Icon brings quality cancer care to global patients with Macquarie Cloud Services

Icon brings quality cancer care to global patients with Macquarie Cloud Services

Macquarie Cloud Services has signed a deal with one of Australia’s largest comprehensive cancer care providers, Icon Group, to manage its platforms through a Microsoft Azure environment. Icon’s Head of IT Infrastructure, Mark Holmes, tells us more about this partnership.

Macquarie Cloud Services (MCS), part of Macquarie Telecom Group, has signed a new deal with one of Australia’s largest comprehensive cancer care providers, Icon Group (Icon), to manage its platforms through a Microsoft Azure environment. Since engaging MCS, Icon has navigated a global expansion with secure and scalable services and met new regulations in the pharmacy industry against a tight deadline.

Icon Group 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. The group has long relied on flexible and innovative technology to deliver patient care, however, according to Icon’s Head of IT Infrastructure, Mark Holmes, a recent expansion into Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong and New Zealand 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 said. “We needed a partner with expertise, one who had strong experience in delivering a large-scale project.”

Icon Group selected Macquarie – its long-term provider of telecommunications and networking – to facilitate migration to an Azure environment and provide ongoing architecture, network, security and consumption reviews. Holmes said the team’s expertise 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. 

“Macquarie was able to work quickly to provide those services and get them all set up in an automated way. That allowed us to keep that pace and successfully complete the project in a compressed timeline.”

Developing technical expertise as industry battles skills shortages

Holmes continued that 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 on board a principal cloud engineer who’s working with the Macquarie team to progress and fine-tune designs. This is providing natural skills progression for the rest of the team.

“It makes a difference that Macquarie goes the extra step. We use the group’s data centre campus as our co-location facility in Sydney and find the team are better skilled and better informed than remote-hand services from other providers. 

“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 team’s 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 at MCS, said: “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 Icon’s leadership, supporting their plans to grow the business both in terms of reach and services offered.”

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