When is a software upgrade not a software upgrade?

By John Elms, CEO

Critical Alert pioneered software-based nurse call.  Software is in our DNA: We get it. Most others in our market offer a hardware and firmware first approach with software as an adjunct, mainly for retrospective reporting. In our model, hardware is a UL1069-mandated necessary evil.  We welcome the day when TCP/IP replaces low voltage twisted pair wiring.

With that in mind, when is a software upgrade not a software upgrade?

First and foremost, a software upgrade is not as advertised when it becomes a construction project. When your software upgrade requires new patient stations, dome lights, pull switches, and/or nurse masters, it is anything but a software upgrade.

Instead, it is, in fact, a new system purchase tied to a costly construction project.  Apart from the attendant costs, a construction project requires taking rooms out of service.  If a hospital’s daily census is approaching 100% of licensed beds, this becomes untenable.

In another respect, a software upgrade is not truly an upgrade when a manufacturer shifts its installed base of customers from a perpetual licensing model to SaaS pricing.  If the manufacturer does not recognize the value (and high costs) of the perpetual licenses previously purchased and paid for, your upgrade is actually a new system purchase.  While the hardware in the wall may have residual value, you have just discarded all prior software investments.

At Critical Alert, we respect your previous investments.  If you wish to move to a SaaS model, we won’t ask you to repurchase the perpetual licenses in a different form.  Those licenses are your asset and we honor that fact. We can accommodate a hybrid of new and old investments and pricing to maximize your value.

In addition, our software and analytics are backwards compatible to earlier generations of hardware.  Because the intelligence of our system lives in your data center, we will not turn a software upgrade into a construction project.  Hardware, of course, has a life cycle and requires updating over time.  Unlike others in our market, Critical Alert does not plan or force obsolescence tied to software enhancements.

Finally, the existing UL1069-compliant signaling equipment in your walls can be repurposed regardless the manufacturer.  If you are looking for a modern enterprise-class nurse call solution, we can show you how to overlay our software on your legacy equipment and avoid a costly construction project while upgrading to the industry’s most advanced nurse call and patient communication platform on the market. All for far less than a so-called software upgrade from your existing supplier.

I encourage you to give us a look. Call or write us to obtain credentials to view a short video demonstrating our nurse call operating on third-party legacy hardware infrastructure. We think you will agree that it is a game changer.

John Elms, Chief Executive Officer

John Elms is the Chief Executive Officer of Critical Alert and is an accomplished executive with over twenty-five years of executive leadership in the high tech industry including CEO roles at both public and privately-held companies, a venture-backed startup, and his own entrepreneurial ventures. His deep expertise in operations, sales & marketing and finance coupled with exceptional communication skills allow him to create rapid transformational change in the companies at which, and with which, he works.

John holds a bachelor of liberal arts with honors from Harvard University. He is conversant in Mandarin Chinese with reading and writing skills at the upper-intermediate level. Relocating to Jacksonville, FL from Boulder, CO, John looks forward to spending his free time in the outdoors, enjoying coastal activities, fishing and bicycling.