Bob Best is not the wacko I was referring to. He
had a short and altogether uneventful time at UNUM
(so I've heard), but I think he left on generally
good terms. Interesting that he is now in charge of
Talking about systems - the
reason for UNUM's large systems area is that UNUM has
undergone several big projects. We've had a large and very
successful Y2K campaign, and have moved on to our "Customer
Model" project. This new project has many pieces,
including new data warehousing, rewriting many systems to
use PCs vs. mainframes, internet systems, and
replacing the mish-mosh of PCs and the LAN we have with new
"Standard Technology" equipment. Our actual baseline
support area is much smaller than you might
And, yes, Provident's data center is to consolidate
with UNUM/Colonial in Columbia. From what info I've
gathered, they opted to move the smaller system to the
larger system, and make use of the newer, larger
facility. Also, I heard that the UNUM team voted for
Columbia and Provident voted for Tennessee, so IBM was
involved in picking the location.
But with all of
the trouble UNUM has had finding mainframe support
people, and being short-staffed there already (would you
agree, Blue Jay?), the next two years could be
interesting. I think that would be true in either location,
but it probably would have been worse in Tennessee -
again, they're moving the smaller system to the larger
system. Universities and colleges just aren't training
mainframers like they used to.
Keep in mind, as well,
that the Columbia staff is mostly mainframe support.
UNUM's LAN center is in Portland, Customer Model is in
Portland, as is the vast majority of mainframe programming
From everything I've heard, systems isn't going to be
shrinking by much. They've had to lift the hiring freeze
from time to time to get more systems folks. There's a
lot of work to be done to put two company's systems
Subj: For the EE's sake, let's hope they
Date: 08/05/99 10:19 am
still have their 401K money in mutual funds and hadn't moved them to UNM until after the crash. Regarding Harold's ability to build a sales orginization. He destroyed what field operation Paul Revere had, and don't forget, Paul Revere was the leader in individual disability ins. If he intends to build sales with independent brokers alone, he has to rebuild the confidence and reputation of the company that he destroyed. A huge task, knowing Harold's dislike and disrespect for sales reps.
Subj: Thinking twice? Let's just think
Date: 08/05/99 11:23 pm
I do agree with the sales force issues. I have said earlier that the troops will have be be focused. Focus:"To cause to be concentrated." "...To adjust to a particular range." Think about it. In order to focus,in order to see clearly what's ahead, you have to see clearly what's behind. The multitude of messages recently, tell me quite a bit. The stock market reaction tells me the same: A knee jerk reaction.
Like I said before, most people want to make money. I'm quite involved with this UnumProvident process, and I believe the "focus" will come. My money stays with UnumProvident, primarily, because I believe in the long-term vision of the company.
Subj: Chandler and Orr have theirs
Date: 08/03/99 11:36 am
The employees are the ones that are -------!!! They are all holding options that are absolutely worthless today!!! But what else is new. The fat cats got theirs, and that's all that matters. Have you seen their golden parachutes?
Yes but another 3 million and Harrys happy
Subj: How many retirement dreams were crushed
Date: 08/04/99 10:54 am
or seriously set back thanks to Harold Chandler et al need to make a deal. Employees (and formeremployees) of Paul Revere, Provident, Colonial and now UNUM saw their 401K nearly vanish before their eyes in one day. Yes, it will come back some, but it will never be the same. The moral of the employees have reached an all time low. New sales will be hurt by the loss of respect in the marketplace. Broker's will find other companies to place their business. Thanks Harold for destroying the dreams of your own employees.
Date: 06/01/99 06:35 pm
They have the approval. They promised everyone this would happen in April, then May. It is now June, and they have been tight lipped. Something is going on, and the employees(stockholders) want to know what it is. They are hiding something.
Many are now saying this is not a merger, but a takeover, and Provident is the one doing the taking over.