Premier Inc.’s mission is clear: “To improve the health of communities.” Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina with offices throughout the United States, the healthcare improvement company delivers on this mission by offering a comprehensive database of best practices and business-improving efficiencies that drive cost-effective results for its growing alliance of approximately 3,750 U.S. hospitals and 130,000 other providers. Their goal is to improve their members’ quality outcomes, while safely reducing costs.
Seeking a partner, not just a provider
Given its focus on building value and efficiencies for its own network, Premier expects the same from its vendors. When the company decided to outsource its data center environment, it wanted to ensure the selected provider not only offered hardened facilities, a secure environment and top-notch reliability, but could also offer guidance and support to drive its IT direction. While Premier vetted some large providers, it was looking for more than just a colocation provider; it wanted a colocation partner who understood the unique challenges facing mid-sized and enterprise businesses and who could offer a collaborative environment.
With state-of-the-art, compliance-grade data centers, SLA-backed stability and five-level security protocols, Peak 10 offered an ideal environment, right in Charlotte. However, it was Peak 10’s experience and the accessibility of its executives that captured Premier’s interest.
“Peak 10’s core infrastructure mirrors the core infrastructure we leverage,” explains Randy Franklin, VP-CIO of Premier, noting the synergy this creates for both companies.
Peak 10 has a thorough understanding of the unique challenges facing Premier as it continues to grow and mature. The availability of Peak 10’s leadership offered Premier an added opportunity to leverage the expertise of seasoned operations and facilities executives to help shape its IT journey.
Amplifying efficiencies with colocation
In October 2015, Premier engaged Peak 10’s Advanced Client Services and began migrating its infrastructure out of its corporate data center to one of Peak 10’s Charlotte facilities. With many business considerations pending – including acquisitions that needed to be integrated into the existing business – Premier was cautious to move only what they could effectively manage. Peak 10 worked with Premier to create a migration plan that accounted for these acquisitions, and quickly transition its enterprise data center, and development and disaster recovery (DR) platforms to Peak 10.
Premier was pleased with the professional quality of the work, and appreciated the assistance Peak 10 provided in developing a migration plan and assembling and racking equipment.
Leveraging expertise to deliver on expectations and sculpt the future
As Premier continues to strategically migrate its environment to Peak 10, it is keenly aware of the critical role its IT plays in delivering on its mission. Having Peak 10 technical experts available to guide implementation and management has enhanced the relationship.
Randy also credits Peak 10 leadership, including Jeff Biggs, executive vice president, technology and operations; Joe Deney, executive vice president, customer operations; Jim Parks, senior vice president, service delivery and solutions engineering; and Ronnie Frames, vice president, network and cloud infrastructure, with offering guidance and expertise around strategic IT decisions and helping Premier qualify other partner relationships. This communication is crucial to Randy who wants to ensure the companies’ long-term strategies align and a solid partnership is being built.
For Premier, the measure of success and value of the partnership revolves around how well Peak 10 delivers on its commitments. While Peak 10 consistently delivers on its 100% uptime SLA at a lower cost than Premier could
provide, Randy also recognizes the added capabilities that Peak 10 brings to the table.
As part of the healthcare industry, Premier must adhere to a series of regulations including HIPAA, SOC and PCI DSS. Working with Peak 10, which undergoes yearly independent audits to ensure its own compliance, offers tremendous value to Premier.
“By leveraging a partner like Peak 10 that is highly motivated to not only maintain, but also acquire newer and higher caliber compliance objectives, we don’t worry that the data center does not meet the necessary compliance regulations,” says Randy.
To supplement its own capabilities, Premier also engages Peak 10 for select managed services including email monitoring to externally validate its email system. It also utilizes Peak 10’s Managed Colocation services, such as Remote Hands, to support its IT team.
Through Remote Hands, Premier is able to offload its internal IT staff of routine, onsite tasks such as checking equipment for audible alarms, visible lights and other environmental issues that may not be identified by a server-based monitoring system. By outsourcing these hands-on tasks to Peak 10, Premier enables its IT professional to remain focused on more business-critical efforts.
A portfolio of opportunities for the future
As Premier continues to migrate its environment to Peak 10 and envision its future, Randy foresees Peak 10 playing a more extensive role in their IT landscape – possibly through the deployment of its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions. Premier also expects to leverage Peak 10’s high caliber, third-party partnerships to deliver managed IT services to help enrich its internal team’s productivity. Peak 10’s DRaaS solution may be a likely first step as Peak 10 and Premier both leverage Zerto replication technology to copy production environments.
“Peak 10 is a pleasure to work with,” summarizes Randy. “We look forward to being a partner with them for quite some time.”