Day of reckoning
I was thoroughly astounded (and a little emotional) to hear that 23 May has been designated ‘MSP Day'.
The more cynical among you may already be dismissing this as no more than a marketing ploy by the firm behind it, security and backup vendor Barracuda Networks which, completely coincidentally, is on a big push to convince managed services providers to sell more of its stuff.
Not I. In my eyes, the ability of MSPs to proactively manage and assume responsibility for a predefined set of services on behalf of their clients - all on a contractual, ongoing, 24/7 basis - has gone unrecognised for too long.
The blurb for the event also played to my love of stirring, Churchillian-style dialogue.
"On 23 May, competitors will become collaborators, and enemies can be friends (or frenemies at the very least) as the IT industry gets together to share successes, best practices, and insights in order to give businesses in the UK the best possible experience of managed IT services," it read.
My only concern for Barracuda is that 23 May already hosts a packed field of other causes. According to the unimpeachable source that is the ‘Days of the Year' website, ‘MSP Day' will be going up against ‘Turtle Day', Title Track Day' and ‘Lucky Penny Day', among others.
It will be intriguing to see who will win out in the race for public affections between turtles and firms that provide all-you-can eat remote management and monitoring services.
The inevitable enslavement of the human race by shiny metal automatons has moved a step closer to reality with news of the creation of a robot recruiter.
‘Vera', which is already being used by global corporations such as PepsiCo and Raiffeisen Bank, is an AI-based software technology with the ability to hire humans.
Invented by two Russian whiz kids, Vera scours online CVs and cover letters on five job sites to locate qualified candidates, CNBC reports. She then calls potential applicants to confirm their interest, before going on to arrange an interview where she uses speech recognition to ask and answer questions about the role and the company.
Outstanding candidates are then passed onto the company's HR manager for the final hiring decision.
"Vera can do in one working day what a traditional talent source would need two weeks," said Alexander Uraskin, Vera's 30-year-old co-founder.
I would consider enlisting Vera to assist with our next round of hires, but the members of Dodgi's HR team are probably robotic enough already.
Voice of a generation
The channel is full of people with hidden talents. You may know me as the outspoken boss of a Dagenham-based IT dealer, but by night I double up as a jazz saxophonist, and am also a renowned authority on medieval battles.
But one security vendor boss I met recently boasts an even more interesting sideline - as a narrator of children's bedtime stories.
Famed for his cut-glass accent and baritone register, the suave executive in question supplements his day job by taking commissions for audiobooks aimed at youngsters. To spare his blushes (the poor chap is already a laughing stock among his colleagues), I will protect his identity.
One wonders why he's not packed in his current day job evangelising end-to-end, holistic cybersecurity solutions altogether. I can only imagine that providing the voiceover for the latest range of Brothers Grimm CDs isn't as lucrative as you might think. I just hope he offers all his customers a free copy of anti-virus software.
I may not agree with all of Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin's opinions, but when it comes to social media, the straight-talking pub baron is spot on.
Martin grabbed the headlines last month when he switched off Wetherspoon's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, branding the perception that social media is essential for business "a myth".
Martin expanded on his thoughts later in the month at a catering equipment conference, and I think CRN readers of a similar vintage to me will identify 100 per cent with what he said.
"Just before we [turned off social media], my nephew, who's 18, came to stay for a few months and he's forgotten how to f***ing talk!," Martin is reported to have said by everyone's favourite food equipment trade magazine, Food Service Equipment Journal.
"He's always on his machine! And I think there's something wrong - people are frustrated with other people being on it a lot, but a lot of people are frustrated with the amount of time they personally spend on it."
Well said, Timbo, and I can honestly say that Dodgi would do exactly the same thing, if it weren't for the fact that we've already been banned from all three platforms for our repeated trolling of Plaistow Pete's PC Palace.
■ Dave Diamond-Geezer, director of Digital Online Deals and Global Integration (Dodgi) of Dagenham Ltd.
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