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5/26/2010
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CIO Profiles: In Their Own Words

IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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CIO and General Manager of Global Technology Solutions, Convergys

CAREER TRACK
How long at Convergys: Four years at this provider of customer management and information management products.

Most important career influencer: Sam Palmisano, the chairman of IBM. The way he made quick customer-focused decisions because he actually talked to customers and could judge what made the most sense for everyone made a big impression on me.

Decision I wish I could do over: At one point in my career, I began two startups. But I would have been better off just applying that inventiveness at the company that employed me, building on relationships I already had. Being independent has serious downsides as well as upsides. Creativity can and should be applied in any IT job. I did, however, learn to use startup approaches within large companies.

ON THE JOB
Size of IT team: About 1,600

Top initiatives:

  • Improving customer service interactions with real-time analytics.
  • Deploying real-time tools for our team leaders, letting them coach their agents based on specific performance and behavior patterns.
  • Expanding our global presence. We'll do this through a converged global network that supports secure voice, video, and data.

How I measure IT effectiveness: We do this in two ways. First, by paying close attention to adding value through tech projects. Each of our initiatives has metrics, including net present value and ROI. Second, we focus on service. We use a balanced scorecard that includes service levels; external and internal customer service metrics; employee development and retention metrics; and expense, revenue, and capital expenditure commitments.

VISION
Lessons learned from the recession: Relearning that productivity must be improved every year. Cost reduction is a permanent challenge.

What the federal government's top tech priority should be: Reduce the patent bureaucracy. We're spending way too much time and money trying to get patents and protect ourselves from patent trolls.

One thing I'm looking to do better: We need to further simplify the user interface for our professionals.

PERSONAL
Degrees: Wheaton College, BA in math and economics; University of Chicago, MBA in finance

Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: John Chambers of Cisco--just a really fun person to listen to

Biggest business-related pet peeve: Lack of accountability

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a software company leader (I just love software!)

Ranked No. 57 in the 2011 InformationWeek 500

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