Todd Schofield joined International SOS after a string of CTOs had done one-year stints. He soon found out why.
When Schofield arrived, International SOS had 13 business units, each with its own IT organization and technology. Communication among those units on both a human and technological level was poor – and central IT’s role involved little more than keeping the network healthy. “They had little understanding of what was happening in the business, and the different units had little understanding of each other,” says Schofield.
International SOS provides a suite of global medical and security services for highly mobile enterprise customers. The company has its own staff of doctors and even does medical evacuations in less developed parts of the world. So Schofield traveled to all 27 of International SOS’s alarm centers to watch how they functioned, chatted regularly with various local IT staff, and arranged monthly and then biweekly meetings with all the IT departments together.
At first he was doing most of the talking, but then he asked each of the IT department heads to make presentations about their infrastructure and projects. “Suddenly other IT managers were saying, ‘Hey, I had that problem too, and here’s how I fixed it.’” Then managers from different departments started getting together in task forces to create global standards on things such as rebuilding servers. “Everyone realized that we were all in the same boat.”
Schofield earned more confidence from the dispersed IT units when he secured several million dollars for a major Exchange upgrade, replacing an aging messaging infrastructure that had become a major headache. Finally, Schofield oversaw the implementation of Project Magellan, which consolidated six or seven different case management systems into a single Web-based system with a global hub in Philadelphia that tracked every case throughout the world, yet continued to meet local clients’ specific requirements.
“Now everyone can enter a case and know that everyone involved has real-time access to the same case, patient, and financial information. The result is a much faster, more efficient, less error-prone case resolution process.” The next project Schofield is pushing is integrated communications, plugging IP telephony, presence, and click to call directly into the case management system.