Advice Tips

Thinking About Cloud Computing? What questions should you be asking and why. – Part 1

I have this conversation all the time lately.   Cloud computing in Dental Specialties is all the rage and many Practices are giving it a look to see if it’s appropriate for them.   It might be, but if you are like most people you don’t know what questions to be asking to make an informed decision.Cloud Computing Chalkboard-What Questions

I can tell your right now Cloud isn’t right for everyone.   For some it’s a ‘No Brainer’, for others it’s just a simple ‘No’.  Let me help with that.  In this multipart series I will take on the role of providing this education and leaving you empowered to ask the right questions of the vendors to decide for yourself.   For each question I will explain why you’d be asking it and what you might be looking for in an answer and why.

I will confess right from the beginning here that I have a vested interest in this topic.   MME works with several companies as the behind the scenes “hosting provider” for companies like Dolphin Imaging and Management Solutions and FoxFales Inc.   I have spent time working with most all of the Cloud Solutions as many of MME’s clients use them.  Does this give me a bias?  Perhaps – but I think this leaves me in a relatively unique position to be able to comment on the industry as a whole, rather than a single product.  I will do my best to eliminate the bias – but judge for yourself.  On with the show…

Rule Number One

I think it’s a mistake to choose a technology before choosing your Practice Management solution.

“I think Cloud is cool.  I am going to buy a Cloud solution.  This means I need to choose from Practice Management Programs A, B, C or D.”

What about non-Cloud solutions E, F and G?  One of those might actually be the best solution for your specific Practice, but you’ve eliminated them from consideration merely by jumping on the Cloud bandwagon.

I think you should ALWAYS select the Practice Management program first based on the merits of its abilities, and then choose the delivery mechanism second.  This is a program you and your staff will live in 8 hours a day every day, so choose the one that works best for you.   Windows, Mac, or Cloud shouldn’t matter at the beginning – try the programs out in-depth.   Once you’ve chosen your solution put in the right computer network to support it.  If it happens to be a Cloud program, great!

Next Up in Part 2 of the Series – What is the Cloud?

Index to All the Parts of the Series:

  1. Rule Number One
  2. What is the Cloud?
  3. What can the Cloud do for me?
  4. One Challenge – Multiple Right Answers
  5. How can it directly benefit your Practice?
  6. Will it work with my existing equipment?
  7. Third Party Integration Support
  8. Is a Data Conversion Necessary?
  9. How fast does your Internet connection need to be?
  10. What happens when the Internet goes out?
  11. Is the Imaging Application any Good?
  12. What about Patient Education applications?

MME TechnicianIf you need a little help with your Practice, this is what MME Consulting does. Just give us a call at 866-419-1102 or check us out online at

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By Steve McEvoy

Car Guy, Nerd, Canadian hiding in California