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Top-level executive support, redefined

It’s the late 1990s, and this multinational company’s US division is developing a new system for its call center, says a pilot fish who’s hired to be the systems manager there.

“The CIO and the cheapskate US division president clashed on the new custom system,” fish says. “The CIO wanted to use the Oracle and AS/400 system that was being developed by the UK office, because it was being designed as a strong business application.

“The president wanted to use a system being developed in the Mexico office — in FoxPro, which was already being phased out at most IT shops, and certainly wasn’t enterprise-grade enough to develop the company’s primary business application in.”

And, not surprisingly, it’s the boss who wins that fight. The CIO is pushed out, and the president replaces him with the head developer from the Mexico office — the guy responsible for the new application that’s now dubbed “the Mexican system,” or TMS for short.

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