I\u2019d planned to spend yesterday and today at the CMA Conference, held at The Congress Centre in Great Russell Street but, for a variety of reasons, didn\u2019t get there until today\u2019s morning coffee break.\nThere was some work to do on weightings and tolerances for the Microsoft software procurement and in reviewing bids for the GC Benefits Realisation fund, besides which my correspondence backlog had gone over a week again.\nGeoff, Richard and I met with Newham\u2019s Head of Procurement to discuss and agree our procurement approach for the NTC network commercialisation. We decided upon a negotiated competition, in preparation for which we\u2019ll develop our market analysis, finalise technical options and advertise for proposals to meet desired outcomes based or sale of lease of network.\nAt one point yesterday, I found myself talking on the \u2018phone to Adrian, who was in a storage room at Socitm\u2019s Northampton offices, surrounded by mounds of reports, minutes and other documentation dating back, probably, to the formation of the Society. Clearly, another project looms; we\u2019ll need to sort-out retention policies and Electronic Document Records management for the Society, but it also occurred to us that we need an Archivist to document Socitm\u2019s history, before disposing of everything.\nAfter having popped-in to a Newham colleague\u2019s Farewell drinks do in Stratford, I went on to The Chemistry Club, at Sartoria. Francis Maude was the speaker.\nToday (Wednesday) morning, the oft-postponed GC Benefits Realisation Fund Assessment Teleconference was held. The IDeA did an excellent job in reviewing and documenting the bids, of which there were 193, for our consideration. Six were agreed, unaltered, for funding, and a further four were agreed, but at less than was applied for. It was agreed that a further twelve required further information & evaluation. Forty-six of the bids were for the Libra project (for youth offending \u2013 \u201ctopped and tailed\u201d for different YOTs). It was also agreed the IDeA should discuss some funding, probably of a pilot.\nThe Wednesday morning CMA Conference networking break was followed by a session entitled \u201cReal Strategies for \u201cHyper Connectivity\u201d. I felt like I\u2019d entered a time-warp.\nIt seemed to me that speakers wanted to hold back the tide; there was a reluctance to recognise that convergence is here; the words said \u201csweat your assets\u201d, but I was pretty sure they meant \u201chelp us to continue to milk our sunk investments, rather than deploying the infrastructure you really need\u201d; technical solutions to managing limited bandwidth to stop users gobbling it for Internet radio were advised, rather than recognising the fundamental cultural and management shift required for anytime, anywhere working enabled by Unified Communications.\nJeremy Hunt, the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, spoke a good deal of sense, and clearly knew his subject. I liked his analogy of the Internet as the digital equivalent of previous trade routes.\nHe did, however, cause some consternation by saying, as part of the answer to a question, that \u201cNortel had withdrawn as a first tier 2012 sponsor\u201d. After lunch and, I imagine, some feverish checking, it was clarified that this most certainly was not the case!\nThe session following lunch \u2013 \u201cThe future\u2026 moves changes and opportunities\u201d \u2013 was as refreshing as the one before lunch was depressing. Mark Blowers, from Butler Group, did a commendably succinct introduction to the session, comparing our development of network infrastructure to the Winchester Building.\nBob Falconer, CEO of Gamma Telecom, talked about systemic problems in the industry \u2013 over-promising, under-delivering, costs of change, back-loaded costs etc, and suggested an alternative approach to procurement, and his company\u2019s white label service.\nStuart Hill, Vice President and Director of BT\u2019s London 2012 delivery programme, gave a truly inspiring presentation about BT\u2019s approach, as the Tier One Telecoms Sponsor. \u201cReliability ahead of heroes\u201d, \u201cTreat every amber as red\u201d.\nKevin Russell, CEO of \u201c3\u201d Mobile highlighted some of the absurdities in mobile data regulation and pricing, and illustrated the major daily peak in mobile data traffic that\u2019s apparently down to home use.\nYou may have seen today\u2019s announcement of new Government Policy on Open Source software. A number of journalists have been enquiring after my views!\nWell, I\u2019ve had a couple of long days so these aren\u2019t fully thought-through, but my more-or-less \u201coff the cuff\u201d reactions are:\nOpen Standards are definitely required.\nI don\u2019t like the term \u201cOpen Source\u201d. It\u2019s misleading; what many people mean is \u201canything but Microsoft\u201d; few businesses actually use open source directly \u2013 they buy software derived from open source that has been commercially packaged and sold with support, which, in practice, is little different to licensed software.\nNevertheless, competition is great for keeping suppliers focussed on delivering customer value, and \u201cOpen Source\u201d has certainly played its part.\nAll the same, software is only one part of the Total Cost of Ownership equation; don\u2019t consider it in isolation, but as part of the full TCO and lifecycle costs.\n\u201cOpen Source\u201d software development, in my experience, lags proprietary development by several years. I don\u2019t think we could achieve the anytime, anywhere fixed and mobile infrastructure with tele-presence we require, now, for flexible and new ways of working using only Open Source.\nI agree with reuse, and it\u2019s a very significant factor in the Microsoft Public Sector software licensing project I\u2019m involved in (and not allowed to talk about).\nIf it works for you \u2013 fine. I wouldn\u2019t rule-out so-called \u201cOpen Source\u201d; Newham has used it for some applications since the time it did its deal with Microsoft (probably the first UK public sector procurement of Microsoft as a supplier) and continues to do so.