I had a great holiday, thank you....

While you were enjoying the snow, I made do with top-down motoring under Spain's cloudless skies!
However, it was back to Earth with a bump in today's traffic jams after cruising the empty roads of Spain and Portugal.

I'm glad to see that the Building Schools for the Future contract award has been announced. This was probably Newham's biggest ICT procurement, and represented a great example of joined-up working between the Education IT Advisory and Support Service (ITASS) and Newham ICT with continuous engagement from the commencement of the programme and throughout the phases of procurement.

We identified numerous opportunities for sharing infrastructures and capabilities such as federating Active Directories to facilitate unified sign-on across the two estates, and linking IP telephony systems to provide free calls between schools and the council's offices. There are also possibilities for sharing the council's fibre infrastructure with RM to reduce telecommunications costs, and developments of the LGfL (London Grid for Learning) and LPSN (London Public Services Network) may also generate further opportunities for sharing and efficiencies.

The infrastructure solution proposed by RM largely mirrors that of the council's ICT strategy, based primarily on Microsoft technologies from the foundations of storage and processing, to the new and upcoming genre of collaboration and presence applications.

SharePoint and Office Communicator feature strongly in both designs along with ubiquitous converged IP communications infrastructures using wired and wireless networking to facilitate mobile and flexible working, teaching, and learning. There may also be opportunities to share disaster recovery solutions which could be linked to potential developments with the Olympics infrastructure, as well as possibilities in the CCTV and Facilities Management arenas.

Much of the day was spent in the usual post-holiday catch-up, but I also had two interviews concerning my role in Socitm developments - one with Computer Weekly and the other with The Insider (Newham's staff magazine). I also arranged to meet Adrian Hancock (Socitm Operations Manager) for a catch-up on Wednesday.