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.

Tags: , , ,

The four quests of mobility: A strategy guide for leveling up your business

Making the leap to a mobile environment can be quite the journey. Some may even call it a quest. Along the way you will encounter obstacles, but they can be overcome with the proper tools, and if all goes to plan, you can level up to an efficient, fully integrated mobile environment.

Much like a video game, you’ll need to achieve goals, defeat bosses, and reap rewards. But it’s dangerous to go alone. You need the proper tools—or power ups—to complete your adventure into the Kingdom of Mobility.

We’ve developed the following strategy guide to get you from where you are now to a mobile environment. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,

6 tech trends that took over in 2016

Technology continues to become more and more integrated into our everyday lives—it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t use software to help run their business more smoothly. At SHI, we help organizations across a number of industries find the solutions they need, from printer security to healthy cubicle hacks and more. It gives us a great view of some of the trends that emerge each year, including what hit it big in 2016. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here’s what happened when Avenue, a clothing retailer, turned to tablets to increase sales

retail-tabletsIt’s a bricks-and-mortar retail reality: You can’t stock everything, and that means you lose sales when a customer is looking for a style or color you don’t have.

This is the story of how Avenue, a specialty clothing retailer, bucked that trend with tablets. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , , ,

How modern Windows device management solves IT’s imaging problems

mdmIT might long for the days when employees worked on one desktop computer. Too bad the ‘90s are over. Today, employees use multiple devices that should seamlessly integrate with each other and the rest of the environment.

That’s easier said than done, especially for IT managers who are still imaging and deploying devices like they were five years ago. The process can be lengthy and complex, and presents challenges for organizations of all sizes.

But new tools simplify the process, and one that’s getting more and more attention is Windows 10’s modern device management. Here’s how it works and how it can make your life easier. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,

How one retailer rolled out thousands of tablets to 600 stores across the nation

tablets-in-retailA small project for a large organization is often nothing of the sort. One recent example is a large national retailer’s plan to deploy 8,500 tablets to 600 stores.

As part of a mobility push, the retailer sought to equip thousands of store managers and other personnel with tablets. After working through a proof of concept with a number of options, the retailer chose a family of Microsoft Surface tablets (primarily Surface 3 devices) for their size, light weight, touch-screen capabilities, and ease of use in the store environment. The tablets allow managers to track inventory and monitor sales from anywhere – in the office, on the floor, or behind the register. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,