Today has been quite a blur, starting at 8 AM in Genève, going through three customer calls and a partner lunch there, then the SNoUG meeting in Lausanne, then a wonderful drive through central Switzerland to end up in Zürich.  It would be hard to highlight everything, though Twitter followers saw a few of the key points through the day.  They included:

  • The first customer meeting, where this photoshop job from my birthday last year was put on the table before me at the start of the meeting, along with a printout of my Twitter stream.  These guys were onto me :-)  I graciously autographed the picture when asked, and from there we had a very good discussion about Notes/Domino.
  • The second customer meeting, with a certain watch manufacturer, where despite expecting this in advance, I was still stunned to see everyone -- from the senior executives to the receptionists -- wearing beautiful, amazing, expensive Swiss watches.  I've never been so self-conscious of my choice (not theirs) of timepiece during a meeting before.  Anyway, this was a great discussion, made much easier by the multinational crew assembled for the chat.
  • Lunch with Marco and Jean-Yves from Vertigroup/Perhalion.  These guys get it -- they are not just implementers, but they are solution providers.  They are running an event focused on Lotus technologies/solutions which is drawing over 300 attendees.  That is a true partner -- they are driving the market here.  Lunch was wonderful, too, with my first taste of a Swiss Chardonnay wine from the Geneva region, and a restaurant with great food and a very comfortable setting.  Thank you for joining us, guys.
  • The third customer meeting, at the United Nations in Geneva.  Interesting observation about this meeting -- being an employee of IBM means being asked far fewer questions at security.  Or maybe it was Olivier's good looks.
  • The presentation at the Swiss Romande (French-speaking region) Notes User Group.  Thank you to all of you who introduced yourselves after being names on my blog comments for so long.  The questions were tough -- I couldn't answer the first three -- but the discussion became very open and I think that really helped.  I should probably blog more this week about some of the discussion points.  Thank you also to Camille Bloch chocolates for a) being a Notes customer and b) ensuring that I arrive home with plenty of Swiss chocolate.  My daughter is very happy.
  • From there, Jens-B. Augustiny of Ligonet drove me from Lausanne to Zürich, with several stops along the way -- Gruyere for Alpine scenery, Aventicum for Roman ruins, and Aarberg to visit a medieval town center (we ate in a restaurant whose building dates from the 1200s!)  and wooden bridge.  While the drive was long, the company was great and more to the point, I saw some amazing, off-the-beaten-path parts of Switzerland that I would never have experienced otherwise.

There is much more to write about today, but it's 1 AM in Zürich and I have more customer meetings, plus a flight to London, tomorrow.  But a couple other things to note:
  • Apple started advertising Lotus iNotes for the iPhone, as picked up by several bloggers.  What might not have been obvious by the PlanetLotus postings -- we also got a "staff pick" as Chris Reckling noted.  We're working on an iPhone+Notes FAQ...internally posted already at IBM, but hoping to go external soon.
  • The official announcement of extension of Notes/Domino 6.5 support to April, 2010, was posted today.
  • And on a personal note from today--the ultimate compliment, paid multiple times, simply for trying to use a few basic, polite phrases in French.  I have always said that a little goes a long way when trying to speak a language that is not your native tongue.  The cultural aspects of my interactions today all felt just so impeccably, irresistibly European.   I love it.  To all  in Genève and Lausanne -- a bon nuit, and à bientôt .

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