Bespoke technology solutions for the UK healthcare sector's digital pioneer
About NHS Digital
NHS Digital is the entire UK health and social care system's trusted information and technology partner, utilising innovative solutions to enhance patient care, open new channels of communication, and optimise operational efficiency.
Before partnering with Exponential-e, NHS Digital utilised a number of suppliers for Cloud and WAN services, interconnecting twelve sites and multiple data centres across the UK. In line with the healthcare sector's stringent data protection regulations, all data transmitted between these sites must be encrypted, for which multiple point-to-point networks were utilised - an arrangement that proved incredibly time-consuming and expensive to maintain.
Things were further complicated by NHS Digital's ongoing requirement for bespoke solutions, which suppliers were frequently unable to deliver. Based on the singular nature of the healthcare sector's challenges, off-the-shelf solutions rarely proved suitable, which inevitably had a negative effect on the long-term technology roadmap.
In light of these concerns, NHS Digital made the decision to select a new technology partner who could not only meet their requirements in terms of performance, compliance, and flexibility, but also be an active partner in their long-term digital transformation journey.
After being introduced to Exponential-e via referral, NHS Digital engaged with them to support their Cloud Connect requirements, providing diverse and resilient connectivity to AWS and Azure public clouds. To manage this initial deployment, a dedicated account team was assigned at Exponential-e, working closely with NHS Digital's own IT teams to ensure the success of the project, provide hands-on support and guidance whenever needed, and enable the design and delivery of bespoke solutions, as required.
Since then, the partnership has continued to evolve, with 2018 seeing NHS Digital begin the deployment of Exponential-e's SD-WAN solution, in order to overcome their connectivity challenges in a changing digital landscape. Following its successful launch, this solution provided NHS Digital's IT teams with maximum control and visibility of their cross-site connectivity, while automating all data encryption and protection processes, removing the resulting drain on internal IT teams' time. The combination of intelligent automation with a 'single pane of glass' view of the entire network and security ecosystem allows NHS Digital Teams to manage traffic by application and by user, ensuring all staff have access to the tools and information they need, wherever they are working from, with consistent performance across all regions and encryption of sensitive data available with a single click via the portal.
The strong rapport that has developed between NHS Digital and their Exponential-e account team since the initial Cloud Connect deployment - along with the inherent flexibility and scalability of the IT infrastructure - helped ensure a smooth transition to remote working for staff in response to COVID-19. Operational efficiency and patient care could be maintained across all regions, with proactive monitoring from Exponential-e's 24 / 7 support team, ensuring any potential issues or security risks could be swiftly detected and resolved.
Entering 2021, the Leeds Government Hub was successfully launched, in line with Government-led initiatives, with high-capacity connectivity delivered by Exponential-e. This provided more than 3,000 staff with the means to maintain operational efficiency and cost control, while NHS Digital and Exponential-e teams continue working closely together to identify any additional opportunities to achieve new cost savings and performance improvements, including the delivery of bespoke solutions, tailored to NHS Digital's unique requirements.
The ongoing success of this partnership paints a clear picture of what can be achieved within the healthcare sector when internal IT teams combine their expertise with that of trusted partners, who are deeply invested in the success of the sector and the different ways in which technological innovations can enhance both operational efficiencies and patient care, across the entire UK.
- Hands-on support from a dedicated account team, with a deep understanding of the healthcare sector
- Optimal flexibility in terms of design and delivery, allowing solutions to be tailored to highly specific requirements
- Streamlined management of the entire network, with full visibility of all traffic and compliance with applicable regulations
What we like most about Exponential-e is the willingness to do things differently. Our requirements are extremely challenging in that a significant element of customisation is required for virtually every project, but the team always goes the extra mile to deliver the right combination of solutions.Stuart Meaking
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