The story of Business Objects


I was working for a business called Business Objects in New York City.  They are now part of IBM.city.jpg

The product was business intelligence and I won every deal I worked.  I was based in New York City.

They were struggling with General Electric and I asked to take it over.  They said I could.

Managed GE as a global account.  Won a very important deal on a GE project called digital cockpit, a management dashboard.  Worked closely with Marketing to document our results.

The customization project was led by our team and a team from India.  I met with them weekly to keep the project on tract and knock down issues.  Instead of 3 users, they rolled it out to 33 users.  It was a huge success and my good friend Chirag Shah.

Sales was led by a hack named Jon Temple.  My regional comp plan was not paying me for all of these deals.

Finally, they hired a Global Accounts project with a leader named Craig Roberts. I met with him and proposed a new comp plan and a global program.  He said sure.

Things went south.  Worked a deal at Heineken USA and finished third out of three.  But the top was bad financials and eliminated.  So it was my company and our top competitor.  I knew a nice company presentation and they were recommended by IT.   But the decision maker wanted to meet with both of us.  My question was simple.  “What did you do before this job?”  I knew the answer.  Academia in a college.   I assured him I would do my best to make him a big success.

We won it, as he overruled IT, but they put in a rookie team and the IT manager called me and said “Jeff, we have spent a million dollars and nothing works.”  I felt so sorry for them, but there was nothing I could do.  I was a helpless salesperson.

Then my manager said “What did you do to Jon Temple?”  I had no idea how to answer.  I did not talk to him.  In hindsight, the global account manager was his bitter rival.

I qualified for Club in Cancun, Mexico, but that did not work out.  They finally after a hugely buggy release, they let me go.  I took my wife and kids to Cancun anyway.  That was so much fun.

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