I woke up at 7AM today morning, and it's been a really long time since i did that.
The reason: We had representatives of our client visit us today and hence we were asked to be at office before 9:00 Am, the time when they were expected to reach our office.
But little did the planners know about Chennai's traffic or the frequent problem with the almost all the local airways here - they can screw up schedules big time!!! And when both of them perform to their potential simultaneously, event coordinators can do nothing but keep updating their schedules.
Our client reps reached our office by 10:30 AM :)
Then began the fun. The purpose of their visit was to evaluate our performance over the last two years and gather data points (the good, bad and the ugly) to make a case during our contract renewal which is about to happen in late December. So as key resources in our team, our job was to make our case stronger and perhaps draw more business.
With two years of good performance and more than two weeks of keen presentation, we were prepared for the task. To cut a long story short, the client reps were immersed into presentation after presentation of our performance, by people from different technology areas - 8 presentations in all, apart from the cover story our manager put up right at the beginning. Then we had two more presentations on value add initiatives we had provided, stuff which will improve the business of our client.
The simplest way to show the visitors were impressed was that the CTO of our client's Indian operations, a man with more than 17 years of experience in this product and who was absolutely tight lipped when he came in - almost like someone who was thinking "why on earth am i here?!?!?!", opened up big time and started discussing on all things business and technology. We received appreciations for our work, suggestions for future work and some more suggestions on how to position some of the work were doing so that it falls in line with the business plans of our client. So many years of experience and this man was amazing :)
We voiced some of the concerns we had, had some open, light hearted discussion abt the present and future of the technology sector, our client's future road map and the various offerings we had on our plate and how they can utilize our team for their betterment.
Clearly, with more than 10 years of association with this client and more than 50 man years of experience in various areas of their product, we had a much bigger role to play in their business. This was one major point we wanted to convey and i feel that we drove the point home quite effectively. The client reps went back with notepads full of actions items and was back to the airport. Our business unit head was gleeing :)
Some of us picked up a wonderful new business possibility out of the discussion we had with the client reps. We discussed some more about this new development and i am sure we are going to work on it in the days to come. My manager and my mentor were very positive abt this, coz this would be a great opportunity to show to our client of the kind of benefits they can reap by being more collaborative with us. And yeah, this will definitely help us showcase our technical abilities to the client once again. Our only fear is that we might end up doing free work for the client.
Overall - a very good session, which lasted till 2 in the noon. We did what we wanted to and then did some more and then know we can do a lot more :)
Business sure is a lot of fun :)