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12 min read

Intellinetics: Interview With Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Chretien

“We remove risk, inefficiencies and help them save time so they can better deliver services.”

Intellinetics, is an awesome Columbus, Ohio company, putting knowledge in motion by converting hard copy and digital information into automatic digital workflows. Their IntelliCloud™ product allows organizations to manage their records efficiently and securely by housing their files digitally. This digital management solution gives organizations the flexibility to manage their work – anytime, anywhere.

We wanted to learn more so John Gambill, Jr, interviewed Matt Chretien, Co-Founder of Intellinetics and their Chief Strategy Officer. Like [VC3], Intellinetics works with organizations that serve the developmentally disabled. And like John, Matt has a personal passion and connection with those they are fortunate to serve.

First, A Bit More About Matt Professionally…

Matt is a strategic entrepreneur backed by more than 20 years of experience in technology sales, consulting and software product life cycle management within the aerospace, public safety, government and select commercial markets.

After graduating in 1990 from The Ohio State University with an engineering degree, he spent two years in the Fisher College of Business Doctoral Program at Ohio State in computer science, working on his Ph.D. During this period, Matt discovered his research would be too narrow to satisfy his interests and ultimately co-founded Intellinetics in 1994.

How Did Intellinetics Get Started?

Matt: Initially, Intellinetics worked with organizations in law enforcement. I started the business with my father, who had a career in the FBI, prior to that he was an officer in the Marine Corp., and as he puts it, he was only 52 and not ready to “go out to pasture” so we got together and formed Intellinetics.

Our strategic marketing plan included marketing to his peers. They tended to be in leadership roles in law enforcement and public safety. Their primary need was to get their records organized, so we built digital filing solutions for them.

How Did This Transition To Working With Developmental Disabilities Organizations?

Matt: Going through the process to get a level-one waiver for our daughter was difficult due to the paperwork and inefficiencies in operations. This resonated with me, so I wondered why we couldn’t build content management solutions for DD organizations like we did for our law enforcement clients.

We focused on the County Board level because we already had a lot of state and county relationships. We built a presence in the government space with 88 counties and then moved into direct relationships with agencies and adjacent companies in the DD space.

What Are Some Of The Products Intellinetics Provides?

Matt: We have a growing suite of software solutions that help reduce risk, increase efficiencies and make the information we touch more visible so you can use it to run your business and make better decisions.

Our Suite today includes:

  • Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)
  • A Case Management Solution
  • Our Content Management Platform and Digital Filing Cabinets

At the end of the day, Intellinetics is about process automation. What we’re really doing is connecting documents that you create or receive to a process that’s driving operations. We make things run better and apply this in DD organizations to minimize risk.

We close the loop on high-risk components that are interoperable. We help DD organizations leverage the tools they use and close the gaps that are exposed. We do this in a way that uses the best providers in other areas, like [VC3].

How Does Intellinetics Help County Boards and DD-related Organizations?

Matt: We remove risk, inefficiencies and help them save time so they can better deliver services. In this way, we’re very similar to [VC3]. We have some of the same customers and can speak firsthand about the importance of making sure DD organizations can rely on our services and solutions; that they can rely on them day after day, night after night.

In today’s world, the need for security, compliance and audit-readiness continues to grow. So, the services that both Intellinetics and [VC3] offer address real pain points that County Boards and DD-related organizations face.

John: I was just on a call the other day with Eagle Consulting Partners, a HIPAA audit and compliance services company that has worked with all the counties in Ohio. They contacted us to do a whitepaper on us and one of our clients, Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities, who they found during a recent audit to have the single lowest risk profile of any organization they’ve worked with. So, we’re speaking a lot of the same language when it comes to audit-readiness, compliance, risk reduction, and security.

Why Do County Boards and DD-related Organizations Need Intellinetics?

Matt: What’s happening now is auditors are going into DD organizations and targeting CPR certifications. Imagine you being an agency and you get a notice that you’re going to be audited. You may only have a 5-day warning or 30 days. The audit may go back to yesterday or as far back as 5 years ago.

These auditors might not have experience with DD agencies. They may pull records and find that one out of 10 employees isn’t up to date on their CPR certification. This is a 10% failure rate. They take this 10% and multiply it by all the revenue generated by the agency; this is the amount of Medicare Fraud that is entered as an active investigation. Within 24 hours this becomes public record.

This shows the importance of being ready for document readiness. This is where Intellinetics comes in. We help them be prepared for audits much like what you are there at [VC3].

A ‘Being Prepared’ Mindset Is Essential: What Does This Mean?

John: When we talk to our clients about audit readiness, we tell them that there’s a big difference between ‘preparing for’ and ‘being prepared for’ an audit. Many have always taken a reactive approach in the past. We come in and take a proactive approach with their organization, so they’re always prepared, always taking compliance into account, and ‘audit prepared’ when it comes to their information technology.

They need to embrace the fact IT is not a department, it is a layer of their organization that touches everything they do every day. This is critical to the compliance aspect. You need to be prepared rather than preparing, and it can be difficult for some DD organizations to shift their mindset when it comes IT.

Matt: Sharing thoughts and ideas like the two of us are doing right now exemplifies who the top performing vendors are in our space. At Intellinetics, we have a suite of solutions for DD organizations. We grew up in content services; we give providers and County Boards better tools to meet state reporting requirements.

We have a new EDD solution for those independent providers moving on to mid-level providers. We aren’t the agency management platform, but we complement it, so when we talk about an end-to-end risk evaluation, like the focus of the whitepaper Eagle Consulting Partners is doing on [VC3] it’s not one particular tool, it’s an approach and model that specifically addresses in an intentional way, that we’re going to infuse readiness into everything we do.

You can look at it this way… You have a digital filing cabinet. It’s tracking what’s in it and what’s not in it. So, it will make visual gaps in your document audit-readiness in real-time. It takes effort to not acknowledge something needs to be fixed.

Speaking to that mindset for being prepared rather than preparing, I have yet to see one vendor who can meet all the needs. But what I have seen is, companies like ours investing in partnerships with companies like [VC3] to help DD organizations address their specific needs. We can’t do what we need to do without you there at [VC3].

Why Do You Believe Partnering With Those You Trust Is Important For Positive Outcomes?

Matt: When we look at working with another company, if they don’t actively want to build a partnership strategy with us as [VC3] does, the chances are some of the capabilities they build may bring gaps. We want to be able to introduce our customers to peers we know can properly assist them.

John: I totally agree. That integration between the vendors that County Boards are working with is so key. We make it our mission to understand not just our clients’ needs but everybody they’re working with as to how it impacts their IT.

We can make that experience with their vendors even better. It may be the case management software vendor or Intellinetics or someone else; we try to completely understand what their other partners are working on and providing. This prevents the gaps you were talking about. If we don’t understand all the layers of service, we can’t provide the specialized services, best practices and recommendations, and meet their needs and goals.

Matt: When you invest in that fundamentally sound IT infrastructure, that investment is going to bear returns when a provider like Intellinetics comes in. There’s a direct monetary benefit to DD organizations for “hanging out with the right folks.”

I could go on and on about the economic and wellness benefits when you have a network of companies working together. For example, we know when County Boards and DD-related organizations have used best practices from [VC3], it allows us to put all our attention on tweaking that digital filing cabinet and they’re on to the next opportunity. When you’re “in the foxhole” you want to be with folks you trust… we trust [VC3].

John: It’s all about managing outcomes. This is what we talk about with potential clients. You’re engaging with us for an outcome. And when groups work together on an outcome, it can be amazing when they make this the mission.

Everyone does their part to make it easier for company A to do their part, company B to do their part and so on, which results in an outcome that ultimately makes a better life for a developmentally disabled individual that our common customer is trying to serve.

We also partner with their in-house tech staff, if they have it. Increasing efficiencies is what we’re both all about. If we can monitor it or automate it, we do. We help clients shift from that reactive approach to the proactive strategy. We become part of their IT department. We don’t replace in-house people, if that’s not what the client wants. We augment, enhance, and help their IT staff get to where they want to be; free up time for their important projects; let them focus on how IT drives their organization and free them from issues dominating their day and time. In terms of risk, we can educate their employees on security awareness, phishing, and the Dark Web. We help make the typical weakest link, employees, their strongest line of defense in protecting their network and data.

We’re also working with a partner on ADA compliance for online presence. There’s a lot of liability and risk involved with this. We ask, are you truly accessible to the people you serve, and many are not nor is it something they have really thought about.

Matt: Interesting. We’re working on a new training program to help refine usability. What you’re speaking of with ADA compliance links with this. And, we just had a re-do of our website, and usability was a big part of this. ADA compliance may seem like a burden, but it’s really an investment and something everyone should be considering.

What Sets Intellinetics Apart From Your Competitors?

Matt: We focus on the industry, packaging and productizing all these solutions in a way that makes it very cost-effective. For example, a lot of content management platforms on the market today take a lot of time and money to configure to the specific and very unique needs of County Boards and DD-related organizations for compliance and audit-readiness. They just take too much time and effort, and too much money to implement.

So, the overarching differentiator is we can deliver the outcomes the DD market is after with better quality, less time and effort, and for less of a financial investment. And, they’ll have interoperability with the tools they’re already using, or will move to, “out of the box.”

John: So, what I hear you saying is, a potential or existing client having a solid and reliable IT infrastructure and plan, makes it easier for you to do what you’re doing.

Matt: Absolutely! It’s so important. If you were to look at our checklist when we go in and assess a DD organization, we go through an audit process of our own. A big part of this is evaluating and grading the stability and robustness of their IT platform. That grade has a direct impact on our quote to get them from where they are now, to where they want to be. Secure and reliable IT like [VC3] is providing saves DD organizations both time and money, and gives Intellinetics peace of mind to know who and what they are dealing with can be trusted.

The IT infrastructure and knowledge around this within a given provider ensures what we will be doing isn’t for not. If their IT infrastructure is like a door anyone can open, then our efforts to give them the protection are compromised… not totally, but the reality is, if there’s an unauthorized distribution of a document that should have been identified and wasn’t due to poor password management for example, even though our software did the right thing, at the end of the day, they’ll remember someone got this unauthorized document under Intellinetics. That’s another reason why you choose your partners wisely!

John: Everything I’ve heard you say throughout this interview, readiness, risk aversion, efficiency, etc. is what we talk to our clients about. What it comes down to is servant leadership that we’re both trying to project; to do the best things we can to serve the DD industry, and at the same time, take a leadership role to provide the best innovative services to help them in their mission. And I really like your approach of filling those risk gaps.

I’m hoping to get up to Columbus and see firsthand how you operate. And I will, because my son is currently a senior at The Ohio State University. But, even cooler than that, he’s in The Marching Band. With you being a former student at tOSU, I know you understand where I’m coming from.

Matt: Yes, I do and actually, I was in marching band my senior year in high school and my passion is music. But here’s more of a coincidence, my father-in-law was in the tOSU Marching Band! So, it looks like Intellinics and [VC3] have a lot more in common than our passion for working with DD organizations!

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