Riverbed Helps Royal Flying Doctor Service Improve Life-Saving Healthcare Services, and Accelerates Cloud-First Strategy

08:30 EDT 2 Aug 2017 | Businesswire
Riverbed Technology, Inc.

Queensland Section of Australia’s iconic aeromedical organization uses Riverbed solutions to increase network visibility and accelerate mission-critical applications to deliver on cloud-first strategy

Riverbed Technology today announced Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) is using Riverbed solutions to accelerate mission-critical applications and deliver the network performance insight it needs to improve and expand life-saving healthcare services for patients across Queensland.

The Riverbed solution, which combines Riverbed SteelHead and Riverbed SteelCentral, is the foundation for RFDS’s transition to a cloud-first IT strategy, which includes an upcoming migration to Microsoft Office 365, and is driven by a goal to more effectively manage its limited IT resources. According to RFDS, with increased visibility into real-time network performance and the ability to reduce data on the network by up to 70%, the organization is able to optimize its existing services. In addition to reducing operating costs, this has also helped to boost the productivity and satisfaction of its 400 employees, enabling the organization to focus internal resources on improving the customer and patient experience.

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RFDS, a not-for-profit organization, is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organizations in the world, responsible for delivering fly-in fly-out GP, nursing, and allied health clinics to rural and remote communities across Australia – many of which have little to no connectivity. In Queensland, the RFDS operates 19 aircraft from eight operational bases. Its pilots, doctors, engineers and support staff serve 95,000 patients across the state.

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With a waiting room that’s 7.3 million square kilometers, communication and access to data is critical to success. IT infrastructure and network connectivity are the pillars upon which the RFDS service is built. The RFDS staff requires 24/7 secure access to critical information, including patient information, emergency procedures and flight plans, which are centrally maintained in Microsoft SharePoint. RFDS’s IT system also supports the transmission of thousands of emails per hour as well as bandwidth-intensive video content vital for training field staff. To fulfill their commitment of providing the finest healthcare services to the furthest corners of Australia, the RFDS has increasingly adopted new mobile and cloud technologies as well.

As use of the RFDS services in Queensland became more advanced and widespread, RFDS was pushing the limits of what their existing network could deliver. This was starting to impact service delivery.

“Network outages had become more frequent, the performance of mission-critical apps slowed, and we started to receive more and more complaints from our staff,” said Dean Coulter, ICT Infrastructure Manager, RFDS (Queensland Section). “But simply purchasing more network bandwidth was not an option due to the high costs involved.”

At the same time, the RFDS IT team was flying blind with regards to its network performance and lacked sufficient tools to identify the root cause of issues, as well as hold service providers accountable to SLAs. To address these challenges and more, RFDS turned to Riverbed Technology, and supported by Riverbed partner Zero1, the organization trialed a proof of concept based on Riverbed SteelHead SaaS to speed up user access and accelerate the delivery of SaaS applications, and SteelCentral NetExpress for visibility across RFDS’s applications, network and infrastructure.

“The results were powerful and immediate. We saw an immediate boost in application performance while simultaneously reducing bandwidth requirements by 60-70%,” explained Coulter. “But just as big of an achievement for us as the acceleration is the visibility. With SteelCentral NetExpress we were able to see we had legacy equipment and misconfigured applications hogging valuable bandwidth, and address it immediately. That level of insight is critical for us as our network expands and moves further into the cloud.”

Riverbed SteelHead enabled RFDS employees in Queensland to access applications and data from anywhere and on any device in a cost-effective manner, increasing the level of service delivered and freeing up resources for investment in other critical areas. “The Riverbed solution gives us a solid foundation to confidently move to the cloud. At the same time, we’ve been able to reduce bandwidth costs significantly and employee complaints have all but dropped,” said Coulter. “This has empowered our doctors, nurses, pilots and support staff to focus on expanding and improving the delivery of the life-saving healthcare services which have been the cornerstone of RFDS’s work for 90 years.”

“It was important to us not only to find a solution that would solve our network challenges, but also to find a technology partner that really cares about what we do. Riverbed and Zero1 delivered,” said Fiona Foley, Executive Manager, ICT Services and Business Solutions, RFDS (Queensland Section). “The conversations we have now with the business are just totally different. We’re no longer talking about network outages, and we’re able to better focus on our core mission: delivering excellent healthcare services to the people of Queensland.”

RFDS has deployed SteelHead across all its regional sites in Queensland, with plans to implement SteelHead Mobile on laptops and mobile devices, empowering doctors to take advantage of 3G and 4G connectivity when working in remote locations with limited connectivity.

Riverbed Delivers Solutions for Cloud and Digital World

Riverbed is delivering solutions to help companies transition from legacy hardware to a new software-defined and cloud-centric approach to networking, and improve end user experience, allowing enterprises’ digital transformation initiatives to reach their full potential. Riverbed’s integrated platform delivers the agility, visibility, and performance businesses need to be successful in a cloud and digital world. By leveraging Riverbed’s platform, organizations can deliver apps, data, and services from any public, private, or hybrid cloud across any network to any end-point.

Riverbed SteelHead is the industry’s #1 optimization solution for accelerated delivery and peak performance of applications across the software-defined WAN. Riverbed SteelCentral product family is a performance management and control suite that combines user experience, application, and network performance management to provide the visibility needed to diagnose and cure issues before end users notice a problem, call the help desk, or jump to another web site out of frustration.

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About Riverbed

Riverbed enables organizations to modernize their networks and applications with industry-leading SD-WAN, application acceleration, and visibility solutions. Riverbed’s platform allows enterprises to transform application and cloud performance into a competitive advantage by maximizing employee productivity and leveraging IT to create new forms of operational agility. At more than $1 billion in annual revenue, Riverbed’s 28,000+ customers include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 98% of the Forbes Global 100. Learn more at

Riverbed and any Riverbed product or service name or logo used herein are trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.

Riverbed Technology
Karin Neighorn, +65 9642 4685
Director, Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific & Japan
Katherine Harwood, 415-527-4170


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