19 Aug CUNA and Lands' End win IT applications award
Two Wisconsin companies were among CIO Magazine’s 2005 CIO 100 award, announced this past Monday. This year’s theme, the Bold 100, was awarded to companies the magazine deems to have taken actions that greatly benefited the company despite great risks.
Winners were selected through a three-step process involving an online application form detailing their practices in business and IT, review by teams of CIO Magazine editors and writers and then a final vote by the magazine’s contributors.
Madison-based CUNA Mutual received the honor for work done in-house to replace a Siebel customer relationship management software suite that was only a year old with a newer Web-based setup that was both versatile—allowing for technologies such as digital imaging and electronic signatures—and streamlined for the precise needs of customers and customer-service representatives.
“We have a very large technology shop in-house. We have 300 application developers on staff, so we had the talent necessary to do it,” said Sean Fallon, vice president of business technology Sean Fallon. “The difficulty was convincing a business that even though they had already invested a lot of money in the predecessor system, we needed to shut that old system down and replace it.”
Fallon credited the new system with cutting technical-support costs by about 70 percent, saying it was well worth the effort to change systems and firms should not let previous decisions get in their way if there is a better method available.
Also recognized was Dodgeville-based Lands’ End. CIO Magazine cited the company’s effort to set up an arrangement with recent acquirer Sears, allowing Lands’ End’s online purchases to be returned to Sears’ locations, requiring IT interoperability between the two entities. Lands’ End executives were not available for comment.