Vertical Storms Brewing in the Clouds

Last week I was on the road visiting some of our customers down south as well as at a speaking engagement for our friends at ClearEdge Partners. The trip took me to awesome Austin as well as Phoenix, Arizona. Both places definitely have great weather this time of year as well as awesome BBQ!

One customer visit in particular was a major eye opener for me – Dell ‘s healthcare team. This team is wasting no time and continues to improve their Unified Clinical Cloud Archive (UCCA) solution by quickly integrating various Dell acquisitions (Insite One, Quest, Perot, and Boomi to name a few).

Dell’s healthcare unit focuses on developing solutions that enable key capabilities to improve the speed and efficiency of caregivers around the world. Traditionally medical images are stored in proprietary silos that can’t be shared quickly or easily with EMTs, emergency rooms, or physicians. Dell’s UCCA solves that problem by providing two important elements of the system.

The first part is a standardized set of APIs and interfaces for the majority of the various healthcare medical imaging systems (e.g., PACs – picture archiving and communication system). This component provides the data management layer that allows most images to be converted, meta-tagged (for retrieval), and stored in the archive. The second part is the archive itself, which resides in the cloud. When Dell acquired Insite One, the archive had some 55 million clinical studies and 3.6 billion objects. The Dell team has almost doubled the archive size with more than 5.3 billion objects across over 800 clinical sites.

The real capability in this offering is due to it storing the images in the cloud instead of on tape or other offline media. Reducing the image lookup time from hours or days to mere minutes makes this a viable solution for emergency care as well as helping physicians make more informed care decisions during office visits.

Since the security issue always comes up, Dell has mitigated the security issues by providing a rich set of security controls and has achieved ISO 13485:2003 certification for security storage and retrieval.

Last year I suggested to my colleagues that the verticalization of cloud was coming in 2013. Some may also argue that this is exactly what the community cloud was destined to mean – I agree – and what better use than to help humankind in the process. I can’t wait to find more of these cloud verticals as I spend more time talking to our customers.

Any vertical storms brewing in your clouds?

Take care,


Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration