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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

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    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    On The Road Again

    I’ve only been home for 2 nights and now I’m off to visit our team in Malaysia. First I’ll be stopping in Singapore to speak at a local itSMF Chapter meeting.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/28 at 02:04 PM
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    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 7

    Not really a Conference day at all. Up early for the flight home.

    I had breakfast with my daughter, Amy, who came over from England to help out at the Reg Desk. We splashed $20 on keno as we sat in the cafe and lost it all (of course!) I guess when you can leave Vegas and you’ve only lost $20 - it’s been a good trip!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/26 at 06:51 PM
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    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 6

    We had a few technical glitches in the final keynote this morning; one time the music we’d been expecting didn’t start, so Clint Fletcher grabs a mic and started singing the Beatles song we needed - and he knew all the words! Way to go Clint!

    Two more awards ...

    Student of the Year was a tie between John Daly (Cisco Systems) and Monica Dragan (CGI) - they both got the highest combined marks in the Service Manager exams. Well done! And the Best Case Study at the Conference was delivered by Pete Corrigan (Allstate Insurance). Not being a professional speaker I heard that a few weeks earlier Pete was having second thoughts about getting up and doing a sessions - well you couldn’t have been more wrong Pete! Well done!

    And so it all came to an end - another great Conference - phew!

    Believe it or not, we actually had a series of meetings over the past few days that were planning sessions for next year! It has always got to be better - and it will be.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/25 at 05:38 PM
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    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 5

    This is the second time we’ve had Nicholas Carr deliver a keynote (last time was about 4 years ago in Orlando). He’s such a real pleasure to work with - clear-headed, calm, confident, well researched and eloquent. His demeanor just seems such a contrast with the edginess of some of his ideas. Good for him!

    More awards ...

    Project of the Year went to Ohio Health Access Management - well done! And Practitioner of the Year was Henry White of Cisco Systems.

    Even though Henry was due to be one of our speakers at the Conference, at the last minute he couldn’t travel due to doctor’s orders. Congratulations on the award, Henry, and get well soon. We want to see you running around here next year!

    We wrapped-up the day with a hilarious session from Wayne Cotter (who’d been out and about for the past 2 days “Wayne Walking” - chatting up various Conference attendees and scrutinizing their ITIL knowledge in front of a video camera) followed by the silliest birthday party I’ve ever been to. It’s ITIL’s 20th birthday, haven’t you heard?

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/24 at 09:59 PM
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    Monday, February 23, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 4

    Another long day (they’re ALL long days!)

    We kicked things off with the “The Early Pink Show” again. I think this format works really well. We profile some of the key personalities at the Conference in a late-night talk show format. As to be expected, Craig Ferguson was very funny - although there’s a virtual finger-wagging to him for missing a couple of cues! Never mind - we had lots of fun again, only this time there was no real elephant - just a “Recession Pinky”.

    I had an interesting meeting with Richard Pharro (CEO of APM Group). I like meeting with him, he always seems so open to the wild and crazy ideas I throw at him! A couple of interesting topics came up - but I’ll save those for a later posting when I have more time.

    In the afternoon we presented the first of our annual awards - “Innovation of the Year”. The winner was Digital Fuel for their “Service Flow v6” product. Well done!

    Moshe Rubinstein - our afternoon keynote - was a breath of fresh air. A very clever guy who charmed everyone!

    My day ended in Prime (again). George, Fatima, Lou Cino (our CFO) and I hosted a dinner for some of our most valued customers. We do this every year and it’s always a success. Strangely, it’s one of the few times during the whole event I feel I can relax. Even though we’re with our most important customers I try not to talk too much about work and just enjoy the company, the food and the setting.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/23 at 10:06 PM
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    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 3

    A VERY long day! Started with a staff meeting at 7:00am (seeing about 50 Pinkers all wearing orangey shirts first thing in the morning was quite a sight!) Later in the morning we opened up the Reg Desk and held our breath. Last year this was one aspect of the event we’ve been trying to forget about. We had long lines and some customers found it frustrating. All year we’ve been in planning meetings and kept muttering to each other “we’ve got to do a better job with the on-site registration process!” I checked in Lisa Lyons and the staff there late this afternoon and they were beaming - yes! Tomorrow morning will be the big rush though - all remaining attendees wanting their badge & bag before 8:30am.

    This afternoon I had my single solo session of the Conference - a Sunday Primer on Ram Charan’s book “What The CEO Wants You To Know”. I was impressed at how many people showed up (around 50-60, I think) and better still, almost all stayed until the very end (how can they take over 90 minutes of me rambling on?) Oh yes, must not forget to credit Martin Erb & Anil Dissanayake. I asked them to feel free to chip in at times with some insights from their experiences - and they came through. I guess that explains why people stuck around!

    As if things aren’t busy enough, we finished off the day with not 1, but 2 receptions. The first being the “Opening Reception” for all attendees in the exhibit hall. After that was over we hosted another more private reception in “The Bank” for speakers and vendors.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/22 at 11:39 PM
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    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 2

    Most of today was spent in an extended meeting with our buddies - “The International Pinkers & Partners”. This year we have colleagues from Mexico, South Africa, Trinidad, Netherlands & UK - as well as the USA & Canada. It was good to see some of the folks I haven’t seen since last year, but more importantly it was great to be able to have quality discussions when you can sit across the table from someone instead of being just on the other end of a phone line.

    This meeting was hosted by Lisa von Massow - who’s the main liaison between HQ and all our dispersed “Pinkers & Partners” around the world. Lisa did a very good job of constructing an appropriate agenda of important discussion points so we call all keep in sync on important issues and news. We rounded off the meeting at 7:00pm with some drinks and canapes (got to have beer when the Dutch are around!)

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/21 at 10:14 PM
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    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Conference Diary - Day 1

    OK - so this isn’t actually the 1st day of Pink’s 13th Annual Conference & Exhibition. But it is the first of what will be a 7 day stay for me at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

    I flew in this morning - the Friday before things really start to get hectic, on Sunday - to get myself all psyched up! To tell the truth, I have a series of meetings. This is a once a year thing for many Pinkers from all over the world - so we really try to make the most of it.

    Tonight, me, George Spalding and his Conference team (Pattie, Alex, Judi & Kara) were invited to dinner by the convention management team here at the Bellagio - Dave, Angela & Sandy. Lovely folks - and they took us to Prime, my favourite restaurant here!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/20 at 11:02 PM
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