Q&A: Dell Boomi helps the American Cancer Society get patients to treatment
Data isn’t just driving business value. The transformational powers of cloud computing can also be applied to charitable work. Properly managed data gives a better understanding of the demographic the charity serves, along with greater insight into what motivates donors and volunteers.
Improved communication and funding can increase the reach of charities, enabling them to provide assistance exactly when and where it is needed. One organization that recently went through a digital transformation was the American Cancer Society Inc.
“One of the key foundational tenants with the transformation was we wanted our data to be in sync,” said Kenny Oxler (pictured), vice president of enterprise systems development at the American Cancer Society. “We wanted to be … all looking at the same information — a single source of truth.”
Oxler spoke with Lisa Martin (@LisaMartinTV), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Boomi World event in Washington, D.C. They discussed how the American Cancer Society is using a cloud platform from Boomi, a Dell Technologies Inc. company, to provide support services to patients undergoing cancer treatment (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)
[Editor’s note: The following answers have been condensed for clarity.]
Describe the American Cancer Society’s business transformation.
Oxler: The organization made the decision back in about 2012 to consolidate. At the time, there were 13 different regions with their own information-technology systems that ran independently. There were some shared technologies that we had, but we wanted to centralize our model.
We had a lot of technologies that had run their course, were end of life, or that over a decade of changes had just become monstrous, behemoth systems. We were really struggling to keep up both in terms of change and enhancement and delivering those capabilities back to our constituents. So, we decided that it was time for a new technology modernization effort. And we really wanted to be on the cloud-first strategy.
We chose Salesforce as our customer relationship management platform and NetSuite as our financial enterprise resource planning platform. That way we could consolidate those. And then we looked at the leftover processes that we could simplify. So, bringing that along with the transformation to create more efficiencies for us. And at the end of the day, driving a better end-user experience whether you’re a volunteer, you’re staff, or you’re a patient.
How did the centralized hub aspect drive the integration?
Oxler: With any business, data is key. And, historically, our data was spread out across multiple systems that didn’t always sync-up. You’d pull a report out of one system, and it would say something different than when you looked at another system. And it’s a lot harder to make good business decisions without good data.
So, one of the key foundational tenants with the transformation was that we wanted our data to be in sync. We wanted to be able to see the same things no matter where you were looking at. That way we were all looking at the same information and basically a single source of truth. Dell Boomi’s integration platform was a critical component of that.
We had over 120 applications, with 20 major ones that had most of our data. Boomi integrated all of those. Now when information is coming across, whether it’s coming in from a donation made, or an event participant, or a patient referral form, all that data comes in through Boomi. Then it’s propagated and orchestrated across the systems as it needs to be, making sure that it has all of the right information in it, that the data is as clean as we can make it, and it’s all in sync at the end of the day.
Talk about the Service Match application that you have built with Boomi. What is it enabling?
Oxler: Service Match is part of our Road to Recovery program, where we provide rides for cancer patients to and from cancer treatment. When you’re getting chemotherapy, often driving afterwards is not an option. And a lot of patients have trouble with caregivers and family always helping them. So, the American Cancer Society provides this program to provide those rides free of charge for cancer patients. We service approximately 30,000 patients a year on the platform, and over 500,000 rides have been delivered since the program’s inception.
The Service Match application is about connecting those patients to volunteers for the rides. If a patient needs a ride so that they can get to their treatments on time, they can request help online, as well as over the phone. So, the request goes out to our volunteer community, and someone can say, “I can do that. I can help this person out.”
As chief information officer, do you think Boomi’s architecture is something that gives you an advantage?
Oxler: Absolutely. I think Boomi’s low-code development strategy is a differentiator for anybody that’s using the platform. We have been able to delivery more integrations in a shorter amount of time with our transformation than I’ve done in the past with other integration platforms, or just developing it the old-fashioned way with Java or C#.
I think as an integration platform, it’s a real game changer in terms of what enterprises can do in terms of delivering faster and with more stability and performance than in the past.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Boomi World event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Boomi World 2019. Neither Boomi Inc., the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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