LabVantage Partners with Red Hat to Deliver Innovative Application Servers and Responsive Services

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June 13, 2014

LabVantage realized its most-deployed server platform was no longer meeting the needs of clients. By partnering with Red Hat, LabVantage offers its customers certified application server technology that can scale as companies grow.

Customer: LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

“Our partnership with Red Hat gives us the technology, the customized pricing model, and the support services we need to support enterprise clients and smaller companies.” - Dave Ciabattoni, senior director of global research and development, LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

Geography: North America
Country: United States


Business Challenge:

LabVantage realized its most-deployed server platform was no longer meeting the needs of clients. LabVantage knew that its customers would expect help choosing an application server platform where they could run their laboratory information management systems (LIMS).

Hardware:

LabVantage customers can choose from a range of compatible hardware vendors

Benefits:

LabVantage uses Red Hat JBoss Middleware in its development and testing environments. Sharing this foundation allows LabVantage to tightly integrate its LIMS solutions with the Red Hat JBoss EAP it sells to customers.

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Background:

LabVantage Solutions, Inc., provides enterprise laboratory informatics software. Its products and services help companies around the world automate workflows, enable decision support, and enhance compliance for research, development, and manufacturing operations. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, LabVantage offers a portfolio of laboratory products and services, such as information management and business intelligence solutions, that help customers operate with the highest levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and quality.

Business Challenge:

The challenge: Select the right application server platform

For life sciences companies such as pharmaceutical manufacturers and researchers, precision and accuracy are the mark of excellence. Industry requirements and regulations from agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demand exact measurements, meticulously tuned processes, and certified, validated systems.

To meet this need, LabVantage Solutions offers technology solutions that help organizations optimize laboratory operations. The company has more than 30 years' experience in laboratory informatics, combining technical and domain expertise with state-of-the-art technology to help customers identify and capitalize on new business opportunities.

LabVantage's product portfolio supports application servers from multiple vendors. Several years ago, LabVantage realized its most-deployed server platform was no longer meeting the needs of clients. “The platform had failed to keep up with emerging technologies, so we notified the vendor that we would no longer support it,” says Dave Ciabattoni, senior director of global research and development at LabVantage.

Yet LabVantage knew that its customers would expect help choosing an application server platform where they could run their laboratory information management systems (LIMS). “Our customers range from very small companies to large enterprises,” says Ciabattoni. “Some have extensive IT expertise, but others do not. We had to be prepared to guide customers who were ready to replace legacy servers and those choosing servers for the first time.”

Solution:

The solution: Choose flexible pricing and the best technology

LabVantage consulted with several application server vendors to select a new product suitable for its clients. Some vendors set a minimum server footprint that was too large for smaller customers. Others required customers to buy server capacity organized by central processing units (CPUs) or by the number of named users of the solution. “These restrictive sales terms were not in the best interests of our customers,” says Ciabattoni.

LabVantage has long been an embedded partner of Red Hat, selling solutions such as Red Hat® JBoss® Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) to work with customers' LIMS. To help LabVantage meet the needs of its customers, Red Hat offered customized pricing based on the number of concurrent users.

The customized financial terms, combined with Red Hat's state-of-the-art technology, convinced LabVantage to make Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform servers its first choice for existing and new customers.

“This deal allowed LabVantage to make a clean transition from a difficult situation to an environment where we can offer an affordable, flexible application server,” says Ciabattoni.

Providing validated, affordable solutions

By partnering with Red Hat, LabVantage offers its customers certified application server technology that can scale as companies grow. “Many of our customers need certified technology solutions that meet the requirements of industry standards or the FDA,” says Ciabattoni. “Because we extensively test our products against the Red Hat JBoss EAP servers, customers receive a validated, reliable solution.”

LabVantage can deliver scalable, flexible servers that fit customers' budgets. “Our smaller customers may have only five users. Larger companies may cluster multiple application servers in nodes to support thousands of concurrent users,” he says. “Red Hat JBoss EAP servers are flexible enough to support all types of customers. Even better, our partnership with Red Hat allowed us to offer affordable, customized pricing. This is especially important for smaller companies who want their investment to provide ongoing value.”

Benefits:

Allowing tighter technical integration

LabVantage uses Red Hat JBoss Middleware in its development and testing environments. Sharing this foundation allows LabVantage to tightly integrate its LIMS solutions with the Red Hat JBoss EAP it sells to customers. “We use Red Hat JBoss Developer Studio to develop tools that streamline the configuration of a customer's Red Hat solution,” says Ciabattoni. “That makes it easier and faster for us to deploy new application servers. With other server products, configuration is a manual process.”

In addition, Red Hat solutions integrate well with customers' intelligent systems—such as balances, high-throughput sequencers, and chromatography management software—as well as their business solutions. “Our industry is test execution-oriented,” he says. “Integration between our LIMS solutions and the Red Hat technology helps us ensure that the customer achieves maximum integration and automation of data recording and capture, which enhances accuracy and precision.”

Enhancing competitiveness

Working closely with Red Hat allows LabVantage to compete more effectively in the IT service business. “The fact that Red Hat is such a familiar presence in most IT shops gives customers confidence when we recommend their solutions,” says Ciabattoni.

A direct connection to Red Hat's support team improves LabVantage's responsiveness. “We typically act as the first line of support for our customers,” he says. “When we need help, we can escalate issues to Red Hat and get rapid service from their support and engineering teams. That makes us very nimble when resolving issues and allows us to impress customers with our service levels.”

Results: Solution and support excellence

LabVantage quickly exceeded its goal of selling 120 new Red Hat EAP servers to customers. With hundreds of customers and growing fast, the company believes that its partnership with Red Hat supports continuing success. “From a technology perspective, the latest Red Hat product makes it faster to deploy and configure the server and easier for customers to manage and use the solution with our help,” says Ciabattoni. “We're developing our new products to closely match the Red Hat software.”

In addition, the synergy between the two companies is helping LabVantage meet its service goals. “A significant amount of our annual revenue comes from the customer service and support we provide,” he says. “Our customers, who face tremendous compliance and regulatory pressures, are thrilled to work with a knowledgeable provider like LabVantage for their technology solutions. Partnering with Red Hat helps us deliver great solutions, simplify the support environment, and provide unparalleled service responsiveness.”

LabVantage plans to continue its partnership with Red Hat. “We see growing numbers of companies—even large enterprises—that are ready to embrace open source solutions and begin moving away from proprietary server platforms,” Ciabattoni says. “Our partnership with Red Hat gives us the technology, the customized pricing model, and the support services we need for enterprise clients and smaller companies.”

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