Page Three

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2002-08-09 Print this article Print

: Interview"> EWEEK: As a veteran of both IBM and Price Waterhouse, how do you see the acquisition of PriceWaterhouseCoopers by IBM? Amoroso: I came from Price Waterhouse and I understand the issues of a partnership[-run company]. The partner tends to work with a fair amount of independence. In a corporate environment, there is more command and control. Integrating those different cultures is not to be underestimated.
PWC had to separate its auditing and consulting businesses because of SEC requirements. Then in doing their IPO, they went through some of the cultural transformation to move themselves to a corporate structure. Those changes will be accelerated under IBM.
One of the reasons that IBM bought them is they have expertise in specific industries that IBM lacks. PWC is organized into seven or eight industry groups, and there are sub-industry groups. For example, Siebel software in an insurance company is very different from Siebel in a bank or a pharmaceutical company. PWC has developed skills that are much more business-aligned. EWEEK: Some IT people wonder why they should pay money to META Group and others when theres so much information available on the Net and in the trade press. How do you answer? Amoroso: You have to look at the sources of the information. Can you rely on it? If youre looking for surface stuff, then yes, fine. But if you want a more detailed evaluation, like the META Spectrum, then thats not freely available on the Web. EWEEK: How important are Web services? Amoroso: Ive been in this industry for 30 years. Our industry has always talked about technology long before it has been ready for a production environment. Think of relational databases and client-server, not to mention the Internet. Its the same with Web services. They are not the complete approach to business process mapping across a company. Some of the vendors themselves will judiciously deploy Web services. But is SAP really going to deploy Web services that would enable a customer to deploy best of breed? Probably not. Web services will have a tremendous role in increasing the value of legacy systems. However, it will be 2003-2005 before Web services becomes a strong part of production IT. EWEEK: Are your customers continuing to express a strong interest in security? Amoroso: It is certainly one of the areas we provide analysis on. We do not provide hacking and security services, though. But we have a strong security service. Well advise our customers about what they need to be aware of. EWEEK: Is the HP-Compaq a potent combination? Amoroso: Hardware is increasingly moving to a commoditized business. In that environment, companies need to create low-cost manufacturing. When you look at HP and Compaq, theyve decided to combine forces in areas that are under pressure in pricing and distribution. Thats going to make the merger problematic. EWEEK: Are you seeing any companies willing to spend money on big projects? Amoroso: Big projects with long-term payback are very few and far between. Most companies are investing tactically. Companies may have a two-to-three-year strategy, but the investment window is six-to-nine months or no more than 12 months.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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