23. minis ga 2


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  • 23. minis ga 2

    1. 1. “ H.I.S.-tory ” by Vince Ciotti © 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC Episode # 23: Gerber Alley, Part II
    2. 2. Background <ul><li>The Gerber Alley HIS-tory is so rich it is taking 3 episode; this second part starts at Dorenfest & Associates in the late ’70s… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wait a minute: Urban & Terry formed Gerber Alley in 1984! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trust me, it started when Sheldon Dorenfest hired Betsy Hersher... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your out of your mind, Betsey Hersher!?… Ah well, go on. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thanks, now here’s the story: Betsy was one of Sheldon’s hard-working interviewers, who regularly called his 250 clients to glean data for his original market research efforts (before the “3000”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So? What’s this got to do with the price of eggs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Betsy learned a lot from Shelly about the HIS biz, and left to form her recruiting firm around 1980. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I didn’t know that – over 30 years ago? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When I left SMS for McAuto, I met Betsy as part of my recruiting efforts (eg: Larry Ferguson…) </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. What might have been… <ul><li>We became good friends, and Betsy found me several good jobs in the 1980s; one “might have been” interview leads to Gerber-Alley: </li></ul><ul><li>In the mid-80s, she got me an interview at the Hewlett-Packard offices in Andover, Mass., where a fascinating Frenchman (named “Giles Merme?” – it’s been a long time...) was interviewing for an exec to head up their US Healthcare operations – big opportunity! </li></ul><ul><li>H-P was one of those techie firms where everyone has a cubicle, no offices , not even for Giles, the VP of their whole US mini division. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Made for a weird interview, as anyone walking by could hear us chatting about the salary, benefits, etc., </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And how Giles was interviewing outsiders like me to compete with inside candidates, like his VP of Sales, some guy named Mike Brown… </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Caught in the act! <ul><li>So we’re sitting in Giles’ cube, and I’m lying about my background, when in walks a heavyset guy who sits down in the next cube and who Giles introduces me to - guess who? Mike Brown! </li></ul><ul><li>Mike had been on a sales call, came back a bit early, and was all ears listening to the rest of my interview telling Giles about how I would make such a great exec, had been so successful, etc, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After finishing with Giles, I then had to interview with Mike, since he was right there and had heard my story. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mike grilled me like a fine steak, uncovering every weakness I had (which were many!). Needless to say, he got the job, became VP of H-P’s US healthcare ops, and later CEO of Gerber Alley when HP partnered… </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Back to Urban & Terry <ul><li>So we last left Urban Gerber & Terry Alley when they started GA in 1983, after bolting from HBO, who had bought IFAS from them. </li></ul><ul><li>Brian Robson remembers the first 11 employees by name & title: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Urban – CEO - Founder of GBA/IFAS, originally from McAuto in early years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terry Alley - VP R&D/CTO (co-founder) - worked at GBA and then HBO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alan Cooper - VP Sales (came from HBO)  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Jesson - VP Implement/Client Services (had worked at GBA and HBO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michelle Alley (Terry's wife) – nice lady and quite competent.   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patti Burnette - came from HBO/IFAS team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Robson - hired by Terry at HBO in April 1982 (was 25 w/ 3-4 yrs exp) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill ??? - brain lapse on last name... Sharp programmer with no healthcare, he ended up leaving within 1-2 yrs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bonnie Wynn – no previous healthcare experience.. knew Michelle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pete Clarke -  hired and no previous healthcare experience” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What a memory, Brian! Remember, this was 30 years ago! </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Early Years <ul><li>Again from Brian’s amazingly indefatigable memory: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Terry had left HBO in August 1982 - hence, Gerber Alley formally started on August 1, 1983 after their 1 year non-compete agreement expired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban left HBO before Terry and convinced Terry to join him in founding Gerber Alley & Associates (original company name) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban & Terry used the proceeds from the sale of Gerber Brehm & Associates to HBO for IFAS to fund the roughly $1M they jointly put up to start Gerber Alley </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Will always remember Terry's shiny Corvette “Indianapolis 500 Pace Car” that he drove every day to our new office digs in Norcross, GA…” </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Early Years, cont’d <ul><li>Brian could probably write a whole HIS-tory book an G-A alone! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Terry provided the technical architecture vision: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using 4GL tools to make it easy for clients to get to & use their data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>COGNOS tools Powerhouse suite - Quick, Quiz, QTP with Data Dictionary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill ?? was the only programmer experienced with the toolset... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other 5 programmers learned from a COGNOS trainer we brought in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Followed up training by designing and developing a Project Control System that we ended up using through FDC days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All programmers were made Project Lead for 2-3 modules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most modules had 2 programmers assigned </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tiny modules (i.e. Bad Debt) had only a lead </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Large ones (i.e. Census) had 3 programmers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terry established design &quot;methodology” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>based on the “Warnier Ohr” method </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. TGIF! <ul><li>More from Brian: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Terry & Urban had spent the 1st &quot;quiet&quot; year (1983) designing the company and developing a &quot;conceptual model&quot; of the system involving text file docs with Screen & Report &quot;mock-ups&quot; and some general bullet points on functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We consistently celebrated milestones at our &quot;Mandatory Friday Meetings&quot;  with beer, wine and Jack Daniels for Urban…  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Alan Cooper VP of Super-Sales (sadly RIP) sold 3 customers within the 1st year, while product was still &quot;in development&quot; - talk about vaporware... But demonstrates the level of trust and relationship Urban inspired: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#1 Spohn Memorial (Corpus Christi, TX) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#2 Pekin Memorial (Peoria, IL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#3 NW Texas Hosp (Amarillo, TX)” </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. More of Brian’s Total Recall: <ul><li>Leading edge technology at the time for sure... </li></ul><ul><li>Cognos and the Powerhouse toolset was initially a Canadian company named Quasar (Ottawa I recall)... </li></ul><ul><li>Well before they began to focus on reporting/analytics tools... </li></ul><ul><li>All were very easy to use and quickly created &quot;prototypes.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Over 95% of system was developed using Powerhouse 4GL tools: screen & report generators, batch TP based off Data Dictionary...   </li></ul><ul><li>Intense programs like Charge Posting, Insurance Proration and message queue utilities were in COBOL or assembler... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>where performance was critical.  </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. First Installations <ul><li>(I’m sure this guy forgot something about G-A!?) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We designed, developed and implemented initial core modules in 11 months.. A pretty amazing feat in my opinion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Mine too, Brian, mine too…)   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Included: ADT & Financial apps with modules for:  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Census, Patient History, Billing, Revenue Control, 3rd Party billing, AR, Bad Debt, GL, AP, Inventory, Fixed Assets... I'm forgetting 1 or 2.... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(I doubt it Brian, I doubt it…) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Bottom line is Spohn Hospital was the first &quot;Live” on all initial core applications in about 11 months.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Pekin Memorial Hospital in Illinois followed 3 about months later. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Northwest Texas Hospital a couple of months after that. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Early Success & Rapid Growth! <ul><li>Brian’s display of total recall of early GA days continues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We started growing, growing and growing… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jim Bodenbender (now top leader of Relay Health) was first &quot;installer&quot; hired under Dan Jesson – who was the Project Mgr for NW Texas.  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fred Leezer (sp?) was hired (previously from GBA & HBO) as installer and Project Leader for Spohn </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mark Edelstein (now VP Strategy at Relay Health) was hired from SMS and focused on Patient Care apps (Order Entry & Results Reporting)... he had been install Project Leader for Pekin Memorial </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Company Christmas parties grew from about 25 (15 or so employees plus spouses & etc.) in year #1, 1983 </li></ul><ul><li>to 43 (25-30 employees) in year 2, 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>To ≈75 in year 3, 1985 </li></ul><ul><li>To over 125 in year 4, 1986 </li></ul>
    12. 12. Amazing Revenue Growth <ul><li>Karen See (former GA Director of Marketing) dug into her treasure trove of GA archives to share these gems. </li></ul><ul><li>At right are financial growth charts from GA’s 1990 Annual Report. </li></ul><ul><li>What a ride!! </li></ul>
    13. 13. Stay Tuned! <ul><li>For part III of Gerber Alley next week! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What ? Another episode on GA? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t blame me, blame all those GA alumni! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s their fault you can’t tell a short story? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No, they just have so many wonderful memories to share… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All right, but next week better be good… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Still hoping for any pictures of Urban!? </li></ul><ul><li>Please send contributions to: [email_address] </li></ul>