Wesley Hospital, a conglomerate of four campuses, 1700 staff and 60,000 patients a year, has installed its second management system in as many years, this time with a greater chance of success, according to Warren Armitage (right), chief information officer at Wesley.
The Tivoli IT Director software will manage 420 client PCs, 12 servers and about 50 SNMP devices across Wesley's main Brisbane LAN and eventually several remote sites throughout regional Queensland. ARN recently talked to Armitage.
ARN: What did Wesley want to achieve with this software?
Armitage: A system that could provide desktop management, remote control, hardware and software inventory and software distribution. The bigger vision was that we wanted to control the environment beyond the desktop and server and into the AS400 environment.
Why did you change from Intel's Landesk Management Suite to Tivoli System's IT management software?
We had attempted to achieve these goals with Intel but had not been successful, although we persevered for two years. Some of the main issues were Landesk's incompatibility with other software, especially for printing, installation was difficult and it placed a heavy load on our clients where what we wanted was a system light on the clients that didn't disturb other applications.
One of the major reasons we selected Tivoli was because it moved beyond the desktop and client environment and created no issues with existing systems such as our Windows NT and Novell infrastructure, SAP applications, Lotus Notes and Cerner's HNA Millennium.
What was the installation process like?
The rollout of the Tivoli software was smoother than any other I have experienced. We ran a pilot on approximately 10 per cent of our desktops at our main campus and then pushed the software out to all our users through the NetWare login. The whole process worked extremely well. Overall, it is no exaggeration to say that everything we have tried with the product has worked flawlessly.
Data#3, Tivoli's local partner, was a great help in ensuring a rapid and timely implementation. They have assisted the Wesley Hospital with a variety of IT Solutions including a recent implementation of SAP.
Yet we didn't need to rely on them and did most of the installation and reconfiguring ourselves. There were only a couple of times when we needed to call in Data#3 to trouble-shoot.
What were some of the problems you experienced?
Initially we tried to deploy with a SQL server but this didn't work. Other than that only small, insignificant things have gone wrong.
Are you happy with the integration and product performance so far?
There are a couple of things that we would like to improve on. The remote control is workable but only barely, though Tivoli expects this to change with the next release due this month, which will help us as we are planning to deploy to four more hospitals by the end of the year.
Using Tivoli has greatly refined our style of IT management. It gives an automatic ability to track and manage our hardware and software assets. We can also provide better service to our staff because Tivoli's monitoring and remote control capabilities mean that we can detect and fix problems before they become crises - 24 hours a day.
The software distribution capability is also valuable because we can install and configure software remotely, without having to physically manage more than 400 machines.
The product's automated event management and remote control functions will help to shorten our response time in resolving system issues by actively alerting us when issues start to arise and helping us to handle them remotely. We are also investigating software installation that can be automatically requested by end users from an intranet, saving us additional time. Overall, we foresee significant improvements in productivity for our support staff from using the software.