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Band of Brothers

Tyco's transformation was far from a unilateral process dictated by Deasy. The business segments are so different that a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach wouldn't have worked, even if he had tried it. Deasy had to align to diverse needs and capabilities, and he needed to work with the business segments to do it. "There was not a sense of Dana laying it all out," says Gursahaney. "This was iterative, with CIOs and presidents from all segments weighing in, along with functional leaders like myself." But the new global culture and IT initiatives can't get in the way of the ongoing businesses. "We have to deliver on the financial side at the same time that we are moving down the track with the IT vision."

Deasy worked carefully with the people who actually make money for Tyco's shareholders. "In one case, I was being pushed by a segment chief executive to get him a CIO," he says. "In two others, there was education required as to why they needed a CIO at all. That's alignment, convincing them of the need."

So Deasy became a cheerleader. He produced a video and a flipbook for internal consumption, and used the marketing slogan "Feel the Difference" on documents and slides. He formed technology councils with the segments to focus on specific projects and needs. "We used to have limited opportunities to engage with our peers in other segments," says Vance. "The knowledge you share, the relationships you form—it's important to the business. It helps us align our needs and capabilities."

Those factors vary from one segment to the next. Consider two huge businesses with very different IT histories—one a "have" and the other a "have-not," in Deasy's terms. Tyco Electronics, with $10.4 billion in 2003 revenue, had an experienced CIO and well-integrated systems. Tyco Fire & Security was a $11.3 billion business with nobody in charge of information technology.

Tyco Electronics was built around AMP Inc., the venerable component-maker acquired by Tyco in 1999. AMP had undergone its own process of creating a global IT organization under Vance, who became the then-independent company's first CIO in 1996. He integrated 93 acquired companies, each within six months, in the two years after Tyco bought AMP. His mature, shared-services organization looks a lot like what Deasy is creating at the corporate level. "We are a role model for Tyco as an entity," says Vance. "Dana has leveraged existing expertise and best practices. Part of the success factor is that he is willing to share the credit." Tyco's directory and network is being built on systems in use within Electronics.

Vance's focus is on selling components. "The alignment of Ed's strategy and business segment strategy is in lockstep," says Vance. "Tyco always starved R&D. They just wanted us to send money. But Breen gets R&D as a key to top-line growth." One important new project: a global account-management program to let accounts across different industries use common parts numbers and account data.

Greater than the Whole
Tyco International Ltd. sprawls around the world with five big business segments, each with its own IT landscape and culture. Dana Deasy's job is to tie them together so Tyco can use its size to advantage. The players:
Company | Tyco Electronics
Corporate Headquarters | Harrisburg, Pa.
CIO | Ron Vance
Revenues (FY 2003)| $10.4 billion

Company | Tyco Engineered Products & Services
Corporate Headquarters | Exeter, N.H.
CIO | pending
Revenues (FY 2003)| $4.7 billion

Company | Tyco Fire & Security
Corporate Headquarters | Boca Raton, Fla.
CIO | Ina Kamenz
Revenues (FY 2003)| $11.3 billion

Company | Tyco Healthcare
Corporate Headquarters | Mansfield, Mass.
CIO | Steve McManama
Revenues (FY 2003)| $8.6 billion

Company | Tyco Plastics & Adhesives
Corporate Headquarters | Princeton, N.J.
CIO | Kevin McCarthy
Revenues (FY 2003)| $1.9 billion

Things were different at the Fire & Security segment, which includes some 60 brands, products and services. The unit had never had a CIO before Ina Kamenz was recruited by Deasy, from Marriott International Inc., in October 2003. "I asked in the interview, 'How many IT pros do we have? What's the budget, what systems are there?'," says Kamenz, a hint of her native North Carolina in her accent. "Dana said, 'If you need to know the answers now, you are not my gal, because we don't know.'

But Kamenz knew she would be aligning with a receptive business. "There was a clear, strong interest by my boss, Dave Robinson, the president of Fire & Security, to achieve integrated IT within the segment," she says. During her first week she attended Breen's initial global leadership meeting, which brought together 300 executives from across the company. While Deasy did his global assessment, Kamenz did a similar job within her own segment. "First I had to find my IT managers," she says.

Now she has nine regional CIOs who report to their own presidents and to her. They are working together on a three-year plan to do things like reduce the number of ERP systems to perhaps two or three across the huge segment. And always, she says, "We are letting changes in the business drive our decisions."

Aligning her IT shop with corporate has been a collaborative effort. "Dana dug deep on some things, and sailed high on others; I fed information up to him." Fire & Security is following the data-center-consolidation plan and looking forward to the global network. "I need that bandwidth to support a global inventory project we are doing," she says. The enterprise directory is less of a priority for her, if only because she has so much else on her plate.

"I don't need Dana's sign-off to do something, but I do need support," she says. "I talk with him weekly, and I keep in the loop on his initiatives and what is happening at our other business segments." Part of her role is to drive toward a segmentwide integrated planning methodology that will keep business and IT planning aligned.

"Every month, I attend the operating reviews of our business units, sit through the financial reports, marketing programs, and legal presentations," says Kamenz. "I'm always looking for common business processes I can leverage. If we have a success with ERP in Germany, we want those people to work on ERP in Asia. We have common processes that drive earnings across the company, when in the past people didn't even know each other." Everything, she says, is driven by the business priority, not technology. "Our goal is to help generate revenue in a way that gets value to shareholders."

Deasy and his lieutenants understand that alignment is a moving target. Already they have their eyes on Tyco's next business strategy transformation—a return to buying more companies. "Ideally, in the second half of 2005, we will start modest, accretive acquisitions," says Gursahaney. By then, Deasy's grand plan should be realizing results—just in time to support the next phase of Tyco's reinvention.

Please send comments on this story to editors@ cioinsight-ziffdavis.com.

This article was originally published on 10-15-2004
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