As a cockney IT reseller, I was more than a little intrigued to see the government issue a mega-tender recently looking for suppliers to provide IT goods and services to every single one of London’s 32 boroughs (plus the City).
There are many reasons why this offends me. As a Londoner, the idea that the complex technology needs of the people of Brent, Bexley and Barnet are the same is insultingly facile. As an SMB, the launch of yet another überdeal that will surely be solely the domain of the big multinational SIs is highly detrimental to my business.
But as an East Ender, the typical west London bias of this shoddy tender chilled me to my bones. For a start, the process is led by Westminster, backed by Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, with the trio of hoity-toity W-postcoders getting to decide who will supply the entirety of our fair capital with its IT gear.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, the bid outline couldn’t even spell correctly the fine boroughs of “Harringey” and “Waltham Forrest”. The latter, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, is the home of the East End’s oldest and least unlikeable football club: Leyton Orient.
And, much like Wet Sham’s bid to move into the Olympic Stadium, if those Bertie Big Spuds resellers from across London think they can move in on my manor without a fight, they’ve got another think coming.
Virgin on the ridiculous
Mancunian hosting outfit UKFast can usually be relied upon to put out some pretty entertaining marketing bumpf.
But they really outdid themselves with the revelation that the head honcho picks up bizness tips while out jogging with Richard Branson on the Virgin chief’s private island paradise. The firm takes a pleasingly relaxed attitude to the preciseness of statistics (staff? Somewhere between 100 and 200. Revenue? Somewhere between £20m and £100m and £infinitym) but is thankfully less laissez-faire about the serious business of growing the company.
And who better to advise on expansion than the leader of the £13bn Virgin empire and long-time ally of UKFast chief exec Lawrence Jones?
“It was from one of our conversations while having a jog around Necker Island, when we talked about the challenges of managing growth, that Richard suggested following the original Virgin style by splitting UKFast into separate divisions,” revealed Jones.
Fair play to the lad, but I can’t help but think that if I was on an exclusive sun-kissed utopia, I might take the opportunity to forget about managing the growth of my IT reseller for a few days.
And if I did end up having a chinwag with Branson, I’d be more likely to ask him whether he regrets all that balloon nonsense and what Usain Bolt’s like in real life.
Regular reader(s) may remember that I reported a while back on Facebook charging users up to $100 for the privilege of sending a message to founder Mark Zuckerberg.
This week brought news that paid-for messages are being introduced in this sceptred isle. According to complex calculations (such as how many followers a person has) and what the BBC describes as “a secret ‘fame’ algorithm”, the social networking site has worked out how much various celebs are worth in private message terms.
Seemingly top of the pile is cherubic Olympic diving dude Tom Daley, who will set you back a whopping £10.68. At the bottom of the heap, a number of lesser lights inhabit the basic the 71p tier, including Robert Peston and the improbably named Cressida Bonas, who is Prince Harry’s girlfriend. Apparently.
Now, I’m as cerebral as the next man (in fact, probably at least twice as cerebral), but I was somewhat nonplussed to see that revered book bloke Salman Rushdie comes in at a hefty £10.08 while ubiquitous joke lady and huge TV star Miranda Hart is at the 71p level.
“You can’t infer someone’s level of celebrity from the numbers,” explained Facebook mouthpiece Iain Mackenzie, helpfully.
Having successfully kept it real for 40-plus years and counting, I’d just like to reassure my fan(s) that I’ve asked Facebook to ensure my messages are kept free of charge.
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