During this week, I spent two days in Rome at Embarcadero Technologies' European Partners Meeting (or more precisely, their 2010 Sales Kickoff). I was there as a local partner reselling (mostly) Delphi. The meeting was hosted by Nigel Brown, head of International Business at Embarcadero (and former Borland director at the European level). There were many European executives (like Ludo Neveu and Jason Vokes), most other European employees of the company, plus a few US guest including Head of Product Management Micheal Swindel and the company CEO and founder Wayne Williams. There were other many other partners, both technical and sales oriented, some of whom I had met and other who knew about me or I had been in touch with over email.

As a large part of the content was either internal data or future projects, there isn't too much I can say about the actual content of the meeting, as you might guess. However, particularly after having had some conversations with Wayne and Micheal there are a few impressions worth sharing:

  1. Delphi is in good hands, the company cares for the product (and in Europe it has a considerable chuck of sales), is actively investing on it, is listening to customers. Yes, the resources are limited and things do take time and effort, but the attitude is positive.
  2. Maybe because I'm out of a sales-oriented meeting, but you don't only need a good product but ways to put in in more hands. Newer licensing options, different SKUs (with a cheap version), attention to schools and universities were discussed... and they can affect (positively or negatively) a product like Delphi. I have good expectations.
  3. I met most Borland/Inprise/CodeGear CEOs, but this is the first time you can actually discuss the technology with a CEO. He's not an active programmer any more, but if you talk (as actually ahppened) about local BDE engine versus SQL Servers and navigational (ISAM) databases he knows what you are talking about and why having more options matters to the developers community.
  4. I could start a careeer in sales (won a 100 Euro prize for a presentation, but Pawel got the grand prize), but would probably not. This was part of a new effort not only to improve the sames process, but to improve the overall way the company communicates.
  5. I asked to clarify what will exactly happen after the current upgrade offer to 2010 expires, and people with older versions won't be able to upgrade any more. Something should come out.

Finally, Elisa (the Italian link) and others set up a very nice tour of Rome (2,500 years of history and art and gossip in 2 hours), with a final dinner. Rome is alwasy a very nice place to visit, even for a few hours. It is now closer to where I live due to a new railways tunnel between Bologna and Florence.

PS. Sorry for not blogging much, but I have started the year with a peak of work (consulting, events, development, and books) and will keep blogging quite slow for now.