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JJ Wild, Perot, Dell...

September 24, 2009
by vciotti
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Once upon a time about 40 years ago, Meditech decided it did not want to mess with hardware, and picked JJ WIld form nearby Canton, Mass. as their official source for DEC hardware. This was back in the days of CRTs, not PCs, and JJ actually had to modify the firmware in DEC's devices to get them to work properly with Meditech's proprietary version of MUMPS, then known than as MIIS, today as Magic.


JJ prospered well, as only a few savvy buyers had the sense to go to Data General for competitive bids, which usually came in well below JJ's quotes. Wild added Meditech "consulting" (read "implementation") services, and they grew to over $80M a year in annual revenue, with minimal sales expenses besides a direct line to nearby Meditech. By the 2000s, DEC and DG minis were long gone, and in the server space, hospitals buying Meditech had to turn to Dell or IBM to get competitive bids to JJ Wild, usually at less cost/profit.


This runaway success caught the eye of Perot in 2007. Perot paid $87M for JJ Wild, gaining an entree into the 1,000+ Meditech US sites, as well as hundreds of Canadian and overseas clients. Perot's "consulting" was expanded to now include Meditech implementation expertise, a lucrative market with the lemming-like sales success of Meditech's "Client/Server" system (quotes are from their contract).


Now what does Dell have to do with all this? Well, if your PC sales are slipping about as fast as your service reputation, you've got to do something, or the Board will replace you with a new management team, so you buy your way into a niche that is currently being "stimulated" by $34B of taxpayers money. What does it mean to Meditech clients and prospects? Well, now you can't get competitive quotes from Dell any more, so you'll only have IBM/Compaq to keep JJ/Perot/Dell honest....


Confused? Just get bids from any other of the 20-odd (sic) HIS vendors (except Judy) who bundle hardware with software in what they call a "System." Breakthrough concept, huh?

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Medical Manager was doing the same thing with inflated prices for SCO Unix servers and $900 dot matrix printers. Those small doc offices didn't know any better and would trust the vendor to sell them something at a reasonable price. I guess customers still hope their vendors sell them something at a reasonable price.

vciotti

Vince Ciotti's HIS Vendor blog covers the latest developments in the vendor scene such as:...