HIPAA-Compliant Document Management Solution Expands Into Global Market by Migrating to Windows Azure Cloud Platform

Editor’s note – March 22, 2012 –
This release was updated after original publication to correct a spelling error and update a customer quote.

REDMOND, Wash. — March 20, 2012 —
PaperTracer, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based document-management service that assures compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, has moved to the Windows Azure cloud platform to deliver its services to customers worldwide. By backing its HIPAA compliance with the security features of Microsoft Corp. datacenters, PaperTracer expects to boost revenues by 30 percent in the first year alone.

A subsidiary of Health Asset Management Inc. (HAMi), PaperTracer adopted cloud-computing technologies early on, delivering its Web-based solution as a service since its founding in 1999. For the past decade, PaperTracer has managed and maintained a server infrastructure that it hosted in a dedicated private cloud environment through a third-party provider in Florida.

PaperTracer wanted to expand its business overseas but found that potential international customers viewed its single-location, U.S.-based infrastructure as a concern. “When customers are storing sensitive information such as patient data or intellectual property, they want to know that their data is stored locally,” said Michael Tarpley, CEO of HAMi. “Customers located outside the U.S., who prefer locally stored data, are now more inclined to use PaperTracer.”

The company resolved to move its services to a public cloud model, eventually narrowing the field to Windows Azure. “The decision to move to Windows Azure was an easy one,” said Kevin Hoot, the company’s chief technology officer. “Not only does Microsoft offer security-enhanced global datacenters, but also its brand is recognized as synonymous with reliability.”

Working with Microsoft partner Arth Systems, PaperTracer migrated to Windows Azure in April 2011. It hosts its application in Web roles in Windows Azure for background processing tasks and uses Microsoft SQL Azure for data storage. Using Windows Azure, the company packages its application and deploys it to the Microsoft datacenter nearest the customer’s location.

PaperTracer recently created a variant that enables small and midsize businesses to take advantage of fast deployment on Windows Azure. Announced as 2EZData in November 2011, the solution is similar to PaperTracer and includes the same HIPAA-compliant features, such as activity-logging at the file level, role-based access controls, and forced password changes and logouts after periods of inactivity.

By the end of 2011, the company had two customers in the U.S. and one in India using PaperTracer on Windows Azure. It also had 15 customers in the pipeline for 2EZData, many of which are located in India and other overseas locations. “If it weren’t for using Windows Azure, we would not have closed the deal with our PaperTracer customer in India,” said Rajashree Varma, the director of Global Alliance at HAMi.

PaperTracer has traditionally provided customers the HIPAA-compliant features they require in a records management solution, but today it offers the service on a security-enhanced infrastructure that customers trust worldwide. With the previous infrastructure, it took a week or longer to procure the hardware and software required to get a customer up and running. On Windows Azure, PaperTracer can allocate compute and storage resources quickly, onboarding new customers in one or half a day.

But Tarpley reiterated that trust is the key factor in connecting with international customers. “They see the Microsoft name, and they know that everything has been put in place to help safeguard their data,” he said. “That’s invaluable for our continued success.”

More information on PaperTracer’s move to Windows Azure is available in the Microsoft case study and the Microsoft Customer Spotlight Newsroom.

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