IT Leveraging

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For New Jersey, a Technology Summit

This article by Melinda Sherwood was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper

on May 12, 1999. All rights reserved.

High technology may be instrumental in creating a

global village, but for the moment location still counts and sometimes

regional is still better than national. That’s part of the theory

of the Portland, Oregon-based American Show Management, which is


a two-day technology summit for New Jersey’s business, government,

and educational communities.

The New Jersey Technology Showcase will be held at the Garden State

Convention Center in Somerset on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 18

and 19, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Sponsor/exhibitors include Arthur


Gartner Group, Buchanan Ingersoll, Hyperion, Summit Bank, Lucent,

Microsoft, Panurgy, and Actium. The showcase will feature Y2K exhibits

and conferences, distance learning/training solutions, technology

training labs, client server/open systems, Miscrosoft Partner Pavilion

and Theater, E-commerce exhibits, data/video/voice communications,

plus new and emerging technologies.

Wendy Rayner, the state’s chief information officer, will host

a CIO roundtable Tuesday, May 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The roundtable

will focus on Information Technology issues, such as E-commerce,


insource/outsource, and data-mining. Panelists will include Scott

Sautner, Sarnoff Corporation (see story below); H.G. Vinnecombe,


Technologies; Glenn Rogers, PSE&G; and Joseph A. Micali Jr., Summit

Bancorp. Fee: $10. More information: 503-968-1123 or

American Show Management (ASM), acquired last month

by the investment firm Warburg, Pincus, has been producing expositions

and conferences for 18 years, but only recently began to collaborate

with states in setting up technology forums. The idea was launched

in 1997 with the first-ever Maryland Technology Showcase. This year,

Maryland, Kansas, Iowa, New Mexico, Washington D.C. and New Jersey

have all asked for their own technology showcases. With exhibitor

fees ranging up to $1,995 for a 10 by 10-foot space, ASM has been

happy to oblige.

Economic development for the state is only one advantage, says Bob

Dethlefs, managing director of American Show Management. "Our

goal is to make information more centralized," he says, "so

that all businesses can come together about what’s working and what’s

not." Moreover, he says, "regional is more effective than

national" when it comes to reaching decision-makers at many


companies. "People aren’t being sent all over the country anymore

just to attend trade shows."

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IT Leveraging

As businesses grow accustomed to sharing information,

rather than hoarding it, people are rediscovering the strength of

numbers. IT professionals can do better by working together, says

Scott Sautner, director of information systems and services

at Sarnoff Corporation. "I believe we should build a local


to gain leverage with vendors like Sun Microsystems or Oracle,"

he says.

Sautner will join other IT professionals at the New Jersey Technology

Showcase on Tuesday, May 18, for a roundtable discussion. Sautner

received a BS in computer science from Lockhaven University, Class

of 1987, and an MS in computer science from Drexel in 1989. He worked

for nine years in project management and planning under the CIO of

Bellcore. He received an MBA from NYU in 1996.

"I’m a business person, not an IT person," says Sautner,


want to find the most economical solution to any problem." Sharing

ideas and banding together with other professionals, he says, can

be very cost-effective. "I don’t want to find out that another

company knew about a new product or service a week or two before


he says. "People in the IT community can put pressure on suppliers

to give everyone equal access to information." In addition to

talking to peers, Sautner suggests the following:

Spend time with vendors. Let them know that you expect

to be first in line for new information.

Streamline. You don’t have to spend an equal amount of

time with all of your suppliers, Sautner says. Identify your


Construct business cases. Use data, the pros and cons

of options, and functional and financial comparisons to solve your


Even in the high-tech fields, businesses are being outpaced

by technology. "You can’t go after everything at once,"


says. "You need to see what other companies have done and in what

kind of time frame."

— Melinda Sherwood

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