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Migrating a National Healthcare Organization to a Single Sign-On Platform for an ERP Implementation

Technology Deployment Services | Healthcare

TEKsystems implemented a migration from local Novell Directory Services user authentication to an enterprise single sign-on (SSO) Microsoft Active Directory user authentication.

The client, a nonprofit Catholic health ministry, operates a network of hospitals and health facilities throughout the United States. The client is committed to providing consistent, exceptional service to all patients.
The healthcare industry is focused on providing improved patient care and patient outcomes through enhanced communication across hospitals, health clinics, primary care providers, insurance companies and patients. With the guidance of recent legislation and the shift towards electronic medical records, hospitals and medical practices are transforming their systems and operations to coordinate information flow and share patient data.

An ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution further improves access to information and system functionality by integrating corporate functions such as finance, accounting, procurement and distribution into a single sign-on application. With an ERP system, healthcare professionals can gain efficiency in patient management by connecting patient scheduling, workflow management and human resources management. One of the requirements for an ERP solution is an enterprise single sign-on (SSO) capability for user authentication. SSO securely transmits user credentials across networks and applications.
Microsoft Active Directory, Quest Migration Manager, Novell Directory Services

Our client chose to implement an ERP system in order to manage business operations more efficiently, but the client did not have an enterprise SSO in place. Before beginning the ERP implementation, the client elected to migrate from Novell Directory Services to Microsoft Active Directory and required assistance in moving all locations to Active Directory.

The client had an experienced in-house project management team but wanted an external partner to provide additional support and expertise in the migration. The client’s main challenges included:

The client wanted to coordinate a service provider’s industry expertise and best practices with their own internal process and ideas. It was important to the client to remain involved throughout the migration. They wanted a partner to co-manage this engagement, not a vendor to outsource the entire project.

The client needed to migrate more than 80 hospital systems in a consistent, efficient process. As each location varied in size, system complexity and support needed, the client sought a partner to provide customized support for each hospital location.

The client valued a partner with a proven track record of success, with defined process and a strong local presence in the client’s locations.

While competitors pushed an outsourced offering, TEKsystems was flexible. We proposed a co-managed solution to assist the client with project management, active directory engineering and on-site technical support.

TEKsystems followed a phased approach to the engagement and provided between 10 and 40 resources to assist the client throughout the migration. This team integrated with the client’s internal project management office and IT teams to migrate users without disruption to service. TEKsystems documented the transition process to include best practices from the client and TEKsystems experience, to include providing a blueprint for the migration.

TEKsystems’ proprietary project methodology guided the team in managing the migration of several sites concurrently. Phase I of the engagement, Planning, ensured that project logistics, communication and escalation procedures, personnel request process, project tasks, invoicing, and other requirements were defined and understood.

The Implementation of the project, Phase II, included the assignment of project managers. TEKsystems’ project managers ensured effective communication across the client sites, managed project scope, coordinated status and delivery meetings, and leveraged best practices across the organization. TEKsystems provided resource capacity planning and worked with the client to identify the skill sets needed and create detailed job descriptions for active directory engineers, desktop engineers and field technicians. Relying on the strength and depth of our local office network, TEKsystems worked across multiple client location sites quickly and efficiently.

TEKsystems managed the orientation and onboarding process for all team members and supported these team members in their daily activities. A dedicated engagement manager served as a single point of contact for the client and ensured compliance with the client’s requirements.

TEKsystems’ solution provided the client with the flexibility to couple their strong internal processes with our methodology and industry expertise. The partnership led to an improved technical process for migrating sites, which was then documented and adopted during the engagement. Through effective human resource management, TEKsystems helped the client maintain a 97 percent resource retention rate throughout the project. Additional benefits to the client included timely resource provision, as local TEKsystems offices found skilled candidates quickly, and improved onboarding efficiency in reduced ramp-up time and time-to-productivity. The client did not experience disruption in patient care or interruptions in operations while the migration occurred.

A co-managed engagement is built on trust and shared vision. TEKsystems identified the following factors as critical to the success of the engagement with our client:

  • Strong methodology. TEKsystems followed a phased approach to project management, supported by an internal infrastructure of people, processes and tools designed to manage IT deployment projects. The team was designed to work as an extension to the client’s project team, allowing the client to maintain overall control.

  • Flexibility. This project involved 80 client sites of varying degrees of complexity and client need. TEKsystems had to be aligned with the client at each step of the process to fully understand the client’s business and the client’s expectations. When milestones changed, this alignment helped TEKsystems adapt and react to meet the client’s expectations.

  • On-site project managers. Project managers helped develop job descriptions with the client and conducted pre-employment screening on candidates. By working with the client and gaining visibility into the client’s operations and requirements, TEKsystems was able to make adjustments to the recruiting and hiring process that resulted in greater client satisfaction with the candidates.

  • Local area expertise. TEKsystems coordinated the strength of our local recruiting teams to source and screen candidates for the client. The depth of the local office network also enabled us to minimize travel expenses.