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Articles about DEC
Volume 8, #2__________________________________________________________ February/March, 1989
Hackers, Worms And Information Security In An Open Environment
Digital Grapples With Drug Issue
Managing Chemical Dependency by Bruce Davidson, manager, Corporate Employee Assistance Program
Entering The Systems Integration Business by Jon Caputo, manager, Systems Integration Business
Women’s Issues & Opportunities: Business Implications For Digital
The Role Of U.S. Manufacturing
Worldwide Advertising Standards
Mike Riggle Elected IEEE Fellow
Changes Announced In Field Organization
Child/Dependent Care - Lessons Learned And Issues To Be Resolved
Digital Quarterly Report Broadcast Over DVN
Two recent incidents highlight the growing importance of systems management and systems security: the arrest of Kevin David Mitnick and the recent penetration of Digital’s Easy- net network by a worm from nodes in GIA and New Jersey.
After a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Digital’s Network and Corporate Security groups, Mitnick was arrested on December 9 for allegedly violating Title 18 U.S. Code, Computer Fraud and Abuse. He is believed to be responsible for many of the intrusions into Digital’s Easynet network since 1987. The affidavit filed to support the complaints says that these intrusions by Mitnick cost Digital more than $4 million in computer downtime, file rebuilding and lost employee work time.
Mitnick, who has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, is being held without bail and soon will be tried. This will be the first prosecution under the 1987 Computer Security Act — a landmark case.
Another incident, while less damaging, was far more noticeable to the average Digital employee, who may have had difficulty accessing the network on Monday, January 16. Someone probably had broken into a node in a GIA country on Friday night and inserted a program (a "worm") that proliferated itself through the network. This program checked a file that typically lists user names and tested to find accounts where the password is the same as the user name. When it found such an account, it mailed the results back to the hacker node in GIA.
Apparently, the hacker had presumed that Digital is a five-day-a-week operation and planned to get in and out over the weekend. He or she didn’t realize that people use our systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People working on weekends spotted unusual activity in the DECnet account and followed up right away.
"We stopped the original connection very quickly," says Ed Maguire, manager, Network Security. "But the hacker was monitoring what we did and shifted his or her base of operations to a node in New Jersey. This person may have been sitting anywhere, such as Germany or Hong Kong or Boston — using telecommunications lines for access.
"Once we detected this activity in the node in New Jersey, we isolated it and redirected its mail. Then instead of the hacker, we received all of the mail with information about weak passwords. As a result, we shut down the point of intrusion and fixed the weaknesses that this incident brought to light. We reported the instances where passwords were the same as the user name to the organizations in which these users work, and those passwords were changed immediately.
"Using a Videotex file that deals with Security Training and Awareness, we gave systems managers instructions on how to prevent this worm from spreading to their nodes (at the $ prompt, type VTX DTEL). We also, in a password-protected Videotex file, told how to stop the worm once it got started in a system. In addition, we gave system managers a program to check their nodes for accounts where the user name is the same as the password so they could remedy any such weaknesses that may have been overlooked. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Skip Morris in Educational Services in Bedford, Mass., wrote a ‘vaccine’ program that sought out and stopped the ‘worm.’"
By the morning of Monday, January 16, the situation was under control and all this information had been disseminated to the over 20,000 system managers on the network. Some system managers elected to keep their systems down for a while that day as an extra precaution.
"We do not know this person’s intent. We have detected no damage to systems or data," adds Ed.
The main weakness was the simplistic passwords that some people had chosen. "You don’t have to be a champ in computer science to know that you shouldn’t have your user name equal your password," Ed notes.
"Passwords are the best available security tools for most applications," observes Jim Schweitzer, corporate manager, Information Security. "In general, the longer the password, the safer it is. Passwords also must not be obvious. This means no proper names, addresses, job titles, and so forth.
"The password should be something you can remember, but that other people are unlikely to guess. For instance, put a non-pronounced symbol between two words (bank$balance); or use an old address, maybe that of a friend (1229SixthStreet); or use an old telephone number with a mnemonic prefix (LO12924)."
"Dictionary words or names are weak passwords because of the techniques that hackers use," adds Ed. "On Unix based systems hackers have their favorite 400 words, and then they’ll try their favorite 40,000, because there is no evasion detection on Unix. They can just hammer away, using brute force techniques. VMS software has very good evasion detection features. However, it is important that our system managers implement evasion detection
and other VMS security features properly. Its always important to use strong passwords. VMS software has some interesting features such as random passwords. In addition to being very difficult to guess, random generated passwords prevent password reuse. Also, intruders do not expect to see the VMS dual passwords. We have never seen or heard of a break-in attempt involving a dual password."
"If someone has a trivial password, that node can become a base of attack for the rest of the network," Ed emphasizes. "If one person is careless in managing their node or user account security, he or she makes us all vulnerable. Our goal is to implement a practical base line set of security controls. These security controls are available on the EASYNET VTX infobase. One important security control is the use of passwords on dial-up ports. This can be implemented via server passwords or smart modems. This will help prevent unauthorized access to our networks."
Such incidents as these call attention to the on-going effort to provide appropriate access while maintaining security - so business can be transacted smoothly and efficiently, taking full advantage of the capabilities of networking, without compromising the company’s information assets. "Traditionally, Digital has been a very ’open’ society," comments Jim Schweitzer. "Free information flow and retrieval, and ready access to just about any data is part of the Digital mystique.
"But in the modem ‘wired’ society of the 1980s and 1990s, certain people make claims that all information is in the public domain. Hence, if they can access it through technical cleverness, they assert that the information is rightfully theirs. Other groups have political causes to espouse and see the electronic information networks as an opportunity to strike out at whatever ‘enemies’ they perceive. Still another group consists of computer hackers who find entertainment value in penetrating networks and computers, and in creating mischief therein.
"This threat is becoming ever more serious as the numbers of people with capabilities to do harm increases, and as new international standards eliminate the barriers once set up by different protocols and software.
"To maintain such an open network environment probably means that an organization will suffer increasing numbers of attacks on its resources and attempted penetrations, with resulting interference with business, potential loss of information, and perhaps even a temporary denial of access to network resources. On the other hand, an increase in control through partitioning or store-and-forward methods would mean less open communications.
"We need to weigh the risks and the benefits," he concludes. "We can never afford perfect security; but we can afford only a certain amount of insecurity."
In the U.S., changes in federal laws and regulations as well as changes in the expectations of customers and society in general are forcing companies to rethink their policies related to substance abuse.
Digital in the U. S., through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP), makes various resources available to employees who may have a drug or alcohol problem. Digital also has policies that cover situations when employees have performance problems or violate the company’s expectations of appropriate conduct. Managers are expected to focus on employee performance.
In addition, Digital has policies that deal with employee conduct at Digital and customer work sites. The company expects employees will conduct themselves in a safe and healthy way. Employees who violate workplace rules are subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Also, the use, possession of or distribution of illegal substances on Digital property or on a customer site could be cause for termination from the company. And, in the U.S., employees are not permitted to use or possess alcohol on company or customer permises.
In other words, in the U.S., Digital’s practice and policy regarding substance abuse has been:
o No illegal drugs are allowed on Digital property or at customer sites (U.S. Personnel Policies and Procedures 6.24).
o If substance abuse is suspected of contributing to a performance problem, managers should focus on the performance issue (U.S. PP&P 6.21).
o Employees who voluntarily seek help for chemical dependency problems are given confidential help through EAP.
o In the event that an employee appears to be incapacitated, managers are to work with local Digital Health Services or occupational health resources to seek a safe and confidential solution. Upon return to work, the employee is required to provide an explanation and medical documentation (U.S. PP&P 4.35)
These policies are intended to maintain a drug-free, productive workplace, which is important for business.
"Our approach emphasizes self responsibility," notes Erline Belton, manager, Corporate Employee Relations. "Digital believes employees should be responsible for their own behavior outside of as well as within the workplace. Individual responsibility and trust are basic values of the company. Digital generally does not attempt to oversee what employees do on their own time."
However, U.S. government requirements and other outside influences are now pressuring the company to commmit to instituting different programs to ensure a drug-free workplace. Many such requested programs include drug testing of Digital employees.
In the U.S., state and federal laws and regulations, and the courts’ interpretations of
them, are in conflict. Legal protections for individual rights clash with requirements intended to protect public safety and reduce demand for and traffic in illegal drugs.
The provisions of some state laws and state constitutions give individuals the right of privacy to varying degrees and may give people with substance abuse problems the same sort of protection as people with other kinds of handicaps. But the federal government, (and the Departments of Defense and Transportation, in particular) insists that under certain circumstances drug testing is necessary for the public welfare — for instance, to ensure that pilots and truck drivers or people with access to classified information are not under the influence of drugs.
"At this point, it is impossible to predict how far federal requirements will extend into the private sector," notes Paul Henrion, staff attorney, Personnel Law Group. "We also cannot predict whether, in the various legal challenges to these laws and regulations, the courts will rule on the side of individual rights, or will decide that public safety is an overriding concern."
Right now, Digital is wrestling with these issues, trying to develop policies and practices that remain consistent with the company’s basic values and yet meet these complex legal requirements.
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which is scheduled to become effective on March 18, 1989, requires that federal contractors certify to the contracting agency that they will provide a "drug-free workplace." Some requirements of the law are:
o publish a drug policy statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance in the workplace is prohibited and explaining the consequences of violation;
o establish a "drug-free awareness program" to inform employees of dangers of drug use and available treatment programs;
In addition, the Department of Defense (DoD) now requires that a "Drug-Free Work Force" clause be added to contracts involving access to classified information. This clause also may be included in unclassified contracts where the DoD contracting officer determines this is necessary. The clause requires the contractor to institute and maintain a program that should include: supervisory training, provisions for referral, an employee assistance program, personnel procedures for dealing with users of illegal drugs, and provisions for identifying illegal drug users. It is expected that DoD will require drug testing on a controlled and carefully monitored basis.
This clause does not apply to contracts for commercial products unless there is access to classified information, but it does apply to all applicable contracts for commercial services. "Digital is working directly and through industry associations to have all commercial products and services excluded," says Cyndi Bloom, manager, U.S. Field Employee Relations. "But it now looks probable that some Digital employees, who work on contracts that require them to have government security clearances, may have to undergo some form of drug testing." The extent of this testing will be determined by a number of factors, including the nature of the work the employee performs under a specific contract, and the public health, safety or national security risk that could result from inadequate performance.
Similar Department of Transportation regulations, which apply to pilots and interstate truckers, are scheduled to go into effect in December 1989.
This complex legal situation is still in flux.
In addition to U.S. government laws and regulations, Digital has to respond to similar pressures from a variety of major commercial customers, including several Corporate Accounts, who are getting very selective about who they will allow on their premises to do work for them. Some such customers have asked us to do drug testing of Field Service and Software Service employees to ensure that they are "drug-free." So far, we have, through negotiation, been able to remove such stipulations from commercial service contracts, because of our existing policies and practices and our clear commitment to ensure that customers get the best possible service.
Another kind of pressure comes from communities where Digital does business. For instance, in Greenville, S.C., and Colorado Springs, Colo., nearly all the major companies in the area now do do drug testing. "In other words, we’re not just dealing with changes in federal law and regulations, but rather with a pervasive change in public attitude," observes Cyndi.
"Drug abuse has been elevated to the position of a major public problem, and there is a growing expectation that large companies should help in the overall effort to deal with it," adds Erline. "This issue will be with us for years to come.
"As a company, we are coming to grips with the fact that we are now so large that we are a microcosm of society, with all of the problems of society at large. Also, as one of the world’s major corporations, we are highly visible and subject to public as well as government pressure. As we reformulate our policies to respond to these new conditions, we have to find ways to sustain our basic values."
In this case, the crossroads in decision-making is the point where Digital must either change its policies or turn down important government business. Digital is now trying to determine what changes we must make and how to implement them fairly and sensitively. All anticipated changes will be communicated to employees through Personnel Perspectives, MGMT
MEMO, LIVE WIRE and local newsletters as quickly as possible. In addition, in Q4, Digital plans to distribute a Field training package to Field Personnel and then to Field managers. Later, a Field information package is planned for employees who deal with customers.
Dealing with an employee who has a performance problem that may be complicated by personal problems is one of the most difficult challenges a manager can face. For example, the illness of chemical dependency — addiction to drugs or alcohol — can show up at the workplace in the form of performance problems including absenteeism and tardiness. It can lead to waste, safety hazards, poor decision-making or disrupted employee morale.
We encourage managers and supervisors not to try to diagnose the cause of performance problems and not to make assumptions about people. Rather than guess at drug- or alcohol-related causes, they need to focus on the performance, and deal with it through normal problem-solving and corrective-action procedures. This should be coupled with an offer of assistance.
Today, an estimated 10-15% of the U.S. population at large is dependent on alcohol or drugs or both. A far greater number of people are affected indirectly because of their closeness and interactions with the substance abuser or chemically dependent person.
When we come to work, we all bring with us attitudes and personality styles that relate to our families of origin and our current family situation. Sometimes people who have grown up in chemically dependent families, for example adult children of alcoholics, bring to their work group and to their environment some of the same styles they experienced growing up, including dramatic mood swings or difficulty in finishing tasks or setting limits or overachievement.
People affected by substance abuse need help for themselves as well as help in intervening in their situation.
Substance abuse is a worldwide problem that, because of differing cultural norms, each geography in Digital deals with in its own way. In the U.S. and Canada, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) serve as a confidential resource for Digital employees, their families, and retirees, and provide assistance for a wide range of problems, including legal and financial concerns, family problems, aging parents and emotional distress, as well as chemical dependency.
We make EAP resources available across the U.S. and Canada, but it is up to the employee to use them. Also, managers can and do contact their EAP consultant directly to discuss their concerns and their approach regarding an employee before making a referral. Managers should suggest that employees consider contacting the EAP when a change in work pattern or a performance issue arises. But, under current policy, the employee’s use of the program is always a matter of choice, not a requirement.
EAP's role is to to help employees evaulate whether a personal problem or issue is contributing to a performance problem. The employee has the opportunity to speak openly and confidentially with experienced professional counsellors who will offer support and understanding and give professional guidance. In cases that are identified as chemical dependency problems, we can successfully treat the illness, which will ultimately resolve the performance problem.
There is a real opportunity to help people recover. From a business point of view, we’re recovering valued "human assets" — people with training and experience, who can perform well.
Most of these people do follow through on a a program of recovery. About 65-75% of the people who undergo treatment are abstinent at one year after treatment. In about 70-80% of Digital cases, the performance improvement is sustained during 18 months of followup.
Managers should keep in mind that chemical dependency is often a progressive illness. The problem typically develops over a long period of time. Some people are "in training" in their late 20s and 30s and only become dependent on a chemical as they hit their late 30s and early 40s. Others using drugs like cocaine show signs of dependnency in their 20s and 30s. Also, emotional crises, which are a normal part of life, may contribute to a person’s progression toward chemical dependency.
People often begin to abuse drugs or alcohol unknowingly, using them to be sociable, to unwind, to reduce stress, to sleep, to wake up, to lose weight, to be part of the crowd, or because of peer pressure. Many people self-medicate, using alcohol and other drugs, including over-the-counter drugs, as a way to avoid physical pain or feelings of anxiety, worry, tenseness, hopelessness, grief or anger.
We have been bombarded with the notion that the way to deal with stress and pain of any type is to take a chemical. We have become the "extra strength" generation. One or two pills used to be enough to deal with a headache. Not anymore. It’s bigger capsules, bigger pills, and more of them. The implication is that if you take a little bit more, you’ll feel a little bit better. If one dose reduces the pain, two doses or drinks may be even better.
Another class of drugs - amphetamines, "uppers," and cocaine - poses a particularly difficult problem for managers. In the early stages, the person using these drugs may make major contributions at work. These drugs make people feel and act very powerful, with an enormous amount of energy. For instance, many cocaine users, in the early stages of use, will act as leaders, exhibit relentless energy, and be creative and insightful.
Managers should be aware of their employees’ normal behavior patterns and notice sudden changes. Some people work 50+ hours a week and have done that for years. It’s part of their normal life style. But when someone’s performance radically changes, when the average performer suddenly becomes a superstar, putting enormous energy into the job, the manager should be aware of possible disaster. It is not likely that anyone can sustain that kind of pace forever, and on the other side of that emotional high is a deep low. Managers love to see 130% contributions, and, at first, may not notice the low days between the ups; in so doing, they could fail to recognize that a crisis may be in the making.
Managers should also be alert to instances when people who showed signs of great potential become stagnant and blase. These employees may never have any serious performance problems, but they never develop into the contributors you expected they would. In some cases, these people are chemically dependent or are victims of chemical dependency, or have other personal difficulties and are treading water at work while they try to cope with problems at home.
In all such cases, the manager’s role is to manage performance, seek input from consultants, and, if appropriate, encourage the employee to seek assistance.
Systems integration is one of the waves of the future in the information systems business. As computer systems get faster and networks more complex, customers want more value, more complete solutions from their computer vendors. We want a share of this rapidly expanding business.
Some of our largest, most important customers have urged us to take on an expanded role as "system integrator." They want us to manage large, long-term, complex projects from start to finish. These projects average around $20-25 million over a three to five year lifetime.
We have done projects like this very successfully in the past, bringing together the various resources on an ad hoc basis. The Systems Integration Business (SIB) group was chartered last summer to set up pilot programs in the U.S. and figure out how to formalize efforts of this kind.
Our role as systems integrator is analogous to that of a general contractor or builder in the construction business. If you build a house yourself, you hire a subcontractor who has the skill you need - foundation digger, bricklayer, plumber, electrician, etc. Lots of your time is consumed coordinating schedules for these subcontractors because you don't need a bricklayer until you have a frame and you don't frame until the foundation has been dug. If the weather changes and the bricklayer can't come, that affects all of the schedules behind it. In addition, you have to deal with a lot of different contracts, each with different terms and conditions. Pulling the pieces together efficiently involves a special set of skills and experiences. You can learn as you go, but it’s a painful process. So most people prefer to have a builder or general contractor do that work for them.
As a supplier of computer systems, we’re a subcontractor, like the bricklayer or the roofer. As the systems integrator, we’re like the builder or general contractor. We bring all the pieces together, providing total solutions to business problems. For instance, a customer wants to make jet engines cheaper and faster. That might translate into a need to upgrade the way the shop floor works, including programmable controllers and stamping machines. A computer network would be just a component of such a solution. In the information systems business, more often than not, our job is to integrate products from a number of vendors into a single solution based on a Digital framework.
Each project is assigned a program manager, who is responsible for pulling all the pieces from Digital and others into a single program plan that gets the business done for the customer. The result is a highly formal and disciplined way of approaching the business.
Our program management methodology, including checkpoints and milestones, is based on DEC Standard 28 — the Phase Review Process — modified for customer circumstances. We use the same consistent, disciplined approach in Los Angeles or London or anywhere else in the world - a common reporting system, a common set of program phases, common exit criteria, etc. This approach also helps program members in different parts of the world to communicate with one another.
We bid on the total multi-year solution; thus, the fact that Digital has a product strategy with a common architecture is a great advantage to us as a systems integrator. We know that tomorrow’s equipment will be compatible with today’s. In addition, as a systems vendor, we keep abreast of new product plans and can factor those into the solution. If we have a better, faster machine three years from now, that can can become part of our plan.
Customers ask, "Will you guarantee this will solve my business problem?" In almost every case, we can. Each contract is unique. Many include performance bonuses if we come in ahead of schedule or the solution does the job better than anticipated. If we come in behind schedule, some contracts have penalties. That’s the nature of the business.
Pricing is critical. Each contract is custom priced. Our success in this business depends on estimating the scope and risk of the job and pricing accordingly.
Organizationally, we report into U.S. Software Services, primarily because of the experience that they have had in project management. But this is a cross-functional business venture. The U.S. SIB team includes representatives from Sales and Field Service as well as Software Services. In the U.S., we have a pilot effort in three of the nine Areas, designed to discover how we can best identify, sell, win and implement these programs at the Area level in the U.S. Much of what we learn from these pilots will be applicable across the world.
Almost all of the systems integration is found in our largest customers — the top 200 accounts. Often we uncover these opportunities from the relationships that we have as a company with large customers - the Corporate Account Program, the Executive Partners Program and Leaders Forums. Right now, we are focusing on Digital’s five targeted industries: Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Finance, Telecommunications and Government.
It is a very complex team sale. People don’t make $20 million decisions in a hurry. For the most part, these are mission critical applications for our customers — the applications that make money for them rather than count the money that they’ve made. These are the efforts that will give them a competitive advantage, whether they are a bank trying to figure out how to get a 10 second edge in trading, transaction processing or a manufacturer trying to lower the cost of production. They have to know they are going to get the right solution at the right time.
Moving into this business, Digital has a lot of strength to build from, particularly in the area of customer satisfaction and business ethics. Those qualities are valued highly by the people with whom we would deal. Using these strengths as a foundation and using the SIB pilot experiences to learn and grow, Digital can position itself to take advantage of this rapidly growing market segment* and, in the process, meet the needs of some of our largest existing customers. That’s why the company finds the challenge of competing in the systems integration arena so exciting - we can enhance our customer satisfaction levels while moving to package Digital’s resources and capabilities to respond to a new and demanding environment. As a result, it is easy to see why Digital regards SIB as one of the keys to our company’s future growth.
A hundred people concerned about the role of women at Digital gathered in Marlboro, Mass., for two days this January to discuss their research and plan future steps. The symposium the first of its kind - was sponsored by Corporate EEO/AA/Valuing Differences, with the intent of bringing together people who had done research on the experience of women at Digital and had initiated programs to improve the work environment. It began with the premise that to meet its long-term business goals, Digital must maintain a competitive edge in attracting the best people. From the perspective of the symposium attendees, this means Digital must improve the opportunties for women and increase their representation at all levels.
Carol Burke, senior manager, Strategic Relations, spoke of the need to focus on how women’s issues as they relate to the business. "These issues are important and need the attention of the leadership of the company, not simply because they are women’s issues, but because they are people issues that are impacting the business - issues such as alternative work schedules, child care and dependent care.
"As women in business, we need to be leading the company to a position of ‘being the best’ — with the best products and servcies. These issues might get in the way of Digital ‘being the best,’ and we should look at them in that business context."
While the percentage of women at Digital in the U.S. has remained relatively steady at about 37-38% for the last ten years, there has been a shift in the kinds of jobs women perform, noted Jay Palermo, Research & Development manager, Corporate EEO/AA/Valuing Difference. Changes in manufacturing methods have reduced the number of hourly jobs that tend to be filled by women, but meanwhile the number of women in professional and managerial positions has increased.
Mary Couming, senior Manufacturing manager, U.S. Area Manufacturing, reported on research she did as part of a master’s degree program in Management of Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She interviewed men and women in senior line positions at Digital, asking them to tell about the personal and external barriers to advancement they perceived. Mary described their common experiences and the unique experiences of women in terms of the "glass ceiling" — the set of invisible barriers that one faces when moving up in an organization." Mary concluded that diversity of gender and culture will become more prevalent in the workplace in the next 10-15 years and business success will depend on making full use of all human resources. "The successful competitors in our industry will be the ones who optimize all their resources: technologies, market resources, financial resources and human resources."
Donna Taylor, MEM AA/Valuing Differences Manager, reported on the results of an internal study of the contributors and barriers to women reaching upper level positions in Digital. She noted that for women and men in Digital the word "power" means the ability to get things done and have influence. But twice as many men as women add "control, authority and position" to their definition of power. She found that men and women viewed the barriers to their success quite differently, with an overwhelming number of the women believing there were factors specific to women that impeded their success: from managers not being comfortable with women to pervasive stereotypes about women.
She discussed national studies on the differing attitudes of men and women toward their successes and failures and potential impact at Digital. Data was also presented on the differing imput of mentors to men and women. She raised a number of questions that emerged from the study: "If men and women view the Digital environment and the road to success so differently, are women trying to be successful in a culture they don’t truly understand?" Finally, she observed that different perceptions could be part of the problem, "What we perceive is what we think is real and that dictates our actions."
"Being a woman in business is sometimes like living in another culture and constantly having to translate," observed Maureen Harvey, Personnel manager, Open Software/Software Business. She reported on the results of the Stone Center Task Force, which was created to put into practice the new theoretical understanding of women’s psychological development that has been developed at the Stone Center at Wellesley College. With the endorsement of Bill Heffner, then vice president, Systems Software Group (SSG), and his staff, the Task Force used this perspective to examine the environment for women in SSG and to make recommendations to management. The Stone Center emphasizes the importance of trusting one’s ability to build relationships in which both people feel heard and valued. These qualities are essential for women’s sense of worth and empowerment. The Task Force consisted of women who represented each of the ten organizations in the Systems Software Group.
"There are a lot of women in software engineering, and we need to create conditions that will maximize their potential," explained Maureen. "The current environment does not use some of women’s potential strengths and operating styles. I believe this results in increased stress that leads to reduced productivity, turnover and burnout — some of the things that we characterize as performance problems. Its more subtle effects are lack of enthusiasm and commitment.
"In Affirmative Action, we have emphasized the numbers, getting people in. As we’re bringing diverse people into the work environment, we also need to ask ‘Are we bringing them in just to make them like everybody else? Or do we bring them in to use the diversity to enrich the environment?’
"Digital’s success in business is, in part, dependent upon people’s ability to understand each other and work collaboratively to achieve results. The paradox is that those strenths are more developed in women, but are not strengths which are typically recognized or rewarded," she concluded.
Based on their findings, the Task Force members submitted a set of recommendations to Bill Heffner in June 1988. The recommendations responded to recurrent themes that the task force encountered in its study of women in SSG: basic comfort, safety, and trust; perceived differential treatment of men and women; and the often undervalued skills that women frequently bring to their work. Recommendations targeted management and Personnel activities in support of improving the work environment.
The recommendations were endorsed by Bill Heffner and a full-time project leader was hired, who reports to Kurt Friedrich, group Engineering manager, Systems Software Engineering and Manufacturing. She will manage the implementation of these recommendations across the three new software businesses which include Bill Heffner’s OS/SB group and Bill Keating’s SDT group.
"Women are here in significant numbers, and have been for some years," noted Erline Belton, manager, Corporate Employee Relations. "But we need to do more development so women can take upper level jobs. Let’s acknowledge the need for cross-functional, not just individual efforts. Let’s look at the whole," she advised.
Other speakers discussed the work of other internal women’s leadership groups, such as the Women’s Advisory Committee, which played an important role in planning this symposium.
In breakout sessions, the symposium participants formulated dozens of recommendations, such as: "count hours not heads" (eliminating a barrier to flexible and alternative work schedules); change policies and benefits to reflect and value the diversity of employee needs; publicize success stories relating to part-time, job sharing and flexible work schedules; and publicize to managers the human cost of recruitment, training and attrition.
At the end of the symposium, Alan Zimmerle, manager, Corporate EEO/AA/Valuing Differences outlined some of the next steps: prioritize recommendations, share symposium results with senior managers, focus on upward mobility and opportunities for people of difference and women in the workplace, and reconvene the group in a year to discuss what has changed. He also emphasized the need to build on the excellent work that has been done in many organizations.
Channels Marketing Positions Digital As A Leader In Global Markets by Jack MacKeen, vice president, Corporate Channels Marketing
Digital formed its first relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the early 1960s and quickly learned the value of third parties as providers of solutions for customers. Today Digital uses a broad range of channels, including OEMs, to provide the best solutions to all market segments and accounts. The term we now use for all these third parties is Complementary Solutions Organizations (CSOs).
CSOs complement and extend Digital’s capabilities. Recognizing this, Digital provides them with the richest set of support programs of any computer vendor, with diverse new products, and with an operating philosophy that underscores their importance.
Other computer vendors develop "arms length" relationships with their third parties through a "vendor-centered" style of channels management. They are mainly interested in using channels to meet short-term needs in sales of specific products in specific geographic areas to attain specific volume levels.
With 30 years of experience in channels management, Digital is different. We use a "total organizational style" of management, positioning CSOs as an extension of Digital’s solutions offerings and sales force. This approach is based on long-term mutual profitability and commitment and a common focus on end-user customer needs. Digital and CSOs strive to act as one entity in meeting customer needs.
Our "All Channels Strategy" is the framework for how we sell with and through channels. The strategy focuses on how users want to buy, be serviced, have their problems solved, manage costs and be educated. We believe that with this focus, over time, we will pull users to the Digital platform where, directly and through our CSOs, they will find the best solutions to satisfy their needs.
This strategy recognizes the importance of CSOs to the growth of our business. Customer demand for application products, expertise and services is broader than we can develop alone. CSOs help us extend our portfolio of solutions to address the very diverse needs of our customers. They allow us to expand into additional markets, to penetrate various geographies, industry areas and account sizes.
Digital decides when to sell a solution directly or to offer a CSO solution. Our objective is to identify the best solution to solve the customer’s problem, independent of its source, and to market the product in an efficient manner. We recognize the CSOs investments and reward our sales people for introducing and selling the products of CSOs as well as Digital products.
We share the responsibilities with our CSOs to better understand what customers need and how they want to buy. We mutually recognize the need to improve customer satisfaction as well as anticipate and plan for changes in the marketplace. The relationship with our CSOs is based on the value contributed by each party and is strengthened by joint planning and open communication. When we do compete with our CSOs, we do so openly and fairly; and the strength of our relationship allows us to understand each other and overcome occasional conflicts.
For consistency and predictability in our channels strategy and management, Digital has organized to provide both a worldwide and a geographic focus. The role of the Corporate Channels Marketing Group is to lead Digital in the development and management of worldwide channels relationships, to develop the overall strategy and to provide business practices and program designs (templates) that can be adopted or adapted to local needs. The geographies sharpen the business focus, deciding on the local sales strategy and program implementation plan, and how the Digital and CSO sales forces work together in line with the worldwide strategy.
But what about the future? Our channels strategy is designed to prepare Digital for the challenges of the 1990s and the globalization of world markets. For example, in Europe, by 1992 the Common Market plans to eliminate tariffs, customs delays, barriers to mergers and acquisitions and government favoritism. European companies will be taking a Europewide rather than a country-by-country approach to doing business. That means more opportunities and more competition for Digital. The worldwide focus of Corporate Channels Marketing will help us find the best strategic fit for our products and our third-party solutions.
We’re not just preparing for the 1990s, we’re influencing and shaping the policies that will affect international business practices. The competition that we anticipate in the future is encouraging us to plan and prepare to compete today, by developing the strategic relationships and distribution capabilities that will enable us to be a leader in global markets.
Last summer, Lou Gaviglia was appointed vice president, U.S. Manufacturing, reporting to Bill Hanson, vice president, Manufacturing Operations. In a recent interview, Lou explained the purpose and direction of the new organization:
"My position is comparable to that of Dick Esten, vice president, European Manufacturing, and Ed McDonough, vice president, GIA Manufacturing. We report to Bill Hanson, but each of us has a link to the Area team leader for our respective geographies — in my case to Dave Grainger, vice president, U.S. Sales and Services. Not only are reporting relationships similar, but the work of the organizations is similar. We are actively working together to make our organizations more effective and efficient.
"This organization, working closely with its counterparts, will allow us to give more of a worldwide focus to product investments and engineering development. Some products should be sourced elsewhere in the world or funded elsewhere in the world. Ed, Dick and I are working together to determine how best to use our resources — to decide what needs to be done where in support of the business goals."
"While focusing on the support/staff work that will make up U.S. Manufacturing, we are also spending a considerable amount of time on the plants’ charters. The roles and responsibilities of the plants in the U.S. are increasing as we focus on their ability to be profitable, improve quality, improve customer satisfaction, have more flexibility, and improve cycle times. We are thinking in terms of long-term product strategy, with plants having long-term product alignments and long-term alliances with Engineering groups.
"This is an aggressive and intense time for us, but I know we have the right resources and commitment to meet our objectives."
Lou joined Digital in 1967. He has held several key positions throughout Manufacturing, most recently as vice president, Computer Systems Manufacturing.
In this position, Lou is a member of the U.S. Management Committee, in addition to being a member of the Corporate Manufacturing staff. He makes and executes supply commitments on behalf of U.S. Manufacturing resources. He places particular emphasis on reducing manufacturing costs as a percent of the total U.S. systems business revenue and on improving customer satisfaction. An important part of this effort will be the development of a more integrated U.S. supply-and-demand plan that more accurately reflects market opportunities for Digital in each product segment.
To project a consistent image for Digital while encouraging cultural differences, Corporate Advertising has worked with Digital representatives from Europe, GIA, and the U.S., and major advertising agencies around the world, to develop and implement advertising standards and guidelines globally.
Through these standards, Digital can now present a reinforcing image across all boundaries and at the same time offer each country or area the flexibility to develop ads that they feel will reach their particular audiences.
"In Europe, it is important to have ads that, despite language barriers, have a consistent format and message so that customers can get a clear picture of Digital," explains Toni Mansali, manager, European Advertising and Sales Promotion.
"Consistent advertisements will help solidify Digital’s image as a global company," says Henry Heisler, manager, Corporate Advertising. "Digital must have an identity that will be more readily recognized in newspapers, magazines, and other media by customers, employees, vendors and the general public around the world."
The guidelines for ads include the use of larger photos, a single typeface that is available worldwide, the Digital logo underlined on the upper right hand side, followed by advertising copy that runs on that same side. Ads also may utilize the quotes of customers, which would be positioned between the advertising copy and the photo.
Digital will continue to use the "Digital Has It Now" as a common "tag line" or slogan for the company, but will phase out the older ads that run with the same tag line in the U.S., and the "Imagine" ads in Europe.
Peter Jancourtz, manager, Corporate Marketing Communications, comments, "The new ads will simply share the benefits of Digital, its products and people, by highlighting what our products do for customers. The ads will be used to communicate marketing, recruitment and corporate messages."
The four types of ads that will utilize these guidelines are: quality/image community involvement, issues/criteria, testimonials and product/service announcement support.
Mike Riggle, senior corporate consultant, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Mike was honored for his contributions in storage architecture, advanced error control and correction, and leadership in the design and development of high-density magnetic storage products. The grade of "Fellow" recognizes "unusual distinction" in the profession. It is conferred only by invitation of the IEEE Board of Directors.
Mike and his team have been responsible for much of the development of the advanced technology and architecture base for Digital’s magnetic disk, tape, floppy products and DSA subsystem products. They also did advanced product development for the RA80 series of disk drives, RC25 disk drive, UDA50 disk controller, HSC50 disk/tape cluster controller, and RRD50 optical disk drive.
Mike joined Digital in 1976. He has been responsible for Storage Advanced Development and Architecture, where he has concentrated on magnetic memories and storage subsystems, including data base systems. He became senior corporate consultant in 1985. Before coming to Digital, Mike was director of engineering for Storage Technology Corp, and was general manager of hardware engineering for Control Data Corp.
Several changes have been announced in the Field organization. Dave Grainger has been named vice president, U.S. Sales and Services, reporting to Jack Shields, senior vice president. Don Zereski has been named vice president, Field Service, also reporting to Jack. Rich Nortz has been named U.S. Field Service vice president, reporting to both Dave and Don.
In his new position, Dave is responsible for the achievement of the financial and customer satisfaction goals within the United States.
Said Jack, "To further the significant growth and customer acceptance of Digital, it is critical that we continue to improve integration across the functions. Dave will ensure that this integration simplifies our ability to deal with each other and with customers and achieves our profitability goals."
The U.S. Management Team will report to Dave, in addition to their respective functional reporting relationships.
Dave has been with Digital since 1969, and became a vice president in 1984. He has been regional manager, Northern Europe; regional manager, Mid-Atlantic States; and U.S. Field Service manager. Most recently, he was vice president, Field Service. Dave is a graduate of Eastern Ontario Institute of Technology in Ottawa and the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development.
Don Zereski will be responsible for managing the worldwide Field Service organization. He joined Digital in 1962 and became a vice president in 1986. He served as manager of U.S. Field Service and Field Service Europe. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as manager, GIA Field Service, managing numerous subsidiary field service start-up operations while directing this international field service organization. From 1968 to 1974, Don was responsible for Digital’s worldwide mid-range systems support. He has completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School and the School of Industrial Management at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Rich Nortz will be responsible for total Field Service business in the United States. He joined Digital in 1973 as a Field engineer. He held several management positions in Field Service before being appointed U.S. Field Service Business Support group manager in 1985. Most recently, he was vice president, Field Service Corporate Accounts. Rich is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Management Program for Executives.
Bob Carty has been appointed manager of the Events Center for Expertise, reporting to Ed Kamins, Corporate Communications manager. In this role, Bob will lead the Corporate Events Team and develop an integrated events plan, including a long-range strategy for DECWORLD. BobwastheU.S. DECWORLD manager for DECWORLD ’88 and prior to that, the Stategic Programs manager for Networks and Communications Marketing. He has been with Digital for nine years.
Tom McEachlin has been named group controller, GIA Manufacturing and Engineering, reporting to Ed McDonough, vice president, GIA Manufacturing Operations. Tom has been with Digital for two years. He was previously the GIA group FP&A manager, responsible for providing finance support to GIA Manufacturing managers. Prior to joining Digital, he spent 11 years at Xerox Corp., most recently as controller, Materials Management Group.
Today in the U.S., women represent nearly 40% of Digital’s workforce. Many face the difficult task of juggling work and family responsibilities. Support that helps them deal with family responsibilities can help them perform to their full potential at work. Also, with increasing numbers of women entering the workforce, support programs such as child care are becoming increasingly important to attract the best new talent — whether male or female.
Digital's Child Care Resource and Referral Program, started in January 1988, is a first step in that direction. It has provided data about the child care needs of employees, the acute shortage of child care openings at various sites, and the kinds of additional programs that employees would value.
"Given the acute child care shortage in so many communities, if more women with young children are going to be able to come back to work, resource and referral is obviously only going to be one component of the support they need. Alone, it simply isn’t enough. So we are actively investigating what else Digital might be able to do to help," explains Laurie Margolies, manager, Corporate Employee Relations Programs.
"Over the first nine months of the Resource and Referral Program, about 2000 families used it. That’s about 2.5% of U.S. employees between age 25 and 50 - a good usage level for a program of this kind," notes Erica Fox, Child Care Program manager.
About half of all users were looking for care for children under one year of age. Almost three-quarters of all the requests we received were for children under three. The vast majority of those who have used this service (84%) have asked for care for just one child.
"It is very likely that mothers with two, three or more children are less common in the Digital workforce, presumably because of the high cost and logistic complexity of finding satisfactory care for more than one child," says Erica.
While the service is available for children from infant to age 15, there were very few requests for children aged nine to 15. "One reason for this may be that parents do not believe a ‘child care’ service will have appropriate programs for children in this age group," says Erica. "In fact, there is a severe shortage of school-aged programs across the country. Many children in this age group are left to care for themselves or check in with neighbors and relatives."
The service, run for Digital by Work/Family Directions, Inc., and its agencies, operates on a case-by-case basis. The counsellor works with a parent until a satisfactory outcome occurs, providing first three referrals and then more, if necessary.
Sixty percent of Digital users reported significant problems in their child care search. Fifteen percent of all people who contacted the service ultimately decided not to seek
child care, many because they couldn’t find an acceptable arrangement. The three main problems reported were: supply and availability for the age of child that they had, cost of care, and quality.
One of the functions of Work/Family Directions and its network of resource and referral agencies is to develop and enhance the supplies of child care in communities that have shortages. For example, in Southern New Hampshire the supply was not adequate to absorb projected employee demand. So they conducted an intensive recruitment campaign. The recruitment drive helped bring about a 41% increase in applications for licenses as family daycare providers in that area. These people will care for children in their home, the kind of setting that the vast majority of parents who have children under the age of three prefer.
"Despite some progress, efforts like that in New Hampshire are relatively insignificant compared to the large and growing shortages. The gap between demand for and availability of care is likely to widen as more children are being bom (the under six population is increasing for the first time in several decades) and more mothers enter the workforce during their child’s first year," observes Erica. "At the same time, the number of 18-24 year olds is shrinking, causing shortages especially in early childhood education. Digital employees are experiencing first hand the national child care shortage. Locating quality, affordable child care is a key cause of employee stress.
"We’re also looking at a consortium model where, with a community agency functioning as the organizer, businesses and the public sector pool resources. There’s a very successful consortium of that kind in Charlotte, North Carolina, in which 20 companies are involved. Through their efforts about 150 new child care jobs and about 1000 child care spaces were created in the Charlotte area over two to three years.
"We are actively investigating the issues of on-site and near-site child care," notes Erica. "And we are trying to determine how Digital can participate in current government efforts to impact child care legislation and funding.
"The solution will be multi-faceted — not just information and referral or on-site or near-site child care or tax breaks for child care from the government. It’s a complex problem and families are different. We intend to help provide a variety of choices.
"The Resource and Referral Program is a good research tool," adds Laurie. "People who really need child care are the ones who respond; so we aren’t just getting people’s general opinions and wishful thinking. These are people with a real need. They obviously don’t represent all of our employees who are looking for child care, because not everybody has used the service; but it is a first step. And the strategies that we develop from this effort should eventually include not just child care, but other forms of dependent care as well, such as care for the elderly."
A pilot television program, broadcast over the Digital Video Network on February 3, 1989, provided information about key business and employee relations issues. Sponsored by Corporate Employee Communication, "Digital Quarterly Report" also gave employees an opportunity to see and hear some of the people who are managing those issues for the Company.
In the business update section of the program, Ken Olsen, president, gave an overview of Digital’s computer products and how they fit into the product strategy. He also gave his perspective on Digital’s Q2 financial performance, "When the U.S. computer market collapsed after the stock market collapse in October 1987, we told people we were investing in the future. We had a line of products that were exciting and we were not going to slow down development or cut investments. When investors saw the products come out, the sales increase and the expenses down, they believed us."
Dom LaCava, vice president, Low End Systems, provided an overview of Digital’s desktop strategy and the importance of the desktop market. "If you take a look out at 1991," Dom explained, "40% of worldwide revenues are going to be in the desktop and its associated products. That’s almost $60 billion in revenue." Dom went on to explain that January’s desktop product announcement could put Digital in a position to be the leading supplier of desktop solutions.
Erline Belton, manager, Corporate Employee Relations, and Paul Henrion, attorney, Personnel Law Group, discussed the steps the company is taking to comply with new federal substance abuse regulations that will take effect beginning in March. (See related article pp. 4 in this issue.) Peter Hawker, manager, Corporate Benefits, and Kathleen Angel, manager, Health & Welfare Benefits Planning, discussed new options in the medical benefits program resulting from soaring medical costs. (Employees have received enrollment information and must make their choices by March 24).