Posts Tagged 'brussels'

Negotiating my Lotus skills in Brussels

I’m attending a course in Brussels this week, on negotiation skills and customer satisfaction.
We had an exercise in pairs – there was a 2 Euro Chocolate bar on the table, and we had to negotiate for it.. I’m a sucker for chocolate, so I offered my ‘customer’ 30 minutes of my time, showing how to better utilize Lotus products for his benefit.

So, if anyone’s interested in 30min (or more) of my time, in order to increase their productivity with Lotus products, just say the word.. but I’ll need something in return 😉
A beer would be a good start..

No more belgian waffle! starting tomorrow…

Landed in Brussels, Belgium at noon, after an early 5 hour flight from Tel Aviv.
As I’m traveling light, only my trolley and laptop bag, I arrived at 05:30 to the airport, 2 hours ahead of time. Unfortunately, Ben Gurion Airport was packed with people (doing some construction work), with lines for security and check-in. The security went swiftly, but then I saw the line for check-in – not what I expected for 6am. Then, at the corner of my eye I saw a couple of self service El-Al booths. This IBM kiosk (I was too tired to snap a picture, but it’s Big Blue’s solution) provides easy and quick check-in, based on your Passport number, Frequent Flyer card or Credit Card. Super! Swiped my passport, and 3 min later I was on my way to passport control, duty free shops (bought new in-ear JVC earphones) and finally – the lounge.
During the 5 hour flight I saw the first 4 episodes of David Duchovny’s new TV show, Californication (Showtime).

I have to say it was the best 2.5 hours I ever spent aboard any flight! There were times I tried very hard not to laugh so hard… hilarious. Recommended.

Brussels welcomed us with a cold breeze.. quite the contrary of what I’m used to from sunny Tel Aviv. 11C, gray skies and some rain (showers is the professional word) welcomed us upon arrival. We had some time to burn, and in an effort to keep warm we decided to try out some Belgian Waffle (see picture above). In Israel I usually avoid this much sugar, cholesterol and chocolate combined together, but, “when in Belgium… “. So, I took the waffle, with cream and chocolate of course. I ate about half of it, tons of sugar (it was big, and I’m sweet enough.. ;-), and then the only logical step was heading back to the bed at the hotel for siesta. My dinner included only soup (again, solutions for keeping warm). OK, and beer as well…

So, a new resolution – no more Belgian Waffle! At least not today..

Last day in Brussels

The last day in Brussels was very productive.
I managed to visit all 3 attractions I planned for, although I walked to the Mannaken Pis on Wednesday evening.. closer to my hotel than I thought.
The Royal Museum of Art and History is located a metro ride away, and coupled with 2 other museums, The Royal Army Museum and Autoworld Brussels. I only visited the first, but I think AutoWorld is definitely worth a visit, next time in Brussels – I’m a big car junky… and from the sneak peek I took they have a wide collection.
As for The Royal Army Museum – living in Israel makes one feels comfortable around military, firearms and army, so I think I’ll pass.. I get my share of army twice a year during my army reserve training.

It was a nice day in Brussels, 20C, more clouds than I’m used too, but no complaints. I spent about 3 hours in the Art and History museum, and particularly liked the non-European exhibition. You can see collections from the Americas, far east, Tibet and Nepal, China and Japan, the Oceanic cultures and more. Highly recommended.

After that I decided to visit the Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art, located at the center of the city. After several circles in the same block I found it, but had no time to enter, only to enjoy the freebies at the entrance. If you’re a comic fan, you’d appreciate this museum. Next time I’m in Brussels, will make some time for it..

I had some time on the plane (4 hours), so I decided to take my Google Reader content offline, and catch up on some reading. A very wise decision I might add. Carl Tyler wrote about this article, a very interesting piece published on, titled “Is Sametime Losing Ground in the EIM Race?” Although the title sounds a bit intimidating, it makes a fair analysis of the corporate IM market, and the 2 major players: IBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Live Communication Server. When discussing the future landscape of this market, the article says both players are here to stay, without major changes in marketshare.
“I am not aware of any company which has ditched one platform in favor of the other. If you are already running Notes and Domino then you get Sametime for free, so choosing Sametime is really a no-brainer.” There are other good insights in the article, and you can access the full version here. Concluding the article, the author states what most of us already know: “Lotus does have one major factor in its favor: no-one ever gets sacked for buying IBM.

Another interesting post was published at The Quickr Blog – Top 11 reasons for using Lotus Quickr. I particularly liked reasons 2-4:

  • No to proprietary tools – Support for multiple HW/SW environments, open standards
  • No Rip and Replace – No need to replace your workstations to upgrade to Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Office 2007
  • Batteries are included – All components (RDB, LDAP, etc.) are in the box – and can scale

Here’s the link to the full post.

Learning to handle objections in Brussels

It has been another interesting week, as I went through a face 2 face session in Brussels Belgium, part of my sales course at IBM. The IBM sales school is considered top in its class, and covers many aspects of a seller’s new challenges.

The 3 day session was a real eye opener for me, as I learned a lot! There are many models and tools IBM sellers are using, and it was interesting not only learning about them but also putting them to the test, in real life situations, played out by participants of the course.
2 models left strong impression and would definitely be used in the future: Objection Handling and Call Model, which gives you a set of rules on how to make a successful sales call, from end-to-end. Very interesting.

I’ve been traveling a bit, not plenty, but I think Brussels breaks the record in terms of Candy and Chocolate shops. In some cases, such as Grand Place, there are around 10 shops!! And every shop offers you some teasers, a small taste of the goods – and it was hard resisting to it… Obviously I bought some, for family, friends and colleagues back home. I have half a day tomorrow (Thu) before I head back to Israel (which celebrates Rosh Hashana these days – thanks Bob for your greetings), and I’m doing some googling to decide where to go.
So far I have my eyes on The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art, home of Tintin and Snowy, one of the famous comic characters ever created; Manneken Pis – Belgium’s national symbol, a small boy pissing. Yes, pissing; and last but not least – Royal Museum of Art and History. I hope I’ll had the time to cover all 3 – stay tuned and find out.

In other news, IBM announced it’s joining the Community, along with Sun, in a move that gives a hugh support to the Microsoft Office open source option. IBM’s contribution will be on several levels, including initial code contribution that has been developed for the new Lotus Notes 8, as well as making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of I read it first at Ed Brill, although I admit still haven’t read the entire announcement, as well as other articles and posts available on the web.
I encourage you to read at least one of the above articles/posts – it will give you an idea of IBM’s commitment to support open source platforms, such as Eclipse, to the benefit of the end user.

And I’ll finish with a traditional blessing for the Days of Awe – Shana Tova and Gmar Hatima Tova.

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.