SPHERE enables Two NHS trusts to deploy Citrix cloud services

Two London trusts are to deploy cloud-based services which are expected to be used by more than 7,000 staff.

Systems Powering Healthcare (SPHERE), a provider of IT systems and infrastructure to hospitals, is to deploy Citrix Cloud services at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Chelsea and Westminster is one of NHS England’s global digital exemplars.

The trusts are currently piloting Citrix Workspace Service running on Microsoft Azure, but are expected to deploy fully within three to six months. Once fully live, staff will be able quickly and securely access data and applications from anywhere.

“The NHS healthcare organisations we service are faced with ageing IT infrastructure and little capital funds available to replace it”, Aaron Aldrich, vice president and head of operations at SPHERE told Digital Health News.

“We were tackling an inability to scale up or down rapidly to meet customer demands without significantly over-investing in technology kit.

“The Citrix-Azure cloud combination offers us rapid scalability. It also reduces time and spend on maintaining, producing, installing and configuring on-premise infrastructure.”

Aldrich added that cloud infrastructure will reduce the need for organisations to own and maintain large amounts of IT equipment.

“Requiring fewer devices and apps as well as less infrastructure and real-estate will allow NHS trusts to cut down cost per device and greatly reduce time and money spent on IT.”

In recent years, increasing numbers of healthcare organisations have been investigating the potential benefits of cloud-based software, infrastructure and platforms. Last month, Digital Health News reported that BT and East Sussex were partnering to create dedicated virtual networks.

SPHERE – Growth through M&A – Due Diligence Case Study

SPHERE – M&A Due Diligence – An Intuitus Case Study

Intuitus logo

Sector: IT Services, Healthcare
Region: UK
Date: September 2017

Summary

Organisations in the healthcare sector, including the NHS, are increasingly reliant on technology to ensure the smooth-running of day-to-day business. It’s important that costs are reduced wherever possible, including within technology and IT operations, to help alleviate the financial pressure faced by businesses in this sector.

West Middlesex University Hospital Trust was acquired by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2015. IT service provider SPHERE, which is co-owned by Chelsea and Westminster, will be incorporating the IT infrastructure of West Middlesex into their existing IT service provision. Intuitus was approached to provide M&A IT due diligence on West Middlesex in order to identify potential synergies and key risks ahead of the integration by SPHERE.

The Client

SPHERE (Systems Powering Healthcare Ltd) is an IT service provider delivering IT service management and shared IT infrastructure services to the healthcare sector.

The company is jointly and wholly owned by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trusts – SPHERE represents a collaboration and pooling of resources between the Trusts to deliver improved IT services to its members.

Challenges

The management team at SPHERE required full visibility of the current status of the IT services currently in place at West Middlesex, including data centre management, network and communications, computing infrastructure and storage, end-user computing, IT service management, and IT security. This would allow management to plan for the integration of the IT infrastructure at West Middlesex into the existing service offering provided by SPHERE.

The recent transition and merger of the two Trusts, coupled with SPHERE’s planned acquisition of the IT infrastructure at West Middlesex, meant that the merger of the two IT teams had to be handled with sensitivity. This had to be taken into account by any third-party consultant brought in.

How we helped

Intuitus was approached to undertake M&A due diligence on the IT infrastructure and associated service contracts and service provisions at West Middlesex, and advise on how these services align with the service proposition provided by SPHERE. The Intuitus team included Alan Lorimer, who has 20 years’ experience in IT, including many years reviewing the processes and operations of managed service companies in order to provide investment advice.

“Intuitus brought a wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to the engagement,” says Renier Botha, Managing Director at SPHERE. “It was a sensitive situation and we needed to get an expert, unbiased, impartial opinion. The Intuitus team was respected by everyone involved because they had been in similar situations many times before and knew exactly where to look and which questions to ask.”

The result was a comprehensive report that clearly outlined what actions were required to ensure the successful integration of the West Middlesex IT infrastructure. This report was then converted into a project initiation document, which acted as a foundation for the entire project. SPHERE was also able to use the report findings to compile a full remediation project scope with costings, which was presented to the senior management team. This clearly outlined the key risks and remediation required to successfully onboard the new infrastructure environment.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

In the short term, SPHERE is focusing on delivering the IT services as they are outlined in the SLAs, and meeting the service expectations of the West Middlesex staff.

The major strategic benefit of the incorporation of the West Middlesex infrastructure in the longer term is in the economies of scale, as Renier Botha points out: “With the onboarding of West Middlesex, the scale of the service delivered by SPHERE has increased by 27%. As a result, we’ve been able to reduce the cost per user by 12%. Furthermore, the cost of running the service is 24% lower than what it would have cost the trusts individually were they to run the IT service without SPHERE. If SPHERE can successfully identify additional trusts to work with then there will be an opportunity to further drive down the total cost of providing a shared service.”

About our M&A Due Diligence

Intuitus’ M&A due diligence is an independent, bespoke assessment on behalf of an acquiring company (or strategic buyer) of a target company’s technology and/or IT operations and, where required, either an assessment or production of the technology and/or IT integration strategy and plan, including potential synergies and key risks. The buyer gains commercially focused, pragmatic insight in the form of an actionable report. Our findings and recommendations form an important part of the (integration) plan going forward and overall value enhancement strategy.

http://www.intuitusadvisory.com

 

Testimonial

“Intuitus brought a wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to the engagement. As a result of the M&A due diligence we’ve been able to make significant cost-savings, without compromising the quality of the IT service offering.”; Renier Botha, Managing Director at SPHERE

Original Case Study – intuitusadvisory.com

SPHERE grows – delivering shared IT services to the NHS’ West-Middlesex University Hospital

West-Mid logo

SPHERE grows – delivering IT Shared Services to West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

SPHERE, Systems Powering Healthcare Ltd, is incorporating West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust into the shared IT service provision that they supply to a number of NHS Trusts. This includes Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which acquired West Middlesex in 2015.

The project results from several months of preparatory work by SPHERE, assessing its scope and provisioning the service transfer, with completion scheduled for October 2017.

SPHERE is an IT shared services provider to the healthcare sector, primarily NHS Foundation Trusts. It was set up by Chelsea and Westminster and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trusts to deliver and support IT infrastructure for both trusts to achieve economies of scale and bring down the cost per user, says Renier Botha, Managing Director of SPHERE:

“Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trusts is one of the founding members of SPHERE and it made sense for the West Middlesex Trusts to join the shared services management that we provide. We have a proven services model that we can take to a range of other healthcare providers to realise cost savings whilst improving service quality.

“SPHERE will now be supporting an additional 2,000 end users with the commissioning of West Middlesex. This financial year will see the cost per user for member trusts fall substantially through economies of scale,” says Renier Botha.

SPHERE is currently gearing up to support the deployment of the Cerner EPR (Electronic Patient Record) system across the Chelsea Westminster and West-Middlesex NHS Trusts for which it provides shared services.

West Middlesex will be the first Trust to go live with Cerner. Sphere will manage the provision of infrastructure and the overall IT support services and are currently assessing which first line support services will be prioritised for the Cerner platform.

In 2014 Kevin Jarrold, Director on the SPHERE board and CIO at Imperial Healthcare Trust and Chelsea and Westminster, oversaw the deployment of Cerner at Imperial. Sphere will look to capitalise on the learnings of the Imperial team to ensure trouble-free integration of the support services.

To take advantage of the capabilities of cloud computing, SPHERE is moving its primary data centre and specific systems to Equinix, a leading colocation provider, in London.

Equinix has hosted the Cerner platform since 2010 and SPHERE says that this offers a robust solution for the Trusts, improving the IT infrastructure resilience and business continuity capabilities mitigating the key business risks associated with location and services required from IT hosting facilities.

“SPHERE is well positioned to provide improved IT services to the healthcare sector – expanding on the presence of Cerner within the same data centre and utilising the capabilities of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform at Equinix,” says Renier Botha.

For further information please contact SPHERE Head Office – Systems Powering Healthcare Ltd, Unit 101, Harbour Yard London, SW10 0XD – Tel: 020 331 5888.

 

 

New Amberlight chief executive heralds a fresh emphasis on design

LONDON, May”15 — Change is afoot here at Amberlight – some very exciting changes that mean our clients will see a new, improved service from our executives, consultants and researchers.

Renier Botha is our new Chief Executive Officer, while our founder, Mark Milton, is moving to a new role as Chief Innovation Officer. Together, they will be driving Amberlight forward to add a new dimension to our services, with a new focus on design.

Amberlight has always been an experience design company but sometimes that has taken second place to our reputation as the market leader in user research. Renier is putting design back at the heart of Amberlight’s proposition.

“We want to have a deeper relationship with our clients,” Renier says. “Amberlight is renowned for having one of the finest user research teams out there. Our research suggests that not everyone realises the work of our design practice.“

“For years Amberlight has worked on design from concept to completed service, and the rigour of our user research teams ensures that our clients launch needed services that people love to use. So we’re going to be doing much more of that in the future.”

Renier joins the team from Regus PLC, the international workplace provider, where he was Global Head of Systems and Head of Professional Services. He has a reputation as an accomplished leader, with a track record of working with high-growth software companies across multiple market verticals, and brings a mix of leadership, inspiration, operational experience, technical breadth, and passion for customer care.

He is impressed by Amberlight’s history as a company with market-leading expertise in user experience research and design.

“As a technologist at heart, I am excited to see so many new opportunities and I am deeply honoured to have this opportunity to lead the Amberlight team during this important time of transformation,” he says.

“Amberlight has a long history in experience design, connecting end users with products. We are well positioned to tap into the continuous opportunities in technology innovation. The incredible talent and passion of the Amberlight team provide us with a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our clients.”

With Mark taking on the role of Chief Innovation Officer, Renier is excited about the possibilities that come from embedding change in the organisation structure.

“By concentrating on innovation and growth initiatives we are planning to expand on the strong foundation we have built over the past fifteen years,” Renier says. “We will also continue to develop industry-leading user experience research, design and product development expertise that drives our client technologies and products across a diverse set of markets to secure sustainable and profitable growth.”

Mark cofounded Amberlight in 2000 and he has spent the last few months acting as interim managing director trying to map out a new future for us, and as part of that process found Renier.

“I am proud to welcome such an experienced industry professional as Renier to lead the company as CEO.   He will be building on the strengths of the company and working with our clients to shape the future of the business.”

As the new Chief Innovation Officer, Mark will be responsible for managing the innovation process inside Amberlight. His role will be to identify strategies, business opportunities and new technologies and to develop ideas for new products and services.

He will also be developing new capabilities and architectures with partners, new business models and new industry structures to serve those opportunities.

“I’m excited to be able to focus on the area in which I can make the most significant contribution.

“Working with Renier means that I can focus exclusively on our future with and help ensure that the business is agile in responding to the needs of a developing market.”

Amberlight strengthens with new appointments to senior management team

 

May’15 – Amberlight today announces several high-level changes to its board and senior management team.

Renier Botha is appointed as Chief Executive Officer, while co-founder Mark Milton is taking on the role of Chief Innovation Officer.

They take up their positions with immediate effect.

Renier joins the team from Regus PLC where he was Global Head of Systems and Head of Professional Services. Renier is an accomplished leader, with a track record of working with high-growth software companies across multiple market verticals. He brings a great mix of leadership, inspiration, operational experience, technical breadth, and passion for customer care. He will be responsible for working with the team to deliver against the company strategy.

Mark Milton, the company Chairman, moves from interim MD to take a permanent executive role as Chief Innovation Officer where he will lead the innovation process. His role will be to identify strategies, business opportunities and new technologies and develop new capabilities and architectures with partners and new business models to serve those opportunities.

Renier Botha said: “As a technologist at heart, I am excited to see so many new opportunities and I am deeply honoured to have this opportunity to lead the Amberlight team during this important time of transformation.

Amberlight has a long history in experience design, creating needed services that people love to use. We are well positioned to tap into the continuous opportunities in technology innovation and have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our clients. 

“Amberlight has a deep experience in product design, connecting end users with products. We are well positioned to tap into the continuous opportunities in technology innovation. 

“By concentrating on innovation and growth initiatives we are planning to expand on the strong foundation we have built over the past fifteen years. 

“We will also continue to develop industry-leading user experience research, design and product development expertise that drives our client technologies and products across a diverse set of markets to secure sustainable and profitable growth. 

“I look forward to work with the newly appointed leadership and every member of the Amberlight team.”

Mark Milton said: “I am proud to welcome such an experienced industry professional as Renier to lead the company as CEO.   He will be building on the strengths of the company and working with our clients to shape the future of the business.”

“I’m excited to be able to focus on the area in which I can make the most significant contribution. 

“Working with Renier means that I can focus exclusively on our future and with help ensure that the business is agile in responding to the needs of a developing market.”

Structure Technology for Success – using SOA

How do you structure your technology department for success?

What is your definition of success?

Business success is usually measured in monetary terms – does the business make a profit, does the business grow?

What_about_ROI

What is the value contribution on IT within the business?

Are the IT staff financially intelligent & commercially aware?

Renier spoke at Meet-Up about how you can design your IT function, using Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) to design a Service Orientated Organisation (SOO), to directly  contribute to the business success.

Slide Presentation pdf: Structure Technology for Success

Slide Share via LinkedIn: Structure technology for success

Also Read:

Managing Outsourced Relationships – an in-source approach

IT outsourcing is big business and a provide real business value, financial savings and resource flexibility.

But is cheaper really better?

Dilbert Outsourcing

You cannot outsource a mess! Get your own house in order first before engage in a outsourcing partnership and managing IT vendors.

You should not outsource your core business proposition! Determine what your business is about and excel in the delivery of that – everything that is not core can be candidates for outsourcing.

Renier Botha spoke at the CIO Dialogue in Brighton about the value and risk associated with IT outsourcing. He introduced an insource Service Orientated (SOA) approach to outsourcing to mitigate the risks and ensure the appropriate governance delivering the right quality and customer service are achieved.

Slide Presentation pdf: Managing Outsourced Relationships

Slide Share via LinkedIn: Managing Outsourced Relationships

Renier’s Biog for the Conference:

CIO-Dialogue8 Biog

 

Allegiant Air Loyalty

Consulting to Cloud Troopers as the Interim Head of Loyalty Products & Programmes – Renier directed the design, software development and implementation of the points based Allegiant Airlines Loyalty and Rewards Programme to fully leverage the Allegiant services and brand strength to provide new revenue streams and increase the effectiveness of others. The Allegiant Rewards programme is based on a co-branded credit card provided by an American Bank.

 

Guest Blog by Brian Sumers – 1 Sep 2016

Allegiant Air knows less about its most loyal customers than it would like. Its new co-branded credit card could help change that. But will anyone apply for it?

Despite being among the world’s most consistently profitable airlines, Allegiant Air knows relatively little about its customers, though it has learned, through surveys and from Mastercard that they have an average household income slightly above $100,000 and prefer to eat at Olive Garden and shop at TJ Maxx.

The problem is that Allegiant’s customers fly the airline infrequently, with about 80 percent booking one or two tickets per year. And since Allegiant has not had a frequent flyer program, it has fewer opportunities than other airlines to learn about its customers.

But Allegiant, which has reported 53 consecutive profitable quarters, believes it has finally solved its problem. Almost two decades after its first flight, the airline on Thursday launched a co-branded credit card — a Bank of America Mastercard — the first for Allegiant, a niche carrier that prefers routes other airlines avoid, such as St. Cloud, Minnesota to Phoenix, Minot, North Dakota to Las Vegas and Belleville, Illinois to Jacksonville. Allegiant will enter a market saturated with travel-themed cards from nearly every airline and hotel company, but it is hopeful the new card will give it more insights into its passengers.

“I am surprised it has taken them this long,” said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks Company and an authority on airline ancillary revenue schemes. “But what is unique about Allegiant is their base of business is probably very distinct from the traditional airlines. It is an interesting position.”

Credit card deals can be lucrative, and when American re-upped deals with Barclays and Citi in July, it said they could produce $1.5 billion in pre-tax revenue over two and a half years. Allegiant is tiny compared to American — the discounter had 85 aircraft at the end of June — but its deal should be lucrative, too.

“We think it is going to be valuable piece of business,” said Brian Davis, Allegiant’s vice president for marketing and sales, declining to give exact numbers. “We see our peers and the revenue generated from programs like this.”

The card comes as Allegiant, long an iconoclast in the U.S. airline industry, starts to look more like its competitors, all of whom have long had co-branded credit cards and loyalty programs. Allegiant, which had bought only used planes, recently placed its first order for new aircraft from Airbus. And, despite mostly flying between small and medium sized markets for most of its history, Allegiant is expanding at larger ones, including Newark, New Jersey. It is even starting to compete with larger airlines on some routes after having long avoided direct competition.

Still, with its co-branded credit card, Allegiant is trying something different. Unlike every other U.S. airline, Allegiant will not award points for travel. Instead, only card-holders, who will pay a $59 annual fee, will earn them. They’ll receive three points for each dollar they spend on Allegiant, two for spending on dining, and one for all other purchases. They can use points for discounts on travel, and the 15,000 points that come as a sign-up bonus can be redeemed for $150 off the price of any ticket. As sweeteners, cardholders receive a free drink when flying Allegiant, as well as discounts on hotel packages. (Allegiant hopes this will help it sell more packages.)

There’s no chance for travelers to redeem for business class airfare to Asia, but Davis said Allegiant’s customers have little interest in complicated redemption schemes.

“Those are built around travelers who travel a ton, and it is worth their time to learn about the rules,” he said. “If you only travel once a year, you’re not going to tolerate a lot of rules and conditions.”

Monitoring customer habits

When card members start spending, Allegiant will have access to more data about its core customers. Bank of America will not share information about individuals, but it will give the airline macro-level insights it does not have today.

“To the extent that people use it as their primary card, you have opened up the window to a lot more data,” Sorensen said. “That data can include, ‘Are they buying products from your competitors? And where are they using the card?”

This is a big deal for Davis. If a customer books a ticket using any credit card on Allegiant, he can learn some details about where else those customers shop, but a branded credit card will give Allegiant access to more aggregate data about what key customers want.

“If through this card, we learn our customers have a really strong affinity for a particular chain of restaurant, then I hope in the next year or two I would hope we would reach out to that restaurant chain about a [tie-in,]” Davis said.

Sorensen said an airline can use data to tailor offers to customers. Allegiant makes considerable revenue on vacation packages, but presumably many of its customers buy hotels independently on Orbitz or another site. If Allegiant can learn more about where its card-holders are staying, it will know more about which hotels to show in prominent positions on its website.

Allegiant also expects to use the card to maintain a year-round relationship with its most loyal customers. Today, it emails customers with deals, but it wants to have other reasons to contact them.

“For the first time, many customers will have a reason to stay connected with us for the other 51 weeks of the year,” Davis said. The goal is to “expand the company’s relationship” with customers, he said.

A challenge to attract card members

Many airlines first start a frequent flyer program and then add a credit card. They create the programs in this order because a carrier with millions of customers in a database has a natural market for its cards.

“It will be a handicap,” Sorensen said. “A general rule of thumb is that once you have a million or more people in a frequent flyer program, then you can start talking to a bank.”

But Allegiant expects to have something other airlines do not — motivated flight attendants. On every flight, they will make announcements and give out paper applications. They will ask passengers to fill them out and will collect them before landing. The on-plane collection is important, Davis said, because the airline fears customers will forget to mail them in.

With the card, Allegiant expects to the same people who buy the bulk of the airline’s tickers — the female head-of-householders. The airline says its core customer is Christie, 48, a married former school teacher with two kids living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Her husband is co-owner of the local insurance company. “Christie has always been in charge of booking vacations for the family and hates wasting time and money,” Allegiant says in internal documents.

Ultimately, though, the card’s success may on how aggressively flight attendants sell it. Other airlines also ask flight attendants to promote cards with limited success, but Allegiant is optimistic its employees, who already earn commissions for other on-plane sales, will be motivated. The flight attendant responsible for each credit card approval will receive a $30 commission.

“At legacy airlines, there is almost always pushback,” Sorensen said. “Flight attendants say, ‘We’re not sales people.’ Hopefully, Allegiant is an airline where the flight attendants understand they are sales people.”

Original Article from Skift click here