This article was originally published in our Lone Star Business Journal: Fall Edition, featuring our client, Dan, from Heritage Health Solutions, on how his strategic partnership with USM Technology saved Heritage Health from 2020's challenges, fortified their cybersecurity, and positioned them for continued success.
Heritage Health Solutions specializes in creating customized healthcare solutions for government entities, private companies, and even correctional facilities. The team at Heritage Health removes the complexity involved in providing pharmacy and medical solutions. They offer pharmacy benefit management services, third-party administration services, and provider network services nationwide. Because of the specialized expertise within the organization, Heritage Health helps its clients achieve major cost savings, delivers better benefits to covered parties, and refreshes their benefits approach year over year.
For many leaders, navigating medical and pharmacy benefits is out of their expertise. The industry is incredibly nuanced and ever-changing, making it hard to keep up with new regulations, coverage changes, and more. They're used to being the experts, but just like they encourage their clients to do, it's important to understand internal limitations and find the right support to overcome those limitations. Although Heritage Health has an internal IT team, USM Technology was brought into the fold in 2019 to help the organization update its IT infrastructure and technology strategy.
MOVING TO THE CLOUD SAVED HERITAGE HEALTH
Dan Hoffman, the Vice President of Information Technology at Heritage Health was introduced to Stephen Cracknell, the CEO of USM Technology when his boss—who had worked with Stephen previously—reached out to get help with some IT focus areas that needed a lot of support. "We were adopting Office365 and moving to the cloud from locally managed servers. We needed some help in that transition, so we contacted USM Technology. They helped us with licensing as well as moving everyone to the cloud," Dan said, explaining the start of the partnership.
By some stroke of luck, Heritage Health's upgrade to the cloud that USM Technology completed in 2019 saved them from the challenges of 2020 when the global COVID-19 pandemic put most companies in precarious situations. Had they delayed the changes any longer, the team at Heritage Health would have struggled to work remotely at a time when it was imperative. "It was almost seamless. It was amazing how it worked out. Dumb luck, I guess, but it was a game changer for us. We shifted to 100% remote work for a time and COVID-19 didn't really impact our ability to work," Dan recalled.
Concurrently, while moving Heritage Health to a cloud-based infrastructure, Stephen and his team at USM Technology helped back up most of the organization's servers to the Azure Site Recovery Center. Maintaining quality backups of all financial data, customer data, and system information helps insulate Heritage Health from cyber threats of all kinds. As Dan put it, "The recovery project saved a future day." Being proactive about cybersecurity and IT infrastructure is one of the best forms of protection a company can have. Before partnering with USM Technology, Heritage Health was more exposed to IT-related risks.
Because of the effective partnership forged between USM Technology and Heritage Health, when a section of Heritage Health was divested last year, USM Technology was already in a great position to support the divestiture from a technical perspective. With a proven track record, Stephen and his team drew up a separate managed IT contract with the divested arm of Heritage Health and began supporting that business during a critical window. "USM Technology came to mind right away. We got them involved, and everyone has been super happy with them. They took a huge load off our plate. That whole process went really well," shared Dan.
THE VALUE OF STRATEGIC THOUGHT PARTNERSHIP
"We've worked with vendors before where it's more work to work with them, but as far as USM Technology is concerned, they've always been a value-add," Dan said when asked about the level of service provided by Stephen and his staff. When it comes to working with vendors, every business leader has horror stories. Some vendors don't deliver the expected results, others provide less-than-stellar service, and the worst may even expose their clients to questionable business practices. Focused on long-term results and business success, USM Technology is a reliable IT service provider that companies can feel confident about. "If something comes up that we're not familiar with, they are the first people I reach to," admitted Dan.
USM Technology isn't into passive partnerships. They are at the forefront of strategic conversations, ensure their clients have the most up-to-date security measures in place, and are trusted business advisors when needed. As an IT expert, Stephen keeps an eye out for new solutions or cutting-edge applications that fit specific client needs. For instance, Heritage Health had a situation where an employee who was exiting the organization refused to return his laptop. To prevent a similar situation in the future, Dan connected with USM Technology and learned about an asset management tool called Absolute. The solution has been in use ever since.
ADDRESSING BLIND SPOTS FOR PEACE OF MIND
The peace of mind that comes with knowing your organization is protected from one of the biggest business threats in the modern world is unmatched. To other business owners, who may not be in the same position that Heritage Health is with the help of USM Technology, Dan Hoffman has some advice," Having partners that have knowledge in the areas where your blind spots are is one of the biggest assets to have. You need people to rely on and get you to the right spot. You can't know everything. It's impossible."
With the USM Technology team providing protection from blind spots and stepping into the role of trusted business partners, leaders at Heritage Health can spend more time acting as a liaison between their clients and the intricate world of medical benefits. Heritage Health saves its clients time, money, and stress when developing coverage plans, but it wouldn't be possible without USM Technology's thoughtful and effective managed IT services.