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Hortonworks Customer


With HDP for Windows we got a really resilient platform with 5 times the amount of usable storage, plus a ton of processing power, for about 30% of the cost of traditional enterprise technologies.

- Thomas W. Butts, CEO

Louisville, KY based ZirMed, was founded in 1999 and is a leading provider of healthcare information management solutions. Healthcare providers, including physicians, hospitals and large health systems, use the company’s cloud-based revenue cycle management offerings to manage the complex process of billing and collecting revenue from patients and payers.

The company’s products allow providers to verify patient eligibility and benefits; submit and track claims; process payments from both patients and payers; and facilitate, manage, and analyze clinical and financial communications among all three constituencies.

Business Challenge

While the company had made great strides in servicing small and medium providers, the company quickly realized that ZirMed’s next phase of growth would come from expanding its ability to serve large healthcare enterprises. It was also clear that data and analytics would be the way ZirMed differentiated itself in the market.

The company’s existing analytics offering would not meet the demands of this expanded vision, even after years of development and several architectural iterations. ZirMed needed to find a way to deliver a scalable, user-friendly analytics system that didn’t break the bank.


After learning about Microsoft and Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) for Window, ZirMed realized it offered just what the company needed: the scalability and commodity economics of Hadoop running on a technology platform that the team knew and trusted.

The ZirMed team ran a battery of queries against the data in their Hadoop cluster running HDP. The real-world queries they used fell into several buckets: those easily handled by the data warehouse, those that could be handled by the data warehouse but that required new aggregates to be created, and those that couldn’t be run on the data warehouse and had to be run against the source OLTP system. In each case, the Hadoop cluster bested the performance of the incumbent technology platform.


The team built a production Hadoop cluster running HDP for Windows 2.0. The 29 node cluster contains 1.2 PB of raw storage—of which 420 TB is usable considering replication—at a total hardware cost of $235,000. The company was used to paying $300,000 for 100TB of raw enterprise storage alone, (75-80 TB usable) with no processing power, and had invested over $750,000 when licenses and compute servers were factored in.

CEO, Thomas W. Butts, said, “We expect our success with analytics and Hadoop to have a dramatic effect on ZirMed’s business, allowing us to increase customer satisfaction and create new revenue streams. This is the first time in my career that I’ve seen technology move faster than the business.”

As a result of the company’s successful “Analytics 3.0” endeavor, ZirMed has begun to articulate an expanded vision of the next generation of health management, powered by data and analytics.