“By faith Noah, having been warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” –Hebrews 11:7. Contrary to popular belief, the Biblical lesson here is not about sticking to your guns in the face of doubters, rather, it’s about the dangers of indifference.
I recently had the opportunity to see a presentation of CoreX, GHX’s new exchange platform. And “yes,” while Noah’s predicament crossed my mind, these are my other impressions:
It is clear GHX company officials have calculated a future where the speed of business will require CoreX-like functionality. Without a doubt, GHX will be criticized for building a behemoth, because it has. Competitive exchange providers will position against it by saying that it’s over-engineered relative to current standards, because it is. Therefore, if a tug of war is shaping up, GHX would be wise to let go of the rope, because it openly admits to building CoreX for the long haul.
Said Steve Cochran, GHX’s CTO, “The industry needs a modern and scalable primary exchange. And you don’t build something like this after the fact. CoreX is capable of clearing millions of transactions each day, regardless of type, including transactions that may originate on other private networks. Other industries already rely on this kind of capability. Healthcare absolutely needs this.”
Although industry watchers talk about commoditization, if that’s so, then why are these systems increasingly bound by a growing array of exceptions?
That’s why CoreX is not only about bigger, more reliable pipes but also about managing the nuances that define expressive commerce. Like other modern computing frameworks, CoreX uses roles, a rules engine and the ability to configure workflows. When a transaction violates a rule, it is impounded, the right people are alerted and the fix is on. And because the system identifies exceptions and manages the resolution process inline, all relevant information (e.g. the entire transaction history) is instantly made available in a summary report that can be literally drilled to bits. Moreover, CoreX presents via a common interface, so the alerted parties all see the same information the same way and, if need be, at the same time. Their actions become part of a fully documented and auditable, inline history.
Despite the fact that no other healthcare exchange offering approaches its speed and scalability (CoreX has already reduced process cycle times from hours to minutes), it’s the way it handles exceptions and its modern, app-driven environment that distinguishes it. Order types are segmented (e.g. rush, drop ship, consignment, etc.), rules can be precisely configured (exceptions and alerts are therefore made more valid), and resolution becomes a meaningful process, not a daily drag. The system’s inline messaging capability supports an active, informed dialogue between trading partners, fueling continuous incremental improvements designed to eliminate exceptions, drive compliance and increase speed.
CoreX is an e-commerce platform that operates “as-a-service.” It’s a network that already inter-connects tens of thousands of systems. It is capable of moving millions of documents and invoices each day with an ability to drive transaction processing to near real time. CoreX supports an environment where information will be shared and value-adding apps will find a home. It addresses so many gaps relative to other exchange offerings that functional comparisons are probably not valid.
If you’re still thinking that CoreX may sound a little too much like a Ferrari in a Toyota space, consider this: Microsoft product managers became painfully aware that very little of the available functionality in MS/Office was ever used. Numerous studies confirmed the numbers at about 5%, so Microsoft took a gamble and decided to build and price a version of Word that contained the magical, reduced set. The product was a colossal flop. No one wanted it. And over time, they learned that their power users wielded greater influence than they had thought. They were their strongest marketing assets.
There’s comfort in knowing you’ve got it if you need it.
And when considering the changing dynamics in healthcare, the numbers, size and scope of the industry’s defining networks and the current business “arc” (pardon the pun), try to think about CoreX functionality in terms of bandwidth. If history has taught us anything, haven’t we already learned that there’s never enough?
A successful deployment of CoreX should re-set the industry’s expectation for exchanges, as it could reactivate a more optimistic vision of e-commerce. Even references to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” seem appropriate. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, in a free market, the invisible hand is defined as an unseen force that facilitates the demand and supply of goods in pursuit of a healthier equilibrium. Players still act in their own interests, but the interests of the greater good are also served, if not elevated.
The point is, CoreX has that kind of capacity today and makes it available on demand. As it has no codified or architectural limits, it can scale to support a future that will be defined by an ever increasing need for accuracy and speed.
Come to think of it, Noah actually didn’t build his ark for a hypothetical future. He built it with knowledge that it was needed the moment it was finished.