Zang Reduces the ‘Evils’ of App Development for Systems Partner Mutare
Just ask Mutare Inc.’s Rich Quattrocchi, Vice President of Business Development, how the Zang all-in-one cloud communication platform has helped his company speed time to market and reduce complexity of application development and you’ll find out just how satisfied a customer can be with a product.
The independent software developer and systems integrator has a large healthcare customer base and integrates Zang applications-as-a-service platform into Mutare solutions that improve processes and HIPAA compliance at major hospitals across the U.S. With Zang in the background, Mutare has built apps to support workflow improvements, e.g., its Vital Link Surgery Status module works to enhance the perioperative workflow while keeping waiting companions updated with text messages on their mobile devices so they never miss an important update.
Mutare is now marketing the app, originally created for Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois, to hospitals nationwide. “It worked so well, we’ve turned it into a standard offering,” Quattrocchi remarked. Yet, app development wasn’t always so streamlined for Mutare’s cloud offers.
Scaling, building and testing applications can be complex and working with large carriers slows things down while increasing costs. The process often began with acquiring additional trunks and SIP lines, putting money into the pockets of large carriers such as AT&T, to satisfy app requirements.
The company does a great deal of mass notification software, creating over-the-top applications for HIPAA compliant secure communications, so developers were often tasked with incorporating multiple means of contact, such as voice, text and file sharing, further hindering their progress.
Quattrocchi credits Zang with enabling Mutare to overcome barriers created by major carriers and aggregators when developing apps that utilize voice, SMS and interactive voice response (IVR) on a consumption basis. For example if we need to scale an application to deliver tens of thousands of text messages in a short amount of time for emergency notification, we simply add more Zang phone numbers to our cloud and call the Zang API. This works to eliminate network engineering and paves the way to scale to millions of calls and messages. “Zang reduces evil,” Quattrocchi says. “With Zang, it all goes away.”
The Zang platform has allowed the company to shrink its time to market and add a tremendous amount of value to its end users. “I can set up a mass notification system, for example,” adds Quattrocchi, “and Zang will do the text messages and voice calls very quickly and efficiently without any worry about running into busy signals. If I tried to do that on my own with a network carrier, the costs for dedicated infrastructure and networking would be too high to be competitive in the market.
Case in point, Mutare enlisted Zang to develop an app that enables medical professionals and others to reach out to patients using SMS texting, which is not secure. “From a desktop, a nurse can text a patient to check up on his or her well-being following post-operative discharge—for a coronary bypass, for example. The patient’s recovery is critical to a hospital’s bottom line, as more than half of all hospital revenues come from Medicare, and readmission within 30 days of discharge comes with major penalties including fines.”
The key to the app’s functionality is its ability to pivot from non-secure to secure settings. Quattrocchi says, “Once protected health information comes up, the medical professional sends a text message with a link, or URL, and an accompanying code. Once the patient enters in the code, the conversation switches from SMS chat to a secure browser.” The app even catches attempts to revert back to SMS, notifying the individual on the other end of the line if the status of the chat changes to the unsecure mode.
“Everything stays secure from end to end and we encrypt everything in motion and at rest,” Quattrocchi emphasized.
“This is using text messaging, which Zang is very good at,” said Quattrocchi. “We’re able to get phone numbers and implement them into the system very, very quickly and add that to our offering. With Zang, we’re literally calling an API. It takes our coders a very short period of time to put something together like this.”
“It’s a godsend for independent developers”
Not only does Zang help to rapidly develop applications, it also enables users to build apps far less expensively than other methods. “Zang is extremely cost-effective,” stressed Quattrocchi. “We consume as we go, and incoming messages are free.” The reduced costs allow Mutare to pass savings along to consumers, making the vendor typically the lower-cost, if not the lowest-cost, provider, per Quattrocchi.
Perhaps the biggest advantage Zang brings to Mutare’s process is the bump in agility it gives the company when responding to customer needs. Often, customers need an off-the-shelf system to do something it wasn’t necessarily designed to do. “We design around their workflow using browser interfaces or phone clients applied to smartphones, as opposed to coming in with a prefabricated solution.”