The New Software Whizzes

Meet the scrappy lot who were the first to spot the potential of Web software--and are now cashing in

Kevin O'Connor's career was on the line. In the fall of 1999, O'Connor, the head of Deutsche Bank's (DTBKY) applied technology group, was put in charge of building a new Internet computing system for the entire financial-services conglomerate, an outfit with 93,000 employees serving more than 9 million customers. O'Connor needed to pick a technology that would serve as the sturdy foundation of Deutsche Bank's global e-commerce operation. The cost of making the wrong choice could be hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted capital,useless employee training, and ticked-off customers.

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