NVTC Event: The CIO’s Role in Implementing New (or Quick Turnaround) Corporate and Government Initiatives
I was on the panel at the event - over a 100 people attended on a cold winter morning. Here is the summary from the NVTC e-mail:
Panelists (l-r) Carol Zierhoffer, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Tim Wood, Friedman Billings Ramsey and Yuvinder Kochar, The Washington Post Company, speak enthusiastically to audience members about their roles as CIOs.My best answer: General marketing e-mails get a general response that is generally NO! :-)
With a packed house, three local CTOs and CIOs served as panelists for a candid discussion on February 9 on ways to distinguish oneself as a provider of solutions in the technology market, during an event brought to you by the NVTC Business Development, Marketing, and Sales and Business to Government (B2G) committees. Moderated by Anne Armstrong, Publisher of Federal Computer Week, the panelists delved into the issues of the best practices to build relationships between companies, communication via e-mail, and "pitching ideas" from the bottom up, not the top down.
Tim Wood, CIO of Friedman Billings and Ramsey, began the panel discussion by explaining that although CIOs do not have a seat at his management table, he overcomes this separation from other top-level executives by "always walking and talking to those at the table." By staying in the loop, he feels CIOs remain involved in the decision-making process. All the panelists agreed that the ability to release products quickly comes down to relationships, whether they be external or internal. Carol Zierhoffer, Vice President & CIO of Northrop Grumman Information Technology, highlighted how relationships with other companies allowed Northrop Grumman to quickly restore productivity in Hurricane Katrina-damaged workplaces.
For a company vying for a provider slot, the panel discussed the need to both research what other companies are doing and highlight for the CIO how your company's product or service is unique from the competition. In deciding whether to return inquiries about sales pitches, the panelists agreed that e-mail is the best communication tool. Yuvinder Kochar, CTO of The Washington Post commented that he looks at all e-mails even if he doesn't respond. He said that the e-mails that make the best impression are those that show a belief in one's product and its validity to the market. Panelists commented that the best e-mails will be forwarded to appropriate departments, and those sent to the highest ranking officers have a much smaller likelihood of response.