Applied Information Management

The AIM Alumni Project: Working with Information

The AIM Program continues its series of profiles about the professional work of graduates. The goal is to explore the diversity of work of the information manager and to examine how the field is evolving.

AIM alumni who wish to submit a profile should send an e-mail to the AIM Program at, or call us at 800-824-2714, and we'll send you a suggested framework. To date, profiles have been provided by Joel Tachau ('07), Linda Ballas ('05), Peter Battan ('98), Travis Luckey ('09), Connie Atchley ('10), Michael Wright ('06), Hope Angel ('11), Brandon Gatke (’08), and Scott Fenton (’95).

Green and Clean Technology—An interview with Peter Batten ('98), general manager, ISS Green Fleet

Peter Batten ('98), general manager, ISS Green Fleet

What is your current job?

I run a business unit of Instrument Sales and Services (ISS) that retrofits public and commercial "big engine" fleets with emissions reduction technology. We install equipment like exhaust catalysts, crankcase filtration, and cabin heaters. This is a big change from my last role managing a software company, but I was attracted to this "clean technology" opportunity because I know we make a difference in air quality for everyone, and especially for people like my asthmatic daughter.

How do you spend your work time?

There is a lot of demand for the services ISS offers. The real challenge for our team is to build the business processes and information technology to grow quickly and provide our customers with better insight into the long-term benefits of our products. Today, this industry is not really focused on tracking the effectiveness of emissions reduction technologies over the life cycle of vehicles, but we are working to change that.

Do you work alone or in a small or large group?

I work in a relatively small group. There are about fifteen of us in my team, with great support from a lot of other people in our corporate offices. I also enjoy regular contact with dozens of customers, so it feels like a large group to me.

How does your job fit in to the larger organization dynamic?

We represent one business in a portfolio of business units at ISS. Other units are focused on activities like manufacturing, wholesaling, logistics, and distribution. Our business is important because clean technology and ìgreenî offerings represent a rapidly growing market.

How do you measure success in your role?

We are a business, so the bottom line of the financials is the bottom line measure of our success. We also track customer satisfaction, revenue growth, and employee turnover closely. I appreciate that ISS is a private company with a long-term focus. We manage our financial performance to opportunities, which to me means we can do the right thing for the customer and know the financial performance will benefit over time.

Are there more people doing this kind of work now than there were five or ten years ago?

There are definitely more people in "clean technology" now. The federal government has pushed millions in new funding and grants to help clean the air. The government stimulus helps, but we are working to develop broader and deeper operating expense reductions with our products so private fleets will not need outside funding to justify investment in cleaner air.

How do you use your AIM education in support of your work?

A lot of success in business comes from solid processes and products. Information management is critical to process optimization and continuous product improvement. Better information is always a differentiator, and AIM really helped me build my skills, which I can apply to any organization.

POSTED: May 20, 2010