TechDays for Rocket D3 / mvBase in the UK
Last month I traveled to Warwick, UK to present at one of our Rocket MV TechDay for D3/mvBase events. If you’re not familiar with them, TechDays are one-day technical events for developers, architects, and IT staff who use Rocket D3 and mvBase products. We cover a variety of tech topics such as modernization challenges, user interface upgrades, moving to the Web, and going mobile as well as security, high availability and dashboards.
It’s a good opportunity for customers to network and discuss their challenges with the Rocketeers who live and breathe (and drink) this every day. We had a kickoff event in Florida and will be in California and New York shortly, then off to Sydney and Australia in June. You can register for future TechDays on RocketSoftware.com. Now let me tell you about my UK TechDay-related adventures.
Expecting cold and rainy weather while in the United Kingdom, I packed plenty of warm layers and an umbrella, only to be greeted by a week of beautiful weather! After landing at Heathrow, I dragged my baggage-laden self over toward the London Express to arrive at Paddington Station and then continue my trek to Warwick. Often sleep deprived when flying to Europe from the US; this time I was even groggier than usual after having sampled the superb bitters available at pubs on my travel across the U.K.
I walked from the train station to the Warwick Arms hotel – a very charming property from 1709 – and nestled into my room to await the impending arrival of my Rocket colleagues who were flying in to Heathrow later in the day. In the evening we all met for dinner and a tour of some of the local establishments that provided excellent examples of liquid culture.
On Sunday, we enjoyed the day with Vinnie Smith’s family in Liverpool and celebrated his mother’s 75th birthday. After the party, Vinnie served as our regional guide and showed off the town in which he was raised. The tour culminated at “The Cavern” where the Fab Four originated their launch to music immortality. As luck would have it, a Beatles tribute band just happened to be playing and imitating the exact movements of the original four with the mop tops.
During the week we visited numerous customers as we crisscrossed the English countryside. In particular, I remember one stretch where there must have been over 60 round-a-bouts. Glancing over at our driver, Vinnie, I detected a gleeful grin as if he was racing in the Le Mans. While he was having a jolly good time, the rest of the “Yanks” in the car were trying to get used to going clockwise around the circles.
We also met with David Robertshaw, the founder and creator of Rocket wIntegrate , and his team so they could present their roadmap. I enjoyed reuniting with David and receiving first-hand exposure to the latest wIntegrate developments.
Our customer visits provided great opportunities to really listen to concerns and to understand objectives and strategies for mutual success. Each and every one of these meetings proved to be enjoyable as well as educational with engaging and fruitful dialog.
On Tuesday, the TechDay for mvBase/D3 in Warwick was officially afoot! With the room packed to the gills, we shelled out over seven hours of technical presentations that were highly acclaimed by our audience. In particular, much interest was expressed in Rocket CorVu NG (BI), modernization, and Rocket Mobile. Claude Masseron, a Rocket U2 Sales Engineer based in the UK, provided a demonstration of Python integration with the Rocket U2 databases to spur further interest in the Rocket MV lab developing the similar integration with D3. Numerous customers and partners voiced a true enthusiasm with Rocket direction with MV. For me, the Tech Day was especially endearing since some attendees warmly greeted me by acknowledging when I used to work for Pick many years ago – helping to launch D3.
The following evening, our stay in Bristol was facilitated via a Jules Verne Time Machine that took us back in time over four centuries. Our destination was the The Old Manor House which provided a warm and inviting atmosphere for our weary and travel-tired bodies, and I must admit that the 1609 structure brought out the archeological curiosity in me. The accommodations were very charming and the restaurant served, truly, one of the best meals of our journey through the UK.
On our last day in the UK, we met up with Alfonzo Martinez of Amp Software, our distributor in Spain, and had a wonderful evening over dinner discussing his market and the potential opportunities. His lovely daughter provided interpretation when needed.
The opportunity to visit with our customers in the U.K. was so special and I thoroughly enjoyed the warm hospitality with which we were embraced. Our users expressed a genuine excitement over the Tech Day. The new approaches to modernization, BI, and other solutions that Rocket demonstrated have the potential to provide added value for our customers.