St Jude Medical was founded in Minneapolis, USA in 1976 and researches, designs and manufactures medical products and services putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide. As a global company, St Jude Medical achieved net sales in excess of $US4.5 billion dollars in 2009, sells its products and services in over 100 countries. They currently employ over 14,000 people worldwide. Some 150 of those employees are in Australia with around 40 providing operational and support service from the Australian company's head office in Lane Cove, NSW. The other employees are mainly 'on the road' technical sales and product support specialists personnel covering all Australian states.
In Australia, St Jude sells the company's products and services to all of the major Australian hospitals in all capital cities and major regional centres that have major surgery facilities. As such St Jude Medical have had a policy of providing all of their 'on the road' personnel and many of their 'head office' personnel with laptops and notebooks and for over two years now have also provided those employees with mobile broadband services either via USB modems, or built in to laptops.
"The ability for our mobile clinical sales people and technical specialists to be able to connect to the outside world between hospital cases is a necessity for St Jude Medical, as is mobile connectivity for many organizations with traveling staff.", commented Doug, IT and Communications Manager. "Even though wireless broadband services we take from Exetel are used mainly by the ‘on the road' personnel, increasingly our head office employees need to have that mobility and freedom to connect from outside the office too with minimal disruption to productivity." He went on to say, "St Jude Australia has a policy of providing almost all its employees with notebooks to make it easier for them to be able to securely access company systems and services, wherever they happen to be, and so being involved with someone like Exetel is a must for us being able to achieve this".
"We run a number of centrally based systems and services which all require Internet and VPN connectivity, many hosted outside Australia, and as we continue to centralize and develop enterprise ERP and related systems, including CRM and consignment stock management for hospitals, the need for reliable mobile connectivity is definitely not going to go away."
When asked about the speed and reliability of the Exetel supplied Optus wireless service St Jude's Systems Support Analyst, Stephen, stated that: "... of course for a small number of our staff in Australia there will be problems based on coverage in areas with particular geographic or physical issues. However after over two years of deploying wireless services first from another carrier and now from Exetel they are the exceptions that make little or no difference to the overwhelming success this program has had in providing a wide range of support, operational and information services anywhere they have been needed".
When asked why St Jude had decided to change from their previous wireless provider to Exetel / Optus St Jude's Finance Manager, Devon, said that: "While we were not unhappy with our previous provider we, as with all aspects of purchasing, reviewed our initial decision and found that we could obtain equal or better network coverage (in the areas in which we operated) on a more flexible basis and at lower costs than we were previously paying". He went on to say: "The cutover has been relatively painless and whenever we have needed assistance or just the answer to questions we have found Exetel to be highly responsive".
St Jude Medical develops medical technology and services that focus on putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chrinic pain patients worldwide. The company is dedicated to advancing the practice of medicine by reducing risk wherever possible and contributing to successful outcomes for every patient. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. St. Jude Medical employs approximately 14,000 people worldwide and has five major focus areas that include: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, cardiology and neuromodulation.