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April 26: Today on the Conference channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from ViVe 2023 with Michael Robinson, Vice President, Healthcare North America at VMware. How is VMware helping healthcare organizations navigate cloud adoption and avoid "cloud chaos"? What are some of the challenges that healthcare organizations are currently facing, and how is VMware helping them address those challenges? What is the main concern right now of CIOs in regards to digital data in the healthcare industry?

Join us on May 4 at 1PM ET for our webinar: 'Leader Series: Modern Data Strategies in Healthcare.' This webinar will focus on exploring data governance and analytics strategies that have the potential to revolutionize healthcare in the modern era. With a data-driven approach, we can improve patient care outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs in the healthcare industry. Register Here:

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Welcome to this week, health my name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week Health. A set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Today we have an interview in action from the 2023 Spring conferences, vibe in Nashville and hymns in Chicago.

Special thanks to our cDW, Rubrik, Sectra and Trellix for choosing to invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders.

You can check them out on our website this week,, now onto this interview.

A ll right, here we are for another interview in action from vi, and we're here with Michael Robinson with VMware. What's your official title?

It's Vice President North America for Healthcare

North America. So you have a small region you're responsible for?

Yeah, a little tiny region.

We cover both payers and providers. So that's kind of the definition of healthcare at VMware right now,

one of the exciting things about VMware is you guys are doing a lot of things. One of the challenges of VMware is I think a lot of people aren't aware Yeah. Of all the things that you are doing in healthcare and can do in healthcare.


I think that's very true. Bill. One of the things that I like to tell people is, listen, we've been a 25 year innovative and disrupt. We've saved customers millions of dollars over the years with server virtualization. Most health systems today are 90 to 95% virtualized, right? So, we tend to live on that legacy.

But there's so much more to your point that we can do. And now that we look at the evolution of cloud and actually healthcare adoption of cloud, there's an opportunity for us. I think a. Healthcare systems are now jumping into that as a technology and as a platform, but they're doing it in somewhat of a chaotic way.

So we call it cloud chaos.

So you started me here, so I'm gonna talk about cloud. Okay. One of the things that when I was doing consulting, cloud consulting with, Healthcare organizations. We talk a lot about abstraction layers and the importance of abstraction layers, and that's one of the things that you guys do so well iI mean we were sort of joking that you're the Switzerland of hypervisors and you can.move somebody from an Azure instance to an AWS instance, to just about a Rackspace, just about any of 'em.

Absolutely. So that's what I was kind of alluding to in terms of being the Switzerland of, cloud, is because it gives customers that mobility, right? It gives them the economic wherewithal to be able to put applications where.

they Run most efficiently and also serve the business. So if it needs to be OnPrem, you keep it OnPrem. We also now what we're calling cloud smart in our new product suite is we're able to monitor, we're able to automate a lot of that process as well so that customers can then take full advantage of that infrastructure to, to get value.

Yeah. If people have an. even back eight years ago when I was cio, the level of automation that you were bringing to that data center, to that back end, we were talking about the software defined data center architecture. Yeah. Back then. Yeah. Software defined data center really. And it was really, felt like it was becoming a reality eight years ago.

I assume that is really a church success.

Absolutely. Customers, you know, we go out and there are some recurring things that come up. Cost reduction as you're aware, right. Reimbursements are screwed up. They're not doing as many elective surgeries as they had in the past, so they're under a lot of cost pressure.

From a health systems perspective, security is the other big one. It's not known, but we're probably the sixth or seventh largest. Security company, software company in the world.

You, you're right, that's probably not known

and people don't know that. So, we have technologies that allow you to do edge detection.

Also, monitor east west traffic, but also do remediation as well. So, you know, the platform and the depth and breadth of what VMware offers today is very different than probably what you saw from us when you were a cio.

One of the things I like about this meeting is you're doing hosted buyer.

The hosted buyer meetings are, I think, very valuable. What are you hearing from clients and what are some of the conversations you want to have with clients

Yeah, so couple of things. One is that again, cost pressures are paramount right now, and we're getting more and more engaged with both procurement and the finance side of the business.

Whereas traditionally we had our friends. in The data center that, we could, sell to and then, just take that, forward based on the economics of that. But a lot more scrutiny from a return on investment perspective. And a lot of organizations are looking for 12 to 18 months.

Return. I think also, this is not just healthcare, but more organizations are finding that it's important that they do their due diligence upfront around cloud. So it's not, what they found is a lot of their costs are spiraling out of control. And that's, not to be disparaging to any of the hyperscalers But if you don't have a managed way to do that and a way to understand, what the benefits of cloud are, I think it becomes very difficult. So that's one conversation we continually want to have with our customers because we feel like we're differentiated there. And then the other is security, as I mentioned before, making sure that customers understand that you can have, a hundred different security products, but if you don't have a coordinated.

Strategy around that, that includes policy and, other things you're gonna run into trouble.

it's interesting when we talk about within the IT organization, the value of. Orchestration, the value of automation. We've talked about that a little bit, but as I, look out into the future at this point, this is me prognosticating.

There's other technologies that are, starting to press in on healthcare, right? Like artificial intelligence machine. And one of the things I've liked is that you maintain, again, that layer of abstraction, like there's a lot of complexity in ML and ai. Yep. But I can interact with that complexity through an interface, through a layer that my team is already educated on now.

Exactly. Right. And confident in. So that's one of the things, again, we talk about cloud smart, so that's one of the things that we really believe that we bring to the table as well. And then, the things on Horizon that I'm excited about is really around data and where we look at and how we look at data.

So, we have a set of technologies around app development and Kubernetes that allows us to now have those conversations. I'm excited that customers are starting to say, you know, how do. Connect systems, how do I get more value at the point of care? And those discussions are early on, but I think there's gonna be huge value in the future.

To your point, you integrate AI and ML into those scenarios.

all right, we'll get back to  our show in just a minute. We're excited. We have a great webinar for you in May on May 4th at one o'clock Eastern Time. It is part of our leadership series on modern data strategies in healthcare. In this webinar, we're going to explore data driven approaches to healthcare and how they can improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency and reduce cost, which are also critical at this time.

In this juncture in healthcare, our expert speakers will explore data governance, analytics, strateg. anything that can help healthcare providers gain actionable insights from healthcare data. We would love to have you there and we're excited about it. You can register on our website.

Just hit the leadership series, modern Data Strategies. It's gonna be in the top right hand corner of our website this week, you can discover how we are going to use data to be more efficient, effective in the modern healthcare system. we would love to have you join us again.

Hit the website this week, Top right hand corner. Sign up today. Hope to see you there. Now back to the show,


  📍 We've digitized. Right? So we have a of digital data right now, and I find more and more of the conversations with CIOs are going to this orchestration layer. Not only on the technology side, on the care side Exactly.

And saying, look, I've gotta orchestrate care on our campus across our. IDN across our health system, right? And then I've got Orchestrate care outside of that to partners and I've gotta orchestrate it into the home.

Yeah, We're having a conversation here today with cancer provider, and that's exactly what they're trying to get accomplished, is how do I bring that entire ecosystem together and effectively tie that from not only, a partnering perspective, but also from a te.

Perspective as well. And those are the things that get me excited.

And you guys can take that stuff right to the edge. Yeah, exactly. That's the amazing thing to me. Yeah. Any conversations surprise you at this point of

Not so far. I mean, I just got here, but as I said before this conference for me is different because one of the things that I stress inside my organization is we need to change the personas that we engage with and talk with.

And so, now it. CMIO and others to my earlier point around cost pressure cfo,

so It used to be the cto,

CIO and that,

and now you're starting to talk to the business.

Yeah, and even, you know, I would say I've been at VMware six years now. Those discussions weren't at the C-suite level.

You know, we, We were just that thing that worked. Bill.

Yes. Right. I mean, here's how you snuck in. I used to be one of those, I used to be a tech and an engineer, and you guys gave us access to like vSphere at a like a free level, right? And we started playing with it and we're like, oh gosh. And then we started bringing in and bring it in, and then all of a sudden they were like, Whoa, time out.

We need an enterprise solution. And then you guys were right there with an enterprise solution.

And again, You know as well as anybody how critical it is to bend the curve. In healthcare, there's just so much opportunity for better outcomes. There's no reason that, we spend so much of our GDP on healthcare and get the outcomes , that we get today.

Bending the cost curve. Yeah. That's a recurring theme at this conference. Absolutely. Michael, what are you hearing? Oh, I, you know, I don't usually get interviewed on Michael. I appreciate that. No the cost core curve conversation is definitely top of mind as I think about it. When we talk about cloud specifically, there is a, if you rewind like eight years ago, it was like, I don't know if we're gonna do it.

Yeah. And then it was, and it was on security. Right. Now I hear people saying the, almost the exact opposite. Yeah. Like, cloud is ubiquitous in healthcare. We absolutely need, we learned that in the pandemic. We absolutely need it. It gives us the agility. It's just a different business model. The speed and the flexibility that we needed during the pandemic.

Hasn't changed. Right? Pandemic might be winding down or at an end, but the business environment is so chaotic Absolutely. That we need that level of movement.

Yeah. And it actually, I think cloud, you have to do it in a smart way. And again, I know that's, a, kind of a cheeky way to say it, but Cloud smart is really about making sure that you can use the assets in the best potential way and.

We've been an innovator for so long.

Well, and you guys have like 98% market share in healthcare. And I find that's the other conversation where people are like, look, we are consolidating on the platforms we have. Right? So they're already deployed and we're asking them, are there other things that you can help us do because we, we already have a relationship with you.

You already a trusted partner.

Yeah. And that's our biggest challenge, honestly. And again, what we're trying to accomplish here at Vibe is make sure that we tell. Such more succinctly, and people understand that, we're not your grandfather's VMware, although we, rest on those shoulders. Yeah.

And continue to leverage that.

All right. If that's your exit question, we're all done. All right, sir.

Thanks Michael. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. It's always good to see you, bill. Good seeing you.

Another great interview. I wanna thank everybody who spent time with us at the conference. I love hearing from people on the front lines and it's phenomenal that they've taken the time to share their wisdom and experience with the community. It is greatly appreciated.

We wanna thank our partners, CDW, Rubrik, Sectra and Trellix, who invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.


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