The Verghis Group

MITCIO Sloan Symposium a smash

By Phil Verghis on May 23, 2008

After many months of hard work by 25 volunteers, Wednesday’s MITCIO Sloan Symposium was a huge success. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Digital Business at MIT’s Sloan School; the Sloan Alumni Club of Boston and the Society for Information Management (SIM). I was part of the content panel team that helped panel captains with their panels and also was a panel captain for the CIO keynote panel. I also was a judge for the first ever MITCIO CIO of the Year Award for IT Innovation.

The CIO keynote panel comprised of Gerri Martin-Flickinger from Adobe Systems Incorporated, Molly ONeill from the EPA, Stuart McGuigan from Liberty Mutual Group and Andre V. Mendes from Special Olympics. The session was moderated by Erik Brynjolfsson, a noted professor from MIT’s Sloan School of Business.

Met a number of interesting people (organizers as well as vendors/attendees/CIOs/students and had some stimulating conversations on a variety of topics. Will probably help out again next year.

Verghis Group white paper featured by HDI as white paper of the month

By Phil Verghis on May 22, 2008

I got a call from HDI asking if I would release my white paper ‘Redefining Command and Control for Today’s IT Reality‘ to them. I did, and they have just sent it to their thousands of members around the world as the ‘white paper of the month’.

New white paper ‘Redefining Command & Control in Today’s IT Reality’

By Phil Verghis on May 19, 2008


I’ve just released a white paper commissioned by a client called ‘Redefining Command & Control in Today’s IT Reality’.

Take a peek at it and let me know what you think…

At IBM Pulse 2008

By Phil Verghis on May 19, 2008

I’m at the Disney Dolphin hotel in Orlando, putting the finishing touches on tomorrow’s talk titled ‘Aging workforce: Time bomb or Opportunity?’ for the IBM PULSE2008 event. If you are at the conference, stop by and say ‘Hi’ – it is at 10:30 AM ET.

I’ll reference aging statistics from around the world (two contrasting examples: Singapore, where the government offers dating classes to offset a decline in fertility that has been happening for 28 straight years. The contrast is India, where there are 500 million people under the age of 25. )  I’ll draw on research from IBM, Stanford and IBM on online gaming and the lessons business can take from them, particularly in terms of what it means to engage a younger workforce.

Should be fun, it is certainly a different topic and audience. Will be whisked off right after to the airport to make it for the pre-event dinner for the MIT CIO Symposium, where I’ll be meeting with the folks from my CIO Keynote Panel.

Article: No more support tiers published in SSPA news

By Phil Verghis on May 15, 2008

The SSPA news picked up and reproduced an article from the April Verghis View newsletter titled ‘No more (support) tiers!’

SSPA conference in Santa Clara

By Phil Verghis on May 15, 2008

I just got back from a second trip to the west coast in a week. This time, it was the SSPA conference in Santa Clara. Didn’t get to stay the entire conference as I had meetings with clients and prospects, but there were a couple of interesting sessions.

One talk was by Geetha Panda, worldwide head of service delivery excellence at HP, based out of Bangalore. It was an interesting session, focusing on how they managed what they had control over ‘inputs’ rather than the ‘outputs’ (customer satisfaction etc.) A very six sigma approach, but one that seems to have paid off for The HP team.

Interestingly I haven’t found many managers of low-volume, high complexity support centers that have much use for the six sigma approach. I think there is a lot that both ‘sides’ can learn from each other, but I’ll leave that alone for another time.

SSPA conference in Santa Clara

By Phil Verghis on May 12, 2008

Just got back from the Santa Clara SSPA conference. Met with clients and also stopped by Adobe’s CIO at their HQ in San Jose as  part of the ‘meet and greet’ for the MITCIO Symposium, which I am helping to organize. For those of you keeping score at home, that is two trips to the west coast in a week.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see too much of the conference itself, but sat in on two interesting presentations. One was presented by Dheeraj Prasad, a friend and colleague from Microsoft India who talked about ‘talent development’ in India, and the unique challenges with hiring and keeping technical support talent in India. The other was by Geetha Panda, the worldwide head of service delivery excellence for HP, whose six sigma based approach to escalations helped turn HP’s Bangalore center from a ‘at risk’ category to one of their highest rated centers of excellence.

Voice of the Customer Conference in Boston

By Phil Verghis on May 10, 2008

I’m looking forward to the second Voice of the Customer conference on October 7th at the lovely International golf club in Boston. This conference, put together by the First Wednesday Group,  is for service and support professionals and received rave reviews last year.
The keynote will be by Marlene Bessette, VP for Corporate Strategy and Loyalty at Xerox, someone I have the privilege of calling a friend. The title will be called ‘Creating Customer Passion’.

Executive Summit for Service leaders – summary

By Phil Verghis on May 7, 2008

I just got back from a day and a half of noodling on interesting ideas at the executive summit for the Consortium for Service Innovation in Arizona. This year we discussed a Leadership Framework for Service Excellence and focused on the dynamics of control vs. alignment in the context of leadership.

I enjoy these discussions as they allow leaders to explore ‘crazy’ ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. For the most part the discussions are unstructured and power point free.

10 best web support sites announced

By Phil Verghis on May 2, 2008

I was a judge again for the ASP’s 10 best web support sites. It truly is remarkable to see how far companies have come in starting to understand the power of the web and communities over the years.

Check it out and see how you fare against the very best of the best.

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