Mike Byers is the chief executive officer of HighRoads, a company that helps its clients with benefits plan management and healthcare compliance through its cloud-based SaaS offering. Mike has studied at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management and has more than 30 years of experience in finance and software. In this interview he describes HighRoads’ value proposition in the benefits and healthcare space and gives us a few interesting use cases.
Sramana Mitra: Mike, let´s start with introducing you as well as HighRoads to our audience.
Mike Byers: Thank you for the interview. I appreciate the opportunity. My background is an almost 30-year career that started in finance as a CPA. In 1990 I joined my first software company. The first half of my career I spent in a finance function – CFO. I have been a CEO since roughly 2000 for two different organizations. I have spent the last nine years with HighRoads.
SM: What is HighRoads?
MB: HighRoads, until recently, has been a tech-enabled services company helping Fortune 500 companies manage everything from the procurement of a healthcare plan or a benefit plan right to the communication of those plans to employees – most notably a document referred to as a summary plan description. It is a legal agreement between an employee and an employer as to what the employee is entitled to for a particular benefit plan, a pension and savings or a 401(k) plan. Some of our clients today include companies like IBM, Boeing, General Dynamics, Dell, etc.
SM: Pick any three of your clients, and let’s double click down into what problems you are solving and how you are solving them.
MB: The first one I will pick is General Dynamics – a Fortune 100 company that has just over 100,000 active employees, a significant number of retirees and 14 individual business units. The most relevant problem they were faced with was the ability to aggregate all their benefit plan information that had been stored in their business units – aggregating that data, normalizing it, and making it accessible to the HR professionals.
The second thing we did was provide an automated way for them to renew their HMOs – that was something that was being done by third-party consultants at a fairly expensive rate – and then take that process and automate their summary plan description management needs. The aggregation of all those services in the first couple of years had about a 75% reduction in their spending.
The way we did that was through a combination of our people and our technology. It was a novel approach when we first started working with General Dynamics, which was about 10 years ago. They have consistently stayed as a client of ours, and over the years we added new functionality in order for them to gain greater efficiency in their HR department.