Success in Brisbane and Sydney

September 13 2006

3 AM jetlag, time to make the weblog...

A great first two days of this Aussie trip.  I'll get some photos uploaded in the next day or two, but here are the highlights:

  • Brisbane's "Ed Brill live" events drew a combined 80+ customer and partner attendees (we originally expected 30).  We covered a lot of ground including Lotus strategy, Notes/Domino 7+, Hannover, Sametime 7.5, WebSphere Portal 6, and Workplace Web Content Manager.  I have questions to follow up on over the next few days.  The feedback was positive, and of the 55 feedback forms, almost everyone indicated they want more sessions like that on a quarterly basis and would like to see a monthly technical discussion.  Hopefully this can form the basis of a local user group.  Thanks to colleagues Wayne Boxall, Lea Meadhurst, Michael McKenna, and others for putting together a great day.
  • In Sydney last night, we overflowed the room for the restart of the local Lotus users group.  I love talking to user groups because the interaction is more relaxed than a formal customer call, and we can have some fun in the process.  I'm getting e-mails at 2 AM from some of the people who attended, so you can tell they were excited.  For those who turned up, we never introduced all the IBMers in the room, but you had everyone from regional vice presidents to sales leaders to customer care specialists and more.  As regional Business Unit Executive Jonathan Stern indicated, we are investing more in the ANZ market now and into next year.  That includes more PR, more advertising, more events.  Jonathan and his team have done a huge amount of market analysis and planning, and from what I've seen, they're poised to do a lot of the right things.
  • Those things include recruiting business partners and consultants (back) to the Lotus platform.  I'm doing a total of three events this week just focused on increasing the ISV/partner community for Notes and Sametime.  We've got some strong partners working with us to do the same.  Had somewhere around 50 such partners in the room for a very nice luncheon yesterday (cultural observations will be left to another post), and if I can some more rest, I'll speak to another such group later this morning.
  • I met some great customers including one organization already committed to the Eclipse platform for developing applications, so the story of Sametime 7.5 and Notes "Hannover" fits perfectly into their direction.  Some very good and positive discussion.  They also seemed keen on the RSS template coming in 7.0.2, can't wait to see more about how that gets used.

A slew of additional customer meetings on Wednesday, then the quick stop in Canberra to visit some government customers and then on to Melbourne for another user group on Thursday night.  I've been promised I will get some sleep on the weekend.

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