Joe Auer, founder and president of International Computer Negotiations, Inc. (ICN), is a widely recognized international leader in high tech procurement. Business Week Newsletter calls him “the industry’s leading bargaining expert.” Datamation says, “Joe Auer has long been justifiably known as an expert to whom others turn.”
Joe’s early career was spent with Honeywell where he mastered negotiation tactics from the vendor’s perspective. It became obvious to him though that those on the ‘other side of the table’—those acquiring high tech products and services—were at a decided disadvantage. Having identified this need, Joe founded ICN with the express purpose of helping technology buyers and users to do better deals when negotiating with technology vendors.
Since founding the company 35 years ago, Joe has advised, enlightened and empowered the technology professional with techniques, tools and established directions for negotiating fair contracts that meet the mutual goals of both user and vendor. Joe developed the Managed Acquisition Process™ (MAP™), which is recognized globally as the Best Practices methodology for technology procurement.
Based in large measure on his proven expertise, more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies as well as major government organizations and principals of smaller, aggressive firms rely on ICN for advice and training. His knowledge and experience has also made Joe a sought after expert witness, a role he has filled innumerable times in litigation, mediation and arbitration actions and in state and federal courts across the country.
Joe Auer is an award-winning columnist for Computerworld, a noted speaker, author and publisher of the ICN newsletter, Tools & Tactics. He is also the co-author of two textbooks, Computer Contract Negotiations and Major Equipment Procurement.
President—Advisory Services Division
John Gonzalez, JD, CTPE
John was formerly the Senior Vice President & Deputy Chief Sourcing Officer for The Huntington National Bank. He was responsible for the enterprise sourcing operations team, supplier performance management, all company IT contractors, and the strategy and execution of all the IT spend at the company (hardware, software, and services). John’s teams were also responsible for setting and tracking the enterprise-wide goals and targets for corporate sourcing savings, executing all RFPs and purchase orders, and other activities.
Prior to joining Huntington, John served for over four years as a Senior Instructor & Advisor to International Computer Negotiations (“ICN”). In that role, John was a lead advisor on numerous business-critical negotiations and contracts for many ICN client organizations, from California to North Carolina, to the Caribbean. John also was a co-lead instructor for ICN, and taught ICN core classes to numerous organizations in public seminars in such places as Chicago, Orlando, San Diego, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York.
Prior to ICN, John served in other leadership and management capacities for other organizations, including as Corporate VP & Director of Negotiations and Vendor Management, as Corporate VP & Counsel, as AVP & Associate Counsel, and as a global contracts manager for a large multinational company.
Executive Director—CAUCUS & ICN Advisory Services
F. Elgin Ward
F. Elgin Ward is both an attorney and Executive Director – CAUCUS & ICN Advisory Services. A skilled negotiator, contract manager and educator, Ward has extensive experience in technology deals.
An experienced and versatile educator, Elgin has been teaching fundamental and advanced purchasing seminars to management professionals for over 10 years. He has both developed and taught the American Management Association’s Contract Management Seminar for purchasing professionals in a wide variety of industries including public utilities, transportation and telecommunications.
Prior to joining ICN, Elgin was Corporate Counsel for Deseret Generation Transmission Co-operative, where he successfully prepared and issued documentation for hundreds of RFPs for outsourcing maintenance, diagnostics and security for the construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines, microwave and other telecommunication facilities. Elgin has successfully established and maintained purchasing and contracting documentation systems, and he is superbly experienced in negotiation and drafting purchase agreements for raw materials, equipment, computer hardware and software, transportation, engineering services and maintenance.
Elgin also supervised the preparation and issuing of bid documentation for hundreds of RFPs, which totaled millions of dollars, for major industrial equipment.
He also has developed and presented seminars on the legal aspects of buying and selling and on how to avoid legal pitfalls in contract administration.
Elgin holds a Juris Doctor degree from Brigham Young University — J. Reuben Clark Law School, and a BA from the University of Maryland.
Instructors and Senior Advisors
Senior Consultant and Instructor Pat Campbell brings ICN vast hands-on experience in information technology, especially in the areas of vendor management, quality assurance, information systems application management and data center operations.
Prior to joining ICN Pat was IT Purchasing Officer at Nationwide Insurance, responsible for strategic sourcing and the procurement of all related IT hardware, software, network products and services throughout the enterprise.
Throughout his career, Pat has always conducted internal development programs and workshops focused on negotiations, team building, overcoming impasses and supplier management. He has been instrumental in developing materials for many of ICN’s training courses, including Negotiations: Power, Process, Principles, Total Vendor Management, RFP Lab, and SLA Lab. He is a frequent presenter at Caucus Association of Technology Acquisition Professionals meetings and conferences. In addition, Pat has published a number of articles on both supplier relationships and project management.
Pat received a BS and an MA degree in mathematics from Ohio State University. He holds CLU, CPCU and FLMI insurance designations and is a member of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). Currently, he is on the faculty at Columbus (Ohio) State Community College.
Steve Gutzman joins ICN as a senior advisor, bringing a unique perspective to ICN clients from the vendor side of business operations. Steve has over 32 years experience in the technology industry, providing strategic leadership and direction to global sales organizations in some of High-Tech’s most innovative and forward-thinking business arenas.
Prior to joining ICN, Steve was an independent consultant delivering consulting services in the area of field operations and on technology issues such as SaaS, IT Service Management, and Enterprise Software Licensing – all from the perspective of the vendor selling organization. His earlier career provided a wealth of corporate business experience working at companies such as IBM and Candle Corporation, one of the largest private, independent software companies in the world. At Candle, Steve was Vice President and General Manager of EMEA and during his tenure with IBM, he headed channel operations for the Federal Systems Division as well as various teams within the Software Group.
Steve holds an MBA from Loyola College and a BS from the University of Delaware. He is certified in ITIL Service Management.
William H. Kern
ICN Senior Consultant Bill Kern has more than 20 years of experience spent on the inside of the computer industry. The majority of Bill’s experience is in management positions with technology vendors specializing in computer hardware, systems development, outsourcing and third party leasing. This background gives Bill a keen understanding of the vendor approach in the acquisition process, and most importantly how to negotiate with those vendors. Bill has vast knowledge in negotiating support contracts, including outsourcing, software, software modifications, system migration schedules, service level agreements, and maintenance agreements.
Since joining ICN, Bill has advised global clients in all phases of the acquisition process including:
data center facility management
outsourcing of data centers and data communications
outsourcing of application software support
storage area network facility management
RFP development for off-shore software services
outsourcing of Internet banking
enterprise-wide software license negotiations and re-negotiations, including smart grid technology, data quality and field maintenance/inventory software
software development and hosting of a workmen’s compensation system
renegotiation of HP hardware maintenance support
personnel management applications on a software-as-a-service basis
Bill’s extensive experience gives him a comprehensive understanding of the financial impact of outsourcing, development of statements of work, transition plans, service level agreements, as well as, general contractual terms and conditions.
Bill earned his business degree from the University of Maryland.
Mark Tucker brings to the table 29 years as a professional negotiator, 24 years as a contracts expert, and six years as an independent consultant. His career began at PEMCO Financial Services, a Seattle-based enterprise consisting of 14 corporations including three technology companies, three insurance companies, a bank, a credit union, and a brokerage firm. Over the past three decades he has drafted, negotiated, consulted on, and managed thousands of contracts, ranging from software licenses to consulting engagements, service level agreements to mission-critical development deals. He has played an instrumental role in the related disciplines of project management, vendor relationships, dispute resolution, and remedy enforcement. His unique savvy stems from extensive experience on both sides of the customer-vendor equation, giving him rare insight into each side’s strengths and vulnerabilities and how they can be effectively employed in deal-making.
When Tucker arrived at PEMCO, the organization had no contracts management infrastructure beyond a cursory review of potential deals by Internal Audit. Tucker hit the ground running by designing and implementing a custom application that could not only store and retrieve over 100 data points for every contract in force, but used that information to drive proactive life cycle management based on key provisions, milestones, and time frames. The system was so successful that the company invested over a quarter of a million dollars to convert it, feature by feature, into a robust SQL-based program fully supported by Tech Services and used by executives and managers throughout the enterprise. Tucker went on to head the development and then serve as director of a first class Contracts Management Department, responsible for administering best practices, establishing corporate policy, maintaining a stable of in-house model agreements, and supervising dozens of certified staff.
Tucker holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington, a Contracts Management certification from that institution, and a Certified IT Asset Manager (CITAM) designation from the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers. He has served as a trial expert witness in his areas of expertise.