Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘business travel

Can We Meet?

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I’ve made it through the most difficult part of my journey.  Getting safely from Austin to Dallas.

You’d be surprised at how many things can go wrong between the Austin and Dallas airports.

DFW to Tokyo Narita, no problemo.  Beijing, piece of cake.  Austin to Dallas, or vice versa, God rest your weary traveling soul, anything can and often does go wrong.

You may remember the time I was coming back from somewhere (Las Vegas, I think it was) and ended up spending what should have been an unnecessary night at the DFW Hilton.

Then there was the time it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to fly from Dallas to Austin, typically a 35-45 minute flight (although to be fair, on that particular voyage, the weather was exceptionally bad).

It’s enough to make somebody want to have better scheduling software with their messaging systems.

So the timing is perfect for the announcement IBM and Tungle made just yesterday, whereby Tungle announced the availability of its Tungle.me software for Lotus Notes.

Already, more than 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using Tungle.me to save time scheduling meetings, and more than half of the largest global 100 corporations use IBM’s flagship collaboration offerings, Lotus Notes and Domino.

Tungle.me makes it much simpler for people to schedule meetings across organizations, calendar systems and time zones by eliminating costly double bookings and the endless back and forth of finding a time to meet.

As Tungle CEO Marc Gingras explained, “With the introduction of Tungle.me for Lotus Notes, many millions of additional business people around the world can spend more time being productive and less time playing scheduling ping-pong.”

I like ping-pong.  The real kind.  But not the how-in-the-world-are-we-going-to-find-a-good-time-to-meet kind.

The addition of Lotus Notes means that Tungle now works with all major business- and consumer-oriented electronic calendar environments, including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Entourage, and is also available on the iPhone and BlackBerry.

With Tungle.me for Lotus Notes you can set custom availability and synchronize it with your Lotus Notes calendar. Once meetings are scheduled, they are automatically updated in the background.

Check out the video demonstration below to see Tungle and Lotus Notes in action:

Me, I’m off to crank up on the caffeine for my short flight to Tokyo.

See you from Singapore.

Written by turbotodd

April 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Air Stream

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On any given day, nearly 90,000 commercial, private and cargo planes take off and land in the United States.

More than 700 million passengers pass through some of the busiest airports in the world – Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson, Chicago’s O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles International and others – each year.

In these crowded skies, the consequences of a cyber attack could jeopardize lives.

That’s why the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is taking steps to protect the critical computer networks that support the nation’s air traffic centers, control towers and other aviation facilities.

IBM and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration have announced they’ll be working together on an R&D project to better protect the nation’s civilian aviation system from the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks.

This project will introduce first-of-a-kind security analytics technologies and entirely new approaches to protecting large digital and physical infrastructures from hacking, botnets, malware and other forms of cyber attacks.

The prototype system will go beyond traditional security approaches of encryption, firewalls, intrusion-detection devices and anti-virus software.

Not only will the flexible model be designed to look retrospectively at event occurrences and system compromises, it will be able to correlate historical traffic patterns with dynamic data from monitors, sensors and other devices capturing information about network traffic and user activity in real time.

Streaming analytics will be a key design component of the FAA prototype system. This advanced technology will enable the FAA to continually analyze the massive amounts of data flowing through its networks in real time and get fast and accurate insights about possible threats and system compromises — in time to take action.

The FAA will also be able to store real-time results in a data warehouse for later analysis and supervised learning.

In the design, customized executive-level dashboards will be used to deliver up-to-the-second information on the security posture of the FAA networks.  These dashboards will give FAA officials visual representations of network workloads, tickets for found malware, and historical trends to facilitate decision making and early action in the event of network anomalies suggesting a possible attack.

“Cyber attacks have become a global pandemic and no system is immune,” said Todd Ramsey, general manager, U.S. Federal, IBM.  “Through this collaboration with the FAA, as well as others underway in government and the private sector, we hope to develop comprehensive solutions for protecting the digital and physical infrastructures of critical national networks and enterprise systems.”

The pilot project is part of IBM’s First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) program, which engages scientists from IBM Research with clients to explore and pilot emerging technologies that address real world problems.

IBM has also established the IBM Institute for Advanced Security, in Washington, D.C., to help government agencies and other institutions gain access to tools, resources and expertise to address cyber security issues.

For more details and information visit the IBM Institute for Advanced Security website.

Written by turbotodd

March 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

A Well Dressed (and Jet Lagged) Man

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NOTE: This post was written while still in Milan, but published after arriving yesterday early evening in Las Vegas.  British Airways did not provide wifi access on the Milan-to-Vegas flight.

Greetings from the Milan Linate airport.

My short week in Europe has come to a fast end, but not before I had the opportunity to get out and see the Duomo in downtown Milan.

On my last trip here, I arrived in Milan on a Sunday evening, and had to immediately leave the IBM site to drive straight to Nice, so I didn’t have the opportunity to visit the city center.

There’s but no question the Duomo is worth visiting. The church is spectacular, having been built in the early Renaissance and simply breathtaking in its beauty.

As to the food in Milan, it’s like anywhere else I’ve ever been in Italy – scrumptious. The Italians can take a simple plate of penne pasta and turn it into magic in your mouth. Mmm, mmmm, mmmm.

Before dinner last evening, my IBM amigo Michael and I took in a little Milano fashion expedition. After joking about my poor fashion sense in previous blog posts, I decided I couldn’t leave one of the fashion capitals of the world without at least trying on some fine Italian threads.

I ended up walking out of the store with a very nice Italian sport coat and a couple of gorgeous shorts, my wallet hardly the worse for the wear. Austin will never know what hit ’em (although it’ll probably take a funeral or a wedding for me to pull them out of the closet…Austin’s pretty laid back when it comes to dress, even for bidness).

But, before I get to head back to Austin, I have one last stop to make, that mentioned pit stop in Las Vegas. For anyone glorifying the jetsetting lifestyle, know that my Saturday goes something like this:

Arrive at the Milan airport around 11:30 AM local time. Sit in the BA lounge until boarding my flight, which leaves for London around 1:40. Arrive in London a couple of hours later, sit around the airport there for a couple of hours, then board the flight to Vegas which is 10 ½ hours (in economy class, of course).

That means I’ll have arrived in Vegas sometime around 4:30 am Milano time Sunday morning.

But in all my jetlagged weariness, I’ll have some fond memories of meeting some new IBM colleagues in Stuttgart, Madrid, and Milan, and hopefully of my team and I having helped them continue to improve their Web marketing efforts.

More from Vegas and the IBM Pulse 2010 event soon.

Written by turbotodd

February 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

South to North

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I’m back in the Estados Unidos after a productive and enjoyable trip to Argentina.

What did I learn while I was there?

One, the sun is very powerful in South America.  I spent my last afternoon there to take a quick tour on one of those turistico buses (highly recommend, especially if you’re short on time).

You know, the kind with no tops on them, where the sun can shine right down on your head and forehead?

Yeah.  Estupido turista.

Two, I learned that while the social media is alive and well in Latin America, I would suggest based on my observations and discussions with our teams there that its use is a little more tepid and cautious in Latin America, particularly within business.

Personally, particularly with sites like Orkut and Twitter, there’s substantial and widespread use, but the business uptake is slower than other parts of the world.

Three, the Internet communications and marketing opportunity is much more substantial in the mobile space than in the land-line Internet (that is, if you’re interested in raw numbers).

By way of example, EMarketer’s “Digital Atlas,” which I consulted before I headed south, reveals that Internet users in Brazil last numbered around 67M, while mobile phone users were in the range of 150M.

Similar disparities between mobile and landline access exist in other countries in Latin America as well, including Mexico and Argentina.

Four, I reaffirmed how much it sucks to get sick while traveling abroad.  But, as mentioned in this blog, I was fortunate to be able to head over to Dr. IBM right there on the site to get some medicine to stave off the nastiness.

Here I am, a week later, still illin’, but I was very thankful to stave off the illness while on the ground there.

Five, I learned that it is possible to get a full night’s sleep in economy class, particularly with the help of some other medicine (in my case, doctor-prescribed sleeping pills).

In fact, such sleep can make all the difference in the world (although admittedly, it’s easier when you’re not jumping so many time zones).

Personally, I don’t mind so much the long flights, but in coach they can be quite painful if you have legs longer than 2 feet, so the ability to totally sack out can help put about 70% of the time on the plane into unconsciousness, which is the perfect way to shorten the plane ride.

(As for you people who stay awake for the duration of 10-13 hour flights, you may want to check to see if you’re related to some of the characters on “True Blood” [vampires].  I don’t know how you do it.)

Six, I can’t or don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world very well when I’m on the road.

Despite having a BlackBerry that lives up to its promise as a “world phone” (Since I got it in January, it HAS worked in every city I’ve been to around the globe), one simply doesn’t have much free time to check in and keep up when you’re bouncing from one meeting or dinner to another.

The whole point of making these trips is to meet one’s colleagues on the ground and spend quality time, so that’s the priority.

So, I’m still playing catch up on the news flow (email and otherwise).

Seven, I still love my Nikon CoolPix camera and my FlipVideo camera…both allowed me to easily (and very portably) capture sights and sounds from the journey without having to lug around a lot of equipment.

Eight, I can’t wait for the World Cup next summer.  I really enjoyed being around a bunch of honest-to-God futbol fans, and my excursion to see the Boca Juniors play Arsenal was a highlight of my trip.

If anybody needs a blogger to cover next summer’s World Cup, I’m so on that plane to Johannesburg…business, coach, or even luggage class.

And nine, regarding my iPod Touch: I don’t leave the country without it.

Since I got the “touch,” it has become my best friend while traveling.  I now download books, games, music, podcasts, and even movies to carry with me on the road and to help pass the time, to Tweet, to read, to chill…it’s one of the first things I pack just to make sure I don’t forget it.

All that said, it’s nice to be back in Austin in time for the Thanksgiving holiday and a whole meal of American football.

Written by turbotodd

November 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

The Argentinian Bohemian Rhapsody

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I am feeling mucho better in Buenos Aires.

So much so that I ended up at the Kilkenny Pub with mi amigos last evening near the central business district.  I’ll come back to that.

First, let me just say muchas gracias to the IBM doctor who diagnosed me and prescribed me with some magic pills.

Anybody who has traveled on international business can attest to the fact that getting sick while abroad is pretty much one of the suckiest things that can happen to you (that, and losing your passport).

But, to my good fortune, IBM Argentina had a doctor on the premises and helped me get much better very quickly.

Time on the ground on these journeys is precious, particularly the face time with your colleagues.  It’s really the most precious thing we have, and after having to miss one team dinner Tuesday evening I wasn’t about to miss another.

So, after a long and productive day of meetings and discussions (the content of which I won’t be revealing — to the chagrin, I’m sure, of our competitors), my Latin American and HQ colleagues headed out for some dinner.

We ended the evening at the Kilkenny Pub which, I’m also sure, one must find quite absurd.

The quest to go to an Irish Pub while near the bottom of South America became a mandate when my Canadian colleague Dave was astounded at the fact I’d never had a Kilkenny beer.

I’ve been a lot of places and I’ve drank a lot of different kinds of beer, but guilty as charged, I’d never had a Kilkenny.

Mi new Argentinian amigo Pedro knew just the place, so after a late dinner we set out there.

Pedro explained why, exactly, it was that Argentina had a plethora of English-type pubs, and the explanation is, simply in a singular word, globalization.

When the Argentinian economy started to grow and as more foreign companies moved in, the English pubs came with.

The best part of the story, however, is arriving at the Kilkenny Pub only to discover…DOH!…they had run out of Kilkenny.

Does globalization explain that one?

Perhaps not, but having no Kilkenny didn’t keep Pedro from an hilarious public display of affection for the Rolling Stones, as he demoed his painfully home-made “Tattoo You” lips tattoo for the troops gathered around our booth before Dave led us in an unharmonious but team-building rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

A la table, there were: 2 Americans, 1 Brazilian, 1 Canadian, 1 Mexican, 1 Argentinian…and a wandering Russian troubadour who heard the commotion and stopped by our table to help us finish out the tune:

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro
Magnifico-o-o-o-o
I’m just a poor boy nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity —
Freddie Mercury, Queen

Though Freddie Mercury may not likely have been proud of the singing, I think he would have approved of the enthusiasm and fellowship.

Si, there have definitely been some ups and downs and bumps along the road to globalization.

But in the midst of all the pain and disruption it has caused along the way, there are equally filled moments of human synchronization and serendipity and the slow unveiling of a global connective tissue that can help stifle all the pain and disruption — and in the process reveal our underlying grace and collective humanity.

Such was a moment last night here in Buenos Aires, at least for me anyhow.

And seriously, don’t cry for me, Argentina.

I’m laughing all the way to the bank with tangoing Tattoo You Lips!

Written by turbotodd

November 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Soy Enfermo

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Soy infirmada en Buenos Aires.

It’s inevitable when you travel for business you’re gonna get sick, although I try to avoid it like the plague.

Otherwise, my time in Buenos Aires has been quite bueno so far (including the soccer match), and fortunately so far I’ve not been hindered by the apparent global BlackBerry outage.

Of course, if you’re a Lotus Symphony user, there’s always this new mobile solution, which provides for a portable version of Symphony that can be used in Keepod USB devices.

The new tool lets users launch Symphony directly from the USB device without leaving a trace of the data, or the application, on the host computer.

As for me, if I’m not feeling better soon, I’m hopeful that my IBM Research friends can help me with my malady.

ZDnet’s “Between the Lines” blog is reporting that IBM Research created a new and fast medical diagnostic testing system that’s based on a silicon chip, which uses small samples to test for multiple diseases.

The implications of the research are substantial, and the results are being published in the December issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Meanwhile, muchas gracias to mi amigo Koran here in Buenos Aires for the Claritin D — here’s hoping I Live Claritin Clear for the next few days!

Written by turbotodd

November 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Stop in Dallas

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I’m stuck in purgatory at the Dallas Ft. Worth airport Hyatt (not the Grand Hyatt…the other one).

It’s a long story.  I tried to play some offense on my travel back from Vegas due to ever-changing weather and travel conditions yesterday, and despite the fact that I didn’t once gamble during my time there, the house won out and I got stuck for a day at the airport.

Fortunately, the nice people at the Hyatt have let me have the room until 3 pm, which has allowed me a productive Friday.  From there, I’ll be spending some time in one of the lovely Admiral’s Clubs here.

I’ve never stayed at one of the Dallas airport hotels before, probably because I never had much reason to.

But in case you ever do, know there is lots of noise, which would be because airplanes are constantly taking off and landing.

I also think I picked up a nice bug in Vegas.  What happened there apparently didn’t stay there after all.

Otherwise, I have nothing more substantive than that to post at this time, except to share a brief anecdote from my childhood.

When I was a young boy scout while growing up near Dallas, I remember taking a boy scout trip to the, then, new Dallas Ft. Worth airport.

I remember seeing the new space-age trams (which ended up being dreadfully slow and recently replaced), the new runways, all the new terminals, etc. and thinking to myself, wow, how cool and futuristic.

I even remember one of the airport spokespeople estimating for our boy scout troop how busy the airport would likely be by the year 2000.

And I remember thinking to myself, wow, by the year 2000 I’ll be 33 whole years old.

Here it is, almost 10 years after the year 2000, and I’m stuck here in travel purgatory.

If you’d told me back then how central a role this particular airport, and airports in general, would come to play in my life, I’d have laughed at you and told you you were a crazy adult.

Scout’s honor.

Written by turbotodd

October 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm

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