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Pink Proud: Pink Elephant Conference 2014

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Pink Proud: Pink Elephant Conference 2014Most of us have had good times and bad times in our careers. You get older and your career gets longer, you can see those ups and downs more clearly. In my career I have had mainly ups, with a few downs sprinkled in for fair measure, but one of the highlights of my career was meeting, becoming friends with, and working with Fatima Cabral and David Ratcliffe. In the late 1990s, they took a huge risk setting up and launching Pink Elephant. Who would have thought that ITSM would have caught on at a time when most organizations didn’t even have a help desk, let alone a service desk? David and Fatima were convinced and ploughed ahead with determination and commitment—so much so that in 2013, Fatima was awarded the Silver Stevie award. Here is an excerpt from the Pink Elephant press release:

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run. All individuals and organizations worldwide are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2013 awards received over 1,200 entries from 18 nations and territories. Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 240 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process this year.

The judges presented the award to Fatima in recognition of her role as a pioneer in the IT support and management landscape in North America; her part in the ITIL® “revolution”; co-founding and leading Pink Elephant to becoming the world leader in IT Service Management best practices and training over 350,000 IT professionals across six continents.

Not much to add here then! Except that it should have been gold.

I knew that David Ratcliffe presented the first official ITIL Foundation course and that the level of certification was very high, so I contacted Dave and asked for some more information. His reply was so good I have reproduced it here. Have a look:

The first public ITIL Foundation course was delivered by me in Toronto in August 1997. We invited 16 customers for free and 1 Pinker sat in on the course too. Everyone passed the exam, except the Pinker! (He doesn’t work for us any longer). A couple of key people on that first course were Pierre Bernard and Laurie Dolan, who both ended up working for Pink and became very well known and respected in the ITSM community worldwide.

Later that year, in December 1997, we presented the 1st Annual ITSM Conference & Exhibition – also in Toronto. There were 61 attendees! The Foundation course that followed on the next 3 days had a total of 61 attendees spread over 3 concurrent rooms (the 3 courses were delivered by me, Peter Lijnse & Elka Schriver). You were the opening keynote for the conference. Mind you, that’s not very special, there were only 9 speakers! Thanks for the vote of confidence Dave.

Now the Pink Conference is one of the most prestigious in the world, and again I am going to let Pink doing the writing for me:

Now in its 18th successful year, our annual conference is widely recognized as “the world’s best IT Service Management conference.” Our program is content rich and comprehensive – 14 tracks, 160+ sessions – covering a vast array of subjects from all across the ITSM spectrum. There is something for everyone – strategic, tactical, and operational – we’ve got you covered!

That certainly nails the event. This year I am proud that I will be at this great conference, attending not as a presenter this time, but as a panelist. I’ll also be hanging around the Cherwell Software booth a bit for a book signing. Will you be there? If you are, come find me for a chat. Here’s where I’ll be.

  • Sunday at 5:00 PM: Welcome reception in the Cherwell Software booth.
  • Monday at 2:15 PM: Panel discussion at session 412: IT Business Alignment
  • Monday at 5:00 PM: Presentation and book signing at the Cherwell Software booth.
  • Tuesday at 7:15 AM: Breakfast Briefing with Vance Brown, CEO of Cherwell Software. He will discuss The Death of Laptops: The Promise and Challenge of the New Mobile-Based Platform.
  • Tuesday at 12:00 Noon: Presentation and book signing at the Cherwell Software booth.