The vertical solution is FlexPod Datacenter for Epic EHR, and the short-range strategy is to roll out additional solutions for the health care vertical – including additional ones for EHR – and then move to other verticals.
Today, Cisco and NetApp are announcing a pair of new solutions for FlexPod. First is a new Managed Cloud solution, to give customers more consumption offerings, initially go to market through for picked partners, and be expanded later. The other is the first of a series of new vertical solution applications, FlexPod Datacenter for Epic EHR. The plan is to follow it up with other health care applications, and then ultimately, applications for other verticals.
“We have had a great deal of success with FlexPod in reducing time to market and service and providing a superior experience, but until now, it has been limited to large scale applications deployed in data centres, like large relational databases and Microsoft Tier One apps,” said Ranjeet Sudan, VP of the Converged Infrastructure Group at NetApp. “Now we want to support vertically-specific solutions designed for specific cases, beginning with this one for Electronic Health Records.”
Sudan said that NetApp decided to start with health care because they have had a lot of success there.
“We worked with Epic on this EHR solution, which can be deployed very rapidly and at very high scale,” Sudan indicated. “They can use equipment they already have in their data centre to do EHR.”
NetApp has picked a select number of partners for the Go-To-Market for this.
“It consists of partners with large FlexPod practices who also have large health care practices, which will generally be driven by a VP,” Sudan said.
Sudan also indicated the roadmap for future solutions rollouts.
“The solutions themselves are the easy part,” he said “They can be built within a quarter. It’s aligning the GTM and getting traction with the ISVs that takes time. We are working with Epic here, but we can turn around a similar solution from another EHR ISV in a quarter, and we don’t have to partner with too many ISVs to get good market coverage. The immediate target will be new ISVs in the health care vertical. We will get full coverage there and then go after other verticals. We will maximize our investment by not only covering EHR but other things in health care verticals like imaging. Once we have built a pathway, we can feed others in and get traction immediately. The different infrastructures in health care for things like HER, radiology and cardiology are all different, but we can create one platform to share data between the different departments with FlexPod.”
The new Managed Private Cloud solution built on FlexPod provides a cloud-like, As-a-Service model, that is located on-premises, but managed remotely by channel partners.
“The idea here is that a lot of customers want the advantages of a private cloud, but don’t have the expertise to build it,” Sudan said. “FlexPod is designed for the multi tenant cloud. We combine that with partners who have ability to build cloud-based services, and have defined an SLA they agree to deliver, with a common look and feel. We have also put together a pricing structure they agreed to follow. We don’t dictate pricing, but we do want a degree of uniformity. We have created a set of partner requirements that ensures partners branded to carry it are fully capable and have the necessary skills to deliver it.”
Out of the gate, there are only a small number of initial delivery partners. These include Dimension Data, ePlus, Microland, and ProAct. More will be added later.
“We want partners with a proven track record of delivering managed services, who have have built cloud portal, and who can provide 24/7 managed service support,” Sudan said. “While we aren’t saying we won’t look at partners who plan to develop some of this, the partners who can offer this now are the ones we will be enlisting.”
“With the managed service component, and the SLAs, the risk to the partner with this is very low,” said Arun Garg, Director of Product Management – Converged Infrastructure, at NetApp. “The updates to FlexPod will also automatically be rolled out in their services.”