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The all-in-one solution: a large-scale healthcare provider chooses one manufacturer to fulfill all of its IT needs.

It all started with printer toner, which can be more expensive by volume than oil, champagne and imported caviar. Organizations spend millions each year on the stuff. When Ed Simcox and Phil Canada of

Clarian Health Partners of Indiana dug around for ways to lower their organization's spending, their cost to replenish consumables like toner was an early discovery. Clarian encompasses five hospitals, and numerous regional and rural clinics and affiliated hospitals spread throughout the state. Simcox is Clarian's director of enterprise planning and chief technology officer, and Canada is director of business innovation. "We are, as every healthcare institution is or should be," says Simcox, "always looking for opportunities to improve processes and save money, to reduce the total cost of healthcare." Their quest also led to other significant discoveries. Clarian's diverse network of thousands of computers, which includes 25 different models of desktop PCs, with 53 unique operating system images, and dozens of different printers, are hybrid in nature and a nightmare for their IT staff to support. They quickly realized they also wanted to eliminate the cost of maintaining these disparate systems.

The Total Solution

Clarian had outgrown its channel partners, says Canada, and to achieve their objective, they needed to ally with a vendor that could share and support the organization's strategic growth trajectory. One-stop shopping, they determined, would solve Clarian's charge to reduce cost and streamline IT operations. They decided to replace their multivendor legacy systems with one leased and supported by a single company, and invited Dell, HE IBM and Gateway to submit proposals for completely re placing them at four of their five downtown locations, and several beltway clinics, over a three-year period. Canada disclosed to each vendor Clarian's ambition to standardize their desktop/printer/server fleet and lower its total cost of ownership, without incurring any initial upfront costs. After reviewing the proposals, they chose Dell based on proven performance, price and recommendations, and their quality of approach and presence in the marketplace.

Dell's response to Clarian's request was the crispest, says Canada, who states that Dell Financial Services' ability to arrange flexible financing also was a decisive factor. "They seemed to understand the model we were looking for right out of the gate, and the fact that they had Dell Financial Services as a sister entity to Dell Marketing played well with our finance people."

Along with PowerEdge 2850 and 1850 servers, Dell agreed to install 9,000 OptiPlex desktop and Latitude notebook computers and 1,700 printers, as well as migrate the data from the old desktops. After installation, Clarian will have two operating system images, as opposed to 53, and four different models of PC, as opposed to 25, simplifying network management and, ultimately, resulting in significant time and cost savings.

All of the equipment is covered by Dell's comprehensive warranty, which Clarian negotiated to extend from three to four years. The warranty also covers replacement of certain moving parts, such as printer fusers, the roller device through which each page passes. It transmits heat to the toner, which melts and bonds with the page, and it has a limited lifespan. Other company's warranties did not contain this provision, which also covers installation. This was a critical factor in Clarian's decision to choose Dell, as it was the high cost of consumables that sparked their desire for change.

The Total Cost of Ownership

Thanks to Dell's "total solution" approach, combined with their internal financing, Simcox and Canada estimate the project will yield a 29.7 percent total-cost-of-ownership savings over the next five years. "From an interconnectivity and interoperability perspective, we're looking at a complete turn-around from what we had before," states Simcox, which Canada says makes for a much more manageable environment. Clarion's due diligence continues, even as the final details are being worked out with Dell toward an April 2006 rollout.

For more information on Dell healthcare solutions,
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Author:McBride, Mike
Publication:Health Management Technology
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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