Deep Dive in SD-WAN with Steward Health


Bill Russell / Mike Champa / David Teixeira / Craig Connors

VMWare SD-WAN VeloCloud with Steward Heatlh

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August 12, 2020: When COVID hit we had a significant change in the make-up of the network.  The center of gravity shifted and much of the traffic that used to be housed within the four walls of the health system moved outside.  This was accelerated during COVID but it was already a trend we anticipated with home-based care ramping up and more IoT devices taking off.  The question we wanted to answer was does the old fixed network provides us with the right architecture to remain agile and flexible in this fast-moving environment that now defines healthcare.  Today we explore the future of the healthcare network with

Mike Champa – Executive Director of Infrastructure for Steward Health.
David Teixeira – Partner at Tornova
Craig Connors – CTO and VP of VMware SDWAN Group -> VeloCloud

Deep Dive on SDWAN with Steward Health

[00:00:00] Bill Russell: [00:00:00] Welcome to this week in Health IT. My name is bill Russell, healthcare, CIO, coach, and creator of this week and health it, a set of podcasts, videos, and collaboration events dedicated to developing the next generation of health leaders. This episode. And every episode since we started the COVID-19 series has been sponsored by Sirius healthcare.

[00:00:21] and, now we’re exiting the series and Sirius has stepped up to be a weekly sponsor of the show through the end of the year. Special thanks to Sirius for supporting the show’s efforts during the crisis and beyond. Okay, clipnotes is live and it’s available. For some of you. This is a repeat, I’m saying it.

[00:00:35] And you’re, you’re saying, all right, I already know clipnotes is live, but we have seen a surge in the number of listeners in the show. And so some of you, this is the first time you’re hearing it. So let me tell you what clipnotes is. If you can’t listen to every show that we have, but you want to know what was on and who was talking and what they talked about, clipnotes is an easy way to do that.

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[00:01:18] You can go to any episode page on this week in health And when you hit that episode page on your right side, you can subscribe to clip notes. The other way we have another. Process, it’s pretty simple. You send a note to clip [email protected] and it will click off a automated workflow and you’ll get an email from me, which will, give you, an easy link to click on and get signed up.

[00:01:46] So we’re excited. The response to this has been fantastic, and it’s growing every day. So. really appreciate the, the feedback that you guys have given me, to help shape the show in the services that we offer. Okay. On this show, [00:02:00] you know, we talk about the business of healthcare. A lot of times on Tuesday, we go into the business of healthcare.

[00:02:04] What’s sort of shaping it and where it’s going. We also talk about the technology of healthcare. I try to cover major shifts that I see coming down the line to signal to you. The discussions that I believe are going to shape healthcare. platforms and software defined everything. Software defined networks, software defined, compute, storage, you name it, I think are going to drive new economics, greater business agility and increasing business advantages for those who adopt those platforms and technologies in healthcare today, we’re going to go in depth with one of those technologies, software defined WANS.

[00:02:39] SD WANS are one of the hottest things that people are talking about, and it’s not hot. Like trendy. It’s hot. Like it makes so much sense that organizations are starting to head down this path. So I got a panel together of an organization that is heading down this path, with, one of the leading, organizations that is doing this, VeloCloud, which was, which was acquired [00:03:00] by VMware.

[00:03:00] So it’s part of the VMware stack and, we have a great discussion. I hope you enjoy, when COVID, hit, we had a significant change in the makeup of the network. The center of gravity shifted. And much of the traffic that used to be housed within the four walls of the health system moved to outside. you know, this was really accelerated during COVID, but we, we, we noticed that this trend was, was starting prior to that because home health was starting to ramp up significantly.

[00:03:23] We had IOT devices starting to take off. and the question we wanted to answer was does the old fixed network provide us the right architecture to remain agile and flexible in the fast moving environment? That now defines healthcare. And so today we’re going to explore the future of the healthcare network with these three gentlemen, we have Mike Champa, the executive director of infrastructure for Steward health.

[00:03:45] Good morning, Mike. 

[00:03:46] Mike Champa: [00:03:46] Good morning. 

[00:03:48] Bill Russell: [00:03:48] And we have David Teixeira, the, a partner at a Tournova who helped, Steward with their selection process. Good morning, David. 

[00:03:56] David Teixeira: [00:03:56] Good morning, bill. 

[00:03:57] Bill Russell: [00:03:57] And, Craig Connor CTO and VP of  [00:04:00] SDWAN group of VeloCloud acquisition from VMware, is on the line as well.

[00:04:04] Craig, welcome to the show. 

[00:04:07] Craig Connors: [00:04:07] Thanks for having me bill. 

[00:04:09] Bill Russell: [00:04:09] Alright, I’m looking, you look forward to this, the future of the network in healthcare. It’s a pretty lofty title. So let’s see if we can start with, are our feet firmly planted on the ground, Mike, we’ll start with you. You recently completed the bid process for Steward Health to move to a software defined network, for Steward.

[00:04:25] So, you know, what precipitated the change for Steward? What, what makes you consider a SD WAN? 

[00:04:32] Mike Champa: [00:04:32] So bill. so as you know, we’re the largest physician owned and operated. Healthcare system in the U S you know, over the last 10 years, we have, acquired, we have gone from basically six hospitals to 35 hospitals, around a little bit less than a hundred ambulatory practices.

[00:04:50]to over 500 ambulatory practices in the U S we have a facility in Malta. we purchased recently, and, we went from one state [00:05:00] Massachusetts to nine States across the U S so one of the last 10 years has been a significant amount of acquisition. at Steward  it causing us to look at our network, and realizing that, you know, they’ll those acquisitions.

[00:05:15] We brought them into Steward with never really re-engineered, the, the, the wide area network and saying that, sort, obviously that costs, you know, I have a lot of pain in regards to the applications that we’re running. We have over over six to 800 applications running right now, across the U S and, there has been significant latency and bandwidth issues associated with the touch of those applications, 

[00:05:37] Bill Russell: [00:05:37] Mike.

[00:05:38] So let’s actually, let’s start there. So Stewart is in how many States now? 

[00:05:42] Mike Champa: [00:05:42] Let’s do what is in it right now in nine States across the U S 

[00:05:45] Bill Russell: [00:05:45] States. How, how broad, I mean, is it mostly new England or is it all the way across the Country?

[00:05:50] Mike Champa: [00:05:50] That’s all the way across the country. It’s Texas, Arizona, Utah, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts.

[00:05:58] And I missed one. I think [00:06:00] that’s good. 

[00:06:00] Bill Russell: [00:06:00] I mean that, yeah, so that covers, that covers the gambit. And so how, when you acquired these originally, you just left the data centers in place and sort of connected them all up through a. Through a MPLS network, that kind of thing. 

[00:06:14] Mike Champa: [00:06:14] Yeah. It was just plugged in. Some of them will plug in, not taking it out.

[00:06:17] You know what I mean? It’s were plugged in to get to our EMR and, as well as our, you know, obviously our network from a, from a financial, in a, an email, email communications perspective, but, others, which were just left alone, you know, with her, with her. No applications and, and their own data centers and company connect them to that.

[00:06:40] Bill Russell: [00:06:40] Wow. Alright. So, so you decided to go out and take a look at all right. We’re going to, we’re going to bring these things together and try to, have a coordinated architecture. So what, what led you in the direction of SD WAN? 

[00:06:53] Mike Champa: [00:06:53] So a number of things, right. you know, what, wait, what, well, besides the [00:07:00] precise, the improved looking for improvement in our performance, our application performance, which is key, right.

[00:07:05]we’re looking to lower the complexity, you know, simplifying the operations capability and obviously reducing costs, you know, over the last, you know, COVID over the last COVID month. Let me say it that way. Right. It had been a significant amount of audio, audio, video capable this’ll happen.

[00:07:23] And sharing on our current network specifically out in the West was not going to work at all. And that drove, that drove the , this initiative. 

[00:07:33] Bill Russell: [00:07:33] Yeah. So, so Brent, you’ve been, you’ve been along for the ride that you and you and Mike have been according some of this work together. So, you know, w what are, I mean, so lower the costs, improved agility, you know, reduced complexity, increased performance.

[00:07:50] I mean, this sounds like a, sort of a Holy grail here. I mean, are those the, are those the foundational elements that you were looking at and, and, and, You know, what, [00:08:00] what makes SD WAN really work in the  Steward, infrastructure. 

[00:08:04] David Teixeira: [00:08:04] The other thing we needed was the flexibility from the capabilities that it has up and down the size spectrum of facilities that we were on too.

[00:08:15] So we run everything from two person practices all the way up to 300 bed. Hospitals and more so, so from a technology perspective, it has to scale size wise. and when we, when we went through the decision process to you’re looking for value and value with SDN comes in many different forms, a value. And when you compare a technology to tech technology, they’re all built a little different.

[00:08:44] And when you look at the value that you’re getting from a. operational perspective as well. That was a huge key for us. And, one of the big things that Bella brought to us was that capability to manage this whole network, [00:09:00] regardless of applications, regardless of the size of a facility that we were running.

[00:09:05] Bill Russell: [00:09:05] So David, did I just call you Brett? I think I did. 

[00:09:08] David Teixeira: [00:09:08] You can cut that out. Golly, 

[00:09:10] Bill Russell: [00:09:10] carefully. Sorry. I’ve combed back vacation. I’m just trying to get back in the Saddle here. So David, you know, I mean, what does it look like before we go there? I mean, is it, is it what we think we are? You know, it’s a ton of segmentation, hard coded into the routers and switches that are managed by a team of people and those tables get pretty complex and are.

[00:09:34] Relatively unforgiving. I mean, it’s, is that what we’re looking at? Cause that’s what I remember 

[00:09:39] David Teixeira: [00:09:39] in conflicting IPS. So that right. So when you, when you look at the whole thing, it’s the, I don’t want to say the only way, but almost the only way to clean this up and make it operationally effective is to run SD  WAN.

[00:09:54]because you’re kind of. You’re I hate to say this to my carrier friends, but you’re, [00:10:00] you’re commoditizing the circuits and you’re making the whole operation run on the, the technology that’s running those circuits. You’re not tied to them anymore so that if you, if you can manage how you run your own apps on your network, it just leads to so many efficiencies across the organization.

[00:10:20] Bill Russell: [00:10:20] Yeah. And this, so Craig, let’s, let’s talk a little bit about this, you know? You know, for the most part, we, we, we saw this is pretty similar to what VMware did in the data center back in the day, right. Add a million machines. We have people walking through the halls and they have to touch the machines, pull out the keyboards and, you know, and actually physically do upgrades and that kind of stuff.

[00:10:41] We then virtualized all that stuff and it, it, It really changed the game. I mean, we, we now can run data centers from afar and enabled cloud computing at its core. And, you know, it, it gave us the ability to be a lot more agile and flexible in terms of what we did. you know, you’ve been at, VeloCloud [00:11:00] for a while, even before the VMWare

[00:11:02] transition. So give us an idea of what are some of the actually, probably start here. What is SD WAN? Why are we even talking about it? And how is it fundamentally different from what we’re doing today? 

[00:11:17] Craig Connors: [00:11:17] Yeah, bill, I think, you know, David mentioned there’s a lot of different SDWAN vendors, a lot of different definitions of the terminology these days, but I think at its core, there’s a couple of different principles we’re applying.

[00:11:29] The first is. Converting from a hardware based processing of packets to a software based processing of packets, decoupling the hardware and the software to give us the flexibility to run on commodity hardware on VMs in the cloud, in the places where the edges of the network are moving.   

[00:11:49] It also gives us the ability to simplify network management by bringing a single consolidated view of the network often managed through the cloud itself.

[00:11:59] And [00:12:00] third it offers some quality benefits by integrating both QoS, as well as some intelligence around application identification and link steering so that you get, not only you use commodity circuits, but you also use them better than a traditional round Robin load balancing kind of solution would have done.

[00:12:21]Bill Russell: [00:12:21] it’s, it’s interesting because I think, SD when you just rattled off the components and, much like when VMware sort of came into the game, when, when, we looked at the hypervisor for the first time, we didn’t really grasp all the things that were going to be possible, how we could redo.

[00:12:38]you know, disaster recovery, how it would be, it really changed the game in terms of the amount of. Of resources, it took to manage these things, the amount of visibility, the amount yeah. Of a new technology you could layer on top of this, for instance, you know, the smaller it gets, the more we can overlay AI and those [00:13:00] kinds of things, so that it can become much more dynamic.

[00:13:04] How has, you know, how do you think that this has played out during COVID in terms of, so we, we send everybody home. we send everybody to their homes, at least most of the administrative staff within the hospitals, even within outside of health care. And you know, a lot of these people went to their homes.

[00:13:22] How would a SD WAN? How would that have transitioned have gone a little easier, Craig, I’ll start with you. And then I’ll come back to, Mike and David with some other questions. Yeah, 

[00:13:33] Craig Connors: [00:13:33] I think SDN VMware SDWAN in particular, we saw this facilitate the transition to work from home for a lot of users. I think there’s, there’s a few big challenges that people ran into.

[00:13:45] The  first is just. Scaling the solution. So everybody has some sort of remote access, VPN solution, even pre COVID. It wasn’t designed for every single one to be connected to it simultaneously. And so it’s [00:14:00] not necessarily very easy to scale up a hardware based firewall in your data center. That’s terminating remote access connections from everywhere.

[00:14:07] So you have this scalability problem where if you’ve got SDN and it’s. Running in software and it can be clustered across multiple VMs. It’s much more easy to scale up, especially if you’re using a cloud based solution, like VeloCloud, where we take care of the auto scaling for you. So that’s one thing.

[00:14:27] The second thing is, is obviously the quality of connectivity, the telemedicine, the shift to. Zoom calls like we’re on right now, quality becomes really important. And I always say there’s, there’s two different aspects of quality and one is just making the video work. 

[00:14:45] But the other there is balancing that against everything else that’s happening in the home because you have your family as homework and your kids are home on online schooling.

[00:14:53] And you know, there’s, there’s two things I always bring up. One is if. One [00:15:00] other user in the house can affect a doctor, trying to do a telemedicine appointment. You know, that’s one disruption for the patient, but also just if my child’s online schooling, isn’t working because the Internet’s not working well enough and they need my help.

[00:15:17] Then that’s another distraction that happens. Right? So there’s, there’s almost a psychological aspect to it, as well as the network quality aspect where. We need to make the network work well for everyone so that those distractions don’t happen. And that’s what we’ve seen SDN actually provide to home users.

[00:15:38] Bill Russell: [00:15:38] So the, what we were looking at, but before was quality of service, right. We were going to be able to tag quality of service, but we really lost that ability over the public internet. And so how does SD WAN do that? How does it ensure. the best, the best route, the highest performance on a dynamic basis.

[00:16:00] [00:16:00] Craig Connors: [00:16:00] So every SDWAN vendor is going to have a little bit different answer to that question. In the case of VMware SD, when we’ve built a proprietary proprietary technology, we call dynamic multi-path optimization. So one or more when links connected to the SDN device, we continuously monitor 

[00:16:21] the quality of the underlying connection. Using either the user traffic that’s traversing the network already, or generating artificial groves. If there is no user traffic, we take that measurement of the network. We identify the applications automatically that are coming in to the system and we map those applications to their service level objectives.

[00:16:42] So is it voice, is it video? Is it a transactional application? Based on those two things, we can choose dynamically the best path to send the traffic on. And we can also choose dynamically if we need to apply error, correction, methodologies, like Ford error, [00:17:00] correction, jitter, buffering in real time to resolve issues that are happening with the transport.

[00:17:07] Bill Russell: [00:17:07] Yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s fascinating. It’s so important in healthcare. Cause we’re gonna have, we’re gonna have pack solutions. We’re gonna have radiology reads being done at home. We’re going to have. IOT devices potentially. We’re going to have a significant build out of home care, that get more and more sophisticated over time.

[00:17:25] And that’s really fascinating. Mike, I wanted to come back to you. W what does a rollout of this technology look like in health, in a healthcare environment? Is this a, is it a forklift? Is it. Is it disruptive in any way? You know, how, how do you anticipate your end users will experience the transition 

[00:17:44] Mike Champa: [00:17:44] we’re at the, we’re actually implementing as we speak.

[00:17:46]so we’re rolling it out, as an Arizona, this month and, in tuning that up. And then we’ll follow that to, to, Utah and Texas. And then that will head back here to the, to the, I would call it the East of the Mississippi, [00:18:00] but what it really, so, you know, it, to me, what it looks like for me, Is, you know, so, you know, it would, it has been for me some significant, some significant planning on APA to understand what our infrastructure looks like before we get off vendors to help us with the implementation.

[00:18:15] Right. you know, we’ve got, we’ve got it. We’re using a couple of partners to help us with the implementation and they seem to be experts. They’ve done this thing. and numerous times in the industry. so I I’ve utilized the partner. and you know, in addition to bringing on David. To help me drive this program and this project across the U S and, the, the coordination and, between us application folks has not been that difficult.

[00:18:39] So up to date, I think the, you know, I think the, the state internally to the network space, primarily. And, you know, I think once we begin to do testing this, before we do the turnout, we definitely will be involving the application folks for coordination of that. So it hasn’t been a lot of pain, once we got the design [00:19:00] criteria and the requirements for a underlay complete.

[00:19:04] Bill Russell: [00:19:04] Yeah. That’s interesting. So essentially. it’s a pretty sophisticated market. I think some people listening to this might think, SD WAN it’s too far out or it’s too cutting edge, but you’re not having trouble finding partners who have experienced. rolling this out for you? Nope, 

[00:19:20] Mike Champa: [00:19:20] not at all. Nope.

[00:19:22] And, you know, they, they’ve, they’ve been extremely helpful with us because they’ve done this before they have the expertise behind them. you know, there’s a, there’s always a learning curve between, you know, between the provider, you know, in the, in the customer. Right. and figuring out how to get those things, you know, get this thing with some momentum and acceleration, but certainly without them, I think it would have been a, it would have been significantly longer, time to turn this thing up.

[00:19:46] And, we would have learned from some 

[00:19:47] Bill Russell: [00:19:47] era. Yeah, David, you know, really want to talk about this from two perspectives. One is the, you know, what do you anticipate the end users? How they will experience this, if at all, I mean, it might just be a negligible [00:20:00] improvement for them, but you get so much flexibility and cost savings on the backend that you, you know, that’s, that’s worth it in of itself.

[00:20:07] So talk about the end users, but also talk about. The team that has to manage this what’s what does it look like for them to move from the existing environment to this new environment and, and how do you transition that team? 

[00:20:20] David Teixeira: [00:20:20] So your first question about the, the end users, I think they’re going to see better, faster applications on the network, but it’s really the business that has the impact.

[00:20:30] So, you know, stewards a little different we’re national we’re using technologies where we can really use a lot of remote. Doctors for example, in ICU. 

[00:20:42] So when you talk about, you know, that kind of application for the business, it just gets. Experts to the field quicker, faster. So it’s better for the user, the patient, the business, everything just runs better.

[00:20:57] At that point. It gives us a lot of flexibility. in [00:21:00] terms of when the business says, I want to turn this up in September. Now we can do that. Once this SD land is running before it’s months of just making sure everything works and the data centers are lined up, et cetera. from the operations perspective, The team that’s running the network.

[00:21:19] It gives them tools that they’ve had before, but they’re. Technically easier to use and get a global view of what’s happening. and with some of the analytics that are going to be driven by the cloud orchestrator that we’re going to be used, and we’re going to get some really valuable information for the business and the end users to see what apps they’re really using, what the performance really is and how we can make that better, quicker, faster for everybody.

[00:21:52] Bill Russell: [00:21:52] Yeah, I sort of put you on the spot. I mean, when, when I moved our health system to the cloud, there was a huge one out of fear, like, Oh my gosh, where are you [00:22:00] going? What are you doing? What does this mean for my job? That kind of stuff was, was there some of that or do they look at the solution and just go, Oh no, that makes sense.

[00:22:08] That’s what’s next. 

[00:22:10] David Teixeira: [00:22:10] Yeah, it’s a, it’s a hard question, right? And you get to the heart of the, the, the team, question and where the team wants to go with us. The it’s one of those technologies that, you know, technically it makes it a lot easier and you definitely need, you need less. People running the technology, but it becomes more critical for the business.

[00:22:33] And, you know, in the, in the environment that we’re all in, it’s really hard to find really good people and bring them into the team. And with this kind of technology, it just makes it actually easier for everybody to do that. So I think everybody jumped on board with it and knew that we had to do it because of all the things that the business was trying to do.

[00:22:51] And this was going to make it in the end. Just a great thing for them to have the experience. 

[00:22:58] Bill Russell: [00:22:58] Yeah. So actually I want to, [00:23:00] I want to stay with the You two real quick. You know, you, you put together the RFP, you went out and you looked at the various vendors. what were some of the criteria that you put forward to evaluate, the various solutions?

[00:23:11] Cause as, as Craig was saying, there, there are still some different definitions and different approaches, to this. you know, what, what, what were you guys, you know, what criteria did you use? 

[00:23:24] Mike Champa: [00:23:24] Yeah. Okay. Okay. No, we can go. We can piggyback, right. I mean, I did, you know, we, we actually took a very, methodical approach.

[00:23:32] We had, we had about 12 attributes, That we identified and we evaluated across, you know, I think it was across four, four vendors. and, it was statistically and we, you know, we created a statistical, you know, data that represented the decision. And we came down to, it was, it was almost a tie came down to two vendors to both defenders were strategic partners of ours.

[00:23:57]and I would say, has been, they’ve been with us for quite [00:24:00] some time. and, and we, you know, when we made a decision. Right now based upon that. So based upon them one best fit and, you know, obviously pricing was, was that it wasn’t the top, but, attributes around supportability cloud capability and the length of, you know, and, you know, and, you know, ease of use.

[00:24:20] And the likes of that, really was Pat gave us, gave us the data that represented, you know, us, and the support, the decision to the CIO. So. 

[00:24:31] Bill Russell: [00:24:31] Yeah, that’s great. David, anything to add on that? 

[00:24:34] David Teixeira: [00:24:34] No, Mike did a good job. I mean, we did take a really detailed look. We didn’t look at every possible option, but you know, when you’re enterprise size, I think we looked at.

[00:24:45]all of the vendors that we needed to look at, and it was really, you know, there were a 12 attributes and it’s really, it was the value and flexibility, you know, in longterm view. 

[00:24:58] So the, probably the three big [00:25:00] things 

[00:25:01] Bill Russell: [00:25:01] and integration with the tools you’re already. Using and Craig, that’s where I’m going to come back to.

[00:25:06]it’s interesting, you know, I, we could do a whole show just on a selection process because I see some people it’s like, if I waited all 15 vendors, I’m like, why, why, why did you evaluate 15 vendors? I mean, we could just write half of those off without just by using common sense. but no, they, they put them all through the process.

[00:25:24] And I think sometimes it’s smart to look at, you know, who’s in the upper right hand quadrant. And who’s the one disruptor you want to look at and that’s probably enough. And it sounds like you guys did something that effect, 

[00:25:36] David Teixeira: [00:25:36] it’s exactly what we did. 

[00:25:37] Bill Russell: [00:25:37] Is it, you just, you don’t have time to look at 15 vendors and you don’t want to put your team through that.

[00:25:42] Anyway, that’s a tangent on my part. Craig Velo, cloud acquisition. you have, security acquisitions from VMware. You have, you have the VMware tools. You have the end user computing tools. how integrated, how far along in the integration process are you? Cause I think one of the promises [00:26:00] for healthcare is we’re going to get to a single pane of glass.

[00:26:03] And I know that’s the sort of Nirvana that’s out there, but, But we’d like to get there. Right. We’re already used to using those VMware tools to manage all the, all the components within the data center. We’d like that network to be brought into that we’d like security to be brought into that. How far along are we in that journey?

[00:26:21] Yeah, 

[00:26:21] Craig Connors: [00:26:21] I think, you know, we’ve, we’ve defined this new market space called SASI, which has really the convergence of four separate technologies, zero trust network, access, SDN, secure web gateway, which now includes Gatsby functionality and then cloud firewalling. And. We are just starting that process at VMware.

[00:26:44]I mean, you know, we have obviously built a big ecosystem of partners. We call it our network of clouds because we have our cloud gateway footprint. You know, we are able to connect to a huge variety of vendors and all of those different spaces outside [00:27:00] of SD LAN, but we’re also. At VMware executing on the sassy vision ourselves.

[00:27:06] And so recently we announced our zero trust service along with workspace one where you can use the workspace one tunnel app to connect directly into your SQN network. Obviously there’s a recent acquisition of last line at the malware technology. So we’re looking at how we can integrate that and bring that cloud firewall in piece, and also looking at options for bringing insecure.

[00:27:30] Secure web gateway functionality. So yeah, I’d say we’re, you know, we’re in the middle of the process. The pieces are coming together. 

[00:27:37] We’re been advantaged. I think in that, if you look at the definition of sassy, this thin branch. The cloud model. That’s the approach we took with SDN from the beginning. And that’s not the approach that our competitors took from the beginning.

[00:27:52] And so, whereas we have this worldwide network of pops that we’ve already built out to host these services. [00:28:00] Most of our competitors are still trying to get there. And then being part of VMware, you said it yourself, you know, we have, we have workspace one, we have NSX security. We have a lot of different components that will allow us to.

[00:28:15] Build this single pane of glass solution much more easily than, than a vendor that doesn’t have those other components in house. 

[00:28:22] Bill Russell: [00:28:22] That’s interesting. So, so if I understand you correctly, it requires a, a VeloCloud device at a lot of different points within the network. And what you’re, what I hear you saying is you’ve, that’s how you originated the deployment of this.

[00:28:39] So you have those devices and all those. When the presence and all those places that we need them within the network already. 

[00:28:46] Craig Connors: [00:28:46] Yeah. I mean, sassy is really about the compute for modern security. Those demands are getting higher and higher and higher, right? things like TLS, termination, sandboxing, browser [00:29:00] isolation.

[00:29:00] These are they’re very CPU intensive security operations, and it’s not practical. To do them on prem and build this giant rack of servers. Right? This is why the cloud is fantastic because we have cloud scale compute for doing these intensive security things. But in order to do it practically in the network, it also has to be close to the user because we can’t send everything all the way back to some centralized location.

[00:29:26] And so what sassy promises is that. We will distribute this in points of presence, close to the users are BetterCloud scale, and we will give them high quality access to those security services either with SQL or with the CTNA solution. and so, so what we’ve done is we’ve already built that network.

[00:29:48] We already give you a high quality connection to a regionalized set of data centers. Using our cloud gateways. We already give you access with workspace one now. And so all we have to do [00:30:00] is put the security surfaces on top. We don’t have to build the whole network  from scratch. 

[00:30:05]Bill Russell: [00:30:05]   So Mike’s network is far flung. I mean, you’re covering them from Boston to, to Phoenix. 

[00:30:13] Craig Connors: [00:30:13] Yeah, that’s right. I mean, we’ve got, you know, hundreds of pops worldwide where we have our gateways deployed. we’ve got 11 just in the United States.

[00:30:23] So we’re able to cover with sub 10 milliseconds latency everywhere in the United States that that they’re deployed. 

[00:30:30]Bill Russell: [00:30:30] David, Mike, I, I want, I give you guys the last word, but I want to focus in on the financials. you know, COVID has hit healthcare pretty hard from a financial standpoint. Give us some idea of where you’re looking to find financial benefits from, from an SDWAN. Implementation.

[00:30:47]Mike Champa: [00:30:47] Yeah. So, so I mean, I think there’s two, you know, there’s, there’s a couple of places and I, and I’m going to flip it back over to David because David was instrumental, which is, to us in, in Steward specifically for me and the [00:31:00] CIO in regards to helping me with some initiatives around cost cutting.

[00:31:03] But you know, it’s going to be instrumental from a management perspective, right. For people’s. People perspective and, you know, you know, you know, although it might, it will need less hands on to manage it. You know, I’ve told my folks, that we will, we allocate our resources to focus, focus on the inside of our network, more on the land side and more of a closer to the yeah.

[00:31:26] Applications. So when we really want to play now is the close as close as possible to the applications. So our resources can be more. you know, you know, more supportive to the, to the business community and the clinical community, from a, from a cost perspective, it has helped me in, and I’m going to flip that over to him and let him speak a little bit about the financials piece.

[00:31:49] David Teixeira: [00:31:49] Yeah. From a cost perspective, every customer is completely different cause they all start in a different place. So you could start with someone that has, you know, has not looked at [00:32:00] the network in a while, or like steward, they’ve grown by acquisition. So you’re working with what the acquired company. Was using and you just, I go through a process where I figure out what they have and then try to optimize it as much as we can with the SD LAN technology.

[00:32:19] But what SDN really lets you do is it lets you buy what you need and build as much resiliency and redundancy as close to the customer as you need to have. So in steward’s case, we have a lot more bandwidth. We’ve got a lot more resiliency in our large facilities when we’ve been able to do the same thing at the smaller sites at a smaller scale, obviously, but you can really drive cost out of the Strait.

[00:32:52] It piece of the business, you know, maybe like you said, it’d be great to have a whole nother call, but you can talk about all the infrastructure that [00:33:00] this eliminates the requirement for too. And it’s it’s on and on and on into the closets, et cetera, et cetera. 

[00:33:08] Bill Russell: [00:33:08] Yeah. And David, UI Mike. Talk last week, a little bit.

[00:33:11] And, you know, the word I keep throwing out on when we think in terms of platforms and software defined is agility, and you guys drove that home. If you know, now there’s options, not only on the, on the it side, but on the business side. And, you know, acquisitions take a lot of resources, a lot of manpower.

[00:33:31] And when you have the right set of tools, you can layer them in. And make those transitions a lot cleaner, just a lot easier. They’re going to be complex, no matter what, in healthcare there, they’re always complex. I mean, different packs, I mean 900 applications. You’re going to have complexity, but if you can take that core level of, you know, network storage system compute just, you know, you just.

[00:33:55] Take that whole layer and say, look, we can, we can put this fundamentally underneath and our [00:34:00] team can manage it. Like we normally do it, make it makes those transitions a lot better. And Mike, that’s what you were driving home to me last week on the call. 

[00:34:08] Mike Champa: [00:34:08] Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:34:10] Bill Russell: [00:34:10] So, Hey gentlemen, thanks. I think, I think we did a good job of laying out the future of the network.

[00:34:15] If anyone has any questions, feel free to shoot me a note. I’d love to facilitate conversations with these gentlemen. I, and, guys, thank you. thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. That’s all for this week. If you want more information on VeloCloud, VMware, any of these technologies, if you want to connect potentially with the guys from steward, feel free to shoot me note [email protected] and I will facilitate the conversation a special thanks to our sponsors, VMware Starbridge advisors, Galen, healthcare, health lyrics.

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[00:35:27] Thanks for listening.