“Even without the current shutdown the relationship between the government and technology vendors and thought-leaders is radically changing,” observes John Davis, NewWave’s Chief Knowledge Officer. “The pace of technological change and the learning curve for public servants requires a different set of relationships than we had in the past to get government – and the American people – the solutions they need. The vendor community needs to work together and present public servants with options, concepts and possibilities. NewWave’s relationship with Microsoft is a great example of that kind of relationship-first work,” Davis says.
“If you look at the intellectual, technical and business symbiosis NewWave folks bring to their engagement with Microsoft to support CMS,” Davis adds, “you’ll have an example of the way forward.”
“My scope with Microsoft is extremely broad,” similarly reflects NewWave’s Chief Technology Officer Greg Harris, when asked how this symbiosis works at NewWave. “I have been in many strategic sessions where [NewWave] discussed Microsoft roadmaps for various products including Azure, Data Services and Resolute … I’ve worked with them on a number of initiatives including one currently, around doing conversions between HipChat and Microsoft Teams for Microsoft’s government users. I wrote the initial versions of the Ethereum contracts for MyCareAI [NewWave’s consumer-focused health record application] which are now hosted on Azure Blockchain services. I leveraged Microsoft Cognitive Services to provide [an AI solution to CMS]. I initially organized the purchase of the Hololens devices and have been intimately involved each year in the production of our AR applications. Basically, I have been working with Microsoft since I have been at NewWave,” Harris concludes.
Similarly, Johnathon Brett, NewWave’s Director of Cloud & Infrastructure Engineering has been a singular champion of the Azure platform at CMS. “We have empowered CPI [Center for Program Integrity at CMS) to reduce costs and expand their audit and recovery activities,” Brett observes when asked about his work with Microsoft. “NewWave first stabilized [CPI’s]legacy system. Then, after virtualizing the environment, we migrated the environment to Azure utilizing IaaS, simultaneously supporting ongoing audits on the legacy platform. As the migration was being completed, a full re-write of the application began, re-envisioning the entire application architecture into cloud-native technologies,” he reflects. “The new micro-services environment was built on Kubernetes and a MySQL backend. This virtualization and migration was completed in 6 months with no down time,” Brett notes with some pride. “We supported Microsoft in every area of technology in Azure for Government. NewWave continues to utilize Azure to bring down cost and accelerate innovation across CMS.”
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NewWave’s Senior Vice President for Informatics Aaron Seib’s Microsoft symbiosis is even more personal. “For the last seven years I, as an individual and several hundred other folks have participated in the FHIR community,” he notes. “The FHIR community started when 6 people gathered around a table and realized that they were all working on things at the national standards level for the ONC [Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology] and others related to exchanging health information. One of those people was Josh Mandel (Chief Architect at Microsoft Healthcare),” Seib recounts.
“Over the years Josh and I have spent many hundreds of hours on complementary stuff not infrequently passing ideas by one another and often – for me – being grateful to be challenged by his prowess in this domain,” he says. “We’ve shared panels together and gone to numerous meetings with ‘influencers’ pushing the agenda of consumer access. Our relationship is based on years of demonstrated trust and shared risk taking. It is beyond career level ambitions and specific to improving care for as many people as we can in our collective lifetimes,” says Seib.
“This is precisely the work that needs to be done,” says Davis, reviewing the contributions of his NewWave colleagues. “Ideas and technology created in conversation is how to solve problems for government,” Davis points out. “That is what we are trying to do at NewWave.”
Date: January 23, 2019