Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Brief Note to IBM Colleagues apres Distributech 2012

I feel compelled to say that, though for several good reasons I rarely discuss IBM or IBMers on this blog, I'm going to make a brief exception because of the experience I just had at an annual electric sector conference where, as usual, IBM had a big booth.

One can easily feel lost in a such a huge company; this was clear to me when the tiny but beloved start-up I worked in for 6 years was acquired by Big Blue 2.5 years ago.

For those of you who've had a start-up experience or two, you know how close you can get to your teammates. The blood, sweat and tears experiences you share can't help but bind you together into something not much different than a close family.

I'm a nostalgic person, so seeing comrades from that company disbanded, either blending into different organizations in IBM, or else leaving altogether for different opportunities, was sad and difficult.

But now, after having "put faces to names" of people from around the country and around the world I speak with nearly every day but have never met in person, and reconnecting with others I've encountered before at previous conferences and on customer visits, I feel a similar and familiar sense of connection.

Many of these folks, besides ranging from somewhere between bright and brillant in intellect (and skewed towards the latter), also have hearts of gold and work their butts off to make things good happen for the company, its customers and partners, and their colleagues. I won't name names, but I feel lucky and proud to have the opportunity to work with so many of them.

As for security, several IBM energy sector security gurus and I responded to some wide-ranging security, privacy and compliance questions throughout. I count these guys as friends, and we had a great time hanging out together.

And finally, check this out: our teamwork seems to be paying off as IBM was just listed as one of the very top Smart Grid security firms in the business. We're all pretty darned happy for that recognition. And this announcement, made at the conference, describes new work IBM is doing with transmission provider Velco in Vermont to improve substation communications, with a good dose of cybersecurity, of course!

Image credit: IBM SmartrEnergy