Back from Tel Aviv...
By mrbill on Jan 19, 2010
A great trip, amazing weather, decent food, and fun projects. Nothing beats sitting on a beach at 10pm with a nice 20C breeze coming in off of the Mediterranean, eating hummus and a kabob by the light of a candle in a paper bag. In January.
The primary purpose of the trip was to look at some modernization opportunities, mostly older mainframes. It has been many years since I have heard acronyms like ADS/O, IDMS, CICS, and BMS used exclusively for hours of conversation. Fun stuff. The Clerity guys have some amazing tools and software for rehosting, and BluePhoenix makes the data and application conversions relatively pain-free. These guys definitely make my job easier, as I can concentrate on the IT services side of the rehosted system, running natively on Oracle under Solaris, with proper job and resource control, fully integrated into the "Open Systems" side of the customer's IT operations.
On the downside, I had to give a lesson in the three steps of customer service to a flight crew after the AC's air exchanger dripped on me for the first hour of my 12+ hour flight home. Step one, fix my pain (hand me paper towels to dry off my stuff and my shoulder). Step two, make sure it doesn't continue to impact the customer (move me to a new seat). Step three, make sure it doesn't happen again (put the issue on the maintenance log for the aircraft to make sure it gets fixed before the next customer gets rained on). I was amazed that the crew didn't understand these three basic steps to happy customers. Of course, that would probably explain why United flights hopping through Frankfurt are full, while Continental direct flights have plenty of empty seats. Customer service, and customer experience has a direct impact on customer loyalty. (sigh.) And yes, I am 6'5" (192cm) tall, and am not willing to move back to the "no legroom section" of the plane, from my aisle to a middle seat, against a bulkhead which will not recline. Moving a customer because you have inconvenienced them should be a move to an equal or better situation, not a punishment or additional inconvenience. (double sigh.)
But mostly, I'm just waiting for the exciting days ahead. No matter what happens, life will surely be "interesting" to say the least. Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride.