hospitals can check in and process patients faster.

The Surface 3, of course, also runs Windows 10, which can up productivity for doctors, nurses, and EMTs. By adding mobility and Windows 10 to its environment, the company improves flow of information between health care practitioners and patients—a valuable addition in a field where every second can count.

But it doesn’t end there. Although the rollout went smoothly and quickly for this health care company, there’s still a long way to go. By switching all of its devices to Windows 10 and compatible services, this company hopes to improve its communication and device management even further, creating a more connected environment that could help save even more lives.

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The school year ends with the same routines: end-of-year grades, final projects, and the tantalizing thought of summer vacation. But in the rush of the final days of school, some things can go overlooked, and some can cost you money all summer long.

The cloud is one. Due to its pay-what-you-use model, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become a major cloud provider to schools across the country, offering an affordable way for school districts to introduce labs, sandboxes, and over 500 other services into the classroom.

But if you don’t keep a close eye on who’s using what, instances can run all summer—or longer—leading to a phenomenon known as “cloud sprawl.” If you don’t get it under control, it can compound itself with every semester and school year, ballooning your cloud spend on resources no one is using.

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Autodesk is about to fundamentally change how it extends capabilities and delivers new functionality.

Beginning in June 2017, customers with existing eligible perpetual licenses on active maintenance can easily switch to a subscription model at the time of renewal for a significantly discounted price, and secure that rate for up to three years.

The price to switch to the subscription plan will increase 5 percent in 2018 and another 5 percent in 2019, making it more cost effective to switch at an earlier date.

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Apple deployment within enterprises is on the rise. Organizations as large as IBM have opened the doors to Macs in their environments, and are experiencing the benefits –improved employee satisfaction and culture, reduced tech support demands, and surprisingly to some, cost savings.

For organizations accustomed to maintaining a Windows environment, switching to Apple devices—whether in part or in full—may be uncharted territory, and it’s not uncommon for questions to arise. With this in mind, SHI recently held a webinar to address how businesses can efficiently deploy Apple products in their IT environment.

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