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Just Another Business trip to the UK?! Maybe Not… Read Carefully!!!

Nov 13th 2012

DOSarrest just visited London in October and it was fantastic. The city is coming off a string of recent successes with the Diamond Jubilee, the Wiggins Tour de France victory and playing host to a stellar Olympic Games. Add to that the backdrop of an energetic and dynamic metropolis, and the contrast between the London of old and the bold and striking new London, it set the scene for an unforgettable week.

Our agenda for visiting London was to attend a reception recognizing DOSarrest's contribution to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, to have a look at IP EXPO 2012, and to introduce ourselves to U.K.Businesses. We've been working with U.K. clients for several years and due to high demand, we recently added a DDoS scrubbing centre to our network in London. We know London is the gateway to the large and mature U.K. e-commerce market as well as being the internet hub for Europe. So it's a great pace to be for our business. OK It wasn't all business there was some outright fun too.

I arrived at Heathrow on a sunny Sunday afternoon and waited for Mark Teolis flight to arrive shortly after. He was coming from Vancouver. Safe and sound we then took a taxi down to our hotel in Kensington. We found the ride unusually warm and lowered our windows and took in the ride through the hi-tech business sector and then getting closer to London we saw a number of high-end auto shops and then passed the Fullers Brewery. I knew we were getting close when I saw the roof of Earl's Court II. London looked splendid.

We kept our first day low key but productive with a goal to stay awake until midnight so that we were acclimatized to London time on Monday. One of the first things we did was to hit the Cafe Nero near the hotel for cappuccinos and a peak at the times., the staff there kept wanting us to take frequent users cards but we said we wouldn't be here long enough to make use of it (that was a mistake)! After coffee it was off to the Orange store to get a sim card for my phone which was quick and easy. We had a light lunch at an Italian place (there were also many Italian places too) and then off we walked around Kensington.

Mark had been in London a good number of times and he knew the area quite well, although we never did find the house with the plaque text marking where Benny Hill lived. We had a lager at a local pub/restaurant and then we made our way to another pub where we parked ourselves by the Guinness tap and proceeded to make friends with Shaun and Rob, two pub regulars. Shaun gave us a good education on the correct serving temperature of Guinness among other things. After a few Guinness we made our way across the street and we each downed a kebab. We made good on our goal of staying up past midnight. I vaguely remember opening my hotel door and falling on the bed already fast asleep.

Monday started with a trip to the Cafe Nero and a peak at the London Times. We had a morning meeting scheduled with Sanjay Purohit, the ITC trade commissioner from Canada's High Commission in London. We made our way to the meeting on foot walking through Kensington Gardens and then on over to Speakers' Corner.

Meeting Sanjay was a delight. We had corresponded by phone and email for weeks before our arrival. Sanjay was instrumental in setting up meetings with several U.K. based business and he also pointed us in the direction of Toon Boom Animation, a Montreal based company, announcing their new software suite in London so we dropped by for the launch party. That also went very well and we headed out for a bite to eat and then back to our hotel.

Tuesday began with the usual Cafe Nero and the London Times, we then took the tube to a morning meeting with some of the web folks at an existing clients office, who told us how much they liked DOSarrest and why. They specifically mentioned how much they enjoyed the quick response they received from our technical staff anytime there was an issue. After that we had lunch with an old friend of Mark's from Bodog, Joe Chin. Joe took us to a fabulous Asian fusion restaurant and we talked about hosting environments, various carriers, the merits of Brocade versus Juniper versus Cisco, and listened to his insights of living in London. I headed back to our hotel to rest for the night's big event.

In September I had received an invitation to a reception at Buckingham Palace held to celebrate the contribution of people and businesses to the success of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. There were roughly 250 people in attendance and the event was covered on BBC news that evening. My invitation included a car pass that allowed my taxi to pass through security and the throngs of tourists outside the gates and then drop me off in front of the palace.

I quickly walked onto the red carpet and with no coat to check I was ushered into a huge room lined with old master paintings. I was offered a choice of sparkling orange juice or champagne and I chose champagne and then somehow made my way into a talking circle with Lord Sterling and a couple of his work team, They had built the Royal barge Gloriana for the cruise along the Thames that summer. They were kind to me and asked a lot of questions about Canada and DOSarrest as well as telling me a lot of their own stories. At 6pm we formed a line and mirrored doors opened to reveal the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. My name was announced and I walked over, bowed, and shook the Queen's hand and said: It is an honour to meet you your Majesty. I then shook the hand of Prince Philip and greeted him too.

The next hour was spent with another glass of champagne and chat with Gordon Campbell, Canada's High Commissioner in the UK, among others. All fun and obviously a once in a life time experience. I left the palace and took a taxi back to the hotel where we had a few Guinness and discussed the evening. I have to say I pinched myself more than a few times that evening. It was an excellent day.

Wednesday morning we took the Tube over to Earl's Court and attended the IP Expo show where we met many talented people from companies like Rackspace, Bluecat Networks, and Stonecroft to name a few. Debra Wilkins from ITRINERGY introduced herself and quickly found out I was Canadian and asked me if I knew Kanata. Kanata is a hi tech community in Ottawa and it happens to be where I live! Then Debra asked me if I knew Terry Matthews. Terry is the preeminent hi tech entrepreneur in Canada having started Mitel and Newbridge Networks and countless other firms. Terry also happens to be a neighbor of mine. Debra told me that she had visited her cousin who worked for Newbridge Networks years ago and she met Terry and he took her off to see Toronto in his private jet. It proves how extremely small the world can be. Anyway the show was concentrated on the development of cloud computing in the U.K. and DOSarrest will be part of this emerging segment as we have been a cloud based offering for over 5 years. Everyone was pumped and it was great to see U.K. IT-entrepreneurialism in action.

Thursday we got to meet the IT director and telecoms staff for the Royal Household. We met in Buckingham Palace and we had coffee, tea and cookies served in the room that overlooks the balcony the royals use for special occasions. That meeting lasted about 30 minutes then we received a private tour of the palace from the IT director. Now that was cool. We saw things that most people never see. Again this was a once in a lifetime experience and I have to thank the Royal Household staff for hosting us. When we walked out of there we were shaking our heads.

After the palace tour, We decided to take a break and do a touristy thing by viewing two floors of the Tate Modern and on the way we got to soak in all the new architecture popping along the Thames. The gallery was superb and I think the revitalization in the area works well and looks extraordinary. After dinner we took a taxi back to the hotel and our Scottish driver was a real comedian to the point I was in tears listening to him go on about global politics.

On Friday Mark and I split up as he had a meeting with Rackspace in the Heathrow area and I had a meeting at the Canadian High Commission with a UK based web development firm. A quick stop at Cafe Nero (I should have bought shares!) and I took the tube over to Bond Street and walked. I really have to thank Sanjay Purohit again for his work in orchestrating several meetings. We are already in further discussions.

Mark and I finished our respective meetings and met for lunch and a meeting in the financial district. It was the one day we were in London and the rain was persistent. After that we had finished with our business obligations and celebrated at a great Italian restaurant and then we helped close the Prince of Wales pub over a few Guinness.

On Saturday we headed back to Canada.

Overall, we spent an action packed London week that gave us a good snap shot of the great potential for DOSarrest to flourish in the U.K. and throughout Europe. The size of the knowledge sector is obviously huge and it's something that we want to take advantage of through marketing/sales arrangements with IT integrators and professional service companies. Preventing DDoS attacks is what we do and we're really good at doing it. London is really buzzing right now and it's definitely where we want to be and grow. Our thanks to the fine people of London.

Please give me a shout, drop me an email, I'd like to hear from you.

Cheers,

Gordon Henderson,

Business Development, DOSarrest Internet Security


Added By : Gordon Henderson

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