neděle 23. října 2011

Time to say Good bye and return to our countries

It's over! Last day for passing our presents to people who supported our assignment like professor Alagarsamy whom I gave book Making the world work better then sit into the bus for transport to Coimbatore airport. After 4 hours we were in Mumbai where local CDS representative followed us to the hotel, have dinner and in my case helped me to reduce stomach problems (which were not touching me throughout assignment).

And then farewell...without a doubt it was full of emotions in all of us, somebody expressed it more, just in 1 month 24 by 7 spent within same group ensured that we came to know each other more than other people after several years.

For sure I know more about cultures represented by my colleagues and now I can say by my friends and I know more about my own culture specifics which was my goal for this assignment so from this point of view it was successful. 

After 24 hours when I left hotel, over 6 thousand kilometers of travel and more than 30 degrees Celsius delta :-)

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úterý 18. října 2011

Final presentation to our client

Today, on Tuesday 18th, 2011 we held final meeting with our client which was in Isha HR office. It's nice building, we like it and meeting room there even more :-)

Presentation, which we work on during last weekend, started with a bit of delay, at least we could go through presentation again and then relax by theoretical discussion if Pele was better player then Maradona. Finally we started by connecting second client representative - Vinod - via phone. First one - Diana was with us in the room so it was combination of face-to-face and remote meeting. As both clients have seen presentation before, we could focus on core topics like - what has to be done in order to realize fully virtual training, what internet speed is required and for which cost it would pay back in combination of school location number growth, etc. Two hours passed really quickly. At the end we could have informal conversation and say Good Bye!

Original approach by using conference phone didn't work

So we had to use speaker on cell phone

In front of Isha office, full of experience

Overall meeting went well, we made recommendation based on current situation, analysis and prognosis as stated in statement of work. Now it's up to client if they go for it or not, including engagement of collage etc.

On the way back we stopped in the restaurant for late lunch. We found this restaurant few days ago and we quite like it - they offer food we know which prepares us for our return :) at the end we ordered a cake - to celebrate today's meeting. There are few things to be finished, based on the client comments to add slides and fulfill all objectives from SOW.

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pondělí 17. října 2011

Trip to Salem

Our Sundays' last minute trip overcame all our expectations. Even the travel took 4 hours instead of 2 by using taxi (as stated by hotel manager) we enjoyed it very much.

We start the trip in the top of hill by lunch. It was totally quiet place. When waiter opened the window of restaurant the clouds were entering towards hour heads what even more exceed our relaxing mood. The fresh air made us smiling and enjoying each single minute.


One couldn't believe what animals live here :)

After this relation session we moved to coffee plantation. At least this was the plan. Then we understood it's not possible due to restrictions. So we just stopped in one place where was path going inside one of the coffee plantation. Suddenly Mercedes started to run due to dog behind her. It appeared that dog was followed by owners and in few seconds we could see whole family wondering what we are doing there :-) We were lucky cause they invited us to their house. On the way there we could see big garden with lot of coffee plants, small spider farm (biggest spiders I've even seen in nature) and their house which was very clean and colorful. We got cap of their coffee and even I don't drink coffee I really like it - very soft aroma and deep taste, just enough sweet, simply great. The hospitality of  whole family was amazing, especially when male part of family came at the end and stated to joke about us. It was fun and nice end of their visit.

Coffee seeds

Life in the street

On the way back we stopped for a few secs to take pictures of monkeys sitting along the way, waiting for the food. Also we've seen many amazing hills, rice fields and unusual vehicles. ibmcsc

We met many interesting vehicles 
 I could say it was one of the best days here (maybe the best one), also the taxi driver was fine guy who explained us many things during the way. At end the I need to say - Thank you Mercedes for organizing such fantastic trip! :-)

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pátek 14. října 2011

The Meeting week

This week we had various kind of meetings - we met IBM partners to see what solution they would propose for our client, then we met local collage to see if they can develop system for distance learning. It was excellent experience to sit in front of chairperson, advisory, principals and student reps of schooling having over 3,5k students. Collage itself was very nice, quite new, lot of laboratories - even IBM lab :-)

From left - teacher, Amanda, principal Dr. Sundararaman, Ben, professor Alagarsamy, Gaston

 Yesterday and today we were meeting our partners to brief them about result of our investigations. Vision about ideal solution is still changing - guys in my team work hard to tune design with financials but it would be too easy catch for first time what is expected. Final presentation will be next Tuesday.

Today we also visited Isha Vidhya school - for the last time. We gave them our presents and took some last pictures of the school and kids. On the way back it was quite silent, thinking about passed 3 weeks but there are few days to go!

Our plans for weekend are still not clear or let's say - are changing each an hour. We planned to go to the beach or stay in Coimbatore and have some rest and shopping or maybe we will visit some wellness center.
Finally we got some pictures from our yoga sessions:

You can guess who is our yoga teacher

This week many days were closed by the rain, and not the simple rain:) heavy storms with many flashes and thunders - one could get scary:) thus we had to order pizza after yoga but even storm is stronger than pizza delivery :-) so we went sleep around midnight.

Last but not least - this week for press conference in Coimbatore about our team being here. We could see our faces in local newspapers, like this one  (picture only in paper version).

Food - Many people asked me what do I eat here - well in the beginning it took me little time to know how to each by using right hand only (w/o fork and knife) and mainly what can I eat:) there are many meals spicy, there are also many of them which are ok - like ghee rava dosa with tomato soup as the starter - this is what I like the most now:).

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pondělí 10. října 2011

Work from IBM office in Coimbatore

Today we visited local IBM office -  new and very close to our hotel:) so looks like we are going to use it regularly now. We were delighted by high standard we faced there.

IBM office building on the 2nd floor. Ground floor servers for Passport officers

In this place located in front of IBM we had lunch

neděle 9. října 2011

6th - 9th - Yoga Center

Our client Isha Vidhya, under organization Isha Fundation, recommended us to go through Inner Engineering program to better understand what is behind  Isha Fundation.

The program consisted for 3,5 days activities like massage, hiking, swimming in water falls, ball games and mainly intensive yoga practice and theoretical introduction to yoga science. The program was facilitated by volunteers who provided excellent support in all aspects. - simply "willing to do" and "have to do" is different :-) Even we had even drum alarm at 5am in the morning it was interesting experience and where else to learn yoga than in India? :-) During all days we could also experience kind of distance learning which we plan to recommend as one scenario for our partner. So it was beneficial to come her.

During all days we had no internet access so it was also challenging for all of us - IT people :)

As seen many times, motorbike is family vehicle here:)

And lot of things can be loaded there

Our accommodation place
Local farm



Butterflies are big here:)

Lunch time

Exciting dinner surrounded by candle lights

Nice surprise by facilitators - hot water for our legs
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úterý 4. října 2011

Each day we have some surprise

 So far, we face at least 1 kind of surprise each day. Either we find new info about our client, we taste new food or learn new local habit. More and more I'm meeting strong Czech footprint - every day I can see few Skoda cars, Bata shops etc. And for my surprise also in the down town.

Bollywood movies are everywhere

Motobike is used more than car

Small temple in the street

Why not?:)

Bata shoes are very popular, just in Coimbatore there are several Bata shops

We checked one of the biggest shopping centers

Customer care is visible here

Would like to have party dress?:)

Afternoons bring amazing heaven

Dinner with whole team

A bit of everything - this was non veg food

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