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John Soat
John Soat
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IT Confidential: It's Who You Know And How You Play

The National Association of State CIOs, meeting at a suburban Phoenix resort last week, canceled an Oracle-sponsored breakfast, saying it's inappropriate for government officials as a group to hold a private session with a vendor. Oracle had requested the breakfast meeting so it could explain the rationale behind its bid to acquire PeopleSoft, says NASCIO president and Missouri CIO Gerry Wethington. "This is a market issue, and Oracle should get word to CIOs through conventional ways, such as account managers," Wethington says. "This isn't an issue the CIOs should be in the middle of." State CIOs have reason to be skittish. Last year, Oracle's relationship with the state of California (its home state) over a six-year, $95 million software deal blew up into a full-fledged scandal, resulting in the resignation of at least one California IT executive and a state investigation. Oracle ended up rescinding the deal.

It's not what you know...McConnell International, the Washington technology consulting firm, last week said it has tapped the extensive experience of three beltway IT veterans. Joining McConnell's executive ranks are: John Reece, former CIO and deputy commissioner for modernization at the IRS (and before that VP of IT at Time Warner); Charles Self, former deputy commissioner of the Federal Technology Service within the General Services Administration; and John Tritak, former director of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office and past member of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

Good luck getting an apartment in Manhattan. Barclays Capital, the investment-banking division of Barclays Bank plc, last week tapped Nancy Gloor as CIO, Americas, and head of fixed-income technology. Based in New York, Gloor will report to Kevin O'Reilly, Barclays' head of IT and strategic planning. Gloor was most recently managing director of Goldman Sachs' fixed-income, commodities, and currency technology, based in London.

At least the party wasn't canceled. Last week's OracleWorld conference was disrupted when police ordered the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco vacated because of a bomb scare. Most of the 20,000 attendees milled around nearby street corners, while others evacuated through subterranean service areas. Police blocked traffic passing between the two wings of Moscone on Howard Street between Third and Fourth streets and brought in a canine unit to help search the cavernous conference center. No bomb was found, but the rest of the day's events were canceled, with the exception of the OracleWorld party held at a different location later that evening.

And there's nothing more exciting than a party with 20,000 ticked-off Oracle developers. Or maybe they weren't so mad. After all, there are only so many remote-procedure-call slides you can take. But there's no limit to the industry tips I can handle, so send them to or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about the relationship between vendor and client, government and private sector, or the best bars around Moscone Center, meet me at's Listening Post:

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about John Soat, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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