by Richard Steel

Direct House swan song

Mar 22, 20092 mins
IT Leadership

The Socitm Events Group met, on Friday, at Bucks County Council’s offices in Aylesbury. David Membury, of CFDG (Charity Finance Directors’ Group) attended representing the Third Sector. We attended to final details for the Spring National Conference (23rd April) and started planning for the Edinburgh event in earnest.

On Monday I was at France Telecom’s UK Research Laboratories, at Chiswick, to find out about their GPRS Wrist Bands and Healthcare proposition in particular, and Orange’s approach to fixed-mobile convergence in general. Mark Johnson, Chief Executive of Medical Mobile, was in our meeting, as well as a number of Orange personnel.

I was impressed by Medical Mobile’s Vega Wrist Band for supporting people with cognitive disorders. It uses both GPS and GSM for positioning, has a wireless battery recharge facility and customisable screen, which can therefore include clock functions or display photos of carers, for example, is waterproof and has very good audio communications performance.

It seamlessly switches between RF communications and GPRS to provide least cost/ optimal communications and power management. It’s clear that other applications, such as monitoring lone visitors/ cautionary contacts, could benefit from the technology.

There was also a demonstration of fixed/ mobile integration via Wi-Fi, and in presentations and discussion a broad range of opportunities for further discussion and follow-up were apparent.

Steve Jones and I met Wan Lik Lee, Managing Director of Azeus, at Intellect’s offices to discuss potential partnership.

I returned to Direct House for, probably, my last meeting there – Newham ICT is moving to “Newham Dockside” (the new name for Building 1000) this week.

I met Steven Rumble and Peter Smithson from PriceWaterhouseCoopers Assurance Division to discuss the local public sector’s approach to Information Assurance.

PWC delivered the Poynter Report into the Data Loss at HMRC and has developed an approach to assessing and managing Information Assurance that it’s keen to extend to the local public sector, and we discussed the potential for working together.