The Shared Learning Group meeting started with some serious discussion of ensuring that members honour the commitments they make! Then, we discussed and agreed a number of new membership applications.

We received an overview of the planned implementation of OCS (Office Communications Server) for the group, and more general demonstration of Unified Communications applications from Microsoft and its partner, Nortel.

At five 'o' clock on Tuesday evening I retired to my hotel room for another of the now regular teleconferences on Socitm business, this time with Rose and Adrian. I think we've now put everything in-place for next month's crucial AGM meeting. We also dealt with other business that, for the time being, must remain confidential.

Nigel Bates from Hedra (Programme Office) has been visiting Chief and Senior Executives of Member Authorities to consult upon sponsoring the SLG's activities.

With about half of them so far visited, all have seen value in membership but, understandably, are keen to see business cases, want real evidence of deliverables and us not to communicate as technical work-streams. The top interests were in integration, performance management and personalisation of citizen service, but there was interest in all areas of our activity.

My own view is that, time and again, "all roads are leading to" data quality; it really is the key to service efficiency and, together with identity management and authentication, to shared service delivery and personalisation of citizen services. On a Local Authority's journey to organisational maturity it eventually reaches the stage when it finally comprehends these facts!