COVID-19 Update

Learn How IT Firms Helped Transform a Convention Center into a COVID-19 Hospital … in Two Weeks

In two weeks, AVANT Communications and Stratosphere Networks helped develop the IT systems needed to transform a convention center into a COVID-19 hospital.

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Learn How IT Firms Helped Transform a Convention Center into a COVID-19 Hospital … in Two Weeks

The McCormick Place Convention Center was converted into a COVID-19 field hospital with the help of several IT providers.

Battling the coronavirus and COVID-19 is a collective effort, and we’ve already seen businesses in all sectors step up to help us survive this pandemic, whether it be manufacturing masks, developing new software solutions or helping organizations transition to remote work.

Healthcare professionals everywhere are leaning on technologists like AV integrators and IT professionals to not only help keep hospitals up and running, but also scale up makeshift facilities quickly.

That’s what AVANT Communications and Stratosphere Networks were able to do in Chicago when the IT companies worked with several IT vendors to transform the McCormick Place Convention Center into the McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility, a 3,000-capacity dedicated COVID-19 facility.

Last week, Commercial Integrator’s sister publication My TechDecisions hosted AVANT Communications senior partner manager Samantha Carfagnini and Stratosphere Networks enterprise technology advisor Kendra Karczewski in a podcast to talk about the project.

Yes, of course there were some issues in scaling up such a large project so quickly, but the center became fully operational in just two weeks, according to the pair.

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In addition to AVANT and Stratosphere, six other IT firms were brought on to help with the project, including:

  • Evolve IP, a provider of collaboration, workspace and contact centers for healthcare organizations
  • Ignyte, a provider of managed SD-WAN and connectivity services
  • RapidScale, a managed cloud services provider
  • Spectrotel, a next-generation aggregator specialized in crafting integrated solutions for multi-location and enterprise customers
  • Synoptek, a provider of HIPAA-compliant healthcare IT solutions
  • Trustwave, a cybersecurity and managed security services provider

Thankfully, officials are starting to discuss phasing out the hospital, as Illinois’ curve has started to flatten. However, the coronavirus isn’t expected to just disappear, so the playbook for converting such a large facility into a field hospital exists, thanks to these IT companies.

In an official press release, AVANT and Stratosphere executives commented on the project on which they worked tirelessly.

“The magnitude, complexity and urgency of this project created a high-pressure situation, and we knew immediately when we took this on that we couldn’t do it alone. In addition to utilizing our team of engineers, we leveraged the relationships we have with AVANT and our other partners to get the job done,” said Steve Melchiorre, CEO of Stratosphere Networks. “I’m so proud of our team and partners for being able to design and implement a solution that would normally take 12 to 24 months in just two weeks.”

“It’s an incredible feeling reviewing what our teams have accomplished so far with the McCormick Place ACF. None of this would have been possible without the Chicago IT community and partners across the U.S. stepping up to provide IT resources during this unprecedented time,” said Drew Lydecker, President of AVANT.

“At AVANT, we help our Trusted Advisors navigate the relentless pace of IT change; a value we’ve lived through and through to ensure the Chicago we all know and love is ready for any challenge ahead.”