Many Practices are looking ways to minimize their own internal IT expenses by leveraging the Cloud. MME’s Hosted Services aims to do just that. It takes the role of the expensive Server out of your office and into our Cloud data centers.
Why buy your own Server when you can use ours?
Purchasing and maintaining your own local Server can be a burden for many Practices. The need to have one is often a necessity to support your chose Practice Management program like Dolphin, Dentrix, DSN or others. Servers and all their accompanying warranty, licensing and configuration can be expensive to purchase and maintain. And after you’ve made that purchase, it has a limited lifespan of 5 to 7 years, and you’ll need to upgrade it all again.
You may be looking to the Cloud for a solution, but stuck by the applications you use not being offered as a Cloud app yet. You may not want to convert from the applications you are comfortable with to something new and unknown.
MME Hosted Services is designed to help with this. Essentially we provide you a dedicated, powerful virtual server in our Cloud data center. We install all your existing applications and data onto it, and you access it remotely from your Office, or your Remote office, or your home!
Since we are hosting it for you, we worry about all the hardware, warranties, Server configuration, and backups. All that for a simple monthly fee.
MME will provide a complete virtualized Microsoft Server infrastructure sized to properly run the software you use. Think of it as your personal “Cloud Server”. The setup of the hosted servers is included at no extra charge.
Each remote user will be provided a secure Microsoft Remote Desktop Session. They will login to the Cloud Server and get a familiar Windows desktop. All the applications and data will be available in this session. The beauty of this is that even if you are connecting from a 5 year old slow PC, your session will run fast with all the power and speed of the Cloud Server.
Each user will be provided a licensed copy of Microsoft Office Standard for use in their Remote Session. This includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher. You will always be entitled to use the latest version (although we will want to be sure its compatible with your other software).
Microsoft SQL Server licensing is included to run your Practice Management databases should they require it (must be compatible with SQL Server 2019).
Freely available applications like Google Chrome or Adobe Acrobat Reader can be added to your Server as required.
Backups of your data are included. We will keep a variety of backup appropriate for your types of data, and multiple revisions spanning the last 30 days.
Security updates to the Microsoft products will be performed once per month after hours.
What’s NOT Included?
We include the infrastructure but not what you run on top of it. You will need to provide licensed copies of any software. For example, your Practice Management applications (like Dolphin, Dentrix, etc), Imaging Software, Financial Software, etc. Any software you provide us must be legal and supported.
We are not responsible for how those applications perform. If its flakely on your local PC due to poor software quality, it will be just as flakey in the Cloud. We will make all reasonable efforts to assist the software company to get their application working its best for you, but ultimately we can’t make a bad program work better.
Any changes needed to your Local network are not included. Upgrading your firewall, printers, Internet connection, computers etc. is all a separate expense. We are happy to help with any necessary changes.
A Terrific Solution for a Multi Office Practice
Practices with more than one location that want to share data know how challenging this can be. You have the burden of additional costs of providing and maintaining your own remote server, VPN tunnels, backups, and licensing. Essentially you have to turn your main office into your own Mini Data Center and maintain it. If your main office goes down (power failure, Internet service interuption, server crash, etc.) your remote office is down. Printing and Photo/X-Ray capture become challenging.
By switching to MME Hosted Services you break the dependency on the main office. If you are working in the second office using MME hosted and the first office has Internet or Power issues, none of that affects you now. Each office is now the same.
What Does it Cost?
MME Hosted Sessions cost $60 per month per concurrent user.
An initial 12 month term is required for a login. After 12 months it can be cancelled anytime. Additional logins can be added at anytime.
MME Hosted is sold on a concurrent user basis. For example, if you have 12 computers in your office and will never need more than 10 to be connected at any one time, you will only require 10 logins. A login can only be used at one device at a time.
If you are multi location and have 10 computers in Office A, and 10 computers in Office B, but are only ever in one office or the other, then you could just purchase 10 logins and just use them where you are working. But, if you are in Office A using all 10 logins, and someone is in Office B still answering the phones, you will need an additional license for them.
It Starts with a Review
Any move to the Cloud needs to start with a review. MME will work with you to understand your goals. We need to know what applications you run and how much data you have. We will evaluate the speed of your Internet connection since this will become business critical.
With this information we can confirm all your application will work on our Servers, how long it will take to transfer your data to the cloud, and if any improvements are needed for the Internet connection.
MME Hosted is designed to allow you to stretch the lifespan of your existing equipment where reasonable. To get the most out of MME Hosted your local computer network should have:
- Windows 10 PCs
- Windows 7 computers are unsupported but work, but will perform slower due to older versions of technology. They are also a HIPAA risk now that they are no longer supported by Microsoft.
- Mac Computers work too!
- Updated to the latest Mac OS
- Mac’s will run the Free Microsoft Remote Desktop application to connect to the MME Hosted Windows Desktop Sessions.
- Mac’s will have more limited peripheral support.
- Watchguard Internet Firewall
- This is the device that links you to the Internet.
- We want a brand that is 100% compatible to VPN link to our Datacenter and make a secure, encrypted connection.
- This device should be enabled to protect you from all the other evils of the Internet inside your Practice.
- Ethernet Connected Printers
- Most consumer printers connect to your PC or Mac using a USB cable connection. Good business printers usually include an Ethernet connection, essentially they can be directly connected to your office network using a network cable.
- All your printers will need to be Ethernet connected so they can directly communicate with the Cloud servers.
- Your printers will need to have printer drivers available for Microsoft Windows Server 2016/2019. Old and unsupported printers may not have updated drivers available from their manufacturers. We’ll make a reasonable effort to get your existing printers to work, but if we can’t, it may be necessary to upgrade.
- Internet Speed
- It is ESSENTIAL that you have a fast and reliable Internet connection.
- Fiber, Cable and DSL services are typical, but in order of preference:
- Fiber if you can get it. Generally has the fastest speeds, best values, and is ready for the future. Not available everywhere at the moment.
- Cable is the next best choice. High speeds at a reasonable price and is widely available.
- DSL service is our last choice. Usually slower and less dependable. Don’t be fooled by the marketing. If you have a choice of DSL or Cable, go Cable every time.
- The specific speed of service necessary will vary some by size of Practice. Generally any plan that is 50×10 Mbps will be fast enough, but you’ll need to consider what else in your Practice is using the Internet.
- Once there is enough speed, buying more doesn’t make it go faster. If 50×10 will do it, splurging and getting 200×20 is just a waste. Ask us to review this for you before making any changes.
- A Static IP address for your Internet connection will be required.
- Your IP address is like your phone number on the Internet. You don’t want one that randomly changes, you want one that always stays the same.
- When ordering your Internet Service, be sure to ask for this, and that you’ll want to use it on your own router.
- It will likely cost an additional few dollars per month.
Once you have signed up, the review of your existing setup has been performed and any required changes are completed to make your local network compatible we can move forward. We will need to allow enough time for us to upload copies of all your existing data, plus configure your new servers (typically about a week). We will be coordinating with you to select a cutover date that works with your team and minimizes any interuption to the Practice.
Will the Experience be the Same?
Mostly. (Just being honest)
An MME Hosted Session is running everything in a Microsoft Remote Desktop Session (RDS). The service lives by the limitation of that technology. Microsoft is focused on actively developing RDS. While that runs most mainstream business applications just fine, it may not be ideally suited for intensive 3D graphical applications. For example, doing real-time 3D workups of ConeBeam CT data is slower than in a local environment. Printing may take slightly longer since the print jobs have to transfer through the Internet connection to reach your printer. Photo and X-Ray capture take longer initially, again since they will now have to upload through the Internet connection.
If you have a multioffice Practice now that uses the Microsoft Remote Desktop, the experience will be same, and likely faster and more reliable.
If the office you are working in has a local Internet Outage, your connection to the MME Hosted servers will be cutoff. This can happen and you should be prepared for it. It is intensely frustrating at the moment, but fortunately most Internet outages are generally short lived, or can be resolved by restarting your equipment. You can reduce your risk from this by having Two (2) Internet connections from separate providers. Maybe your Main connection is a fiber or cable connection, and you can get a cheap DSL connection as your backup. ‘Slow and on’ is better than ‘off’ while the main connection is being repaired. A good Internet Firewall like the Watchguard can support Dual Internet connections and will automatically fail over and back. If you are worried about the reliability of your main Internet connection, please talk to us about upgrading to a dual connection and what’s involved.
Where is my Server?
Your virtual Cloud Server is physically located at a professional managed data center. MME isn’t doing this in a garage, far from it. We’ve partnered with a national firm who’s other customers include eBay and the Federal Government. MME will host your data in either our West Coast (Sacramento, CA) or East Coast (Chicago, IL) facility. The facilities are SOC 1, SOC 2, PCI, ISO 27001, FISMA HIGH and HITRUST compliant. Safety and Security are paramount with a comprehensive set of security features and controls including physical setbacks, onsite security guards, ID checks and logging, visitor screening, active video monitoring, key card and bio-metric access controls in place. The facilities have redundant power grids, battery backups and onsite power generation to keep operating when the power goes out. The Internet feeds are double or triple redundant to keep you connected to your data regardless of what’s going on in the Internet.
Our level of care for your Cloud Servers will far exceed what any Practice can do on their own.
Interested in MME’s Hosted Services? Your next step would be to reach out to us and talk to your Project Manager. They can discuss it in more detail and get a better understanding of your needs and start the review process. You can reach us on our Contact Us page.