Friday, November 4, 2011

The Grand Tour!

For any writer a change of scenery is always welcome and next week, business will take me back to Italy. But this post isn’t about the places I will visit so much as it’s about the many product options available today to the NonStop community!

Shortly I will be departing for Europe where I will mix a little down time with business, and as fate would have it, my time in Europe will begin in Venice and conclude in Rome. It may not be the best time to visit this part of the world, but with Boulder already hit hard with snow storms, returning to the Mediterranean will be easy to take. From all I have read, there’s no prospect for snow at either location.In a conversation I had with a client I was reminded that I was embarking, as had many of the European nobility since the 17th Century, on The Grand Tour. As one writer, who had added an observation to a wiki reference on this subject, noted “The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class young men … the custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. In essence the Grand Tour was neither a scholar's pilgrimage nor a religious one, though a pleasurable stay in Venice and a cautious residence in Rome were essential.

In my post of September 22nd, 2011 “Taking root; modernization in practice!” I referenced to a case study on Intesa Sanpaolo Card, out of Croatia, who had chosen Client Server Link (CSL) from comForte to modernize their implementation of BASE24 Classic. And at that time of writing, I observed how “I may make it to Slovenia and Croatia when I am next in that part of Europe; perhaps later in the year. And I will make every effort to use an ATM supported by Intesa Sanpaolo Card, and support the company utilizing CSL.” To fill in time, I am now taking a boat from Venice to the Croatian ports along the Dalmatian Coast - townships like Sibenik, Dubrovnik, and even Kotor that’s now a part of Montenegro and used to enjoy very strong ties to Venice – so yes, I will be enjoying time in the Adriatic and hopefully, I will get a chance to use a customers’ ATM!

But following The Grand Tour was also important for other reasons. “The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed,” the above writer continued in his update to wiki, “lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent.” And this connection between The Grand Tour and the Renaissance and to a time when creativity and innovation simply exploded as powerful families (including the Medici’s) in Florence brought together authors, engineers, painters, philosophers and architects and the “percolation of ideas” that resulted sparked an explosion of new ideas.

The last time business took me to Rome was to influence the post of May 23rd, 2008, to Real Time View, “Roman Holiday!” where I wrote about the content of the Frans Johansson book “The Medici Effect” and at the time, observed how the Medici’s found that, bringing people together from different cultures, with different skill-sets, and creating an environment where they could openly interact anticipating that, as Johansson writes, “where ideas collide, innovation happens!” Johansson then goes on to add “breakthrough insights occur at novel intersections (and) is an enduring principle of creativity.”

Later in that post I went on to suggest how “innovation is important as it is the special ingredient within all companies that puts distance between those that can innovate and those that fail to recognize opportunities as they arise. The history of NonStop – from the appearance of the first Tandem Computer, to the introduction of ServerNet – has been liberally sprinkled with innovative technologies that contributed significantly to keeping the Tandem Computer ahead of other market entrants.”Today, the NonStop Community enjoys their own grand tour but without the need to visit Venice and Rome. Shortly users will be gathering for BITUG and a renewed French gathering. These come on the heels of successful events in India, Germany (Berlin), Canada and Mexico. And it is when the community comes together and “networks” the ideas of users, vendors and consultants and HP flow and these events, no matter their size, still represents the best opportunity as Johansson wrote, “where ideas collide, innovation happens!”

According to comForte marketing head, Thomas Gloerfeld, “it represents a sizable investment for companies, including comForte, to participate in all these events and yet it remains the best way to hear user comments first hand. The rate at which modernization is being pursued is also an important factor for us as we continue to invest in this area and to fine-tune our messaging. It is very important for the NonStop community to understand that, with the ongoing work being pursued by vendors like us, there are more options to consider and an increased likelihood for users to be successful. News about products that are reliable and provide the functionality a user may need first surfaces within user group meetings.”

I will be looking forward to using my debit card at the first ATM of Intesa Sanpaolo that I come across. But as I do, it will not be the ease with which I can access my own funds that will impress me as much as that I am providing additional business to a NonStop user that continues to prove that with the right software and middleware, they can be as innovative, or more so, as any other equivalent cash provider!

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