MMIT Team

Brian Johnson

July 26, 2021

Brian Johnson is the director of network operations at MMIT, where he runs a team that manages everything from creating client usernames and passwords to finding the best solutions for automation within applications and client tools.

What’s an example of some of the work you do?

I make sure our applications are performing, and so I work on architecting network solutions. We recently moved pretty much all of our application stack to the cloud. This was a project that started in October of last year, and was completed in May of this year. I worked on finding the right place to put these applications, which was a complete overhaul. All the databases moved and so did all of our applications: Analytics, FormTrack, the API and Formulary Navigator. There’s probably 20 or 30 minor applications that go along with that.

Brian Johnson is the director of network operations at MMIT, where he runs a team that manages everything from creating client usernames and passwords to finding the best solutions for automation within applications and client tools.

What’s an example of some of the work you do?

I make sure our applications are performing, and so I work on architecting network solutions. We recently moved pretty much all of our application stack to the cloud. This was a project that started in October of last year, and was completed in May of this year. I worked on finding the right place to put these applications, which was a complete overhaul. All the databases moved and so did all of our applications: Analytics, FormTrack, the API and Formulary Navigator. There’s probably 20 or 30 minor applications that go along with that.

What is your day-to-day like?

What I mainly work toward is being able to hand off our network projects to my team so they always know what to do, step-by-step. I set the groundwork so everybody going forward has the exact same setup and can work through their tasks. We just had a recent acquisition [of the Dedham Group] and they want some things integrated, so most recently I was working to get their resources in our ecosystem.

When you work on projects like the cloud overhaul, do you usually use your team members or is it more of a solo project?

I took on a lot of that particular project, since it was a huge undertaking and very visible. I had other teammates like my system engineer working on the email migration. And since it’s a different ecosystem in the cloud, we worked with the developers to be able to show all of the different design changes. We also had meetings with Microsoft, and we’d bounce ideas off of them. I had to learn from other people using Microsoft resources.

What do you like about working at MMIT?

The technology that we touch, everything is just so new and there’s nothing to hold you back. When we moved to the cloud, it was very much about finding the best solution for us. The leadership backed this, instead of just wanting to find the quickest solution. The investment in technology, the investment in learning — we were provided technical classes on the cloud platform —  and the investment in our people to have further knowledge of the applications and the architecture that we’re using is awesome.

Where do you think MMIT’s tech will be in the next 5-10 years?

I think it’s great that we’re getting our feet wet in cloud solutions because it opens up more possibilities in automation. When all of our applications lived in our data center, automation wasn’t as easy and we couldn’t scale to where we wanted to be. I think that’s where we are headed with automation of scale so that when you need resources, they’re available on demand.Spotli

What do you like to do in your free time?

My free time is more or less completely consumed by sports for my kids. My son plays baseball and my daughter plays softball, and I coach both of them. So I spend my time either in the backyard pitching to them, coaching them or bringing them to practices.

by Lisa Gillespie

Michael Dietz

June 28, 2021

Michael Dietz started as a product owner at MMIT in September 2020, where he works mainly in the data services department. He works to automate data extraction, helping to smooth access to therapies for MMIT clients.

What products do you manage?

I manage an application that extracts, transforms and loads data for our data operations team. We access public sources and obtain publicly available data to create insights and make better decisions from it all.

Michael Dietz started as a product owner at MMIT in September 2020, where he works mainly in the data services department. He works to automate data extraction, helping to smooth access to therapies for MMIT clients.

What products do you manage?

I manage an application that extracts, transforms and loads data for our data operations team. We access public sources and obtain publicly available data to create insights and make better decisions from it all.

And what is your day-to-day like?

I work very closely with MMIT’s data operations team, analyzing their needs, because ultimately that is the client that I work for. I’m taking back requests of what type of data they’re looking to obtain, creating methods to obtain the data efficiently and automate the collection of that data. This takes a lot of the manual work out of the equation and allows the technology to do that for everyone.

And why not gather the data manually?

Traditionally, someone would access a public source, look up and collect coverage or restriction data, then import the data to our database. That process requires a lot of manual effort and takes a lot of work.

Where I come into the equation is to say, we’ve identified a repeatable process here, it has standard steps to collect data, so let’s build a program to do that for us.

Are you able to automate data collection for everything you need?

There are times when we just can’t — the data could be updated infrequently, or it’s in a format that we can’t process. So there are certainly cases where automation is not the answer. In those cases, we have a team that can evaluate and bring that in for our data operations team to use.

What would you say MMIT does, in your own words?

I could not say it any better than our motto, which is that we smooth access to therapies. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for our clients to access drug and coverage data, discover trends and derive insights. We strive to meet that goal every day.

What is your favorite part of the job?

The variety, hands down. We work with so many different talented people and there is never a dull moment in trying to solve some of these problems to the data that we want. Every day is a new opportunity and there’s always somebody new to work with.

What’s been one of your biggest challenges?

Maintaining the vast amount of sources of data. Each of these sources updates individually and maintains their data in different ways. The challenge is in keeping on top of everything and ensuring that we consistently obtain the data and make it available to the data operations team.

Where do you think MMIT will be in five years?

One of the exciting things on the horizon for us is that we are starting to further utilize data science to make some of the decisions around pharmaceutical and health care product data. I can see where we are in five years: We will be able to predict when coverage changes occur, have the ability to notify our clients sooner and gain a better understanding of how that affects the overall health care industry. I believe the future for MMIT is becoming more intelligent with the way we obtain and process data.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I am married and have a 4-year-old son, so my family keeps me plenty busy. I also love to garden and to cook. We moved into a new house recently that was pretty much a blank slate. So I’m always planting new flower beds, new gardens, new trees, and enjoying our home.