garrylengthorn

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

31-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm

So a legend died today. Millwall defender, Barry Kitchener, who played over 600 games for his only British club! May he rest in peace!

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Millwall were away to Cardiff today and clearly big Kitch’s passing inspired them to an excellent point. Unfortunately this point might not be enough come the end of the season.

A bit of clothes shopping today. Not top of my agenda on a Saturday, but sometimes needs must!

Today is going to be the last of my blog for a week or so, as I’ve decided to give it a rest over Easter so that I can have a break and look at revamping it. I’m sure all my readers could do with a break, as well!

But, it will be back, as March has been my most popular Month with over 1000 reads! I can only say a big thanks once again and hope that you all have a fantastic Easter! Enjoy.

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30-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 at 6:29 am

It’s Friday, but it’s a special Friday, as now on holiday. How I am looking forward to a well earned break!

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No football again last night, as still not fully recovered from my rib injury, but hoping that I can start jogging in the next few days.

This morning, we had another move meeting at Bank. Everything looks on schedule for our opening in April, but no doubt, there will be some last minute panic!

After a meeting early afternoon to discuss Service Management, it was then all about closing out some final pre-holiday issues.

There was some final supplier negotiations to close out, which included a Samsung monitor deal, Cisco kit for our global WiFi rollout and an extension of our global Cisco support contract.

To close the day, a leaving speech for our Database Manager, Jason Learmount, who moves on to pastures new.

Wow. What a day!

Next week is my nieces wedding. I’m really looking forward to Keeley and Will’s big day, so can now go home, relax and recharge my batteries for a few days before we get in to party mode!

Enjoy your weekends!

30-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 at 5:54 am

Well, as it was such a lovely evening last night, I went to the pub and had a drink with some colleagues, as well as my former boss, Dave Timoney. If you get a chance, you should read his blog

Not always a good idea to drink during the week, as woke up a bit heavy headed this morning. Not the greatest way to start a Thursday full of meetings.

As suggested yesterday, I was back in a much more positive frame of mind.

The day started with a meeting with Avaya to discuss voice and video conferencing, as we are looking at alternatives to how we provide a scalable solution globally that complements our existing investment in Avaya, as our telephony product, and Polycom, as our video product.

Next, a quick one to one, with one of my staff, Sam Rosario, who does account management for us. It was a brief update due to my schedule, but enough time to update him on the process that I am following to recruit his new line manager. The recruitment process hopefully concludes tomorrow!

A quick lunchtime meeting to then discuss how we craft an appropriate local hands support contract for Dubai, that we can then use as a model globally.

The afternoon was then filled with a meeting with Good Technology to discuss some opportunites regarding public relations and press opportunites on the back of our recent deployment.

Next up was one of our suppliers to see if we could close out a European deal for a large batch of Samsung monitors.

The day was finished with a meeting to discuss fixed assets, on the back of a recent audit.

Phew!!

As I write, I am also just trialling the use of iPASS on my iPod. For those not familier with iPASS, it’s a hosted application that allows you to automatically log on to over 700,000 wireless hotspots globally at a fixed price per month. I can see this being a really useful tool for those staff across the business who are forever travelling and need to use wireless access points in hotels, on trains and at airports.

In a moment I off home for a well earned break and to test iPASS!

29-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Well, as it was such a lovely evening last night, I went to the pub and had a drink with some colleagues, as well as my former boss, Dave Timoney. If you get a chance, you should read his blog

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Not always a good idea to drink during the week, as woke up a bit heavy headed this morning. Not the greatest way to start a Thursday full of meetings.

As suggested yesterday, I was back in a much more positive frame of mind.

The day started with a meeting with Avaya to discuss voice and video conferencing, as we are looking at alternatives to how we provide a scalable solution globally that complements our existing investment in Avaya, as our telephony product, and Polycom, as our video product.

Next, a quick one to one, with one of my staff, Sam Rosario, who does account management for us. It was a brief update due to my schedule, but enough time to update him on the process that I am following to recruit his new line manager. The recruitment process hopefully concludes tomorrow!

A quick lunchtime meeting to then discuss how we craft an appropriate local hands support contract for Dubai, that we can then use as a model globally.

The afternoon was then filled with a meeting with Good Technology to discuss some opportunites regarding public relations and press opportunites on the back of our recent deployment.

Next up was one of our suppliers to see if we could close out a European deal for a large batch of Samsung monitors.

The day was finished with a meeting to discuss fixed assets, on the back of a recent audit.

Phew!!

As I write, I am also just trialling the use of iPASS on my iPod. For those not familier with iPASS, it’s a hosted application that allows you to automatically log on to over 700,000 wireless hotspots globally at a fixed price per month. I can see this being a really useful tool for those staff across the business who are forever travelling and need to use wireless access points in hotels, on trains and at airports.

In a moment I off home for a well earned break and to test iPASS!

28-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Less than a month now to go to our move to London. Really starting to look forward to this now and our new environment, as well as the move party on the Friday. All in my birthday week!

On that note, a big 50th birthday wish to Linda Gradwell. Linda works for my team in Manchester and was my first recruitee at SThree many years ago. She is a wonderful lass and I hope she gets spoilt by her colleagues up north today.

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Today was yet another glorious sunny day in London. Clearly our summer has come early again and we should enjoy this before the normal rain and gloom sets in for the summer months.

It has also been a manic day at work with long back to back meetings around our challenges as a function with projects and management of work, as well as our challenge to deliver a coherant IT Infrastructure strategy that can deliver some short term gains for the business, but also deliver a platform for future enhancements.

I won’t deny that my usual positive attitude was a bit dented today, as I really think we have some challenges to deliver some of the technology we need in line with our business expectations and those of the CIO, but tomorrow’s another day, and, as usual, I will come back in a positive mood to work out just how best we do this.

On a positive note, we got the green light to expand our existing Good Technology estate to 2000 licenses, as the first stage of the project has been so successful.

As it’s such a nice evening, I am off to the pub with my colleagues and my previous director, to have a beer or two!

27-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Well Monday was a late night at work and I eventually got home around 8.30pm. I tend not to work too late these days, as I can quite easily be effective at home, as I am in the office, using my Good Technology app to keep on top of my emails and approvals. Last night though, I took the opportunity to do my expenses and to shred more old paperwork!

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My eyes are certainly starting to feel a lot less dry today, as I have been using drops every 2 or 3 hours since my appointment yesterday. I must admit that I do still find it remarkable that I had my dailies in for 5 weeks! I’d laugh, if I did not keep considering the long term damage I may have caused!

Last night, I also took the opportunity to have a bit more of a play with my Windows 7 mobile. Although I spent most of my time playing with the Nokia Drive application, there appear to be some nice features around Xbox, where you can play on line at home with your actual Xbox, pause the game, and then continue it while roaming with your mobile. As I don’t have an Xbox, I cannot test this!

Although I had a number of my standard weekly meetings (it seems) around Exchange 2010 and our new desktop build, today’s schedule was intertwined with meetings to do with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Yammer.

At the back end of last year, we made an investment in the Websense DLP product and the project is in the initial definition stage. Our intention is to use it’s capabilities to protect our key business asset (data) and ensure that we are compliant with it’s use.

In terms of Yammer, we are looking at the benefits of using the Enterprise version of the product, which would enable us to exploit the added benefits in our secure environment. Early days on this, but some nice features.

To close out today, a bit more shredding before trying to catch up my email at home.

26-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm

So another busy week ahead after a tiring weekend in Amsterdam. This morning, my first appointment of the day was at the Eye Hospital in Sutton.

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This was a follow up to the viral infection I got 4 weeks ago.

I now know the reason why I have had problems and that is because of my daily lenses, which I normally use on an adhoc basis.

Bearing in mind how quickly daily lenses become dry and that I have already been examined by 3 people over 4 weeks ago, it was discovered that my last set of lenses have been in both my eyes permanently for about 5 weeks!

It’s bizarre how I did not realise, the doctors did not notice and that only my left eye got infected! This is not good. Fingers crossed, this has not caused lasting damage!

I was due to go to the Microsoft offices in Reading directly after, but my two scheduled meetings were cancelled, which was lucky, as I was at the hospital for 2 hours!

With a hastily rearranged day, I found myself some valuable time to catch up with a number of priorities in the Wimbledon office.

One of the interesting technical news updates today was the fact that Wi-Fi has now been announced for all London Overground stations in the summer. This follows the recent news regarding the underground network.

Only South West trains to follow now, which would be really great for my own travelling and online work needs.

My rearranged schedule gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up my email and approvals backlog.

This rest of this week already looks busy!

25-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

So after a late Saturday night in Amsterdam, which was exacerbated by the clocks changing, it’s the end of another SThree conference weekend.

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As is now normal at SThree conferences, we had an exclusive club to ourselves with a free bar. As you can imagine, it was quite lively by the time l left with some colleagues just after midnight.

We wandered back to the hotel via a bar and some other venues we did Friday night meaning a relatively early night in the scheme of things! Saying that, we started drinking just after 5 o’clock!

This morning, there was time for a brief stroll around in the sunshine around the narrow cobbled streets and canals before heading back to Schiphol via the train.

After what is such a short flight to Gatwick, it then become a painful journey home.

Firstly, it took us ages to get through passport control. Almost as long as the Amsterdam flight!

After that Matts Cook’s Citroen broke down about 2-3 miles from home due to the clutch!

Almost exactly one hour, the AA arrived and whilst Matt was towed home, Grainne and the kids picked me up and we went out to dinner.

A Lengthorn reunion! A fun weekend.

24-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2012 at 7:02 am

It’s an early morning start on a Saturday, at our annual SThree conference in Amsterdam.

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This morning, our CEO opened the conference and, as ever, it was a motivating start highlighting the conference theme of Gen Y versus Gen X.

For those who may have missed this in a previous blog, generation Y are those individuals who are under 30. Above thirty and you are generation X.

It was an interesting morning session that included Alex Smith, our CFO, giving an update on our financial picture, Gary Elden and Natasha Clarke on our strategy, as well as a number of speakers taking us through the theme of generation Y versus generation X and the challenges and opportunities this brings to our organisation.

After a much needed lunch, we returned for a short Q&A session followed by the annual sales and non-sales awards.

Today again highlighted the absolute importance to us in terms of delivering leading edge technology that embraces this whole consumerisation theme associated with the fact that 42% of staff in the work place are generation Y and technology savvy wanting to use social media and the latest tools to do their job. No pressure and we just want to do this across more cities and no doubt more sectors!

And that’s it for another 12 months. All that remains is the after party and no doubt it will build on the fun that started last night in this capital of fun.

Most of what went on tour will stay on tour, but let’s just say that after, albeit surprisingly an excellent steak dinner in a tourist restaurant, we had a few beers, visited a local coffee shop, had a browse around the local district and then had a few more beers before sensibly retiring just after midnight!

Round 2 tonight!

23-Mar-12

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

So it’s Friday and I’m off to our SThree annual conference in Amsterdam so it’s a very early blog.

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This year the event is being covered on Twitter for the first time, which is great that we are embracing social media. In fact the CEO, Russell Clements, regularly tweets. Follow #sthreeams2012 for updates

My blog tomorrow will cover the event and the Friday prelude to our annual party on Saturday.

Last night I spent a bit of time configuring my new Windows mobile device and I have to say that there are some neat features. My favourite at the moment is the speech recognition feature that recognises a song that is playing and then directs you to marketplace to buy it!

Unfortunately it don’t contain the Wi-Fi hotspot feature yet, but apparently that is coming in a future release!

It’s been a busy week, but the conference is the event of the year for our business,so let’s find a but more energy for the ride ahead and I will update you all tomorrow!

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