Data Innovations' Vail listens to customers

Feb. 1, 2009

Gregory R. Vail



Data Innovations


BS, Computer Science

Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Enjoys golf, skiing,
watching professional sports,
and playing poker.

DI middleware concept. Our concept of
middleware is reflected in our vision statement, where we put forth our
goal of increasing efficiency and improving workflow within the clinical
lab. Many products in our segment, including ours, started as interface
engines, hence the outdated term “middleware.” In more than 15 years of
listening to our growing customer base, we have developed additional
functionality that aids labs as they move towards a manufacturing
paradigm. These features include applications such as specimen routing,
results processing, quality assurance, specimen storage and retrieval,
equipment maintenance, and data mining. All of these applications are
designed to assist the lab in meeting today's challenges of staff
shortages, increased workload, budget constraints, and increasingly
complex testing — and extend far beyond interfacing. The ultimate goal
of the lab and, therefore, of our products and services, is to use these
tools to positively impact patient care.

Partnering with large healthcare companies.
We prefer “partner” over “supplier” and are proud to count most of the
industry's leading companies among our partners. We formed our first
partnership in 1993 (still a partner today) and now have over 40 active
partnerships throughout the world. Our core tenets have led to our
leadership role in the area of partnering; these are present throughout
our vision statement, which is “To positively impact patient care by
applying the discipline of customer intimacy in partnerships that
increase efficiencies and improve workflow through delivery of the
world's best total middleware solutions to the clinical laboratory.” We
apply the discipline of customer intimacy; we believe it is important to
our partners because it demonstrates our focus on cultivating a
relationship, not solely in developing software or distributing in
quantity. The underlying value proposition of this discipline is the
delivery of a best total solution whereby we offer a superior range of
services that allow our partners to get the most out of our products.
One example of an activity that we classify as a service, where others
might not, is our commitment to the quality of our products and the
company behind them. For that reason, we have attained ISO13485
certification and offer the only FDA 510(k)-cleared middleware product
on the market, Instrument Manager (IM).

Global scope: support, training, consulting.
Owning and operating offices throughout the world is an important part
of supporting many of our partners that are global companies themselves.
In delivering a total solution, we believe that the services surrounding
a product are every bit as important as the product. We offer training
in the forms of classroom, personalized, on-site, and e-learning, most
allowing students to earn valuable P.A.C.E. credits. In support of our
partnering program, we offer train-the-trainer instruction, including
electronic copies of our materials, in sales, customer service, and the
product. We provide worldwide 24-hour support, offer both on-site and
remote installation assistance, and make available a remote- monitoring
and disaster-recovery service called IMLink. Our consulting group is
staffed with experienced medical technologists, including an active CAP
inspector, and is available to help our customers get the maximum return
on investment from their implementation of our products.

Acquisition of P.G.P., Brussels.
Acquisitions are a natural progression as a market comes of age, and I
firmly believe middleware is at that stage. As the largest global player
in our segment, we considered the opportunity to acquire the leading
European middleware company as a definitive move to distance ourselves
from the competition. Foremost, in P.G.P., we acquired an experienced,
talented group of middleware specialists. Secondly, we increased our
marketshare in Europe and added a second middleware product, Laboratory
Production Manager, a complementary piece to our product portfolio.
Regarding future acquisition activity, we will always actively seek
opportunities that broaden our offerings and reinforce our leadership
status within the middleware market segment.