Down the Procurement Pub with SAP Ariba, Beer, MBEs, and Albert Hammond

Welcome back to the 2018 version of “DTPP” as we like to call it. We won’t show you the pictures of the Smith / Burcher family Christmas – let’s just say the clearly developing double chin has made me vow to lose 5 kilos and get fitter this year. The various bicycle accessories received on the 25th also mean I have to actually do more cycling in 2018, not just talk about it. So here is a pic from my 85km bike ride last September (with Guy Allen) to remind me of what a good day it was and inspire me for 2018!


Yes, you might have guessed, we are a little short of procurement stories this week. But we went through the New Years Honours List as usual – and no, Spend Matters was not recognised, yet again. And we struggled to find people with a procurement link on the list, to be honest. However, we came across one, so many congratulations to Michael Julian Prior, Commercial Officer, Military Flying Training System Programme, Ministry of Defence, who received an MBE for services to Military Training Provision.


Late news though, adding to our procurement content today! SAP announced yesterday that Alex Atzberger, who was running SAP Ariba, has been appointed president of SAP Hybris and Barry Padgett is taking over as president of SAP Ariba.  We are sad to see Atzberger go, as based on a couple of chats with him at Ariba Live last year we were very impressed, so we hope this is a positive move for him personally.

We don’t know Padgett, but he came into SAP via the Concur acquisition, and SAP says this -  “While Barry most recently served as the president of the Network Group at SAP, has also held the positions of President – SMB for SAP, and Chief Product Officer for Concur. Given his knowledge and expertise for both SAP and business networks, Barry is strongly suited to drive SAP Ariba’s mission forward, and lead the largest business network in the world with passion, poise and focus”. Padgett is American, we think (based on this), but studied at Oxford at one stage so has some UK connections! Good luck to both him and Atzberger anyway.


Having discovered Aldi’s excellent beer range a while back, I found myself in a Home Bargains store the other day in Durham, and discovered their Coast to Coast Pale Ale, brewed by the Caledonian Brewing Co. of Edinburgh. At just 79p for a 330ml bottle it is cheaper than the Aldi range of 99p craft beers which are very good themselves. But this is excellent -  4.6% proof, with some US West Coast hops, but not too citrus-y, nicely balanced and a real bargain.

And don’t forget – Aldi smoked mackerel is less than half the price of Sainsbury or Waitrose.  Fry a red onion till it is translucent, add garlic, a handful of chopped leek and chopped red pepper, a few chilli flakes and fry for another 3 minutes, add rice for one minute further frying (keep stirring), then add vegetable stock gradually (twice as much volume as the rice) and cook slowly for 15 minutes or so. Add the smoked mackerel – in pieces of whatever size you fancy - and a drop of cream at the last minute. A great risotto, very easy and everyone who tastes it will think you are a very talented cook!


On a long drive this week, Durham to Camberley, I listened to Craig Charles on Radio 2 (much better than Steve Wright, for whom he was deputising), then Johnny Walker interviewing Albert Hammond. A two hour programme, I didn’t think I would stick with it, but it turned out to be one of the best music radio shows I have ever heard (the link is here).

You may know Hammond for the song The Free Electric Band – and as the father of Albert Hammond Jnr, lead singer of the Strokes.  But did you know he was born in Gibraltar? Or that he wrote One Moment in Time for Whitney Houston? Little Arrows (Leapy Lee)? Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now (Starship)?  It Never Rains in Southern California? I Don’t Want to Lose You (Tina Turner)? To All The Girls I Loved Before?

It is a crazy list of huge songs, he has had an amazing song-writing career, and was an engaging, funny and interesting interviewee. A great show and highly recommended if you have any interest in popular music of the last fifty years. Oh. I forgot, he also wrote The Air That I Breathe, When I Need You, I’m A Train, Gimme Dat Ding, Don’t Turn Around …

By the way, in the 1990s we lived in Leapy Lee’s old house in Sunninghill. Not a mansion by any means, bought by him with the proceeds of Little Arrows, and it apparently hosted some pretty wild parties with Diana Dors, Alan Lake and that rather wild “Ascot set” in the late sixties …  Anyway, here is one of Hammond’s more subtle and brilliant songs, with lyrics by the great Hal David.

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  1. David Atkinson:

    Let’s plan a bike ride, and shed those pounds!

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