Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hua Hin, Thailand

I just got back from an event in Hua Hin, Thailand, arranged by our good friends at IBM. This was an event designed to build partnership between IBM and my company, specifically in selling one of their server lines. It was my first time in Thailand and I have to say that I had such a wonderful time.

First, the location. We stayed at Anantara Resort in Hua Hin and I highly recommend this place. It was a wonderful resort hotel and the place was simply beautiful. I wished my wife could have been there. I was treated to the spa and I had, for the first time, the traditional Thai massage (just the massage -- nothing else). I really enjoyed it. But I was slightly disappointed when I learned later that the masseuse didn't do all the tricks in the book, like lift up your body to stretch your back. But I'm a big guy -- maybe she was afraid she couldn't handle my weight.

The networking was also great. I met a bunch of new people, both from the IBM side and people from other offices of my company. I also had a chance to meet with the top leaders of my company -- people who I don't get to see often. And to make socializing even easier, the soccer world cup was going on, which made it easy to start a conversation.

As far as the content of the event (i.e. the products that IBM hopes we can help push to the market), I have nothing but respect for IBM servers. But there is so much more involved in buying servers. Clients may have their own product preference to begin with, they may be tied to a particular platform because of skills, they may already have good relationship with a particular vendor, etc. Sometimes the technology does not matter much in sales. (See any arguments on Wintel vs. Apple.) However I applause IBM for doing what they can and I think increasing relationship and partnership with a major SI/consulting company like us is a right strategy for them.