This episode is brought to you in part by our Co-Sponsor Trevelino/Keller
As CEO and a Board member, Scott Tapp leads Trella Health’s advancement of our main mission: to impact meaningful change in healthcare. Passionate about building and leading teams, Scott works alongside Trella’s Board and executive leadership team to formulate and execute our corporate strategy and implement operational best practices and metrics to scale and grow our business.
For 20 years, Scott guided rapidly growing companies to successful exits. Prior to joining Trella, he was managing director of SBI, a consulting firm advising PE-backed companies on growth acceleration. Before that, he was CEO of Software Brands, a fast-growing SaaS company providing software and payment solutions to small businesses.
He also held several leadership positions at PGi, a communications technology firm, where he helped grow the business to $560M in revenue and $140M EBITDA through organic growth and 24 acquisitions. He held multiple general manager roles, including the company’s SaaS division, which started from a small acquisition and quickly grew to over $100M in revenue when the company sold in 2015.
Scott started his career in investment banking and worked in two venture capital firms investing in early-stage technology companies. He is a US Navy Veteran and graduated in Finance from the University of Georgia.
When he’s not cooking up new creations on his Green Egg, Scott enjoys kite and wake surfing, snow skiing, and fishing with his family, friends, and yellow labs Bailey and Beau.
Kelly Bryant, Chief Product Officer with AMI, drives the cross-functional process of market analysis, monetization of products, evaluation of products’ fitness for ecosystem and go-to-market strategies.
He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, a master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Florida, and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics from North Carolina State University.
Intro: [00:00:07] Coming to you live from Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for another episode of Tech Talk with your host, Joey Klein.
Joey Kline: [00:00:18] Good afternoon. Welcome, everyone to another episode of Tech Talk. So on this show, we’re going to be interviewing two companies. First, we’ll be talking to Kelly Bryant, chief product officer at RMI.
Kelly Bryant: [00:00:29] Hi, Joey. Thanks for having.
Joey Kline: [00:00:30] Us. Yeah, sure thing. And then we’re going to get to Scott Tapp, who is the CEO of Telehealth.
Scott Tapp: [00:00:35] Hey, Joey. Thanks for having me.
Joey Kline: [00:00:36] Yeah. Sure thing. So, you know, the I think the interesting part about both companies today is one of them, Amy, that we’re going to start with is a company that a lot of us interact with on a day to day basis and don’t really know it. And I’m going to I’m going to be interesting to have Kelly tell us more about that. Telehealth is a really interesting health care IT company. Born and bred here in Georgia and working on some really ubiquitous and widespread issues that I think are going to be interesting to explore. So, Kelly, we are going to start with you. Okay. Okay. So RMI. What does Amy stand for? Or did it used to stand for something and now it’s somewhat meaningless.
Kelly Bryant: [00:01:16] Like most companies that ended up just going to the acronym Army Stood for American Megatrends and now just known as. Am I.
Joey Kline: [00:01:25] Right?
Kelly Bryant: [00:01:26] And if you’re old enough as I am, most people remember Amy, because whenever they would turn on a server or a computer, there’d be a boot banner. And it always say American Megatrends. So that’s what got embedded into a lot of people’s minds in terms of what army did.
Joey Kline: [00:01:41] Okay, this is like one of those things where, you know, based upon what television shows you watched or music you listen to, you know, you can tell sort of where you are in the age range by did you see that come up on the banner or not?
Kelly Bryant: [00:01:51] We’re going to talk about context in a minute. So, yeah.
Joey Kline: [00:01:55] Okay. So what is what what is so ubiquitous about Amy? Why, you know, this is somewhat fascinating to me when I encounter companies that are based right here in Georgia that really touch all of our lives, that if you ask most people, they wouldn’t really have a good idea of what they do. That’s kind of what I like to do on this show. So give us kind of the high level. What was Amy? What is Amy? What is am I going to be okay?
Kelly Bryant: [00:02:21] So the reason why I is ubiquitous is that when anywhere there’s a compute. Right. And we’ll talk about that in a minute. In terms of what’s driving compute, you’re going to have Amy. And so most people don’t know this, but you’ll find if you’re walking down Hartsfield Jackson and Hartsfield-Jackson Concourse and you see a video advertisement display, that’s more than likely am-I in it, the modern kiosk where you print out your ticket, that’s an Army solution. You’ll find us in automotive sector, you’ll find us in trains and the German train system. So anywhere there’s a compute system, there’s some type of army technology. We ship in about 70% of all the servers that ship out every year. And then also desktop and laptops. We’re in about 40% of those as well. So like I said, Army and what we focus on, we’re primarily a technology company, focus on the world of compute. And what that means is that we provide essential technology and that technology is defined as firmware, and that form is going to let you do three core functions of three critical functions and compute the first, it’s going to let you turn on your computer. There’s some stuff that has to happen before your CPU can actually turn on. We’re going to let you manage it. So over the life cycle and more importantly, we’ll let you manage it remotely because a lot of servers, there’s no one physically there or it’s deployed out on the edge somewhere or in a 5G tower. And then most importantly, we’ll let it run secure or we’ll ensure that it runs secure. You know, given all the vulnerabilities that we hear about today, we’ll make sure that nothing is tampered with that firmware and if it has, will correct it.
Joey Kline: [00:04:05] Okay. So so let’s take a couple of those examples. You talked about a kiosk display at the airport. You talked about a turnstile at a martyr station. Are you selling your solution into a chipmaker or into a hardware manufacturer or both? And it just depends.
Kelly Bryant: [00:04:22] It’s both and it just depends the route to market. So let’s let’s back up and talk about the supply chain, because that really will show how we go to market. So in the days I.T. world, the supply chain is pretty complex and it really begins with working with the silicon technology partner. And what that means is that when their CPU starts to turn on, it’s got to have firmware, it’s got to have something that runs it, which means that we have to be engaged very early in the development with an Intel and Ampere and AMD to bring up that silicon, to make sure that we enable certain features and certain capabilities that gets designed in what’s called sort of a playbook, if you will, customer reference platform. And then that playbook is seeded out through the market. So anyone that wants to design in that system has a playbook. It says This is how you design it, this is the component you need. This is a software you need. Okay. Now, today, and especially in the server space, most everything comes out of Taiwan. That’s where it begins. And it comes out of the original design manufacturers or odms for short. They take that reference platform and then they design multiple SKUs of that.
Kelly Bryant: [00:05:34] So so we so we partner with the technology, partner on the silicon, and then we sell sometimes directly to the ODM because they are manufacturing the motherboards in the systems that then get deployed out in the industry. Now those gifts are shipped to the what we call the point of use market, these people that are actually using it. So I think a big hyperscalers, you know, think of your Fortune 1000 companies, right? Those are the end users of it. And so we’ll also work directly with them because sometimes they need some customization or they want to actually design their stack themselves and we’ll partner with them. So, so we really have a three pronged approach in terms of how we go to market and how we ship it. The kiosk ships into the embedded market and the embedded market is a set of manufacturers that really focus on a specialized type of server. It’s a ruggedized server that can withstand temperature, heat, you know, a ruggedized environment, small form factors, and then they will develop it for general use, case market that gets deployed, like I said, all over the market.
Joey Kline: [00:06:41] Okay. So we’re talking about a critical piece of technology that we interact with on a day to day basis, whether or not we know it. This sounds like when I try to say here, not necessarily a sure thing, but it sounds like a really good way to stay in business as in, you know what the technology that we use needs you. So you as the chief product officer, you come on board to build a product group. And I guess my question is, okay, we have technology that is used all over the place in many different types of functions. Your job as a product guy, are you there to ideate on new products to increase the bandwidth of existing products, to get into new markets? What’s the charge on your end, given that you you know, part of this, I’m sure, sells itself.
Kelly Bryant: [00:07:33] So, yes, to all of that. So the way I conceptualize chief product officer is my job is to my team’s job is to come in and to develop a product vision based on the CEO’s mission and what we want them to do and then to execute on that vision. And that vision includes existing markets, making sure that we stay relevant in there, going into new markets and the new market segments and then developing or building completely new capabilities, capabilities. But these are all aligned under sort of a holistic product family, if you will. Everything needs to sort of have a purpose and fit in place. And that’s you know, I strongly believe that the product portfolio needs to have a narrative and a story of what is it there for and what’s the value to the customer as well.
Joey Kline: [00:08:25] And so you’ve you’ve been with me for, what, maybe a year, year and a half or so.
Kelly Bryant: [00:08:30] A little over a year, but it feels like 20. And the reason for that is that so I moved down from from New England to run a division of AMI that got sold to LSI. Lsi is now known as Broadcom, so it was the mega division. And we’ll talk in a minute about this, one of the superhero powers of AMI. But AMI was really the first that pioneered that market. It was it was firmware for RAID, which basically is how you protect your disk to make sure you can keep your data. Every Dell server today which would have a controller is a mega raid card, NFC, Lenovo and so forth, with the exception of HP. Q So when I moved down, I took that team, and that team has the same culture, you know, the same philosophy on how they support the customers. And of course, we knew a lot of the same people. So when I joined RMI, we knew the same customers, you know, we knew the same sort of focus on innovation and so it was like just sort of coming home again.
Joey Kline: [00:09:33] Yeah, that’s it’s interesting where our lives take us.
Kelly Bryant: [00:09:37] Small world.
Joey Kline: [00:09:37] Yeah. Really. Yeah. So, but, but this is very much kind of a new phase in am-I. I believe that you have there’s a new owner involved, correct?
Kelly Bryant: [00:09:45] Yeah. So the original founder. And so let me back up for 1/2. So the way am I started was one of our founders was at Comdex. And if you’re as old as me, people remember that was the show that everyone went to for electronics for PC. And so he was there with for design services and they had developed motherboards. So this young man came by and says, Can you develop a 386 motherboard, which has been very cutting edge at the time, the 88. Reality sex. Well, that gentleman was Michael Dell. So Dell was our first customer and that really sort of bootstrapped the entire company. Now, now am-I, like I said, there’s superhero power in my mind is the ability to recreate themselves over time, to be able to understand what inflections are coming in the market and then how to address them. So, Sam, I got out of the motherboard business whenever that market started to shift over to type one, and that’s when they began to focus on sort of the firmware element of what makes your computer run. And then, like I said, so then they develop the firmware that lets you power up your computer, the firmware which lets you manage your computer.
Kelly Bryant: [00:10:59] And then most recently we announced something that lets you let your computer run secure. And then, like I said, the raid that they did was firmware. But whenever the market started to shift to sell that the deployment mechanism was through a host bus adapter. Know they didn’t really want to do that because that was not their core values. So original founder finally retired. And so we got bought by a private equity firm called HGC and people that may not know that company. Steve Young is a president of that company and so we are really a 37 year old startup company right now. We are in growth mode, and part of that is that everybody knows with the pandemic, it really lit a fire in everybody’s digital transformation. So we’re growing like crazy. There’s new adjacent products that we’re going after. When you look at sort of how the market is evolving and how it is transitioning, firmware is going to take a much more central role. And when you look at how it gets used into the data center, there’s things that you have to do that only RMI can do to support the customer.
Joey Kline: [00:12:05] Well, I imagine that the the data center world is quite a target rich environment for you.
Kelly Bryant: [00:12:11] Well, yeah. Like I said when I was at LSI at the time, the thing that drove the market was the OEMs and the Fortune 1000 companies. The change when I came came back is now it’s all driven by the hyperscalers and that just has to do with the fact that that market is so much more relevant. Now, if you look at sort of how workloads are trending, how most of the enterprises have moved, you know, their enterprise applications to the cloud, the cloud, the Hyperscalers continue to grow and to grow and grow. And actually, if you look at reports of the total unit shipped, there’s a crossover point between the number of units that all the OEMs ship versus the HYPERSCALERS. And that inflection point is now.
Joey Kline: [00:12:52] And is that one of the product adjacencies that you’re referring to the work with?
Kelly Bryant: [00:12:57] Hyperscalers Well, we’ve always worked with Hyperscalers, right? So again, when we sell into the ODM market, it will go as a commodity off the shelf server and then it gets used in a lot of general applications. And one of the, you know, the cloud service providers like any data center or providing workloads that run on, you know, generic, generic hardware.
Joey Kline: [00:13:18] Okay. So you have always been a product guy yourself. What what is it that that appeals to you about that world and that function?
Kelly Bryant: [00:13:26] Yeah. Yeah. So I did start life as an engineer. I did it for a couple of years, but for some reason I gravitated towards the intersection between customers and business and technology. And for me, I wanted to learn how to products get designed. I mean, how do they get defined to begin with? Right? How do you solve customer problems? How do you create a business? And so the nice thing about that intersection is that you can be as technical as you want. You need to be somewhat technical because you have to translate requirements from the customer so that the engineers can then take that and and then build a product. But you get to work with finance, you get to work with sales, you get to work with marketing. So it lets you be a generalist, if you will, and maybe you’re a master of none. But but it’s still an exciting area. And the other thing I will say is that I view product management and planning as a destination. Meaning when I bring people in, I typically like to bring people that have had foundational experience in different parts of the company because they will bring different experiences into that. As we define products.
Joey Kline: [00:14:37] How do you balance the need for technical expertize and business expertize on your team.
Kelly Bryant: [00:14:43] So no one person can do it? All right. So you you like any team, right? A baseball team. You have a catcher, a pitcher, infielder. You collect a team that has different skill sets. In my view, at least I view my role is and everyone has a role. My job is to find where they fit in that organization and they can obviously best contributed. So today, you know, we have people that are extremely technical, but they need to be customer friendly. And what I mean by that is they need to be able to know what to say to the customer and what not to say to the customer. Then we have more sort of. Operational, business oriented people that can help run the business case and the pal and then we have go to market people I mean go to market is is a big thing in terms of the product realization process and how do you start to promote a product? How do you make sure, you know the pricing is right in all of that? So it’s a collection of people that form a team. That function is one overall unit.
Joey Kline: [00:15:39] Yeah, well, and you’re entering it a interesting place because I recall from our first conversation, it sounds like this is really the first time there has been a dedicated product team.
Kelly Bryant: [00:15:48] Yes. Yes. So I think, you know, RMI is primarily an engineering focused company and like I said, the there was there was product, it just wasn’t consolidated. So if the way they were organized before was a bit in silos, but they that that’s no longer the case. And of course, scale of business, you need to have product management, product planning, someone that’s thinking about the product holistically. So, so that’s really been my role to come in and really am I was doing that but it’s really just like I said, you know, providing some vision, focus and a framework for how do you think about products and then more importantly, how do you take them to the marketplace?
Joey Kline: [00:16:29] Sure. Having a centralized place in the organization for it to sit and someone you basically to. So, Harold, that vision.
Kelly Bryant: [00:16:38] Yeah. And then, like I said, I mean, I truly believe it’s it’s a team sport meeting. It’s not like product management comes in and says, okay, this is what you guys need to do and you just need to listen to me. I’ve worked in a lot of companies where that will not work. And, you know, great ideas come from all over parts of the company. So our job is to really, like I said, create a framework, create an environment where we can have these open discussions and then collectively as a team, hopefully we’ll make the right decision on what to build, when to build it, and more importantly, what not to build. That’s the other challenge that you’ll see in a lot of organizations is that, you know, they end up taking more and more on and I call it the tyranny, the urgent, right. It’s like when you’re supporting an existing business and you have customers that you need to support, which you need to support flawlessly, you can end up taking on too much, which then can suffocate your innovation side as well.
Joey Kline: [00:17:32] Sure. It’s you can you can try and be too many things to too many people. Right. And end up becoming nothing to no one. So, I mean, look at a time when you are building a team and helping this organization grow, how do you avoid that? How what is your leadership style such that it makes sure that everyone does stay on track and keeps the primary goal in focus.
Kelly Bryant: [00:17:55] So I think. So again, again, I, I think that the goal here. Right, is to understand what the team is good at. The other thing that so way there’s three sort of phases. We’ve got sort of lead, engage and build. It’s sort of the mantra that we have here. So the first thing is, is that we’ve got to set a priorities really around maintaining the existing business, making sure that we don’t get caught flat footed with new technologies and other things like that. We have an engage element, which is a K. We want to work with market leaders because at the end of the day am-I, we provide something that goes into another product. And so we don’t necessarily sit at those in markets. So the best way to learn is to engage with the market leaders from a requirement standpoint to make sure that we get those in there. And then the build element, the build element is really the things that are unique above and beyond the adjacency. So what we do basically is that we have a priority list and we have a team that we focus on a given set of things. And so we basically have prioritize those things and then we manage those because assumptions change. The other thing is we carve out resources that focus on incubation because again, the concern, the problem that you’ll have is if you don’t do that, tyranny of the urgent will come in and consume resources that you need to focus on the next generation platforms and products. Because again, as a technology company, I can only, which is I would think most technology companies understand is that the pace of innovation is extremely fast. And if you move, if you lose an inflection point, your ability to catch up is very difficult and you may even be out a whole generation. So you do everything you can to make sure that you don’t lose that inflection point.
Joey Kline: [00:19:46] Yeah, it’s a lot of pressure.
Kelly Bryant: [00:19:50] Yeah, but it’s fun. Like I said, I’m having a great time. It’s a great team. Like I said, the culture at RMI is really good. The one thing, like I said before when I came in, the culture that existed before is it’s an innovation, it’s a core focus of RMI and the way they have. We have 700 patents and growing. The the thing that gets reinforced is that every year there’s Innovation Week. And so what we do is we try to encourage all walks of the company to come in and provide innovative ideas. And the key thing here is it doesn’t have to be technology, it could be business, it could be it could be process. How do you do things better, faster and smarter? So then we’ll put these these teams through a Shark Week kind of environment. We give them four pages. They’ve got to get to the point. And then more importantly, they have to be able to articulate what’s the value to the customer. Because at the end of the day, if it’s not aligned to a customer value or a benefit, then we probably wouldn’t pursue it. And then we take that and we try to operationalize it.
Joey Kline: [00:20:57] That’s that’s that’s a cool, cool project. What has changed, if much of anything since private equity has been involved and CEOs transition has occurred?
Kelly Bryant: [00:21:08] Just like I said, I think there’s there’s more focus, there’s a stronger alignment across all the product teams and what we’re trying to do. Shawn Joy is our CEO and he’s set a vision that we all we all execute to. We we are private equity. So we’re back. So we’ve been in investment mode trying to grow the team. We hired 600 people last year, so we are growing and expanding.
Joey Kline: [00:21:35] That’s incredible.
Kelly Bryant: [00:21:36] Quite rapidly, right.
Joey Kline: [00:21:38] Where across what geographies are you are all geographies. Everything.
Kelly Bryant: [00:21:41] Yeah. Yeah. Taiwan, India and also the US as well. Yeah.
Joey Kline: [00:21:45] Wow. That is that is very fun.
Kelly Bryant: [00:21:47] And I will say like the other unique thing about RMI is that it’s been here for 37 years, but most people have stayed. I mean we have people that have tenures of 20 to 20 5 to 30 years.
Joey Kline: [00:22:02] That’s incredible.
Kelly Bryant: [00:22:03] And it is especially in the technology field because most people, especially in the compute, which is really a small world, you know, most people most of that is out on the West Coast. But I think the reason for that is largely Atlanta’s a great place to raise a family. The you know, the sort of the you know, the environment here is great, the university, the transportation system as well. And then I think, you know, if you look at Intel’s moving in, Microsoft’s moving in, you know, they’re only finding out now what a lot of tech companies in Atlanta have known for a long time.
Joey Kline: [00:22:37] Yeah, that’s right.
Kelly Bryant: [00:22:37] Secret’s out. This is a great place to come and to recruit and to grow a business.
Joey Kline: [00:22:42] Yeah, it is. So what are the next 12 to 18 months look like for you? What’s what’s the big goals for the team other than just, you know.
Kelly Bryant: [00:22:50] Security, security, you know, security, and then making sure that the that our solution in the data center is easy to match. Manage. It’s easy to secure. It’s easy to orchestrate. You know, like I said, when you look at sort of where the industry is going back in the nineties, early 2000, it was the Enterprise Data Center. They are basically consolidating and building out these huge enterprise data centers toward these workloads. Mid 2000 to early 2000s to mid, you know, you had the emergence of the HYPERSCALERS. So AWS initially, you know, most people didn’t want to put enterprise applications out there. Now that’s, you know, common SAP ERP are out there. So as you move in the 20. So today, 90% of all data that is created and process is done in that core data center. By 2025, 70% of all data created is going to be out on the edge. And the reason for that is if you look at all these connected devices, autonomous driving, you know, manufacturing to date, all these things are generating a ton of data, streaming data, and it has to be analyzed at the source because you can’t transfer it over and analyze it. And you’re driving a car, which generating a lot of data you can’t afford to delay in terms of making an intelligent decision. Right. So you have to move, compute, compute to wherever the data is being generated and data is growing like crazy. And so that’s a big focus of RMI as well in terms of making sure that we provide solutions and capabilities that are optimized for that environment.
Joey Kline: [00:24:29] That’s great. That is super interesting. So if anyone listening wants to learn more about AMI, what’s the website? Where should they go? Amica dot com. Right. Easy enough. Great. Kelly, thanks a lot for coming on and telling us your story.
Kelly Bryant: [00:24:42] Thank you so much.
Joey Kline: [00:24:43] Appreciate it. Sure. All right, Scott, you’re up.
Scott Tapp: [00:24:46] Thanks, man. That was awesome. Thank you. I always love learning more about product organizations. I had a lot of questions, but I’ll wait.
Joey Kline: [00:24:53] So afterwards. Well, yeah, we can that’s that’s kind of part of that’s kind of part of the fun of this that, you know, you guys get to meet and hang out as well. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So so you have an interesting story as well just in terms of your path to Trello and just kind of what your operating procedure has been, you know, company to company, maybe give a little bit about your your background and how you started and what your what your M.O. is and what’s going on at Trello.
Scott Tapp: [00:25:22] Yeah, well, that’s a lot.
Joey Kline: [00:25:25] Like it’ll take us through at least a couple of minutes.
Scott Tapp: [00:25:28] Quick background. Well, first of all, I’m from Atlanta, GA. Six generations and never other than being in the Navy, kind of found myself here most of the time and traveling, of course, I started in investment banking and the finance side and then in the venture business, working with a couple of family offices, investing in companies, which I loved, but I wanted to sit on the other side of the table for a while and just become, you know, get some operating experience. And so in 2004, I decided to do that. And it’s been 18 years of operating experience. Yeah, and it’s been fun. So we built a pretty cool communications company, public company. We ultimately sold. I was a general manager of the SAS business there and 24 acquisitions and a lot of growth in the business, which was great. I then was recruited to be CEO of another software company. Then I was managing director for a strategic consulting company, kind of focuses or competes with Bain and McKinsey and go to market execution and then decided to take on for the first time a fairly early stage growth company, another SAS business, but health and it’s been super exciting.
Joey Kline: [00:26:41] And so the decision to take on a business that was a little bit of a different profile both in stage as well as industry. From what you’d been involved in, was it, hey, I want a new challenge or was it this business is just so compelling I can’t look away from it? Or was it some combination of those two?
Scott Tapp: [00:27:00] Yeah, it’s definitely a combination, but it’s also a strange time. And so most of my career has been on the road building, growing regionally, expanding internationally, launch in India, whatever it may be. And when I was when I was approached by the board and this particular opportunity one, it was functionally a SAS business, which is my sweet spot. But one thing I had not done is spent time in health care and just dig it in the diligence on the company and understanding more about what they’re doing. It was really appealing. Not only that, what was really appealing was the fact that they’re based right here in Atlanta and.
Joey Kline: [00:27:41] Stay for a little.
Scott Tapp: [00:27:42] While. You could get your hands around, you know, 60 people is a fairly early stage company. And so that’s why I decided to do it. And interestingly, started April 1st, April Fool’s Day in the middle of the pandemic, right when it started. So. Years ago. But it’s been it’s been fantastic. We’ve had just a great ride and things are going quite well.
Joey Kline: [00:28:05] That’s great. We’re going to get into that. So give us the headline of Trailer Health and let’s not bury the lead here. What’s what’s the goal of the organization?
Scott Tapp: [00:28:14] Yeah, so well, the headline is really a data insights company that helps the health care world understand what’s going on in their markets. And we have access to and we focus our our time on the senior care population 65 plus we have access to all of the claims that they file and process. And we take those claims and we watch these people move longitudinally throughout the care settings from one doctor to one hospital to one place at a time. And we can track everything that’s happening with them, and we learn a great deal from that. And we turn that learning into insights that we provide back to the providers, the providers of the care, to help them improve performance and help them improve outcomes and hopefully lower costs get better outcomes.
Joey Kline: [00:29:05] Well, and look, it’s a I think whenever anyone talks about health care, they talk about the 17% of GDP that our health care spending takes up. And what do you do about that and how does that how do you manage that, especially with a older population that is going to use up a lot of health care? The number that you gave me in terms of what value that takes up of the 4 trillion spend, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it is quite large. It’s what, one and a half out of.
Scott Tapp: [00:29:34] Four, not quite half the spend is in that world and it makes up about 20% of the US, the 60 plus with about 360 people there, 60 million. So it’s about 20% of the US population. But understandably as you get older, costs more and care is needed more and comorbidities happen. And that’s just where a great deal of the cost is the the, the cost of health care in the US and my opinion is never really going to go down. Right. Populations grow in technology, innovation happens, things are more expensive. But the the challenge is figuring out how to care and provide optimal care at a better price with better outcomes. Sure. Which in turn is targeting waste.
Joey Kline: [00:30:19] Especially for the population that is using the most.
Scott Tapp: [00:30:21] Care. Exactly. Yes, we were we were just on this morning, there’s about $26 Billion of waste that goes from a hospital to when you leave a hospital. Knowing where to go and what to do next is a gap.
Joey Kline: [00:30:36] When you say waste, let’s define exactly what you mean by waste.
Scott Tapp: [00:30:39] Well, people end up in the wrong place spending money on things that they shouldn’t be spending money on. Maybe they get discharged from a hospital and needed to go to a home health setting for some specialty or expertize. And they were discharged without any any recommendation for home health. So they go home and next thing you know, something happens in their back in the hospital where the most expensive part of care sets. So those little those little simple mistakes not knowing what to do next. Yeah they add up.
Joey Kline: [00:31:06] So so what is the weak link there? What or who is not communicating to produce that waste and what or who is the solution?
Scott Tapp: [00:31:16] Well, that’s a great question. So the biggest issue is from our from our view is when you when you think about leaving a hospital or leaving a physician, you get lost. Literally you would ask your person who referred you to some other service if it’s a rehab facility or whatever it may be. How are things going with your patient? And you have no idea. You know, it’s just the visibility is people say going from acute or the world of the hospital to non acute meaning post acute where they leave the hospital, they have other services. There’s no clear way of figuring out who’s going, where and how they’re doing and the communication gap. Everyone’s on different systems or different infrastructure or different platforms. They have different insurance providers. And you can imagine the it’s just it’s just very complex.
Joey Kline: [00:32:06] Yeah. But okay. So, so, so yes, I think anyone, whether whether you’re old or young who has interacted with the health care system, can understand this. We’ve all seen it in our own lives. You know, look, especially in an emergency setting, you know, there’s just churn. Doctors churn through patients. It’s on to the next and it’s not saying it’s right. It’s somewhat understandable how the outcome occurs. Oc So then we have your technology, yes, that is designed to reduce, alleviate, you know, get rid of some of these problems. How does the technology interact with health care providers in order to get that outcome?
Scott Tapp: [00:32:46] Yes, great, great question. So our focus has been on what we consider the post-acute market. So you leave a hospital, what happens to that person and care before our data and insights came out? You have no idea. So you have all these post-acute providers who are providing care. They don’t know what their competition looks like. They don’t know how they’re performing as it relates to cost and readmission rates back to hospital compared to their competition. The they don’t know what. Physicians are referring patients to what location in their geography and the challenge with that being that maybe you as a post-acute provider have a specialty, maybe it’s cardiology. Some sort of cardiology specialty is something you provide where they’re sending patients to the wrong place. What our insight has done in the post-acute world is it’s given enough market data to see their competition, to look at their performance, to look at their readmission rates so they can really raise the bar against the rest of the market. That’s what we’re trying to do, because ultimately that competitive nature is going to improve outcomes. Sure. So the insights alone, great example. I’ll give you just some simple ones. If you were to leave Brady and be referred to a skilled nursing facility for maybe you had a hip surgery and you need to go for 30 days for rehab, they’re going to possibly send you to three facilities. But what Grady doesn’t know is which one is the best facility, which one has the lower cost of care but better outcomes, meaning they have lower reimbursement rates back to a hospital. And we found in our in our data and our insights that you could send a patient to a skilled nursing facility, one that cost $30,000 of service, and the same patient would go to skilled nursing facility two and it would only call 17,000 and they would have better outcomes. That transparency is what we’re trying to.
Joey Kline: [00:34:45] So now we’re getting a little off track here because I’m curious about this. So let’s take those skilled nursing facilities. So from a pricing perspective, I understand that your technology also allows them to see how they’re doing next to competitors when those skilled nursing facilities are pricing their services. Is it in a vacuum? You know, how does one in a similar geography charge 17 and one charges 30 example?
Scott Tapp: [00:35:10] It’s not the way they price, it’s the services they’re providing. So maybe they’re doing something and keeping a patient longer. Maybe it’s something around. They’ve they’ve done something to have to have the patient go back to the hospital. And they weren’t taking care of a symptom that was happening.
Joey Kline: [00:35:27] They’re simply not using as much care. Yeah. Yeah.
Scott Tapp: [00:35:30] And right, exactly. Yeah, sure. Most of most of the time, the the procedures being paid for by Medicare, they’re all set. They’re all settings.
Joey Kline: [00:35:40] Sure. Okay. That’s that’s that’s right. We are talking about the over 65 crowd. You know, a very high percentage of them are going to have Medicare or Medicaid, I imagine.
Scott Tapp: [00:35:48] Exactly. 95 plus percent.
Joey Kline: [00:35:50] And so what the rest of them are just those who choose to pay for some sort of supplemental. Very.
Scott Tapp: [00:35:55] Yeah, very few. But maybe commercial. You wouldn’t want to buy something.
Joey Kline: [00:35:57] Yeah. Okay. Okay. So it’s a really, really big market and a really big problem. And especially when you’re at your stage of growth, it’s very important to focus and not try and be everything to everyone as we sort of, you know, discuss with Kelly. So how do you how do you keep that vision now? And, you know, how do you guide a team to be laser focused? Because I imagine as I’m thinking about this technology, it can probably apply to a lot of different areas of health care. And I imagine that you maybe have had some investors or board members that have said, hey, why don’t you branch out and do this? So how do you keep the vision and the focus to the team?
Scott Tapp: [00:36:37] Yeah, it’s a great question. And the answer to that is, yeah, we we have a lot of opportunity. We we we have about 14 billion claims that we can process and create analytics. We’ve only touched about two and a half billion of them. So, you know, your mind starts to go, Oh, wow, you know, we should guy, there’s so much more we can do. But the reality of it is we we have to just stay focused. And the way we do that is we implement and have implemented. I started at two years ago. Rockefeller habits were just some simple scaling up methodology where you can sit back and say, okay, where, where is our priority? How is everyone aligned? Are we doing the right things every day and every week to make sure that we’re hitting the simple goals? And when it comes to ideation and when it comes to things like, Hey, we can go do this and we can go to that, that’s great. But it’s really just executing on what our plan is. And, you know, you take all these ideas and there’s a chief product officer, he would know better than anyone. You know, you get them from everywhere. Everyone has an idea, but it’s where you channel your energy and then just make sure you’re staying focused.
Joey Kline: [00:37:43] What has been again, this is so clearly SAS, SAS veteran, but first time health care company, what has been the most interesting or something that you just didn’t think you would encounter in health care that, you know, obviously, you’re we all enter we all interact with the industry. Right. You have not interacted with it necessarily from a professional technology standpoint, what surprised you the most?
Scott Tapp: [00:38:08] It is complex. And as much as I’m so curious, I I’m reading every day. I learn every day. I talk to people every day. And it’s amazing how much you can keep learning. Yeah, every day. And that’s what’s so fascinating and wonderful about this industry. And even even in the small area that we’re focused, not even we’re just we’re not in life sciences, we’re not in devices. We’re not we haven’t even touched. We’re just in a segment of senior care.
Joey Kline: [00:38:39] Segment of a sector. Yeah, totally.
Scott Tapp: [00:38:41] And it’s it’s really fascinating. So that’s been I don’t know if I’m surprised, but I think I’m it’s been it’s been really fun.
Joey Kline: [00:38:49] That’s I mean well, look, here’s the thing. That’s for for curious for intellectually curious people. That’s how it works, right? The more complex something is, the more fascinating it tends to be because you go down a rabbit hole and then there’s a your decision. Trade is kind of keeps adding limbs on to it never ends. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you’ve been with the company for two years and obviously it’s sort of an odd time to join a company. But, you know, at the end of the day, you know, being what a company is, being with a company, right? You hire people, you build on a vision, whether it’s covert or not, you know, that’s that’s what it takes to build a company. But I am curious, this being your fourth time as an operator and it sounds like the smallest organization that you’ve that you’ve led. So what have you learned from the other three that you’ve brought to this one?
Scott Tapp: [00:39:39] Have different things from all of them. But I think nothing shocking, nothing that really should surprise anyone. I think as you as you build, like one of my first companies, we went from 72 to 600 million in the ten year period and public and then sold. And, you know, with that comes a lot of change of 500 employees to 2500 employees. And the management that you need to develop to run a company at one size to the next size is is probably the what I would argue where I spend more of my time than anything else, developing people, you know, developing their careers and watching them and finding the right people and knowing, you know, when they’re right and when they’re not. So that’s something you definitely you bring. I think the other thing is I’ve been fortunate to have scaled some companies. So when you for me, when you get to a small business where you have a lot of maybe people who’ve done things for the first time, I have a lot of first time VP’s. Yeah, right. And they’re so ambitious and driven and exciting. Yeah. It’s really fascinating being able to help them and weave through a decision and how to scale the business. Those are the things that I think you can add to. And then fundamentals around being a data driven. We are a data company, but we have to run our business with data and leverage and data and analytics on how you’re making decisions internally, things. And then and I would say the last thing for me is the two things that we’ve been successful in the companies I’ve worked with is one customer driven innovation, not creating ideas in a vacuum, really listening to our customers. So we immediately create a customer advisory boards and we’re out in front of them all the time and we love it when they drive our innovation well.
Joey Kline: [00:41:30] So that’s that that’s an interesting point. I remember this from our first conversation. I think that I’m forgetting the order, but you’ll of course, correct me the CRM and the data. I forget which one came first, but I believe that one of them was a result about feedback that you were getting from from from customers, right?
Scott Tapp: [00:41:45] Yeah, that’s it. So we started as a data insights company and as we over the last couple of years just talking to customers, they kept saying, wow, your data in our CRM, your data in our CRM is so effective. Could we get both of those from you? So we leaned in and we started looking at design and build efforts and decided at the same time we we had a competitor who was in data but also had a CRM. So we bought them to go faster. And it’s it’s been a great transition.
Joey Kline: [00:42:14] So is there anything else like that that’s on the horizon that you can talk about in terms of just new products or new markets? What is the next 12 months look like for you all?
Scott Tapp: [00:42:22] Yeah, well, we’ve got a number of acquisition thoughts, but nothing I’m probably going to talk about right now.
Joey Kline: [00:42:29] We’ll have you back on to talk about those.
Scott Tapp: [00:42:31] Yeah. Yeah, we we believe this industry. There’s a lot of potential to integrate data insights into workflows and help decision paths. So CRM is just one of many for us. And as we scale, you know, we’ve got great financial support and backers who have a lot of dollars that they want to invest to help us keep scale. And so M&A is definitely on in our mind. But the other side of innovation for us is where the market and I don’t want to take this into a big health care conversation, but this of wherever it goes, this concept of value based care, how we manage cost and how we especially in the senior world and how we’re there just not spending fee for service and typical Medicare. The the movement is to this value based care where people are taking on risk providers are taking on risk and capitated the amounts of money that an insurance or a care provider payer is going to going to provide. So we’re we’re looking and have just launched a product that helps that value based care world. Think about how they’re building out optimal networks for performance. Who are the best physicians to bring in your network, the best facilities providers to bring in your network so that you can ultimately do things to really drive better outcomes for patients at a much more manageable cost. So we launched a product recently called Mosaic, and that’s right in the middle of kind of looking into this value based care concept.
Joey Kline: [00:44:06] And so in this instance, is that a health care system that would be your customer?
Scott Tapp: [00:44:11] In this instance, it’s accountable care organizations and direct contracting organizations who are their whole goal is to take on risk. Okay. It could also be a big payer of health care. They know the payers, the Medicare Advantage plans that are out there, you see advertised all the time on TV, possibly helping them figure out, okay, where do we build? Optical network. What’s happened in leakage? When patients are leaving our network, that costs a lot of money. We don’t we lose sight because they’re out of the net.
Joey Kline: [00:44:46] Sure.
Scott Tapp: [00:44:47] We can help them with that sort of visibility.
Joey Kline: [00:44:49] And from from the data side. Right. Kind of the classic product. Who’s your typical customer there?
Scott Tapp: [00:44:55] Well, the post-acute so the the buyer is a C level, mostly someone who’s focused on understanding their market penetration and growth. So the CEO to the chief growth officer of the Home Health Agency, the skilled nursing facility, the hospice facility, who’s growing their business, that’s the primary. Those are a primary targets.
Joey Kline: [00:45:15] And are those buyers using any sort of technology right now or. Are you the first time they’re using technology for this or is this just superior to what they’re currently using?
Scott Tapp: [00:45:28] So they’re using different types of technology, electronic health record systems to manage patients. But this is the first time they’ve had access to data like this. So it’s somewhat of a greenfield for us. And we very quickly have taken market share and kind of lead the market around.
Joey Kline: [00:45:44] Yeah, that’s. That’s great. Yeah. What, what, what else have we not talked about that you think folks need to know about Trello.
Scott Tapp: [00:45:52] Well, I think we talked about a lot. We’re growing super fast and we’re trying to hire people as fast as we can.
Joey Kline: [00:45:58] What sort of roles are you.
Scott Tapp: [00:45:59] Hiring for or you name it? Data analysts, engineers, sales, go to market across the board product, you name it. We’re we’re scaling the company. There’s a ton of demand and it’s been a lot of fun. And we see, you know, we get a good opportunity in front of us. So that’s that’s the big thing for us.
Joey Kline: [00:46:17] Yeah. Okay. So if you’re listening and you want to you want to work at Trello or you want to be a customer, the Trello. Health.com.
Scott Tapp: [00:46:23] Yeah, Trello.
Joey Kline: [00:46:24] Trello with two.
Scott Tapp: [00:46:25] L’s. Yeah, that’s it.
Joey Kline: [00:46:26] Okay. Scott, thanks for coming on.
Scott Tapp: [00:46:28] Yeah, thanks for having me.
Joey Kline: [00:46:29] Yeah. Kelly, thank you. Great conversation, guys.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
About Your Host
Joey Kline is a Vice President at JLL, specializing in office brokerage and tenant representation. As an Atlanta native, he has a deep passion for promoting the economic growth and continued competitiveness of communities in and around Atlanta, as well as the Southeast as a whole.
He has completed transactions in every major submarket of metro Atlanta, and works primarily with start-ups, advertising/marketing agencies, and publicly-traded companies. With a healthy mix of tenacious drive and analytical insights, Joey is a skilled negotiator who advises clients on a myriad of complex real estate matters.
With a strategy and business development background, Joey is first and foremost a pragmatic advisor to his clients. Most recently, he was the Director of Business Development for American Fueling Systems, an Atlanta-based alternative energy company.
While at JLL, he has become a member of the Million Dollar Club, and has built a reputation as an expert on the intersection of transit-accessibility and urban real estate. With intimate involvement in site selection and planning/zoning concerns, Joey approaches real estate from the perspective of the end user, and thus possesses a unique lens through which to serve his clients.
Joey holds a Master of Business Administration from Emory University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a founder, board member, and the treasurer of Advance Atlanta, and also sits on the Selection Committee for the Association for Corporate Growth’s Fast 40 event. In addition, he is a member of CoreNet and the Urban Land Institute. Finally, he is part of LEAD Atlanta’s Class of 2019.
Connect with Joey on LinkedIn.