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Real time COVID-19 analysis – How Sentry Data is able to make an impact with Actifio and Pure Storage

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-Hi there. I’m Chandra Reddy at Actifio. Nice to have you all here. Kim, could you introduce yourself please?

-Sure. My name is Kim Jacques. I’m the executive vice president and CIO at Sentry Data Systems. Sentry is a pioneer in automated pharmacy procurement as well as utilization management and 340B compliance. We lead the health care industry in helping providers address their biggest challenges around reducing their total cost of care, managing compliance, and producing better quality. We’ve been in business at Sentry now for 16 years.

-Wow. That’s very, very impressive. And tell us something about your environment and any challenges in your environment.

-Sure. You can imagine that with being the true compliance, we keep a lot of data, right. So our data is probably our biggest asset here at Sentry and protecting that data is also a very high priority for us. So we have about a billion transactions and over 2.8 billion of claims that we manage, right. And that also adds up to about 135 million unique patients. We bring in probably about, I’d say 18 to 19,000 feeds of data a day.


-And we’re transacting about a billion transactions a month. So our database is extremely large, growing on a monthly basis. And managing that data and being able to report off of that data and bringing into our data analytics is key to us, right. So we have, like I said, our Oracle database has over 100 terabytes. I think we’re at about 130 terabytes today. We have significant storage requirements as well. And again, there’s a lot of challenges when you’re working with data that big to be very agile with our SDLC process, right. So that is where we went and started looking at other alternatives to help us be more effective. Actifio being one of those.

-Got it, Kim. And your main requirement was that your team wanted to provision multiple copies of this massive 100-terabyte database. Is that right?

-Correct. We have a need to really take this massive database and make multiple copies of it for multiple different reasons. Some is for our internal reasons like we do a lot of hypothetical config changes with our customers and we want to prototype those changes before we put them in production. We are doing about a thousand implementations at one given time. So when we’re implementing, we want to make sure that we give our environment to our customers so that they can see their data, play around with their data, before we actually move it into production. We also have a lot of dev requirements where we keep our dev environments, our QA environments. And then we also have a lot of requirements just for our frontline call center to do some simple checking, run some verification. Again, before we fix a problem in production. So we use them pretty much for those four cases.

-Got it. Thank you so much for sharing that information. Let’s talk about the solution that your team put together. Could you talk a little bit about the solution please?

-Sure. So using the Actifio application and Pure Storage, what we’re really doing is we’re making a virtual clone, a VMware on the front end of our applications. And we’re copying, virtually, our databases. And we’re bringing them down into a virtual environment for specific use cases. And then again, the front-end VM reads to that use case. And we can then even update that data for each use case at a different interval of time. Now remember, we have a golden copy of our Oracle database with Actifio. And that stays real-time current with our Oracle database. So at any given time, I can snap a sandbox with real-time data.

-That’s amazing. So essentially, your team is able to now provision five, virtual database clones, each of 100 terabytes, 130 terabyte, it is rewritable. Is that right?

-Exactly. Yup. That’s exactly what we’re doing. And it’s relatively fast, right. So we’re doing it in less than 30 minutes. So it’s really helpful when we need a sandbox, and I’m going to talk a little bit about what we did. We’ve been doing a lot of real-world data study with COVID, right. So the thing about COVID studies is that you can do a lot of testing and trials and things like that. And that’s a lot of data that you go out and you recruit people to do that for. With our data, it’s real-world data. What claims are coming in, what people have for diagnosis. And we’re able to really predict with real-world data, the length of stay, what they were prescribed, the readmittance rate. We can do all of that with our real-world data. And that’s factual data. It’s not a pilot, it’s not a test. It’s really what’s happening out in the country. So since COVID started, we’ve been able to spin up these Actifio sandboxes and run our analytics off these sandboxes pretty quickly. And remember, not every study they’re asking us is the same. So it’s very, very important that I can move this around pretty quickly and then give an environment for my analysts to work on to create those studies. And that is what we’ve been doing since COVID started.

-This is very amazing. I feel really, really proud of being part of a company whom you paid to actually solve in real time for the current COIVD situation. This was amazing.

-Yeah. It’s a big part of our solution to be able to get to market quickly with our data evaluations.

-Awesome. This was great. Just to summarize, essentially the big problem that you solved was that you wanted to provision virtual database clones very, very quickly for your team so that they can do their analysis very fast. And at the same time, it made your team more agile in a sense that they can not only write code very quickly but they can also test their code against real high-fidelity test data. Is that right?

-Yes. That is correct. That is exactly what we were aimed at. And like I said, having the sandbox, we’re getting a lot of customers that are interested in that. A lot of it is a new product revenue streamline for us. Especially improving our customer time to value, customer satisfaction. They can play with their data before committing to it in production and then having to back it out if they don’t like what they see. We do that all ahead of time. And it is about deploying much, much faster. Like I said, we’re doing it. And something that took us 60 to 70 days, we’re doing in less than 30 days today. And the developers have their own environment, they can go there if they need to refresh the data. They can get that. It just makes us faster to market. And one thing to mention, is because of all of our PHI controls we have, our data centers are all on premise. So a lot of these things, yeah, you can do in a cloud. But doing what we’re doing today on premise is pretty phenomenal.

-That’s right. And Kim, I really want to thank you for your time today.


-And I hope we all can contribute in our own ways to solve this COVID situation.

-Me too. Yup.

-Thanks a lot.

-Thank you.

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