Richard Seltzer's home page  Publishing home
Articles about DEC
mgmt memo



Volume 7, #7_________________________________________________________________ October, 1988


Digital’s Small Business Strategy In The U.S. by Jay Atlas, vice president, U.S. Indirect Channels Sales, and Frank Brown, manager, General Business Sales and Marketing


Ken Talks About The Stock Price And Other Matters


Digital Acquires Risc Technology From MIPS


Operating As An International Company - The Need For Global Perspective by Cliff Clarke, manager, International Trade Policy


Enabling People To Work Together More Effectively


Revitalizing The Open Door Policy by John Murphy, Corporate Employee Relations Consultant


Software Engineering Management Changes


ESG Marketing Shifts Focus


New Information Services Group Supports Corporate Operations And Strategic Resources


Digital Cited For Aids Education And Awareness Program


Donna Blaney And Michael Ewing Swap Jobs For 3 Months


Financial Industry Organization Systems


Dom Lacava Appointed Vice President


Two Named Senior Consulting Engineer



Digital’s Small Business Strategy In The U.S. by Jay Atlas, vice president, U.S. Indirect Channels Sales, and Frank Brown, manager, General Business Sales and Marketing


Our small business strategy is to support our current customer base, to ensure that we can get our products and solutions in front of customers, and to have direct contact with small companies that are growing rapidly. We’ve found that, if we can build a loyalty to Digital when a company is small but growing, it will stay with us. Based on our archi­tecture, they’ll see the advantage of growing with our products.


The computer market has matured to the point that there are identifiable points in a company’s growth when it re-evaluates its computer strategies. Very small companies tend to buy personal computers, which they later connect in local area networks (LANs). But when they grow to the point where they want a multi-user system, they often find that the software they bought for their personal computers won’t run on bigger computers. At that point, when they have reached about $5-10 million in revenue, they begin to make a commit­ment to a computer vendor.


First they only want one system. But when they grow to about $25-30 million, they start to resemble much bigger companies and need separate computers for different departments and networking to tie those departments together.


It is important for Digital to have a presence in the $5-10 million companies, but we don’t have to sell directly there. Rather we can look to our OEMs and distributors to cover that territory.


About five years ago, Digital started to sell directly to small businesses through store­front business centers. That was a new market to us. We had a lot to learn.


Later we continued to try to sell directly to smaller companies (ranging in size from about $5 million to $25 million) in just three areas of the U.S. - Los Angeles, New York and Boston — using dedicated sales districts. Since this market was interested in application solutions to business problems rather than computer systems, we hired sales people who understood the problems of particular kinds of small businesses.


We needed experience in selling directly to that market in order to understand what it takes to be successful. We used direct mail advertising and telemarketing to prospect for potential customers, learned what applications customers were interested in and the sup­port they needed. We learned what it takes to sell to them, and also how to satisfy them.


Having learned that, we now want to work with our distributors and OEMs to go after this market space. As we focus more of our direct sales coverage on our largest accounts, we will have our distributors and OEMs sell our products to small businesses. Because of what we have learned, we can work with them and help them to do that successfully.


In the U.S. Sales organization, there are now Named Account Districts, whose focus is on the largest accounts in the country and on smaller accounts that have a strategic impor­tance to us. The rest of the end-user accounts in an Area are the responsibility of the General Business District. The sales people in General Business Districts work closely with partners to maximize the sale of Digital products into the small business market. Their role is to use all available resources to get as much business as possible from customers who have annual revenues as small as $2-3 million or as large as $100 million.


Sales people in these districts are responsible for sales to small businesses in their territory whether a distributor or an OEM gets the order or they sell it directly. This system encourages them to use the most effective channel to help them deliver product to customers.


Today, in the U.S., we already get about half a billion dollars revenue annually from our distributors. Now, we’re asking them to help us develop the small business end of the market. In some accounts, we want to position the distributor as the customer’s account manager, not just taking the order, but developing all the potential business there.


As we are increasing our commitment to distributors, they are increasing their commitment to us. Our largest distributors are Hamilton/Avnet, Pioneer, Lex, Wiley, GTE and Arrow. They have about 700-800 sales people and are now staffing up to go after smaller to mid­sized companies with our products. For instance, Hamilton/Avnet recently set up a sepa­rate division to sell computer products. And Wiley has set up a computer products sales force in a separate division that sells Digital and compatible computer product lines.


Over the last year or two, Sales Training and Educational Services have developed a whole curriculum of courses for our distributors. Their sales reps get both sales training and product training on Digital products.


We are very dependent on these distributors and they are very dependent on us, which makes for a good relationship. We are sharing a big opportunity with them in the small business arena, and will work closely together to develop it.


This strategy is intended for the U.S. Europe has been doing something similar for years. There each country has a Country Merchandising Organization that performs like a General Business District, focusing on the smaller companies and actively using telemarketing, OEMs and distributors.


With General Business Districts focusing on small and mid-sized businesses, the rest of the sales force is free to focus on the top 2000 accounts. Using this combination, the U.S. covers its entire customer base.


Ken Talks About The Stock Price And Other Matters


At a recent officers’ luncheon, Ken Olsen, president, addressed several rumors and mis­conceptions regarding Digital. He emphasized the importance of making sure that employees know how the company is really doing. The following is a summary of his remarks:


Early retirement rumor


"Someone in the press speculated that we are planning an early retirement program. This is wrong. We hired engineers, software people, and a large number of sales specialists to develop our position in the high-end commercial market. We also have had major projects to secure a major segment for us in the desktop computer business. In both of these areas, we’ve been a major player, but we plan to be much more significant. These invest­ments are working out very well. We are very enthusiastic about them, and the idea of cutting the staff because somebody suggested it is absolutely ridiculous.


"This misunderstanding is compounded by reports that we have canceled two fairly large projects. Yes, we canceled several projects these last few months. That’s part of doing business in the computer industry. We start parallel projects and finish only the best. We cancel all those that aren’t absolutely necessary. We don’t make these cancellations public because they are just a normal part of the engineering process. We don’t tell people about the projects we start, and we don’t tell the public about the projects we cancel.


"Cancellation of one of those projects related to our decision to buy a CPU chip from the outside. On the one hand, that decision was like many others -- a simple question of mathematics. An outside firm, specializing in that area, could provide us with what we needed sooner and for less cost than we could do it ourselves. We don’t build what we can buy. On the other hand, this decision attracted attention because this was the first time we had decided to buy a CPU chip. From my point of view, that’s just one more change in our history.


"We’re in the business of making changes. We tell customers they’re going to change, and we’ve got to change. That’s the way it has been; and, I’m sure, that’s the way it will be. This means that some plants and some groups have to make changes, and there will always be certain parts of the company that aren’t used with full efficiency. We take that into account in our planning.


"The change we’re going through now is specializing more and more on bigger and bigger things, rather than the easy things that thousands of people could do. This is part of our long-term vision.


"I think we have reason to be proud of the fact that we are an absolutely different com­pany every few years than we were a few years earlier. Our customers are different. Our products are different. Our technology is different.


"Many of the things we believed in three years ago have changed. But that’s the nature of the business we’re in - a business that changes all the time. It’s also the business that’s the most fun of any business around.


"We used to be in a position to do good for society by putting manufacturing plants in places that needed help with employment. We don’t have that option any more. With all our growth in revenue, the number of people in manufacturing has not been growing as fast as the rest of the company. That was a difficult change we had to go through a few years back.


"Now, it is likely that hardware engineering will not grow very much, compared to the overall growth of the company. That’s partly due to advances in technology, in design tools. It’s also because our business is becoming more and more systems integration and software. So our hardware engineers are doing more and more software.


"But we foresee no layoffs, no early retirements."




"Someone in the press also made a connection between our Job Evaluation and Classification Project in the U.S. and the rumor about early retirement. That’s dead wrong. Rather than


being a way to get rid of people, as that person suggested, JEC is part of our effort to make sure we properly value our people and their work -- so we can keep them and attract more good people, as we need them.


"JEC is a huge effort, something we’ve needed to do for a long time. And once it’s done, it should last us for a good while. It’s an effort to overhaul our system for defining and describing jobs. We want to deal consistently and fairly with all our employees. JEC is intended to help us make sure we continue to do that, and to make sure we stay compet­itive in the marketplace for people — so we can hire and keep the good people we need for us to be successful."


Stock price


"People ask why the price of our stock has fallen so low. Although our profit and our growth continue to outpace the industry, our profit margin is down from what it was a year ago. And, unfortunately, investors tend to focus on the short term and downward trends, rather than see the underlying goodness and value of what we’re doing.


"There are many reasons why the profit margin is down. First, we set out to sell a lot of high-end products last year, and customers didn’t buy as many of them as we had anticipa­ted. Fortunately, they bought our workstations and other low-end systems instead. Also, we’ve been making major investments at both the high end and the low end. These invest­ments temporarily reduce profits, but are important for the future strength and growth of the company.


"So our profit margin is down. But when you consider the investments we’re making, we’re doing very well.


"Today, the stock market seems interested only in short-term results and shows little enthusiasm for companies making investments for the future.


"We believe that investing for the future will ensure the long-term good of the company and its stockholders, customers and employees. We shouldn’t be overly concerned with a short-term dip in the stock price. At the same time, we need to control our day-to-day costs and expenses more effectively.


"Over the years, other companies have made bold and exciting claims about themselves, have grown dramatically, and then have disappeared. In contrast, we’re dull - we have just grown in revenue and profit year after year. And that record of ours substantiates our faith that the future comes about by making investments, doing a better and better job, worrying more, and just being better in quality and service and product -- both hardware and software.


"So we probably will suffer with the ups and downs of Wall Street. Perhaps we didn’t deserve the high price our stock had a year ago, and perhaps we don’t deserve the low price it has today.


"But this is the way we decided to play the game. And we have to live with it.


"I have mixed feelings at a time like this. Right now we are really working hard on a number of things. And I fear if we feel too positive, we won’t get that done. It’s awfully hard to straighten things out when the stock is going for $200 a share. You just can’t get anybody’s attention. That’s why I tell people, let’s get it straightened out now when it’s low, because that may not last too long.


"But we should have a positive attitude. We’re doing well. And even though I’m always finding fault - I’m paid to find fault - you should always be positive and enthusiastic.


"We have so many good things going for us, so many exciting products, so much fun coming this fall."


Digital Acquires Risc Technology From MIPS


Digital and MIPS Computer Systems, Inc., have announced a comprehensive technology ex­change agreement for Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) technology and designs devel­oped by MIPS.


RISC computers have a very simple instruction set, oriented toward fast execution. They have recently become practical because of the availability of very sophisticated optimiz­ing compilers to take advantage of the simple instruction set. RISC computers have their greatest market acceptance in high performance workstations.


Digital expects to use the RISC technology and designs covered by the agreement in prod­ucts to be developed in the future. Digital will purchase a minority interest in MIPS, and may appoint a member to the MIPS board of directors.


MIPS is the leading supplier of RISC-based computer systems, software and components. Founded in 1984, it is a privately-held company based in Sunnyvale, California.


"With the addition of RISC technology Digital will offer customers even more versatility in compute performance to match specific application demands," said Bill Strecker, vice president, Product Strategy and Architecture.


He emphasized the continuity of Digital’s system architecture and how this new technology adds to it. "To implement our vision and our products, we established a single system architecture which was the framework into which all our products would fit. To architect a system is to break it into a number of carefully specified components with carefully specified relationships or interfaces between the components. If the architecture is well done, it will provide the necessary capabilities for solving customer problems at any given point in time. And it will evolve gracefully over time to respond to changing technology and customer needs.


"When we talk about a system architecture, we are talking about substantially more than just hardware or an operating system. When we designed the VAX family, we had an overall system architecture in mind that not only included the hardware and operating system, but networking, data management, application integration and core applications as well. Only when each of these architecture components is designed together and properly layered do you truly have a system architecture.


"The key words here are ’components’ and ’layered.’ The hardware component is not a system architecture nor is the operating system component. In an architecture with lay­ered components, we change or evolve one component of the architecture without changing the overall system architecture; and we can introduce new, parallel components while still providing continuity with the other components where customers may have made major invest­ments.


"Digital’s system architecture has been designed from the beginning in a layered fashion such that individual layers can be changed or augmented to respond to changing technology or user need," observed Bill. "Adding RISC technology at the hardware layer -- like adding UNIX/OSF technology in our ULTRIX product at the operating system layer — exploits and builds on that system architecture.


"In other words, Digital’s system architecture provides the framework for responding to changing technology and changing customer needs in an evolutionary way that preserves customer investment. With this announcement, we are anticipating an evolution of the hardware component of our system architecture to include both VAX and RISC-based hardware.


"Looking to the future, Digital will be offering systems with both VMS and ULTRIX opera­ting system components," Bill noted. "Both are strategic to Digital. VMS software will be offered on VAX-based hardware and ULTRIX will be offered on VAX and eventually RISC­based hardware. I would anticipate that the earliest RISC-based products will be in the workstation area where the enhanced microprocessor performance of RISC technology offers the most immediate advantage.


"Digital will continue to heavily invest in, and, in fact, increase its investment in VAX hardware. One implication of our securing RISC technology from MIPS is that many internal resources can remain focused on the VAX family. An interesting result of Digital’s in­volvement in RISC technology, is that VAX designers have substantially revamped their plans to increase the performance of future VAX processors."


Operating As An International Company - The Need For Global Perspective by Cliff Clarke, manager, International Trade Policy


A geologist looking at a globe representing world trading activity would see it in terms of platetectonics — as three primary geologic plates and a number of lesser plates. This geologist would know that the forces at play were causing all of these plates to be con­stantly in motion, generating great amounts of heat and friction. Over time the process is eroding some plates, while adding to others.


One primary plate centered in Europe is the European Economic Community; the second, located in North America, is the U.S.; and the third, located in the Far East, is Japan. Without the benefit of being able to hold such a globe in your hand, events look very different when viewed from the perspective of standing on one plate as opposed to another. Yet prospering as a global enterprise demands a global perspective.


Each of today’s dominant trading partners is working to further its own self-interest, while attempting to ensure that the basic trading apparatus on which they all depend is not jeopardized. The emphasis given the global enterprise is well deserved. Rather than being advertising cliches, "global trade" and "managing the global enterprise" reflect complex and compelling international interdependencies. To be competitive, we need to be able to integrate wisdom in a number of dimensions. Let’s look briefly at the three major trading powers.


The 12 countries making up the European Economic Community (ECC) have concluded that they cannot compete with the U.S. and Japan without removing a number of barriers that exist among the 12 sovereign member states. The result will be a unified market, and the target date is 1992. From a European perspective, the consequences of economically falling behind the U.S. and Japan are of much greater concern than are the cultural and national consequences that might be set in motion by a unified market. The specter of stiff in­ternational competition has been a powerful agent for change. As it should, Europe is watching out for its own self-interest, and the unified market is a bold but measured response to both the U.S. and Japan.


Digital has become a major force in the European market. Digital is also a U.S.-based global enterprise. Our continued success will depend not only on understanding each major market, but increasingly on also understanding the dynamics between the two.


Long a champion of free trade, the U.S. is struggling to understand and address the root causes of relative global economic decline. Technology, the comparative international advantage of the U.S., is under siege, especially from Japan; and the response is yet to be defined. As in Europe, cultural norms and institutions are being challenged. On the one hand, the nature of global trade demands that governments play a vital role in repre­senting their nation’s interests. U.S. culture, however, reflects a strong bias against a strong central government and central planning. Unlike other modem nations, the U.S. does not have an industrial policy; such matters are traditionally the domain of the private sector. Further, U.S. foreign policy is developed quite apart from commercial considerations. The nature of capital markets, trade and budget deficits, emphasis on consumption versus savings, and the independent nature of entrepreneurial behavior are all being re-examined. But long-term structural changes will most likely not originate in Washington, D.C.


The importance of understanding the perspective of the major trading partners is apparent in the case of the Omnibus Trade Bill recently enacted in the U.S. Broadly hailed domes­tically as a major step forward in responding to international competition, Europe and Japan have reacted sternly to what they see as protectionist legislation. Just as one man’s superstition may be another man’s religion; one nation’s trade policy may be pro­tectionism to another. As a U.S.-based enterprise, Digital is in the thick of these issues, and it is imperative that we understand all points of view in a number of dimen­sions in order to make intelligent and workable decisions.


Because of its visible success in so many industry sectors, Japan is viewed in Europe and the U.S. as an international trading juggernaut. By embracing technology, foregoing consumption to amass wealth for long-term investment, pushing manufacturing to new limits and managing international trade as an end in itself, Japan has been able to capture world markets in automobiles, consumer electronics, optics, and information technology.


While many nations have tried, only Japan has been able to challenge U.S. leadership in technology. Yet in spite of stunning success, the Japanese view themselves as poor in comparison to their Western trading partners. They attribute their accomplishments to sacrifice and valuing the collective good as a higher priority than the pursuit of indi­vidualism.


They cannot account for the resentment that their success has engendered among their trading partners. Because of culture, it is often difficult to separate Japan the nation from Japanese companies in respect to international trade.


Japan represents the most sophisticated challenge to managing Digital internationally. Japan is at once a source of critical technology, a vendor, a competitor, a customer and a subsidiary. Therefore, it is especially critical that Digital’s perceptions be balanced in addressing the many dimensions of dealing with and managing in Japan,


Managing in an information- or knowledge-based enterprise is the current popular topic of business schools and the business press. A question not being addressed, however, is what point of view governs managing in a knowledge-based, global enterprise? Perhaps the answer lies in a comment made by Charles De Gaulle to a reporter. When asked if he saw himself sitting to the political right or the political left, De Gaulle responded, "Nei­ther. I see myself sitting above." While De Gaulle may have intended his reply to be provocative, the analogy is pertinent to our need to think globally. To manage in a global enterprise today, we cannot afford to have a narrow or partisan point of view. We need to develop a global perspective, based on knowledge of the perspectives and interests of all three of the major trading partners. Future articles in MGMT MEMO will deal with each of those trading partners and discuss international trade issues that are important to Digital.


Enabling People To Work Together More Effectively


Over the past five years, in response to increasing numbers of requests from manufacturing customers, Digital’s Manufacturing organization has set up a variety of programs to share technology and experiences with these customers. Such exchanges, managed by Don Hunt’s Manufacturing Customer Integration group, help build long-term relationships with key customers, while contributing to Digital’s efforts to achieve excellence in manufacturing.


One of these programs, Organization Technology, consists of a three-person team led by Bruce Dillingham. They provide consulting services that focus on the human side of man­ufacturing. Bruce was plant manager at the Enfield, Connecticut, plant when it started up in 1981. He has built on his experience there to develop a method to help companies find ways to create organizations that enable their people to work together more effectively.


"Industry in the past tended to focus on technology to solve all of its problems," ex­plains Bruce. "Managers typically talked in terms of replacing people with automated machinery. By buying technology, they would save direct labor cost. Now they are star­ting to see that isn’t the answer. We need technology, but it must serve people. We need to integrate people and technology. The traditional work style uses less than half of a person’s capabilities. We want to use the whole person.


"People represent an important asset to a company — one of the very few assets that go up in value. It’s time for companies to consider how to use this precious asset, how to empower their people."


Last year, Bruce’s group designed a new plant for the Carrier Division of United Technol­ogies. They designed both the factory and the way people would work there. This small plant (about 70 people) in rural Georgia, with a "self-managed" work force, based on concepts from Enfield, is now the most productive plant in United Technologies and is being publicized as a model for other plants in that company to follow. Carrier is now asking Bruce’s group to help make changes at their other older plants and to design an­other new one. Other consulting clients include Kodak, Pitney-Bowes, and even non-manufacturing companies, such as Hartford Insurance.


Explaining how Digital’s Enfield plant differs from typical manufacturing operations, Bruce observes, "The people have multiple skills and have learned a variety of ways to solve problems. They can talk about what’s important to the company and the importance of what they do. It’s a very flexible and responsive work community, without the usual emphasis on hierarchy. People know what has to get done, so they do it. People are involved in the decisions that affect them."


Bruce refers to his service as an "architectural service for organizations." "We help customers to envision and plan their business goals, design an organization to attain them, and make the transition to the new organization. This helps Digital build close relationships with them.


"We help them move away from trying to manage with rules to managing more with values and principles — the things they believe in. People will do the right thing if they’ve got those pictures in their mind and understand and believe them. They’ll strive for the end results you need.


"Sometimes companies get confused about the application of technology and the availability of it. Just because it’s there, they think they have to use it. We try to help companies analyze what their business is about, and what technology they really need. Simplicity and the basics often get forgotten.


"For example, a company might decide to invest in automated equipment to solve its mat­erial handling problems. They’d want some robotics and conveyor systems to move material around, computers to control that machinery, including laser scanners to keep track of where all the parts are.


"We help them focus on wheter they should have inventory in the first place. If the inventory is reduced, the automation is simplified with a higher probability of success.


"We've developed a framework for looking at an organization as a system and a design process for implementing it," says Bruce. "We describe the organization in terms of seven interrelated elements. If one or more elements change, that puts stress on the other elements of the system, which then have to change for the organization to continue to be effective. For instance, if technology changes, you have to consider the impact on peo­ple, decision-making, work systems, etc. and make appropriate adjustments. We stress the importance of viewing the system as a whole, not just striving to optimize individual pieces.


"In our consulting role, we prefer to start with the first element - the ’Purposing System.’ The vision, values, charter and purpose of the organization should come first - why you exist in the first place and where you are heading from here. The goals, strate­gies, critical success factors and leadership of the organization then follow."


The other elements are:


o "Work/Technology System" -- what you are building or servicing, the steps involved, and the technology you use to do this work. This includes the work flow and how the work is divided and accomplished, along with the methods used to control problems that might arise.


o "Structural System" - the hierarchy of reporting relationships, the span of control, the various functions and their linkages with other organizations. The physical layout is also a structural element.


o "Human System" - the number of people needed, along with their skill sets and career paths, the norms of behavior expected of people and the kinds of interactions necessary between people.


o "Decision/Information System" - the process for making and communicating decisions, and the information needed to support them - the source, the destination and the timeliness of the information.


o "Reward System" - the behaviors the company wants to reward people for, and the re­wards people actually value. This includes dealing with such questions as "What does this job mean to me? What’s it like to work here? What do I get out of this?"


o "Essential Processes" - information gathering, internal communications, problem sol­ving, resource utilization, how the organization learns and how it renews itself.


"When all the elements are in harmony, the results from a human point of view can be innovation, reduced turnover, high levels of commitment, and people who embrace or pull technology," notes Bruce. "From a business point of view, the outcomes can be high levels of productivity, high levels of quality, fewer layers of management, and a highly flexible organization."


The organizations that result from this process might differ considerably from one an­other. The Carrier plant is quite different from the Enfield plant, and both are very different from a service company. But the basic question in each case is — how do you empower people, how do you get people throughout the organization to make their own deci­sions and to take responsibility for their work.


Revitalizing The Open Door Policy by John Murphy, Corporate Employee Relations Consultant


Corporate Employee Relations has been working hard over the past few months to refine the company’s Open Door policy. There are several important reasons why refinements are needed. One is our rapid growth. Digital’s commitment to maintaining an environment in which all employees can engage in open, two-way constructive communication, even when conflicts arise, has not changed. However, our work force has changed. It is much larger and much more diverse than it was just a few years ago. The changing demographics, alone, make the job of managing and resolving conflicts more complex.


Intensified competition is another key factor, and the pressure to "get the work done" is much greater than it used to be. Nearly half of our employees have been with Digital less than five years, so there inevitably will be disagreements over the "right way" to get the work done.


We have found through a variety of formal and informal sensing activities that many emp­loyees — at all levels — have become hesitant to use our Open Door policy. Some feared reprisal. Some others - the number is not alarming but growing — have sought resolution outside the company through private attorneys or public agencies. Still others feel that, given the company’s size, the Open Door policy has to have more structure to be effective.


We are confident that most issues that arise between an employee and his or her supervisor can be resolved at that level. When that is not the case, however, there needs to be a clearly defined escalation process. With the revised Open Door policy both parties will have a more useful tool to help resolve conflicts that cannot be worked out through the normal give and take between supervisor and employee.


The specific aims of revising the policy are to:


o safeguard employees, who raise issues, from reprisal;


o establish core standards;


o develop a written practice with a clear escalation process;


o define the responsibilities of the employee, manager or supervisor, higher level man­ager, and Personnel;


o set expectations for amount of time resolution should require;


o provide closure process;


o separate the advice and counsel role, of both Personnel and the manager, from the appeal and review role;


o identify a responsible individual in each organization who will safeguard the process; and


o encourage line organizations to recognize multiple opportunities to resolve issues locally.


Our objective is to create a framework and an environment that enable all employees to raise issues without fear of retaliation. That framework must also help managers to ad­dress employee issues and resolve conflicts without creating a host of new and unnecessary bureaucratic tangles. We can achieve that balance with some minor adjustments to the Open Door policy.


An Open Door Task Force is completing revisions of an Open Door draft policy that will be presented to organizations in Q2 for comment. The Task Force members are: Ted Campbell, Corporate EEO/Affirmative Action Operations manager; Laurie Margolies, Employee Relations Program manager; Maurice Vanderpol, MEM Personnel Business and Information Systems man­ager; John Doherty, Personnel Policy manager; Cyndi Bloom, U.S. Field Employee Relations manager; Ron Glover, senior attorney, Specialist Resource Law Group; Erline Belton, Cor­porate Employee Relations manager, and myself.


An article on the Open Door revisions recently appeared in "PERSONNEL perspectives," seeking input from the Personnel community. Line managers conversations with their Per­sonnel counterparts will help insure that the feedback we receive from Personnel reflects the entire company. If you have comments you would like to share directly, we invite you to do so. Your views are important to us as we make adjustments to policy that supports our employees and the company.


Software Engineering Management Changes


Digital has restructured the leadership of its software development activities to provide clear focus on its VMS and OSF/ULTRIX operating systems, as well as the extended software environment that includes the Applications Integration Architecture (AlA), computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools and core applications.


Bill Heffner, vice president, Systems Software, who led Digital to a position of industry leadership in VAX/VMS software, has moved from that area to assume responsibility for development of OSF/ULTRIX systems. This move underlines Digital’s commitment to OSF/UL­TRIX development. Bill retains responsibility for coordinating the company’s total soft­ware engineering business.


"This announcement reinforces our strategy," added Bill Heffner. "We will use AIA as the basis of our enterprise-wide integrated computing environment, VMS as the best software system architected by Digital, and OSF/ULTRIX as the best 100% OSF-compliant system in the industry. We will strive for maximum compatibility and interoperability between VMS and OSF/ULTRIX largely through AIA and the use of industry standards. And we will apply the highest level of engineering discipline to all that we do."


In addition, two senior engineering managers, Kurt Friedrich and Bill Keating, now report directly to Jack Smith, senior vice president, Engineering, Manufacturing and Product Marketing.


Kurt is now responsible for VMS systems as well as for distribution of software products. He also serves as the site manager for the Spit Brook Road facility in Nashua, N.H.


Bill Keating is responsible for AIA, CASE tools and core applications for both VMS and OSF/ULTRIX systems. He is also responsible for the Corporate User Publications Group and retains functional management responsibility of Applications Engineering in Product Mar­keting.


"We have long offered two operating systems on VAX computers and long supported software standards," explained Jack Smith. "One of the most significant factors in our success over the years has been our disciplined approach to VMS software and our languages, program development tools, and more recently, the Applications Integration Architecture.


"The ULTRIX operating system has offered our customers a UNIX* alternative that is a strategic component of our enterprise-wide strategy. Lately, there has been considerable interest in ’open operating systems,* and UNIX is the focus of this attention. As a foun­der of the Open Software Foundation (OSF), Digital is enthusiastically participating in the development of the OSF standards. The same level of commitment and discipline must be institutionalized in our development approach to OSF/ULTRIX, just as it is being applied to continued VMS development," Smith continued.


*UNIX is a trademark of AT&T, Bell Labs.


ESG Marketing Shifts Focus


Responding to the changing needs of its maturing marketplace, the Engineering Systems Group (ESG) has shifted the focus of its marketing organization to improve efficiency and increase market share.


"We feel that at the stage of maturity we’ve reached in applications, a functional ap­proach will now allow us to get more done with fewer people, so we can move some of our people into new areas, such as Strategic Programs," explains Don McInnis, vice president, ESG.


Up until now, ESG had been organized by application: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, architectural and civil engineering, earth resources, geophysical explora­tion, mapping, and computer-aided software engineering (CASE). "That approach was needed to build up a base of expertise and applications in each targeted area," says Don. "We now have a good base of applications and of knowledge in each of those areas. That gives us the opportunity to make the group much more productive and efficient.


"So we are organizing around the functions that previously were done separately for dif­ferent applications. For instance, we now have one group, Applications, under Joe Law­rence, that can put together consistent programs for all of our Cooperative Marketing Partners. We also have a new Marketing Programs organization, with Joe Lawrence as acting manager; and a Strategy Development group, under George Novoson, to develop the systems and application strategies. Basically, we’ll be able to develop one program for all of ESG and put the application pieces in as necessary.


"By putting people doing similar work together in single organizations, like Marketing Programs, we’ll be in a better position to deal with Digital’s worldwide marketing and sales organizations, such as the Application Centers for Technology (ACTs), the Digital Competency Centers in Europe, Field resource groups, the Sales Support Organization, Industry Marketing, and Channels Marketing.


"One application group - CASE - still remains separate because that area is growing extremely fast. Also, that group, managed by Al Olsen, focuses across many different Product Application groups, not just ESG. It tries to represent a broad set of require­ments and marketing approaches to CASE, as opposed to just engineering.


"Our Product Marketing and Development Group, under Rich Lewan, also didn’t change, be­cause it already was a functional group representing all of ESG," says Don. "They focus on the product requirements of our marketplace and bring that information to Central Engineering, for consideration when designing Digital’s base products. They also train the rest of ESG and key people in the Field organizations about Digital’s base products and new products and their impact on the engineering marketplace. In addition, some people in this organization develop engineering support tools - software needed by our customers for managing engineering designs."


All these marketing groups report to Rakesh Kumar, who reports to Don. The other major piece of ESG, Systems Engineering, is managed by Prakash Bhalerao, who also reports to Don.


New Information Services Group Supports Corporate Operations And Strategic Resources


The Information Systems (IS) groups in Corporate Operations and Strategic Resources have been consolidated into a new organization. Called Corporate Information Services, the group is managed by Mike Connor, who reports to Bel Cross, manager, Digital Information Systems (DIS). Corporate Information Services supports Legal, Corporate Marketing Commu­nications, and Corporate Security, which report to Win Hindle, senior vice president, and supports Corporate Personnel, Administration, Purchasing, Environmental Health and Safety, and DIS, all of which report to John Sims, vice president.


"By taking advantage of a single focus and having more coordination in corporate activi­ties, we will have more efficient and responsive Information Systems support," explained Win. "We are particularly looking for improved productivity in operations and systems development."


Mike will support Corporate Operations and Strategic Resources, including his current responsibility of Information Security. He will work with Bel and others to identify operational activities that will become part of Corporate Information Services.


"Our goal is coordination and collaboration, not centralization," says Bel. "This shift is a first step toward meeting the changing information needs of Digital. We want to make sure that day-to-day operations are the primary focus of this group in support of corpor­ate activities. We also want to make sure that the people who are dealing with long-term strategic projects don’t get pulled off of those to deal with day-to-day activities."


Bel continued, "I also want to provide a much higher emphasis on the tools portfolio. In today’s environment, we build duplicate tools everywhere. If someone needs a new way to communicate, to send files, or whatever, they develop it. We need to coordinate those efforts, including CASE (computer-aided software engineering) tools.


"Manufacturing applications will still be built by Manufacturing IS people. But the tools could be the same ones we use to build Sales, Service, and Personnel applications. Our approach to tools has not been focused enough. I want to assemble a critical mass of


activity so we can provide more leadership in the tools area. So in addition to taking care of the operational needs of Win’s and John’s organizations, this new group will develop and manage the tools portfolio process. I look to the Corporate Information Ser­vices to provide leadership and coordination for such an effort."


Mike Connor, the manager for the new group, joined Digital in July 1981. Until 1984, he served as manager, Corporate Finance and Administration Information Services. Between 1984 and 1988, he was manager, U.S. DIS. Mike most recently was responsible for Information Security. Prior to joining Digital, Mike was general manager of Commercial Systems Divi­sion, Softech Inc. and had a variety of software engineering responsibilities supporting commercial applications for Fortune 100 customers.


Digital Cited For Aids Education And Awareness Program


The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has cited Digital for its work in promoting AIDS education and awareness. Dr. Robert Windom, Undersecretary of Health and Human Services, made the presentation September 16, in Chicago, at the Private Sector Leadership Conference on AIDS.


Digital was recognized for its leadership and effective employee and community service through building an AIDS education and awareness program based on both factual information and compassion. The citation said the program served "as a model for corporate America in the battle against AIDS." Erline Belton, Corporate Employee Relations manager, accepted the award for Digital.


The conference was sponsored by the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS, and attended by about 180 business and labor leaders. Paul Ross, AIDS Program Office manager, and Ron Eisenhauer, vice president, Central Area Sales, were speakers at the conference. They explained the work Digital is doing as a company and as a member of the New England Corp­orate Consortium for AIDS Education. Digital and eight other major Boston-area employers belong to the Consortium.


Donna Blaney And Michael Ewing Swap Jobs For 3 Months


Donna Blaney, U.S. Field Personnel manager, and Michael Ewing, European Personnel manager, will exchange positions for a three-month period beginning November 1, 1988.


"As part of our overall strategy to develop the Personnel function to meet the current and emerging human resource needs of the company, we need to ensure that our senior Personnel managers have the broad-based skills, knowledge and experience to meet these challenges," explains Dick Walsh, SSMI Personnel vice president. "This job rotation will provide both Donna and Michael with developmental experiences beyond the content of their current positions. Each will gain exposure to a different management team, a different business environment and another method of addressing major human resource issues. Both the Euro­pean and U.S. Field Management Teams will also benefit by having a senior Personnel man­ager with another geographical perspective working with their team."


Financial Industry Organization Systems


Norman Goldberg has been named group manager of Financial Industry Organization Systems, reporting to Bill Steul, vice president, Corporate Systems Group. In this position, he is responsible for developing and implementing Digital’s architecture and products for the financial services industry. Industries within the financial services group include banking, investment, and insurance.


Norman will work with Claude Thomas, vice president, Financial Services Industry Marketing Group. Claude is responsible for developing the company’s strategy for the financial services market and ensuring that Digital products, programs and services are directed toward this industry.


Norman will be advancing Digital’s current product offerings for the financial services industry through internal product development efforts, and joint marketing and development agreements with target financial application software vendors.


He will also manage four major financial services industry product development efforts for Digital. He and his staff will work directly with Digital’s base engineering groups and software services to ensure that overall corporate product development efforts align with the identified needs of the financial services industry.


Prior to joining Digital, Norman held various application development and marketing man­agement positions with IBM for twenty years.


Dom Lacava Appointed Vice President


In recognition of his fine contributions and the significance of his position to Digital, Dom LaCava has been appointed Low End Systems Vice President, effective August 23, 1988.


Dom has managed the Low End Systems group for over a year. He has made significant pro­gress in strengthening the Low End Systems strategy, organization design and budget, and has implemented important changes to his own staff.


After he joined Digital in 1977, Dom held several senior-level hardware and software engineering positions. From 1984, he managed the creation of the successful MicroVAX family and led the dramatic turnaround in the PDP-11 business.


Prior to joining Digital, Dom was at IBM for nine years, where he held several senior­level management positions in the development of VM and VS/2.


Two Named Senior Consulting Engineer


Bill Hawe has been named senior consulting engineer, reporting to Tony Lauck, corporate consulting engineer, in the Distributed Systems Group. Bill will continue in his role as manager and technical leader of the Distributed Systems LAN Architecture Group. He joined Digital in 1980 and was instrumental in the design of the 10 Mbps Ethernet. He contribu­ted to the design of numerous implementations of the Ethernet across Digital and was a major influence on the IEEE standardization of the Ethernet. He was also the leader of the DECnet Architecture Group, and, while in the Corporate Research Group, was a key member of the design team which originated, developed, and created a prototype of the concept of extended LANs.


Scott McGregor has been named senior consulting engineer in the Systems Software Group (SSG) at Spit Brook Road in Nashua, N.H. As DECwindows program architect, Scott is re­sponsible for the technical integrity of DECwindows and all components of the program, which embraces nine different contributing software and hardware groups. Prior to joining Digital three years ago, Scott held positions at Microsoft, where he was responsible for Microsoft Windows, and at Xerox, where he worked on the Xerox Star, which was a model for most of the windowing systems used today.




Dave Buckingham has been appointed Sales manager for the Far East Region. Based in Hong Kong, Dave reports to Bobby Choonavala, vice president, Far East Region. Dave has worked in the computer industry both in Europe and the U.S. for over 30 years — the last 20 with Digital. During this time, he has held sales and marketing positions in the U.K., inclu­ding responsibility for Digital’s Middle East operations. More recently, based in Geneva, he held the positions of Educational Services manager and International Sales manager.


Giorgio Corsi has been named Country Group manager of Human Resources & Organization (HRO), reporting to Michael Ewing, European HRO manager. He now has functional management for: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Holland, Ireland (Field), Israel, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. The following countries/locations continue to report to Michael: European Headquarters (EHQ), France, Germany, Ireland (Geography), Italy, Valbonne, and the United Kingdom. Giorgio joined Digital Italy in 1975 to work as Field Service branch manager in Milan. He moved to EHQ Geneva in 1979, and joined the European Personnel Team as manager of Area Personnel Services in September 1986.


Jim Doyle has been appointed U.S./Field Headquarters Purchasing manager, reporting to Ron Payne, vice president, Purchasing, and Mike Kalagher, manager, U.S. Administration. Jim joined Digital in 1977 as Purchasing manager for Maynard Manufacturing, and most recently served as Corporate Field Service Purchasing manager.


Jane Hamel has been named Corporate Contributions manager, reporting to Nancy Dube, man­ager, Corporate Community Relations. She joined Digital in 1980, and since 1982 was the Corporate Contributions Programs manager responsible for the evaluation and execution of corporate grants in cultural, handicapped, health care and civic affairs. In FY88, Corp­orate Contributions donated over $26 million in cash and equipment to non-profit organi­zations worldwide.


Dennis Roberson has joined Digital as manager of the TP Systems Group, reporting Bob Glorioso, vice president, High Performance Systems (HPS). Dennis will assume this respon­sibility from John Manzo and Rich Whitman. John will continue to manage HPS Systems Software Engineering, and Rich will continue to manage HPS Marketing and Product Manage­ment and the HPS Systems Components PBU. Both John and Rich continue to report to Bob. Dennis has spent 17 years with IBM, most recently as Lab Director of the Endicott Lab.


Bill Segal has joined the LDP/Science Product Marketing Group as the group manager of Product and Systems Engineering, reporting to Gary Eichhorn, group marketing manager, LDP/Science. He will also continue to serve as Digital’s liaison to the DECUS SIG Coun­cil. Bill joined Digital in 1964 as a software engineer and subsequently held positions in Software Services and Biomedical Marketing. Most recently, he was manager of Product Management, Base Product Marketing and Business Management in the Software Systems Group.

  privacy statement