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The Tech Behind Green Mountain Coffee

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Ed. Note: This is the second in Nate Herzog's series of posts about Vermont companies and their creative solutions to technical challenges.

I met with Jim Prevo, the CIO of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, at his office in Waterbury. I explained my mission — when people think of Vermont businesses they frequently think of successful brands or products. Snowboards. Ice Cream. Coffee. Ski Resorts. But I knew that any large successful brand in 2008 can only be successful if they had a kickin' IT department working behind the brand. Jim smiled widely at that, so I tossed him a nice slow ball across the plate:

"What does IT have to do with making coffee?" I asked.

(Full discloser here: While I don't work for GMCR, I am an IT Director and very interested in anything technical that might be hiding behind these Green Mountains of ours. I'm also a big coffee snob. The first thing Jim offered me after I met him was a cup of coffee and I got to pick from a dozen Green Mountain flavors. So after sipping a cup of the espresso blend, I was in pretty good spirits. Call it bribing the writer if you want. I call it research.)

"To start with," Jim began, "well, I was going to start with the roasting process. Really, to talk about coffee, you have to start with the Green..."

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