March, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    Wow: Joe gets it!



    I just read Joe Wilcox’s Microsoft Monitor: People Ready entry and I was blown away. I had to read it twice because it was so spot on. I think he hits the right chord when saying it’s something we can all relate to – at least I hope so. Software can have a positive role to play in how people can get stuff done better. Two examples I like as they’re companies I can relate to 



    Even my mum gets these when I try to explain the power of software to her. They’re companies we both know who are providing better customer experiences and enabling their people through software.


    When Joe comments that businesses treat IT as a cost centre rather than a profit centre I nearly fell off my chair. That’s it – in a nutshell. Software really can help businesses do more through enabling their employees.


    Finally, Joe comments that the TV ad he saw didn’t mention products – hallelujah. The products are there to back this up but right now we really just need to show people that software can make a significant impact for good in business. Then I can tell you about the products…

    Off to finish the last of St Paddy’s Guinness.

  • Steve Clayton

    People Ready Business


    "Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of manage¬ment don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.” Colin Powell

    Microsoft announced a major new initiative today called People Ready Business. It focuses very much on the people inside businesses and the impact they can have. What does that mean and why is it important? Well you can read the whitepaper and check out the video but my view; the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies captured it nicely. That survey asks employees what they think of the company they work for and it's clear that successful companies rely on successful, motivated employees. No brainer right...well it wouldn't seem so. There is sooooo much more companies can do to get more out of their most powerful asset and make them happier and more valued at the same time. I'll come back to some of the themes from earlier posts I've made but Flexible Working I believe is crucial to the successful organisation of the future.

    Software has an important part to play but we'll come back to that soon...


  • Steve Clayton

    Off Topic


    Microsoft Alexendria...what?

    check it out - I'm confused too...Engadget blogged it of course

  • Steve Clayton

    Blogging: publishing on it's head?


    Blogging is old news now - well, to those who blog and those who download podcasts and anyone trying to keep up with the explosion of information on the web. Over the last 6 months, blogging (and RSS) is one of the most common topics I've discussed with Microsoft partners, press and just about anyone that will listen. The thing that amazes me about blogging is how quickly it has changed the way I source my "news. For about 4 years was my homepage as I followed the tech industry. Over the last 2 years, has been my homepage as I can quickly keep up with UK, world, weather and most importantly sports news. That's changed again though and is now my homepage - not because I want to push Live but simply because I can bring so much of what I want to read on to one page - and much of what I read and where I source my news is no longer from big publishers. I get my news fix from blogs almost entirely. Why?

    • They're often faster
    • My perception (not always reality) is they offer a less biased view
    • They have humour and characters behind them - e.g. Matthew Stibbe's blog and Office Rocker Darren
    • They allow me to aggregate my news easily
    • For areas I am interested in, they're often more authoritative

    That's not to say the big media companies haven't recognised the trend - in fact the BBC has one of the best guides to blogging/RSS  I have seen. What I think it really interesting though is the way that over a very short space of time, blogs are changing the dynamic of publishing and where people go for their information. Engadget is a great example - pre Engadget, I used to go to a whole host of sites to get my gadget fix. Now, I just go to that one place as they do an amazing job of scouring stories, gathering submissions and providing a brilliant commentary on technology. Even Bill goes there now - good enough for him.... :) There is also a very good article (and ironically now a blog) on this from Trevor Butterworth at

    I guess what I'm saying is that the publishing world is changing amazingly quickly. If you're reading this you probably knew that already though...Bad Language has a good piece of Blogging for Business with some great ground rules.

    My concern...of the 50 blogs I now have in my reader, how do I prioritise? Hmmm

  • Steve Clayton

    Exec Question time


    Just leaving the office this evening and I got a great question from one of our execs to round out the day:

    "what you think the disruptive tech trends will be over the next 3 years in the market?"

    I like these kind of questions, particularly when the answer is needed quickly. Imagine being asked that in the infamous eleveator pitch (have you ever had one of those...). Here is what I came back with - feel free to add, edit, shoot down. Not all are necessairly disruptive but I think they'll all have an intersting impact

    • RFID - not new but definitely getting more airtime as chip prices come down. I await the inevitable privacy backlash. My girlfriend is already asking why London Tube Oyster cards have a chip in them and what it'll be used for. According to the Metro newspaper last week, the 6 week records it can generate were used by the police. It's even on Engadget today so it must be here and now! The RFID Centre is now open in Bracknell just down the road from our office too.


    • WiMAX - I thought we were going to see more of WiMax this year but things seemed to have slowed down a little. WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access up to 30 miles for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles for mobile stations. Compare this to traditional WiFi (802.11) which really operates no further than 100m max. Combine this with VOIP and things become interesting for the mobile phone companies and device makers. I already have a Smartphone with WiFi built in that I can use for VOIP calls so 3G networks may start to be challenged.


    • VOIP - Voice Over IP isn't new and services such as Skype continue to grow in popularity. I haven't made the leap to use VOIP at home myself yet but it's not far away as hybrid phones become more widely available and a few of my friends are using it to call friends in New Zealand and elsewhere with even great video quality. Once I fall behind my friends, I know it's time to invest in some kit :)


    • Shift to 64 bit - the Exchange product team recently announced that the next version of Exchange will be 64 bit only. More and more server kit is already 64 bit and laptops are starting to appear as 64 bit. Interesting challenges will exist though as smaller companies move towards 64 bit and the industry has to show the benefits without going techno mad. Intel has a pretty good paper on The 64 Bit Tipping Point. What are the benefits? Well performance for one, more typically in server scenarios.

     There are a number of other things I added but I'm keen to see if you can guess what they were or have others you should add...or even disagree with these?

Page 2 of 3 (14 items) 123