Thursday, March 27, 2008

The beginning of Oracle Denmark

I started working for a bank called Sparekassen SDS 1st of January 1987. They had just bought Oracle, and that's how I ended up in the database world.

In 1990 I joined Oracle Denmark's support organisation under the magnificient leadership of Jannik Ohl.

He was fired by Peter Perregaard in 1998 or so, because they didn't like each other. Until then things were fantastic. After that things were not.

Jannik was replaced by Allan Marker, who was not nearly his equal in any which way you choose to look. Especially when it comes to the art of thinking instead of wondering how you can survive in the corporate culture for the next few months.

But that's how things are. Peter made a mistake, and he regrets it to this day, I'm sure (as in: sure).

So Jannik went into geo-stationary orbit. In other words: He joined the Oracle EMEA organisation (Europe, Middle East, Africa).

When you "go into orbit", ie. join EMEA or some global stuff, you're never heard of again. In space, nobody can hear you scream, as they say.

Until it's time to lay off some bodies. So Jannik, uhm, resigned just now.

Today I served a bit of Miracle beer for my friend Jannik in Oracle Denmark's canteen.

To honour the best boss I ever had.

And to honour one of the most creative minds I've met. Really.

He was the one that came up with the idea of doing serious database stuff in Lalandia (which is why Miracle now do two conferences there a year).

He was the one that told me: "With all this internet stuff and not-being-able-to-call-a-person thing going on in Support, people will pay for extra services that allow them to talk to people and get their problems resolved without too much bullshit" - and we now have 130 Miracle Support customers.

He came up with the idea of having a credit-card thing for Good Oracle Customers (GOC).

Miracle Support shouldn't be allowed to live. It's feeding off the failings of the big vendor support organisations, because they're failing. That's wrong. But it's a fact.

I just hope Jannik doesn't do the boring thing of leaning back and waiting for the early-age pension to arrive. He's not old, he's not spent. We need him.

As for the headline (The beginning of Oracle Denmark) I'll just say this piece of information from an unknown source:

The beginning of Oracle Denmark: Jørgen Balle, Ole Bisgaard, Hanne Cederberg & Jannik started at the same time. Then came Pete Francis, og later Klaus Holse Andersen.

We need more details, folks :-))


Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Day On The Road (To Hell)

My ringtone on my mobile is currently Highway To Hell with AC/DC, but I thought Chris Rea's The Road to Hell was more appropriate as a title today. I hope you'll understand why after reading this.

I've just come home from 10 days in a Danish town called Horsens doing a reality TV show called "The Secret Millionaire", which has run for two seasons in England.

Now they've done 11 programs in Denmark. Mine will probably be shown in the fall of this year.

Basically, a TV crew of three followed me all day long while I (complete with a cover story) visited places where good souls help out people in need. At night I stayed in a borrowed, Turkish immigrant apartment.

At the end of the 10 days I put on one of my Armani suits and told the good people that in fact I was not that much down and out, and that I'd like to donate some of my own money to their cause (a total of 250.000 Danish kroner, to be exact).

In fact I'm not a millionaire in the sense that I can take out that amount from my bank account at all. Instead, we had to take a loan in our house, which my wife Anette was OK with (and thank you so much for that!).

The 10 other folks look a LOT more like millionaires than me, let me tell you that.

Folks like the guy behind JustEat, a guy with his own investment bank in London, a big IT-guy called Asger Jensby, and so on and so forth. Some of them with private chauffeurs, one live in a French castle, for crying out loud. You know the type.

The filming ended last Thursday - a week ago - and it was a good day. Lots of happiness, tears, and much more. And of course I threw a big party with more than 200participants at the end of it.

Fantastic. But perhaps the most emotinally draining thing I've tried.

Then last Friday (the day after) after spending 30 minutes in my house while re-packing and re-grouping, I found myself with my co-director Lasse racing snow scooters and drilling holes through 70 cm ice on frozen lakes in Northern Iceland with hard, Icelandic men around me.

Talk of a change of scene within 24 hours.

A couple of rough days here in Denmark, and it was time to relax on this beautiful Easter Thursday...

The plan was to eat brunch with my friend Søren (who buys breweries for Carlsberg) and his family. Well, I made it, but late of course, due to all sorts of things.

Then I left around 1400 hours in order to drive back to my town Maaloev and pick up three kids and then take them to a football match between Brondby and FC Midtjylland due to take place at 1500 hours. Running a bit late...

I had 10 free tickets from Brondby because I tried to help them with a social project called "Fra Bænken Til Banen" (from the bench to the field) where they try to get kids into jobs (they've been so successful that they're now starting to find jobs for the kids' fathers, too).

But nobody wanted my free tickets, so I ended up throwing six of them away. Bah.

I was running a bit late for the game. Perhaps that's why I was driving too fast on the street where the Police was checking speed.

I was charged with driving 97 where 60 was the limit. Ouch.

That means 2500 kroner in fine (that's OK) and I have to take a new driving test (which cost a lot more and takes a lot of time). Hmm.

But hey, I get to learn about all the new street signs and rules that have appeared since I learned to drive back in 1982. Might even get one of those new, fancy credit-card style driving licenses.

While I was standing there talking to the cops, another car was stopped for speeding in the opposite direction of me. Turned out he had just been at Brondby Stadium, but had discovered that the game had been moved from 1500 hours to 1800 hours due to demands from Viasat television, since they had another important sport thing to cover today, too.

So evidently, one should check game times and not rely on whatever is written on the tickets. Anyway, that's how I discovered that it wasn't neccessary for me to drive faster today :-)).

So we drove back, and then we went to Brondby and saw a fine match (2-1 to Brondby) in rain and snow, then back to Maaloev with the kids and then back into Copenhagen to pick up my girl Nathalie (9 years of age) who had stayed with Søren to play with his daughter Louise.

Shortly before arriving in the street where Søren lives, I hit something with my right front tire and all air went out. Then I spent half an hour in heavy rain and sleet trying to change the #%&/Q tire.

Due to very slippery cobble stones, the jack kept slipping and the car crashing down. That happened four times, the last time with the tire only half way off, and that's when I called for professionel help (and a professionel jack).

They came, tire was changed, we drove home.

All through this I was looking forward to a nice evening with my wife Anette (whom I hadn't seen too much of in the last couple of weeks) and some cheese and champagne that she had promised me.

Like in 'Driving home for Christmas'. Chris Rea. Can't wait to see those faces. Oh, I'm driving down that lane.

It was late when I finally made it home, and Anette had had to go to sleep, of course. She had been up early and had been taking care of little Viktor all day.

Bummer. But there's always email and blogging for you, then.

But I just got a text message from my oldest daughter Christine (18 years old), who's on some kind of survival training thing with the scouts.

She wrote: "By the way: I love you, dad. Have I ever told you that?".

No, you haven't. And you never needed to. But it was the finest of timings when you did :-)).

I've just poured myself a large Bowmore 12 year single malt (Enigma edition).

Here's to life.