My first appointment, today, was at the Local Gov TV offices at Turnham Green where I did 3 minutes of filming on sharing data securely and related Socitm support.

In the street outside, as I was arriving for the filming, I bumped into Simon Hills of StartHere – and learned that StartHere’s offices are right next door. As the filming took no time at all, I therefore popped next-door for a cup of coffee and a catch-up, when finished.

StartHere is “extremely keen to work with forward thinking authorities on developing a model for the collection, maintenance and deployment of information about local services – a model that is effective and sustainable”. Newham is one such Authority, of course, but if you think yours is, too, please do contact [email protected]

Back in the City, I met with Terry Burt, CEO of 2e2, and his colleagues, Andre Tytheridge and Nathan Marke, at their offices in Gracechurch Street, to discuss the Newham Telecoms Convergence project, and potential opportunities arising. They kindly offered me a base when I am working in the City, which I may well take advantage of as it has to be better than working in Coffee shops, and drinking lots of coffee, between meetings!

In the afternoon, the HMRC’s offices at Somerset House, on the Strand, provided the meeting location for a new working party set-up by the Public Sector Infrastructure Team, to consider Unified Communications requirements.

I was delighted to attend, as it’s something I’ve been urging the Team to do for some time. However, I can’t claim any credit for this eventuality; the real driver is the Ocean procurement for the Public Sector Network development. As well as Government departments, the CESG, Audit Commission and Welsh Office, Siemens, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and Mitel are represented on the Group.

A requirement of the PSN is that suppliers’ products must interwork - If they don’t they will not be able to supply products for the PSN - it’s therefore clearly in suppliers’ interests to co-operate.

As always, I was concerned to establish a vision (for Unified Communications, in this instance) before stepping back to agree the requirements for PSN Phase One (the Ocean procurement), which are bound to be tactical. I’m pleased to say that I was supported in this by the representatives from OGC Buying Solutions, who are leading the programme, and committed to following an “open Book” process.

There was some agreement that a layered model, enabling engagement according to capability and infrastructure and security requirements, is needed.

Apparently, we are required to produce an “exemplar” by January. There was some discussion of Exemplars and Champions, but I’m still not totally clear what we’re supposed to produce, ‘though it needs to facilitate Ocean standards to be base-lined by April.