Category Archives: Travel

Le train vapeur

In southern France on the Cote de Azur, the GECP runs “Train Pignes” steam on a portion of the metric gauge track from  Nice – Digne-les-Bains, operated regularly by the Railways Provence.

You also come to find the simple joys of travel of yesteryear in old cars towed by an authentic steam locomotive, historical monument, which will take you through the colorful landscapes of the hinterland of Nice and Provence, olive trees to chestnut. Restored and maintained by an association composed exclusively of volunteers, the steam train runs on Sundays each year from May to October.

Big Player in EDI Industry Visits Nice, France and talks to Penney

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Recently we had the opportunity to talk with one of the “near great” visitors to Nice: Todd Gould, President of Loren Data. His company is the leading Electronic Commerce Communications Provider (ECCP) firm in the EDI industry. An ECCP is a neat way of handling all your EDI communications in a centralized and efficient manner. An ECCP replaces a VAN for you; but if your trading partner utilizes a VAN, an ECCP still interfaces with your partner through his VAN. An ECCP is far less labor-intensive for you than either AS2 or MFT (Managed File Transfer).

We met at a beach-front cafe right next to his hotel, the famous “Palais Méditerranée”. While Jen, his wife, went off to explore the “Monday Market” at Cours Saleya in the Vieux Nice, Todd kicked off our discussion with the statement: “Interconnects are what make a network a VAN”. We thought about it for a couple of seconds and quickly agreed with him. He is so very correct. If a network cannot (or will not) interconnect with all the trading partners, then it surely has no value added.

Companies (GXS specifically) are sabotaging the VAN Network by refusing to interconnect with other networks. Is this company trying to “corner” the VAN market or kill the VAN and replace with their own proprietary network? They already “ate up” (politely: mergers) some of their competitors. Bet they want to end up as the only way for a company to reach ALL their trading partners.

But Todd’s little company is going after them in the US Federal Court system. Sounds like they are really scared of him too.

The truth of the matter is that the growth of EDI is “sort of flat”. The big companies already have their trading partners ramped in, and the smaller companies do not have the “clout” to do the same with their even smaller partners.

We understand that a leading Supply Chain/Electronic Commerce online magazine will be addressing a new approach to increasing the number of new EDI implementations: “Hubs and Spokes, Spokes and Hubs”.

Much of the EDI community sticks with a VAN because it is an outsourced operation and because many of us hold to the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Lance Armstrong in IRONMAN at Nice, France

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On June 24, 2012 Lance Armstrong is scheduled to take part in his first ever full distance Ironman in Nice France.

This is without a doubt one of the most anticipated events in the long and storied history of the Ironman triathlon.

It`s not so much about how Armstrong almost won his very first race as a pro in Ironman 70.3 Panama, how he struggled to balance nutrition, bike speed and run endurance in Ironman70.3 Texas and Ironman 70.3 St. Croix, or how he put it all together to dominate in Ironman 70.3 Florida and most recently in a record-setting performance in Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on June 3, 2012.

It`s not even so much about how he won the Tour de France seven times before descending into the world of Ironman with all the subtlety of a rampaging herd of Texas Longhorn steers.

What it is truly about is the courage and tenacity that he displays on the playing field of life that was instrumental in his successful battle against cancer when it seemed that all was lost.

See more about Nice, France