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On Christmas Day, in the middle of a Nor’easter, on the coast of South Carolina, my Father, Brother and I were attempting to assemble a greenhouse given to my Mother as a Christmas present.  If you don’t know what a Nor’easter is, it is essentially a hurricane, except it uses cold air for strength instead of warm air.   It was cold, pouring in sheets of rain, gusting high winds and generally miserable – far from ideal conditions to build a greenhouse.  But we were all leaving the next day, none of us really lived “close by”, and this was definitely at least a two-person job.  The time was now.

At one point in the assembly process the directions have you connect two polls together and bend them into the base to form the roof– giving it an old timey covered wagon look.  Where the two poles were joined at the top there were some pre-drilled holes for later use.  Sure enough, as the poles were curved into place, one of the drill points became the weak point and the pole creased.  That happened to us twice – leaving us with only two-thirds of our roof structure.  I mentioned to them I had seen a submarine movie once where they had used smaller segments of piping over an existing pipe to repair it.  I was ignored.

They went about thinking of places that might be open on Christmas Day (In the south?  Good luck with that), if the poles could be made to work as-is (not a chance), or maybe scheduling a time when we could all come back once the poles had been replaced (essentially not giving my Mother her Christmas present for many weeks).  They were doing the typical management stuff.

I found some PVC piping of a similar size, got some WD40, a hack saw, and cut two six-inch PVC sleeves to go over the pipes.  I slid them on, then pulled them off to resize them a bit, as six inches was too long if I wanted to keep the original required bend flexibility.  I put the new three inch sleeves back on, tested to make sure three inches was not too much to break the flexibility, and not too little to just create a new crease, then smiled knowing I had put my makeshift patch back on for the final time.  Metal pipes repaired; flexibility factor restored – they were better than new, as the pre-drilled holes could no longer cause a crease.

My father never really got what it was that Coherence did for a living.  He did give me my first computer, though beyond that, all my explaining of zero’s and one’s through logins and e-mails, he always struggled with understanding what it really was that Coherence actually did.  This was the time, in the cold, windy, rain, being ignored, with solution in hand, to finally give the answer to “What is it you do again?”.

At that point, I turned to my father, proffering the repaired metal poles and said, “You often ask me what my company does.  This is it.  I take things that aren’t designed to work together, that often are seemingly irreparably broken, that are about to throw the entire effort into chaos, with a deadline that won’t tolerate issues, and tweak it all to work so my customers can build an (albeit virtual) greenhouse.” The greenhouse was, Nor’easter in full bloom, completed successfully thereafter.

It is easy to say we do “migrations”, but that really is not what Coherence does.  If you read the manual, install the tools, and have a modicum of capability, anyone can do migrations.  For all the weird, unexpected, continuously changing combinations; each environment with their own customized quirks and little technology hiccups; no matter how crazy the conditions, impossible the timelines, and incomprehensible the task lists; we do migrations.  That is what Coherence does.


Coherence, Inc. was founded in 2002 by president and principal consultant, Michael Gastright. The corporation has grown and excelled at professional services, providing consulting for many companies of various sizes and in various industries.


Today, Coherence, Inc. specializes in migration solutions and customized tools, offering services that include email and directory set up, migrations and support, and migration project management.  We also provide customized tool creation that can streamline a migration effort.

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