Accenture India Visit – Introduction & Town Hall

Today I slept fantastic. I got up at 8am, took a shower, and headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. Laurent and I ate together, and Jerry found his way over later. Breakfast was not quite as good as brunch, but it was still very good. I also found out that was included in the price of the room. This was a very good deal!

We took the Avis car over to the Bangalore 6 office. Laurent and were met with an unexpected welcome. We were presented with sandalwood necklaces that smelled wonderful. The team had arranged for the Bristol-Myers Squibb logo to be made out of blue and white rice on the floor of the entrance. We were asked to light some ceremonial oil lamps. And, we were followed around by a photographer. It was truly impressive. As Jerry said, we were treated like a superstar.

We were set up in a conference room on the third floor. After setting up our laptops and checking our emails, Vasuki gave a presentation as an overview of the IDC, or India Delivery Center. It was very interesting to see the statistics on the India sites. There are 6 different buildings in Bangalore, and there are 20,000 Accenture employees just in those Bangalore offices. Jerry followed up with an engagement overview deck, outlining the different teams focusing on the BMS engagement.

Following the two overview presentations was an all hands Town Hall in Bang 6. This meeting included all the Accenture folks on the BMS engagement. I always seem to get a bit nervous before these types of presentations. There was no real need for me to, though, as I have a strong grasp on the material I was presenting. Laurent and I shared the presentation. He covered the bulk of the material, including BMS IM, Enterprise Architecture, and SOA. I covered the corporate strategies around the brands, and covered some Internet Marketing specific slides at the end. The material was very well received, and was a big success. I was very happy not only on how well received the material was, but also how I kept the audience engaged. There were not as many questions as I had hoped, but the ones asked were very good.

After the town hall was lunch. Our Accenture hosts have been wonderful at providing lunch for us every day. Following lunch was a discussion on tools and connectivity. More applications that I knew have been delivered to the offshore team through Citrix. This speeds up some things, but makes a lot of other things more difficult, including managing files. I need to spend some time with the team and make sure we are using our tools over Accenture’s connection to BMS to their full potential.

We spent time meeting each of the team leads across Laurent’s organization. Each presented their area, discussed staffing, completed projects, upcoming work, and success stories. This gave me a great picture of all the work we are doing, and it was just within Laurent’s overall area. After this meeting, I took two calls with the U.S. – the technical team meeting, and the new work intake meeting.

While we were wrapping up the day, and waiting to leave for dinner, Raghu pointed out the windowand showed us the bank of busses that return everyone home. The last set of busses leaves at 8:30pm. This is very different from home. Most folks drive to and from work in the United States. The bulk of people take busses to and from work in Bangalore. And, since the growth of Bangalore is exponential, it takes hours to get from one side to another. 20 miles could take an hour and a half to travel. The infrastructure has not kept up with the exponential growth, and that causes massive traffic problems. The logistics of work is so different than it is at home.

Dinner was at an Indian influenced Chinese restaurant on the other side of the Technology Park. The food was very good, and we got to enjoy the company of all the team leads. Building these relationships is one of the most important take-aways from this week, and events like this allow us to focus on that.

We got back to the hotel at about midnight. These are long days, with a lot of information, and a lot planned, and I am very tired. I am really glad that the Town Hall went so well, and got to meet large parts of the team.

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