Lotus becomes IBM Collaboration Solutions – News from the SNOUG SR at Givaudan SA

First things first, the Swiss Notes User Group Suisse Romande did it again. The conference yesterday was just great. A perfect organisation and Givaudan SA was the perfect host. 
The way Givaudan pampered us, will be hard to top and we will never be Givaudan customers.
 Apart from a very nice conference room with tables and water bottles at every seat, we were treated to croissants, croissants au chocolat, à la vanille and other things that make me drool again.
 Lunch was heaven. I am not going see this again at SNOUG, except if we get a restaurant with a michelin star as a member, who is willing to host the event.
 We had about 8 or 9 different amuse-bouche. Tartare au dorade royale or fois gras in a little sweet bun for example. The main course was filet de boeuf, perfectly done, with a dark sauce, pintade farcie au fois gras, filet de dorade, crevette tiede à l’ail et citron with vegetables and potatoes. I have to clean my keyboard after this article. Eight or nine different absolutely delicious desserts and coffee closed the lunch. Ed Brill choose the wrong SNOUG event this year, at least regarding the food.
The sessions started with Bénédicte Comard from Givaudan SA, presenting the companies collaboration environment. She was very open the challenges her department faces. N/D was replaced as the primary development platform by WAS. Why? The legacy look and feel of N/D solutions. But with XPages, there could be a new life in the 400 odd apps they use globally, especially after hearing the third session. I really liked her session.  It sets it apart from other presentations, where mostly the positive sides of the infrastructure are presented. She asked us to discuss with her openly, what could be done better (don’t take this as an invitation to contact her with a consulting proposal, that’s for SNOUGies only).
I suppose she is the driving force behind the event within Givaudan SA. Merci Madame Comard. On peut revenir?
The second session was called „Les enjeux et les dangers des Réseaux Sociaux d’Entreprises“ by llan Avventurato of Bobadilium. I am known as a FaceBook hater and not very keen on Connections either, but this was the first time I really got it. He explained, how to introduce social software in a company. You need quite a bit of change management, to make it work. Another point was, that the whole thing must be owned, driven and monitored by HR. That makes perfectly sense. Suddenly I became a fan of the whole idea and I was not alone.
The third session came from GROUP and was about the Transformer, which helps you to convert your old Notes apps to XPages. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Freeman the Great did it again.
The last session was news from IBM. Notes Next in 2013, Lotus becomes IBM Collaboration Services, but that will change again, and other things, most of you already know anyway. Fortunately Pierre Février-Vincent from IBM took the time to create his own versions of the IBM standard presentations. They were a lot better, then what I have seen before. IBM announced that SNOUG-SR will get its own Connections environment. Thank you, I appreciate that.
Last but not least I want to thank the volunteers of the SNOUG SR for their work. I always enjoy the events. The concept of meeting every time at another Notes & Domino customer site is great.

I am going on a diet now to be ready for the autumn event.

PS: Did I mention that the whole event is free?

The Starship Diaries

Nope, that’s not about science fiction. I just read the book from Dallas Kachan about his voyage around the world. He was one of the lucky ones, who sold his internet company at the right time.
It took him two years flying around the globe in the coolest – IMHO – GA plane ever built, the Beech Starship I.
The book is not only a list of places he visited, but also about his reflections about the world in general. The people he met in places the common tourist never see, changed his view of the world and especially about the western world.
It took him only about flight 200 hours to fly the 45’403 miles. Something he could have done easily in a few weeks, but he took his time. Stayed sometimes month in one place. Sometimes he had to, because the plane had to be serviced – due to bullet holes – or fuel wasn’t available or he got sick on a remote island in the pacific. He also talks openly about the mistakes he made as a pilot. He flew a 16’000 lb aircraft single pilot, which is pretty stressful in itself. He dozed of over the jungle in Africa and other things. You never get the impression that he thinks that he is one hell of pilot, which nobody would believe anyway with only a couple of hundred hours under his belt when he took of from California. I wonder if anybody from the FAA ever read his book and had a friendly chat with him, for example about the extension cord for his headset. He wanted to be able to use the potty in the back of the plane while flying.

There are old pilots and bold pilots, but now old and bold pilots.

Unfortunately the Starship is history. Developed by Burt Rutan for Beechcraft, it was way ahead of its time. Just when the public began to accept it, Beech pulled the plug on it after only 53 produced and bought them back. Only about five of them are still flying (there are rumors about a sixth being restored to flying status). My chances to fly it one day are pretty slim.

Worth a read, if you are an aviation buff.