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In the Interests of Full Self-Disclosure ...
on November 14, 2012
I wrote this book.
More to the point, I wove this book together using dozens of individual threads, the voices of more than 50 EDSers who created something far greater than "a solution set" or "a value proposition." They created a culture that endures to this day, bonds that are grappled with hoops of steel. Decades ago, these men and women pioneered the concept of outsourcing, a dirty word in the current political matrix but an inspired idea in its original format. Yet, as Stephen McClellan, one of Wall Street's best known analysts, points out, when EDS pioneered this concept in 1969, "outsourcing didn't exist."
By pairing IBM's best hardware to software they wrote themselves and simultaneously developing best-in-class business process flow, EDSers were able to rein in two of the most ungainly programs ever unleashed by Uncle Sam: Medicare and Medicaid. The end result was that EDS, a tiny speck of a company, quickly became the dominant player in a field that still perplexes our nation: health care data processing.
The political junkie in me encourages you to read this book. So does the student of modern American history. Unlike many other books that come to market, this one is not about a man's singular vision. And, despite the fact that EDS's systems revolutionized health care data processing, it is not solely focused on a game changer, be it a good or a service.
It's about a culture that was created by a group of individuals who overcame astounding obstacles with limited resources. Or, as one EDSer put it, it's about "playing way over your head."
And the five stars I give this book? They go to each and every one of you who shared your time, your insights, and your enthusiasm. Thank you.
/s/ Eric O'Keefe