There was a time when Diebold Inc., a leading producer of ATMs and voting machines, was organized the way most other Fortune 1000 companies are. There was a CFO and a CIO, and both independently reported to the CEO. The CFO purchased technology solutions for finance, and the CIO bought the systems for the rest of the company. The CIO's view didn't carry much weight in the CFO's choices, and the CFO was heard from on purchases outside of finance only when IT was over budget.

For Diebold, all that changed when Gregory Geswein walked through the door. Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell hired Geswein as CFO in 2000, after the U.S. corporate spending spree that preceded Y2K. Geswein arrived to find a company with systems that were diverse and scattered, thanks to a series of acquisitions, and an existing ERP system that he considered an unsatisfactory fit with Diebold's strategic goals.

Given the desire of $2.1 billion Diebold to expand internationally, Geswein was worried that its technology might be a hindrance. There were also increasingly vocal demands from across the company for the latest task-specific best of breed software. "I said then that we were not going to do that," he recalls. "We needed to pick a system that would give us the best value on a holistic basis."

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