ICN People

ICN Expertise

ICN Founder

Joe Auer

Joe Auer, founder of International Computer Negotiations, Inc. (ICN), is a widely recognized international leader in high tech procurement. Business Week Newsletter calls him “the industry’s leading bargaining expert.” Datamation says, “Joe Auer has long been justifiably known as an expert to whom others turn.”

Instructors and Senior Advisors

Senior Instructor and Advisor

Patrick Campbell

Senior Consultant and Instructor Pat Campbell brings ICN vast hands-on experience in information technology, especially in the areas of vendor management, quality assurance, information systems application management and data center operations.

Prior to joining ICN Pat was IT Purchasing Officer at Nationwide Insurance, responsible for…

Senior Instructor and Advisor

F. Elgin Ward

F. Elgin Ward is both an attorney and Executive Director – CAUCUS & ICN Advisory Services. A skilled negotiator, contract manager and educator, Ward has extensive experience in technology deals.  An experienced and versatile educator, Elgin has been teaching fundamental and advanced purchasing seminars to management professionals for over 10 years…

Principal – Senior Instructor

Robert Wright

Robert Wright is a Principal at ICN with nearly twenty years’ experience managing real risk and maximizing financial savings opportunities for his clients.  Well-versed in drafting and negotiating a wide-variety of technology-related agreements, Robert particularly enjoys negotiating deals for the purchase of emerging technologies with starts-ups and young companies…

Senior Consultant

William H. Kern

A Senior Consultant with ICN, Bill Kern has spent over 50 years in the computer industry. The majority of his experience has been in management positions with technology vendors specializing in computer hardware, systems development, outsourcing and third party leasing. This background has provided Bill with an understanding of how vendors approach…

Senior Consultant

Robert Schuler

Rob Schuler is a procurement and process consultant with a career that spans over 30 years in the insurance, retail, banking, pharmaceuticals, information & medical services industries. Rob’s professional career started in the mid-1980’s designing and deploying file and networking systems. In 2002, Rob began working contracts and procurement. At present, Rob has booked over $75 million…

Instructor and Senior Advisor

Patrick Campbell

Senior Consultant and Instructor Pat Campbell brings ICN vast hands-on experience in information technology, especially in the areas of vendor management, quality assurance, information systems application management and data center operations.

Prior to joining ICN Pat was IT Purchasing Officer at Nationwide Insurance, responsible for strategic sourcing and the procurement of all related IT hardware, software, network products and services throughout the enterprise.

Throughout his career, Pat has always conducted internal development programs and workshops focused on negotiations, team building, overcoming impasses and supplier management. He has been instrumental in developing materials for many of ICN’s training courses, including Negotiations: Power, Process, Principles, Total Vendor Management, RFP Lab, and SLA Lab. He is a frequent presenter at Caucus Association of Technology Acquisition Professionals meetings and conferences. In addition, Pat has published a number of articles on both supplier relationships and project management.

Pat received a BS and an MA degree in mathematics from Ohio State University. He holds CLU, CPCU and FLMI insurance designations and is a member of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). Currently, he is on the faculty at Columbus (Ohio) State Community College.

Senior Instructor

F. Elgin Ward

F. Elgin Ward is both an attorney and Executive Director – CAUCUS & ICN Advisory Services. A skilled negotiator, contract manager and educator, Ward has extensive experience in technology deals.

An experienced and versatile educator, Elgin has been teaching fundamental and advanced purchasing seminars to management professionals for over 10 years. He has both developed and taught the American Management Association’s Contract Management Seminar for purchasing professionals in a wide variety of industries including public utilities, transportation and telecommunications.

Prior to joining ICN, Elgin was Corporate Counsel for Deseret Generation Transmission Co-operative, where he successfully prepared and issued documentation for hundreds of RFPs for outsourcing maintenance, diagnostics and security for the construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines, microwave and other telecommunication facilities. Elgin has successfully established and maintained purchasing and contracting documentation systems, and he is superbly experienced in negotiation and drafting purchase agreements for raw materials, equipment, computer hardware and software, transportation, engineering services and maintenance.

Elgin also supervised the preparation and issuing of bid documentation for hundreds of RFPs, which totaled millions of dollars, for major industrial equipment.

He also has developed and presented seminars on the legal aspects of buying and selling and on how to avoid legal pitfalls in contract administration.

Elgin holds a Juris Doctor degree from Brigham Young University — J. Reuben Clark Law School, and a BA from the University of Maryland.

Principal – Senior Instructor

Robert Wright

Robert Wright is a Principal at ICN with nearly twenty years’ experience managing real risk and maximizing financial savings opportunities for his clients.  Well-versed in drafting and negotiating a wide-variety of technology-related agreements, Robert particularly enjoys negotiating deals for the purchase of emerging technologies with starts-ups and young companies.  Robert began his career negotiating sponsored research agreements for the University of Louisville.  Prior to joining ICN as a Principal, Robert was a senior-level technology contracts manager for Humana, a Fortune 50 company and one of the country’s largest health insurers.

Robert is a regular instructor for ICN and played a significant role in developing one of the company’s most popular workshops, the IT Contracting Boot Camp.  When he’s not teaching for ICN, you’re likely to find Robert at a local college or university teaching business law, intellectual property, or American government.  Robert also regularly develops curriculum for academic institutions and has published in numerous law journals including the Howard Law Journal, the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, and the Pittsburgh Journal of Law and Technology.

Robert is a licensed attorney having received his JD from the University of Louisville and LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Intellectual Property, Commerce, and Technology from the Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Senior Consultant

William H. Kern

A Senior Consultant with ICN, Bill Kern has spent over 50 years in the computer industry.  The majority of his experience has been in management positions with technology vendors specializing in computer hardware, systems development, outsourcing and third party leasing. This background has provided Bill with an understanding of how vendors approach the acquisition process, the issues that are important to them, their evaluation of risk, and how to negotiate with them. He also, has considerable knowledge in negotiating support contracts, including outsourcing, software, software modifications, system migration schedules, service level agreements, and maintenance agreements.

Since his association with ICN, Bill has conducted numerous engagements involving all phases of the acquisition process on behalf of clients, including General Motors (facility management of a data center, several data center outsourcing projects, and outsourcing of application software support), Merrill Lynch (two storage area network facility management projects), Eastman Chemical (asset management project), International Securities Exchange (data communications outsourcing), Ashland Inc. (renegotiation of SAP license), Arrow Electronics (development of outsourcing RFP for off-shore software services), Sky Financial (outsourcing of Internet banking), Doe Run ( negotiation of MPLS implementation; renegotiation of PeopleSoft hosting services), Insurance Company of the West (outsourcing the development and hosting of a workmen’s compensation system), US Cellular (renegotiation of HP hardware maintenance support, addition of SLA’s), North American Mission Board (personnel management provided on a software-as-a-service basis), Progress Energy (smart grid software), PepsiAmericas (data quality software, and field maintenance/inventory software).

Bill’s extensive experience gives him a comprehensive understanding of the financial impact of outsourcing, development of statements of work, transition plans, service level agreements, as well as, general contractual terms and conditions.

Bill earned his business degree from the University of Maryland.

Senior Consultant

Robert Schuler

Rob Schuler is a procurement and process consultant with a career that spans over 30 years in the insurance, retail, banking, pharmaceuticals, information & medical services industries. Rob’s professional career started in the mid-1980’s designing and deploying file and networking systems. In 2002, Rob began working contracts and procurement. At present, Rob has booked over $75 million in negotiating contract savings. Rob enjoys writing programs to streamline processes, using advanced MS Excel techniques and MS visual-basic programming. Rob is a certified technology procurement executive (CTPE), Six Sigma green and black belt, and a certified novell engineer. Rob enjoys golf, playing the trumpet, and keeping an eye on the options markets. Rob is the father of four adult children and resides with his wife in the Columbus, OH area.