Web Extra: The Price of Success

Michael Turillo, chief financial officer of financial services consultancy KPMG International Inc., has been so successful at his job that he's been named chief executive. But he's not CEO of KPMG. Instead, Turillo takes charge of Cering Inc., a KPMG spin-off headquartered in Boston.

When Turillo became CKO at KPMG two and a half years ago, the KM solution he sought was not available in the marketplace. So he put together a team of 55 developers and after a $100 million investment, they came up with KWorld, a knowledge management portal that provides a global messaging, knowledge sharing and collaboration environment for KPMG's 80,000 employees in 37 countries. Not long after KPMG started using KWorld internally, it connected some of its clients to the KWorld portal, a decision Turillo believes has helped the firm win new accounts, retain employees and save money.

As Turillo tells it, with the creation of Cering, KPMG hopes to offer those same solutions to a broader range of companies. Set to launch in May, the new company's product offerings focus on a software infrastructure designed to make it possible for companies in vertical markets to use knowledge across teams, functions, business units and distances. Even before its launch, Cering has won rave reviews. For example, in a November 2000 report, Merrill Lynch & Co. praised Cering for offering customers a portal solution that also embraced content management, search, categorization, retrieval, team collaborative applications and personal productivity tools. Mainly, though, the brokerage firm lauded Cering's leadership.

The new company, Merrill Lynch wrote, "has the strongest management team we have seen, and in the end the story is the same. People, not technology, win the software game based on execution. We believe (Cering) is well positioned to leverage its KPMG heritage to assume an early leadership role in the (enterprise portal) space."

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