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Downtimes: NHS network shows red card to World Cup games

NHS network shows red card to World Cup games

More footie-related goings-on... Patients at hospitals where National Programme for IT systems have been implemented can be reassured that the UK-wide health network is not being used to allow doctors to watch football.

Connecting for Health chief executive Richard Granger – a man more often on the front page of Computer Weekly than the back – has stopped the N3 network from streaming football games.

Granger should be applauded by taxpayers keen to see NHS IT money used properly, by patients seeking the best clinical service and by local publicans trying to encourage footie-mad punters through their doors.

Low processing power peps up procurement

Procurement best practice is worthy but dull at the best of times.Downtime knows that saving money by consolidating buying power is important, but just can’t get excited by a 10% cut in local authorities’ annual soft furnishings bills.

So a recent public sector procurement workshop was improved considerably when a video of interviews with successful procurement agents began to malfunction.

Public sector luminaries, such as Office of Government Commerce chief executive John Oughton and chief executives’ forum chairman Tim Byles, found their words of wisdom garbled by the lack of processing power.

Indeed, Oughton appeared to be bodypopping as the over-worked processor failed to keep up with his arm movements.

The inability of the conference techie to stop the video file brought a little light relief to the assembled procurement specialists.

They’ll certainly need it – many of them are being asked to achieve double-digit percentage point savings in their budgets this year.

Music-loving techies invoke spirit of Hound Dog

Bearded entrepreneur Richard Branson’s fun-loving approach to work has rubbed off on the IT department of Virgin Retail.

The company, which manages the Virgin Megastore chain in the UK, uses a heavily customised JDA application as its merchandising system – the most important bit of IT for any large retailer.

The techies have affectionately named the application the Epos-Linked Virgin Information System, or Elvis for short.

Taking the musical theme to heart, a new system for handling contracts with CD and DVD suppliers has been dubbed the Online Trading Information System or Otis.

Let’s hope that the two systems never go their Separate Ways or that Otis becomes too Hard to Handle. (Ouch! – Ed.)

Council takes on extra pair of hands to fix clock

A council in the North West has been taking the Whitehall target to put all its services online a little
too literally.

The council’s town hall was recently refurbished and its picturesque clock was shrouded by tarpaulin.

A local woman complained that she could no longer set the time of her wristwatch using the clock. Service managers leapt into action and decided to put a webcam under the tarpaulin so that the clock face would always be visible on the council’s website – problem solved.

Some bright spark then realised that the clock was out of action as well as under wraps. The solution was simple: a still photo of the clock would be put on the website and digital hands would be laid over the image.

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