Zurich

Just some house keeping, I’m off to Zurich next week with work, so posts may or may not be forthcoming. You know what it’s like on business trips 😉

I’m packing all the usual thinkpad and wireless stuff and my Treo 600 has it’s 256mb SD card loaded with mp3’s.

Flying BA out of Manchester, 5.30am (gulp) Monday morning and I’ve been given some hints on some good bars by one of the Client Directors of Energis.

If you know of some must see sites in the city let me know.

Nokia rivals raise stakes in Symbian

Nokia was foiled in it’s attempt to buy a larger share of the British software maker Symbian. Sony Ericsson, Siemens and Panasonic all bought shares restricting Nokia’s control to less than 50%.

That’s an interesting development, as it show’s that Sony Ericsson etc. think that Symbian is too good to let Nokia control it. Nokia uses the software in it’s series 60 phones and obviously sees the software as important to it’s future.

CPE brand doesn’t matter to buyers

Last month, the Webtorials community was asked to respond to a survey concerning their plans and preferences for customer premises equipment (CPE). [via Network World Fusion]

One of the key factors for providing a reliable service is MTBF. Mean time before failure gives you a good view of how good a product is. You want to buy a product that does what it says on the tin and you want to know it’ll go on doing it without any hassle for as long as possible.

Like most peices of technology (and software) we very rarely push it too it’s limit’s so having a huge feature set itsn’t the be all and end all. The key point is it does what is says on the box and it does it for a long time.

I once did a calculation based on how much cisco kit we had in a computer suite and the MTBF for the most common box and it worked out one could fail each six week!

Company Mobiles..who’d have one?

‘Company mobile phone’ low down the perk pecking-order…and nobody really knows who should dish them out…’

Very few companies are giving staff mobile phones as a standard ‘perk’ or even as a work necessity.

Research from silicon.com has revealed that a massive 43.3 per cent of IT workers adopt an almost incredulous ‘I’d be lucky’ attitude when asked about their company’s mobile phone policy, despite the multitude of reasons why such a policy is necessary.

One IT Director told silicon.com: “The difference between work time and personal time is so blurred now, especially for staff who have out-of-hours support responsibilities. Rightly or wrongly, managers now expect most of their staff to be contactable in the event of an urgent business problem and it’s a bit much to expect the employees to pay for this ‘privilege’.” Even with those companies who do offer staff a work mobile phone, there is no consensus over who should manage such a scheme. [via silicon.com]

If you don’t know what to do, I know who does, it’s not rocket science!

Energis reports 2004 profit

Energis claims to have turned a corner, posting its first annual profit since the severe restructuring at the telco in 2002.

For the 12 months to 31 March, it made a pre-exceptional item profit of £10m on revenues of £745m – actually down three per cent year-on-year – compared to a year-ago loss of £369m.

Eamonn O’Hare, CFO at Energis, told silicon.com: “New, post-restructuring Energis has a very different strategy. We are concentrating on a smaller number of larger customers, all in the UK.”

He said the telco now hopes to grow revenues on a high-quality customer base, measuring around 2,000 organisations, down from an all-time high of more than 6,000. As well as holding on to 1990s accounts such as the BBC and Trinity Media, £300m of new, often long-term business won in the past year includes Boots, Centrica, FT Group and Wanadoo. [via silicon.com]

That’s good news for them, Boot’s is an IBM customer and it’s a IBM/Energis partnership running the network. IBM is providing the management of the Entire network with Energis providing the lines.

The PO takes on BT

The Post Office is to use its strong brand, and C&W’s network, to take on BT in the residential phone market with its HomePhone service.

It will join other C&W customers such as Tescos, British Gas and Lloyds bank in offering customer pre-select (CPS) services to homes and small businesses and carve out a chunk of the ex-monopoly’s 21 million customers.

The Post Office will restrict itself to selling the service. It has brought in Inkfish to provide call centre support and Servista to handle customer care and billing. The service is to go live “early next year”, according to a spokesman. [via silicon.com]

After BT split from the Post Office many moons ago, it looks like the Post office is entering the fixed line domestic market place. There’s already loads to choose from Talk Talk, SkyTalk and so on. It may do OK as it’s a brand most people feel it can trust, unless it’s been hurt too badly by the lost mail problems it’s been suffering from.