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UDG Healthcare deploys AT&T, Cisco SD-WAN to gain intelligent edge

Global healthcare group deploys software-defined wide area network to create additional operational efficiencies

Aiming to allow its diverse teams to react more quickly to business demands in its supply chain and provide a better user experience wherever they are working, UDG Healthcare is delivering a global software-defined network for its operating companies around the world, through AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco.

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare delivers advisory, communication, commercial, clinical and packaging services to the healthcare industry across two main divisions, Ashfield and Sharp.

The former is claimed to be a global leader in healthcare advisory, communications, commercial and clinical services, while Sharp delivers contract clinical, manufacturing, packaging and technology services.

As it expanded its operations, the group recognised the need for a more consistent and highly reliable IT service across its 8,200 employees, as well as delivering a better customer experience for its clients.

To achieve this aim, AT&T will deploy and manage Cisco Viptela software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) architecture.

The managed solution is designed to allow UDG Healthcare’s with near real-time visibility into its network assets.

AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco offers an SD-WAN fabric with centralised management, with integrated, advanced security, creating a highly secure overlay WAN multi-domain architecture to connect cloud, campus, branch, datacentres and colocation facilities.

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Utilising WAN optimisation, it provides a predictable user experience for applications along with a virtually seamless multi-cloud architecture. The solution will also improve access to business benefits driven by the cloud. Accurate network sizing will aim to remove or minimise ongoing operational wastage and drive greater efficiency.

“We have separate, but in many ways complementary, businesses operating in the healthcare sector, and having a common approach to technology across both will deliver a more efficient, highly reliable service,” said Mike McGrath, global head of information technology at UDG Healthcare.

“AT&T’s approach to our challenges was to first understand where we were, and where we wanted to be. Only then did the discussion shift to the ‘how and what’. The solution they are delivering is matched to our needs and the needs of our customers and suppliers,” said John Vladimir Slamecka, EMEA region president at AT&T.

“UDG Healthcare saw an opportunity to deliver a more seamless experience across its network, covering its employee users and the customers it serves around the world.

“Technology deployments are increasingly seen as a way of driving greater efficiency and value by our customers,” he said. “Our track record across EMEA and around the world is built on advising and guiding businesses through the complexity that surrounds modern communications solutions, and I’m delighted UDG Healthcare is trusting us to deliver highly secure SD-WAN services for them.”

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