Year of the Pig is Here, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

This nice display greeted me on arrival at the Changi Airport this morning, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The 2019 Year of the Pig is in but without any fanfare – an empty flight from San Francisco and no food frills (We were not even given the Haagen Dazs ice cream that was listed in the menu – maybe it was just me as I had my eyes closed after finishing dinner, not waiting for dessert!).

I had in any case only picked Indian vegetarian meal, so if there was any food special it will have made no difference to me. I thought the dinner and breakfast were not up to SIA standards. I am certain, though, it will have been worse in any other airline.

The service standards were top-notch as always, with the cabin crew ready to serve with a smile, though it was work as usual for them and missed the festivities.

While deplaning, the Happy Chinese New Year greeting floated by.

I missed the Chinese New Year lunch at my neighbour’s place as I was exhausted and even caught a cold soon after I arrived here. My family, however, made it there.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Chinese New Year in the Air, A Near-Empty Flight from SFO

A Pity Armrests in A350 Cannot Be Lifted for Sleep

The Chinese New Year is here and this is obvious in the flight from San Francisco to Singapore. SQ33 that I just boarded is only 30% full.

A pity the armrests cannot be lifted in this A350 aircraft (the newest) for a good sleep across seats. It will have been helpful for a 17-hour flight.

Otherwise, A350 is great, better than A380.Travelled by this on my flight to SFO too.

Gong Xi Fa Cai.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Striking Headlines – Slowbalisation and Jiography

Slowbalisation and Jiography – two different pieces with lovely headings in the latest edition of The Economist!

I am incapable of coming up with such imaginative headlines.

Interestingly, Ambani wants to be the Jeff Bezos of India. Modest goal! Which of the Ambanis is going bankrupt, by the way? Oh, it is only a company owned by an Ambani that is filing for insolvency!

Stupid me!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Super Bowl Time in U.S.

It is Super Bowl Time today and I have no plan to stay back at my hotel room in Dallas and watch it on TV.

I have a flight to catch and head home.

I am not trying to ape or invoke either Robert Frost or John Denver. Just making a matter-of-fact point.

“No one will bother taking a flight out of the city today as people will be glued to their television channels. So you can expect to have a smooth ride to the airport and an empty flight to San Francisco”, the driver of a Uber car I was in chuckled.

She is perhaps right given the frenzied following the Super Bowl has in the U.S.

My flight is at 3.30 pm and the American football championship kicks off at 5.30 pm or thereabouts in Atlanta.

I have never followed the Super Bowl though I have read about how it draws both the common folk and celebrities in droves. Perhaps like the F1s!

Streakers have made waves in the past, cheerleaders regularly hog attention but none like the celebrities who took focus away from the game with a wardrobe malfunction that hit the headlines a few years ago.

It is the drama that steals the thunder, whether it is the Super Bowl or the SKO. Whether it is in Atlanta or anywhere else!

I was not aware that the Super Bowl was happening today. It makes no difference to me!

It is Chinese New Year time and it is time for me to be back in Singapore.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Moments Connected at Genesys SKO 2019 in Dallas – Yee-Haw!

It started with a bang on January 27 and ended tonight (Thursday, Jan. 31) with a Bigger Bang (no, I am not alluding to the rollicking Rolling Stones concert tour more than a decade ago as Genesys had its very own band – gband) rocking the Neon Cowboy party and bringing the Sales Kickoff (SKO 2019) in Dallas (Texas) to a smashing good finale.

It was a celebration like no other – reflecting on the 2018 successes, setting direction for 2019, rewarding those who contributed to the corporate bottomline and injecting PureFun (I hope this is not a trademark of a company) into the SKO with:

  • a dash of music (with even the CEO, Paul Segre, hitting the dance floor and making some mild moves, leaving the wild part to the rest),
  • theatrics and drama, common with every SKO of every company
  • high-energy chest-thumping, quizzes with bumbling participants,
  • Popular DJ Skemaddox keeping the audience spellbound
  • some rare mainstage fumbling that contributed to momentary hilarity (Moments Connected, after all!)
  • …and more.

sko2019dallasPureLocal Touch

What made it even more special was the infusion of local elements into the SKO, bringing out the essence of the Texan culture and ethos for a PureLocal touch – rodeo thrills and spills that saw excited and adventurous staff taking quick tumbles, the Longhorn cow that gave us photo opportunities (at the cost of the pure animal’s free movement, though), plenty of fun games at the cowboy party, videos with a shade of localisation that accompanied mainstage presentations – the list can be very long.

Lighted Hats and Bands

Two hours before the neon cowboy party, I was looking to buy at least a Texan hat (not the full attire) at the hotel giftshop to avoid being the odd man out there. Looking at the prices, I gave up the plan as I thought big spending for just a short use was not a prudent idea.

It turned out my decision was right as the participants were all given even better hats (battery-operated lighted ones) than what I saw at the shop and glowing bands that gave us all a cowboy/cowgirl look.

Thank you, Genesys!

Chess, Strategy and Introverts

I was particularly impressed with the quiet attention a giant chessboard with lighted pieces received at the event. For some boast effect, I was an active chess player during my school/university days. I captained the Madras Division (of Madras University) team for three years.

Chess is seen as a game that makes players introverts, who are generally quiet without revelling in idle talk!

  • Everyone, though, agrees chess is a game that involves strategic thinking and execution, attributes that are essential for business success.
  • Incidentally, I am happy that I found mention on stage as a quiet achiever.

Now, let me move on to what else emerged out of the Genesys SKO in Dallas.

skobuildingmomentumIf 2017 was the best-ever year for Genesys, 2018 has come out even stronger, giving the SKO some yee-haw moments.

Rather, Moments Connected with disruptive innovations and market strategies to get the momentum going through 2019 with confidence and competence.

A message that reverberated across many sessions over four SKO days, rightly so!

Faster, Higher and Stronger – the Olympic Spirit!

Based on the Genesys differentiation we heard at the SKO, I can summarise the successes of 2018 as being aligned with the Olympic spirit and motto – “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, helping customers realize value Faster with AI-powered solutions (cloud, premise or hybrid) and quicker RoI (Return on Investment), putting them on a Higher growth trajectory with a Stronger footing in the market that is moving ahead from the information age and embracing an Experience era.

While our customers gain with Genesys, so does Genesys through market leadership – crushing competition for crystallisation of corporate goals (more than 1200 displacements of our biggest competitors during the last two years) and delivering new functionality Faster than ever before (500+ features for PureEngage Cloud in 2018 alone), Higher revenues while spending Higher on R&D with game-changing innovations and emerging Stronger with solutions that break new ground continually with such big bets as: Cloud for midsized companies, a range of digital product and service portfolio and AI-centric automation at work.

Cloud Innovations, Blended AI, Predictiving Engagement

Be it Blended AI (where AI power and a human touch combine to deliver a rich, omnichannel / multimodal Customer Experience where context is preserved or Predictive Engagement / Routing or innovations that take customers cloudward or Automated Forecasting and Scheduling, an industry-first, it is not difficult to assess that Genesys delivers the gold standard in customer and employee engagement as well as business optimisation for unparalleled success.

The successes of 2018, to me, are aligned with the Olympic spirit and motto – “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, helping customers realize value Faster with AI-powered solutions (cloud, premise or hybrid) and quicker RoI (Return on Investment), putting them on a Higher growth trajectory with a Stronger footing in the market that is moving ahead from the information age and embracing an Experience era.

While our customers gain with Genesys, so do we through market leadership – crushing competition for crystallisation of corporate goals (more than 1200 displacements of our biggest competitors during the last two years) and delivering new functionality Faster than ever before (450+ features for PureEngage Cloud in 2018 alone), Higher revenues while spending Higher on R&D with game-changing innovations and emerging Stronger with solutions that break new ground continually with such big bets as: Cloud for midsized companies, a range of digital product and service portfolio and AI-centric automation at work.

Be it Blended AI (where AI power and a human touch combine to deliver a rich, omnichannel / multimodal Customer Experience) where context is preserved or Predictive Engagement / Routing or innovations that take customers cloudward or Automated Forecasting and Scheduling, an industry-first, Genesys delivers the gold standard in customer and employee engagement as well as business optimisation for unparalleled success. That’s a taste of Pure Success for our customers.

These sharp messages and more based on fact, not fiction, came out clear in a fun, Genesys way at the SKO in Dallas, setting the stage for multidimensional transformative market execution through the year.

That lies in making 2019 the best ever in line with the company’s tradition of building and maintaining a winning momentum and beating expectations.

P.S.: Joslin being an employee of Genesys has little to do with the opinions advanced herein. A passion for writing and responsible use of freedom of expression can impede none.

G Joslin Vethakumar

 

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Ready for Genesys Moments Connected!

Train in an aviation zone? Well, a display – and this is Changi Airport in Singapore as I prepare to head to Dallas!

So, this is neither London nor Harry Potter territory. I got to relive some lingering Christmas moments, too. Genesys Moments Connected now beckoning me!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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No Borderless World Yet, So Trump is Right on the Wall

Who are Aliens? Bots, Maybe, But Not People!

The shutdown in the U.S. over the Wall that is on President Donald Trump’s agenda may have little impact on the Genesys Sales Kickoff set to unfold in Dallas in a few days.

Yet, what amuses me is all talk about aliens living in what is considered the Land of Opportunity – with reason given that it is a country offering enormous space for innovations and new ideas to thrive.

Well, to be precise, it is the use of the word, alien, even for legal residents in the country that I find strange – not the illegal immigrants in the U.S. per se.

An infiltrator is, possibly, the right expression to use to describe an illegal resident. Per U.S. terminology, however, all non-citizens are aliens, including foreigners living in the country legally. Effectively, they are variously categorised as legal aliens, illegal aliens, undocumented immigrants, etc.

The U.S. may be right if we go strictly by definition as any foreign resident can be dubbed alien. It is just not a happy expression. I find it demeaning. They are not extra-terrestrial people.

In an environment where digital ethics is assuming significance with Artificial Intelligence (AI) changing all things human and redefining the way we live, it may be right to give robots and chatbots an alien cloak.

Why not as we live in an increasingly AI-powered world meriting collaboration between humans and bots! The bots within that Blended AI scenario may rightfully be described as aliens and they will not object. They can even be taxed, going with the suggestion of Microsoft founder Bill Gates not too long ago!

But calling people living in a country, legally or illegally, aliens does not seem right.

bots and aliens

Keeping this distraction aside, let me get to get to the crux of this post. Amid the shutdown crisis in the U.S., President Trump’s political opponents, liberals and the lopsided media may succeed in stalling his plans for building a Wall to stop illegal immigrants from flowing into the U.S.

I doubt Mr Trump himself is serious, though, as populist politics may be at play. With all the business interests his empire have in China, all the trade threats are set to become a farce. The Wall may meet a similar fate.

The argument that when most countries do not have a Wall why should the U.S. have one is poor reasoning. No other country draws illegal immigrants as the U.S. does. An estimated 11 million unauthorised immigrants live in the country, with about half of them from Mexico. The Chinese, Indians and Filipinos are among the other big illegal resident groups there.

I love Mexico, I have lived there and consider Mexicans among the warmest people anywhere.

Yet, Americans have reason to be concerned about the continuing flow of people from across the border. If the aliens (to go with the American terminological flow) deem it a matter of right, and Americans opposed to Trump agree with it, that amounts to only making work difficult for the border forces.

The U.S., after all, does not preside over an open, borderless land. Immigrants have room to enter the country the legal way.

The liberal, anti-Trump brigade, however, is vehement that the Constitution gives undocumented people living in the country the same rights and protection that citizens enjoy.

They may have a point as, if U.S. immigration has been lax in allowing unlawful entries, the country has to pay the price for it.

But why should efforts to prevent the streaming in of aliens illegally be a question of right for unauthorised entry?

Strangely, while the illegals get sympathy those who make it to the U.S. with the necessary authorisation and documentation still face harassment that starts at the first point of entry.

G Joslin Vethakumar

personal jottings

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