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CIO water cooler: Reaction to HP's Mott move

Chief technology executives from the Big Apple to the Golden Gate speculate on what Randy Mott's defection from Dell means to HP and its customers.

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Hewlett-Packard snags Dell CIO
As news spread that Hewlett-Packard stole away Dell's star CIO, Randy Mott, chief technology executives across the country yesterday offered their two cents on the bold power play and HP's potential for change. Below is a sampling of opinions on the hottest CIO news this summer.

"Dell is in for a real race with HP with this move. I believe Randy's move will be a definite positive for HP, if they can get the rest of their act together."

Jesus V. Arriaga, Vice president and CIO, Keystone Automotive Industries, Pomona, Calif.

"Clearly, Mott has a big job to do at HP. Impact on customers in the next year or so will be minimal, I suspect. My company orders PCs and servers from Dell and I'm sure those Dell order management systems that we interface with will continue on just fine. Turning around the HP situation will be like turning around a huge ocean liner -- it will be cumbersome and take a lot of time -- no matter how much hollering and hand-waving the new captain does."

Mike Hugos, CIO, Network Services Co., Mount Prospect, Ill.

"I think this move by HP is a good one for them. With the new president of HP coming from NCR, where the retail vertical was its main business, it would be hard not to want a guy with Randy Mott's background. Randy understands the retail marketplace from his 22 years at Wal-Mart. While there, he clearly helped to develop the infrastructure that today arguably has the world's best supply chain systems and information architecture. Randy, coming from a rival like Dell, will no doubt ruffle some feathers at Dell, where there has been some back-and-forth between the two companies within the executive suite. Overall, it's a very smart move by HP to attract Randy. He will be a key member of their executive team, not just driving corporate IT."

Harry Roberts, Senior vice president and CIO, Boscov's Department Stores, Reading, Pa.

"Getting Randy Mott is a huge coup for HP, because of the wealth of experience he brings in both process transformation and advanced supply chain solutions -- something that HP definitely will benefit from. As an HP customer, I view this as a big plus for our future dealings with HP."

Rich Gius, CIO, Cardinal Health Inc., Dublin, Ohio

"I see little immediate impact to customers unless HP's internal systems were in really bad shape. We have experienced some delays with deliveries, and that seemed to have been caused by a large system implementation, but I have been at this long enough to know that it takes more than just one good CIO to fix that kind of problem. On the other side, it is probably a good move on HP's part to get talent with insider knowledge of the inner workings of the supply chain management kings of the computer world."

André Mendes, Chief information technology officer, PBS, Arlington, Va.

"I think the hiring of Randy Mott is further evidence of (HP CEO) Mark Hurd's desire to both demonstrate immediate cost savings (for the stockholders to see) and at the same time emphasize intensified focus and subsequent accountability on job roles (for the staff to see). By reversing Carly Fiorina's consolidation moves, and by hiring a guy from organizations branded around aggressive efficiencies, Hurd is setting a tone that everything will be under a laser-like focus."

Bruce Barnes, Principal, Bold Vision LLC, Dublin, Ohio

"I have been to Dell headquarters in Round Rock this past March for an Information Technology Executive Learning Series Summit, organized by Randy Mott. I was impressed with his business acumen and alignment with business. The fact that Michael Dell came to this summit to share his thoughts with participants is a proof positive of Randy's credibility with business and the company's future itself. Randy had the vision to share Dell's IT experience with outside industry participants, which is a good example of treating your clients and vendors as 'partners'. I think it is a great win for HP. It also shows that Mark Hurd is transforming HP quietly by selecting a good team first. I think there is a glimmer of hope for HP now. Their supply chain and customer facing applications are a generation behind Dell. It also means that the game is not over yet between HP and Dell! Finally, customers are going to be the winners when there is a good healthy competition in the market."

Moti Vyas, CIO, Viejas Enterprises, Alpine, Calif.

"Dell has been best of breed in terms of supply chain and inventory management. I assume that's not been lost on HP in their hiring of Randy."

Dennis S. Callahan, EVP/CIO, Guardian Life Insurance, New York, N.Y.

"I think the information technology at Dell helps to make an incredible customer experience and faster delivery of orders. I look forward to seeing a positive impact from the transition at HP.''

Cora Carmody, CIO, SAIC, San Diego, Calif.

"I think it is very telling that HP is not ready to give up on its place in the PC market space. HP expected to find big wins in that arena after the Compaq merger and that just didn't materialize. I do believe that HP will have to forget some of what made them successful, borrow from that success and do some learning from scratch.This will not be easy, but if they can pull it off I believe they will be in a position to give Dell a run for their money.

As a consumer both personal and business, I see competition as a good thing just as long as the products and services are at the highest level."

Bonnie Hardy, Vice president, Technology Solutions, Slade Gorton & Co., Inc., Boston, Mass.

"HP has managed to woo the person who is probably one of the most valuable people at Dell, save for Michael Dell himself. As CIO, Mott has put BI/ERP systems in place that enable Dell to manage inventory, production, and shipping to squeeze every last percentage point out of the costs, while also providing the information and tools that the marketing team needs to tackle the sales to business and consumers when and where they need it. Dell, as a direct-to-consumer giant, maintains many different types of pricing and bundles for the same products, depending on whether you respond to a TV ad, just drop into the website, or respond as a small, medium, or enterprise size customer. Yet, they managed to keep them all in line and provide the appeal necessary while maintaining profit on each product.

I haven't seen signs from HP that they have been able to do that even at the OEM/wholesale level. Perhaps Mott will be able to implement the same type of tools at HP that will allow them to better compete while maintaining margins for themselves. As a long-time HP fan, I hope that he can bring about change. For a long time, HP was acting more like IBM than a new-age company, and they need to be a new-age company."

Chuck Kramer, CTO, Social & Scientific Systems, Silver Spring, Md.

"HP is trying to capture the spirit of Dell, in hopes of regaining ground lost to Dell. Dell's culture is more than one person and I doubt you will see any change in Dell or that customers will notice anything different. HP is trying to make numerous changes. I know a great deal more about HP, having worked with them closely and still have contact with folks from HP. Prior to the merger with Compaq, HP was a very consensus driven company that was very employee driven. Carly was trying to instill more aggressiveness in HP, and I think that was a driver in purchasing a very aggressive culture in Compaq. HP culture has changed, but they have yet to distill a new personality.

Perhaps the change in leadership will bring HP to be more customer-focused and commodity-driven. I am not so sure I like the long-term prospects of HP, and I do think Dell is the stronger of the two companies, but I love HP and hope that they can turn it around. They are making a good move in getting a senior executive from Dell. They might want to try to get someone from Nordstrom's, as well.''

James Woolwine, CIO, Majestic Insurance, San Francisco, Calif.

"This bodes well for HP, especially in the area of logistics and supply chain management. HP should also benefit from Randy's experience with CRM. Overall, I see IT generating some real business process improvements on the horizon at HP."

Norbert J. Kubilus, CIO, Sunterra Corp., Las Vegas, Nev.

"Randy put a personal face on Dell with other CIOs (by) sponsoring the Dell CIO Roundtables, which were both targeted at customer marketing and technology. The format was dinner with Michael Dell, followed by a next-day venue of Dell in the morning, then CIO-to-CIO issues in the afternoon. It's a good program they should keep. As for real fundamental customer impact to Dell or HP customers, I don't think we will see a lot of that."

Jeff Campbell, CIO, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Fort Worth, Texas

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