October, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    Tesco moves into the software market



    Terry and the boys are getting in to software and predictably the press is saying this "pitches them against Microsoft". Oh, that's going to generate so many crap headlines over the next few weeks. Here are my starting attempts:

    • Tesco taking more than apples to Microsoft
    • Tesco offering a tasty new sauce: Open Source
    • Terry's Delight at software launch

    In terms of the software they're bringing to market it's aiming to be around the £20 mark and include office systems, anti virus and photo editing. Much of which you can get these days on the front of a magazine or comes bundled with the zillions of CD's that each new PC ships with. I'm sure the Tesco dudes have this figured out though and it looks as though some of the software will be Open Source flavoured. Formjet who they partner with "acquires territorial rights to 'alternative' software products, and markets, sells, distributes and supports these products in place of the vendor in the UK". Their website lists Ability and Panda as partners who provide Open Source products such as Ability Office.

    On the one hand it's admirable to see Tesco helping to bring software and the power of computing through another distribution mechanism but it also begs the question as to who will provide support for these products...and how? According to The Telegraph it'll be offered via TescoSoftware.com but presumably also via the phone. There is also the earlier point about the differentiation with exiting distribution channels for this kind of software but I guess the fact that you can buy it in any Tesco store may be difference enough. Only time will tell.

    Game on I say as there is still plenty of work to be done to make Britain the digital nation it should be and if Tesco can help with that, welcome in chaps, the water is warm. This is going to be an interesting one to watch.

    Link to BBC NEWS | Business | Tesco moves into software market

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  • Steve Clayton

    Scoble knocked off the top of my recommended list


    Over the last few months I've bored people to death with Naked Conversations as a "must read" so much so that my manager used this is a headline in his recent planning presentation to our entire group. When you put that as a slide title is gets a few laughs if nothing else. Anyway, it's a terrific book that I've bought 10 copies of myself to redistribute and it's changed my views on communications dramatically over the last 3 months. However, I aimlessly walked in to Waterstones bookshop on Oxford Street yesterday and came out with a book that is even more thought provoking - and equally brilliant. It's now going to be what I bore my friends about for the next month. At least.

    The book is called Change the World 9 to 5 and is the second book from a group called We Are What We Do. On the face of it this may sound like tree hugging hippy nonsense but the message the book has and the way they deliver it is fantastic. Here's an example:

    • Challenge Your Business About It's Light's On At Night Policy
      On average this would save 19% of company electricity bills and help save the planet a little.

    If that's too hippy for you, try this one

    • Support Small Businesses
      There is a great article in The Sunday Times business section today about the rise of super malls and their effect on small business. In the UK there are 3.7 million businesses and 99% have fewer than 50 employees. Use your corner shop, your local cab company and your local newsagent.

    This posting doesn't do the book justice as you have to see how it's graphically presented to really get it. I read it from cover to cover in about 20 minutes last night and couldn't help smiling and thinking "I'll do that". Next on my list is to pass the book on (check Action 65 to see how cool this is). They include a great poster to put on the inside door of a toilet cubicle at work which will appear in our offices this week. You can check out all of the ideas here and then go buy a copy from www.wearewhatwedo.org/shop where I found even more cool stuff. Here is my favourite bit

    Skools Stuff - showing kids how small things can make a big impact

    The provide some great materials for schools who want to convey these simple but important messages to kids. I was quite chuffed with my presentation from the UK Partner Conference last week but the Assembly slide show is a work of genius. They also have a teachers lesson plan that I have just sent to 4 friends and family who are teachers. You should do the same - it's a free lesson planned for them. They'll love you for that :)

    I'll leave you with Action 28:

    Be The Change You Want To Be In The World
    Mahatma Gandhi


    This is the most thought provoking book I have read in a very long time. Go buy it. Please :) Thank you :)

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  • Steve Clayton

    My weekend photolog


    More Banksy
    This time in Portman Square in London - a stencil job of Mr Blair with words underneath scratched out. Thank goodness for the smartphone camera eh as this isn't going to be there too long.



    Google Stuff
    I'm surprised I haven't seen these before but spotted in a shop on on Avery Row. We should be doing more of this stuff as I'm starting to see Google's brand in many places - in the Sunday Times where they have ariel pictures and on BA's adverts on bus stops. Subtle but not missed by me (or others) I suspect. I also noticed their ad in the Sunday Times appointments section today which is pretty funky. So much different than any other ad in that paper today.





    One from last week
    My super cool nephew sat with Eleanor Rigby on Stanley Street in Liverpool. You don't know how tricky it was to get him to sit there for more than 2 seconds. Especially after a glass of lemonade in Casa Italia!

    Ethan and Eleanor


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  • Steve Clayton

    Exchange 2007: more training than you can shake a stick at


    I've lost count of the number of people asking me about Exchange 2007 training here in the UK - especially since the Deaks changed roles and moved from the PTS team last month. We've got a new dude on the way in to help partners get to grips with Exchange 2007 but we also have some great resources available for you as UK Partners. Here's what's out there for you:

    So there you have it - lots to keep you busy if you're keen on Exchange and given some of the dramatic changes in the product there is plenty to learn. This is what we're here for - to help you understand the products, turn them in to solutions and make profit selling them - all with as little pain as possible. If this content doesn't hit the mark, tell me else I'll get a crap review and I know you wouldn't want that :)

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