Question for multiple office

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Question for multiple office

Postby huanhb » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:26 pm

Hello guys,

Do you have any recommendation for IT company that can setup Open Dental for multiple locations in South Texas?

Here's the situation:
We have an office with around 24 computers using Open Dental and Progeny Image software.
There will be a second location soon, probably at the beginning of next year, 2020.

We want to setup a separate headquarter where scheduler and biller can access each location to schedule new appointment, check recall list and audit charts.
Each office will have around 6 scheduler/biller, login at the same time, so Logmein/Teamviewer is difficult.
There's going to be separate server/database for each location.

I called some IT company around the area, none of them know much about OpenDental and how to setup that way.
There are several threads discussing the setup in the forum, unfortunately I have no network knowledge + no time :/

Please let me know if there's any recommendation.

Thank you!!!
huanhb
 
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Re: Question for multiple office

Postby Ardavan » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:13 pm

Theres a guy on these forums named Justin Schafer (I probably misspelled his last name) who I think is somewhere in Texas and has his own IT company. I've followed Justin's work on these forums and elsewhere, he's one of the few IT people I'd trust and recommend.

I hate to say it but I'm currently shopping for a company to take over my day job responsibilities as an amazing opportunity has presented itself and of the dozens of MSP's I've interviewed I only trust a single one. All the others I've spoken with seem to be incompetent and/or crooks. I've seen dental offices who have spent six figures on their IT infrastructure yet faced disaster due to incompetence, negligence or just plain poor implementations, it makes me sick to my stomach to think how badly the owners were ripped off. Thats not to say their multiple servers, server rack, fancy routers and switches and top of the line workstations with extended manufacturer warranties would have cost significantly less elsewhere, it's just that they're grossly over provisioned and clearly deployed by amateurs. So either a) they didn't have an actual engineer to spec out the buildout, b) the engineer was incompetent, or c) unethical (most MSP's are incentivized to sell equipment as that is another revenue stream, the higher your spend the more they profit).

I'm New York based but have worked remotely for clients as far as California and have plenty of experience deploying and securing cloud based OD implementations. My latest cloud deployment is running surprisingly smooth on $160 budget laptops. Personally I'm still using a 9 year old machine which was on the lower end even back then and I'm against throwing away working machinery (and I can get anything back into working order), but it's cheaper, faster and easier to just replace commodity hardware than it is to buy "enterprise" equipment and deal with RMAs, hourly technicians, and return shipping. I've even devised strategies to remotely deploy commodity systems without the need to send technicians onsite.

While I would have been the first to object to cloud deployments ten years ago internet connections have become far more reliable and backup mobile connections are fast and cheap enough to be feasible today.

Last bit of free advice: spend some time learning about the differences between using separate databases vs. using a single database, while OD will happily merge or separate databases for you for a very reasonable fee, its always cleaner and best to plan ahead and avoid unnecessary operations. Merges can be messy and despite best efforts a merged DB is never as clean as one which was originally planned for multiple clinics.
There are 10 types of people in this world, those who will laugh at this joke, and those who won't. ~Annonymous Bug Writer
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Re: Question for multiple office

Postby huanhb » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:34 am

Awesome, thank you very much for your advise! Have you worked/setup multiple offices with Open Dental? We are looking at 2 locations and 1 call center, potentially to add more locations in 2-3 years. So far all the IT we talked to have very little knowledge of Open Dental :/
Would you recommend setting up separate server at each office using CEMT to access database or one centralized server?
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Re: Question for multiple office

Postby Ardavan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:34 am

At the company I'm currently with (until the end of this month!) I was initially contracted to help choose a stack and set the roadmap for rapid expansion in January of 2010. Since then we have grown from a single location to ten operations with a call center and central administrative office. We are currently utilizing a mixture of merged databases and individual databases+CEMT, some hosted locally within offices and others in the cloud. There really is no straight forward answer as not all business use cases are the same. You would have to evaluate your needs and choose the best approach for your requirements, open dental support would likely be more than happy to help guide your decision, they are a great resource you're already paying for so best to use them.

That being said, broadband internet is far more reliable today than it was back when we first faced this decision, MariaDB has entered the market, and many cloud service providers are willing to sign BAAs without requiring ridiculous monthly spends. The reason we still have servers on premise is mostly because they are legacy equipment, once they die or need to be upgraded I'd just migrate the workloads skywards.

While ten years ago I would have recommended a server at each location with decent routers capable of site-to-site VPN tunnels today I'd recommend a much simpler implementation with OD hosted in the cloud and just consumer off the shelf equipment at the offices. Also, if you're not sure about a single database with clinics or multiple databases it's probably better to start with a multiclinic database and split it later on than starting with separate database then trying to merge them, but do check with OD to see what they say.
There are 10 types of people in this world, those who will laugh at this joke, and those who won't. ~Annonymous Bug Writer
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Re: Question for multiple office

Postby huanhb » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:29 pm

Thank you very much for the reply.
Looks like we are heading toward single database for 2 locations and 1 call center.
I do like the idea of hosting on the cloud, need to talk to IT about it.

What’s your opinion on fiber internet connection? Right now the office is using Coax 1000/35 w Spectrum.
IT recommends fiber at all location for stability, however price is ridiculous, $450 for 25/25.
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Re: Question for multiple office

Postby Ardavan » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:06 am

fiber is nice, but broadband can be sufficient. sometimes IT makes commission or even recurring revenue by getting clients to opt for certain ISPs, VoIP providers, card processors, etc...
I’ve always found the practice a conflict of interest which is why avoid working with such outfits.
If your IT doesnt have cloud experience I can setup the infrastructure with a cloud provider of your choice for a fair fee, i have the experience and references if you care to check. i’m starting with Accenture next month so may not be available for freelance as of September.
There are 10 types of people in this world, those who will laugh at this joke, and those who won't. ~Annonymous Bug Writer
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Re: Question for multiple office

Postby huanhb » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:56 pm

That would be great. Would you be able to give me contact info? Thank you!
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