In just under a decade, this multi-billion dollar enterprise has transformed itself from a leading technology vendor to a truly customer-centric service provider. Today that transition is reflected in its prescient leadership, its operational mindset, and its dynamic business model. But in fact, the story of NCR and innovation traces its roots to the birth of the modern American economy.
NCR got its start in 1884, selling cash registers to saloons and retail establishments throughout the Western United States. Founder John Patterson took advantage of what he perceived to be a profound commercial shift—a largely regional bartering economy was shifting to a national, cash-based product economy. With that broad vision in mind, Patterson started the country’s first sales training academy, introduced the concept of sales quotas, and eventually spread his business to over 120 countries. (In 1914, Mr. Patterson made one misstep, however, in firing a top sales executive named Thomas Watson, who later went on to found IBM.)