I started a week with a briefing from John Defoe on the "Home Hub" initiative that is being developed by the Microsoft Shared Learning Group's Technology in the Home Work-stream. I can't say much about it, at the present, but will report on it as the project is firmed-up.
That was followed by my weekly updates meeting with the Head of ICT.I hadn't realised that, as part of the Building 1000 programme, we have a project to scan and electronically distribute post.
This morning Caboodle staff were informed by its acting General Manager that the Council has agreed with Steria to wind-up Caboodle Solutions. I then sent a short memo to the company's personnel
We are writing to advise you that Newham Council and Steria have reluctantly decided to wind-up Caboodle Solutions.
Developments in the Council's IT infrastructure, and the implications of the impending move to a new headquarters location, have continued to erode the business that can be provided by the Council, and we have unfortunately not been able to counteract that by growing sufficiently our external business.
Our expectation is that Caboodle's staff jobs can be protected, with Steria secondees redeployed into the Steria business, and permanent staff transferring to the Council's ICT Service.
We are both deeply disappointed at the position in which we find ourselves – having been passionately committed to the vision that gave rise to the Caboodle venture – but we now have to face reality.
We are only just starting to deal with the details of the transfer of the business, but will keep you fully informed of developments. We will be glad to deal with any queries you may have, and will address you directly as soon as we have fully clarified the process. In the meantime, it's essential that Caboodle maintains service continuity for the Council, and we ask for your understanding and co-operation.
I chaired the "Wider Public Health Portal" Project Board, and am pleased to say that we are on-target to launch in mid-November.
Anite brought its partner, Quest, in to present its new solution for archiving and managing e-mail as part of a Corporate Records Management Solution. Well over a year ago, we contracted with Anite for a solution, then known as "@ftermail", from a little known New Zealand company, which was subsequently taken-over by Quest.
The delivery of the solution that we specified and procured was, as a result, delayed to the point that we were on the verge of cancelling the contract, but I'm glad to say that Quest now has a development that meets our requirements, and which should be deployable in time for our move to Building 1000.
As well as enabling the categorisation of e-mails and attachments in accordance with the TNA standard (evolving to MoReq2, once it is ratified) the system will ensure that there will only be a single instance of any e-mail or attachment stored. We expect to achieve significant storage savings.
Colleagues and I then met with representatives from Geo Networks to discuss their proposal to extend our fibre network to Building 1000 via the Sewers. This is one of a number of options being considered.
I finished my day in the office in a meeting with managers from the Council's Parking Service. We agreed the transfer of staff who support the Parking IT system into Newham ICT, which has been on our agenda for the last two years!
I left the office at 6.30 to drive down to Tenterden, where Kent County Council was to host our Microsoft Shared Learning Group Quarterly Review Meeting, over the next two days.