Recently, I sat down and had a chat with Zyxel's Shawn Roger, product marketing manager and Jake Sailana, marcomm manager. The pitch? Have you considered ZyXel for your healthcare needs? Here's what they want you to know...

Dave Courbanou

March 4, 2010

3 Min Read
Healthcare VARs: ZyXel Wants Your Attention

NWA-3166_pRecently, I sat down and had a chat with Zyxel’s Shawn Roger, product marketing manager and Jake Sailana, marcomm manager. The pitch? Have you considered ZyXel for your healthcare needs? Here’s what they want you to know…

According to Jake Sailana, from the end of 2009 and throughout 2010, ZyXel has been making the healthcare vertical a priority, especially with the advent of the Obama administration and new electronic health record (EHR) mandates. With that comes the need to update, upgrade and comply with new standards. ZyXel wants to be there.

The real power that ZyXel is touting is ease of use and versatility given a tight environment. ZyXel is positioning itself not just for big enterprise level customers with giant healthcare facilities, but for the small offices with limited space. ZyXel’s switches, gateways and wireless solutions are designed to be easily implemented, easily sold and easily understood.

They pitched the idea that many doctors need security, and as smart as doctors are, they just don’t have the time or the energy to focus on their in-house technology. So when I asked them what differentiates themselves and what exactly makes it’s so easy for a doctor to pick a VAR with ZyXel solutions, Shawn Roger said “We’re not charging per note or per user fees [and there are] no fees for quality phone support. We have a 5 year out of the box warranty [and since there’s no per user fee it’s] easier for the VAR to go in and quote the customer and have it understood ASAP.”

The small doctor office was a main focus. Roger noted that most offices don’t have a traditional wire-closet or data room, and most of them are pretty tiny. ZyXel can step in with their NWA 3100 series, notably the 3166 (pictured). The 3166 is a hybrid, in the sense that it can act standalone access point, but also a managed wireless LAN controller solution. There’s no need for a rack-mounted controller. You can designate one access point as the control, and add on as many more as you’d need. It does load balancing, rouge IP detection, encryption for secure transfer of EHR and can take care of multiple SSIDs so EMR devices operate on specific secure connections.

With ZyXel’s USG (ZyXel’s UTM) and switches ZyXel’s feels confident that they’ve got everything a VAR could need to implement a secure network. Technology like specific mac address binding to IP addresses allows for secure networks so nefarious hackers can’t swap out a machine and plug in the same IP address to get access to EHR. Plus, with anti-virus on the gateway, it eliminates the need for monitoring every single computer individually and saves money on AV licensing. ICSA certification also comes along with the package. Gigabit Ethernet was also spoken about, as a potential up-selling solution later on. Large X-ray images and CT scans need to be transported quickly and efficiently.

The Strategy

Both Roger and Sailana talked up the channel partner program, noting that there’s plenty of mail in rebates and back-end rebates for security SKUs. Even though it’s a tough market to find margin on hardware, ZyXel maintains their commitment to making the most of it. Of course, Zyxel stressed that a one-vendor source is beneficial, since it makes support easier and cooperation between devices a breeze.

The Competition

So all that being said, I have to admit, I’ve been hearing similar stories from everyone in this business. Netgear in particular is one that comes to mind. Almost everybody in the networking business says that they’re you’re one stop-shop for everything you need. That they’ve got the best and easiest solutions and they’ve got the best warranty. Both Netgear and ZyXel told me that they offer 5 year warranties while maintaining that others didn’t do that and 5 year warranty was ‘unique’. Both maintained that the SMB (in this case the small doctor office) was a focus for them, as well as enterprise. Both stressed their industry leading or unique solutions.

What does it really come down to? I’d imagine at the end of the day it’s support. Speak up, readers and VARs! Where do your loyalties lie?

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