MacTel ups aged care agility with new deployment

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MacTel ups aged care agility with new deployment

Macquarie Telecom has signed a deal with Southern Cross Care Western Australia to deploy an improved network and connectivity system for residents and staff.

The aged care provider services more than 3,000 residents in Western Australia.

Visitor restrictions at aged care homes have meant staying connected to loved ones digitally is more relied upon than ever before by residents.

Southern Cross Care was faced with the conflicting challenges of needing to reduce operational costs while upgrading its technology and telecoms network, according to Macquarie Telecom.

Much of the customers existing infrastructure was becoming obsolete and presented a risk to its operations. Already a Macquarie customer, it approached the telco to discuss what options would be possible.

The organisation switched its mobile services from a tier one provider to Macquarie, doubling its data allowance while reducing costs by 20 per cent.

The improved mobility service has been beneficial to help residents and staff stay connected during coronavirus restrictions:

“In the early stages of the pandemic, visitor restrictions were put in place to protect the safety of our residents,” Southern Cross Care’s head of IT Anirban Talukdar said.

“Macquarie was quickly able to provide tablets with 4G sim cards at residential aged care homes to facilitate video calls between residents and their families. Macquarie also coordinated non-essential staff to work remotely with a combination of Citrix and Microsoft Teams.”

Macquarie said it worked closely with Taldukar – a telecoms veteran with experience in BT and Vodafone – and his team to rebuild the network. This included replacing the organisation’s old MPLS telecoms network with SD-WAN. Combined with nbn migration where possible, Macquarie said the organisation estimates this will lead to cost savings of between 20-to-25 per cent.

This has improved internet reliability and doubled speeds from an average of 20-to-50Mbps to 100Mbps in most sites, enabling better access to digital services for staff and residents.

“Cost savings and value are always important for our industry,” Taldukar said. “The 2016 Federal Government revision to the industry funding model – which essentially gave more choice to customers – has sparked greater demand for digital services in aged care. We hit a crossroads where both were a priority at once.”

SCCWA is now in discussions with Macquarie about leveraging its cloud and data centre services to increase the organisation’s use of automation and further drive its digital transformation.

“Right now, organisations across Australia are overspending on limited telco services at a time when they need value and innovation,” said MacTel exec Luke Clifton.

“Aged care providers are accustomed to operational and budgetary challenges, but it’s no secret the industry was among the worst affected by the pandemic.

“Almost overnight, providers needed to reimagine their operations to maintain high quality services, but also implement extensive social distancing and remove work measures to keep staff and clients safe. Southern Cross is a perfect example of how to address these challenges while delivering real benefits.”

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