Sunday, February 27, 2011

In Her Majesty’s Service

On the curvy path of destiny, I found myself living and working in Canada. It was certainly not by design - I didn't dream about living in Canada when I was a kid. In fact, I was probably dreaming about living in California which I have ironically ended up leaving for the job in Canada (and yeah, I do miss the sunshine - especially in February). But Canada is turning out to be a great experience and I will share some of it today.

At the Canadian Embassy in Washington
- the only Embassy on Pennsylvania Ave
and it has a great view of the Capitol!
I work for OpenText, one of Canada's largest technology companies and being a Canadian company, we have a strong presence in the country. Besides the headquarters in Waterloo, we also have major development sites in Ottawa and Montreal with sales folks sprinkled around the country. This level of Canadian presence carries some weight with the Canadian government which is not only a customer but also a partner.
The Canadian government and particularly the Trade Commissioner Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is chartered with the promotion of the Canadian economy through international relationships. Just like any promotion, a few poster-children are always useful to prove its impact. And OpenText has become such a poster child, helping the government and vice versa.

With the Czech Ambassador to Canada 
at his recent visit in Waterloo.
What that means in practice is that the government helps OpenText leverage international contacts with the goal to promote the Canadian economy. And OpenText helps the Canadian government demonstrate that we can handle some of the most demanding customer problems. Since our successful project at the G20 Summit in Toronto last summer when we delivered the social collaboration site for the summit, there have been many other governments and multi-lateral organizations that are interested in leveraging our expertise. 

Canadian Ambassador to Sweden 
at an OpenText event
As a result, our team is now jetting from Ottawa to Stockholm, Singapore, Pretoria, or Dubai. Who would have thought that we would be meeting with senior diplomats and government officials around the world but that's exactly what's happening. In fact, we sometimes jokingly refer to ourselves as the "OpenText Diplomatic Corps".

So here I am, representing the joint interests of a Canadian company and the Canadian government while working to inspire all people in the world to work, interact, and innovate in a secure, engaging and productive way. And since the head of the state of Canada happens to be the Queen of get the silly headline now, eh?
The Queen of Canada

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