PartnerWorld, the ship is leaving the dock

It seems like I’m obsessed with comparing IBM to ships, but it was only coincidental in analogies, but it may be truer than I thought.

Organizing the PartnerWorld event is like taking a cruise. You have to make your plans, reservations, decide which 30 of 5000 things you can do and work with a gigantic company to schedule it all. We’re far enough along with the planning (which started last year) that they are loosening the mooring ropes to set sail. Oh yeah, and it’s in Vegas, a minor distraction.

Internally at IBM, it is a coordination effort that makes the trip to the moon look like a trip to the store. It’s hard enough to do an event within your own brand, but cross many brands, include a bunch of high powered execs and it’s more like scheduling a trip for the UN, everyone is the president of their country.

We have to somehow mash schedules for the same executives for Press, Analysts and oh yeah, Partners….this is PartnerWorld. It is a logistics nightmare with most being real team players, but some are not. The prep meetings number in the hundreds with various players with topics ranging from booth duty to 1:1’s to chart prep, signage, getting hand held devices.

So in the end, we have to make it look seamless to the participant that they come in, pick up their schedule and somehow the meeting with an IBM’r comes off as if it were nothing, and all the while we are scheduling over ten thousand meetings with people from different countries, different agendas, different companies, somewhere near a thousand meeting rooms and it is a coordination masterpiece. We figure out what’s more important, SaaS, SOA, AJAX, LAMP, ISV….wait I almost have a Meeting Bingo

It’s a wonder how this ever gets done, but in the end the partners meet up and get ahead by working with us. We really have some great programs and getting people to understand and use them is a real asset to the partners. We’ve reviewed our progress with any number of analysts and we have in place what will help partners and make us a better company to work with. I’ll list them on another blog….someday.

Also, if you’re an analyst, you’ll get there, your meetings will be set and you won’t know the hell we went through negotiating the time with each other to make it happen. Everyone wants to talk to the same folks, that we make it happen is in insurance terms, is an act of God.

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