Recap From Tech Leadership Forum

by Erica Driver.

Last week at Forrester's Technology Leadership Forum conference in Carlsbad, CA, I did 3 presentations and workshops on collaboration — and Information Workplace (IW)-related topics, all of which turned into highly interactive discussions. I'll find out when I see the participants' feedback whether this was good or bad, but in one of these sessions we never got past the agenda slide. During the 2-day event I also had 16 one-on-one meetings with attendees and spoke with many other people informally during meals and breaks. A few things jumped out at me. Today, information and knowledge management professionals:

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Unisys and DHS: Set up to fail?

Let's go back to 2001 and do a little math:

Huge IT contract + Politicians + Lobbyists + Soft IT market + Legions of government contractors + Newly created government agency + More politicians + Career civil servants

What does that make? A hugely expensive, difficult, political and organizational undertaking, and plenty of scope for fingerpointing -- and that's what we've got.

Full disclosure here: I was working for Unisys for the first three years of this contract, and only a non-US passport kept me from working on this engagement (and believe me I thanked my lucky stars every morning when I woke up that I wasn't).

I'm not a huge Unisys defender in general -- I saw plenty of gaffes from the sidelines, and like any large systems integrator Unisys has its fair share of inefficiencies and dead wood -- but Unisys is being accused of everything under the sun, from covering up the problems, to kicking puppies and being mean to its gradmother. I'm just not convinced anyone else would've done much better -- and has anyone noticed the alarming regularity with which government agencies blame their contractors compared to their commercial counterparts?

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Good News About Price Optimization In Financial Services

Price optimization in financial services firms is slowly,
but surely, moving towards relationship based pricing — and the UK is clearly ahead of the US.

The second annual Profit-Based Pricing Forum was held in
Camberley, Surrey — just outside of London, on September 26th and 27th, 2007. Sponsored by Nomis
Solutions, a profit-based pricing vendor specializing in financial services,
the attendance was more than double that of last year. Representatives from all
the large financial organizations in the UK, as well as from consultant and
motor finance firms comprised this growing audience.

So what’s new in price optimization? Frankly, it’s been a fact
of life for several years in the UK [even if the financial
institutions (FIs) may only be “dabbling” in it, as one attendee noted]. However
Forrester estimates that fewer than 25% of the top 100 US banks and lenders are using this
strategy now. It is focused almost exclusively on lending products, with little
attention currently to deposit products. But we heard more about
relationship-based pricing at this conference than any such meeting to date. UK lenders have begun to identify the challenges and barriers — technological as
well as cultural — to getting there. It’s a start!

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