On Demand Webinars Header


Interview: John Poli, Healthcare Industry Principal at RingCentral

John Poli
Industry Principal, Healthcare
RingCentral

RC Logo - New

Chris Frey
VP of Cloud & Contact Centers
Converged Technology Professionals

Converged Technology Professionals

 

Enjoy this informative interview with John Poli, Healthcare Industry Principal at RingCentral along with Chris Frey, VP of Cloud & Contact Centers at Converged Technology Professionals. Hear about current trends in the market and how RingCentral is helping those in healthcare improve their internal and external collaboration tools to meet growing needs.

0:00 / 0:00

 

Want to See a Personal Full Demo or Find out More Information?  Contact us!

 

Transcript:

 

Chris Frey:

John, thanks again for being with us today. I know we introduced you at the top of the webinar, but let's take a few minutes to dive a little deeper into your background and the reasons for bringing your talents to RingCentral.

 

John Poli:

Well, thanks Chris. I joined RingCentral in middle of last year, right in the middle of the pandemic. So ironically, I had to use the tools to get to know the entire organization, which has been an interesting experience.

But prior to joining RingCentral as the healthcare industry principal, I was an executive partner with Gartner for about six or seven years. That role primarily is a consultant to CIOs leveraging Gartner's research, Canon, and bringing that with our clients to customize it to their needs and drive digital transformation.

So, I spent a number of years working directly with CIOs, experiencing the challenges they had for digital transformation and using tools to do that and to get there.

 

John Poli:

Prior to Gartner, I was running a small company in New York City that was in healthcare analytics, primarily building tools for the payer organizations to drive fraud abuse, and to look at issues around care and care continuity.

And then before that, for five years, I was the CIO at Washington Dental or Delta Dental of Washington, which is part of the Delta system. And there I drove strategy for that payer as well in the community. So about 15 years in leading roles, driving healthcare, and looking at it.

 

John Poli:

What brought me to RingCentral was primarily the fact that I do see healthcare as a transformational industry and information technology being key to that going forward.

RingCentral's communications platforms I think provide a foundational element to that and the opportunity to actually bring that strategy and that technology to bear on actual client challenges was very exciting. And that's what we're doing here, so it's great to be here.

 

Chris Frey:

Well, that's a really good tie into our previous presenter. You know, Barry with SKYGEN also in the dental industry, so a lot of tie ins there.

 

Chris Frey:

Can we pivot a little bit and let's talk about how RingCentral is investing in positioning itself in the healthcare vertical?

 

John Poli:

Sure. So, the big issue obviously starts with a foundation. The foundation of network and network reliability. For healthcare it's mission critical. The hubs for healthcare, oftentimes in giving communities, are the central point of care for the entire region and so they have to be rock solid.

So, the core is the network, its reliability, its structure, our world leading network capabilities, and our five 9 guarantee is a big part of why it's a powerful element in the healthcare tool set.

 

John Poli:

Secondarily, high trust, security, having the secure environment throughout. Through every medium, whether it's messaging, voice or phone, having high trust everywhere so you can actually deliver care and discuss and manage personal care wherever it is, really enables the expansion of the Cloud to really address challenges and transformation in healthcare. So those are the first two startup points.

 

John Poli:

From there, we tend to look at product development. So, we are continuing to move our technologies to build feature and functionality to best allow our clients to meet their needs. And so, in healthcare, we've been working in healthcare for 20 years, so we listen to our clients.

One of the great things about my role is I'm the client advocate. So as our clients innovate with our tools and find challenges and things they want to improve, we take that into our product development cycle.

So, you'll see that in our development of telehealth, you'll see that in our development of tools like meeting rooms and other things or waiting rooms and other things in the feature set and functionality. So, we're always looking for that in the future, going forward.

 

John Poli:

Including on top of that, two other areas that are very important is integrations. So, one of the big things about RingCentral has been its power in our API structure and our integration partners.

So, we have a wealth, of set partners in healthcare. We'll talk about that in a second. But also, we have the open API structure. So, with our custom engineering professional services team, we can really build integrated solutions and the key to helping the healthcare vertical move forward is driving those integrated solutions.

 

John Poli:

As I mentioned earlier, the final stage is that we are also working with an ecosystem of healthcare partners who do tactical opportunities that are uniquely leveraging our communications platform. And we're looking to integrate with them to actually bring those solutions to our clients as well.

So, across the board, RingCentral's leveraging its history in really driving R and D in the UcaaS, CCaaS space, and now targeting the verticals. If you'll listen to our second quarter earnings call, for example, the vertical's a very powerful part of it and you'll see RingCentral continue to invest in those areas.

 

Chris Frey:

We certainly talk about integrations a lot with most of our clients today. And it's a really sticky situation because for many of these businesses, it's a first-time foray into that integration discussion and it takes a long time to unpack all those specific requirements and needs.

So really happy to hear that RingCentral is definitely leading more in that direction and hopefully take a lot of the guess work of it for the sake of our clients.

 

Chris Frey:

Some of our attendees here today may be looking for their next provider and wondering, "What does all this mean to me?" So can you explain how all these initiatives are being pushed onto the street?

 

John Poli:

Sure. So, the best way to think about it, we're targeting the market through a number of changes in our organization to help drive it with my role and the vertical team investments being made in RingCentral part of it.

So as an example of that, we have a dedicated sales and marketing team providing information on the healthcare industry and how UCaaS and CCaaS tools are solving those challenges. We're always trying to circulate with our clients a communication process to make sure they understand what's happening out there.

So, we've got dedicated teams of salespeople across all segments that are healthcare specific, that sell only healthcare. So, they are experts in the application of our technology to healthcare environments.

At the same time, we have the working with channel partners like yourself, who specialize and understand healthcare, making sure that we're sharing ideas with our channel partners, working on training and webinars to help them understand what's going on.

 

John Poli:

We are very open to driving those issues with our channel parts, establishing that and looking to transform the industry as healthcare starts to really understand what the Cloud means to it. The penetration for healthcare for cloud-based communications in the healthcare market is very low.

So, there's a ton of learning out there. We know it's new to a lot of people. So, we want to start that conversation at the operational level, as well as gently understand the technology issue, because we think both become impacted by design by the move to the Cloud.

So, we want to make sure that we do that and partnering with that is a big part of that.

 

John Poli:

The other thing we do, you've heard a lot about RingCentral and our work with GSPs, Global Service Providers. We've announced a number of partnerships across the board, being the Cloud provider for these leading GSPs.

Part of that, as well as aligning with their healthcare verticals, is making sure that we align our solutions such that the delivery of Cloud based solutions and the healthcare strategy is consistent across the board and that transformation can be done in a consistent manner as well, using all those partnerships.

 

John Poli:

And then finally, as I said earlier, we have the custom engineering and professional services teams that can help bring services to clients that really look to get into their world about what's happening uniquely in their environment, and make sure that our communications tools, which are driving change, can be applied to their specific solutions.

And we're finding that to be a very successful model going forward. So we really are trying to invest the resources to make sure that the best tools in the industry for UCaaS and CCaaS are being applied to the specific needs and solutions within the healthcare broker.

 

Chris Frey:

I can say from my own experience, dealing with a lot of other hosted providers, that is a clear differentiator with RingCentral, and that is having reps and specifically sales engineers that are really targeted and aligned to their specific verticals. And that is not something that I see with a lot of other providers at this time, so that's great to see.

 

John Poli:

It's also, they're passionate about healthcare. The nice part about it is as they can focus on that they really can learn and understand. And our reps will talk to your operations team and your nursing officers and medical officers because we want to understand the specific content of the challenge, as much as obviously the technology challenges you're seeing with your existing environment.

So the need to merge those two discussions, it really is part of it and that's why we think the dedicated team is critical for that.

 

Chris Frey:

And I think you nailed it there, where you're really trying to get down to the specific challenge and that's where you get to really show your commitment to the partnership as opposed to just selling technology and selling seats.

I see that so many clients today are not necessarily buying a company for their specific technology or profile, but really looking to align themselves with the right partner who's going to provide them with ideas, suggestions, different ways of doing things, and that's really important.

 

John Poli:

Well, that's the term. And I think partnership is key. I'm reaching out to some key clients now. I was in a meeting last week where we talked about the future, what's coming up, what are the things they want to do to change?

And we love it because people who are innovating in the industry are very excited about what's happening and looking at these tools, but at the same time, these tools, naturally lend itself to natural leapfrogging in terms of innovation. So any client of any size, really by moving to this platform, gets an incredible opportunity to innovate.

 

John Poli:

And that's where we try to explain to a lot of the IT staff, that the out of the possible is pretty powerful in that sense, because you've got some real opportunities with blocking tackling is great, because you can take care of all the communication needs, reliability, the network, the numbers, the ease of use, the technology details and the reporting details that we offer are the most powerful in the industry, so that becomes the wow factor.

But on top of that now you have the opportunity to really help your business partners and I think that's the challenges we're trying to face as well.

 

Chris Frey:

As someone who's been in the on premise, unified communication space for the last 10 to 15 years, I haven't seen a lot of change happen.

We've seen some incremental change in healthcare, specifically with contact centers, but I feel like for the most part, over the last 10, 15, even 20 years that I have been a healthcare consumer myself, I don't see a lot of change happen within the industry and my own interactions with my healthcare providers.

So, I guess, what's your take on that? And what do you see as the role of unified communications or contact center for the next decade or the next 20 years?

 

John Poli:

It's a great question. There's a lot of ways to take. The first thing I think we have to look at is, I think everyone's well aware of the cost challenges. Every client we talk to is challenged with cost reduction and being more efficient, trying to optimize the care model.

And so, we think that the fee for service model that is historically been in place for that same 25 years is going to change. It may be taking a little more time than we expect, but that movement to a kind of a wellness structure and accountable care structure where you're actually looking at population health, leveraging analytics everywhere to understand where to put care and when to best put care.

And then also leveraging AI on top of that to optimize kind of the ongoing or consistent areas where you can basically automate, are all going to come to happen.

 

John Poli:

When that shift happens, one of the key elements to all of that is communications. Whether it's remote patient monitoring, telehealth sessions, virtual health, those are just the starting points that you start to see a population health being managed by a core set of healthcare professionals.

And from that you then get into areas where you look at optimizing within that environment the new opportunities you have with communications infrastructure. So not only can you now distribute and think of healthcare in a much more broader sense, leveraging the things I talked about, you now can start looking at care management in a new way, when you can collect messaging between doctors and nurses and administrators.

When you can look at doctor to doctor consults, when you can capture telehealth sessions, look at the transcript and think about running AI on those transcripts to optimize care and diagnostics.

 

John Poli:

How does that change care management? How does that optimize efficiency? And how does that help target where to best put resources over time? The communication infrastructure is key to that. And I think those are areas that we are just exploring with some of our clients now. We're having some great conversations, for example, you mentioned Contact Center on AI.

We've got some new tools looking at, thinking about, how do you best automate activities that are consistently handled by maybe people today, but that cost a lot more because of that? And we are starting to look at tools that help you identify those very functions and automate those functions.

So, I think there's going to be a cost element that drives this, that is inevitable, to be blunt. And I think at the same time, we're going to see care improvement, especially when we're looking at like chronic care and areas where the most money's being spent on care coverage today.

 

Chris Frey:

Do you see anybody talking about doing automation of scheduling?

 

John Poli:

I think all those pieces. The issues, as we look at our tools, for example, we're always looking for more detailed integrations with EMRs and scheduling tools. And over time, I think we're seeing a lot of the next generation of patients.

If you look at the kind of behavior and habits, they don't want to talk to people to schedule an appointment, they want to be able to do it on their phone or do it through social media and texting or other types of omnichannel environments.

So, we certainly understand that and we think that's part of the future. So, we're trying to develop the very APIs to integrate that data with EMR systems today, and then integrate that into our solutions on call center and UCaaS systems.

 

Chris Frey:

A consistent theme with a lot of our clients today is Mondays, scheduling specifically and to traffic on Mondays and the challenges of staffing to a Monday.

And I think that some of the things that you're mentioning, some of these self-service items that people will be able to do themselves, are really going to be critical in trying to flatten that out and make it easier for our clients to staff appropriately.

 

John Poli:

Well, yeah. Again, adapt technology to the patient experience. What's the best way of life? Most people are working during the week. They're taking care of maybe their personal items on the weekend. Why can't they schedule appointments on the weekend?

That'd be something that would help that curve. So again, I think overall, all other industries are doing this. There's no reason the healthcare industry can't map to where retail and other sectors are.

 

John Poli:

You've seen, if you look at historical trends, healthcare, for example, and its adoption of Salesforce, for example, was a follower of what they saw as retail success in that space.

And so, we're seeing the healthcare industry when it comes to ITO, it's follow, but to some degree, I think they'll leverage that in new ways, but I think we're going to see that happening across the board, as these tools get more sophisticated and the integrations get more robust.

 

Chris Frey:

John, that's all the questions I have for you today. I really appreciate all your time and your candor. And thanks for being with us.

 

John Poli:

Hey, it's great working with Converged. We're excited to work with clients together and looking forward to the challenges in the future. So anytime we get together, I'd love to talk to you, Chris. Thanks.