My arm didn’t require too much of a twist to remove me from the January winter in Louisville and ship me out to glorious San Diego California for the 2016 Adaptive Insights’ Global Partner Summit.
Oasis Solutions has partnered with Adaptive Insights (the leading cloud based business analytics solution that empowers finance and management teams to automate their planning, reporting, consolidation and data discovery) for the last few years and this was my first opportunity to attend their annual event.
#Partnering2win was the summit’s official hashtag and since this was my first time out to a California tech conference, I was unsure of exactly what to expect, other than the lure of more sunshine than I would probably see in the next 3 months, some delicious seafood and late evenings “networking” at the La Jolla Hyatt bar. What I received, was more fulfilling and fun than I had ever anticipated.
After checking in, receiving a program guide, the prerequisite lanyard with name badge, a nice notebook and pen and of course the official summit selfie-stick, I had a feeling there would be some fun photo ops to coincide with some serious learning. The official itinerary for Wednesday afternoon’s opening event read – “Social Good; Team Building activity with Adaptive Insights’ Sales Team” and came with instructions to dress comfortably.
My initial thought was, ok… finance field day perhaps? or Arm wrestling and amortization schedules?
Well it turned out that my initial assumption was actually pretty close. Adaptive and their partners work closely together through every phase of the sales process so that there is clear and collaborative communication with clients to understand their needs. It’s a refreshing and rewarding team approach where Oasis and Adaptive work closely together through a joint discovery process with our clients so that we can really comprehend their pain points and provide the best solutions possible to help them achieve their goals. The social good activity provided an enjoyable opportunity for partners like Oasis to get to know and work collaboratively with other partners and components of Adaptive’s sales and support teams towards a common goal.
About 300 total participants gathered in a large hotel conference room and we were divided into teams identified by colors of about 50 or so team members. We were then divided again into smaller sub-groups of 7-8 folks. Each team had representatives of both Adaptive employees and Adaptive partners with participants from all over the country and also all over the world including Great Britain, Australia, South Africa and more.
My group was Purple and our sub groups were Purple 1, Purple, 2, Purple 3 and I found myself on team Purple 4. We competed against the other 4 Purple teams in events and also collectively against other color teams of white, orange, red and blue in some super fun activities that were organized in a rotational structure around the hotel conference center.
The competitive events included seeing which team could construct the tallest tinker toy tower, a game of over/under with oversized playing cards, a game of memory using photos from old movies, team jenga and seeing how many balloons we could blow up and stuff into a teammates’ oversized onesie pajamas. All the while competing for “spirit coins” by expressing our enthusiasm to activity facilitators by screaming out things like “Purple 4 RULES!!!” who then reciprocated to our zaniness by making it rain with plastic gold coins which we scrambled to pick up off the ground like pigeons attacking bread crumbs in central park. Needless to say, we … had .. fun. We also got to network and share high fives and fist bumps with the folks I’d be sitting next to in seminars and eating and drinking with over the next 72 hours in the best “ice breaker” I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Now all of this would have made for a fun and rewarding experience in and of itself but the best part, and I mean the BEST PART was that after every event stage in the competition, (win or lose) each team was awarded a piece of a kids’ bike to assemble as we rotated from event to event in the game. A seat here, some handlebars there, don’t forget the helmet and pedals after the game of team scrabble.
See Adaptive wasn’t just thinking about how their partners and sales teams could quickly get introduced in a fun and competitive environment, they were also thinking about how they could give back to the community of San Diego. They accomplished this by having each team of 7-8 build a total of 50 or so bikes for a group of underprivileged children who otherwise would probably have never had an opportunity to receive such a gift.
Each team of 7-8 built a total of 50 or so bikes for a group of underprivileged children
The culminating event in the competition was a group game of “name that tune” which ended in the DJ playing Phillip Phillips’ hit song “Home” and included a parade of high fives for about 50 smiling faces of boys and girls ages 6-10 who strolled into the conference room amongst a group of surprised competitors. The kiddos didn’t know that although they may have been walking into this room of 300 giddy, goofy financial planning and analysis professionals that that would be riding out in some serious style!
When the announcement was made to the kids that each of them would be receiving a newly constructed bike, the expressions of excitement and joy that erupted out of the group of youngsters was a serious heart melter. And although every one of the High A, competitive participants wanted to be on the winning team, at that moment, we were truly all winners.
A parade of high fives for about 50 smiling faces of boys and girls
Oasis continually strives to align our company with best in class software products like Adaptive Insights so that we can offer our clients’ the best tools to run their business. And in vetting our partnerships we tend to hone our focus on the functions and features that separate competitive product offerings.
“This one has a superior UI”
“Yeah but this product doesn’t charge for unlimited data storage”
“This company has been in market longer and has continued to improve their offering at a greater rate than their competitors”.
And ultimately, these are the things that we and our clients’ care most about. However, it makes for more than an ample amount of icing on the cake to know that with Adaptive Insights, not only does Oasis partner with a world class cloud based product for financial planning and analysis but we also have partnered with a company full of world class, intelligent, compassionate and considerate PEOPLE. PEOPLE make a company a company and people also make the algorithms and the UI in the software and when you combine a best in class product with best in class people you end up with an equation that I can honestly relay equaled one of the most fun and fulfilling “days at work” I’ve ever experienced.
Thanks Adaptive. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for next year.