E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Life Goes on, I Guess – Leaving IBM …

Gran Canaria - Maspalomas DunesThere are times where you feel you would want to share with the whole world the really good news on something special you have just experienced; there are times where you are just so excited that you are not sure whether you would want to blog about it or not, but the increasing urge to share the news with everyone else is just that big you can’t hold it much longer anymore; there are times where that life changing experience you always wanted to go through at some point in time kicks in and you want to share glimpses of it with those folks who, through one way or another, have been exposed to it to a certain extent already, but now you would want to, finally, share the whole thing with them; there are times where there is a place to make an announcement to everyone out there, who may be listening, about some big big piece of news that you know will have a significant impact in yourself, and, hopefully in others, too, for some time to come!

Well, today is the day. Today is the day where I am officially announcing that as of the 31st of December 2008 I shall be leaving IBM, after having worked there for nearly 12 years! Yes, indeed, 12 years!! But I guess, like the title of this blog post states, life goes on and that certainly means it is time for me to move on!

Errr, WHAT?!?!?! … Shocking news, eh? I bet most folks out there who know me personally would probably say that they would have never seen that coming along, specially after having landed in my dream job a little bit over a year ago doing what I like the most… But like I said earlier on, I guess there is always a time to move on and perhaps mine may have just arrived as we speak.

Errr, WHAT?!?!?!? (Again). Are you serious? You really mean you are leaving IBM? Well, yes and no! Ok, now I am confused! Well, don’t be. Like I said, yes and no!

Yes, it is true! I will be leaving IBM as of the 31st of December, but that would be leaving IBM Netherlands, the company I have been working for for nearly 12 years, the last nine of them as a full time employee, having done lots of work around the world of Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Community Building and Social Computing! So that would be the yes! As far as the no! is concerned, as of the 1st of January 2009, I shall be joining IBM Spain as a full time employee working for the IBM Software group.

WOW! That’s big news! Ok, so what does that mean, then? You are not leaving IBM, right? Well, no, I am not. I am just moving countries, which in reality is something that I started progressing towards to for a couple of years already and it is just now the time when it has finally become a reality. From January 2009 I shall be an IBM Spanish employee! Yay!!!

Ok, ok, I am sure that by now most of you folks would be wondering what would be the difference, right? I mean, what will change is probably what you would be most interested in by now after reading all of this. I am sure. Well, to start with nothing much will change. At least, for most of you folks out there (Specially those not working for IBM) things will be almost the same. Like I said, I will now be part of the IBM Software group, but I will still be doing the same job I have been doing in the last year: helping accelerate the adoption rate of Social Software within IBM for the client facing teams, and, as a result of that, to the entire of IBM!

That basically means I will continue doing what I have been doing all along, i.e. sharing that passion on how social computing is changing the corporate world and the enterprise as we all know it. But, instead of having the flag from IBM Netherlands behind me, from next year onwards it will be IBM Spain’s. I will be falling into the Spanish organisation of the company, with a manager based in Madrid (That will be my default office location as well!) although I will still be working remotely with the Social Software Programs & Enablement team, a.k.a. BlueIQ.

Thus as you would be able to see, very little changes coming through externally, yet, from an IBM internal perspective, it would be a huge change for me (And for the better, too!), and those who may have been going through something similar could surely confirm those big changes. Starting with one’s own physical and virtual presence behind the corporate firewall, where almost everything changes. But I guess we will have to go through that one step at a time!

The important piece of news for those of you out there interested, is the fact that in a couple of weeks I will no longer be working for IBM Netherlands, but instead I will be moving into IBM Spain. A new path in my professional career has just started and all along I surely am planning on sharing plenty more details on what that transition has been. There will be bits and pieces I will be able to blog externally and some others where I will keep things behind the firewall.

Does that mean you are now finally going to give up on giving up on e-mail? Does that mean you will go back to e-mail once again as your primary method of communication and collaboration? Not likely! Quite the opposite! Going stronger than ever before, more than anything else to try to prove the point of how, even if you are new to a company, you would still be able to survive without making use of e-mail. At least, I am going to give it my very best try and see how things would go from there. After all, I will be moving forward by then into the 11th month in a row without using corporate e-mail and should be an interesting continuation of the experiment.

Things will change, I am sure. In fact, I am already planning on the next phase of what I have been doing all along, putting together a new presentation, a new pitch, an enhanced weekly progress report, getting down to an even lower number of e-mails per week and so forth. And I am just really excited to see how it would all turn around in the end. But we will have to wait and see for another couple of weeks, before things will kick in with the new job.

For now, it is time for me to continue wrapping up 12 wonderful years where tons and tons of life changing experiences have been happening and which I may venture into sharing a couple of them as highlights as I am moving closer to the final transfer date. This week would be my last working week before I head over for some more holidays till beginning of 2009, And although it is promising to be quite a hectic one, not to worry, this would not be the last time that I get to post a blog entry over here as an IBM Dutch employee… Oh, more than anything else, because there is one other massive surprise I would be sharing shortly. And that one would surely affect all of those folks reading http://www.elsua.net. Thus stay tuned for more to come …

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  1. Wow, I thought one of the best people for IBM was about to be one of the best people for someone else. Scary and exciting all at the same time.

    Glad you are getting something you want.

    I have been meaning to reach out to you to discuss an idea. Will try you on Skype soon.

  2. Hello folks! Thanks much for dropping by and for the kind comments! They are greatly appreciated! And, believe me those of you I have been in touch with sharing some of the details on this change would surely know how much I appreciate it coming it to such an exciting change! It has been a long, but worth while path to walk and now time to enjoy the perks of feeling at *home* doing what I like the most! 🙂

    Gia, yes, indeed, I knew it would resolve itself over time. It was just a matter of hanging in there, for the right moment, and that finally made it through! We should catch up some time in Skype! Or, better, F2F!!!

    Swan, more than happy to get together with you on Skype to discuss that idea, although perhaps this week is going to be tough! Far too many things that need wrapping up before I am done for the year, but we can give it a try next week and see how it goes from there. Let’s keep in touch!

    Thanks everyone for the congrats & for the lovely comments! They are greatly appreciated and next time we meet up face to face drinks are on me 😉

  3. ¡Luis!

    You scare the (put your “favorite” expletive here) out of me! 🙂

    Kudos on your new “location”!

    Gia just beat me on the “Spaniard” thing so the only thing left to be done is wish you luck!


  4. Hi Julio & Alan! Appreciated the kind commentary! Yes, it surely has been a ride so far, but somehow something tells me this would not be the last bit of excitement coming through! Specially with that comment from Alan on the new record of BluePages. Already sensing there would be plenty of fun times (Not!) coming through! Let’s see how much of that I can blog about externally and how much it remains internal 😉

    Thanks again, guys, and speak to you soon!

  5. I’m so happy for you that this transfer has finally happened, after weeks, no months, er years of effort on your part! You certainly deserve this change. Wishing you all the best in the IBM Spain organization!!


  6. Luis, you had me thinking my notion of what’s happening in response to the economic catastrophe all wrong. You see, I figure the meltdown makes way for social media to replace classrooms, and you’re one of the voices heralding the change. Reading your first paragraphs, I worried, “Oh no, Big Blue doesn’t get it after all.”

    Glad to find I was wrong.

    Buena suerte, amigo.


    1. Hi Jay! Whoooaaahhhh! *blush* Many thanks! Well, if there is anything that I can do to help accelerate that change, not to worry that I will surely be on board of that mission. I think it is a very much needed, and refreshing, change the corporate world cannot longer ignore / refuse to adopt and it is with thought leaders as inspirational as you are in the space of Informal Learning that are helping the rest of us to follow you!

      Keep up the lovely piece of work! (And thanks again for the comments!)

  7. I was so scared reading the first line sof your blogpost… 🙂

    Glad to figured it out the real meaning in the following. Madrid is a very good choice. Best of luck for your new entity and talk to you soon.

    I’ll be in Madrid on next 24-27 of March for a Graduate Program course. If it is possible with your agenda, let’s enjoy some “tapas y cerveza” there.

    1. Bon jour, Timothee! Appreciated the comments. Actually, my office base would be, indeed, in Madrid, but my home office would still be in Gran Canaria 😉

      Let’s keep in touch and see if we would be able to meet up in Madrid in March, if I am around… Have a good one!

  8. Pffffffeeeeewwww

    That was I close one I almost killed myself :-D. I honestly was thinking if IBM is gonna let this happens then I can kill myself 🙂

    But Luckely you are being kept for the IBM company. Hope your blogs will stay even after moving.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks, Sjaak! Yes, the blogs are staying the same, no changes in that area. Only thing I am trying to do now, by which you won’t be affected, is re-gaining my corporate blog, which seems to be taking rather long at the moment, to run a single command, but we shall see how that goes…

  9. Sí, también son ganas de despertar a la gente :-). Eso no se hace.

    En cualquier caso, a ver si estando por aquí hay ocasión de charlar un día. Y felicidades por conseguir el cambio.

    Un saludo,


  10. Hi Luis,

    When I first read the heading of this blog, I thought what a pitty for IBM if they are going to loose such an enthusiastic employee.

    But just like everybody else, I was also relieved that you are switching counties (what´s wrong with the Netherlands though? 😉

    I wish you lots of fun and challenges in you new/old job. Although my internship at IBM ended, my thesis will be finished in January, I will keep you updated when you can expect a copy!

  11. Ditto from above: “You had me fooled for a moment! Congratulations!” My experience is that change always brings new opportunities and excitement. I’ll bet you’re well suited to deal with it.

    I’ve got 2 opportunities (March/April) to discuss with you in the New Year, or when we can. Look forward to connecting.

    1. Hi Tim, not sure whether you are still monitoring these comments or not, but if you are and still interested in discussing further those 2 opportunities, please do let me know and see if we could make them happen. You know where to find me 😉

  12. A bit late (as I usually am), but congratulations on your new job at IBM Spain!

    Looking forward to read about your experiences with thinking outside the inbox in a new working environment.

    1. Hi Kurt! Thanks a bunch for following up! It is greatly appreciated and will keep you posted on how things developed for 2010. If I have got any further comments or questions I will surely let you know about it. Again, thanks for the kind comments and speak to you soon!

  13. Congratulations Luis !!
    You scared me a bit there at first, but this is certainly the best step to take.

    Welcome to Software Group!

    And I hope to see you soon, I have got my 12th anniversary coming up too 😉 since we started at the same time doing the same thing in that same place ….
    But you’re more famous than me now ! And you certainly deserve it.

    Keep up the good work, talk to you soon,

  14. Whooooaaahhhhh! Thanks ever so much, folks, for dropping by and for sharing those kind and warm comments with the congrats! Must say I thought about not commenting for the time being and see how the first month at my new work would be getting along and so far it is going terrific!

    I know that for most of you, specially outside of IBM, it may not necessarily mean much, since I will still be doing the same thing and talking to you in the same way, but for me the change has been tremendously beneficial from some many perspectives! Perhaps one of these days I shall post another blog entry where I can share what it has meant for me to move into IBM Spain, after all of these years trying. Finally, my new reality!

    Thanks everyone and LOL! on the scary thought from the first few paragraphs, eh? I just tried to play the game along with a couple of folks (Yes, you know who you are!) who were thinking my days in IBM were numbered… Well, just couldn’t resist playing that trick and share with everyone the real scoop of the story 😉 heh

    Thanks again everyone for the congrats and see you F2F or online!

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