Client: IBM

Service:researching and writing a high-level speech of forty minutes

Marketing background: Speeches can be a very effective way of inspiring an audience. They are also a performance and need to be powerfully written and utterly engaging. Writing Machine created a script for IBM's vice president of enterprise servers, Carol Stafford, that enabled her to deliver just such an inspirational presentation in Slovenia. The following is a section of the transcript for Carol's speech.


I am delighted to be here in this historic and beautiful area in the Gulf of Venice. I must admit I had always thought of Slovenia as a mountainous country so it is a pleasant surprise to discover this lush peninsula.

Serving the e-business marketplaces has become so much the norm within IBM that it’s somewhat surprising to recall that, when Lou Gerstner took over as chairman of IBM, the word e-business hadn’t even entered the English - or indeed any other - language. Now Peter Drucker, one of the world’s leading economists, describes e-business as “the most profound change in the way people conduct business since the industrial revolution”. And, for the last six years, IBM has been at the forefront of the e-business revolution. I want today to discuss the nature of the e-business revolution and to explain why, if you are serious about e-business, you need serious e-solutions based on IBM eServers.

When a revolution happens, it brings change that can never be reversed. I think, here in Slovenija, you understand that very well. You have spent the last 10 years successfully establishing strong social, political and economic foundations. When it comes to a technological revolution, it is absolutely vital to address the requirement for a strategic infrastructure, rather than a tactical one. In other words, in a world where technological and business developments are impossible to predict, the technical infrastructure needs to be designed for any eventuality. So the infrastructure you choose must be one on which you can trust your business. A wise man, to quote the old saying, seeks out the rock on which to build his house.


There is no doubt that, for industrial societies, we are currently undergoing a most fundamental and rapid transformation in the commercial landscape. It is presenting huge opportunities for brand new organisations, as well as the more flexible, established players. But at the same time, it represents a tremendous threat to those companies that are unable to adapt appropriately. And some of the biggest threats come directly from the technologies that are making the e-business revolution possible in the first place.

So, whilst it is clearly true that computer servers, for example, must form a strategic role in the new business processes of the 21st century, senior managers need to beware. The wrong technical decisions now could spell disaster in a very short time.

A company could, for example, lock itself into a technological infrastructure which may not be capable of meeting the flexibility and scalability demands of the New Economy. Or, if it becomes increasingly dependent upon the Internet as a source of revenue, it may at the same time become increasingly commercially vulnerable because its systems are not available enough of the time.

We cannot be sure the e-business revolution will automatically bring us success. All we know for certain is that we have to be able to respond. I find that business men and women across Europe increasingly agree with what IBM has been saying for nearly six years: “yes, e-business is real business - but it is fundamentally different business”.


I know that your country is already playing a significant part in the e-business revolution. The Slovenijan main state portal - E-Administration - only began operating on 5 March and is already very well visited, according to the director of the Government Centre for Informatics. In addition, I understand that citizens can also get involved, via the portal, in public debate regarding future legislation, one of only ten portals in the world that can boast such a service.

And there is more. There will also be a commission, including senior ministers, for the computerisation of the public administration, taking specific responsibility for e-administration projects. And, to underline the seriousness of your nation’s commitment to the e-business revolution, I read that your Prime Minister is to personally head up the Strategic Council for the Information Society.

IBM has held three very well attended Web workshops in Slovenija over the last six months and we plan to hold another in the second half of the year.

So I can see that Slovenija is a nation that is very committed to the e-business revolution.

I am sure you will agree, however, that - in Slovenija as in most of Europe - there is a long way to go. In fact, at IBM, we estimate that the e-business revolution has probably achieved less than 5% of what is likely to be happen as the revolution proceeds. I believe it is no exaggeration to say that e-business is in the process of changing every market, every company, every trading practice.