10 years

Today is 10 years to the day that I landed in Germany after a long delayed flight (Thanks Lufthansa) and some aggro from German Customs and ended up starting work with two technologies from Microsoft Called Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM)and Systems Management Server (SMS). In the past 10 years I have seen these products grow, mature, expand and develop into what is now known as The Microsoft System Center Suite. In its 2012 SP1 incarnation it is a wonderful highly configurable suite of tools offering, monitoring, management, process automation, virtualisation and business continuity for any large company. Yes there are competitors out there and all of these tools have their fans, detractors and little foibles. This little suite however has been a major part of my work life for 10 years and I for one look back at the start and look at now and see how they have matured. On a personal note this day 10 years ago was the start of a love hate relationship with British Airways on a major level, a hotel bill and business mileage claim that are both sky high and started some good business relationships which are enduring to this day. It is rumoured that it is also responsible for me smoking quite a bit, going grey and a few other things besides. In September I will celebrate 18 years in the technology industry, the stories I will be able to recount in that blog……..    


I was travelling to a client the other morning and having a read of the City AM newspaper while I was sat on the train. I happened upon the results for Heathrow Airport and then I started to really laugh. They state that they have a target for getting passengers through security within 5 minutes of 95% and that the actual figure fell to 93%. I laughed so hard I nearly needed new underwear! As someone who has been using Heathrow Airport for around 35 years and in the past 16 years very frequently because of business travel. When I say very frequently I mean more than 30 times a year! I also worked on the project to build Terminal 5. On this subject I will always feel a small sense of pride when I walk through Terminal 5. I know for a fact that 5 minutes through security at any Heathrow terminal is an absolute joke in terms of delays. 3 % with a target of 5% in under 5 minutes is more like it!!!! It regularly takes me 20 minutes to clear security especially at 7 am on Monday morning. As a frequent traveller I know how to clear security with an absolute minimum of fuss and how to be prepared in order to clear security as fast as possible. I very rarely get stopped by the officials because I know what I am doing however the vast majority of travellers do not. Please take your belt off before getting to the conveyor belt. Please empty your pockets and have your watch off before you get to the conveyor belt. They might want to get the laptops ready too. Oh and please stop congregating and holding a mothers meeting just after you have passed the scanner it holds everyone else up. A number of my frequent flyer colleagues I am sure will share my sentiments. Whilst we are on the subject of security at Heathrow I am still in awe as to how I managed to get a large swiss army knife that I forgot I had in my briefcase through security last September! I still cannot work out how I managed it! So come on Heathrow Airport, be realistic and accurate oh and the red carpet treatment when I visit next week might be nice!!!!