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#OTRoadTrip – Day 2 Recap

It was another early start for Day 2 of our road trip. Last night, we landed at the JW Marriott in Chicago and it’s no surprise that the guys were able to sleep as soon as they were horizontal. Rana and I were both up late and then woke up early because we were ready to get started! We also discovered that Rana and I have a recurring fear of sleeping in (like we’re going to miss the exam!) so we get up several times before the alarm goes off to check the time! This is Kurtis and I in the car… I think I won this fight! 😉 OpenText Chicago – Breakfast Visit We were on the road by 6:30am, navigating through the streets of downtown Chicago to head to the north side to visit our colleagues at the OpenText Chicago office. When we arrived, we were greeted by Mark Mixter who was waiting outside for us in the parking lot – well, he had also forgotten his key card and may have been waiting for someone to bring him in 🙂 Nevertheless, he immediately saw our car and waved and it was nice to feel like a celebrity and see a friendly face! In the elevator, we ran into another OpenText-er, Chris G who said it was a treat to come in to the office to meet us! We had breakfast with the Chicago employees and then gathered for a group photo. What a great group of people. It never ceases to amaze me how a group of people can form an instant bond. We felt welcomed and appreciated and instantly connected with our colleagues. Here’s the group picture that we took inside… and I assure you, it quickly become silly once we were outside near the car! Special thanks to Dave Sarjeant and David Kawaguchi for helping us plan this breakfast. We couldn’t have done it without you! Customer Appreciation – The PrivateBank Once we left the OpenText Chicago office, we headed back into the downtown core to visit with one of our customers, The PrivateBank. It’s been a whirlwind planning this event for over 200 employees at PrivateBank and I could not have done it without the help of Gerry and Janine – our contacts at PrivateBank. When I first talked to them, I told them I would order 100 pizzas to make sure we had enough food and Gerry basically laughed at me and said, “Have you ever had a pizza in Chicago before?” After much teasing and shared laughs, we decided that we would leave the pizza ordering up to Janine and unfortunately, they both now think that Canadian pizzas are the size of a large plate. 🙂 We parked in the loading dock and headed up with our t-shirts, not knowing what to expect. What we received was one of the warmest welcomes ever. They had set us up in the main foyer of the 8th floor, where we would get the most traffic and even had tables for us so we could display all of our awesome OpenText t-shirts. We also got a 50′ TV screen where we could put up our Road Trip slides and route. And then, lunch was served! We must have seen approximately 150-170 people walk through the foyer in the lunch hour and everyone was incredibly nice. Luckily we were joined by a few members of the sales team, including Paul Olson, Brent Litzer, and Mike Bolte, who not only helped greet everyone but even helped us sort t-shirts to keep the flow going. The PrivateBank is an important customer of ours and we couldn’t have been more proud to be there. I had a chance to talk to the CTO, Dean, and thanked him for letting us come in and share this experience with his team. He said that they do this every month for their employees to maintain morale and that we were a welcomed change for the month. How great is that? Want to know more about how OpenText works with The PrivateBank? Go here to read all about it. www.theprivatebank.com Chicago —> Nashville We left Chi-town (Rana: “What’s chee-town??”) at around 2pm and headed towards Nashville. We knew it’d be quite the drive and based on everybody’s advice, if we left any later, we’d be stuck in traffic! Again, the traffic gods were on our side and we breezed through Indianapolis down I-65! While on the road, we decided to stop in at Louisville, Kentucky for dinner. Thanks to Renee Tremblay for the awesome recommendation to stop at Doc Crows. And let me just tell you – you can smell the BBQ as soon as you exit the highway – it’s amazing. Here we are, looking cool as ice…Thanks to Rana, our photographer! We arrived in Nashville after 2 hours of very loud karaoke and singing in the car, where Rana made me laugh so much I almost veered off the road. It was an incredibly long, but fun and productive day and we can’t wait to get started on the 3rd…. Nashville… watch out! Mandy #otroadtrip – don’t forget to follow us!

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#OTRoadTrip – Thank You Waterloo!

What a great send-off from Waterloo! Special thanks to our site leaders, Nicolas Heldmann, Mei Dent and Lindsay Lane for organizing a great turn-out and for the care package they so thoughtfully put together for us! Look… CMO Adam Howatson even made a cameo 😉 And… we’re off!!!

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#OTRoadTrip – Thank You Richmond Hill!

Thank you to the entire team at OpenText Richmond Hill for hosting us on Monday as we kicked off our first OpenText site visit. We served sandwiches and cookies and had a great turnout – approximately 130 people came to have lunch with us and to say hello! We also handed out some pretty awesome OpenText t-shirts. The building is currently under construction and we got a preview of what the amazing renovations that are underway. Can’t wait to re-visit the office when it’s all done! Special thanks to Rana Aluraibi who planned the visit and to her wonderful co-workers at the office who helped set everything up. We got some great video footage and managed to get a team picture with the Maintenance Renewals team, led by the ever-so-kind, Alan MacDonald! (Team photo, above) Richmond Hill was just the start – Chicago, Austin and Scottsdale… we’re coming your way!!!!! #OTROADTRIP

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#OTRoadTrip – Why I Love Road Trips

When I was younger, my mother put me in a lot of classes. As a new immigrant, it was ingrained in my mind that education was imperative; and in my mother’s mind, if my siblings and I weren’t in school, we were probably getting into trouble. So we went to school – seven days a week. We went to “normal” school from Monday to Friday, took Chinese-speaking classes on Saturday morning and piano lessons in the afternoon, and finished off with Vietnamese-speaking classes and religious studies on Sunday. My mother, being completely devoted to our “brain training” always waited patiently in the family car – through all the seasons of the year. What about the summer, you ask? Well, we went to summer school! We were, possibly, the only children in the neighborhood who went to school when we didn’t need to go to school! BUT between July to August and December to January, the auto factory where my parents both worked, there was a one-week shutdown where all the employees would have time off. This is when the entire family would pack our car and take one of the epic road trips that would define many of my childhood memories. My father was not a fan of maps during our trips. Of course, he’d study the map beforehand but he also felt that getting lost was still an adventure and sometimes he’d say, “We’ll drive until we can see the water.” And we would; and it was always an adventure. My siblings and I laughed and sang English songs that we learned in school – giving my mother what she called the “chicken skin” up her arms. We’d pretend to see the police and laugh when my father slammed on the brakes. We slept over and under each other in the backseat, hoping to arrive at our destination upon opening our eyes. And it was always a great surprise where we’d end up. So now, a few decades after I experienced my first road trip, I’m embarking on another epic drive. Four colleagues – Keith, Kurtis, Rana and I – will be making the epic trek from Waterloo to Las Vegas. We are colleagues, we are friends, and we are great travelers. As most adventures go, we have a destination in mind (Enterprise World) but we are very excited about the journey. An idea has grown into a vision and is now being realized. Our bags are packed and our car is full. In 5000 kilometers – 3500 miles – we hope to stop and visit our colleagues in other OpenText offices; we hope to stop at customer sites to show them we appreciate their business; we hope to demonstrate random acts of kindness along the way to participate in the spirit of giving; we hope to see parts of the United States that we’ve never seen before. But mostly, we hope you’ll join us and come along for the ride. Mandy #OTROADTRIP

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#OTRoadTrip – The Route

So here’s our map: Oct 26 – OpenText (Richmond Hill) Oct 29 – OpenText (Waterloo) > Detroit, MI > Chicago, IL Oct 30 – Chicago, IL > Nashville, TN Oct 31 – Nashville, TN Nov 1 – Nashville, TN > Austin, TX Nov 2 – OpenText (Austin, TX) Nov 3 – Austin, TX > Scottsdale, AZ Nov 4 – OpenText (Scottsdale, AZ) > Las Vegas! Are we coming to your city? Have any recommendations on where to stop and eat and must-sees? Post a comment below or talk to us on social media!

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The value of in-person

OpenText has opened registration for Enterprise World 2015 and plans are well underway to create an exciting event. This year’s event will be held in Las Vegas, insert your favorite Vegas line here, from November 8-13. With the conferences circuit starting up, you need to decide where to get the most value. But, with the advent of virtual conferences and virtual communications, many people have begun questioning whether to attend traditional conferences or rely on the internet to bring them together. Have they become irrelevant? Simply put, no. What are the benefits of getting out of the office and heading to that conference? Training Every company says it and most mean it. It is in their best interest to keep you at the top of your game. You have made an investment in a solution and training makes sure you maximize it. Even the best of us can fall behind. Industry Trends What do you mean everyone but me has automated that process? Don’t be the last manual in the parking lot. Going to conferences not only offers the chance to hear from experts in the industry about the latest trends, but from your peers. Product Demonstrations No, our software can’t …wait it can? You don’t know what you don’t know, but now is the time to find out. Watching a product demo gives you the chance to not just look at how are using the product but how you COULD be using the product. Socializing Yeah, no one wants to admit it, but part of the draw is socializing with other colleagues in attendance or others in your field. People who can relate to your job and offer you tips. Networking It’s good to put a name to a face. Recognizing the value of a face-to-face meeting is engrained in us. It is all too easy to get caught up in our social-media fueled world, but anyone who’s ever looked for a relationship online will tell you, the difference an in-person meeting brings to your relationships cannot be compared. Arguably, the most important part of the conference is your personal ROI. Are you in it for the learning, networking, speakers or product demonstrations? Conference costs add up for so you need to be picky. So, what offers the most value to you? Evaluate each criteria to see which adds the most value. But, take it from me, give Enterprise World a serious look.

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