Here I am in Southern Ohio once again, working with one of my clients on the expansion of an implementation. I continue to find it interesting that just when I think I'm going to run out of work to do, there's another call for help. I count my self fortunate to have a continuing stream of work. But while I'm in this region, I've found myself gravitating to my old favorite lunch-box; Skyline Chili. I'm pretty certain the 4-way has more content and more calories than the 2-way, but I justify it by believing that I get so much more out of the 4-way.

But most of what I wanted to chat about this time has to do with the upcoming UConnect Conference in Orlando in June. I expect to be there for at least a portion of the time, since several of my long time clients will be attending, and a couple even speaking about their experiences. I was a little dismayed that this year's venue is the Orlando World Center Marriott, rather than the Gaylord properties. After memorizing my way around the Dallas, Nashville, and Orlando versions of the same layout, I was finally able to navigate myself from conference rooms, to restaurants, to bars, and to my room, without having to ask for help along the way.

I'm hoping that this year's conference will be more concentrated, not because I've been disappointed in past years' content, but because I'm anticipating a smaller crowd based on both the economy and the flu scare. I'll be there, scouting the crowd, and visiting the booths on the show floor to catch up on new developments and changes in the market.

In my recent experience, I've seen transaction volumes drop as retailers drop from the scene. But I've also seen transactions increase for those retailers (and suppliers) still in business. I've also seen implementations of new, or expanded documents as everyone tries to get more efficient. The changes are long in coming, but are appearing now because of economic imperatives. Is that change for the right reason? Maybe, or maybe not. But in my opinion, they are changes that were obviously needed for some time now.

As a mentor of mine used to quip in an old joke, "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one, but the light bulb has to WANT to change." And there are lots of reasons now to want to change.

And speaking of changing... I'm thinking I'll need to change my belt to a longer one if I have one more 4-way chili. Maybe that 2-way isn't such a bad idea after all.

Cheers, and see you at UConnect!
Cecil
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