4:00 pm – Nexus, Farringdon Street, London
Here’s some wise advice – never answer your phone when your train is leaving in 15 minutes. Robert Jones learned this the hard way and as a result he had to set a new track record Nexus – City Thameslink Station, in under 2 minutes. “Surely that can’t be done!” I hear you cry. Well thankfully Rob, like all Kroll Ontrack employees, is a finely tuned athlete and has been training for marathons, and so made it with seconds to spare. Robbie J, quite literally going the extra mile to keep his clients happy. So the three intrepid travellers – Luke Aaron, Robert Jones and myself – got the train on time and were on our way to Gatwick airport.
5:30 pm – Gatwick Airport, Departure Lounge
Dinner consisted of tortilla chips, guacamole sauce and some random roasted vegetables, eaten with one of those silly security knives, more handle than blade, hardly gourmet cuisine. “That’ll be £9.50 please sir” –“How much? For some crisps and a dip” so lighter in the pocket, but ‘heavy’ on food we headed to the plane. After the traditional security routine – put toiletries in small evidence bag, take off coat, jacket and belt, unpack laptop, put all small change in tray (not that we had much left after dinner), get tray jammed by eight others in machine, get patted down by male security guard, feel violated, put belt back on, lose passport and boarding card, panic, find passport and boarding card in pocket you didn’t know existed, re-pack entire contents of luggage – we boarded the plane. Without naming names, it was the orange and white budget one that sounds like Cheesypet, who have started to allocate seats nowadays, much to the consternation of familiar Cheesypet travellers who had prepared for the scrum to get a seat near the front of the plane. We finally took off and were on our way to Amsterdam.
10:00 pm – Hotel Okura, Amsterdam
An hour later we landed on Dutch soil with the final destination as the Okura hotel. A fine and opulent hotel, the pinnacle of which was the remote controlled blind between the bath and bedroom. Rob claims he overheard Luke getting at least half an hour of entertainment by continually sending it up and down.
12:25 pm – Hotel Okura, Amsterdam
After building up the stand with extreme precision, it was Luke Aaron’s time to shine at his debut as a Kroll Ontrack speaker. His educational seminar was entitled ‘Don’t panic: Responding to data theft’. In the 35 minute slot Luke explained to around 25 captivated visitors, from a variety of backgrounds including banking, telecoms and software companies, what policies and procedures every company should embrace regarding to a possible data theft. The presentation was very well received and was for many an eye-opening introduction to the world of data theft response.
2:25 pm – Hotel Okura, Amsterdam
Now it was time for Robert Jones and his special guest, Misha lutje Beerenbroek, Head of EC Competition and Trade at Baker & McKenzie, Amsterdam to impress the crowd. This pairing, which some (Rob) have compared to the compliance world’s equivalent to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant*, rocked the conference with a talk centred around ‘Using innovative technology to audit for compliance’. With a very relaxed and open approach the duo riffed away on regulatory trends towards cross-border investigations and fines, the growth of a compliance culture and the benefits of building strong compliance programmes to be better prepared for the risk of regulatory intervention in relation to antitrust, corruption and other issues. A particular topic which got the audience talking was the frank discussion of approaches taken by companies when weighing up the problem of carrying out an internal investigation to defend the company, versus the risk of infringing an employee’s personal rights and data privacy laws. It was clear this gave many visitors a new perspective on internal audits and some audience members were still humming away afterwards to the tune of ‘Communication Breakdown’ (or ‘email analytics’, as we like to call it).
*Of ‘Led Zeppelin’ fame – apparently some people have never heard of them.
7:00 pm – Schipol, Departure Lounge
After re-hashing over dinner we came to the conclusion that it was a productive day. With our data centre in Germany due to be operational in late January and our French data centre to come online shortly afterwards, hopefully congresses like this will help make more businesses aware of our continued commitment to providing solutions in Continental Europe.