Random thoughts from an unusual company

Recessions, learning and growing

Gabriella Davis  12 July 2009 21:26:23
One interesting thing we've observed this year at Turtle is that despite bracing ourselves for projects to be pulled in and belts tightened in this year of big recession, we've found that many customers are looking to get more out of their existing infrastructure, to use the time freed up by cancellation of large hardware projects to undertake smaller collaborative ones, and to review their IT strategy along the lines of 'what can we do now that we aren't doing'.  On top of that we've had customers reverse their thinking on migrating away from Lotus which originated either due to buyouts or because they had let their licensing lapse and were being offered good competitive deals. One reason is that in a time of recession choosing to migrate away from a perfectly good system for political reasons becomes much higher risk.

So what about the learning and planning part?  My guess is that this is the time you want to be making sure you get the absolute most out of your infrastructure, it's an opportunity to check it hasn't just been allowed to age over time with no new features being implemented.  Alongside that you want to make sure you are on top of IT developments both within Lotus and elsewhere to allow you to plan for the future and put in place project plans for when this recession levels out (and I have every faith it will !).  I know it's difficult asking for 'training' when costs are being shaved everywhere but pound for pound the BEST value for money training available to you is the plethora of diverse high level conferences being run this summer and autumn.  Some are free, all feature subjects experts on the latest technologies and most include information about future developments.  As someone who speaks at several conferences a year I enjoy it not just for the opportunity to 'train' people but also to be able to talk to them about their setup , concerns and wants and I know other speakers feel the same way.  Coming along to a conference isn't just about attending sessions and learning from the speaker but it's an opportunity to meet other technologists working in the same area as you and to talk to them about ideas and strategy.

Since I'm involved in some of these conferences I'm very aware of how much effort the organisers are going to to pack in technical content, face to face talks with speakers, hands on materials and everything you could want from a 'learning' day.  

Take a look at the agendas on some of these conferences including the completely FREE IAMLUG and UKLUG conferences featuring many entirely new sessions and speakers as well as the lineup for Collaboration University 2009 which will be first and possibly only chance to see detailed, techinical sessions on the new Sametime 8.5 technology before it it's released.  If you are using Sametime or plan to use Sametime you really need to start thinking and preparing for the 8.5 launch as the technology and infrastructure involved has completely changed.  Get yourself a headstart and come learn from those who have spent months honing their knowledge so they can share it with you and offer you face to face advice on what you should be doing.  

Every moment is an opportunity and this moment of recession is your opportunity to shore up your technology and build on your skills so everything is raring to go when the next moment arrives!
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