23. minis ga 3


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23. minis ga 3

  1. 1. “ H.I.S.-tory ” by Vince Ciotti © 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC Episode # 23: Gerber Alley, Part III
  2. 2. David helping Goliath!? <ul><li>For these first 3 deals, G-A rode HP’s coattails as the HP 3000 gave them an “alternative” (“Precision” one to be exact…) to the many IBM mini systems from DCC, JS Data, First Coast, AR Mediquest… </li></ul><ul><li>The fourth deal was a real whopper for upstart G-A: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hewlett-Packard themselves! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It seems the HP team in Andover learned that software was driving most of their HIS sales, so they “partnered” with G-A </li></ul><ul><li>(also since HBO had turn-coated to DG minis for their “Star” successor to IFAS’ HP-3000 ) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Big Brother… <ul><li>The deal gave HP the right to market GA’s “The Precision Alternative,” very like SMS getting rights to sell HBO’s Med-Pro in ‘75 for their early “ ACTIon ” Four-Phase mini-based system. </li></ul><ul><li>Brian Robson got the job of working with big brother in Mass: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> ” I was liason to HP for about a year to help bring them up to speed.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kinda funny since we were a company of around 25 employees at the time, and HP's Healthcare group had about a 100 people... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They sold some hospitals, but nothing like GA did... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A few of their good folks ended up coming to GA later.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Among them, Mike Brown, who came to GA in 1985 and took over as CEO, taking care of the business end so Terry could concentrate on R & D </li></ul><ul><li>As we mentioned earlier, poor Urban Gerber passed away in 1984, too early to garner all the accolades he deserves as the “father” of GA… </li></ul>
  4. 4. Big News in 80’s HIS Circles… <ul><li>As the 2-page ad spread below shows, the G-A & H-P alliance made a big splash in HIT circles in the 1980s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rivaling IBM’s partnership with Baxter that had given birth to IBAX </li></ul></ul><ul><li>G-A was able to keep growing its single TPA product line much faster than IBAX, adding some real shockers in the late 80s, like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physician’s Division – not just 1500s, but clinical decision support! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International Division – like SMS’ early forays into Japan back then… </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Another Daring GA Move! <ul><li>This from another GA alumnus: Karl Kiss, VP at Siemens. </li></ul><ul><li>Seems one of the many hot sales prospects for TPA was Anaheim Memorial Hospital in California. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As we explained in an earlier episode, hospitals in those days were “ IBM shops” or “ DEC shops,” etc., as the OS and DB systems were totally proprietary. No “open” Linux back then! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anaheim was a DEC shop and insisted on a DEC platform, and to keep up their sales & hot ride on Wall Street, GA made the huge decision to offer TPA on DEC too! </li></ul><ul><li>In truth, not a bad perspective from a marketing standpoint, as hundreds of hospitals were “ DEC shops” with McAuto’s I.H.S, SMS’ ACTIon 1000 series, etc. </li></ul>
  6. 6. HIS Market in the late 80s <ul><li>To give some idea of how G-A , H-P and DEC ranked in these red-hot mini days, here’s fascinating stats from a dusty old copy of Sheldon Dorenfest 1987 “Guide” based on his survey of 3,000 hospitals >100 beds: </li></ul>Hardware # of Sites IBM 1,358 D G 176 DEC 153 H-P 130 NCR 124 Saint 100 Burroughs 96 Microdata 45 Software Annual Revenue Software (continued) Annual Revenue SMS $365M PHS $27M McAuto $165M CHC $25M HBO $165M IHC $20M Baxter $145M Sunquest $20M TDS $40M Compucare $18M Cerner $34M Gerber-Alley $16M SAI $32M Ferranti $15M Meditech $32M HDS $12M
  7. 7. Workaholism! <ul><li>This from David Wellons, a well-travelled HIS veteran: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ My G-A story - I have worked for many HIS firms since 1984, so I know/heard of a lot of these folk.  I'm really enjoying your series - but it's starting to make me feel old! (Welcome to the club!) Flying home to ATL one evening - I'm guessing early '90s - sitting next to a nice looking G-A sales person.  When I found out where she worked, I asked if she were heading home. She said, ‘No, I live in Boston, but I have a proposal due and they won't let us work on them during the week.  I'm meeting the proposal team in ATL for an all-weekend session so I can fly home Sunday night to be back at work Monday.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- I'd heard they really drove their team hard, perhaps more so than similar firms.  Proposal teams worked the weekends in support of the sales execs that flew in…” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Denouement… <ul><li>By 1992, GA had grown to over $90M in revenue and 900+ employees, but the bubble finally burst… </li></ul><ul><li>Many people blame other people and various things for a firm’s demise, but looking at HIS-tory overall, it just doesn’t pay to go into a “who shot John…” - all vendors rise and fall on their own individual roller coasters… </li></ul><ul><li>The point is, vendors can and do fail as quickly as they rise, something every hospital should always keep in mind (as we’ve said, buy the product , not the firm!) </li></ul><ul><li>GA ended up being bought by FDC , </li></ul><ul><li>formerly AMEX who had started with Saint , </li></ul><ul><li>then bought McAuto’s HSD , adding G-A , </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only to be bought out themselves by HBOC… </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. GA’s Legacy <ul><li>An amazing ending anecdote from Karl Kiss: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HBOC supported GA’s TPA for many years, just as they did Saint , McAuto , etc, slowly selling the client base on one of the many other HBOC products like Star. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incredibly, parts of TPA still run today at Gwinnett Medical Center in Georgia! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit to HBOC (now McKesson) for giving them such a long lease on TPA’s life… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which has been rewarded by Gwinnett being one of the pilot sites for McKesson’s new Horizon Enterprise Resource Management (HERM) , successor to Medipac/Healthquest (another HIS-tory future episode!) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Final Image … <ul><li>A classic from Karen See: </li></ul><ul><li>She wanted to capture the admirable spirit of G-A folks working late into the night… </li></ul><ul><li>So she caught this image at dusk for G-A’s 1990 annual report, taken when most other vendor’s staff had long left their HQ offices for home </li></ul><ul><li>(cause of many internal nasty-grams like Neal’s at Cerner!) </li></ul><ul><li>A fitting final image to the wonderful G-A HIS-tory! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Thanks for help on Gerber-Alley! <ul><li>Thanks again to the many G-A veterans who contributed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Robson – whose emails told stories with tons of details on early GBA and G-A days – the bulk of this episode! Brain’s now with HP – how ironic!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karen See – G-A’s Marketing Director, who trusted me with precious original ads & brochures, now with Clarity Close, her own vendor consulting firm. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karl Kiss – 10 th person hired by G-A in 1984, filled my ears with great stories – he’s now Siemens’ Southeast Regional VP – bet he tried to sell Gwinnett! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gary Lakin – with Microsoft in Australia hooked me up with G/A vets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>David Salazar – now VP at Merge, not “Gary” per my Part I episode – sorry! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mark Edelstein – 10 th employee in ‘84, now VP at Relay Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Curnutt – corrected my “Irwin” boo-boo into “Urban!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>David Wellons – relayed the weekend proposal story… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thanks also to many others who have sent in encouraging emails on their HIS experiences. Keep those cards & letters coming in! </li></ul><ul><li>Please send any contributions to: [email_address] </li></ul>