Office 365 Migration and Azure IaaS: Case Study With Hospice of the Western Reserve | Stratus Innovations Group

Cloud Solution Overview

Products and Services

  • Office 365
  • Microsoft Azure IaaS
  • Windows Server



Organization Size

Large (1000-9999 Employees)


United States

Todd Benenati

IT Director

"The ability to offload our in-house email administration was critical to our current-year IT initiatives."

Client Profile: Hospice of the Western Reserve

Hospice of the Western Reserve has been providing healthcare services with a focus on hospice and palliative care since 1978. Currently, the organization offers a wide range of comprehensive, compassionate services and programs throughout Northern Ohio, including:

  • Palliative care
  • Hospice care
  • Perinatal care
  • Skilled home-care assistance
  • Emotional and spiritual support for families and loved ones of hospice patients
  • School crisis support
  • Children’s summer camps and adult workshops for the bereaved
  • Community art therapy
  • Access to free expert speakers
  • A variety of educational resources

Through all these offerings, they strive to relieve suffering, increase comfort, promote quality of life, foster choice in end-of-life care, and support people who are grieving.

​​Learn more about Hospice of Western Reserve.

Challenging Compliance, IT Staff Overload, and Budget Issues

Like every healthcare organization, Hospice of the Western Reserve (HWR) faced significant challenges after the Affordable Care Act went into effect. At the same time, they were also deploying a new version of their electronic medical record (EMR) patient care system that supported mobile healthcare professionals. Hospice of the Western Reserve needed to effectively allocate the time and attention of their already overloaded IT system administrators during this EMR rollout.

In addition to the EMR upgrade, there were other IT initiatives that required additional Windows server capacity and had to be duplicated at the organization’s off-site disaster recovery location. This was driving an up-front capital expenditure that didn't fit into their budget.

HWR was also bringing their new At Home subsidiary to market. For compliance purposes, this new entity had to start out on a separate, isolated network and be HIPAA compliant.

Stratus Innovations Group’s Custom Cloud-Based Solution

Hospice of the Western Reserve engaged Stratus Innovations Group to complete a discovery session and develop an IT business plan to address their unique IT issues and opportunities.

Based on the results, HWR decided to first migrate to Office 365 for organization-wide collaboration and communication functionality. We then designed and implemented a migration plan. Part of this plan involved developing a hybrid configuration where mailbox migrations could be completed at a comfortable pace while allowing co-existence between users who had been migrated and those who had not.

Next, we designed an Active Directory Federation Service (ADFS) solution for the new At Home organization. It was deployed in Microsoft Azure and provided SharePoint Online-based document libraries where At Home employees could scan business documents and store them for archival purposes.

Finally, we planned and completed the migration of the recently-acquired Hospice of Medina organization from a Google platform to Hospice of the Western Reserve's Office 365 environment.

Results: Increased IT Staff Capacity, Seamless Integration, and Financial Savings

By offloading enterprise email administration and maintenance, the Hospice of the Western Reserve's IT system administrators were able to allocate more time and energy to the new EMR rollout and to the enterprise-wide systems management rollout they had recently planned. Decommissioning the previous email server also allowed the organization to repurpose the hardware and storage for the upcoming systems management rollout and allocate additional resources to the new EMR upgrade.

Hospice of the Western Reserve also benefitted from deploying the At Home ADFS infrastructure in a Microsoft Azure Virtual Network. It allowed them to maintain HIPAA compliance with Office 365 single sign-on while having ADFS infrastructure in a load-balanced, highly available form off the corporate network. This effectively eliminated the need for additional investment in hardware purchases.

Is Your IT Staff Overloaded? Are You Facing Huge IT Hardware Costs? Stratus Innovations Group Can Help!

Our singular focus and purpose is helping your business be more profitable and efficient. Contact us today to learn how we can help you free up your IT staff and avoid costly hardware investments.

8000 Walton Parkway
Suite 200 New Albany, OH 43054




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