LEAD North's Journey with InterSystems Technologies (S2, E9)

September 05, 2023 00:14:19
LEAD North's Journey with InterSystems Technologies (S2, E9)
Data Points
LEAD North's Journey with InterSystems Technologies (S2, E9)

Sep 05 2023 | 00:14:19


Hosted By

Derek Robinson

Show Notes

In this episode, we are joined by two members of LEAD North — Founder & CEO Heather Capel and CTO Chi Nguyen-Rettig — to talk about their journey with InterSystems as a technology partner, building their team, and more.

To learn more about LEAD North, visit https://www.leadnorthllc.com.

For more information about Data Points, visit https://datapoints.intersystems.com.

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Episode Transcript

Derek Robinson 00:00:00 Welcome to Data Points, a podcast by InterSystems Learning Services. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app. Links can be found at datapoints.intersystems.com. I'm Derek Robinson, and on this episode, we welcome Heather Capel and Chi Nguyen-Rettig of Lead North to talk about their journey with InterSystems technologies. Derek Robinson 00:00:32 Welcome to the Data Points podcast by InterSystems Learning Services. I'm Derek Robinson. In today's podcast episode, we're having a conversation with two guests: Heather Capel, the founder and CEO of Lead North, and Chi Nguyen-Rettig, the CTO of Lead North. Heather and Chi bring to the table a wealth of experience with InterSystems products. They've been using them since before I even worked here, as you'll hear in the interview. And much of that experience has been in the healthcare interoperability space. My conversation with them spanned from their mission at Lead North to their experiences since the beginning with InterSystems products to their perspective on building a team and getting that team onboarded for success, specifically while using InterSystems technologies. So let's take a listen. Derek Robinson 00:1:23 Alright, and welcome to Chi Nguyen-Rettig, the CTO of Lead North, and Heather Capel, the CEO and founder of Lead North. We're very excited to have both of you on the podcast today. Thanks so much for joining us. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:01:33 Yeah, excited to be here. Heather Capel 00:01:35 Yeah, thanks for having us. Derek Robinson 00:01:36 So starting with a question for kind of both of you. You can jump in and answer this however you want, but tell our listeners a little bit about Lead North, you know, what is your organization and then maybe eventually kind of leading into how did you get started with InterSystems technology, in your journey? Heather Capel 00:01:51 Um, so I can start. I…this is Heather. I've worked with InterSystems in some capacity since '99, you know, since I was like two years old <laugh> and have worked in the financial industries and healthcare industry over those years, and have worked with all the different InterSystems products. And so, spent the last 16 years in some form of consulting or partnership with InterSystems, implementing for a variety of customers across the US and beyond. And, so it's kind of a natural progression that Lead North has evolved to what it is. Chi and I both have spent a lot of years working very closely with a lot of customers and, um, really love the technology and the ecosystem here with InterSystems. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:02:48 My background in integration, I actually have been in integration since 1997, healthcare integration, and, worked with a couple of different packages before coming to InterSystems, and I think it was 2010 when I officially, when I officially met InterSystems. And we started our <laugh>, we started our journey together. And so as Heather had mentioned, I've worked with her, and, with a variety of different customers, on, implementing solutions in, using the InterSystems package, from HL7 and beyond. Derek Robinson 00:03:28 Right. Nice. Nice. So, you know, both of you, come in actually having been involved with InterSystems since before I was even there. So that, that's an extensive set of knowledge that you guys have coming into this conversation. So, as you kind of started to dive in, you know, in the beginning of your relationship with InterSystems as a company and with InterSystems products as you know, technologies for your business, how did that kind of play into your decisions as you built your team? Like, what was the role that InterSystems technology played as you tried to make your strategic decisions to build your team and kind of embark on your journey as a company? Heather Capel 00:04:01 Yeah. Well, we've had, the great fortune of having some really great partnerships with people, you know, personally, professionally, within the InterSystems organization. And, you know, aligning our goals as a company with the vision that InterSystems has in a variety of areas, we've done a lot of great work together over the last couple of years. So, in recent, you know, months over the past year, we've done a lot of work in the cloud strategy area, for InterSystems, and with their FHIR transformation services product specifically, and working with some customers that are leveraging that product. So that's been really exciting. We're definitely, we have a passion for cloud technology and all that InterSystems is doing to elevate their products in the cloud space. And so that is been very, it has been a very exciting set of work that we've been taking on as well as, you know, enhancing integration and, and helping all of the healthcare customers out there do integration in a way that is more efficient and cheaper ultimately for them. I'll let Chi comment more on that. And anything else. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:05:24 What I wanted to add, oh, yeah, I wanted to add to what Heather was saying is I think something that, you know, as implementers and partners who have been long in this space, we sort of have that broader view and we've sort of seen the evolution of the, not just the healthcare integration space, but also InterSystems part in it, and then also the evolution of implementers and, you know, what is required to be an effective implementer and developer in this space. And that has always kind of changed and grown, and we've seen that as well. And that is something that's really exciting to me, you know, having both a development background and an educational background as well as a background leading teams. Just seeing like, how, what's the people question, right? What's the combination of personal skills, technical skills, that you bring to a successful healthcare implementation project. And, that I think is something that we're very cognizant of as Lead North, as we kind of see how that whole space has evolved, people and technology, and we are excited to kind of find the right mix to, as Heather mentioned, kind of bridge the gap between that. Derek Robinson 00:06:42 Right, right. Yeah, that's great. And, and I think that kind of leads into the next question I was gonna ask, which is, you know, as you've built this experience and building your teams and building your, you know, projects and integrations and using InterSystems technology, what have been some of the key lessons learned and valuable discoveries that you've seen that you might share with another organization that's starting to adopt the technology, build their teams, to become expert in the technology? I know, Chi, one of the things you, that you just mentioned there was the people question, right? Like, making sure that you have the skills matching up with, you know, the technologies and the mission that you're trying to accomplish. So what are some of the key lessons learned or things that you'd share to the next organization that's looking to get onboarded and kind of get, start their journey with these technologies? Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:07:24 <laugh> Well, the first thing I would say is, and this is a little bit of a plug for Learning Services is, it is amazing the, sort of the advancements that InterSystems Learning Services has done in recent years. And like I said, seeing it kind of evolve over time. I think definitely jump on the many resources that are there. And that's something that we are really leveraging at Lead North is to, both partner and use the resources that, you know, and feedback into the resources, that InterSystems has available, and really hook in, all in, into that. I really feel that in this space, as in any technology space, but this space in particular, the healthcare space remaps itself. Every couple years, your reality is changing and you need to move with that. And so, along those lines, you know, we really, I would, you know, make use of training, but also keep your eye open as to what's new on the horizon. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:08:25 I think that the advice I got early in my career was not to be married to any one technology, and it's very, very important in integration, where one day you are doing TCP/IP, the next day you're doing HTTP APIs, and now we're moving on, we have cloud computing, there's always something new on the horizon. And so for a new company, you almost have an advantage <laugh>, right? You, you're starting, and starting anew and keeping your ear to the ground, and business is constantly changing. Heather Capel 00:08:58 I can add, I think in our company, one of the things that we are focused on finding, is people who have that inner drive, that are, you know, looking to take their skills from an I-can-get-this-work-done level to the next level. That takes a combination of things, from leadership ability to just a willingness to fight through, to figure stuff out, and to be always learning. You know, our mission as a company is to provide opportunities to people who don't necessarily have an easy path in the door in this industry. It takes a lot of skill to do the type of work that we do, but there are ways to make it easier, and there are ways to train people to do this. This isn't impossible to teach, and the right foundation there is what's important. So it's not always easy to hone in on exactly who those people are, but they are out there, and they're fantastic. So it's something that we're really focused on finding. Derek Robinson 00:10:14 Absolutely. Yeah. It sounds like, go ahead. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:10:17 I would say…I was gonna say, for any organization, definitely for starting organizations in any space, it's mindset over skillset. It really is, and my personal motto is that anything can be learned, everything can be hacked. And if you have that mindset and you come into any space, that's absolutely who we're looking for. And absolutely, you know, the other gaps, the skillset and the domain knowledge, we can fill those things in. We have, we have that view of what's necessary, and we just need the willing and able <laugh> minds to bring to it. Derek Robinson 00:10:52 Yeah, absolutely. It sounds like a very, you know, people-centric approach and like really putting that first in the order of operations, right? That kind of leads me into my final question for the two of you, which is, what's next for Lead North? You know, where are you headed? What, what things are in your vision, kind of a chance to promote and plug your kind of, mission, as an organization? What's on the horizon? Heather Capel 00:11:13 I think a lot of what we've talked about already here is all sort of tied together. You know, we are very passionate about our people, as we just talked about. It is, people development is core to who we are. It is something that we try to focus on every single day. We try to find projects and, you know, work that is exciting for our people, but also, you know, where we can bring a lot of value to our customers. Bringing time to value is really key. It's part of our motto, basically, where we're trying to bring the value faster, and do it in a more efficient way. A lot of our customers and a lot of, you know, the healthcare organizations that exist out there, struggle today. It's a huge pain point for them to pay tons of money for integration, and for these projects that are, on the surface should be repeatable. And that shouldn't cost a lot of money to implement the same thing over and over. So we are really passionate about trying to help with that situation and work towards a better future, more sustainable future, for our customers. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:12:33 Yeah. I like to phrase it as, I think it's two parts. It's training on one side, it's tooling on the other. That is our constant mindset—that sort of divide again, between people and technology. I was really excited to join Heather in her mission, just seeing that from the beginning she was making, you know, a concerted effort to invest in people. And that's something that's absolutely, you know, we talk about the magic, we talk about the secret sauce, but it really can be as simple as that. Invest in trust, invest in upskilling, and the rest will follow with a lot of work <laugh>. Derek Robinson 00:13:11 Right. Yeah, that's great. And, I'm sure we'll be looking forward to continuing to work with you at Lead North, and I know we have some more conversations planned for this podcast as well. So, Heather, Chi, thank you so much for joining us, and we're excited to see what the future holds for Lead North. Heather Capel 00:13:24 Thank you very much for having us. Chi Nguyen-Rettig 00:13:26 Thank you. Derek Robinson 00:13:29 Thanks again to Heather and Chi for joining for that conversation. The conversation with Chi actually continues for a few more topics, which you'll hear in upcoming episodes of Data Points as well. I should note that if you're a customer or partner like Lead North with an interesting story that users might benefit from hearing, please feel free to reach out to us. You could be featured on a podcast episode like this one, as we try to amplify the voices of our customers and partners, to further our learners' experiences. And any helpful stories and anecdotes and lessons learned that they can gather from people in the field who have done this, is always helpful as a learner. That'll do it for this episode. We'll see you next time on Data Points.

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