• OG_Winter

When I took this photo out of my window earlier this year, I was unaware that it would be our last winter up there.

For those of you who know me (even from afar), you are aware that I stay up in the Swiss mountains as often as I can. I even had a short part of the SparkIdeas Nerdgirls Session at ConnectED this year, regarding our mountain life and why that house is my favorite spot for working efficiently. We were renting half of a very old house on a long-term lease, never intending to move out. It was the home where our three kids literally grew up and learned a lot not only how to ski. During autumn and winter, we spent almost all of our family time in this home.

Because of bad luck, lies, unkept promises and an ordinance that we (as non-farmers) could not buy the house, we are essentially being evicted. The entire situation affects my family emotionally much more than I could imagine.

When we were told to vacate the premises without prior notice and with the expectation that we would be gone in a few weeks, we contacted our attorney. There was the option to fight and stay up in the house two more years, but as we would have to share one roof with the new owners, we decided to try and find another solution for our family within the immediate vicinity.

With the support of many close friends we made over the last 15 years in our mountain community, we finally found a solution. We moved out of our beloved mountain house during this summer vacation and moved into another house that is even older (it’s from the 11th century), even though it will be on a much lower altitude (“only” 1’2oo m), the slopes are farther away and more difficult to reach. To us, it is not a mountain house feeling for sure, but we all need to just try to let go and make a new start.

So, all combined my summer vacation was terrible. But I am sure that in a year, I will be able to look back without being angry. So, stay tuned for a new view and new pictures out of our new house and I hope that I will soon find the right spot in that house to work and that it will also feel like home again soon.

 

 

As the slides from the Boston event were not yet made publicly available, I’d like to share the link to our session slides The European Collaboration with a Swiss twist

Thanks again to Andreas Ponte to present with me in Boston. It was (we realized after the session) our first joint session. Perhaps we should repeat the co-presenting and not wait another seven years for the next occasion…

For all customers interested in learning and knowing more about IBM Connections, mark your calendars! The next Social connections event is in Stuttgart on November 5th and 6th, 2015 at the IBM Client Center in Ehningen.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share ideas and get the latest news around a great platform

 

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As I am back in the office and I am looking back to the last few days in Boston, I can honestly say that Social Connections 8 was a blast and a great, great event. The team of hard working individuals from different regions all over the world did – once again – organize an excellent conference. It was for sure a huge step to bring this conference to the US for the first time after 7 shows in Europe.

Early March saw an interesting event at the IBM branch office in Zurich. IBM Connect Switzerland was a gathering of customers and business partners around the ICS brand that had not only interesting key-note sessions and technical break-out sessions, but was also the opportunity to meet and talk with a lot of Swiss customers about our solutions and products.

I had finally the opportunity to deliver our session “Shaping collaboration at the University of Zurich” together with Roberto Mazzoni from the University of Zurich at the point of origin, namely in Zurich. The first time we showed the slides in London during ICON UK last autumn. During Social Connections VII in Stockholm last November, we focused on IBM Connections and shared the insights on how the University is going forward with the roll-out of IBM Connections at the University.

 

First of all, I’d like to thank Roberto Mazzoni that he was and is willing to share the story of the University of Zurich around all things collaboration. His insights and his openness to share the success and also the work-arounds or detours in details are of great value. Many customers are shy when it comes to sharing and this is why public success stories are so important.

Shortly after the event I caught a really bad flu that slowed me down and stopped me even for more than a full week. I am back now and I am looking forward to a great Social Connections 8 in Boston that will start in only one days and allows us to talk about another great customer story around IBM Connections, IBM Sametime and the integration of XPages applications. Expect a future blogpost regarding our session: “European Collaboration with a Swiss Twist” in a few days.

Sandra Femke 2015 photo by Oliver Heinz
When it was announced that I was selected as an IBM Champion for 2014 it came as big surprise. For me the prototype of the champions are the “technical” champs who deserve the title because of their deep technical know-how and the attitude of sharing, talking about technology at sessions and blogging hints and tricks regularly. I learned and appreciated that in addition to these IBM Champions there is also a group of people that leads businesses, organise events, is responsible for user groups and do promote the products and the solutions as often as they do have the possibility to do so and are selected as IBM Champions because of this relentless effort.