Customers

Saudi German Health Advances Digital Healthcare Services with Nutanix

INDUSTRY

Healthcare

BENEFITS

  • Effectively addressed the complexity, reliability, and scalability issues that previously plagued the IT environment and provided a robust platform to continually and cost- effectively introduce innovative digital services such as remote diagnosis, and enterprise mobility.
  • Reduced hardware spending by 40%, enabling redirection of budget into IT initiatives that drive business outcomes and enhance patient care.
  • Reduced backup window by a factor of 4X, and significantly reduced IT management overheads by offering powerful centralized management of the entire environment.

SOLUTIONS

  • Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)
  • Nutanix Prism Pro management solution

Applications

  • Hospital Information System
  • HYCU Backup and Recovery Software
  • VDI on Nutanix HCI
  • Oracle Database
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • RIS (Radiology Information System)
  • PACS (Picture Archiving Communication System)

About the Customer:

Saudi German Health was founded by the Batterjee family and has grown to become the leading private healthcare provider across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Saudi German Health has a workforce of over 8,500 employees in its 11 hospitals across the Middle East and North Africa and serves over 2.5 million patients a year.

Saudi German Hospital Cairo and Riyadh are proud members of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which is a network of independent health systems that are carefully vetted and selected for their commitment to a high-quality patient experience.

Prior to Nutanix, whenever we aimed to undertake a new IT project, we would have to request significant budget for the associated hardware which often turned into an impasse with the management. However, now that have realized over 40% savings in hardware spending, and we have been able to redirect these funds into advancing our digital services.

Mr. Hamza Sobhi Batterjee, President of HSB Holding

BUSINESS CHALLENGES

For over three decades, Saudi German Health has firmly established itself as a leading private healthcare provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As part of the HSB Holding Company – the largest healthcare group in Saudi Arabia – Saudi German Health prides itself as an industry pioneer and has achieved this by offering world-class treatment and facilities, backed by industry leading technologies. For this reason, IT plays a pivotal role in every aspect of the company’s operations – from patient-facing services, to mission-critical back-end processes.

Years of continued and significant investment into technologies – each of which was cutting-edge at its time of implementation – had left Saudi German Health with a complex IT infrastructure. “We have a number of decentralized clusters built on legacy, hardware-based servers and storage technologies from several different vendors,” explained Mr. Hamza Sobhi Batterjee, President of HSB Holding. With virtualization on these platforms also being made possible by solutions from different vendors, the IT team found it ‘impossible’ to migrate VMs between clusters. “With no ability for centralized monitoring of our environment, the complexity of day-to-day management was considerable, and this effort was compounded by the ongoing need to manage so many licenses, support contracts and of course, hardware and upgrade cycles,” he added.

But more so than these challenges for the IT team, it was the risk posed to the availability and smooth operation of the business that was of greatest concern to Mr. Batterjee and his team. “Our Hospital Information System (HIS), and our HYCU backup and disaster solution were running on this legacy infrastructure. With all our patient data, and mission-critical applications at stake, we simply could not accept the sub-par backup and recovery performance, that resulted from HYCU being hosted in this environment,” he said.

SOLUTION

To overcome the shortcomings it was facing, Saudi German Health’s IT team began assessing hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions from Nutanix as well as two other vendors. The primary objective of this PoC phase was to evaluate the integration of the backup solution with the HCI platform as this had been the foremost IT challenge. “Nutanix came out on top as they offered great features at the most competitive price point,” said Mr. Batterjee. “Moreover, we thoroughly analyzed the hardware, software, and physical on-site support each of these three vendors could offer and Nutanix ranked highest in these criteria as well.”.

Armed with this confidence, Mr. Batterjee and his team, began the deployment which spanned five clusters across five geographically dispersed locations. “We completed the implementation in under five days, as once we prepared the hardware, Nutanix rapidly executed the software installation and configuration,” he said. Most importantly, all this was accomplished without any impact to the operations of any Saudi German hospitals and clinics. “We’re a 24x7 operation, and with patient lives depending on our services, there’s no scope for error. The fact that we achieved seamless migration without any downtime is testament to the ease of deployment of Nutanix,” he said.

CUSTOMER OUTCOMES

Thanks to Nutanix Prism Pro, centralized management of the entire IT environment was finally made possible. “With our operations spanning across the vast geography of Saudi Arabia and the broader MENA region, this has been invaluable to our IT team,” explained Mr. Batterjee. Daily monitoring and management – previously a herculean task – now takes the IT team no more than 10 minutes. He also praised the availability, scalability, and flexibility of the Nutanix environment. “Migration of VMs between clusters is not only possible, but rather it can be done with minimal effort,” he said.

With HYCU being purpose-built for Nutanix, the deployment has comprehensively eliminated the backup and recovery challenges Saudi German Health previously faced and enabled the organization to realize the full potential of its investment. “We extensively tested the recovery of our Oracle database and Microsoft Exchange and found a 4X boost in performance. Backups that previously took four hours and were prone to errors, now execute without any issues in under an hour,” Mr. Batterjee said.

The benefits of simplified IT management have been recognized by Saudi German Health’s management team as well. “We used to have to conduct planned maintenance events, but since moving to Nutanix, we have eliminated this. The availability of our services is incredible, and this in turn translates to an enhanced ability to serve our patients,” said Mr. Batterjee.

Nutanix HCI has also enabled an accelerated pace of innovation for Saudi German Health. “Prior to Nutanix, whenever we aimed to undertake a new IT project, we would have to request significant budget for the associated hardware which often turned into an impasse with the management. However, now that we have realized over 40% savings in hardware spending, we have been able to redirect these funds into advancing our digital services,” said Mr. Batterjee.

It is this ability to deliver innovative new digital services to patients, rapidly and at scale, that Mr. Batterjee believes is the most valuable outcome of his organization’s decision to implement Nutanix. “Because of the stability and scalability of our Nutanix environment, we have been able to rapidly test and deploy a host of new services. Among these is our home doctor offering which proved especially critical through the pandemic as it enabled our doctors to remotely diagnose and treat patients. Similarly, Nutanix has enabled us to manage appointments, payments, and other vital patient services remotely,” he said.

In a pilot project, aimed at demonstrating the value and effectiveness of empowering clinical staff with on-the-go access to digital data and applications, the IT team has implemented VDI on Nutanix HCI at Saudi German Hospital Dammam. “Since this makes our HIS system conveniently accessible via highly portable tablet devices, our staff have gained the ability to access, refer to, and update patient records wherever, and whenever they need it. This has the added benefit of being a highly effective way of demonstrating our commitment to digital advancement to our patients,” said Mr. Batterjee.

Based on this success, Mr. Batterjee has clear intentions to deepen his organization’s engagement with Nutanix. “We will scale our VDI deployment across all our hospitals and medical collages. For this, we are keen to implement Nutanix Xi Frame as we have been highly impressed with its performance, scalability, and availability,” he said.

As a medical institution that places the highest emphasis on the ‘human’ aspect of its business, it’s no surprise that Saudi German Health sees tremendous value in its relationship with Nutanix’s local team in Saudi Arabia. “Whenever we have a requirement, the speed and quality of support from Nutanix has been exceptional. Their skills, talent, and professionalism set the bar for the industry,” concluded Mr. Batterjee.