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Playing a part in Irish innovation and winning awards

Playing a part in Irish innovation and winning awards

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Playing a part in Irish innovation and winning awards
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Playing a part in Irish innovation and winning awards

Last Thursday was a special day for Ergo. A few hours after we’d finished presenting our event, ‘Journey To The Agile Edge’, in Croke Park, I was putting on a tuxedo for the 2017 Tech Excellence Awards at the Citywest Hotel, where we would go on to win the Managed Service Company of the Year award.

During the Q&A session at our event I’d commented on how Irish organisations were involved in cutting-edge innovation more often associated with California than Ireland. On stage with me were two of our customers – from the HSE, Mary Fitzsimons, Programme Director of the Epilepsy Lighthouse Project, and Michael Lochrin, Head of IT at Open Hydro.

We helped Mary and her team develop a national Electronic Patient Record (EPR) that gives epilepsy patients continuity of care. OpenHydro outsourced their IT to Ergo as they focussed on developing ground breaking marine turbines that generate renewable energy from tidal streams. Both organisations are at the leading edge of what they do and are internationally recognised.

Solving problems together

Michael Lochrin explained that it took many years for OpenHydro to move from an R&D phase to commercial operations, and how the technology requirements have changed during that period. Collecting telemetry data, for example, placed huge demands on their servers for storage so the decision was taken to move it to the cloud. We helped them migrate to the Microsoft Azure platform. “We can ramp up and down, more or less on demand,” he said. “What was a technical challenge is now just there.”

Mary Fitzsimons talked about building systems iteratively and in an agile way.  As the project progressed, software engineers were encouraged to attend weekly meetings with the clinical team to get a better appreciation of what they were trying to do. At the same time, our man in there, Brendan Dunleavy, helped the HSE team get a better grasp of the way software engineering worked.

As Mary put it, they both began to speak each other’s language.  “Engagement between the IT people and the business as they work to understand each other is huge,” said Mary. “Over time we got to know each other’s language and worked in a real collaborative way to deliver.”

Achieving recognition

My keynote presentation was all about creating a shared vision between IT and the business, so it was fascinating to hear customers talk about how they have successfully gone about it. I was also delighted that the achievements of Mary and the HSE team were recognised at the Tech Excellence Awards that same evening.

We were proud to be associated with the development of an EPR that won the public sector IT Project of the Year award.  As the main delivery partner, we had already attended the eHealth Adoption Awards 2017 in Malta where it was in the top 3. It was great to see it win plaudits closer to home.

Later in the evening I was delighted to collect our own award. The judges chose Ergo as Managed Service Company of the Year, which was particularly satisfying because it’s part of the business that we have been particularly focused on as the needs of our clients continues to evolve.

As an early cloud mover, we were one of the first services companies in Ireland to integrate cloud into a Managed Services portfolio. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to clients; the time we take to understand their needs before delivering a solution that gives them what they’re looking for.

Which brings us full circle, because OpenHydro and the Epilepsy Lighthouse Project are both Ergo Managed Service clients. Anyone who attended the Croke Park event will hopefully have got a sense of how closely we work in partnership with organisations.

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