up in the world
It’s on: I fly out to Denver, the Mile-High City, on Tuesday. Three intensive days of TTT (Train The Trainer), a semi-social visit to another company site, and then a few days vacation in and around Denver, Colorado.
I would call it a “holiday” if it was in any other country. I change planes at Heathrow, which is risky, but the alternatives were Frankfurt (totally unfamiliar to me), or various US airports, but I’ve been warned against going through any major US hub.
I was only granted permission to go on this course, on expenses, on the grounds that I will redeliver training on the product family. Later this year, in Bangalore is the current plan; or it was the plan a week ago. Since then something has happened that blows the situation wide open, and my involvement could go either way. I’ll explain as best I can without exposing any sensitive information.
OEM is short for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and applies to any company who makes a product released under another company’s name. Dell, from example, does not actually make anything at all: it is an assembler of PCs filled with OEM components from such companies a Intel (CPUs), Seagate (hard drives), or Broadcom (networking).
The OEM company behind my trip to the USA makes storage software, which my employer re-sold under its own name. It’s fairly high-end stuff, but it can take advantage of our less-expensive hardware in a horizontal scale-out architecture, so it has the potential to become even bigger than it is, by entering the “midrange” market aggressively. We’re due to meet company representatives, and be trained by them on advanced diagnostic techniques and system planning.
In the middle of last week, however, it was announced that my employer (a big company) is acquiring the OEM (a small company). The employees of the OEM are becoming colleagues of mine.
I can see two possible outcomes of this. On the one hand, the barrier between the two companies is being torn down, and I will have more direct access to knowledge and resources. It could mean that support for this product is no longer needed, and I go back to other products.
It could also mean that my role expands, since my employer has just demonstrated its full support for the technology in no uncertain terms, and probably plans to roll it out on a wider scale. Which reminds me of what Victor Kiam said about Remington, all those years ago: “I liked it so much… I bought the company.”