Patrick Mailleux (Valida) témoignage sur la fibre optique dédiée de Belcenter

Who Valida chose Belcenter for its dedicated optical fiber needs in Brussels

At Valida, the largest rehabilitation centre in the Brussels-Capital region, the digitisation of infrastructure and connectivity are a daily challenge. Add three medical sites to the mix and Belcenter’s dedicated fibre is the obvious solution. Interview with Patrick Mailleux, IT Manager.



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3 sites, 200 servers and 350 workstations. This is daily life for Patrick Mailleux and his IT team at the Valida Hospital, the dedicated rehabilitation centre and polyclinic at Valisana in Brussels. In other words, the choice of telecom partner is crucial. “Connectivity is vital to our multi-site institution. The quality of interaction and communication with our internal customers, as well as external players, has become essential,” stresses the IT manager.

Creating sustainable infrastructure

Don’t be afraid of words. Valida is the largest rehabilitation centre in Brussels, a mission, according to Patrick Mailleux, that goes hand-in-hand with a future proof vision. “Every year we host hundreds of physiotherapy and nursing trainees in close collaboration with universities, colleges and specialised institutions. ”

A new generation for whom digital technology is a matter of course. This was the first challenge for the IT team, which had to reinvent the entire infrastructure from the old building on Avenue Josse Goffin. “We brought everything up to standard in order to be able to integrate our data centre and the latest necessary technologies while creating a long-term sustainable architecture, while also addressing a certain digital divide in certain services and professions.

Real-time interaction and internet coverage

Today, our priority is the availability of the Computerised Patient File. The demands of the medical ecosystem are significant, not to mention the strict application of GDPR rules”, explains Patrick Mailleux. Challenges that are directly related to the quality of connectivity. And even more so when it comes to interacting in real time with the various healthcare players such as Assurnet, healthcare hubs, Sciensano, etc. “Services such as electronic prescriptions require us to have 24/7 connectivity. And, although less critical, we also want to ensure internet access for all our patients and the group’s 400 beds. ”

Integrated response and budget control

Connectivity means fibre. Patrick Mailleux remembers the old network that connected to the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc. However, the need for bandwidth soon became apparent. “During our market research, we came across Belcenter. I clearly remember my first impression and the completely different dynamic from other operators. It was a real delight to have direct access to contacts and a team with technical and practical knowledge in the field. In short, an integrated solution that’s not only feasible but perfectly tailored to our budget. ”

Capacity in line with growing needs

Technically, Valida benefits from guaranteed symmetrical bandwidth, a point-to-point connection, and security via several physical routes. This level-2 service enables interconnection of the 3 sites thanks to dedicated fibre. “There has been a drastic increase in bandwidth, and we finally have capacity in line with our growing needs. I remember the IT challenge that arose during the first lockdown. Belcenter made our transition to remote working easier by adjusting the speed of the live bandwidth – it was almost in real time!” recalls the IT manager.

Management and proactivity

There is always a technical challenge. Even at Belcenter. For Patrick Mailleux, what is important is incident management and follow-up, both in terms of the technical side of things and in terms of communication. “The excellent communication from Belcenter is reassuring, keeping us fully up-to-date about the situation and developments. We can continue to focus on our internal services without having to put effort into the technical resolution. ”

The 3 arguments that convinced Patrick Mailleux:

  • Pricing, guided by a business-like approach that is “significantly more personalised than the competition”
  • The flexibility of the solution and the “efficient” technical support
  • The continuous dialogue and attentiveness without being “just a number for the provider”

About Patrick Mailleux

Patrick Mailleux is an IT specialist through and through. He joined Valida in 2011, rolling up his sleeves for the complete renewal of the IT infrastructure of the former site of the French hospital taken over by Valida. He leads a team of 8 people whose objective is “zero worries”.

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