From AT&T's Global Network Operations Center 40 miles west of New York City, CISO Ed Amoroso has as wide a window into the Internet as anyone. With a glance at a two-story wall covered with computer monitors and television screens, Amoroso can tell at any given moment how much e-mail, Web and voice-over-IP traffic is streaming across AT&T's data networks, buzzing its way from business to business, person to person.
Stories by Sarah D. Scalet
Even a woman who owes Social Security money isn't grumbling as she leaves the Social Security Administration's (SSA) field office in downtown Framingham, Mass. "They're great; they're taking care of me," she says, explaining that a little of the money the agency overpaid her is being taken out of her disability check each month. A younger customer remarks that his visit to the office to get a replacement Social Security card was surprisingly quick. "I was expecting something like the Registry of Motor Vehicles. But it was painless." One after the other, satisfied customers stream out the door of an agency that provides a safety net for disabled workers, retirees and survivors--and whose customers-for-life include every working citizen of the United States. People don't go into details-thisis personal business--but when asked how their experience was, they say good, good, good.
In 1995, Carlson Hospitality Worldwide was on a roll. The company had patented an incentive plan for travel agents, created a standard-setting, seamless interface between travel agents and the central reservation office and capped off a decade of adding a new hotel, mostly under the Radisson flag, every 10 days. The company's central reservation system (CRS), then bringing in 40 percent of the annual room revenues from those Radissons, was humming away at the heart of the business. "It was heresy inside our company to say that there was anything wrong with our reservation system," says Scott Heintzeman, then vice president of knowledge technologies, who was recently promoted to CIO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide.