Non-emergency medical transportation plays a vital role in healthcare. Imagine operating a 24-hour transportation service … and suddenly calls start dropping. Voice quality becomes incoherent. And Internet connections begin cutting out. Not once, but on a regular basis. The impact is immediate. Dispatchers can no longer connect with drivers. Vehicle tracking devices lose their ability to locate the nearest driver to pick up a customer. Schedules cannot be accessed. Most importantly, customers in wheelchairs, chronically ill or in need of special medical attention miss essential follow-up appointments. Lack of proper network redundancy creates the perfect storm for disaster!
Network Resilience – The Power of Reliable Redundancy
In the healthcare transportation business, downtime is not an option. Services must be available around the clock … whether emergency or non-emergency. This requires WAN and inter-site network capabilities that provide dependable voice circuit quality as well as reliable application and data transfer performance.
SD-WAN has emerged as a key technology for managing cloud-based applications and network load balancing over multiple types of connections. Its built-in redundancy makes SD-WAN particularly effective in providing reliable failover if one circuit performs poorly. This way, you are guaranteed uptime and reliable voice quality and application performance.
Here are three ways SD-WAN with a managed service provider can improve your network resilience.
Fail-safe Traffic Orchestration
Many organizations today use a mixture of traditional multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) private lines and broadband. However, if one of these lines start cutting out or dropping calls, it needs to find a better connection. SD-WAN simplifies the management of multiple traffic lines by controlling the fluctuating peaks and valleys of traffic flow from devices on your network. Whether using single or multiple circuits, managed service providers using SD-WAN can automatically correct a struggling traffic connection and route it to a better connection without a session drop. Policy-based rules can also be easily applied to prioritize traffic steering and application recognition for reliable network performance, especially for bandwidth-intensive applications such as video, streaming and collaboration tools.
Consistent Quality of Service
Understanding what’s happening on your network is key to network resilience. Managed service providers can centrally monitor the traffic characteristics and bandwidth performance at all branch locations from a single portal. They use a broad set of management tools with full visibility and metrics of all devices and user endpoints. This enables proactive alerting, troubleshooting and optimization in real-time. Performance monitoring combined with intelligent load balancing ensures reliable quality of service. Latency, jitter and dropped packets are virtually eliminated.
SD-WAN connections require end-to-end security that goes beyond simply encrypting data. With many businesses shifting from MPLS to less-expensive broadband services for direct-to-cloud and branch-to-branch connectivity, the traffic now passes through the Internet over an SD-WAN overlay and not over a private MPLS network. This changes the dynamics of security risks. Managed service providers can work with your organization to determine the best security options for your organization – SD-WAN with built-in security features; SD-WAN integrated with existing security; or adding more modern next-generation firewalls with SD-WAN to replace aging technologies. Deep integration between connectivity and security paves the way for reliable protection.
On-demand healthcare services such as non-emergency medical transportation rely on consistent uptime and reliable network performance. One missed call or dispatch disruption can have a huge impact on business operations and customer experiences. SD-WAN with a managed service provider can improve network resilience and provide assurance all calls will be delivered without a glitch.
Need help with evaluating your network resilience? Schedule a consultation with our SD-WAN experts.
Mike Penn joined Magna5 as Senior Content Developer. His role is to bring to life stories that inspire or inject clarity in how managed services and emerging trends can be applied to help organizations operate better and more efficiently.