Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A mixed bag of a week....

It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks so have not updated the blog as I should......last week began with the funeral of a very well known and popular Socitm member and stalwart of the events organising group. These occasions are always times for reflection and for assessing one’s perspectives and priorities. It was then up to Durham for a meeting with the Delivery Management group. There is a great mix of people from across central and local service delivery organisations and always good to talk informally with Martin Bellamy about the progress of ‘Cloud’. I always like this group because it begins with a social occasion – a meal and drink or two – and is always really practical, down to earth and at the level of ‘OK we’ve heard the strategy, and had the discussion, but how are we actually going to deliver something?’ They are the sort of discussions that are invaluable for future planning and activity. Unfortunately I could only attend the social part of what was only the prelude to a full day of discussion as I had to travel to London – a 5am start (thought I’d drop that in) for our Membership Board.

The board was, as always, stimulating – and I am being serious – as we put some of the final touches to our proposed new ‘accredited’ membership grades. These proposals will be going before the AGM on April 22nd which forms part of our National (Spring) Event – if you are a member of Socitm please do have your say. One of the issues that we are aware of and which we will be addressing is that as we broaden our membership, our traditional base of senior managers and CIO’s may appear or be perceived to be diminishing in importance or indeed focus. The concept of ‘networks & communities’ that is being developed will provide networks based on areas of common interest, common issues and may be based upon sector, job role, specific technical areas and so on. We are working on a number of such communities at present, one of which is focussed upon our senior members and support of that particular community. Following this meeting, and in many ways not unrelated, I met with Karl Grundy and Vicky Sargent to discuss future developments around our communications and marketing activity – something we have long known requires a more detailed focus. The following day, Thursday 11th, I was at Northampton with David Goddard, our Head of Systems and Corporate Services, to assess progress on our newly launched web site and to prioritise the outstanding issues. Among other things we were discussing the (then) imminent go live of our online sales and retail module (now live) and the re-programming of our online members data base so that it can be sorted in ways that actually make sense. It was a significant meeting in terms of progress towards a more fully integrated front / back office, a road that we are, at least, now travelling.

Just to address a question that i get asked a lot “Why is the site beta?”

There are some significant elements of functionality in terms of integration , business logic and intelligence that may well not be up to multi national trading organisation standards but , from our perspective, is certainly new, challenging and as yet it is still beta.

A rush down from Northampton to London to meet with Dave Briggs from Learning Pool (@davebriggs if you are on twitter) Always a pleasure, always stimulating and I think we have found a way for our respective organisations to move forward together in a number of areas which I am looking forward to getting stuck into. Well that was last week...trying to get up to speed with this week now......

And here is something you may want to consider.....

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