Macquarie Cloud Services signs deal with Icon Group
Macquarie Cloud Services, part of Macquarie Telecom Group, has signed a new deal with one of Australia's largest comprehensive cancer care providers, Icon Group (Icon).
The deal involves the management of Icon's platforms through a Microsoft Azure environment.
Since engaging MCS, Icon says it has navigated a global expansion with secure and scalable services and met new regulations in the pharmacy industry against a tight deadline.
Icon provides all aspects of cancer care, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, haematology, research, pharmacy and chemotherapy compounding to deliver end-to-end service for patients.
Mark Holmes, Head of IT Infrastructure, Icon, says the group has relied in the past on flexible and innovative technology to deliver patient care, however a recent expansion into Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong and New Zealand has necessitated the move to a secure and scalable environment.
"We knew we wanted to be on Azure, not only to ensure disaster recovery and service availability across multiple geographical locations, but to navigate the heavily regulated pharmacy industry," he says.
"We needed a partner with expertise, one who had strong experience in delivering a large-scale project."
Icon selected Macquarie, who has been a long-term provider of telecommunications and networking for the company, to facilitate migration to an Azure environment and provide ongoing architecture, network, security, and consumption reviews.
Holmes says the expertise of the team played a crucial part in ensuring the migration went smoothly despite ongoing covid lockdown periods resulting in the design, delivery and management occurring remotely.
"The experts at Macquarie advised rolling the migration out across two timelines. The first included services we'd been hosting on our Launch cloud platform to the more scalable Azure, which comes under the purview of the TGA and requires specific access for auditing purposes.
"The second track needed to operate on a tight, two-month deadline, as it contained workloads supporting pharmacy dispensing which were subject to external regulatory changes."
He says Macquarie was able to work quickly to provide these services and get them all set up in an automated way. That allowed the company to keep that pace and successfully complete the project in a compressed timeline.
Icon's experience with Macquarie has also helped to develop internal technical talent and leverage reliable expertise in the cloud space and beyond, both of which are crucial considerations in Australia's current climate of technical skills shortages.
"We see the need for our cloud skills to continue growing internally, and as such we've brought onboard a principal cloud engineer who's working with the Macquarie team to progress and fine-tune designs," says Holmes.
"This is providing natural skills progression for the rest of the team. I'm confident everything can be done remotely, and tasks can be delegated, and that we are well supported.
"As a healthcare company, our top priority is the safety of our patients, their data and the quality of our clinical teams processes, Macquarie has improved the security and efficiency of our IT infrastructure and cloud-based systems to ensure we continue to provide the best possible care."
Naran McClung, Head of Azure, MCS, says the timing of the project was a significant aspect and that the partnership will now provide better outcomes for patients.
"It was crucial that this project came together on time, not only so that services continued for some of society's most vulnerable, but to ensure the highest levels of compliance in a heavily regulated industry.
"Finding a true technology partner in Macquarie has allowed Icon Group to build a cloud infrastructure that will serve their ongoing international expansion. This partnership delivers the confidence to work closely with Icons leadership, supporting their plans to grow the business both in terms of reach and services offered."