While leading the data integration and delivery of DC Health Benefits Exchange in 2013, Eric Wimer, the Co-Owner and President of Courage LLC became intimately familiar with the ACA requirements and he most recently worked with the DC Access System’s team (DCAS) to deliver on a new,single intent—to quickly move the Integrated Eligibility system’s COTS applications and infrastructure to the Oracle cloud as a proof of concept. The following days witnessed the Courage team under the leadership of Wimer assisting the Exchange at every step of the migration process for a full, end-to-end integrated eligibility system in the cloud. As the project successfully concluded, Courage became the first Oracle Cloud Partner to migrate a public sector organization into the Oracle GovCloud.
A professional services and information technology (IT) company, Courage specializes in the scaled agile delivery of lean planning, design, development, architecture, and DevOps of technology systems and software. As an Oracle Cloud Partner, the firm has been a customer of Oracle’s as well as managed multiple Oracle engagements. Additionally, Courage has assisted its customers in their migration to all three of Oracle’s cloud services; BareMetal, Compute Classic and GovCloud.
Here are some of Wimer’s key insights on how Courage LLC can help public sector organizations realize the benefits of moving their infrastructure and applications to the Oracle Cloud in an efficient and expedient manner.
On assisting the DC Access System for Medicaid Integrated Eligibility
Following a successful proof of concept involving moving an end-to-end eligibility system to the Oracle Cloud for the DC State Medicaid Agency, we won the contract for the cloud migration of the DC Department of Health’s immunization system.
The DCASproof of concept helped us understand the advantages that Oracle cloud presents when compared with other cloud providers. These notably include delivering an enterprise grade database offering for a fraction of the cost of an on-premise enterprise solution, reducing recurring costs by allowing the customer to terminate specific monthly service agreements and offering a non-metered space for government agencies to properly budget cloud costs. These combine to make it very attractive to utilize Oracle cloud services from both a functional and a cost perspective.
We have assisted customers in their migration to three different cloud instances for Oracle and are the first partner to date to successfully take an agency directly into the Oracle GovCloud
The project also provided a blueprint for successfully moving a government entity to the cloud by addressing unique requirements, such as security and regulatory compliance.
The Implementation Process
To facilitate the cloud migration process, Courage put together a proprietary framework which we call ‘Oracle Cloud Jump start Services’. We work in a collaborative way with our client to help assess their current on-premises environment and craft a plan to maximize their investment by moving their infrastructure and applications to the Oracle Cloud. Specifically, with the guidance of our expert cloud services team, we help them realize four key benefits: predictable costs, reduced cost, improved agility, and dynamic elasticity.
After the initial assessment and planning phase, we set up automated scripts to enhance the efficiency of their cloud. These scripts allow us to deliver an end-to-end environment which decreases the set-up time from weeks or months, to hours. We also aid the transition by training the client to administer and maintain their environment going forward.
Challenges during the Migration Process
Oracle has three cloud offerings: Oracle Cloud Instance (OCI), Compute Classic, and the GovCloud, which is their latest endeavor in the cloud space. One of the challenges that CIOs face today is to overcome the Oracle's 'newness' into the cloud space. One of Courage's customers expressed their number one concern as complying with the IRS and HIPPA regulations.
Oracle is recognizing this challenge and has made maintaining database integrity a high priority and is creating PaaS in the GovCloud through which Oracle experts will manage the database. In addition, Oracle GovCloud maintains the compliance as it is FedRAMP medium certified which covers the necessities to meet IRS and HIPPA regulations. Oracle also plans to extend the certification to FedRAMP high in its OCI offering by the end of 2018, which will make it a direct competitor to other vendors in the cloud landscape.
2017 and road ahead
We deliver everything from basic Oracle architecture to standing up servers and managing cloud instances in the Oracle cloud. We specialize in the enterprise business suite provided by Oracle which gives us the ability to architect complete Oracle cloud services. For Courage, 2017 was the year to learn. We observed the evolution of the Oracle cloud and looked for ways to enhance our service offerings. We kept our ear to the ground to ensure we leveraged the latest Oracle cloud offerings, especially for our niche area of expertise in Health IT.
We are focused primarily on the public sector, and as such, we need to be certain that each Oracle offering is tested at every spec. Today, there are not many vehicles that government agencies can depend on to buy the Oracle Cloud. We recognize this untapped opportunity and are taking this on as our next challenge. Courage is also planning to extend our operations to Florida as the city’s Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies are looking to migrate their on premise products to the cloud.