THE REAL "HIGH TOUCH" If I had an in-the-money stock option for every time I have seen or heard the phrase "high tech, high touch," I'd be a billionaire. Heh, heh. I guess I've written and said it once or twice myself. I think of it as a shorthand way of saying that the more technological the solution, the more human interaction is required to make it happen. In the tech industry, it is most often heard in the context of marketing, sales, and customer service. In this issue of TM, we'd like to introduce the heretical idea that "high touch" might be a good thing for those people in your business who are not customers. You know, like ... employees.

While it isn't literally high-touch, NCR's Global Recognition Event is the company's way of acknowledging that it takes everyone to make a company successful. In this issue's cover story, you'll learn how NCR realized that the most important part of a motivational system is that it communicate. Combining the Web with traditional methods such as direct mail to the employee's home, the company offers what amounts to constant communication about incentives for all parts of NCR, not just the sales force.

What is literally high touch is the service available at today's spa resorts. It may be true that Americans are more likely to consider working out than being worked on. But I submit that's only because not enough of us have been exposed to the experience. Whether Swedish or shiatsu, massage is a great experience. Spa treatments aren't just for women anymore, either. The International Spa Association says 35 percent of its customers are men.

Not convinced that spas offer the real high touch? Waituntil next year, when CEMA Summit 2001 will be held at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz. You'll be able to check out the spa experience firsthand at the resort's Centre For Well-Being July 8 to 11, 2001. And check out our coverage of CEMA Summit 2000 beginning on page 13.

In case you're wondering why I'm writing this issue's Home Page, it's because Sue Hatch is kinda busy right now taking care of the little guy in the picture. This is Simon, and Simon says, "Mom can't come to the phone right now, but she'll be back soon."