IAM925- CEO Leads Healthcare Innovations

Podcast Interview with Gerry Miller

Gerry Miller, CEO Cloudticity – Gerry is a serial entrepreneur and healthcare fanatic with over 30 years in the technology industry. Prior to Cloudticity, Gerry was brought in as the chief operating officer at ePrize; he turned around a failing company that was eventually sold for a fourfold return on the initial private equity investment. Before ePrize, Gerry spent eight years at Microsoft, first as chief technology officer for the US central region, then running the global business unit that oversaw General Motors (Microsoft’s second-largest customer), growing that account from $20MM to over $100MM in three years. Prior to Microsoft, Gerry spent nearly a decade in the technology consulting and startup industry. He holds all five AWS certifications.

  • CEO Hack: Modelling the behavior I'd like to see in the team
  • CEO Nugget: You can't be great at everything
  • CEO Defined: Leading with humility



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[00:00:00.10] – Gerry Miller
You can't be great at everything. In fact, really, the older I get and the longer I do this, I recognize that I'm better off picking just a few things that I know I'm good at and focusing on those. Recognize and admit with no embarrassment the deficiencies, the things that I'm not great at. And there are many, many things I'm not great at. A

[00:00:21.39] – Intro
at. A you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. GRESTS values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:50.79] – Gresham Harkless
Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jerry Miller Miller of Cloudticity. Jerry, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:59.29] – Gerry Miller
Good morning, Gresham.

[00:01:01.00] – Gresham Harkless
No problem. Super excited to have you on and and super excited to to to do this interview with you. And before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Jerry so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Jerry is the CEO of Cloudticity, and Jerry is a serial entrepreneur and health care fanatic with over thirty years in the technology industry. And prior to Cloudticity, Jerry was brought in as a chief operating officer at ePrize. He turned around a failing company that was eventually sold for a fourfold return on the initial private equity investment. And before ePRISE, Jerry spent eight years at Microsoft, first as a chief tech tech technology officer for the US central region and then running the global business unit that oversaw General Motors, Microsoft's second largest customer, growing that account from over twenty twenty multimillion dollars to over a hundred multimillion dollars in three years. Prior to Microsoft, Jerry spent nearly a decade in technology consulting in the startup industry, and he holds all five AWS certifications. Jerry, are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

[00:01:57.70] – Gerry Miller
I sure am. Thank you.

[00:01:59.09] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. Well, let's do it then. So to kinda kick everything off, I wanted to to jump in the time machine and and go back to what led you to get started. Could you take us through your CEO story? We'll let you get started with the the

[00:02:08.59] – Gerry Miller
the the business. Absolutely. So I've always been, pretty fanatical about health care. My opinion is that health care is a misnomer in the US, because we generally don't take care of healthy people. We take care of sick people, and so I I call our system a sick care, system. There's something fundamentally broken where, the sicker you are and the more complex the procedures that that doctors have to perform to get you healthier, the more money they make. And so, the sicker you are, the more money your doctors make. There there's something broken with that. And, about a decade ago, I I finally saw a path to leveraging some of the technology, experience that I have to try to move the needle and and and help fix that inherentness, in in inherent broken, aspect of the healthcare industry. So, about a decade ago, there there were a few things that came together to sort of form the perfect storm around how technology could really drive the health care industry forward. The first was regulatory. There there were two major regulatory changes that took place, about a decade ago. The first was the HITECH Act that, among other things, mandated the adoption of electronic health record systems. And so for the first time ever, it was federal law that health organizations had to digitize their health records. And unlike many other federal laws that, that have taken place, this one actually came with a budget. So as part of that HITECH Act, Congress had allocated twenty eight billion dollars in incentives to help, health care providers pay for the adoption of electronic health records. And so there was a massive push to digitize, you know, an unthinkable amounts of health data. At the same time, the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was also changing the way that that health insurers were thinking about their business. Prior to ACA, most claims could actually be denied under the auspices of preexisting conditions. And the Affordable Care Act got rid of the ability for insurance companies to do that. And so overnight, insurers went from being adversaries, working against their members claims to being partners in their members health care. As it turns out, only five percent of the patients consume fifty percent of the medical spend, and so it became a big data problem for health insurance payers to identify those people and then engage with them in meaningful ways to begin to drop the the amount of spend down. We spend over twenty percent of the US gross domestic product on health care. If if health care the amount that we spend in the US on that were an economy, that would be the sixth largest country in the world. So the the need to to, to fix this problem is is is very present. And the the third, piece to to what was happening a decade ago is our bodies began to produce a tremendous amount of data. Everybody started to wear Fitbits. The FDA approved the first, subdermal continuous glucose monitor, which began transmitting data. You know, implantables and swallowables began producing a lot of information. So we had this gigantic, creation of of health care data that took place really within a year. And at the same time, cloud technology suddenly became viable as a means of consuming, storing, and acting upon previously unthinkable amounts of data. And so when we saw that confluence of events, the the perfect storm, if you will, we we decided that it was time to start a company that could take advantage of that digitized health record, take advantage of changes in the insurance industry, take advantage of the amount of data that our bodies were beginning to produce, and leverage the cloud to make meaningful, ways of helping the health care industry move forward. And that was the genesis of Cloudticity.

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[00:06:17.30] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. I definitely appreciate that. And I think one of the things that kinda came to mind for me, there's this book that I always, you know, love, and it's called, like, The Opposable Mind. And it kinda talks about that confluence, and kinda being at the epicenter of of all those changes and being able to kinda direct it for the better good. And I love how a lot of times, the the a lot of the innovations don't necessarily come from, I guess, disrupting or changing one aspect of an industry, but it's when those industries start to to meld and they start to mesh, and you can be there at that center when those changes are happening. So it's definitely sounds like that's what you all have been able to do.

[00:06:47.89] – Gerry Miller

[00:06:49.60] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And so, I know you touched on a little bit, and I did as well too when I read your bio. Could you drill down a little bit deeper and tell us a little bit more about Cloudticity and exactly what you all are doing and how you serve the clients you work with?

[00:07:00.19] – Gerry Miller
Yeah. So Cloudticity is a managed services, managed compliance, and managed security partner for health care organizations who wanna take advantage of cloud technologies. When we started the company a decade ago, the idea that you would put healthcare data in the cloud was just unthinkable. And so we from day one, we we had to focus very heavily on the security and compliance aspects of the business, because healthcare, as you know, is is a highly regulated industry subject to a number of of, you know, very intense regulations specified by HIPAA, by HITECH, and, other regulations as you move outside of the United States. And so focusing on that was critical. The health care industry itself is is, not not just, you know, on paper, a a regulatory heavy industry, but but it's actually a strong target for hackers. If you think about the information that is held in a health record, it's everything about you. It's your name, any variations on your name, your Social Security number, your current address, any prior addresses you've ever lived at, your next of kin, so various family members and all of their information. Hackers love that stuff. And so, while the average social security number or credit card number sells anywhere between fifty cents and two dollars on the black market, the average health record sells for seventy five dollars. And so if you can affect a breach and pull out a few hundred thousand or even a a few million health records, you can see why that that's a financially attractive target. And so, security and compliance are are top of mind for us. One of the differences between managing cloud technology versus physical servers that might sit in a data center is that, if if you manage a data center, you've got to send a lot of people in because there are a lot of servers that need racking and a lot of screens that need watching, a lot of keyboards that need typing on. The difference with cloud is that everything that you can do physically in a data center, you do virtually in the cloud. And so managing cloud is not necessarily, an exercise in how many people can I throw at the problem, but it's an exercise in what kind of software can I write to manage this environment? And so we've taken what was, inherently a a people or a headcount oriented business, and we've reenvisioned it as a software business. And so at Cloudticity, we wrote a platform, Cloudticity Oxygen. To this day, we still contribute somewhere between thirty thousand and fifty thousand lines of code a month. So it's an ever evolving and growing platform, but it manages the vast majority of the managed services, managed security, and managed compliance that we provide for our our health care clients. And so we've got a highly efficient business that delivers a a a tremendous amount of fidelity and predictability and speed, in in ways that that other companies hadn't quite yet gotten to, when we started the company. And so that's sort of our our key differentiator and how we think about helping the health care industry. And what that does is that frees our clients from that sort of day to day management, of of their technology that they used to have to do that was actually distracting from, applying their brainpower to the core business or or or health care problems that our clients are really trying to solve. And so we we unleash them from day to day management activities and free them to do the things that they do faster and better than than they could before working with Cloudticity.

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[00:10:39.50] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And so I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for yourself personally or your business or a combination of both. And you might have already touched on this, but what is something you feel like sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:10:52.10] – Gerry Miller
So, ultimately, it's the team that we have. And there are two aspects to that. One is our team lives around a singular mission, and that's to help every human on earth get healthier through the work that we do. And so, we all coalesce around that and we all live that and we think it every minute of every day. And, we have an incredibly focused team that has coalesced around a mission to make tangible and measurable and real improvements in people's lives. And we do that through a very defined culture. And so, quite some time ago, we we brought in some outside consultants, not to help us define what our culture should be, but we had a team that was operating exceptionally well. So we brought in consultants to help us understand what is it? What are these shared values that make this team operate, so efficiently with such a high degree of effectiveness? And so, we were able to tease out a set of cultural principles that we share amongst our team, and we were able to codify that and communicate it and train for it. And we hire for culture, on rare occasion if we have to. We fire for culture. But having that shared mission and having a team of absolutely committed, fanatically committed people who live a core set of values together is really the secret sauce that makes Cloudticity effective.

[00:12:24.89] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

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[00:12:36.10] – Gerry Miller
The most important thing I think that I can do is to model the behavior that I'd like to see across the team. And so, I make sure that I get paid less than everybody else on the team. I make sure that I'm up working before anybody else is up. I'm up working before any after everybody else is done. Even down to, you know, we have to, anybody technical on our team has to share a week of being on call for emergency calls from customers. And, you know, I'm still in the rotation, so I still get paged at 3AM for, you know, technical customer problems. You have to model what you want your team to do, and you have to show that you're willing to do the hard work and sit instead of looking over everybody's shoulders. You gotta be in the trenches working shoulder to shoulder with people.

[00:13:32.20] – Gresham Harkless
Nice. Absolutely appreciate that, Hack. Hack. And and so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:13:45.50] – Gerry Miller
You can't be great at everything. In fact, really, the older I get and the longer I do this, I recognize that I'm better off picking just a few things that I know I'm good at and focusing on those and recognize and admit with no embarrassment the deficiencies, the things that I'm not great at, and there are many, many things I'm not great at. And when you do that, you can begin to surround yourself with people that are really great at the things that you're not great at.

[00:14:17.20] – Gresham Harkless
Absolutely. Absolutely. And so, I now wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Jerry, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:28.70] – Gerry Miller
It means to lead with humility. Being a CEO is hard and for for a number of reasons. Primarily because when you take the CEO role seriously in terms of taking on the accountability of achieving a mission, and taking on the responsibility of the team of people that have signed up to work with you to achieve that mission. You know, that that that that responsibility can be burdensome to know that there are, you know, dozens or perhaps hundreds of people whose mortgage payments and car payments and tuition payments rely on every decision that you make. That that that's that's a if if you take your your job seriously and you really care about the people that that have signed up to work with you, that that that's a burdensome position.

[00:15:29.29] – Gresham Harkless
I definitely appreciate that definition and that perspective.

[00:15:32.00] – Gerry Miller

[00:15:33.39] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And I and appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best people can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

[00:15:46.00] – Gerry Miller
Absolutely. If anybody's ever interested in sharing tips and tricks or just having conversation, if you're a current CEO or an aspiring CEO. I love to mentor to the extent that I have time. So, or if you're in the healthcare industry and you're interested in learning more about Cloudticity, you can always reach me personally. It's Gerry, g e r r y, at Cloudticity dot com.

[00:16:13.60] – Gresham Harkless
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much again, Jerry. We will definitely have the links and information in the show notes, and I appreciate that the mentorship and the words of wisdom and advice that you gave to us as well too. I appreciate all the awesome impact that you're making in so many different fields and on so many different lives. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:30.00] – Outro
Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Get your driven CEO gear at CEO Gear dot c o. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless junior. Thank you for listening.

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