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Q&A: Is a Hardware-as-a-Service Model Right for Your Practice?

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Being a dentist requires a lot of knowledge and skill, but supporting your IT infrastructure shouldn’t have to be one of them. As a dentist, you have enough on your plate without worrying about things like what network technology to buy or how you keep it up and running without having to pay the local IT provider a lot of money.

Luckily, TechCentral by Henry Schein One has developed a new dental IT solution, OmniCore, which has been dubbed “your all-in-one dental office network in a box.” OmniCore delivers many of the essential hardware and services you need to install and maintain your network infrastructure. TechCentral completely manages and maintains the network so you won’t have to support it or deal with those frustrating IT budget surprises.

But what’s in the box, exactly, and is it right for your practice? Dental Product Shopper interviewed TechCentral Hardware Product Manager, Donovan Gregg, to learn more.

Q: Before we get into OmniCore, what are the advantages of hardware as a service rather than owning it outright?  

If you buy your hardware and are paying it off month-to-month, about the time you're ready to pay that off, you may need to replace it because typically network hardware components need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. Things like firewalls, firmware, and your operating system need to be updated regularly to secure your patient data, but often what happens in the IT industry is that many software solutions cannot be updated without also having the latest hardware. This means you’re stuck buying new hardware.

I can't tell you how many times our support department gets calls from customers that have to deal with an unexpected upgrade, but they don't have a budget set aside. Hardware as a service can help eliminate many of those problems because TechCentral retains ownership of the hardware, so they take on the responsibility of maintaining, updating or replacing components automatically as they become out-of-date.

Q: What are some key features of the OmniCore, and how is it monitored and maintained?

OmniCore provides many of the essential components of a dental office network, including a virtualized server, network-attached storage (NAS), uninterruptable power supply, and business-grade Wi-Fi and firewall. But more importantly, it comes with the full support and maintenance of the team here at TechCentral.

TechCentral will monitor daily operations using third-party software. We can't actually see patient data, but we can monitor your system to see how each component of the network is working, if it's having critical failures, if there's a predictive failure, or anything of that nature. We can monitor and log that in one central location.

With OmniCore, customers shouldn’t have to worry if their practice and patient data is being properly backed up. They shouldn’t have to worry if something is going on in the network, if something is operating too slowly or if they should replace it. We're your virtual IT department. We want to make sure that your technology systems are working properly for you. If something’s not working, we’ll proactively make the needed updates in order to keep it up and running.

Q: Is OmniCore recommended for dentists who are just setting up their IT or can it be used as a replacement solution?

While OmniCore is designed for most dental practices, it may be easier to implement in a new office. But even if they have existing equipment, we can usually use the hardware within OmniCore as a replacement for their current hardware.

Q:  Are OmniCore hardware components interchangeable?

We wanted to make sure that each dental office’s experience is at the highest it can be, and that's why hardware components inside OmniCore are not selectable. This is important because each component of the system needs to work together seamlessly. You usually can't manage another manufacturer’s components by doing advanced replacements or sending a new part, unless you own it. That is where OmniCore can help, by allowing us to deliver the same, high-quality customer experience to everybody.

Q:  What's the installation process like, and how long does it take?

That was one of the big things we wanted to improve. Installation can be inconsistent, and can take quite a bit of time. The beauty of OmniCore is that before it even leaves the TechCentral warehouse in Texas, the box is ready to go. That means that all the servers, the switches, the backups, the battery backups, the firewalls, and the APs are configured and personalized to that specific dental practice, and it's ready to be installed. Under normal circumstances, you can literally open the box, roll it into a dental office, plug in the power, plug in the Internet, plug in your various endpoints, and start working.

In the past, you typically would have to unbox every component separately, and you'd have to find a home for it somewhere in the closet where you keep pumps and evacuation units. With OmniCore, everything is small, tight, condensed in one rack, and ready to go.

Q:  How much does OmniCore cost per month, and where could it save a dentist money?

OmniCore is really easy for any type of dental practice. Rather than pay for each component individually, we offer the solutions at one low monthly price of $500. If a dentist is tired of dealing with constant IT issues, this is a great solution for them.

Q: If a dental practice is interested in OmniCore and they want to find out if it's right for them, what should they do next?

To find out if OmniCore is right for your practice, request a free technology assessment by either visiting www.HSTechCentral.com/OmniCore/DPS/blog or calling TechCentral at 844.206.1228. TechCentral can perform a remote assessment, or come to your office, and figure out what you currently have, and determine if OmniCore is right for you. Either way, we can help make sure you have the right equipment to support your practice so you can stop worrying about your office IT and stay focused on dentistry—we got you covered.

This article is paid for by TechCentral. Certain components of the products or services described above are provided by third parties. Henry Schein One and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.

About Donovan Gregg

Donovan is a technology enthusiast that has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years, 10 of which have been with Henry Schein TechCentral. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things related to technology from quantum computing to circuit engineering and flying FPV drones. Donovan has been an integral part in managing valuable relationships with various large software and hardware companies to vet out the most ideal IT solutions for the unique needs of the dental market.

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