Fascinating first 36 hours in São Paulo.  Some initial observations, business and non-business:

1.        The Lotus brand sales team in Brazil includes two former Microsoft employees.  One of these guys sold the Information Worker products for Microsoft, and joined IBM just a week ago.  I sat with him at dinner tonight, and warned him that he might be a bit uncomfortable with the competitive section of my training session on Wednesday.  He said it was OK, he is quickly learning to see all those things he could not see from the inside of Microsoft.
2.        Perhaps related, customers in Brazil seem to be less affiliated with Microsoft.  The local team has sold some straight conversions from Exchange to Domino recently, and is getting good traction with the full story around Notes 8 / Sametime / Symphony.  Probably have more to say about that as the week goes by.
3.        Brazilian culture is still very centered around the office.  While about half of IBMers in the US work from mobile or home office locations, only a very small percentage do here.
4.        The aforementioned ex-Microsoft employee continued to work for Microsoft for a few weeks week after he gave notice that he was leaving for IBM to work on Lotus products.  His colleagues all viewed the change as a professional endeavor and wished him well.  Nobody walked him out of the office the next day.
5.        Guaraná Antarctica is my favorite soda beverage in Brazil, and I wish we could (easily) get it in Chicago.

In the next installment, I'll talk about how costly many things are here, how the hotel seems to exist to upsell, and Brahma Black.

Meanwhile, here are a few snaps from the Sunday market in Embu des Artes.  I decided to go there based on a single sentence recommendation in a travel book, which was later strongly amplified by my colleague Adam Christensen.  What a great day out.  Tons of people, great local arts and crafts, good food, and excellent company.  As a bonus, local traffic was apparently light yesterday, and we were in Embu in only 30 minutes.  Highly recommended dose of local culture.

Updated 4 PM local 22 July: Well, I had to update this because this ex-Microsoft employee only worked there one week before coming to IBM.  Microsoft had asked him to stay longer but he did not.  
Why do I have to make this update?  Because by 10 AM São Paulo time this morning (which is 6 AM in Seattle), some very inquisitive phone calls were apparently made between Redmond, WA and Microsoft Brasil.... ouch :-)

Embu market Embu market Embu market

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