34. consultants part 2


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34. consultants part 2

  1. 1. “ H.I.S.-tory ” by Vince Ciotti © 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC Episode # 34: HIS Consultants, Part 2: The “Boutique” Firms
  2. 2. So who dreamed up that name!? <ul><li>Well, it sure wasn’t the small firms themselves, but rather the “Big Eight,” who realized the word “boutique” had derogatory connotations they would like to stick on their competitors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small in size, thus raising the fear of being too small… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialists , so maybe not able to meet all your needs… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feminine -sounding, not like the big macho audit guys… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In fact, the small firms who specialized in HIS had much to offer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They knew hospitals only , inside and out: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not banking, manufacturing, insurance, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They knew HIS vendors intimately: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The gory details of SMS, HBO, Meditech, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their staff were generally HIS veterans : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Few of the “Juniors” that populated Big 8’s. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>• In truth, both had their pros & cons, to this day… </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who Were The First Boutiques? <ul><li>There were dozens of HIS boutique firms formed in the 70s & 80s, that specialized in the HIS industry alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Four of the pioneering firms we’ll profile were: </li></ul><ul><li>Sheldon I. Dorenfest & Associates (SIDA), founded by one of the true HIS mavens… </li></ul><ul><li>The Kennedy Group , founded by O. George Kennedy, who sadly passed way too soon… </li></ul><ul><li>Ron Johnson & Associates , whose eponymous founder was an early MIS and McAuto vet… </li></ul><ul><li>Healthcare Management Counselors (HMC) a powerhouse in NYC and its suburb: Florida… </li></ul><ul><li>These four all made it pretty big, giving the Big Eight a run for their money during the 80’s, and many live on today, merged or acquired… </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sheldon I. Dorenfest & Associates <ul><li>I start with Shelly’s firm because it’s where I started consulting myself , way back in 1985. But SIDA itself started much earlier: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember an early HIS-tory episode on minis that featured Compucare ? Well (as Sheldon so often starts a sentence…), it was founded in 1969 by him and Ron Apprahamian on the brilliant premise that “Facilities Management” offered the perfect partners to build an HIS: hospitals themselves! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Instead of programmers working in a vacuum at HQ trying to guess what users wanted, FM clients could show programmers on site just what they needed... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheldon sold his Compucare holdings around 1975, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and started consulting to both vendors and hospitals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He offered hospitals the usual MIS Strategic Plans, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System Selections, Installation assistance, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But it was his offering to vendors that really shone: </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Dorenfest “Guide” <ul><li>I first encountered the Dorenfest “Guide” at McAuto in 1980: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheldon contacted me in St. Louis where I was Marketing Services Manager under Art Randall. He sold us his “Guide,” the first and most amazingly thorough study of the HIS industry. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He created it by surveying 250 “Sample Hospitals” who were either consulting clients of his, or willing to share their HIS plans, expenses, staffing, application portfolios, vendors products, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The result was a tome as valuable as it was thick, with hundreds of tables & text covering every aspect of HIS, from clinical app soup to financial app nuts. </li></ul><ul><li>He later expanded it to cover 3,000 hospitals over 150 beds, with data stored in a custom data base that could be sliced & diced by vendor clients... </li></ul><ul><li>He eventually sold it to HIMSS in the mid 2000s, where it lives on today as their “HIMSS Analytics.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. “ The Kennedy Group” <ul><li>O. George Kennedy was an early member of Lockheed’s team from 1970 – remember the pioneering “MIS” EMR project at El Camino? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other early HIS-tory heroes who worked at Lockheed included Dr. Ralph Korpman of later UltiCare fame, as well as the founder of our next Boutique firm who we’ll meet in a few more slides… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I first met George at HIS Inc. in Brooklyn where he visited us for a look at our mainframe software – I can still see his glazed eyes around 4PM in the afternoon after watching 8 hours of demo screens… </li></ul><ul><li>George was a Ph.D. and leveraged his deep knowledge of the HIS industry to build The Kennedy Group, founded in Chicago in 1978. </li></ul><ul><li>When I left HIS Inc., I considered working for him at $400 a day (which he billed out at $800 per day) – it seemed a fortune at the time, even after the 50% mark-up! Of course, today… </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ron L. Johnson & Associates <ul><li>Ron started at Lockheed’s MIS and was a McAuto super-salesman in the 1970’s before he formed his consultancy. </li></ul><ul><li>His claim to fame was to consult to vendors : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He wrote a series of annual reports starting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>around 1984 that profiled leading vendors: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Products, pricing, history, strategy, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>I remember buying one once for some vendor, and marveling at the wealth of detail. Unlike SIDA’s Guide that covered hospitals , Ron dug deep into vendors , including strengths & weaknesses . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which was challenging as we vendors always felt he never had enough of our former, and far too many of our latter… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and vice – versa about our nasty, weak, pathetic competitors! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But Ron always told it like it was, to his great credit, and was still working as of just a few years ago. Maybe he still is today?! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Healthcare Management Counselors <ul><li>Formed by Peter Weil & Helen Levine in ‘82, HMC was a dominant boutique consultancy, specializing in the demanding NYC market. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter had a nice accent that lent a charming air of continental sophistication to his astute pronouncements on HIS vendors. </li></ul><ul><li>Helen was an attractive and intelligent young lady in an age of male dominance, one of the first female consulting super-stars. </li></ul><ul><li>Naturally, as the male chauvinist pig that I am, I got to know Helen more than Peter. </li></ul><ul><li>She had worked her way up through the corporate ranks of Exxon and then learned consulting at Booze, Allen and Hamilton. </li></ul><ul><li>HMC eventually merged with Kurt Salmon & Associates in 1997, ending their long run. </li></ul><ul><li>Another lady super-star at HMC was Elaine Remmlinger, left, a later VP at KSA… </li></ul>
  9. 9. The “Other” Boutiques <ul><li>So who were the other HIS Boutique consultancies besides SIDA, Kennedy, Johnson & HMC? Here are a few from a 1985 study: </li></ul><ul><li>So, was that it, the Big Eight and the Boutiques, for HIS consulting? Hardly! Anyone who lost their job could hang out a shingle… </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Computer Services </li></ul><ul><li>Automated Health Care Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Cedar Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Management Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Power </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Information Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Dakota Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Data Processing Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Consulting Group </li></ul><ul><li>Health Central Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Healthcare Systems Group </li></ul><ul><li>Info. Systems Management </li></ul><ul><li>Nelson Data Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Pagnotta & Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Systems Manage-ment Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>William F. Andrews </li></ul>
  10. 10. “ Creative” Boutique Names <ul><li>Some of the names of these boutique firms were fascinating themselves! Would you buy HIT consulting from a firm named: </li></ul><ul><li>I did not make these up! They all appear in the 1985 study from SysteMetrics, entitled the “Hospital Information Systems Profile” </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Concepts (no obsolete ones) </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive Systems (all male?) </li></ul><ul><li>Dakota Systems (north or south?) </li></ul><ul><li>Benchmark Systems (know where you start) </li></ul><ul><li>Beta Consultants (2 nd best?) </li></ul><ul><li>Cedar Consultants (a splinter group?) </li></ul><ul><li>Cajun Computers (didn’t sell well in Minn!) </li></ul><ul><li>Christech Consultants (CHI/CHW specialists?) </li></ul><ul><li>Comaccounts (sic! Or is it “sick”?) </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Sense (no nonsense) </li></ul><ul><li>Computers West (HQ in NYC?) </li></ul><ul><li>Current Company (obsolete?) </li></ul><ul><li>Helm & Co. (planning?) </li></ul>
  11. 11. More “Creative” Names <ul><li>I can’t believe some of these names! If you’re still out there and have grown to a $1B giant, please don’t sic your attorneys on me! </li></ul><ul><li>Internally Developed (RFP specialists) </li></ul><ul><li>Loeb & Troper (wasn’t that a murder case?) </li></ul><ul><li>Lynn Outlaw (Even I won’t touch that one!) </li></ul><ul><li>Moore Data Services (what they want you to buy…) </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Data Systems (Cajun’s Minn. Office?) </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Network Group (LANs & WANs?) </li></ul><ul><li>Oklahoma Innovative Systems (competes with Northern & Cajun…) </li></ul><ul><li>Practical Health Systems (they’d never recommend Epic…) </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific Analysis Corporation (number crunchers?) </li></ul><ul><li>Select Systems (let’s!) </li></ul><ul><li>Soft-Trend (hardware?) </li></ul><ul><li>Special Projects (generalists?) </li></ul>
  12. 12. “ Individual” Consultants <ul><li>So who were the 100+ individuals who hung out a consulting shingle, either trying to make it big or “in between” salaried jobs? </li></ul><ul><li>Below is a very partial list culled from that 1985 market survey: </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize any of these names? Neither do I! But then, they probably have no idea who the heck I was (or am !) either… </li></ul><ul><li>Baldwin </li></ul><ul><li>Bridgeman </li></ul><ul><li>Charles May </li></ul><ul><li>Dana Cole </li></ul><ul><li>Dave Thurston </li></ul><ul><li>Dennis Lincoln </li></ul><ul><li>Don Culver </li></ul><ul><li>Eddie Parrot </li></ul><ul><li>Hal Fonturelle </li></ul><ul><li>William Hamlin </li></ul><ul><li>Janice Schlepp </li></ul><ul><li>Joel Goldman </li></ul><ul><li>John Hodges </li></ul><ul><li>John Moffat </li></ul><ul><li>Kermit Blake </li></ul><ul><li>Klye Smith </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Nadeau </li></ul><ul><li>Larry Taplin </li></ul><ul><li>Lynn Outlaw </li></ul><ul><li>Marcia Bennet </li></ul><ul><li>Ray Cragle </li></ul><ul><li>Robert O’Desky </li></ul><ul><li>Sofferman </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Watson </li></ul>
  13. 13. So What’s Next? <ul><li>Next week we’ll profile several consulting firms that started small in the 80’s (they pop up with a few clients in this 1985 survey), </li></ul><ul><li>But then grew to enormous proportions in the 90’s, dwarfing many HIS vendors in terms of FTEs, clients, and annual revenue! </li></ul><ul><li>How did they do it? A one word answer that actually started way back in HIS-tory with Compucare and Medicus , who took two words to describe it in their 1970’s naïveté… </li></ul><ul><li>As usual, anyone with contributions, please call or write Vince Ciotti, care of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Polk City, FL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] or 505/466-4958 </li></ul></ul>