Welcome to the Sept. 15 Monday Business Briefing.
This is your private business intelligence briefing with Insider Louisville staff and contributors vetting tips collected during the past few days, hours and minutes before we post.
As always, we’ve made multiple inquiries on these tips, which come from sources who are not merely insiders, but who have direct knowledge of the deals.
This is the “MBB catches up on all the news that fell through the cracks” edition. There’s so much going on, it’s difficult to keep up, even with an expanded cast of reporters and sources.
What is the Humana Digital Experience Center?
As we were trekking down Main Street, working on a “The most exciting street in Kentucky” post, we happened to notice multiple office renovation projects in the 400 and 500 blocks. Talking with construction people on-site, we realized both were Humana office space. Then, as we were talking with crews about the tenant finish work, which we have to say is first-rate, we noticed a sign that read, “Humana Digital Experience Center.”
So we called Humana. Jeff Blunt, regional corporate communications leader, would only go on the record if we first agreed to an off-the-record conversation. But MBB has a policy of no off-the-record conversations except with trusted insiders, because “off the record” means we can’t advance the information. Which means there wouldn’t be a Monday Business Briefing.
We were hoping the Humana Digital Experience Center would be similar to the Evan Williams Experience, with a bourbon connection. But alas, there are no spirits. Instead, from multiple recruitment ads, it appears this is related to a long-running Humana effort to integrate health insurer/health care provider marketing with their insurees’ digital health management and claims process.
We contacted insiders currently at Humana or who have passed through the giant company. What we found out was, for years, the Humana Digital Experience project has commissioned multiple web development firms to come up with an integrated digital platform.
“In my time there (now a year past), it was the Orwellian term for all of Humana’s websites and mobile apps,” the effort uniting all the front-end developers, tech managers and marketers who build and control what Humana puts on screens, said one source.
Those teams were spread out between the original Humana tower offices and offices in the Waterfront Plaza complex. Now, it appears those operations may be consolidated.
Humana has hired some of the top consultants in the U.S., including Perficient, based in St. Louis, and Digital Bungalow, based in Boston, to take a stab at the integration. Last month, MBB reported San Francisco-based software, web and mobile developer/consultancy Pivotal Labs might be opening a Louisville operation to be closer to Humana.
This is from Preficient’s award for their work:
Integrated Digital Experience project, which involves creating a single, consumer-centric online experience for all Humana portals. The company has already re-launched new core sites — Humana.com and the MyHumana Member Portal — with new renderings, design, content management, branding and other critical attributes. Sitecore provides a solid platform for an increasingly smooth transition for key assets — including the Member Portal and eventually other portals and microsites — to the new integrated and aligned experience. Humana has also integrated core customer acquisition sites for a variety of products and sub-brands within the core Humana.com site.
We still hope Humana executives will reveal some of the new details.
The future for Louisville’s economy is likely not heavy manufacturing. Think about this: If Electrolux decided to abandon Louisville, it would mean the loss of 6,000 jobs paying somewhere on average of about $40,000 figuring in all the $13 per hour starting jobs, and much smaller number of $100,000-plus engineering and management jobs.
By comparison, Humana has about 14,000 Louisville jobs, and we’d hazard a guess the average pay is above $70,000 at the Louisville-based health care insurer/health care provider.