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Influence Health Migrates their CRM and Marketing Platform from Azure to AWS with help of ClearScale.


Influence Health

Business Challenge

Influence Health’s customer relationship manager CRM helps hospitals and healthcare providers that are struggling to create a unified view of their consumers and patients from data silos in call centers, patient portals, diagnostic equipment, electronic medical records (EMR), pharmacy records, medication interaction checkers, and more. Influence Health’s CRM provides a unified view of the consumer and machine learning based predictive models to help guide decision making and targeting in providing the right information to the right people at the right time and place - which takes a huge amount of data behind-the-scenes. Today, more than 150 million consumer records are connected through Influence Health technology.

Influence Health also offers a comprehensive Digital Marketing system that is easy for healthcare providers to use and affordable to manage, with little to no dependence on IT. The solution helps healthcare organizations present a consistent experience across channels, both online and in healthcare facilities. The Influence Health marketing solution was the first in the healthcare industry to offer direct integration to social media APIs, with extensive capabilities to track, manage, and report on the results of sophisticated healthcare marketing programs.

With more than 1,100 healthcare providers using Influence Health solutions, the company needed to migrate to a larger, faster, and more flexible cloud implementation. Influence Health needed to meet HIPAA compliance requirements, increased demand for larger patient databases and automated data transformation, and implement a new architectural design.

"Our partnership with AWS has been a great experience, and building atop AWS HIPAA eligible services lets us leverage our software engineering investment towards building products and functionality for our customers versus managing infrastructure. ClearScale provided us the boost we needed to get our applications consolidated to AWS in a way that meets best practices around scalability, security, and availability."

Rupen Patel, CTO, Influence Health

The ClearScale Solution

Influence Health’s team had been using Azure to host part of their platform. Namely Virtual Machines, Scale Sets, Load Balancer and Blob. Utilizing these services, they were running MongoDB, Cassandra, PostgreSQL, Spark, Redis, Kafka, Zookeeper and Elasticsearch.

After a careful review of the flow of application data and PHI (which requires HIPAA compliance), ClearScale created a detailed architecture design that identified what AWS services would be much more optimal to Influence Health and its goals.

An example of one of Influence Health’s application tiers:

PostgreSQL RDS simplified maintenance of PHI due to its HIPAA eligibility. We also identified many system components that did not store PHI and were able to move them to EC2 instances directly. Future work includes use of EMR and ElastiCache, AWS managed services that remove the need to manage and maintain manually deployed instances.

The only remaining piece to meet HIPAA compliance was how to handle storage of PHI. Without adding to much complexity, we were able to use Filebeat and Logstash to ship logs to S3 Buckets that are forced to encrypt in transit and at-rest and per application tier, store all other data on encrypted EBS volumes, due to the available security functionality AWS provides.

The next step was automation. We were able to automate the deployment of AWS managed services and their other services that still needed to run on EC2 instances (Windows and Linux operating systems), utilizing Cloud Formation, Ansible and Docker. They were not able to completely adapt fully automated deployments but with this they can manually trigger the creation and scaling of clusters.

Once ClearScale completed the development of Cloud Formation templates and Ansible playbooks, they began to deploy Staging, Production and DR environments. These environments were handed over to the Influence Health team as they were completed.

Marketing Platform and API Diagram

CRM & Shared Services Diagrams

To maintain and meet AWS high availability and security standards, the new system was deployed between 3 AZs with only necessary secured services in the public subnets and all other services stored in private subnets. AWS makes this very simple with the use of their managed services, VPC, NAT gateway, VPC peering, VPN gateways and Elastic Load Balancers.

With this new highly available and secure deployment in AWS they can now scale faster and offer their services with a piece of mind AWS brings.

Business Value

Now that ClearScale has migrated the Influence Health CRM and Digital Marketing system to AWS, the company can leverage its DevOps workflow to more quickly add functionality while maintaining security and cost advantages. Influence Health has plans to add many new capabilities leveraging Lambda in conjunction with a container based orchestration service that will allow them to fully automate deployments and scale their Docker containers. Once this step is complete, we are confident they will be able to achieve further server density, cost savings, and continue to quickly deliver leading healthcare solutions.

As sophisticated new offerings on AWS continue to revolutionize the cloud, companies like Influence Health recognize that legacy cloud architectures simply don’t offer enough efficiency or flexibility. AWS helps companies achieve better results with its larger open source ecosystem and the continuous enhancements enable efficient and secure architectures which save companies’ money in the long run

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