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Systems integration project at heart of Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger

It’s hard to get CIOs to talk technology these days. And that’s a good thing.

I had the pleasure recently of meeting with the two men in charge of the giant systems integration project that was the result of the merger between Wells Fargo and Wachovia banks in 2008.

Martin B. Davis is executive vice president and head of the Technology Integration Office, and was formerly CIO at Wachovia. Wayne Mekjian, executive vice president and CIO, Information Services, came over with Wells Fargo.

They have quite a story about how they were able to bring two large organizations together and within three years will have merged or synced up all technology infrastructure and operations.

But they don’t have a lot of details on servers or cloud or mobile devices, because they don’t see the integration as about those things. Instead, it’s all about the customer. Nothing was accomplished in terms of something being a good technology decision. Any IT decision followed from the business need. And the business need starts with customers: their data, services, access and accounts.

That focus came from the top and enveloped the entire company. “You will not hear our CEO [and Chairman John Stumpf] speak without saying that the No. 1 priority is the integration,” said Davis. “There was buy-in at the top around customer focus.”

Watch for more coverage of this merger coming on

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