Even with an understanding of operations, Kearns needed to learn about BostonCoach's business from the ground up. Within two weeks of starting his job, he spent three hours on the customer service desk, listening in as reps handled customer calls. Known as double-jacking, the process gave Kearns insight into the needs of his two end-user constituencies: the customers of BostonCoach -- which provides services such as limousine transportation for individuals and fleet transport for groups -- and the company's employees.
That firsthand experience, says Kearns, will prove invaluable as he settles into leading a 20-person IT staff. His chief task, he says, is to "keep BostonCoach at the cutting edge in terms of technology." CEO Jonathan Danforth gave him that objective, which was a big reason Kearns took the job. "IT is really one of our key differentiators," Kearns says.
Megan Santosus, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is now a features editor for SearchDataCenter.com. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in February 2006