absorption of the remaining business operations such as information technol-
ogy, human resources, and other centrally leveraged functions. How can he
complete this goal quickly and inexpensively while helping to achieve the
intent of his M&A strategy? He ponders this, then he recalls a lunchtime con-
versation with his Chief Information Officer (CIO), who had explained the
potential of some rapidly emerging technologies and standards to help
improve their supply chain visibility and reduce inventory, as well as enabling
other business initiatives, such as M&A integration and procurement
processes. He picks up the phone and punches the CIOs extension, muttering
to himself, Lets see if Sedgewick can help with these problems.
Bill Sedgewick scans his calendar for the week, paying particular atten-
tion to the pending close of the quarter. He knows that the companys results,
although solid, have slowed for the past four quarters. While he is doing the
best he can to support the business units with reliable IT solutions, Sedgewick
knows that there is untapped potential in the IT organization to drive better
business results. When he arrived at the company three years ago, they hadnt
had a CIO for two years. In fact, the previous vice president of IT, who
worked for the CFO, was an operations guy who formerly ran the data cen-
ters. With the rapid pace of IT change and explosive growth of the Internet,
his capabilities had been clearly challenged and the business lost faith in the IT
function. The CEO hired Sedgewick to fix that situation, and although Bob
Dunston was an old-school manager, he was prepared to listen to new ideas.
The phone rings. Sedgewick answers, pressing the speakerphone but-
ton. Hi, Bob. Whats up?
Bill, whats your day looking like? Id like to continue that discussion
we were having at lunch the other day aboutwhat were they?Web ser-
vices; yes, that was it, right? Web services? Ive been kicking some ideas
around, and I wanted to get your perspective.
He hears Sedgewick shuffling papers and tapping on his keyboard, the
staccato clicking of his keys pouring through the phone line like machine
gun bursts. Bob, Im slammed this morning, but can we catch up later this
afternoon, say around four? Does that work?
Yes, Bill, thats fine. Its no big deal, but I wanted to finish that discus-
sion in light of some new ideas Ive been mulling over. Ill update you at
four, okay? Dunston says.
Great, see you then, Bob. Sedgewick hangs up the phone and sits
back in his chair, wondering to himself, Hmmm, whats he up to now?
Later that day, Sedgewick knocks on Dunstons office door. Hi, Bob.
Are you ready?
Bill, yes, come on in. How goes the battle today? Dunston clears his
desk as Sedgewick settles into one of the four chairs surrounding the pol-
ished table positioned across the office from the CEOs modest, yet con-
EXECUTIVES GUIDE TO WEB SERVICES
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