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Year 2006 Review

Globally 2006 has been a good year for me, both professionally and in my private life. I highlight here the major topics.

Work

As Solution Architect at HP Consulting & Integration, I continued to develop the architecture of one of our largest project at an Insurance Company. I did that in collaboration with senior architect colleagues and it has been very interesting for me. However, working on the same design for one year was a bit difficult for me. I need much more scope and context changes than that. In the mean time, we also won and delivered interesting missions in the SOA space where I believe I have continued to progress. Good thing: I received an award (a bottle of Champaign) for ?Excellence in Business Development?.

Gradually, around July, I was getting bored with my job function. Also I had had phone calls from other companies wanting to know if I would be interested by some other opportunities. I started to think about it and I talked about it with my manager at HP. He proposed me another challenge. (I have to say that this manager, Herman Van Beirendonck is the best manager I have ever had until now).

In November I became Client Principal for Fortis. My responsibility is to develop HP?s Consulting & Integration Business at Fortis.

This change is a big change for me: I?m moving from the technical field to the sales field. I feel this is important because one day I wish to be more in control of some business - as a manager, or as owner ? and businesses have revenues and have costs. It?s probably more difficult to drive revenue than to make costs, so I believe in developing my selling skills, even if it?s not always where my heart is. I keep on reading the article ?Why decision-makers need to understand the technology? because it hurts my Engineer?s heart to see how people don?t care about how it (IT) works. It?s my MBA which tells me to look at the money side of things if I want to get where I want to get (higher). Only the future will tell me if this move was good for me or not. In anyway, it?s important to me to ?walk the talk?. I?ll be able to make a point on this career move at the end of 2007. (See also ?What?s Next?)

Today, my priority is to be integrated into the Fortis/HP business and move from a backoffice function to a leading commercial position.

Travel

Discovering the world is and will stay important to me. Of all the 5 senses, the vision is the best to me. I don?t need to talk or listen. It?s important to me to see.

So we took the time and money to travel and see the world.

We started with some very relaxing holidays in the Caribbean: the Dominican Republic. It?s all about Rest, Sun, Beach, Catamaran, Blue Ocean and all the other Rhum Coktails, Swimming Pool? All Inclusive.

During the summer, we went to the sea side in Belgium. This is an excellent place for Thomas and he keeps asking when we will go back. 2006 was very warm year, so we had excellent weather conditions (even too hot some days).

In September, we visited Rome. It was a very romantic trip and we had a good overview of the city in 3 days. I believe we will have to go back to complete the visit and, of course, for the shopping.

In November, we had a small weekend in the north of France in Montreuil-sur-mer. We had a walk on the beach of Le Touquet and the weather was great: a good and relaxing moment also.

In December, we had booked a Travel to Egypt (Cruise on the Nile) but we had to cancel it. It will be for next year?

Leisure

I have decided that Cycling is my primary sport (because I always want to try something else) and even if I?m not able to do as much as I would like, I think we didn?t do too bad.

  • Montain Bike : 580 Km
  • Road : 740 Km
  • Spinning : 40 RPM Sessions

We also had a Salsa course on Thursday evening for several weeks (10, I believe). It?s not so easy to learn Salsa after work because you need some concentration. But we could learn some nice combinations : Dile Que No, Enchufla, Enchufla double, Carnavale?

Maybe it?s less than before but I still spend time watching TV and ? Belgacom TV has arrived to us! I?m very happy about that because I can learn with the new channels on History, Travel and Science and Thomas is quiet with Baby TV.

All the year, I listened to Europe1. I love Europe1.

Internet

As you may know, Internet is an important thing to me. I spend many hours writing my website and reading what?s on the web.

2006 was for me the year of RSS. I started to use RSS aggregators like RSS Bandit or Netvibes.com to make my own selection of the web. I have selected some blogs I like to read and I monitor them. These are mainly general, local and IT news sites. I complemented by some google Alerts on companies I watch like HP, Belgacom, Fortis, BEA, Microsoft, Documentum. I also have alerts on my favourite buzzwords like ECM, SOA, Int?lligence Economique (Competitive Intelligence) and MBA.

At the beginning of the year I stopped using my PostNuke because I had been hacked (I had pornographic comments on my posts?). But I recently complemented by a Picture Blog and the use of Del.icio.us to build a personalize RSS stream. My favourite site is for the moment scoopeo.be.

As a ?webmaster? I continued the development of Paul Leroy?s website. This year was the year of the L?gende Dor?e de St Geroges. So we advertised on the home page and than published pictures and even mp3 on eSnips.com.

My feeling is that the Internet has found a second life these last months, with Web2.0. The Times magazine has elected YOU (the million of people who contribute to the WWW) as the Person of the year. So to some extend I must be 1/1000.000 of a person of the year. My main question about the coming back of the web, is that it?s maybe a second bubble. Free services are popping up again : for some time I could not find a place to upload files but now YouTube even encourages to post videos. Who pays for this ?

I believe, this is only payable if Television over the Internet becomes a reality (think about France24), otherwise it might well be a second bubble. Let?s hope not because I like the web when it?s like that. Missing on the web2.0 : Big Companies. Most large companies don?t push content to the web (IBM is an exception). Even a good description of their products is often missing. Would more information and transparency kill their business model? Maybe, but consumers are now directly blogging on their products in real time so they?d better inform well using the same kind of communication means. Competitive Intelligence using the web is all about that.

Conclusion

To summarize here is the 2006 score:

 Work  6/10 
 Travel  8/10 
 Leisures  9/10 
 Internet  9/10 

With a mean of 8/10, we can say it has been a good year, can?t we?

Want to know what?s next? What's Next : 2007 and After


jfdeclercq

Last edited on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 18:22:44 pm.

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