REVIEWER: Darius Hodge, business unit leader for EthosPartners Healthcare Management Group.
BACKGROUND: Atlanta, Georgia-based EthosPartners Healthcare Management Group provides solutions for health care providers in practice management. We offer a SaaS-based business intelligence solution for physician organizations, as well as practice management consulting and other value-added services.
PLATFORMS: Server Side: Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Windows Server. Client Side: Microsoft SQL Server 2005, 2008, AS/400, DB2, Informix.
PROBLEM SOLVED: EthosPartners needed a scalable solution to support increasing volumes of data from our rapidly growing number of customers. A year ago, our integration foundation consisted of custom code and various software components. Each client had different software installed. The system was fragile, unreliable and nonscalable. The time to get new clients on board was far too long. We needed a solution that would support a growing number of client sites and provide flexibility, reusability, scalability and manageability.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: There are two key components of our solution – the client portion, where the operational data resides, and the central hub where we process the data, load it into a data warehouse and expose the data to the client. Integration Agents are part of the Pervasive integration suite. They reside at the client sites and are small, easily deployable and manageable. They integrate behind the firewall and push data to our central site. At our central site, Pervasive Integration Hub and Pervasive Data Integrator manage and monitor incoming data and transformation processes, and make it easy to process many different clients in different ways.
STRENGTHS: Pervasive performs and scales well. Processes that took 48 hours are now completing in less than three hours with Pervasive. New client onboarding has been reduced from 30 days to five days. Pervasive’s flexibility delivers increased value to our clients. For example, we are able to support client customization by simply adding a custom step in Integration Hub. Pervasive’s strong connectivity helps here as well. Clients can change Practice Management Systems, and we simply select a different connector. With Pervasive, we usually have three or four different options for how to solve a problem. Our ability to reuse process designs and maps has boosted our productivity. We’re not building something new every time – we can reuse existing building blocks. Also, it helps us build a better product. You see an integration component, you can build on it, improve it and experiment with different things. Pervasive’s learning curve was low, so we could be productive quickly. Our central Integration Hub project was complete in just two to three months with several internal people, partners and two Pervasive resources.
WEAKNESSES: There are always a few features that would be nice to have added. When I originally saw the interface to Integration Hub, I wasn’t impressed because the interface was proprietary software on a PC. At EthosPartners, everything we produce is Web-based. We were pleased to see that the new interface is a true Web interface. Pervasive is committed to rich Internet application technology for all their products and is in the process of addressing that.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We evaluated products on the ability to automate, connectivity, price, flexibility, performance, learning curve and ease of use. After assessing five different vendors, we found that most were too expensive, not robust enough or had gaps in their solutions. Pervasive emerged as the winner on our rankings against all criteria and also appeared to be the easiest to implement.
DELIVERABLES: Pervasive allowed us to build the foundation for our business intelligence solution. This foundation provides increased value to our clients, a solution that allows our business to grow and reduced our costs. We reduced our time to onboard clients by over 80 percent, improved throughput by 1600 percent, and reduced the cost of maintenance by more than $90,000. We now can address a new market because we have the infrastructure to target much larger physician organizations.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Pervasive was very willing to have their experts join our team, and their customized support and consulting program was key to our success.
DOCUMENTATION: We’ve found that when you have issues with Pervasive’s products, there are several ways of finding a solution – documentation, support or utilizing a tool within the software suite.
Pervasive Data Integrator
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