Arcadiz, specialist in the area of broadband fibre optics networks in the Benelux, has provided Antwerp-based health care group Emmaüs with a fibre optics connection. One of the Emmaüs locations is AZ Sint-Maarten, the brand new hospital in Mechelen that will be fully operational by mid-October 2018. Thanks to Arcadiz’s solution, this new hospital’s data centre will be connected to the data centre in Zoersel, ensuring that Emmaüs is ready for the future.
A few years ago, Emmaüs decided that its IT infrastructure was outdated and inefficient, with just eight small server rooms across 24 different locations, which weren’t future-proof. Led by Conny Huysmans, ICT director at Emmaüs, the group developed a strategic plan to gradually turn the server rooms into fully-fledged data centres, making sure the group would be able to tackle new challenges in terms of health care digitization. Conny Huysmans: “It is our goal to centralize all of the server infrastructure in two data centres by 2020. These data centres will serve as each other’s backup, which means that, in case of physical failure, the most critical applications will continue to run in the other data centre.”
High-speed fibre optics connection
To put the strategic plan into motion, Emmaüs called for tenders. The winning tender for high-speed connections was submitted by Arcadiz. The company’s proposal consisted of a connection between the two data centres using fibre optics. And Arcadiz didn’t just take into account the service level agreements and latency, but also various types of networks, including fibre channel for storage mirror, 10 gigabit connections for the back-end network, 10 gigabit connections for the front-end network and multiple smaller 1 gigabit connections for elements like fail-over interconnections and internet connections.
Freddy Trappeniers, Project Manager at Arcadiz: “Emmaüs was pleasantly surprised by our budget-friendly proposal. Submitting such a proposal was possible, because Arcadiz is an integrator rather than an operator and is able to use a different approach than other parties. What Arcadiz did for Emmaüs, is offer quasi-unlimited bandwidth between the campuses. In essence, we turned the two campuses into one virtual data campus.”
Conny Huysmans: “Arcadiz proposed the quickest implementation process, which played an important role in our decision. The company was also able to connect our site in Duffel to the same network without too many extra expenses, which was a deciding factor for us.”
Ready for the future
Arcadiz served as the project manager and coordinator. The physical fibre optics connection was installed alongside the public domain and in collaboration with various utility companies. The project was divided into two phases. During the first phase of the project, the first connection route was installed between the new building in Mechelen and the location in Zoersel. The second phase consisted of the installation of a separate route, to ensure redundancy.
Thanks to the collaboration with Arcadiz, Emmaüs isn’t just able to meet current digitization needs, but also ready for the future evolution of digitization.
Conny Huysmans: “In the future, the use of data will only increase, and thanks to Arcadiz’s solution, we now have the capacity to continue expanding our company. The installed connections are more than a basis to implement extra storage. Arcadiz made sure to deliver an optimal win-win situation and went beyond what we asked for.”
Emmaüs is a health care group that operates in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. Its extensive network of service providers focuses on preventative services, acute care, home-based care or residential care. Preferably, care takes place in the home environment. If that is not possible, it takes place in one of the group’s 24 facilities. Emmaüs employs nearly 7,000 people, who aim to provide the best possible care and help the patient or resident lead a meaningful life.
Emmaüs operates in the following branches:
- general hospitals
- mental health care
- care for the elderly
- care for people with a disability
- child, youth and family support (child and youth services)
An overview of the 24 facilities can be found on www.emmaus.be.