Well, it is now the beginning of September and 5 months since we finished our work in Taiwan, I am sitting in a hotel in Bangalore, India thinking back on the last few days which started with client visits in Seoul, Korea but which to my intense happiness included almost 3 days back in Taipei on my way here.
Firstly let me say that my time in Seoul (and Basun) was terrific, the client meetings went well and I look forward to doing some great innovation there, but also the Koreans were wonderful hosts and the hotel was outstanding, couldn’t ask for a better experience, except of course for Taiwan.
Now I don’t want to set up even more competition between Taiwan and Korea than already exists, however, to be fair the Taiwan team have an advantage, first they know me very well, as our team spent 3 weeks there in march, and secondly they know to tag team me, Anny, Lisa, Mandy, Tina, Valeria (alphabetical sequence) were all in on the act, with Lisa and Anny directing of course.
Now, I should say a few words about business, I was in Taipei to follow up with our client from march, there have been some changes mainly on the IBM side, the client rep has changed so we had to help bring Renee (a warm welcome to the team) up to speed and make sure we were all on track. So, we had multiple long internal discussions, Thanks Shaun and Vicky for keeping us grounded and on track in those, and I think we have a good plan of action to support this client.
Unfortunately the Commissioner was called to a meeting with the mayor, so didnt get to see us however the Deputy Commissioner stood in and was extremely kind and welcoming, he made some very appreciative comments about the report from our teams work in March and how they were making progress on several of the recommendations we made. We also had a very cordial and lively meeting with the CIO and his staff and I think have laid the groundwork for an extremely beneficial partnership for both the client and IBM.
So, some long working sessions which went very well but of course the rest of the time we spent eating (and talking about toilets!)
Having been to as many restaurants as we had I could not believe that the team went over the list of places we ate at in March and came up with a completely new list for this trip, I have to admit to being very partial to the food in Asia, particularly Korea and Taiwan (except for Stinky Tofou which I just don’t like I am afraid) but the team outdid themselves.
I did have lunch with one of the senior technical leaders I mentor here, the seafood was superb (see picture above) and I made the mistake of commenting on it to Anny, Lisa et al, I think there is now not only a competition with Korea, but inside Taiwan there is the team versus Julian, I thought I was here to help close some business yes, but also to promote teamwork and cooperation, do some mentoring and round tables, etc. instead I seem to be starting multiple regional wars!
To the rest of my SCC team, you have to get back to Taiwan, having started these competitions you are bound to have an unbelievable time!
So, in summary the work was great, the food even more outstanding than ever, but what really stands out is the lifelong friendships I have made with some of the most friendly, loyal, intelligent and welcoming people I have ever met, it made the 3 days go by way too fast and so it was a very bitter sweet experience, extreme happiness to see these friends again, share new photos of my family and theirs and so on, but extremely sad that it was so short and had to end so soon.
I can only imagine that their families heaved a sigh of relief that I was gone so quickly and didn’t disrupt their family lives as we must have done during the team work in March.
So, it is with a smile on my face, and a tear in my eye that I sit here and write another blog entry that I hadn’t anticipated writing.
I look forward to working with the client on projects that will showcase them as an example of the Smarter use of technology in the world, Renee where is that plan???
I miss the rest of the team and wish they had been able to be here with me, perhaps when we deploy some groundbreaking systems with the client???
But most of all, to the team in Taiwan, 谢谢
“thank you” in Chinese
ps: Team, I look forward so much to next time, and yes, I will try and bring my family with me!
#ibmcsc Taiwan #smartercities challenge