Be it managing high performance teams or taking an organisation to its utmost heights, an experienced leader is prepared for anything. This is certainly true of Procura Software Managing Director, Garry Neale. His unique ideologies and persistent approach towards meeting goals have led him to achieving many milestones en route to his current standing.
CIO LOOK admires such leaders and appreciates their contribution in the ever-evolving IT and healthcare sector. As such, CIO LOOK takes pride in featuring Garry as Leader of the Year in its new edition “Influential Leaders in Healthcare, 2019.”
Below is his story.
Garry hails from Portsmouth, England which is the home of the British Navy, Charles Dickens, and even Sir Henry Ayers—who gave his name to Ayers Rock. He developed his competitive nature in his teen years competing at a national level in both athletics and soccer before moving to London to study Electronic Engineering. His professional career began in the hardware and software laboratories for IBM which in his case stood for “I’ve Been Moved” as he was relocated to several different divisions, locations and roles, providing him with a broad base of experience across the technology industry.
He then moved to Boole & Babbage Software who in a short space of time went on to purchase both a partner company and a competitor before subsequently being acquired itself by BMC Software. Being involved in these mergers and acquisitions, on both ends, has left a strong mark on his management style and given him absolute empathy and respect for his employees during these times of change and uncertainty. It was through these turbulent times that he realised the only constant in business is change—sales still have to be made, projects still have to be delivered, and targets still have to be reached. Resilience and the ability to stay focused on the important matters was key to effective leadership.
His first start-up was with Clarity Blue in the data and customer analytics sector and after a very rapid growth and achieving the desired exit point in 2003, he emigrated to Australia to work for Fujitsu Management Consulting. After two years at Fujitsu, including leading the bid team to a $100 million tender win at Education Queensland, he then spent seven years managing software companies in accounts payable automation and risk management until joining Procura Software in 2012.
He now has over 30 years of experience in the Software industry across Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific managing the delicate juggling act of protecting and driving investor interests whilst ensuring the absolute optimum outcomes for all clients. This journey has included start-ups, turnarounds, multi-nationals and lots of M&A activity and despite all of this, he still retains his sense of humor.
One of Garry’s keys to success is his humble and straight forward attitude. At Procura, whenever there is a new requirement from the marketplace, the company is not arrogant enough to think that it can always develop the best solution. It will review the existing best-of-breed products and technologies in the space and, where appropriate, enter into a partnership arrangement which may potentially lead to an acquisition at a later stage. The Procura product set has been re-developed as a Cloud solution with an (Application Programming Interface) API-first development strategy which allows it to readily integrate and leverage third party products. The company also run regular User Groups and Client Advisory Boards to ensure that the teams are building end-to-end solutions which meet its clients’ current and future needs.
Garry believes that ‘integrity’ is the hallmark of a successful leader, and this is at the heart of everything Procura does; whether it is being open and frank in communication with clients about both good news and bad, or internally with staff, leadership and shareholders. It may not always deliver on-time and onbudget 100% of the time (although the company tries exceptionally hard), but Procura will always be open with clients and stakeholders so that expectations can be set appropriately and contingent plans can be updated. Having a strong EQ and sense of humour is important for building great relationships and Garry personally prides himself on being at his best in times of crisis when a leader needs to be at their most centered and productive.
With such a huge burden of legislation and compliance in the Healthcare sector, and with such a rapidly changing landscape, having an exceptional team of staff is by far the most important asset to ensure success. Procura has recruited some of the best clinicians, implementers, trainers, product managers and sales staff in the industry and Garry’s role is to attract, retain, and incentivise those staff, and remove any barriers to their success.
Being a software company, Procura employs IT professionals at the cutting edge of the current digital disruption in the aged care sector. It is constantly researching and developing tomorrow’s requirements to stay at the forefront of the industry. It operates within a network of complementary software providers and Garry regularly meets with other CIO’s and CEO’s to share and partner on latest developments.
As Procura is a multinational company, it also relies heavily on the latest communication and collaboration applications in order to successfully coordinate teams across the globe. Procura employs professionals who can work anywhere and at any time to meet demand. The business needs to operate with staff working from home, those in different time zones, and those who work in a different client office each week. The ability to run projects on time and within budget all rely on good people and even better technology, and Procura is often praised by clients for their ability to deliver, support and enhance care for their patients. It has recently launched the PainChek mobile application as an important part of its Procura Clinical Management System which integrates Pain Management, Wound Management and Medication Management into a holistic clinical care solution. This is a market-leading solution in the aged-care industry.
Once the app has been used to scan the patient’s face and assess for pain (even with a patient who is unable to communicate), a chart is created in Procura. A series of automated workflows then ensure that the appropriate medication is administered, reviewed and managed, and can even initiate a GP consultation if appropriate. Pain trends are then monitored and recorded over time to optimise this process and ensure the best outcomes for the patient. This has already proven to be lifechanging for both patients and caregivers, as previously the alternative was to over-medicate, sometimes further sedating patients and contributing to their inability to communicate.
The Procura team has grown the business in Australia and New Zealand from five customers and six staff in 2012, to over 200 customers and 60 staff currently. It has just achieved the milestone of 1 billion home care visits managed through their software. The next five years are already mapped out to continue to push the product into the cloud to reduce cost and complexity of ownership. It will then continue to build an ecosystem of tightly integrated best-of-breed products and technologies to ensure end-to-end Client Management, Clinical and Financial Systems. Garry is also looking at further acquisitions of aligned product companies to accelerate the company’s growth and ensure that it stays ahead of the pack.