Discover Case Study: Healthcare Giant McKesson Harnesses HP Solutions for Data Center Transformation and Performance Improvement
Discover Case Study: Healthcare Giant McKesson HarnessesHP Solutions for Data Center Transformation andPerformance ImprovementTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast from HP Discover 2011 in Las Vegas on how McKessonhas migrated data centers into fewer locations, while improving overall metrics.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor:HPDana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BrieﬁngsDirect podcast series coming to you from the HP Discover 2011 conference in Las Vegas. Were here on the Discover show ﬂoor this week, the week of June 6, to explore some major enterprise IT solution trends and innovations making news across HP’s ecosystem of customers, partners, and developers. Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and Ill be your host throughout this series of HP-sponsored Discover live discussions. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]Our user case study today focuses on McKesson. Were going to be discussing how theyreimproving their operations, reducing their mean time to resolution, and also talking about qualityassurance, test, and development, and how theyre progressing towards a modernization front onthose efforts as well.We might even get into a bit of how these come together for an application lifecycle managementand dev-ops beneﬁt. Here to help us understand these issues better and their experience andsuccess is Andy Smith. He is the Vice President of Application Hosting Services at McKesson.Welcome, Andy.Andy Smith: Thank you.Gardner: Were also here with Doug Smith. He is the Vice President of Data CenterTransformation at McKesson. Welcome, Doug.Doug Smith Thank you, Dana.Gardner: First, we might want to get people familiar, if they are not already, with McKesson.Andy Smith, tell us a little bit about McKesson, the type of organization you are, and the extent.It’s quite a large organization you have for IT activities there as well.Andy Smith McKesson is a Fortune 15 healthcare company primarily in three areas: nurse callcenters, medical pharmaceutical distribution, and a healthcare software development company.
Gardner: And, you have a very large and distributed IT organization. Ive heard about it before,but let’s go through that a little bit again if you don’t mind.Andy Smith It’s a very federated model. Each business unit has its own IT departmentresponsible for the applications, and in some cases, their own individual data centers. ThroughDoug’s data center transformation program, weve been migrating those data centers into fewercorporate locations, and Im responsible for running the infrastructure in those corporatelocations.Gardner: Andy, tell us about what youve been doing in order to get to faster time to market foryour services, meeting your service level agreement (SLA) obligations internally, and how youreduce your meantime to resolution. What’s been the story there?Improving processesAndy Smith What weve been doing over a little more than two years is improving our processes into ITIL v3. We focused heavily on change management, event management, and conﬁguration management. At the same time, in parallel, we introduced the HP Tool Suite, for monitoring and conﬁguration management, asset management, and automation. What weve seen through the improvement in the processes and the improvement in the tools has been a marked improvement in all of our metrics. Weve seen a drop in our Tier 1 outages of 54 percent during the last couple of years,as we implemented this tool. Weve got three years worth of metrics now, and every year, themetrics have declined compared to the prior year. Weve also seen an 86 percent drop in thebreaches of those Tier 1 SLAs.Gardner: That’s very impressive. Doug Smith, tell us what youve been doing with data centertransformation and how youre working towards a higher level of quality with the testdevelopment and the upfront stages of applications?Doug Smith Well, Dana, weve been on this road of transformation now for about three and ahalf years. In the beginning, we focused on our production environments, which generallyconsist of fairly predictable workloads across multiple business units, and as Andy mentioned,quite a variety actually of models. In the past, the business units have obtained a great deal ofautonomy in how they manage their infrastructure.The ﬁrst thing was to pull together the infrastructure and go through a consolidation exercise, aswell as an optimization of that infrastructure. There we focused heavily on virtualization, as wellas optimization of our storage environment, and to Andy’s point around process, heavily investedin process improvement.
A couple of years into this, we began to look at our development environment. McKesson hasseveral thousand developers globally, and these developers spread across multiple product sets inmultiple countries.If you think about our objectives around security, quality, and agility, we look to continue to takeadvantage, both from an infrastructure perspective as well as a tools perspective, in how we canfacilitate our developers through a more rapid development cycle, more securely, and with higherquality outcomes for our customers.Gardner: So, it sounds as if both of you have relied increasingly on automation and integrationand federation for many of the products that support these activities. Is there anything inparticular, at a philosophical level, about why managing and governing across multiple products,but with governance or management capabilities is so important? Let’s start with you, Andy.Andy Smith When we ﬁrst started looking at new tools, we recognized that we had a lot of pointsolutions that may have been best in breed, but they were a standalone solution. So, we weren’tgetting the full beneﬁts of the integration. As we looked at the next generation of tools, wewanted a tool suite that was fully integrated, so that the whole was better than the sum of theparts is probably the best way to put it.We felt HP had progressed the farthest of all the competition in generating that full suite of toolsto manage a data center environment. And, we believe were seeing the beneﬁts of that, becauseall these tools are working together to help improve our SLAs and shorten those mean time torestore.Gardner: Doug Smith, any thoughts on that same level of the whole greater than the sum of theparts?Governance in placeDoug Smith Absolutely. Its not unique, but to a large business like McKesson, as a federation,we have businesses that retain their autonomy and their decision-making. The key is to have thatgovernance in place to highlight the opportunity at an enterprise level to say that if we make theinvestments, if we coordinate our activities, and if we pull together, we actually can achieveoutcomes greater than we could individually.Gardner: Doug Smith, youve been using the application development function as a ﬁrst steptowards a larger data center transformation effort, and youve been an early adopter for that set ofapplication.At the same time, Andy Smith has been involved with trying to make operations run moresmoothly. Do these come together? Is there a better ability to create an end-to-end process fordevelopment and operations and perhaps provide a feedback loop among and between them.
This is sort of dev-ops question. Andy Smith, how does that strike you? Is there something evengreater, maybe perhaps a greater whole among the sum of even more parts?Andy Smith I believe so, because for the products that McKesson develops and sells to thehealthcare industry, in many cases, were also hosting them within our data centers as anapplication service provider.And the bigger sum of the whole to me is the fact that I can take the testing scripts that were usedto develop the products and use those in the BAC Suite to test and monitor the application as itruns in production. So, were able to share that testing data and testing schemas in the productionworld to monitor the live product.Gardner: Doug Smith, thoughts on the same dev-ops beneﬁt? How does that strike you?Doug Smith As you look across product groups and our ability to scale this, and with Andy’scapability that he is developing and delivering on, you really see an opportunity for a companylike McKesson to continue to deliver on its mission to improve the health of the businesses thatwe serve in healthcare. And, we can all relate to the beneﬁts of driving out cost and increasingefﬁciency in healthcare.So, at the highest level, anything that we can do to facilitate a faster and more agile developmentprocess for the folks who are delivering software and services in our organization, as well as helpthem provide a foundation and a layer where then they can talk to each other and build additionalservices and value-added services for our customers on top of that layer, then we have somethingthat really can have an impact for all of us.Gardner: Well, very good. Thank you for sharing that. I want to thank our guests. Weve beenhere talking about the beneﬁts of better tools for operations, as well as application developmentand hosting, and sharing their experience has been Andy Smith. He is the Vice President ofApplication Hosting Services at McKesson. Thanks so much, Andy.Andy Smith Thank you.Gardner: And also Doug Smith, Vice President of Data Center Transformation at McKesson.Thank you, Doug.Doug Smith Thank you, Dana.Gardner: And thanks to our audience for joining this special BrieﬁngsDirect podcast coming toyou from the HP Discover 2011 Conference in Las Vegas. Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst atInterarbor Solutions, your host for this series of user experience discussions. Thanks again forlistening, and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor:HP
Transcript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast from HP Discover 2011 in Las Vegas on how McKessonhas migrated data centers into fewer locations, while improving overall metrics. CopyrightInterarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • Discover Case Study: Seagate Ramps Up Dev-Ops Beneﬁts with HP Application Lifecycle Management Tools • HP Discover Interview: Security Evangelist Rafal Los on Balancing Risk and Reward Amid Consumerization of IT • HP delivers applications appliance solutions that leverage converged infrastructure for virtualization, data management • HP takes plunge on dual cloud bursting: public and-or private apps support comes of age • HP rolls out EcoPOD modular data center, provides high-density converged infrastructure with extreme energy efﬁciency • HP at Discover releases converged infrastructure products and services aimed at helping IT migrate rapidly to the future • HPs IT Performance Suite empowers IT leaders with uniﬁed view into total operations, costs