Friday, December 08, 2006
All the details...
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Amazing how those rumors come true!!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
HP to Land Mercury Interactive?
(the typical disclaimer - I know nothing, claim to know nothing, and most of these posts are my own "doodling" while I should be doing something else.. :-)
Monday, May 08, 2006
The state of our market...
Oracle acquires Peoplesoft
RedHat acquires JBOSS
Progress Software acquires Actional
BEA acquires Plumtree
CA acquires Concord
and the list goes on and on..
Oh, I forgot...
and my favorite one...
Mercury acquires Systinet
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Where in the world is Mr. Bertrand?
Other than that, I've spent about 80% of my time in DC, as Systinet's business still continues to flourish nicely there.
I'm working on some upcoming blogs on "winning", the state of the market in our sector, an update on competitive strategies that work and ones that don't work and some fun blog entries that I've yet to think of!
I'd also like to announce that my fiance has joined the Blogsphere!
She has started a Personal Concierge business in the Sturbridge, MA area, - you can check it out at:
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Update on the week...
Thursday, January 26, 2006
- lost 8 pounds on the diet, now on to a much heathier way of living!
- new puppy, Toby, is doing very well, sister Tessa is loving him
- worked about 60 hours in 3 days this week - tired
- reading two new books: "On Bullshit" and "The Big Moo" -- the Big Moo is an extradordinary book, but caution - only read it if you want to be an extraordinary person. If you liked the Purple Cow book, you'll love this.
- found an awesome website that I never knew about if you're a travel nut like we are called Site 59 -- www.site59.com
Ok, that's it for now. TTFN!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Check it out at www.isagenix.com! E-mail me if you're interested in joining.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Systinet to be acquired by Mercury Interactive!
Thursday, December 29, 2005
In Memoriam: Taj Bertrand (April 2005 to December 2005). Our Christmas did not start off as we had planned, as little Taj was hit and killed by a car. He was a fantastic dog with some of the most human-like qualities I have ever seen. We all miss him dearly and he will be in our hearts forever. On a brighter note, we have a new puppy coming who is another brother of Tessa and Taj. More to come on him in the next post...
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I spent a few days earlier this week before jumping back on the road for work enjoying our new 2006 BMW 5 series that I picked up over last weekend. What a beautiful car -- it has all of the amenities that a modern day car should have and drives/handles better than anything I have ever driven.
I also just purchased a new Dell computer for my parents and family. I'm absolutely amazed how the price of Desktops has decreased over the past few years. You can buy a fully loaded Dell with 512MB of RAM, 160GB of disk space, 17" flat screen LCD monitor and free shipping for under $600! Plus the Dell customer service folks were second to none.
A bad customer service experience that I've had recently was with Independence Air. It's no wonder why these guys are going under in such a short time. I've flown them 30+ times, and for some reason, - moreso recently than ever, they cannot board on time, leave on time, arrive on time, or get just about anything right... Buyer beware.
It's also the end of our quarter, which is always an interesting, stressful, sleepless time! That said, Systinet continues to execute flawlessly...
Friday, December 09, 2005
First of all, any restaurant that takes a good bean, brews it and then stores it in one of those large steel containers - WRONG. This coffee tastes absolutely terrible. Something about the large steel vat... The best coffee is either fresh brewed or stored in a non-metal container. This is why you see the "pump" mechanisms at a lot of restaurants now.
At home, we use the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffee maker. AWESOME! We put all of our various bean flavors in the freezer - which keeps them fresh. We can then take the beans directly out of the freezer and pour them into the Grind and Brew. It makes an awesome cup of coffee for a very reasonable price. The coffee is also then stored in a thermal container, so it stays fresh and warm for hours after brewing...
Next, we've come across some great coffee lately as well, in our quest for the perfect cup. The best bean that we have found by far is the Starbucks Gazebo Blend coffee. It's mild, but rich - and has a TON of flavor. Other good coffee that we have had lately includes some Blue Mountain coffee from Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Death by Chocolate - for those chocolate lovers, which you can pick up at Stop & Shop (which, by the way, has some great coffee choices!).
The most interesting coffee shop that I've been to recently was the Bad Ass Coffee Company. An interesting name, an enjoyable atmosphere - with some great merchandise!
Well, that's about it for now. We've got about 6 inches of snow here in Sturbridge. More to come soon!
Monday, November 28, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Here’s an interesting topic. The world is greedy – and how can we ever continue this pace?Great example. This past weekend, I took my family (Cara and our two puppies) in our motorhome to a local/regional auto racing event. Even though it rained all weekend, we still had a great time, - along with probably 700-800 other motorhomes/campers, etc that absolutely filled the parking lot. It likely cost all of these people somewhere between $200-$500 just to get to the track, pay for fuel, food & drink for the weekend, and so on. On top of that, the prices for the event increased – in ONE year – from $50 for the weekend to $75. A 50% increase! We started talking about it – and it’s ludicrous to think about how the average family could even afford to attend an event like this… Are the owners of this event taking advantage of a devoted fan base?
Second example – gas prices. Gas prices have almost DOUBLED in the past 12 months. Let me tell you, it hasn’t seemed to affect those pumps from flowing one bit. In fact, every time I go to the gas station now, I seem to wait longer in line than ever… How can a good that is vital to the survival of our society increase 50% in price literally overnight and barely affect travel habits or the economy? It is quite astonishing to me…
Third example – college tuition. Are the costs of operation 2X what they were 10 years ago at a good school? The tuition certainly is! How will the average family afford to put 2 kids through school at $300,000 a piece (the likely cost!) in 5-7 years from now?
Last example – professional sports. The owners and leagues -- NOT the players -- are driving the cost of professional sports out of this hemisphere. Why do I say this? Number one – the players are smart. They ask, and they receive. The owners and leagues are greedy. They just keep letting the same phenomenon happen year after year without putting any reasonable regulations on common salary practices. You know who pays for this all? We do. I can’t go to a professional Hockey or Basketball game for the evening for under $200. The ticket prices are outrageous ($50-$75), it’s now $8 for a sandwich that costs them 75 cents, and it’s now $6 for a beer that costs them less than 15 cents.
The question I keep asking myself is how long can this continue and will it ever stop?
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I thought that since I've been on the road so much the last 3 years, it would be fun to start posting some random things and thoughts...
Here are some that come to mind:
Worst airports: Logan - Boston (Parking/Lines), Dulles (Lines, transportation between terminals from 1950), Chicago & Philly (Delays)
Best airports: Bradley - Hartford (no lines, easy parking, good flights), Providence (no lines, easy parking), Denver (Beautiful, efficient airport)
Best coffee houses: Any Starbucks, Peaberry (Denver)
Best Italian restaurant: Da Domenico's (Tyson's Corner, VA)
Worst hotel experience: La Quinta
Best hotel experience: Riu Palace Las America's - Cancun, MX
Best Gelato: Gelato D'Italia (Denver)
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
That time of year....
Monday, September 12, 2005
Hw r u? Wht z ur pref? - The topic of Internet shorthand...
This topic has sparked interest amongst the academic and business communities alike:
My personal thoughts on this topic...
If you're communicating with someone of rank or superiority, communicating with someone you don't know, communicating with a customer or partner, communicating with an elder or communicating on a formal topic -- Internet shorthand is not appropriate. If you're communicating with a colleague, a friend, a family member - and you have established the informal "contract" that Internet shorthand is OK -- go ahead and use to your heart's content...
At this point, for me - personally - it is easier for me to electronically write a note that is grammatical and structured well and comprehensive than it is to do the same thing on a piece of paper, so I will take the route of sticking to my proper grammar.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Use an e-mail signature!
Off to DC tomorrow. Hopefully the weather doesn't affect the trip too much....
Our prayers go out to those in New Orleans. A fantastic town, disheveled by mother nature...
Friday, August 26, 2005
Dukes of Hazzard
Perhaps one of the reasons I liked the movie was the performance from American Pie's "Stiffler" (Seann William Scott) - who always adds interesting color to any movie. Burt Reynolds was brilliant - a perfect "Boss Hog" - reminiscent of his Smoky and the Bandit days. Willie Nelson's role was also quite interesting as "Uncle Jesse."
If you're looking for some light humor, go see it...
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
20 hour days
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
One of the wittiest college entrance essays I have ever read...
Monday, August 15, 2005
Case of the Mondays...
Off to another busy start. Today, battling weather delays trying to get down to DC, where I'll be until Wednesday.
Things continue to heat up at Systinet and the market is becoming very exciting as well. We've officially taken the covers off of our Blizzard platform, a set of SOA applications performing such capabilities as Lifecycle Management, Contract Management, Policy Management and so on. Our Policy Manager product, which just shipped, is the first and only *standards-based* application for creating and managing policies around Net-Centric operations, XML and SOA.
It should be an interesting scene over the next 6-9 months as the market shakes out...
That's it for now.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Networking - key to success
Monday, August 01, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Other than that, we have a number of projects going on at Systinet as we continue to evolve into new and exciting technologies in the SOA space. The "killer applications" of SOA that companies such as Systinet develop that account for SOA Governance, Lifecycle Management, Contract Management, and so on, will continuously assist customers in recognizing ROI from their SOA initiatives.
More to come later this week...
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Some interesting developments in the Enterprise Software space recently. Graham Glass leaves WebMethods to pursue Semantic Web - an area that we've seen some tremendous interest in recently... BEA, traditionally known for building their own stack, partners with Systinet, Amberpoint and others to deliver Aqualogic, their next generation Service Infrastructure platform. This proves, once again, that Systinet has emerged as the only player in the SOA Registry/Governance space. In the Enterprise Service Management & Security space, we've also seen some extremely interesting developments recently with HP's SOA manager, CISCO's AON strategy, and others we've heard of coming down the pipeline...
It should continue to be an interesting remainder of 2005...
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Back in action
Life is currently very busy, getting the new house in shape, trying to keep up with the puppies, and trying to find some time in there for other fun!
More to come tomorrow on The Tipping Point - and also a topic I've been researching a lot lately moreso because it fascinates me -- Dreams.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Stress (roughly the opposite of relaxation) is a medical term for a wide range of strong external stimuli, both physiological and psychological, which can cause a physiological response called the general adaptation syndrome, first described in 1936 by Hans Selye in the journal Nature.
More to come tomorrow, once the dust settles...
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Word of the day -- Maven
In reading The Tipping Point, Galdwell uses the word "Maven" quite a bit - as to describe those who are the first to pick up new trends and start these "epidemics" as he calls them.
It's my word of the day today:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A maven is an expert in a particular field, usually one who is self-appointed and who seeks to pass his knowledge on to others.
The word comes from the Yiddish meyvn (מבֿין), with the same meaning, which in turn derives from the Hebrew mayveen, meaning to understand. It was first recorded in English around 1952, and popularised in the 1960s by a series of commercials for Vita Herring created by Martin Solow, featuring "The Beloved Herring Maven."
Since the 1980s it has become more common since William Safire adopted it to describe himself ("the language maven").
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Ok, I am back
I started reading an extremely interesting book called "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" - it is a thrilling and refreshing look at how ideas, messages, viruses, diseases, etc. "spread" as epidemics throughout a culture.
The author - Malcolm Galdwell, writes: "The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do."
Applying this to the software business - you often see companies who have built the most successful "viral" community as the ones who succeed. Systinet is a great example of that phenomenon -- the company has built its business from the ground up, based upon building great technology, making it easily accessible to the development audience and building a tremendous community and brand around its products.
I read 60 pages in one sitting, so that is saying something!
Monday, June 13, 2005
Too busy to write!
More to come tomorrow on the long plane flight...
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Off and running on another week...
Between having wireless at home and a technology that we use from Cisco called SoftPhone - I can be "in the office" at just about any time. The SoftPhone technology is awesome and I have had very few problems with the quality so far. Basically - we installed some software on my laptop and I have a phone extension that can be dialed through 4 digits internally and allows me to make endless outbound calls to anywhere. I've been reading a number of interesting articles lately that say that phone companies will not be able to charge anything for long distance within 5 years or less...
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Well, - it has been another long week. On Tuesday we were up at 4AM EST to fly to
An interesting question came up in a casual discussion with friend this week: How were people successful in communicating 15 years ago without e-mail? I guess the argument could go two ways.
One outlook is that often times we get bogged down in e-mail chains that stem 20-30 messages long on a single topic that could have been solved in a 20 minute conference call or meeting. We sometimes spend far more time administrating e-mail than actually performing other job functions. Sometimes e-mail is used more in an “instant messaging” like format, creating far more messages to administrate than necessary. E-mail can also be very dangerous as it takes away or sometimes muddles tone, context and intent – for example, an e-mail can imply a tone that was not intended by the author and cause many issues.
On the other hand, if used properly, e-mail enables near instant communication when necessary. It takes away the “presence” factor – you can be just about anywhere in the world and communicate via e-mail. It also enables convenience – I can respond at my convenience to your note, and as long as I do it in a timely fashion for your requirement, it meets your needs. It can enable effective group communication and collaboration. It sometimes helps one effectively communicate an idea in writing that it may have been hard to communicate in person. And there are probably others that I am missing!
I’d have to say that I am a big fan of new age communications (IM, Blackberry, etc.) – but sometimes the administrative headaches of them do drag into the late parts of the evening!
Well, that is about it for now. I am off to the Adirondack’s (in
Monday, May 30, 2005
This coming week I will be traveling to California (Northern for a day and Southern for 2 days). Look for more words of wisdom during the week :-)
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Long day, hard night...
To top that off, my flight was cancelled tonight and I sprinted to another terminal to get on another flight that had been delayed from earlier in the afternoon and had about one of the worst flights ever. The plane was going about 120MPH or slower (!) for the last 40 minutes and we were in constant turbulence. The guy sitting across the aisle getting sick did not help either.
More later this week!
Friday, May 20, 2005
Identity theft in taxi cabs...
1) Only use your credit card with a cab service who "swipes" the card electronically in the cab - or who calls your number into their home base
2) If the driver uses a paper/carbon receipt - always ask them who processes the transactions. What the driver told me was that a lot of operators will take the receipts to a processing service center, and you as the consumer have no guarantee on who and how the transaction gets processed.
3) Keep good track of when and where you use the card and watch for fraudulent transactions.
Upon hearing this, I will certainly be a bit more careful since I tend to use my card everywhere!
Other than that - we're getting ready up here in the Northeast for what seems like the 20th weekend in a row of potential rain. The forecast was beautiful all week, - now today it says 50% chance of rain. I guess my "glass half empty" side comes out when it comes to the weather lately!
Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Monday, May 16, 2005
So, - had a long week last week. A few 18 hour (one was around 20 I think!) days, but all well worth it.
One nice thing about my current job that I’ve began to realize is that we work with a lot of *smart* people! Some of the discussions that I’ve had lately with customers, prospective customers and our own employees have absolutely blown me away. The high-tech space certainly breeds some smart cookies!
Had a great weekend and the weather actually took a turn for the better with Saturday being a picture perfect day! We did a bit of auto racing (won our qualifying race and had a DNF in the feature event due to a faulty spark plug), worked on the house and enjoyed the weather.
Off to DC tomorrow for the day and will spend an unusual amount of time in office or in my home office this week actually trying to catch up :-)!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
I guess it was an enlightening experience to spend the weekend at least partially disconnected (the Blackberry was still percolating every 10 seconds!) from the world.
Off to Washington for 3 days, - another very busy week.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
I need a snorkle this week
I'm reading a book called "How Full Is Your Bucket?" - a piece focused on positive motivation.
The book gives some great examples of filling or emptying of buckets and gives some practical strategies for filling buckets. They are as follows:
-- Prevent bucket dipping - are you adding to people's buckets or taking away?
-- Shine a light on what is right - spend time, energy and attention to what is right, rather than focusing on the negative.
-- Make best friends - great relationships lead to increased satisfaction in life and in business
-- Give unexpectedly - the gifts can be material or intangible (ie: trust, respect, gratitude), but given unexpectedly increases their "bucket filling power"
-- Reverse the Golden rule - "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them".
A short, but great read. Even I read 1/2 of the book in my first sitting and I usually don't read 1/2 of anything at one time!
Monday, May 02, 2005
We Are Experiencing An Increased Call Volume At The Moment
To me, this means "we have cut costs...you, the customer will now have to wait longer...but to be polite, we'll tell you the same thing everyone else is telling you...'we are experiencing an increased call volume.'...we'll also direct you to our website, which will not be the least bit helpful, but if you figure out how to use it, you'll save us money because it costs us 1/10th the cost of a full time person to maintain the site..."
Give me a break! I'd rather be told by the phone system -- "your wait time will be 12 minutes," or even 35 minutes for that matter! That way, I can at least try to plan when I should call back, or I can do something else while on hold.
On the road again this week -- 16 meetings in 3 days (T, W, TH). Should be a fun one!
More to come soon...
Friday, April 29, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
While at the auto races the other day (my father and I own a race team, I do some of the driving and we also have a very talented guy who drives one of our other cars) -- I had an epiphany. It happened while I was watching some fans root for their favorite driver and root against their least favorite driver. I then went back to the pits and saw all of the teams from our division strategizing...putting together the last minute plans to beat their competition.
Thinking about this over the last few days, I began to realize that competition drives just about all aspects of business and life. We compete for position on the highway and strategize how to get home the quickest. We compete for market share in our respective markets and develop strategies to out-gun the competition. We compete with our siblings when we are young and try to position as Mom or Dad's favorite. We compete with others at the airport to get the best position in line, and the list goes on and on and on...
It is certainly an interesting phenomenon. Maybe I'll take up "people watching" as a hobby to come up with more of these scenarios :-)!
Sunday, April 24, 2005
More to come this week! Off to Dallas tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Jack of all trades, master of none (Thanks Roman)
I think of it like this -- your local mom & pop Chevrolet dealer sends you a letter in the mail saying "We are going to try to compete with Mercedes. Because of that fact, we are going to offer free Chevrolet Malibu's for a limited time to those lucky ones who rush here to get them. We believe that this will quicken the adoption of the Malibu versus the Mercedes."
Fine print: This offer requires you to have your Malibu serviced with us (at a minimum of 10 times per year) - and we may even throw in some proprietary parts to make sure that you keep coming back to us. There is also no guarantee that your Malibu will ever run. Finally, when we go out of business, no one else will be able to service your Malibu.
Back to a post from a couple of weeks ago -- predatory pricing is a sign of desperation. I believe that our customers and prospective customers realize this and continue to see the value in our Mercedes.
As for my week - my long awaited vacation is... - nice, but tiring. We're settling into the new house, painting, plastering and thensome!
Have a great week.
Friday, April 15, 2005
It was an extremely busy week, - one day I can say might have went on record somewhere around 22 hours.
I'll probably post once or twice next week, as I have the week off to start moving and working on our house.
Until then, have a great weekend!
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
People are tired...
I'd say there are three fundamental reasons for this. One, people are burned out from the ever increasing workloads/stress and have basically given up on putting energy into their jobs. Two, the other end of the spectrum are the people who put so much energy into their careers that they just wear themselves out on a daily basis (sometimes I'm in this category!). Three, people are taking less vacation time than ever. Vacation is defined as "paid leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure." If this is what it is meant for, then why not take it?!! By not taking vacation, you become a liability to your company for more than one reason...
Speaking of tired, it is time to call it a day. I'm thinking of writing a post in the next few days on IM - "Presence or Communication?". Giving it some more thoughts.
This week's favorite comment from The Cluetrain Manifesto -- "Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do."
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
A friend recently sent me an e-mail about a "e-mail etiquitte" seminar that his company was putting on. Topics included "how to e-mail your superiors, how and when to effectively CC, and so on..". Probably a good idea in an age where we are all getting so much e-mail many times we do not take the time to actually *think* about what we're writing or why we are cc'ing someone's superior without discussing first...
Have a great day!