What effect do you think John Glaser taking over could have on Siemens’ competitive strength?
First off, it’s a brilliant marketing coup by Siemens: Glaser is easily the most famous CIO in the industry, with a stellar reputation for leadership, vision, communications skills, etc. No CIO has written more articles, been interviewed more times, given more presentations, runs more blogs, etc. John even joined his fellow Partner’s alumnus Dr. Blumenthal to help craft the ONCHIT rules & regulations for certification, meaningful use, etc. He’s simply at the top of the heap!
So, the immediate impact on Siemens: what all vendors crave – more marketing clout. There’s not a CIO in the country who would not clear their calendar for an appointment with John. Even Judy’s CIOs would gladly sit down with him. Hell, even I would meet with John, and I hate all vendors!
The biggest challenge Siemens will face is to husband his time, and only send him out to those prospects where his fame will pay off the most. As John will learn, living on the road is terribly time-consuming, even with Crack-berries and iPads! (I write this sitting in the Dallas airport trapped by a summer thunderstorm!)
Once John opens CIO’s doors to Siemens, their superb sales force will do the rest: presentations, demos, proposals, etc. He’ll be hard-pressed to remember all of the hospital C-Suite people he’s going to meet when they come into Malvern for the close, but they’ll sure remember him. So the impact on Siemens competitive positioning will be enormous: he will open doors that even their best sales team in the world couldn’t pry open before, and they are consummate closers once inside.
The biggest potential improvement John could make in Malvern is if he is allowed to spend enough time there to address their greatest challenge: transitioning the hundreds and hundreds of hospitals on their two legacy systems: Invision and Medseries4, and finishing their new Soarian:
Invision — There are over 600 hospitals still running Invision, representing an enormous ongoing revenue stream, since the vast majority are RCO (Remote Computing Option), who lease the system over (usually) 10-year long contracts, rather than paying a perpetual license fee. As each of these contracts nears its end, there is an enormous opportunity to sell them on Soarian, and also a large risk of losing them to competitors. Siemens is superb at planning ahead for these upcoming expirations, and Glaser will be literally “Johnny-on-the-spot” to help sell each one a Soarian upgrade, preferably without stooping to look at (weak) competitors …
Medseries4 — This aging AS/400 (p-series) system is mostly found in smaller community hospitals, where John’s time will be less available than in the mega-sites with Invision. His challenge here as CEO will be what to do with such an aging platform. It’s “WebConnect” front-end makes it tolerably marketable, but nothing like:
Soarian — the hope for Siemens going forward. After a rough birth (almost as late as Millennium and Paragon were in the ’90s), John’s real challenge will be what to do with their still-late revenue cycle modules. So far, they are miles behind Soarian’s superb clinical functionality, and I’m sure John will make great hay about why he purchased the unfinished Soarian revenue cycle piece at Partners (probably for the workflow engine component). Then will come all the ancillary systems (Lab, RX RIS), formerly called Novius, that run on stand-alone servers and don’t look much like Soarian screens. Like cleaning the Augean stables!
So that’s it in a nutshell: sell, sell, sell. As John will learn, that’s what vendors do. I believe he’s only been a consultant and CIO up to now, so the vendor world will be a real learning rush, even for him — 90-day earnings per share mania, ruthless annual quotas, parent company politics, competitive vendor attacks, and consulting “partners,” will all be foreign to John at first, but I predict he’ll learn faster than anyone, based on his superb track record. Good luck John!