Ho Chi Minh City, April 2012
Posted by Julie Nock, Account Director
My last visit to our offices in Vietnam was in November 2011; so my list of 'reasons for a trip' was getting to the point to justify fitting in a Spring trip. Fortunately my desire to get back out to Ho Chi Minh in particular also coincided with Alistair Copeland (NashTech MD) asking me a couple of times when my next trip was planned. Not one to miss a hint or ignore an opportunity, I soon had it all arranged.
In all of our accounts, the day to day project work and client interface is managed by our UK Engagement Manager and the local Project Manager; but it is always useful to everyone for me to come over and reset the scene on client business drivers; the future roadmap and engagement and to listen to their perspectives to ensure I've set them and their teams up for success. I don't want teams limited by constraints which are artificial or can be changed e.g. different resource profiles; ways to engage etc. So I say to them - if you don't ask you don't get - if you see ways to do things better to achieve what our client and NashTech want and it's outside your control to change; raise it with me and I will try to make it happen. And I come away with a number of areas to investigate further.
Usually, the UK team tries to spread our trips around so that we end up with someone in Vietnam most weeks of the year. This time was different. I'd purposely made my trip coincide with Stan Minter's (UK Delivery Director) so we could work together on some project and management briefings. It also turned out to be a good week for Tony, the CIO from one of my UK clients, to be in Vietnam. And given where we were in this project, Vince Dooher (UK Technical Architect) was already over doing his technical reviews and knowledge transfer.
Although we've been working together since last summer this is Tony's first visit to the Vietnam. He arrived on Tuesday evening thoroughly looking forward to seeing what NashTech and Vietnam had to offer. The fact he was sporting a black eye from playing rugby at the weekend caused some mirth with the Vietnamese throughout the week.
As with all first visits, the first day is spent getting to know NashTech; where we impart our corporate capability & processes; introduce him to all the senior management team; and demonstrate our wider capability to provide the context and platform to make his time working with his direct team the most productive. A favourite part of this, for me, is the office tour as I also get to see the new projects we're working on and, often as not, yet another additional new floor of eTown we've spread into. This time BPO and mobile applications are of particular interest. After that I leave well alone and let him work directly with our Vietnamese colleagues to cover off his agenda in the next two days; touching base each lunchtime and evening.
On his last night in Vietnam, Tony very kindly takes the whole team - all 34 of them - and Vince out to dinner whilst Stan & I are at the CEO-CIO Club. We meet up in the hotel bar for a nightcap before retiring and it is very obvious that both of them have fallen in love with the country, the food and the people.
So all in all, a successful visit for everyone made even easier by the fact we flew direct with Vietnam Airlines into London cutting a good 5 hours off the entire journey. Can't wait to go back.