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IT a-listers: Recharged, ready for business growth and speed

Julia King | Feb. 18, 2011
Editor's note: Each year, Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders awards program honors the brightest talent in the IT industry. Even through economic turmoil that for many meant budget cuts and staff downsizing, these 100 men and women continued to deliver innovative projects and measurable business value.

Also in the works is the launch of a new division of Scottrade Bank that will enable customers to move seamlessly between trading and banking transactions -- a setup that will give Scottrade an entirely new revenue stream.

"In the year ahead, we'll be focused on positioning ourselves for continued growth so that when the recession turns around and the economy begins to grow, we'll have the right applications in place," says Anne Coleman, director of trading applications.

The bottom line: Expect seamless leadership from these IT executives in 2011 and beyond, regardless of what happens with the economy, the unemployment rate or their corporate IT budgets. As long as the business vision is clear, Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders will continue to deliver innovation and value.

Verizon Wireless aims to boost sales with updated retail systems

Whether they're rushing in to buy the long-awaited Verizon iPhone or just stopping by to check out new accessories for their old phones, shoppers at Verizon Wireless stores can expect fast and relatively straightforward transactions, thanks largely to Craig Young and team, who spent most of 2010 working on projects designed to simplify and improve the shopping experience.

"As a company, we are focused on three key IT imperatives: simplifying the customer experience, promoting self-service and reducing costs," says Young, the carrier's CIO for the Northeast (NU) area. To meet that goal, Young and his team designed and implemented a new Internet shopping portal and a new self-service feature for retail stores that has the same look as the online shopping portal. These tools help drive shoppers in busy Verizon Wireless retail stores toward the self service-option, he says.

"Three to five years ago, it was a lot like it was at an airline terminal when you were trying to buy a ticket and there was a lot of typing going on and you had no idea what the clerk was doing," he says. "Today, we're very focused on shortening the input cycle, which also makes for a better customer experience."

Each of the store's digital touch points are interconnected, allowing clerks to view customers' shopping behaviors so they can customize product offerings, Young explains.

"For the customer, we are focused on making sure we put the right offer in front of them, calling out targeted actions every time they check in at one of our retail greeter stations," he says. "We have a powerful data warehouse and are constantly doing a lot of modeling" of customers' behaviors and preferences both in stores and online.

 

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