Winning by Design - Page 4

Dec 1, 2000

- Staff

employees had doubled. In addition, the Web site he had helped create ( was receiving more hits than the rest of the parent company's divisions combined. Hemmady explains his philosophy. "It's important to learn from all three kinds of consumers," he says. "The skeptic helps us overcome the perceived barriers of technology. Early adopters motivate us to get something started. And the happy people in the middle give us the impetus to take the technology further along and get to the next level."

Hemmady has moved to the next level himself, opting for a job in a smaller company where he's likely to make an outsized impact. "The online brokerage arena is one of the few success stories of the Web," says Hemmady, who joined Bidwell & Co., a retail discount brokerage in Portland, Ore., as vice president of technology last May. The company has only 85 employees, but it has a solid business plan and cash in the bank, giving him the luxury of implementing his own vision. For 2001, he's focused on automating back-office operations and multiplying communication channels, including the wireless Web. He's also looking at online signatures and faster credit checks as a way to sign up customers fast.

"People like to trade on their way to and from work and be alerted throughout the day. We're on the verge of doing speech recognition so that people have yet another way to communicate at their convenience. It's all about creating multiple channels and different ways to stay in touch."

Winning Stakeholder Buy-In

Joe Puglisi
CIO, EMCOR Group, Norwalk, Conn.
Major accomplishment: Uniting more than 40 companies behind a centralized technology strategy
Goal for 2001: Harness the power of the Web to create an end-to-end management solution



With almost $3.5 billion in revenue, 22,000 employees, and more than 40 companies, EMCOR Group is the leading provider of mechanical and electrical construction and facilities services in the world. A major player in one of the hottest industries of the moment - construction - EMCOR is being watched closely by analysts, suppliers, vendors, and e-commerce providers to see just how seamlessly one corporate behemoth can streamline its operations to the Web.

As the top technology officer at one of the nation's top companies, Puglisi has a job many CIOs would envy. He's not expected to deal with basic networking issues or field calls from staff members whose computers are on the blink (well, not often anyway). He enjoys the luxury of focusing exclusively on technology strategy for the group's network of independently managed companies, with about half his time devoted to e-business and half to knowledge management, the two biggest issues facing his industry today, he says. Finally, he has influence over 40 executive teams looking to him for the direction that will help define their corporate strategies.

Yet Puglisi is the first to acknowledge the challenge of guiding multiple IT departments in the same direction, a task roughly equivalent to herding cats. "With 40 companies and 40 IT directors, there are plenty of

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