Journal From Business Trip Around the World

A bit tired. A bit excited.  I’ve been traveling since January 18.

This road trip started in Las Vegas. I got to participate in the SDL Content Management Technologies’ (CMT) kickoff. SDL has market-leading products around content management, including Tridion.  It was a pleasure to present our Social Intelligence solution that measures customer commitment by product, brand, and relevant content.  Our two solutions integrate well as components of the larger SDL CXM offering.

During the evenings, we bonded cheering the dice at the craps tables, as well as sharing drinks at the Rouge (MGM). Somehow, a few of us even made it to a night club one night and ended up ordering a big pizza that we couldn’t finish as the sun rose.  Overall, it was four days of motivating presentations and information sharing, as well as some Vegas fun.

From there, I stopped by home in Seattle for 14 hours before flying to HCMC, Vietnam (January 25). That journey is about 16 hours in total but I still always feel energized after arriving. The scooters, the street vendors, the humid heat, delicious foods all make for a very vibrant experience.  We have an office there with a fun and dedicated team. I got to present our 2013 vision as well as handing out last year’s employee achievement awards. I also hosted a couple of visiting executives from SDL Global Solutions (localization services) division. They also found potential applications of our Social Intelligence solution for their business which we will mutually pursue.

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We ate a lot (but never gained any weight) and played some dangerous drinking games at local bars. I also got to check up on my son who is volunteering at a Vietnamese orphanage for one year and fed him some heavy Western food that he was craving.

Then, I left for Singapore (January 31) to review our APAC business plan for the year.  It’s going to be a stretch year for our APAC business but I remain optimistic as we continue to invest there. During my stay, the Singapore office had their holiday party. I got to participate in a bingo scavenger hunt competition at Sentosa Island. It was great fun. The Singapore office is one of the most diverse in our company since the main business there is language translations. We have Singaporeans, British, Australians, Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, an American and Japanese. Whew, what fun. I left them with one good advice: Organize monthly (or quarterly) potluck parties! Can you image the diverse spread?

Singapore is an amazing place with natural beauty and spectacular man-made high rises. I enjoyed world-class roof top lounges overlooking the city and sea. My schedule had me stay through the weekend, so I made the most of it. A few gracious friends who had recently moved to Singapore took good care of me.

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After an epic night that started at the Latern (top of the Fullerton Bay Hotel) and moved to the night club at Ku De Ta before eventually closing at a club that is underwater, I was on an airplane for a 14-hour flight to London Heathrow. I, then, commuted two hours to Bristol for the Campaign Management and Analytics (CMA) kickoff.

I arrived late Sunday night, presented the next morning the Social Intelligence story. The CMA group is a fun and tight-knit bunch that I know well from being a part of Alterian. I’m happy and proud to see their progress since the SDL acquisition a year ago. I really enjoyed seeing the renewed enthusiasm and the new capabilities. During our time together, we formulated an exciting idea around combining our data sets for more targeted insights to their customers. This could be really good.

I laid low in Bristol at nights due to being jetlag and because I was starting to get sick. Also, it was freezing cold and I didn’t want to leave the hotel if at all possible.

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Now, I’m on a train heading to London (my home away from home) for the weekend before the SDL executive meetings next week. I have one more week before heading home and finish circling the globe.

The thought of London has a big smile on my face. Yeah, it’s a long trip and I do miss home. But I got to do what I got to do. So, I need to be as productive as possible, and enjoy whatever I’m doing because I’ll never get any of my time back! And London, well, I know that town pretty well.

I’m almost to Paddington…