Winning by Design

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