IT infrastructure specialist Fordway has attended the ITDF for several years. Fordway was founded 22 years ago on the principle of using mature, experienced staff to tackle the root cause of infrastructure problems, rather than just treat the symptoms with new hardware and software. The company also provides a range of managed cloud services from its own equipment in two UK data centres.
What did Fordway do for University Hospitals Coventry & Warwick NHS Trust?
The company has just designed and installed a new scalable storage solution for University Hospitals Coventry & Warwick NHS Trust to consolidate storage from across the Trust, provide a platform for a new PACS implementation and support future growth. It delivers better availability and resilience and provides a flexible platform for future developments, including the electronic storage and retrieval of all patient notes by 2016.
The Trust’s existing EMC SAN was due to reach the end of its maintenance life in 2014. “We didn’t want to tie our new PACS solution to our current SAN, which would then have to be replaced in a year’s time, especially with the high volume of data we’d have to transfer,” explains the Trust’s Associate Director of IT Charles Yeomanson. “We also decided to use the opportunity to consolidate storage across the Trust in a single solution.”
Charles met a number of enterprise storage vendors to assess the products available before drawing up and publishing an open tender. He had met Fordway’s managing director Richard Blanford at the ITDF in 2012 and, knowing the company’s experience in the healthcare sector, suggested that they should respond.
The Trust’s preferred storage solution was a NetApp storage array due to the SAN’s MetroCluster solution. Fordway is an established NetApp partner and offered UHCW a scalable solution which included a long term pricing guarantee and vendor partnership.
“Fordway’s experience in the healthcare sector enabled them to understand what we wanted to achieve and to work in partnership with us and NetApp to deliver the solution within a very short timescale,” says Charles. “They delivered the project on schedule and within budget so we could immediately begin migrating systems and transferring data to our new SAN.”
How useful do both organisations find the ITDF?
According to Fordway’s Richard Blanford: “as well as making new contacts, it enables us to hear firsthand about the challenges IT directors are facing, and by sharing the experience we’ve gained from a wide range of infrastructure change projects we can suggest different ways to address those issues.”
Charles Yeomanson from University Hospitals Coventry & Warwick NHS Trust adds: “The IT Director’s Forum was an ideal opportunity to make contact with a number of suppliers to initiate specific service developments.”
Fordway has extensive experience across public, private and not for profit sectors for organisations including the London Borough of Brent, Comic Relief and one of the engineering consortia building infrastructure for Crossrail.
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