GRAND WINNERGeneral Motors Corp.INDUSTRY: ManufacturingLOCATION: DetroitREVENUE: $193 billionEMPLOYEES: 375,000www.gm.comWINNING SYSTEM: OnStar uses wireless technology and the global positioning system satellite network to deliver 24-hour emergency assistance, telecommunications services and vehicle diagnostic information to 3 million subscribers who own GM vehicles. OnStar provides services such as automatic notification to emergency responders when a vehicle\u2019s air bag deploys, stolen vehicle location assistance and remote door unlocking. Three small buttons placed along the dashboard or on the vehicle\u2019s rearview mirror allow instant access to an OnStar call center representative, to 911 emergency call centers or hands-free wireless calling.BUSINESS VALUE: OnStar contributes to driver safety and security and, as a result, provides GM with an additional selling point for its vehicles. OnStar\u2019s call center staff responds monthly to 450 reports of stolen vehicles, 950 air bag deployments and 85,000 roadside assistance calls. Emergency personnel can be contacted through three OnStar call centers, which are connected to more than 9,000 emergency response centers in the United States and Canada. General Motors says 80% more customers have become repeat customers since OnStar was introduced, and GM\u2019s dealers report OnStar helps them sell more automobiles. In addition, GM says that data collected from vehicles through OnStar is used to make improvements to vehicle performance, helping the company avoid product recalls.SUCCESS STRATEGY: GM kept the user interface simple. In addition, after initial marketing missteps, the company focused OnStar services on features related to the safety and performance of its vehicles. INVESTMENT: Unavailable KEY TECHNOLOGIES: GPS satellite network; IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard client\/server systems (for hosting call center, voice response systems, website and data delivery applications); Avaya switches for voice and data calls, as well as Cisco for pure data services; Verizon wireless telecommunication servicesI.T. EXECUTIVE: Ralph Szygenda, group VP and CIO, General MotorsBUSINESS SPONSOR: Chet Huber, president, OnStarWHAT WE LIKED: Created a public service that helps to save lives and simultaneously benefits the core business of manufacturing and selling cars.ADP Dealer Services GroupINDUSTRY: High-techLOCATION: Hoffman Estates, Ill.REVENUE: $1 billionEMPLOYEES: Unavailablewww.dealersuite.comWINNING SYSTEM: ADP Dealer Services provides technology and data services such as business intelligence and CRM to nearly 20,000 vehicle dealers in the United States, Canada and Europe. Over four years, ADP Dealer Services combined a dozen call centers into one virtual support organization, which the company runs using its support virtualization and automation system. The system provides several functions: It monitors customer applications, alerting the help desk to problems and enabling many of them to be fixed before clients are aware of them; it delivers patches and software upgrades to customers automatically; and when clients do call with a problem, the system routes them to the first available agent (in the past, clients were sent to regional support centers, based on their location).BUSINESS VALUE: ADP Dealer Services\u2019 customer support satisfaction rating reached an industry high of 91.2% in 2005, according to third-party research. The system enabled the company to reduce operating costs by $21.7 million over five years and, ADP says, contributed to $14 million in additional sales.SUCCESS STRATEGY: The company crafted business rules so that customer calls were routed to the most qualified personnel, and it designed the system to make it easier for customers to use. Meanwhile, a global workforce provides customers with quicker, more efficient service.INVESTMENT: $2,761,283 over three yearsKEY TECHNOLOGIES: Blue Pumpkin resource planning and management tools; Smart Desktop Agent software for automated customer support; internally developed applicationsI.T. EXECUTIVE: James Foote, senior director, field technology and technical servicesBUSINESS SPONSOR: William Heffern, VP, ADP division client relationsWHAT WE LIKED: Improved efficiency and customer satisfaction at the same time.BellSouth Corp.INDUSTRY: TelecommunicationsLOCATION: AtlantaREVENUE: $20.3 billionEMPLOYEES: 62,654www.bellsouth.comWINNING SYSTEM: BellSouth provides local telecommunications services for nine states in the Southeast. Project Rodeo is a set of integrated applications that enable consumers to customize the package of products and services they order, such as telephone service, Internet access or digital TV. The system, comprising 14 preexisting internal applications integrated with internally developed middleware, can calculate prices and apply discounts for bundles of services as the customer mixes and matches product choices.BUSINESS VALUE: The system helps BellSouth compete with cable and telecommunications operators. Since 2003, the company has gained 26,000 new subscribers, earning an additional $15 million in annual revenue. BellSouth execs see bundled services as the key to customer retention in an era when consumers can choose among telecommunications providers.SUCCESS STRATEGY: The marketing department identified the business need to offer consumers more flexibility and demonstrated to IT the business case for providing bundled services.INVESTMENT: $17.5 million for development; $1.1 million for annual maintenanceKEY TECHNOLOGIES: Oracle database; internally developed middlewareI.T. EXECUTIVE: Francis A. Dramis Jr., chief information, e-commerce and security officerBUSINESS SPONSOR: Ron Frieson, VP, transition and strategy, consumer servicesWHAT WE LIKED: Redesigned and integrated existing applications to respond more quickly to customer demands.Fairfax County Public SchoolsINDUSTRY: NonprofitLOCATION: Fairfax, Va.BUDGET: $1.8 billionEMPLOYEES: 21,500www.fcps.eduWINNING SYSTEM: The Education Decision Support Library (EDSL) is a centralized data warehouse containing student grades, test scores, disciplinary actions and other school data. A Web interface allows administrators, school board members, principals, teachers and community leaders to create customized reports about student achievement, program participation and departmental operations. The data is used to assess student performance, make decisions about students\u2019 needs and allocate educational resources.BUSINESS VALUE: By making it possible for individuals to generate reports, EDSL has reduced administrative costs by more than 20%. The time it takes to distribute students\u2019 achievement test results has been slashed from two or three months down to 24 hours, enabling students to retake exams that they don\u2019t pass. The school department says that better information about student\u2014and staff\u2014performance has led to increased passing rates for minority students in reading and math, and helped bump up overall standardized test pass rates by at least 5%.SUCCESS STRATEGY: The IT department obtained continual feedback throughout the software development process from its application user group as well as subject-specific focus groups. It also created the role of data steward to manage data centrally, ensuring information published to the system is accurate.INVESTMENT: $276,000 for development; $184,000 for annual maintenanceKEY TECHNOLOGIES: Oracle database; Informatica PowerMart to cleanse and validate data; Business Objects\u2019 Crystal Enterprise for generating reportsI.T. EXECUTIVE: Maribeth Luftglass, CIO and assistant superintendentBUSINESS SPONSOR: Betsy Fenske, assistant superintendent and leadership team memberWHAT WE LIKED: Distributed performance data in a timely and useful manner, enabling more effective decision making.The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.INDUSTRY: InsuranceLOCATION: Hartford, Conn.REVENUE: $22.7 billionEMPLOYEES: 30,000www.thehartford.comWINNING SYSTEM: The Hartford sells personal and commercial property and casualty insurance. Icon 2.0 is a proprietary, Web-based system that makes it easier for agents to sell the company\u2019s policies to small businesses. The system integrates and simplifies several legacy applications for quoting premiums and for submitting and underwriting policies. Authorized agents can access these applications through a single interface called the Electronic Business Center. BUSINESS VALUE: Icon 2.0 has enabled The Hartford to capture 30% more qualified business, resulting in a 21% sales growth in its small-business segment in 2004 (competitors showed single-digit growth during the same period). The company says that because the system is easy to use, it has increased the number of agents selling its policies from 18,000 to 26,000.SUCCESS STRATEGY: The Icon 2.0 team understood that the key to getting independent agents to sell more of The Hartford\u2019s policies was to make them more productive. By enhancing usability and making applications, such as quoting or submissions, readily available on the Web, The Hartford enabled remote agents to gain quick and easy access to the company\u2019s products.INVESTMENT: $21 million for development during two years; $1.8 million for annual maintenance KEY TECHNOLOGIES: J2EE architecture; Jacada Interface Server for mainframe interfaceI.T. EXECUTIVE: John Chu, senior VP, P&C e-business and technologyBUSINESS SPONSOR: James M. Reul, senior VP, select customer WHAT WE LIKED: Increased yield from agents by making legacy applications easier and less time-consuming to use.Hilton Hotels Corp.INDUSTRY: Travel and leisureLOCATION: Beverly Hills, Calif.REVENUE: $4.1 billionEMPLOYEES: 67,660www.hiltonworldwide.comWINNING SYSTEM: OnQ, Hilton Hotel\u2019s customer-management system, allows hotel managers at any Hilton-branded property to access centralized information about customers, their preferences and their use of hotel facilities in order to provide customers with an individualized experience. Hotel staff members can manage property level operations, like maid and room-catering services, as well as sell rooms and services across brands, based on customer data in OnQ. The system also delivers real-time business intelligence reports to hotel operators, franchisees and owners. BUSINESS VALUE: Between the initial deployment of OnQ in 2000 and last year, the system has generated $204.5 million in cost and productivity savings. In 2004, the company identified $4 million in annual savings due to greater operating efficiency in its 20 hotels that produce the most revenue.SUCCESS STRATEGY: OnQ was conceived when Hilton acquired Promus Hotel (including the Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites brands) in 1999. Hilton\u2019s IT team didn\u2019t assume that their technology infrastructure was superior to that of Promus\u2019s. Instead, Hilton combined the best features of each company\u2019s legacy systems. Next, the company convinced its franchisees to adopt OnQ by reimbursing them for any investments they had made in previous software applications.INVESTMENT: $40 million for software; $53.5 million for hardware and infrastructure; $60 million annual maintenanceKEY TECHNOLOGIES: Service-oriented architecture employing Microsoft .Net for employee-facing property operations applications; J2EE for consumer self-service transaction needs; Unix with open-source standardsI.T. EXECUTIVE: James T. Harvey, senior VP and CIOBUSINESS SPONSOR: Tom Keltner, executive VP and president, brand performance and franchise development groupWHAT WE LIKED: Used the acquisition of a competitor as an opportunity to improve functionality of legacy applications and make business operations more efficient.PHH ArvalINDUSTRY: Management servicesLOCATION: Sparks, Md.REVENUE: $1.3 billionEMPLOYEES: 1,400www.phharval.comWINNING SYSTEM: PHH Arval provides fleet management services for corporate customers, managing about 1 million vehicles for clients ranging from small businesses to companies in the Fortune 500. After changing its business model from managing companies\u2019 in-house fleets to providing business-process outsourcing services, the company built its Notification Service in order to more efficiently manage communications with both corporate fleet managers and more than 100,000 drivers who serve them. The system routes some 60,000 messages concerning scheduling and account information to end users every month in multiple formats, including e-mail, fax and postal mail. Users can specify in which format they would like to receive messages based on message content.BUSINESS VALUE: The Notification Service has reduced the cost of sending a single communication by as much as 96%. In addition, company surveys have found that driver satisfaction has increased seven percentage points, from 84% to 91%, because the system helps them to be more efficient. Drivers no longer have to call PHH Arval or log onto a website to get information about their customers or vehicles.SUCCESS STRATEGY: PHH Arval took the time to rethink the business processes it used to communicate with customers and suppliers before building a new system.INVESTMENT: $295,000 for development; $25,000 annual maintenance KEY TECHNOLOGIES: SeeBeyond eGate for enterprise application integration; WebSphere MQ and Java Messaging Service to transport XML messages; Sybase ASE 12.0 database; Enterprise Java Beans; Macromedia Cold FusionI.T. EXECUTIVE: Timothy Talbot, senior VP and CIOBUSINESS SPONSOR: Susan Stiles, manager, customer and vehicle servicesWHAT WE LIKED: Used simple technology to deliver a big payoff in efficiency and customer service.Providence Health System\u2014OregonINDUSTRY: Health careLOCATION: Portland, Ore.REVENUE: $2 billion EMPLOYEES: 14,000www.providence.orgWINNING SYSTEM: The Disease Management System (DMS) helps physicians manage chronic health conditions among their patients by incorporating patient medical records and benchmarks for treatment into a single Web-based application. One hundred and fifty doctors at 22 clinics around Oregon use the DMS to make diagnoses and prescribe treatments based on Achievable Benchmarks of Care (ABC)\u2014treatment models based on data from Providence patients with similar conditions. Doctors use the DMS to query Providence\u2019s electronic health record data for patients with specific diseases, which allows them to study these past cases for more informed diagnoses.BUSINESS VALUE: Providence reports the system enables doctors to improve patient health and safety by ensuring that patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes receive regular checkups and have their medication use monitored. As a result, the company has saved roughly $4.4 million annually by avoiding hospitalizations and misdiagnoses. In addition, Providence has attracted new physicians to its network, generating an estimated $3 million in additional revenue per year.SUCCESS STRATEGY: Providence built the DMS as an extension to an electronic health records system that all of its doctors were already using. In addition, the doctors were closely involved in defining the standards of care they would be asked to achieve.INVESTMENT: $240,400 for development; $206,840 for annual maintenanceKEY TECHNOLOGIES: GE Medical Systems Logician EHR system; Oracle 8i database; Microsoft .Net for data extraction; Microsoft SQL server for the disease registry database I.T. EXECUTIVE: Laureen O\u2019Brien, CIOBUSINESS SPONSOR: Craig Wright, MD, CEOWHAT WE LIKED: Built upon an existing system that doctors trusted and provided new tools that helped them do a better job.Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc.INDUSTRY: Retail\/Wholesale\/DistributionLOCATION: Irvine, Calif.REVENUE: $275.8 millionEMPLOYEES: 3,105www.copiers.toshiba.comWINNING SYSTEM: Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) sells and services fax machines, copiers and other office equipment in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2003, the company changed its business model from providing only products\u2014such as printers and fax machines\u2014to offering services such as equipment maintenance and cost-per-print analyses (how much it costs a company each time something is printed). TABS\u2019s Encompass Document Analysis Program supports this business model. The system enables dealers to quickly and accurately assess the document production environment of potential customers and provide recommendations for equipment and services that help them save money and improve office efficiency.BUSINESS VALUE: TABS reports Encompass has generated $58 million in incremental profit over three years and led to an increase of 1% in market share against 11 competitors. Purchases of equipment from TABS by dealers who use Encompass have grown at four times the rate of purchases by nonusers. Customers are able to reduce their document printing costs by up to 40%.SUCCESS STRATEGY: Got salespeople to adopt the system quickly by making it simple to use.INVESTMENT: $879,000 for development and software; $127,000 for annual maintenanceKEY TECHNOLOGIES: J2EE architecture, BEA WebLogic Portal 8.1; Interwoven Teamsite 5.5 for content distribution and management; Linux\/Intel infrastructure, Oracle 9i for storageI.T. EXECUTIVE: Randy Miller, VP of IT and CIOBUSINESS SPONSOR: Rick Taylor, CEO and presidentWHAT WE LIKED: Used technology to differentiate itself from competitors and improve its position in the market for office equipment.U.S. BankINDUSTRY: BankingLOCATION: MinneapolisREVENUE: $182 millionEMPLOYEES: 51,000www.usbank.comWINNING SYSTEM: U.S. Bank, a subsidiary of financial services giant U.S. Bancorp, is the world\u2019s largest provider of corporate procurement card programs, according to industry analysts. Access Online is a self-service system that enables accounts payable managers and others involved with corporate spending control to manage procurement, travel and other corporate expenses incurred by employees on their U.S. Bank credit cards. Managers can use Access Online\u2019s Web portal to set up and maintain cardholder accounts, manage transactions, transfer data files and run financial reports. BUSINESS VALUE: Access Online enabled U.S. Bank to increase its market share by increasing its overall commercial charge card volume 22% (a total of $19 billion). As a result, the company\u2019s revenue nearly doubled in the first year the system was deployed. In addition, the system saves the company $1.2 million annually by reducing operating costs, and, according to internal surveys, has boosted customer satisfaction scores by 17%.SUCCESS STRATEGY: The company seized first-mover advantage by recognizing that other customers would benefit from the same self-service capabilities it had built for a key customer, the U.S. government.INVESTMENT: $18,382,000 for development; $568,000 for annual maintenance KEY TECHNOLOGIES: J2EE architecture; Tibco; DB2; WebFocus reporting toolsetI.T. EXECUTIVE: William C. Chenevich, vice chairman and CIOBUSINESS SPONSOR: Joe Hasten, formerly vice chairman, corporate banking and corporate payment systemsWHAT WE LIKED: Listened to customers and built a system that can be easily tailored to meet each customer\u2019s needs while at the same time decreasing the company\u2019s own operating costs.U.S. Department of Defense Standard Procurement System INDUSTRY: GovernmentLOCATION: Fairfax, Va.BUDGET: $59 billion EMPLOYEES: 43,000www.spscoe.sps.eis.army.milWINNING SYSTEM: The Standard Procurement System (SPS) is an automated acquisition tool that is replacing more than 70 separate purchasing and contract management applications used by the U.S. Department of Defense. SPS facilitates ordering and delivery of materials, supplies and services for defense personnel and contractors.BUSINESS VALUE: It used to take two and a half hours for a vendor to receive a purchase order from the DoD. With SPS it now takes 10 minutes. According to the department, SPS saves taxpayers $1.08 billion by reducing accounting errors, processing time and system failures, among other improvements. In the 800 locations where SPS has been deployed, it has made DoD operations 70% more efficient by enabling faster delivery of goods and services to defense employees and contractors who need them. SUCCESS STRATEGY: When designing the system\u2019s features, DoD took advice from the purchasing agents who would use the system.INVESTMENT: Approximately $1 billion for development; about $30 million for annual maintenance KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database; WebMethods trading networksI.T. EXECUTIVE: Col. Quentin Peach, program managerBUSINESS SPONSOR: Gabrielle Ward, senior procurement analystWHAT WE LIKED: Deployed SPS throughout the Defense Department as the only business system used by every branch of the military.