Back Up to the Plate

So… around a year ago I was merrily blogging that I had left the vendor tribes and become a real boy as I became an affiliate analyst for Outsell’s Gilbane Group and looked forward to a change of life and a future of evangelizing and commentating on our business.

Slightly shy of a year, I am again blogging about a change of life, as this week I re-joined the vendor community to become VP Products, North America for SDL Tridion.

My decision to move was not an easy one, it was a privilege to work with folks I have long respected in this industry, Scott Liewehr, Mary Laplante and of course one of the godfathers of this business – Frank Gilbane. It also gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some great folks in the vendor community and our industry clients and to lend my experience to real life content problems. I also grew a small private practice, helping companies define value propositions around their products and translating these into content marketing collateral. I worked from home, I could do this forever…

Well, never say ‘forever’ – as earlier this year a bluebird opportunity stopped by – a senior position with one of the long standing titans of our industry, packaged up in a relocation to the US.

As I have said on this blog before, I have now worked for half a dozen employers in my twenty year career (I started young!) and I am not one to flit about – so the entry title ‘Gilbane’ on my CV/resume would be the shortest stop of my career.

Maybe in the back of my mind was the voice of my former CEO (Lawrence Flynn) who last year asked me “How does it feel to be the umpire and not at the crease?”  (or words to that effect) making a cricket analogy between participating in the sport and ‘merely’ refereeing the game.

There is also something very exciting happening at SDL Tridion right now, especially in North America. A briefing late last year showed me that the 2011 product was a good one and the engagement vision was right in line with what I am always banging on about here.

Honestly, after the briefing I was excited (months before I was approached for the role). Subsequently, I got to spend some time with the folks here at SDL and if you have the opportunity I strongly recommend spending time with Otto de Graaf and Dennis van der Veeke if you want to get a taste of that. On the business side I was inspired by Sophie Pibouin, who became GM, North America last year (read CMSWIre article here) and the plans she has for this business.

So, I made a genuinely life changing decision. Not just a new job, but later in the year when the bureaucrats decide I can be trusted to pay my taxes, not quibble about lack of representation or start getting subversive with tea – then we’ll be moving as a family to the suburbs of New York City.

Obviously ‘a good one’ is not exactly a thorough evaluation of SDL Tridion 2011 and (of course) you can expect me to be talking about our products and vision more, probably not here – but over at the SDL Tridion blog: http://blog.sdl.com/. I have plenty to learn, a ton of people to meet and a new community of customers and partners to get to know – if you are one, please get in touch and say hello.

In the process, I dare say my ‘real boy’ rights will be revoked and (in some people’s eyes) I will return to being part snake oil salesman and part daughter stealing prodigy of the dark side  (if, indeed, I had been able to convince folks otherwise) and fewer people will want to buy me dinner…. I prefer to think that I have a new opportunity to contribute to our industry –  to Americanize Lawrence’s cricket analogy; I have picked up the bat and am stepping back up to the plate.

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9 thoughts on “Back Up to the Plate

  1. @IanTruscott well done mate on the job, next time I’m in NY I’ll let you know!

    1. @cbenjackson – Thanks Ben, although I won’t be permanently there until later in the year – so still plenty of time for UK beer 😉

  2. Yay Ian! Go sell some decent euro CMS to them Yanks 😉 Anything you can do to demonstrate there’s a world outside them good ole United States will be well worth it 🙂

    So…following Mr Flynn’s analogy – if analysts are the umpires and vendors are the players, where does that leave the poor peeps at the coal face? Do we just have to sit at the boundaries watching you guys whack your balls at each other?

    Perhaps after this innings you may want to spend some time off the pitch mingling with us folks who have to do all this engaging you are always banging on about here 😉

    Sarky comments aside – best of luck with the new role and can we all listen in to your first product update call with Irina at RSG? 😉

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