Terri Mitchell 2 21 17

Terri Mitchell , Vice President
Explorys Integration Executive

Terri is responsible for leading the end to end integration of the acquisition of Explorys into Watson Health in IBM

Background Information
She previously led the integrations of both Texas Memory Systems and Blade Network Technologies into Systems & Technology Group. In her role as an Integration Executive, Terri enables newly acquired businesses and employees to grow and flourish within IBM. Her approach also identifies best practices from the new organizations that can be adopted within IBM.

Terri has held executive positions in System x and Storage, and served as the IBM Tucson Senior Location Executive. In 2001 she worked as Technical Assistant to Lou Gerstner, former IBM CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Terri is passionate about enabling women in technology and recently founded and led Empowering Women to Innovate and Thrive (eWIT), an event for North Carolina college students enrolled in STEM majors. She is an executive sponsor of NEW (Network of Emerging Women Leaders) and very active in both the Raleigh and Houston events. Throughout her career, Terri has also been a founding member of two women’s diversity networking groups: Tucson, AZ and Portland, OR.

Additional Information
Forbes: [http://www.forbes.com/feeds/general/2005/04/08/generalazdailystar_2005_04_08_eng-azdailystar_eng-azdailystar_044715_4572299770187978773.html]
LinkedIn: [https://www.linkedin.com/in/terri-mitchell-79059124/]


  • Introduction
    • Previous Work
    • Family life / hobbies
  • Characterization of Acquisitions
    • Complementary Point Products
    • Opportunistic Consolidations
    • Adjacent Segment
    • Bold Market Entry / Leadership
  • Acquisition Critical Success Factors
    • Strategy Assessment
    • Concept Approval
    • Negotiation / Diligence / Integration
  • Engagement Categories
    • Clarity
    • Empowerment
    • Support and Enablement
    • Rewards and Recognition
    • Team and Collaboration
    • Innovation
  • Career Phases
    • Early Career
    • Management
    • Breaking Out
    • Executive
  • Guiding Principles
    • Give others respect
    • Follow your gut
    • Things happen for a reason
  • Getting New Positions
    • The Network
    • Willingness to relocate
    • Wish she rather:
      • Had a better plan
      • Been more vocal about what she wanted
  • Early Career
    • Delivery and execution
    • Good communication skills
    • The environment is not level
  • Management
    • Take the lead when business priorities are not clear
    • Balance Loyalty and Self Advocacy
    • Make personal/professional priority decisions to guide you
  • Breaking Out
    • "Stormy Seas Make Great Captains"
    • Balance involvement in the details with focus on the big picture
  • Executive
    • Right people in the right positions
    • Leverage Big IBM
    • Handle Boundaries
  • Leave of Absence
    • Mom
    • Volunteer

2/21/17 Pre-Discussion Notes

[Scribe 1 Notes]

        VP of IBM Watson Health
        She's also a graduate of a Jesuit college
        The main reason she's in Cleveland is that she's responsible for integrating Explorus into IBM
    Presentation is entitled "What I've learned and am willing to share"
        They acquired Explorus in April of 2015
        They also acquired another company on the same day; and, simultaneously, announced IBM Watson Health
        They essentially acquire companies with HIT experience and expertise and attempt to integrate them into IBM, which previously didn't have such expertise
        She's the VP, Explorys Integration Executive, Watson Health 
            Currently working on the 3rd integration; similar initiatives generally take around ~2 years
        After she did her first integration, she really liked integrations
            Some things she did correctly, but she also made some mistakes
            She's on her third integration because she'd like to improve her integration skills
        She graduated in 1985 with a BS in Computer Science 
            At this time, 37% of CS degrees went to women
            In 2010, this percentage dropped to 18%
            About 30-40% of her classes at the time were women, but apparently we've taken a step back
            Now is the time to empower women in technology, to promote creativity, rid oneself of groupthink, and embrace diversity
        Her dad worked for IBM and she grew up in Upstate New York, the HQ of IBM
            The father of everyone she knew worked at IBM
        She has two kids
            Her son is 21 at the University of Arizona
            Her daughter is 17 
        Through her IBM career, she's moved a lot; and that's why she wanted to move back to Arizona
            She started in NY, then to Tuscon, then a whole bunch of different places, then to Oregon, back to Tuscon, then to Raleigh, NC
            At this time, the kids were getting older and started to vocalize their desires more strongly
            Moving so much began to impact her children's lives
        She's really passionate about empowering women
            In IBM, they have some women's networking groups that she founded
            Often, they'll have conferences at universities for the purpose of networking with female STEM members
        She feels that she has a pretty balanced like; not every day is balanced, but she does well for herself
            She's there for all the important familial things, and even some of the unimportant things
    Acquisitions and Integrations (cont'd)
        In IBM, we characterize deals into four categories
        Complementary Point Products
            Highly complementary technology buys that fill gaps in core platforms
            Typically small start-up companies
            Gain time to market
            Leverage IVM sales channels
        Opportunistic Consolidations
            Companies with significant revenue streams in IVM core segments
            Retain customers and leverage install base
            Achieve cost & expense synergies
            Clear communication of product roadmap is key
        Adjacent Segment
            Companies with significant revenue streams that have an affinity to IVM core business
            Leverage IBM sales channels and customer relationships
            Leaders are often IBM partners
            Manage parnter impacts
        Bold Market Entry/Leadership
            Leap into a new market area
            Market leaders in new growth segments
            Strong ecosystems
            Large customer install bases
            Usually command premium valuations
        Watson health has been forming as they've integrated more and more companies
        Watson has acquired over 150 companies, but the rate of acquisition ebbs and flows
        Qualities that Watson looks for in a company:
            Willingness of the company to be acquired
            Culture -- what kind of corporate culture do they have and will it be a fit in the business unit that they're going into?
            Their financials
            Their customers -- do they have the same customers as us, or are they going to enable us to grow our customer base
            Where they're located, what kind of area of the country -- is it an area that's hard to keep or attract skills?
                Typically, they buy a company and accelerate their growth -- double the people that they have
                Sometimes California companies are hard to keep skills
        How do you guys ensure that there are constantly startup companies available?
            They have a capital group that funds some new startup-type companies
        There's a very formal process for acquisition
            There's something called a deal committee run by the IBM CFO -- representation across all of IBM
            Firstly, there's a strategy approval
                For example, you're a manager and you see the market moving from hard disks to flash, you could get an agreement for a strategy exploration
                You start talking to a number of companies and put everybody on confidential agreements because you're sharing secrets
                Sometimes the companies really just say: "We really just want to get bought"
                As you work through this strategy and you talk to the companies, you can't make it known that you're going to go try to buy somebody
                    That could affect their stock price
                    There have been people that have been fired and got in trouble with the government for insider trading, so it's all really well controlled
                Then, narrow the companies down to ones that they want to buy, and get approval again
            Concept Approval
                Get down to brass task -- establish how much you want to pay for the company
                Then, get really formal with the target company and go into something called due diligence
                We give them this list of 1500 pieces of data that they want to collect
                    This is really hard for these small companies, who don't have much staff, to provide this data. 
                    But they do it
                    These small companies literally work themselves around the clock -- it's apparently hilarious.
                    This last typically three days
                We harden the skies with IBMers and meet in some neutral location in a hotel or someplace
                They're not supposed to wear anything that says IBM, because they're a big deal, and they gather all their data
                They then put together their final case and go back and get their final approval to proceed with the hiring
                Depending on whether the company is public or private, it takes different regulatory reviews
                And then they announce their intention to acquire
                    This is just an announcement
                It can take anywhere from a month to six months to actually close
                Planning starts at due diligence
                It's a really good idea to be there for the due diligence, because then the business case is set
                    You know exactly how much money you'll get back for IBM
                There's some important metrics that her performance is measured on:
                    Whether she meets the business case
                    Retention rate (of the employees)
                        There are different metrics for this
                        But, for example, for the first year, you want to keep 90-100%
        One of the reasons that she likes integration so much is that it's really a people job
            She likes dealing with people
            Engagement Employees Produce Better Business REsults
                Engagement Categories
                        This is a hard one, and one of the most important
                        The culture of the company changes with acquisition, so getting them to understand the goals is necessary
                        It's necessary to keep the leadership able to make his own decisions
                    Support & Enablement
                        Are they getting equipment to allow them to do their work?
                    Opportunity & Development
                        This is a little bit easier
                        In an 100 person company, there's not a lot of places to grow or breadth in their roles
                        But in IBM, there's a lot of opportunities for education
                    Rewards & Recognition
                        Are people awarded for their good work?
                    Team & Collaboration
                        If done right, even though these small, nimble companies have procedures that they follow for software development, they have access to a large body of industry experts.
            Overall, creating a community where people feel like they're part of something helps them to stay.
    Guiding Principles
        Everyone deserves respect
        Follow your gut
        Things happen for a reason
            Apparently she had this job in Tuscon that she hated; and they wanted her to do the same role in the next project
            Her boss assigns her to be a technical assistant for a woman that needed an assistant
            But 2 weeks before the move, her boss made her stay
            So she got that project out and was expecting her daughter
            And a couple years later, she got an offer to be the technical assistant for the CEO
    Getting New Positions
        At IBM, they have a jobs board with new opportunities
        The Network
            Every single position that she's gotten has been through her Network
            Mentors and Sponsors
                Women are overly mentored and under sponsored
                Mentor is someone you can have a direct, confidence conversation with, and they give you information
                Sponsor is someone who goes to vouch for you -- "Hire Mary; you won't be sorry"
        Willingness to relocate
        Wish I'd:
            Had a better plan
                She was clueless in college about what opportunities the industry had
            Been more vocal about what I wanted
    Apparently women are real-world thinkers and men are abstract, head-in-the-clouds tinkerers (admittedly an unfair generalization)
        Women like to solve real-world problems, which is apparently their weakness
    IBM apparently invented cognitive computing ("artificial intelligence on steroids")
    My Career Phases
        Early Career
            It's about great delivery and execution
            Good communication skills can separate you from the pack
                Not just about delivering, but also letting people know that you deliver
            The environment is not level for women
                Microaggressions oppress women
            If the business priorities are not clear -- take the lead and set them
            Find the right balance between Loyalty and Self Advocacy
                Sometimes you have to sacrifice loyalty for self-serving experiences
            Make personal/professional priority decisions to guide you (before you need to)
        Breaking Out
            "Stormy seas make great captains"
            Balance involvement in the details with focus on the big picture
            Your value add -- The Context
                Put problems in perspective to show your understanding of the business
            Right people in the right positions
            Leverage big IBM -- 400K people
                A good exec get things done; A great exec leverages the entire company to make things better
            How to handle boundaries
                How much are you willing to work? travel? let work weigh on you?
                It's really hard to get off the hamster wheel
        My leave of absence
            Get off the hamster wheel and make conscious decisions
            There are other executives who have taken a pause
            I need an outlet for the aggressive side of my personality
            Apparently she set up a book club and put together rules of engagement.. it's a surprise that anyone showed up
        What's Next?
            Engaged employees = better business results
            Confidence is fabulous!
            I get to define Success -- not your superiors
            The environment is not level
                Women are pushed toward management
                As a woman, follow the maze (the guys are always talking about the maze)
                    Before the big meeting, know who's an influencer, who's negative, etc.
                    Knowing how to work and get things done is knowing the maze
                Sit at the big kids table

[Scribe 2 Notes] Callen Therrien

• Graduate of Jesuit College
• Integration executive responsible for integrating Explorys in IBM
• April 2015 – IBM acquired Exployrs
• IBM Watson Health
• Healthcare is using cognitive power with Watson
• About Terri
o Explorys is third integration in IBM
 2 years to integrate a company
o After first integration, really enjoyed them and wanted to continue her experience with integrations
o Graduated with BS in Computer Science in 1985
o 37% of undergraduate CS majors went to women
 In 2010, only 18% went to women
o Passionate about enabling women in technology in the computer science field
o Diversity promotes creativity
o Dad worked for IBM
o Grew up in New York
o Has two kids, daughter and son
o Through IBM career, has moved a lot – Arizona, New York, Armonk, West Chester County, Oregon, back to Tucson, Raleigh
o Founded IBM Networking Groups and conference in NC for women who are enrolled in STEM related majors
o Have to be well rounded and have a work/life balance
• IBM characterizes deals in four categories:
o Complementary Point Products
 Typically small start up companies
 Leverage IBM sales channels
o Opportunistic Consolidations
 Retain customers and leverage install base
 Clear communication of product roadmap is key
o Adjacent Segment
 Mana partner impacts
 Leaders are often IBM partners
o Bold Market Entry/Leadership
 Watson Health
 Strong ecosystems
 Market leaders in new growth segments
• Formal process in moving forward in business development
o Deal Committee – led by CFO
 First have strategy approval
 Have confidentiality agreement
o Get concept approval
 “I want to buy this company and this is the max that needs to be paid”
o Due Diligence
 Massive document on the data that IBM needs from them
 3 days of meeting, morning till night gathering data
 Put together final case and get approval to proceed
 Announce intention to acquire
o Can take a month to 6 months to complete acquisition
o Data Collected
 How many employees
 Turn over
 Financial records
 How code is written
• IBM has acquired over 150 companies (over 10 years)
o Tend to acquired smaller companies
• What to look for in company when purchasing
o Company wants to be bought and is willing to
o Look at culture and will it be a fit for IBM
o Look at financials and customers
 Enabled IBM to grow customer base
o Where they are located
 Can it attract skills?
 Popular area?
• Have venture capital group that funds start-ups
• Terri is involved at the diligence stage, more involved after company has been acquired
o Duty to make the business case
o Employee retention – acquiring skills and talent
 Break employees into Tiers
• Tier 1 – Managers, CEO; this people will stay on
• Tier 2 – Key Developers, Sales Leaders
 First year, want to keep 90-100% of employees
• Integration is about enabling people
• Engaged employees have happier turnouts
• Engagement Categories:
o Clarity
o Empowerment
o Support & Enablement
o Opportunity & Development
o Rewards & Recognition
o Team & Collaboration
o Innovation
• Creating a community where they feel a part of something is what makes people stay
• Training for new employees
o Take people out of day jobs to give them training
o Training email system
o Managers get sent to New York to train
 How to be a manager
• Terri’s Career Phases
o Early Career
 Great delivery and execution
 Good communication skills can separate you from the pack
o Management
 If the business priorities are not clear – take the lead and set them
 Make personal/professional priority decisions to guide you
 Balance between loyalty and self-advocacy
o Breaking Out
 Balance involvement in the details with focus on the big picture
 Add value and context; put things into perspective; understanding of business
o Executive
 Right people in the right positions
 Leverage Big IBM
 How to handle boundaries
o What’s Next?
 Engaged employees = better business results
 Have confidence
 The environment is not level
• Guiding Principles
o Everyone deserves respect
o Follow your gut
o Things happen for a reason
• Getting New Positions
o Networking is key
 Mentors vs Sponsors
 Mentor – have confidential relationship with; direct conversion and they’ll give you info
 Sponsor – someone that goes to bat for you; at least 2 levels above you; a position where they can influence decision and feeding you leads
o Willingness to relocate
• Computer Science degrees can be applied in any industry
o Problem solving
o Research
o Development
• In IT industry, women seem more pushed towards management
• At IBM, there are two paths – Technical and Management
• Having technical knowledge is critical in a management position
• What to tour Explorys, contact Terri and she’ll sponsor a tour
• How do you integrate a company’s code?
o BlueWash program is used, but keep code as is most times
• After college what is the window of opportunity to explore passions before you get bogged down with work?
o Taking a job with less money, but you’re passionate about
o Keep skills up as you go
• More specifically how to level group environment?
o Education
o Is there a diverse group of candidates considered for a position?
o Introducing STEM subjects at a young age
• IBM environment that attracts youth
o More visible on campuses
o Offer more internships
o Different add campaigns that show IBM in a different light