By Ron Markezich as written on blogs.office.com
With 22 acquisitions in the past five years, it’s easy to see how Allergan is a leading exponent of the new “Growth Pharma” business model. Expanding its diversified portfolio of branded and generic pharmaceuticals by acquiring companies like Botox and Zeltiq Aesthetics, Allergan is pursuing a rigorous growth strategy, rather than investing heavily in R&D. This approach, known in the industry as “open science,” sees the company enriching its intellectual property by acquiring new talent, promising new products and partnering closely with many external stakeholders. It requires an agile, IT-enabled workplace to pull off the rapid employee onboarding and a rich culture of teamwork and creativity to make this strategy work. At the same time, it’s critically important for Allergan to ensure the security of its IP and to remain compliant in this highly regulated industry. So, it’s great news that Allergan chose the Secure Productive Enterprise solution to enable this disruptive way of doing business in the pharmaceutical industry.
Here’s what CIO Sean Lennon has to say about the organization’s decision to facilitate a new culture of work at Allergan that securely enables teamwork and creativity for all workers with the help of the Secure Productive Enterprise solution:
“As Allergan continues to build its global portfolio of products and services, it’s our role in IT to enable the company’s scalability. That’s why we chose the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise, because it allows me to deliver a secure technology experience that drives creativity, collaboration and teamwork for the business. So, while employees are working more collaboratively and are empowered to innovate with immediate access to all the tools they need—Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10 Enterprise—I’m also saving money by consolidating our IT landscape and reducing the burden of on-premises maintenance. It’s always a challenge to maintain a lean IT organization and provide the best tools for enabling the business to achieve its goals, but we’ve achieved the right balance with Microsoft.”
Allergan is making great strides using the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise as an effective way to consolidate its position at the forefront of business innovation in the pharma industry.

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korea and india choose azure - managed solution

Companies in Korea and India choose Microsoft Azure to fuel their digital transformation

As written on blogs.microsoft.com
Driven by strong customer demand for cloud computing, we continue to invest to deliver an intelligent, global and trusted cloud for our customers. In India, Flipkart – the country’s leading marketplace – and Tata Motors, as well as Korean companies LG Electronics, Asan Medical Center and Samsung Electronics, are all leveraging the scalability, availability and resiliency of the Microsoft cloud to enable their digital transformation.
I’m pleased to share that Azure is generally available from two new cloud regions in Korea, part of 38 Azure regions announced across the globe – more than any major cloud provider. With 13 of those regions in Asia, customers across the region can take advantage of the Azure cloud platform’s global scale, reliability and advanced intelligent services. They can also benefit from local datacenters to achieve higher performance and support their requirements for data location and replication.
In Korea, hundreds of companies are adopting local Azure services across industries including finance, manufacturing, retail, health care, gaming and telecommunications. For example, LG Electronics is sending real-time data and leveraging the scalability of virtual machines to gain insights and better serve thousands of customers. Asan Medical Center is driving an immense big-data collaboration with millions of anonymized clinical notes to provide industry and academia with opportunities to analyze medical data using Microsoft’s hybrid cloud as a critical foundation.
Other Korean companies are leveraging the global scale of the cloud to power Internet of Things (IoT) solutions including Samsung Electronics, which is using its remote energy reduction solution, S-Net Cloud, to monitor energy use and deliver efficiencies to save its customers up to 30 percent in energy costs.
In September of 2015, we opened datacenter regions in India, providing the massive computing power of the Microsoft cloud to fuel growth and innovation. Earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Flipkart has adopted Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform to enable its continued growth and expansion, and to scale quickly and to stay resilient, especially during peak seasons. The move marks a first step in a broad collaboration between the two companies to provide 100 million Flipkart customers with the best online shopping experience. Flipkart will use Azure Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics capabilities to optimize merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service. This partnership comes on the heels of our cloud collaboration with Tata Motors – India’s leading auto manufacturer – to provide connected driving experiences with Azure.


Healthcare infrastructure will help cure healthcare

By Emmi Kendall as written on techcrunch.com
Donald Trump’s election has left many wary of how he’ll respond to a campaign promise to dismantle Obamacare. It seems that select aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, will remain intact. Likely to remain are provisions that make it illegal for insurers to deny a patient’s pre-existing medical conditions and enable children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans through age 26.
While not part of the ACA, structural innovations designed to control cost, such as the shift to value-based care (VBC), a new way of paying doctors and hospitals, will likely continue (more on this later). The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may cancel their timeline for this shift, slowing momentum. However, private insurance plans and doctors have already changed the way they contract together, making very unlikely a retreat to the old payment model.
Even without a crystal ball of the exact specs of a post-Trump healthcare world, the fundamentals of the healthcare market and the massive forces acting upon it continue to render it an excellent investment opportunity. Specifically, the most near-term and pervasive value-creation area is in infrastructure software, the “glue” that serves as middleware for healthcare.
The persistent truths are that the healthcare market represents $3 trillion, almost 20 percent, of the U.S. economy. This market also is plagued by a level of gross inefficiency and under-performance largely unseen in any other industries in our post-internet world.
Why has healthcare lagged behind so much?
Largely, it’s because despite complaints about skyrocketing costs, there was no needto change. The lack of technology progress wasn’t because of a lack of available solutions, but rather because of a lack of economic incentive. Incumbents maximized profit by continuing along proprietary business processes and technology paths, because doctors and hospitals got paid by insurance companies for every single transaction of care. Nobody stood to gain by re-engineering for common workflows or common infrastructure. Siloed operations were sufficient under a payment model based on transaction volume.
The paradigm, however, is shifting dramatically.

Consumers and new payment rules are inverting healthcare

The new role of “patient as consumer” is key in making healthcare behave like a more normal market. High-deductible health plans are the driving engine. In 2006, only 6.2 million members in the U.S. were on high-deductible plans. By 2015, this number grew to 58 million, a growth rate of 28 percent per year. Because almost 90 percent don’t exceed $2,000 per year in healthcare spending, 50 million people are effectively paying 100 percent of their healthcare out-of-pocket!
Unsurprisingly, this will start to change consumer behavior. Previously, patients had a significantly higher threshold for bad experiences because they largely weren’t paying. Increasingly, payments are made by patients themselves and/or insurance companies based on outcome and experience. Healthcare providers that had optimized only around transaction volume are finding themselves in sore need of new CRM-like tools for a consumer-centric business: to segment/acquire/retain the right patients, control costs, message/coordinate care effectively and streamline processes.

There is an emerging crop of healthtech entrepreneurs who see the more stage-appropriate opportunity actually lies within the infrastructural layers.

The second catalyst for change is CMS. This department spends almost $1.1 trillion on healthcare each year, making it the largest payer in the country. They’re also changing how they pay. With the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), Medicare has said it will pay for healthcare in a value-based way. Value-based payments invert the traditional healthcare business model: Instead of paying for healthcare transactions, doctors and institutions are to be paid for healthcare outcomes. Previously, the volume maximization recipe was “more patients, more revenues.” Now, the goal is to try to keep patients from needing the healthcare system at all.
The impact is amplified as private insurance companies are quickly following suit. Importantly, because these changes are being driven by Medicare, they are not impacted by the potential repeal of the ACA. As noted above, the repeal of the ACA may temporarily slow incorporation of new programs, but the industry transition to value-based care will continue. Under this model, standardization and integration are imperative, because value-based payments cover an entire “episode of care” (typically 90 days). Now needed are technical capabilities that enable longitudinally tracking of patients’ care histories and outcomes, auditing activity-based cost of services provided and determining return on investment for each episode of care.

Infrastructure as the missing glue

The new world order has spurred a deluge of healthtech applications. Startup Health notes that the first half of 2016 was the strongest ever start to the year, with $3.9 billion of venture capital invested. However, most entrepreneurs reflexively focus on the seemingly lower-hanging fruit of consumer apps (lose weight, track steps, send photos straight to your dermatologist) or enterprise point-solutions, such as appointment scheduling, patient intake, patient risk stratification, etc. All legitimate problem areas.
However, without any horizontal infrastructure, each of these solutions takes forever to develop and subsequently function only in specific walled-data silos. So, following an unduly protracted dev cycle, a product further leads to duplication of work every time it extends outside the original data pool — which happens a lot. Instead of these abundant headline-grabbing consumer apps or siloed enterprise point-solutions, the best investment opportunities actually are found elsewhere: in infrastructural software providing best-in-class functional solutions pervasively needed across the broader universe of healthtech apps.
What do the best healthtech investments look like? Best-in-class infrastructure. What exactly does this mean? It means horizontal infrastructure that allows application-layer CTOs to outsource discrete functionalities and compress their own dev cycles.
It’s taking a page from the playbook of current-day pure-play tech CTOs who now can choose from a plethora of application program interfaces (APIs), software development kits (SDKs), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) partners. This enables them to focus solely upon their core product and outsource much of their tech stack (e.g. AWS for hosting, Twilio for messaging, Mixpanel for analytics, Salesforce for CRM). This is in stark contrast to the dev protocol in the late 1990s, when startups were capital-intensive and vertically integrated because they lacked a robust infrastructural ecosystem of developer tools and third-party cloud solutions.
Today, the pure-play tech app CTO has evolved to “borrow instead of build whenever possible,” in the words of Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, in order to “focus on actually building out your product.” In healthtech, however, we still see too many app developers try to build everything natively, thus delaying focus on their core product. Invariably they burn through much of their early-stage financing runway before working on their core product enough to secure the proof points necessary for follow-on investment rounds.

SDBJ Logo Stacked 2 Lines 4cSan Diego– November 2015 – Managed Solution announced today that the company has been recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the Top Technology Solution Providers in 2015.
As a highly honored and tenured managed services company and pioneer in managed, utility-based cloud computing in the top 1% of Microsoft Cloud partners worldwide, Managed Solution is now the 7th top technology solution provider in San Diego, according to the San Diego Business Journal. Managed Solution has been named to the Business Journal’s 100 fastest growing companies for the past five years and has also been recognized this year in the World’s Top 100 Cloud Computing Companies in the Talkin' Cloud IT Channel list, on Penton Technology’s eighth-annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition and as one of the Top Managed Service Providers in Pioneer 250.
“It’s exciting to be among the top San Diego technology companies in our community,” said Sean Ferrel, chief executive officer, Managed Solution. Being part of the dynamic business community here in San Diego for over a decade now, we’ve worked with companies large and small, empowering their business success with a tailored tech strategy. We have an All-Star team with a kick-butt company culture so much of our growth can be attributed to our dedication to our employees, and we’re excited about what’s ahead. We value high standards, honesty and integrity, proactivity, adaptability and passion.”
Managed Solution invests in their clients and staff to bring out the best in both. By aggressively incentivizing their staff to further their technical skill set, Managed Solution invests long term, contributing to a corporate culture that promotes an unmatched service to customers.
Managed Solution strives to recruit the best engineering staff and invest in the time it takes to nurture and maintain these employees, ensuring the best possible technology solutions for their customers. Managed Solution is poised for unparalleled growth and expansion and they’re always looking for MVPs to help them build something great.

About Managed Solution

Managed Solution is a full-service technology firm that empowers business by delivering, maintaining and forecasting the technologies they'll need to stay competitive in their market place.
For more information on Managed Solution’s community outreach visit our community page.

Hybrid Cloud Environment Increases Productivity and Collaboration for a Real Estate Development Firm


Industry: Real Estate
Business Needs:
A small real estate firm with about twelve users who planned to grow their business quickly needed to provide users remote access, improve their network speed, and provide a better e-mail solution with larger mailboxes, anti-spam filtering and calendaring. They were currently using expensive third party conferencing tools but their mailboxes were small and they were having trouble collaborating through calendars. They needed better conferencing tools including bigger mailboxes, anti-spam filtering and calendaring. Because their employees constantly travel for meetings, they also wanted to provide better mobility with a remote access platform to make it easy to connect directly from anywhere on any device. With no current back-up strategy in place and a need to refresh their current hardware and collaboration tools, they needed a technology partner to assist with a solution scalable to grow with their business.
Managed Solution created a hybrid cloud environment that included moving from their Exchange Server to Office 365. This solution would improve calendaring, create larger e-mail mailboxes, and allowed them to implement Lync for conferencing. Managed Solution started the project by upgrading their bandwidth and their switch to prevent bottlenecks in the network. We recommended virtualizing their servers to reduce hardware costs and create added redundancy and lessen physical imprint, while implementing a Back-up and Disaster Recovery Solution to prevent data loss.
Since partnering with Managed Solution, the firm has doubled in size while reducing IT costs by switching to a hybrid cloud solution. Their technology solution supports their rapid growth model without having to implement new changes as they grow. Remote users are easily accessing e-mail through the cloud and they are very happy with the increased productivity and collaboration tools. Their staff has expressed how easy it is to use our help desk services and find a solution to daily IT issues. Deploying remote desktop services and Office 365 provided a remote mobile working solution for employees to work from anywhere on any device, enabled them to fix their calendaring issues and implement Lync for conferencing, which helped them reduce costs from third party conferencing companies.

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