Cloud Computing: The Questions you Need to Ask Vendors

By Steve McEvoy, Technology Consultant


Many Practices are starting to seriously look at whether using a Cloud based Practice Management app would be beneficial.  But most aren’t clear about the issues they should be evaluating.   

During my AAO session I will focus on those issues so that you can better understand the benefits and challenges of the Cloud.  Here are some of the things we’ll be talking about and why:
  • A Discussion of what the Cloud is.
  • Why does any of this Cloud stuff matter to an Orthodontic Practice?
  • What forms can benefits materialize within your Practice?
  • What are the key questions to be asking vendors?   Some of them are:
o   Will it work with my existing equipment?  This matters if you are trying to extend the life of your existing hardware and defer a large capital expenditure.
o   Will there be a data conversion?   Even if you are staying with the same vendor, you may be facing the challenges of a data conversion.
 –  What won’t convert?  You need to know what data will be left behind by the process.
o   How fast does my Internet connection need to be?   All Cloud solutions need a good Internet connection – but just how fast? 
o   What happens with the Internet goes out?  You need to know how to handle the inevitable.
o   What about Imaging?  Does it include an Imaging app?   Can I continue to use my existing app?
o   What about 3D Data?   More people have CBCT data than ever and there are significant challenges with running it from the Cloud.
o   What about Patient Education Applications?  Can you keep using your existing app or is there a new one to learn?
o   What about 3rd party integration support?  Can the app work with other programs and services you use.
o   What about Security?  Is your data safe?
o   What kind of hardware is running the solution?  Is the solution used fast, safe and redundant?
o   What about backup?   What approach are they taking?
o   Can you get a Demo login to be able to use it from your PCs on your own Internet connection?
o   If I don’t like the Cloud experience can I switch back?  How easily can this be done?
  • How can it save Money?   A key discussion in determining if the benefits are worth it.
o   No Server required – is this really possible?
o   Cheaper Workstations – How much cheaper?
o   A simpler network will lead to reduced IT support.  How much can be saved?
o   How does the vendor charge for Software, Support and Hosting?
  •      How to work out of the Cloud might be right for your Practice.  Some situations will be no brainers, and others may need more careful evaluation.
If you are considering the Cloud for your Practice please attend and bring along your questions and concerns – I want to hear them so we can all discuss.
Check the AAO Onsite Program guide to confirm the lecture time and location, but at the moment it looks like it will be on Saturday April 26th at 2pm.   Look forward to seeing you there!


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