Down the Procurement Pub with BravoSolution, Spend360, HCSA, dxw and Shells

Another exciting week with the BravoSolution conference at Wotton House in Surrey, and a fine spread of delegates from all over the world. But just before the event started, Jason Busch and I had a quick pint at a very lovely pub in the Surrey Hills (but also 5 metres from the main A24 road) with Paddy Lawton. Paddy runs Spend360, the spend analytics firm who are doing all sorts of clever AI stuff, which we will tell you about soon.

I thought my phone camera was on some sort of “atmospheric misty” setting after taking this. Later I discovered the lens was dirty. Oh well, it looks quite good, don’t you think?

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I am truly sorry to be missing the HCSA conference and dinner this year - diary clash with non-exec duties unfortunately. It’s on the 2nd and 3rd of November which unbelievably is less than two weeks away, and is being held in the also very lovely (if just a little pretentious at times) town of Harrogate.  The agenda looks strong with Jim Mackey, CEO of NHS Improvement, a tremendous keynote speaker, as well as leading sector procurement practitioners. Lots on the Future Operating Model too, which should be interesting. So I’m looking for one or two “special correspondents” to report for us from the event. Volunteers please – you will be paid in beer / wine / slap up lunch / dinner! (I’m serious).

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Harry Metcalfe, MD of digital services firm dxw, came to our attention last year when he criticised – constructively we should say – some aspects of government IT procurement. Now, his firm has launched GovSite, a “simple out-of-the-box website service that can be set up without any development. With it, "public sector organisations can quickly and cost-effectively publish information and engage with their users”.  It is a configurable WordPress site as a service that “provides rich functionality and has been designed specifically for use by public sector teams”.  Actually, perhaps we will move Spend Matters onto this …

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A real musical dilemma this week. Do we feature the death of the amazing Rod Temperton, one of the most successful British song-writers of all time, yet a very anonymous man? How about Boogie Nights, Thriller, and Off the Wall – that’s a fairly good threesome to put on your musical cv. Or we could comment on the Nobel Prize for Dylan (we’re in favour). Then we have the 82-year-old Leonard Cohen releasing a new album, which is being described as a work of genius.

But instead of the amazing old guys, and given our mission of introducing you to new music that will keep you looking hip and current with your friends and family, let us introduce you to Shells. She is a young British artist with a beautiful voice and an international background who has produced a handful of strong tracks, the latest of which (Jailbird) will take her to the next level of fame and fortune. Listen twice and this will get to you, I promise.

 

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