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05 February 2019

What makes this case special?

This case has many special elements. Most importantly, the fact that support comes bottom-up instead of top-down. The staff is very content with this solution. It can be used without any complex portals or apps because the end-user doesn’t even have to be aware of the Active Directory structure. Anyone can operate it – from management to volunteer caregivers and everything in between, without having to go through a complex procedure. They can simply keep using the devices as they have been all along.
The main benefits for the client

Markenheem is now in control of its own reachability. The system was quickly adopted by staff without the need for complex training courses or instructions. User-friendliness and simplicity have both increased dramatically which makes for much more effective employee communication. This solution provides additional security and reliability in an industry where communication can be a matter of life and death. The integrated contact list, which is up-to-date at all times, contributes to this fact. They used to work with old-fashioned “lists” that were spread all over the place. They were lacking overview as a result, plus it took a lot of time to maintain. This process is now being safeguarded by Active Directory as far as the front office goes.

In addition, new employees now find it much easier to get used to the system. He or she receives a fixed or mobile device and everything comes pre-installed and ready for use. All contact details are available from the get-go, and existing employees can see the new employee right away. Employees can also view each other’s presence status so they know exactly who they can and cannot reach before even trying.

Since personal data leaks are simply not an option, a lot of attention was given to privacy. Extra security measures were implemented into the Active Directory to ensure a reliable environment that does not allow for personal data to be leaked.
Finally, the system was connected to the existing healthcare communication systems by Ascom & Eurocom. Applications of this system include patient alarm systems, network monitoring and storage and distribution of electronic patient files. This allows for integration of all this data which increases the insight into treatment methods and patient needs. New devices registered in Active Directory can be easily added to the Ascom/Eurocom network. This integration essentially provides a two-stage rocket for Markenheem in terms of integration.

The challenge

Stichting Markenheem provides nursing homes and long-stay hospitals in the Doetinchem and Bronckhorst municipalities. 340 clients in five residential care facilities rely on the staff’s (medical) expertise on a daily basis. In addition, over 1,000 clients receive domestic aid and home care in the region. Their portfolio includes emergency care, daily activities, temporary accommodation and apartment lease.

Markenheem was ready for a new communication solution. The old solution was based on legacy PBX systems and a fixed-mobile integration that required the use of an app for making a call. Not an ideal situation, and not at all user-friendly according to those who had to work with it. Why couldn’t they just make a call using a phone, without all the bells and whistles?
The assignment was clear: realise a user-friendly fixed-mobile integration to help us into the 21st century while allowing the staff to communicate just like they would at home. Simple, fast and seamless.

The solution

The solution turned out quite a bit more difficult to achieve than we had foreseen. A lot of options to choose from, but the perfect solution seemed far away. A competitor of ours was struggling with the same type of problem for a similar client at the time. After some intense conversations, we decided to put the customer’s interests first and enter into a collaboration. It would be a win-win situation, although we were quite aware of the fact that this type of collaboration is not very common in this industry.

Together we found a solution based on an Active Directory structure. Active Directory allows administrators to manage the policy (rights and settings) in the network of an entire company. It also allows for automatic installation of software and patches. This offers Markenheem a lot of flexibility in terms of expanding the system in the future. In addition, data only needs to be entered in one place: the Active Directory. The AD then “pushes” the information to various devices, e.g. fixed phones, mobile phones, tablets or computers. This ensures that the data on the employee’s devices is always up-to-date.

The Active Directory only has to run in one place. The deep fixed-mobile integration allows for calls to be made without an app and without any concessions in terms of functionality such as presence and call forwarding. In addition, it is very easy to link to Active Directory to keep its data up-to-date as well.

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