How DEC Works (Australian Perspective)
Probably typical of most large companies; still, it seemed accurate.

Someone put the question to me the other day: What are the relationships between Enterprise Services, System Integration, Large Projects, Account Management, Prime Contracting and all the variants of these. Since this is a common question, I've taken the trouble to get it all down in writing for you.

To answer your question, we really have to understand how Digital operates. Visualize a whole series of playing fields spread out on a vast plain, stretching out to the horizon in all directions. On each field, there are several teams, of different sizes and types, but there are only about a dozen different coloured uniforms, and teams of each colour seem to have a bond with each other that spans the many playing fields.

Some fields are large, and have all the colours represented, smaller ones have only a few. There is one called SPR that is unique in having all the colours, yet is only a very small field, and is so crowded the players can hardly move.

On each field the teams jostle and push each other around, sometimes they kick a ball around, other times they throw rocks at each other, and for long periods will huddle in small groups mumbling in low voices so the other teams can't hear. At random intervals, some members of a team will gather on the sideline and yell insults at members of the same coloured team in a neighbouring field. We do not yet understand why they do this, but both parties seem to find it most enjoyable.

Occasionaly, all the other teams in a field will gang up on another one, and succeed in destroying it; the members of the victim team either become members of other teams, or are driven off the playing field. No-one has ever figured out the rules that apply to these games on the playing fields, although it is fairly certain that the players themselves do know. Every now and again, play stops, and the parade begins. We do know that whoever leads the parade wins, and the extraordinary thing is that the teams from each field always form up in the almost the same colour sequence. The parades are a lot of fun, with bands and drums all competing with each other, and much cheerfull banter between the teams.

The right to lead the parade seems to be associated with various banners, standards and flags that the teams occasionaly fight over during play. The banners change from time to time, and have letters or words such as OSF, Enterprise Services, Customer Services, LCG, 36 is better than 32, Level of Service, Network is the System, Own the Database, B$ST, Follow the Marketing Plan, UNIX, Sell Solutions, FMD's, Large Projects, DPM, Solution Selling, and so on. When play stops and the parade begins, whoever owns certain flags gets a better position in the parade.

In the centre are some extra large playing fields, and we know these are called 'Corporate'; confusingly, all the others around this centre are called the 'Field'.

The teams on the coporate fields have the ability to create flags and banners, which they do so in great secrecy; if another team suspects a flag is being made, they will try and tear it up. When a new flag is ready, it is taken out to as many of the other fields as possible, and the teams on each field will fight over it, or ignore it, or even share it, although this is rare. We have never been able to predict how the 'Field' teams will react to a new flag.

Well, those are the rules. Lets see what's been going on with the banners 'Account Management', 'Enterprise Services', 'Large Projects', and 'System Integration'.

Account Management has always been owned by a team called Sales; from time to time other teams get a hand on it, but the most they ever acheive is to share it for a while. Mostly the other teams seem to thinks Sales should have it, and concentrate on arguing that it is not as large and important a banner as Sales says it is. 'Large Projects' is a new banner, and we're not sure where it came from. It is only a flag really, but there has been a lot of squabbling around it, mostly over how to share it. Sales seem to be very determined to own it exclusively, perhaps to shore up the 'Account Management' banner. The other teams are are not sure they want to own this flag, but don't want Sales to own it.

Enterprise Services is a biggie. It was made by a Corporate team, one of the marketing ones, who showed it to a few of the playing fields near Corporate. A team called 'Field Service' saw it first, and ran off with it, and gave it to every Field Service team on the plain. Only then did all the other teams see what a useful banner it was, and start to fight for it. Here in SPR, a team called SWS, with help from other teams, has managed to get a hand to it, and so now it is a shared banner.

Meanwhile, on one of the corporate fields, the head of the SWS team has grabbed a new banner called 'System Integration' and is trying to establish it as a more important banner than 'Enterprise Services'. This is still in play, so I can't actually answer your question right now, but I think you'll have a better feel for how the game is played, and this should increase its entertainment value for you.