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 CIO’s extension, muttering to himself, “Let’s 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 company’s 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 hadn’t 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. What’s up?” “Bill, what’s your day looking like? I’d like to continue that discussion we were having at lunch the other day about—what were they?—Web ser- vices;  yes,  that  was  it,  right?  Web  services?  I’ve  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, I’m slammed this morning, but can we catch up later this afternoon, say around four? Does that work?” “Yes, Bill, that’s fine. It’s no big deal, but I wanted to finish that discus- sion in light of some new ideas I’ve been mulling over. I’ll 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, what’s he up to now?” Later that day, Sedgewick knocks on Dunston’s 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 CEO’s modest, yet con- temporary desk. 2 EXECUTIVE’S GUIDE TO WEB SERVICES 74188_WY_Marks_01  2/5/2003  4:08 PM  Page 2