March 31 2006

Last week, when once of my customer meetings for this trip fell through, I blogged about having a free day in Europe in an effort to maximize this trip.  Now as I rush back home, I think this "availablogging" was a good idea and something I need to do more often.

As a result of the blog entry, meeting offers to utilize my Wednesday came in from Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Switzerland.  Some came from customers, some came from partners, and interestingly, some came from IBMers.  I say "interestingly" because I had also communicated this one-day availability through "normal channels" to my Lotus colleagues, but I reached as many IBMers through the blog as I did through the normal routine.  The "normal channel" offers came from Spain, France, and Romania.  All in all, there's a lot going on with Notes in Europe -- some new opportunities, some defense, and some happy customers upgrading along.

So, to those I couldn't get to this time -- I'm going to be back in Europe in six weeks for the DNUG/IBM Lotus Technical Forum, my fourth European trip so far this year.  I know a  number of customers will be at the event itself, but I'm also going to try to work in an extra day or two for other visits.  And if things can't wait six weeks, there are other top-notch IBMers available in-region to assist.  I hope I've referred all of the availablogging requests to one of the regional Notes business or technical leaders -- if something was missed, please let me know.

As for the rest of the trip, one more meeting fell through, but at that point it was too late to use the time for anything other than a quick trip into central Zürich (and, of course, some Notes/e-mail time).  Yesterday afternoon's customer meeting, booked months ago as part of this customer's "IT Week", was intense and also a bit fun.  In no small part this was due to my place on the customer's agenda...the last of almost a dozen vendor presentations throughout their week.  I had to make a relatively quick escape when it was finished, though...the annual watch show in Basel had all the hotels in northern Switzerland booked up for the night.  I ended up flying back via Düsseldorf, aboard my favorite Europe-Chicago flight, Lufthansa's PrivatAir all-business-class service. This is my third occasion to use this awesome flight, and this week's bonus is an early arrival.  With Europe already on summer time, the eight-hour difference means that a 9 AM departure lands in Chicago at 10:30 AM local time.  

Next availablogging -- well, I'm trying to stay home for a few weeks, but then it's off to Lotusphere Comes to You and other events in Manila (20 April), Singapore (21 April), and Kuala Lumpur (24-25 April).  It's been about two years since my last regional visit, so the local IBM teams have me pretty booked up.  I believe there's some effort to try to do user group meetings as part of the LCTY events in Singapore and K-L, so if you are interested in that, please let me know.

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