Back from loads of travel – thoughts on the Leadership Alliance and Tokyo

So I’m back from a 16 day travel which had me home for 50 odd hours after the 5 days away. First Boston for the Leadership Alliance in Boston which of course – as seen other places on the interwebs is very hush hush – and then Tokyo for 8 days to meet up with our OnTime partner there. The trip was far easier from a jetlag perspective than what I had expected but then again I usually cope with jetlag very well. I did come back with pneumonia though 😦

As mentioned what happens at the Leadership Alliance stays at the Leadership Alliance but suffice to say that it was indeed VERY interesting. If you are wondering whether IBM Connect 2013 will be worth attending it would be a resounding YES!!!! from my point of view. The message is better than it has been for a long while if you ask me. Of course IBM still needs to execute on it but man it’s looking good!

In Tokyo we joined our partner at the booth at the annual ITPro Expo. I’ll do a separate blog post on our adventures in Japan and how the event went as it really deserves it. Also it should be a lesson to many IBM Lotus Notes/Domino markets out there as it clearly shows why Japan is a thriving and vibrant Notes/Domino market. They do so much stuff right marketingwise and leaves so many markets in the dust. Including Denmark. Really. It was very interesting to see.

Now once I’m off this pneumonia thing I will be back in full swing. Stay tuned.

Round up of trip to Tokyo and AusLUG

I’m back in the office after two weeks away for going to Tokyo, AusLUG in Melbourne, Australia, and then Easter vacation. While the latter is of no particular interest to anyone (I think) my trip might be. Let us get the most obvious thing out of the way first – we did a lot of flying. Besides having been in Antwerp, Belgium, on the Thursday/Friday for BLUG before going on this trip we went Copenhagen-Singapore-Tokyo-Singapore-Melbourne-Singapore-Frankfurt-Copenhagen in 8 days! The trip earned us about 27000 air miles and with the circurmference of the Earth being 24900 miles we actually went around the World and then some.

The trip started out in Tokyo where we had 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) of meetings with potential OnTime partners and with IBM. Great meetings and very good to meet local partners and learn about Japanese culture and language. Nothing is simple in Japan let alone the calendar. In Japan they actually have four (4) calendars that they use those being the international (the one we use in most of the World), the Imperial (based on the Japanese emperors), the Buddhist calendar and the 6 day Japanese calendar. The latter is not used in business but it does mean that a calendar product will need to support all if not most of them. At least at the UI layer. Besides business we had some time although not a lot for a look at Tokyo and to sample the local cuisine. While we unfortunately didn’t get to try Kobe steak (top of the list for next time) we did have local sushi (a must) and sampled sashimi with raw chicken and raw liver. Many thanks to the IBM’ers we met and to Atsushi Sato (@acchan777) for taking us out to dinner on the Monday.

On Wednesday we flew on to Melbourne via Singapore and landed early Thursday morning (7am). After a cab ride (through what can best be characterized as chaotic traffic) and a quick shower we were on scene at AusLUG to catch the last 30 minutes of the keynote. Not bad planning.

The event was excellent both from a technical, business and personal perspective. It’s always good to go to interesting sessions, learn new stuff and meet up with the friends I got at the inaugural AusLUG in Sydney. I spoke at two sessions – one on Thursday at 2pm and one on Friday morning at 8.30am where I slept through 3 alarms only to wake at the calendar reminder I set for 30 minutes before I should present! Let me just say that I didn’t shower before the the session but I made it (we stayed only 5-10 minutes away on foot) so all was good. Lesson learned? Set multiple timers – and go easy (easier) on the drinks the night before. 🙂 The night before was a very fun one as we went drinking after the AusLUG dinner. Great night out.

After the conference on Friday night we went to see “footy” at the MCG as part of the speaker/sponsor thank-you-event together with approx. 79000 other nice people. And boy was it excellent fun! Lets just say that if I’m invited to go see footy in the future I’ll go anytime! Great event and a great conclusion to our trip.

Saturday we went for a stroll about the city, chilled at the apartment, watched some footy on the telly and had some bieeerh (think that’s how the native spell beer) before we headed to the airport for our 1am fligth back home. What a trip – many memories and many good oppportunities to persue in the Japanese market.