Down the Procurement Pub with Sherry, Cabinet Office, IBM, Basware and Petite Meller

OK look, I was walking past this restaurant in Covent Garden, minding my own business this week, when this guy with a red tie on popped his head out, said “have you got a few minutes to help me”? And next thing I know, he's talking about doing a sherry tasting, can we try the five varieties on the wine list? Maybe a drop of Sauternes, who knows, perhaps the odd glass of red, you need a bit of food to go with that really, nice piece of duck, bit of pate, know what I mean? Well, let's face it, would have been rude to say "no"  wouldn’t it?

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Congratulation to Carl Meewezen, who is one of the undoubted good guys of government procurement. He is the data guru who has made sure that the Cabinet Office savings figures are not the total b****cks that we might have expected, thanks to his analytical skills and ethical views! He has now been appointed to the Board of Crown Commercial Service, as Director, Business Services. He will be leading the CCS change programme, along with IT, customer relations, strategy, performance and comms, including data, systems etc. Good luck Carl!

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It’s been a tough start to the year for some of the large IT companies in our industry. We cover this in more detail on our Plus subscription service, but IBM for instance announced weak Q4 results (but still gave their CEO a whopping great bonus , whilst Basware’s figures were also somewhat “jam tomorrow” from investors' perspective. To be fair, Basware’s shares performed very well last year, but that is not yet reflected in strong revenue growth, which is the expectation. SAP is another firm that had a poor 2014 in share price terms, but this week they announced their “biggest thing for 20 years” – their core Business Suite will run on HANA, their new technology platform. I hope and suspect my technology guru friends at Spend Matters US will be covering this soon... and might explain to me what it actually means for clients of the ERP giant!

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And back to the Cabinet Office - the organisation has published the results of their consultation around the transposition of the new EU procurement directives into UK law  – you can see the document here. At first sight there is nothing too startling, and some sensible thinking generally, but we will have more detail on this next week.

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Petite Meller is my latest tip for stardom. Now I know she pursues a very dodgy Lolita-style vibe and I hate her make-up, but actually she is 24 years old and doing her Masters in Philosophy. Yes, really. She's French, in case you hadn't guessed, which makes it all much clearer. But unlike pretty much every lousy French “pop star” in history (excluding Ms. Paradis and Daft Punk of course), she is brilliant. Her new release is a crazy and catchy piece of dance-pop, like Lady Gaga before she got a bit too up herself.

And even better is a demo she did last year, which I just love – a simple enough song but there is something about that weird instrumental backing (a minute or so into it) that just absolutely does it for me!

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