di Grenville Wilson
Mi dispiace, sono passati più di 28 anni da quando ero in Italia e ho dimenticato molto del mio italiano. Sono inglese e ho lavorato per Olivetti dal 1972 al 1993; è stata un’esperienza meravigliosa.
After my Computer Science degree in 1972 i joined Olivetti in Leeds England; delay cartridge A770? By the end of 1973 i found myself in Ivrea, Salvatore Picceo, the A7!!!
I have never been out of the UK, newly married, driving my VW Beetle around Ivrea. My first Italian word “sciopero”
By the early 80’s I was the manager of British Olivetti software support division when the System 6000 was introduced, Command interpreter interface, totally inappropriate for the general clients, so we developed BOSS, British Olivetti System Supervisor; we protected the users by password logon, by choice of applications that could co-exist and more, I was indebted to Kevin Green, who managed the whole process, a PhD in Computer Science he was worth his weight in Gold to me, we remain great friends, 40 years later. Thanks to Franco Pession in Ivrea, this was introduced worldwide, and later was used in future computers.
In the early 1980’s software’s contribution to the sale process was not that valued but under Keith Walkerden (MD of British Olivetti) I was able to promote our contribution; such in 1985 I was asked to go to Seoul, South Korea as the representative director on LG software, (a JV between Lucky Goldstar [LG], AT&T and Olivetti). Two years then back to Milano, Finance Marketing promoting OLIFIN around the world (and successfully) but you would say ‘sono sempre in giro’ at 35,000 feet!!
In the early 1980’s software’s contribution to the sale process was not that valued but under Keith Walkerden (MD of British Olivetti) I was able to promote our contribution; such in 1985 I was asked to go to Seoul, South Korea as the representative director on LG software, a JV between Lucky Goldstar [LG], AT&T and Olivetti. Two years then back to Milano, Finance Marketing promoting OLIFIN around the world (and successfully) but you would say ‘sono sempre in giro’ at 35,000 feet!!
In 1989 I went to Hong Kong, we had no local clients in what was then still very much a British environment and we were successful in selling OLIFIN to Dah Sing Bank, Optical imaging to Haeco (Cathay Pacific maintenance), AMEX regional signature verification to Wellcome Supmarkets (Dairy Farm Group) in Taiwan.
I was not really a sales person and got very little support from my local MD or the regional director, so I reluctantly left and set up my own consulting company.
I now live in Thailand aged 73 but fondly remember a 21 year ‘love’ affair with Olivetti, and after a few glasses, happy to try and remember when I spoke Italian.
Dopo la laurea in Informatica nel 1972 sono entrato in Olivetti a Leeds England; Cartuccia di ritardo A770? Alla fine del 1973 mi ritrovai ad Ivrea, Salvatore Picceo, la A7!!!
Non ero mai stato fuori dal Regno Unito, appena sposato, alla guida del mio Maggiolino VW in giro per Ivrea. La mia prima parola italiana “sciopero”.
All’inizio degli anni ’80 ero il responsabile della divisione di supporto software della British Olivetti quando è stato introdotto il System 6000, interfaccia di interpretazione dei comandi, totalmente inadatto per i clienti generici, quindi abbiamo sviluppato BOSS, British Olivetti System Supervisor; abbiamo protetto gli utenti tramite accesso con password, per scelta di applicazioni che potessero coesistere e altro ancora, ero in debito con Kevin Green, che ha gestito l’intero processo, un dottorato in Informatica che per me valeva tanto oro, rimaniamo grandi amici, 40 anni dopo. Grazie a Franco Pession di Ivrea, questo fu introdotto in tutto il mondo e in seguito fu utilizzato nei futuri computer.
All’inizio degli anni ’80 il contributo del software al processo di vendita non era molto apprezzato, ma sotto Keith Walkerden (amministratore delegato di Bristih Olivetti) sono stato in grado di promuovere il nostro contributo; tale nel 1985 mi è stato chiesto di andare a Seoul, in Corea del Sud, come direttore rappresentante del software LG, una joint venture tra Lucky Goldstar [LG], AT&T e Olivetti. Due anni dopo il ritorno a Milano, Finance Marketing promuovendo OLIFIN in tutto il mondo (e con successo) ma diresti “sono sempre in giro” a 35.000 piedi!!
Nel 1989 sono andato a Hong Kong, non avevamo clienti locali in quello che allora era ancora un ambiente molto britannico e siamo riusciti a vendere OLIFIN a Dah Sing Bank, imaging ottico alla Haeco (manutenzione Cathay Pacific), verifica della firma regionale AMEX a Wellcome Supermercati (Gruppo Dairy Farm) a Taiwan.
Non ero un vero addetto alle vendite e ricevevo pochissimo supporto dal mio MD locale o dal direttore regionale, quindi con riluttanza me ne sono andato e ho creato la mia società di consulenza.
Ora vivo in Thailandia all’età di 73 anni, ma ricordo con affetto una storia d’amore di 21 anni con Olivetti e, dopo alcuni bicchieri, sono felice di provare a ricordare quando parlavo italiano.
Nota della redazione: Grazie Grenville per il tuo contributo bilingue! Ci siamo permessi qualche correzione editoriale, ma il tuo italiano è comprensibilissimo dopo tanti anni. Se vorrai, potrai cercare qualche amico nella numerosa colonia italiana che sverna a Phucket per esercitarti!
Congratulations Grenville Wilson.
A valuable entrepreneur.
Me too I remember Salvatore Picceo with his day and night working attitude.
i remember many in Ivrea and Milano, Piero Battaglia, Sergio Compalto, Enrico Rossi, Laura Baldi and from around the world. Robbie Di Stefano, Chris Garrahy, Peter Bate, Harvey Coleman and many when i worked on the response to the Rabo Bank tender in 1988/9.
My former wife Heather and i visited Salvatore and Anna in Milano and then stayed at their holiday home in Sardinia, 1975 before returning to the UK, sadly both lost in the last 18 months. one great memory was whilst in Milano, i took many guests to La Bagutta, Carpaccio do Manzo and a bottle of Nebbiolo (Barolo too expensive!!) the maitre D, knew me by name (Of course Wilson not Grenville)
Interesting times. Remember the Panoramica? I’d like to get in touch with KMG. Do you still have contact?
All best wishes
Grenville, great to hear the name of Keith Walkerden .
I joined Olivetti corporation of Japan (OCJ) March 1962 right after my graduation from Keio university.
Olivetti corporation of Japan inaugurated September 1961 and we were the first employees.
I was employed a salesman of Accounting Machine.
In 1963 (the second year of my career), OCJ sent me to Milano to learn IDP (Integrated Data Processing) systems:
Mercator 5000, Audit 623 etc. and the great CBS120 (Convertitore Banda Scheda.)
The course lasted for 3 months and a half in the office at Via Lario.
Course participants included Keith Walkerden from Australia, Salvatore Perez Harana from Spain, Juan Antonio Yannucci from Urguay, Christepher Frost from UK Makoto Arai from Japan ( he left OCJ a couple of months after he returned to Japan).
IDP activities went very well in Japan and we sold so many accounting machined with tape perforator. One CBS120 was sold to an agricultural union and this customer was a splendid show room for the IDP potential customers.
Around middle of 1970s, we started selling DE523, an OEM product from a US company Sycor.
At that time the Australian subsidiary was very much advanced in the technical aspects of Sycor machines and I flew to Australia.
The then subsidiary head was Keith. I arranged to send a techie to Sydney and what he learnt there helped a lot to our sales of Sycor machines.
That was the last time I met Keith and I did not know he later became MD of UK.
Keith should be around 85 years or older and hope he is still well.
Grenville, thank you for remembering me the name of Keith.