This blog is part of the Blog it Forward activity. I was blogged forward by Blog it Forward – Hannes Kuehnemund

and  Blog it Forward – Vivek Singh Bhoj Thank you for passing the baton and giving me the opportunity to provide some information about myself to the community.

For those of you not familiar with the Blog it Forward activity, get more information here – and if you would like to participate have a look at this chain.

Before I begin, a quick thank you and much הכרת הטוב  to Moshe Naveh for this wonderful Idea of introducing the BIF Challenge.

About Me:

Hi, my name is Ken Landau and I currently (2013) work for the PreSales group on the NA Mobility SWAT team.

I joined Sybase back in 1998 as a Presales Systems Engineer with a focus on SQL Anywhere, our small footprint, self-managing database product. I have had the pleasure of representing what I believe to be a game changing technology over that past 15+ years. Early on, our software was utilized by the likes of companies like Fedex, the US Postal Service, the FBI and our technologies were even embedded into applications like Quickbooks and time clock machines by Kronos.

I was fortunate to grow along with the company and the formation of the Mobile group. Through the years I represented our product suite, including not just the database and sync technologies but also Afaria, AvantGo, Mobile Mail, RFID, and the Unwired Platform. It has truly been a wild roller coaster in the world of Mobility.

My main focus throughout the years has been to help enable the sales process by evangelizing our core competencies (including but not limited to mobile) and make what we do accessible to all audiences.

Acheivements:

One proud memory of mine is or working on a project that was not mobile in nature. I had worked on a trial by Dun and Bradstreet back in 2000 who was evaluating our columnar data warehousing solution. After some trial and tribulations with their analytics reporting engine, we successfully took a highly complex query which took the business longer than 24hrs to run and executed it in 36 Seconds. Before the sale was completed, the customer made us wait a full week while they would run queries and do a comparison to our system to ensure the numbers were indeed legitimate. It is both a fond memory of mine as well as a prime example of how the immediacy of actionable information created out of data has become the most valued commodity of our time. My current work in Mobility is simply a logical extension of that concept.

It’s tough to condense my Sybase and SAP career into a few paragraphs but here are some quick highlights of my work for the Mobile team through the years.

  • Pepsi Bottling Group – Mobile Applications for repair of Fountains & Vending Machines (Direct)
  • Pepsi / Frito – Mobile Application for sales of soda and chips (with Partner)
  • Bell Atlantic/Verizon – Application for Inventory management for Central Offices (C.Os are parts warehouses)
  • FINRA (formerly NYSE) – Application for Auditors Workbench. When NYSE travels to audit member firms.
  • Verizon – MSEP –  Afaria licensed as OEM for Verizon Communications to resell to customers
  • Computer Associates – Afaria licensed as OEM to include as their offering to manage mobile devices.  (2012)

Where Do I Live:

I live in an area called Rockland County, NY which is roughly 45 minutes North of New York City. People who have traveled to this area are often familiar with the George Washington Bridge, and a bit farther North, the Tappan Zee Bridge. Most folks have also heard of Westchester County which is just above New York City itself. The Tappan Zee Bridge is what connects Westchester to Rockland and the rest of New York State – so now you’ve got the picture.  If you’re ever in the area you can check out the Palisades Mall, which is currently the 8th largest mall in the US.

I live just a few miles away from my parents and the area where I grew up. To me, I find Rockland to be a great balance of living in a nice residential area and still having close proximity to the city.

Some quick Factoids for you:

Don McLean lives in the area. (Yes. “Bye Bye Ms. American Pie…”)

Les Paul also used to live nearby. I met him once at a local grocery store but couldn’t think of anything valuable to say to him. I should have told him that he’s influenced by life a lot, but that would likely be cliché and corny.

Fun Facts About Me:

I fly when required but it’s never been a passion of mine. Like 20% of Americans I get motion sickness since I was a child. I like to be places and see sites but the To & From are low on my list. My preferred mode of transport is by driving everywhere.  …and Newtown Square is only two hours away!

If I were to choose another location to live I think it would be Boston. As it stands, the Acela commute form NY to Boston is excellent and I’ve done the trek many a time.

I’m a big proponent of Design Thinking and I think that this can be attributed to the fact that I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and only minored in Business Computing. I like the intellectual challenge of solving problems for my clients and to me this is why working at SAP is my dream job.

Hobbies:

Boy is it ever going to be tough to keep this short, lol.

  • Well, you already know that I’m a Mobile Presales guy and it should come as no surprise that I’m a gadget geek and have had my hands on one of everything ever made.
  • I’ve played Electric Guitar since Freshman year in High School. I have a slew of stringed instruments at home. I’m a fan of Classic Rock and Blues music. (Hey I grew up in the 80s) I’ve also hand built/wired my own Marshall Tube Amplifier clone. (Told you I was a techie)
  • I am also a hobby Photographer and also a better-than-average user of Photoshop.
  • I received my Motorcycle License two years ago, on the 4th of July!  I currently own a 1982 Suzuki GS1100E which I (quite obviously) restored myself.
  • (Lastly, my forever unfinished project, which is taking up space, is a full color Laser Show projector. This has been in the works for the better part of a decade and goes back to very inspiring Laser Shows I’ve seenin the past. Technology is bringing the pricing down on pre-built units but I’m still not quite in reach of this goal)

What was the most fun project I’ve participated in and why?

I chose this topic heading to discuss my family. It’s not just a fun project it’s an adventure.

If ever anyone had a good reason to stay gainfully employed I think I have it covered. My wife came from a large family and somehow I though it proper to oblige her in her wishes in furthering that tradition. Daily life at home is a challenge unto itself. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, so I need to give her full credit there. Anyhow, my home life is filled with Car pool and extra-curricular activities. H.S. Volleyball and H.S. Basketball and then there is Baseball, and Soccer, and Painting, and Sowing, etc… You get the idea.

For all of the craziness, I will say that being a Dad is the most fun project. I could never have comprehended it fully when I was younger but it is a joy to see each person grow as a distinct individual. I do feel a sense of pride in being able to say that “I created that”, “I nurtured and fostered someone to be all they can”. Project Landau

To answer Hannes Questions…

  • What is the best resource of information on SCN?

     As we become more technologically advanced we are also finding that the world is becoming a smaller (more reachable) space. To this end, it’s the BIF      posts I’ve come to like most about SCN, because they give me a sense of Empathy into the lives of others who promote our cause.

  • Do you think everybody should have a profile picture and why?

     If you are comfortable with sharing your photo, yes I think that everyone should post a picture. It humanizes your ‘cyber’ self and gives people something to relate to.

  • Is there anything that you would do different in your life?

     Of course!

     I would have paid more attention in school.

     I would have taken the time to get a deeper understanding of the mechanics of Music. Now I just don’t have the time/brain power.

     I would have enrolled in professional photography and photoshop courses.

     I would have started riding years ago

     I would go more places

     … all this said, I would not trade my vocational experience for the world. Working at Sybase and SAP has been Outstanding!

Blogging It Forward:

It’s time for me to pass the torch along to  Zahid Yener and Anson John Abraham

In the BIF spirit, here are some questions I thought would be interesting for you.

  • If you were given by your work a full day every week to do whatever you feel like, what would it be?
  • If you won a ticket to any destination on earth where would you go?
  • If you could be (or have been) someones aprentice who would your teacher be?

A Parting Gift

I thought I’d attempt to include some photos I’ve taken. Hopefully SCN renders them correctly.

All The Best,

Ken

Bryant Park Carousel (Just outside the Sybase Midtown Office)

CarouselFinal.jpg

Train Tracks and Corn Field in Lancaster, PA

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Old Abandoned Farmhouse (Northern NJ)

RockHouseFinal.jpg

Bowling Alley

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20 Comments

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  1. Tammy Powlas

    Great pictures – and I am guessing you’re getting snow now.

    Also congratulations on your greatest achievement – Project Landau 🙂

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    1. Ken Landau Post author

      Thanks. It looks like the snow was a bit overrated, at least in my opinion. We did get a few iniches of snow but it didn’t seem like the crazy blustery winds and power outages everyone was talking about.

      I’ve yet to check in with the NSQ folks but I’m guessing that they likely had a similar experience. Better safe (& warm) than sorry I suppose.

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  2. jitendra kansal

    Hi Ken,

    Welcome to BIF Family. Enjoyed reading your experience. Glad to know you are also from Mobility domain.  🙂 great sharing with cool pics.

    Wish you a very happy 2k14.

    Rgrds,

    Jitendra

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  3. Vivek Singh Bhoj

    Hi Ken,

    Very nice BIF

    Enjoyed reading it a lot

    Nice pictures

    I’m a gadget geek and have had my hands on one of everything ever made.

    I also love gadgets

    Just a question, are you Android/IOS guy or Windows/Blackberry guy

    Regards,

    Vivek

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    1. Ken Landau Post author

      Vivek,

      Good questions.

      With regards to OS choices, I’ve used them all at some point in time. Here are some quick opinions.

      I have had a few Blackberries in my time. They were convenient for email/contacts/calendar but not really friendly on the web and app front when I was using them regularly. From a corporate prespective, I think Sybase had been rooting for RIMs success but they could never develop a device with enough horepower to cleanly run our small database underneath ‘real’ mobile apps.

      Microsoft’s WinCE/Pocket PC/Win Mobile were all REAL OSs but outside of the service technician field these devices are about as up-to-date as a Coleco Vision set in todays environment. I think that Microsoft has really watched the rest of the world progress for way too long.

      I have not looked at Windows 8 (or their mobile product) yet. My comment here, on both fronts, is that their Live Tiles concept may be nice for teeenages but I don’t yet have ADD and I’d like to keep it that way. I don’t need notifications and pop-ups all day when I’d just like ot get some work done. Onward…

      I want to like andorid and I have had a few Galaxy tablets but somehow iOS is more convenient for me. I’m a guy that loves to hate Apple. I think they are over-priced and their products are geared toward those a lot less tech saavy than I am. I also went through three iPhone 5s that were all defective in different ways. On the good news front, their support always owned my issues and didn’t charge me even when I expected them to. There’s something to be said for that.  I guess I am a reluctant iOS fan. (Don’t tell anyone).

      In the near future I may have the chance to use a KNOX enabled Samsung phone and I’m looking forward to seeing if that somehow draws me to the android world. In any case, I’m open to any technology that works for me but at present some do that better than others.

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      1. Vivek Singh Bhoj

        Hi Ken,

        I have used Knox and to be frank I don’t like it much and recently a loop hole was also discovered in Knox – for using Knox you have to use a different launcher – it should be built in default launcher

        ‘Serious vulnerability’ discovered in Samsung KNOX | SamMobile

        Windows Surface Pro tablets are best for productivity though I would say for 10 Inch tablets, Apple is the king

        I love my Nexus 7 and its the best 7 inch tablet – though Android needs more tablet friendly apps

        I hate Apple I don’t know why – I feel it has very limited functionality – though IOS 7 looks good – but only for a week

        The only thing I love about Apple is Touch ID introduced in Iphone 5s – thats a very useful feature for unlocking phones though it has many risks to it

        I am a Android fan and love its customization but hate OEMs like Samsung, HTC who take months to provide new Android update – though recently Motorola has done a great job in providing latest updates – looking for more global releases from them.

        I am rooting for Jolla and would love to see the OS grow – love all those swiping gestures

        Ubuntu was also a nice concept but it all went in vain

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    1. Ken Landau Post author

      Thanks.

      I like the photo of your motorcycle by the way. 🙂

      Yes, here in the US we seem to prize diversity and I’m not so sure how helpful that is when you are in school. One might even argue how it helps foster the ADD everyone complains about.

      I think that more focused direction and structure would have been helpful back when I was still actively leanring and assimilating information. Now I often feel thatyou can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve figured out what works in life for me and anything that doesn’t prove to be a drastic improvement from the way I do thinks generally gets pushed aside. (We tend to take a longer route because it puts our mind at ease even though we know there is a better/shorter one that exists).

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    1. Ken Landau Post author

      I’m not sure about where you live but those tracks are in Lancaster, PA. Home of the Amish, who still ride around with horse and buggy.

      The train line runs through various farms and this one is a corn farm where kids come to see what a day in the country is like and ride on an old train.

      🙂

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  4. Suseelan Hari

    Hi Ken,

    Good Day!

    Thank you for sharing about Palisades Mall, which is currently the 8th largest mall in the US. Excellent pics attached especially I liked the train track picture very much. Once again thank you so much for sharing about you and your experience. Keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

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