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Day 8: London, UK

The last day of a very gruesome schedule of planes, trains, trams, and automobiles. I take the London Underground into the City area. After letting two trains go by, because you could not fit a single person more into the crammed carriages, I allow myself to be literally carried between half-a-dozen other people on to the third train. There’s something coldly intimate and uniquely British about being sandwiched between strangers of all shapes and sizes without ever looking them in the eye or saying a word. As much as you want to move your head away from that person’s neck, when the only other choices are turning it into someone’s face or sweaty armpit, you just show that British “stiff upper lip” as it is known and “grin and bear it!”

The customer meeting is quite interesting with two key IT people from an insurance company. After an impromptu demonstration of some BI publishing functionality, one of the guys just can’t wait to start using it and the other is the complete opposite and unsure about introducing anything new in their current BI environment. It is understandable that many people are skeptical about new software, because the sheer complexity of most server and software environments today make them prone to problems and instability. Added to the fact that there are usually multiple different vendors involved, who rarely will take responsibility for their software not working with someone else’s, is enough to make even that British “stiff upper lip” quiver a little. 

I assure the customer that we and our U.K. partner will take responsibility for any issues that occur involving our software, even if they are not an actual failure in our software, and we will provide references. It helps. I finish the day with a large helping of traditional, English “Fish and Chips” with a beer.

About Paul

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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