Blog 2

Coventry Roadshow and more!

Following my blog from earlier in the year covering the rollout of Blackberry’s & Aeroprise Client to our Network Engineers and Simply Brilliant training, I was asked to write another one (was it that well received?) on the day in July when the Maurice Daw roadshow rolled into town.

The roadshow had been organised a few months earlier after Maurice Daw, Executive Director of Access, announced he would be touring the country to meet with Network and Service teams. I noticed that the nearest planned visit was over an hour’s drive for some of my team so I contacted Maurice’s office and was pleased to be told he would be happy to visit Coventry in July. As it happened, the time suggested also coincided with the AirStream Trailer visit to the city and the day before the company’s official Charity Day.

The day started earlier than normal, I was on the road for 6am in order to get to Coventry to ensure final preparations for the morning were in place. As expected the small car park was almost full, with lots of vans vying for the limited spaces, but it was good to see guys had arrived early, eager to meet Maurice.

Invites to the local field teams had gone out weeks before; Area Field Managers Steve Lea & Steve Peatfield ensuring their Service Technicians could attend by adjusting rotas and I made sure my team’s diaries were clear for the morning. An added incentive was that breakfast refreshments would be provided, always a good start to any team meeting and helps ensure full attendance.

Maurice and Paul Hutchinson, Regional Field North Director, addressed the teams about the progress that was being made within Access and then the meeting was opened up for a ‘question and answers’ session.

Topics covered included progress towards Loving our Network, TiVo and SuperHub issues as well as connectivity and finally he thanked the teams for their efforts during an extremely busy year.

Shortly after the session Maurice, Paul and the Head of Departments, Tony Lee and Jerry Parkin were challenged to take part in a Nintendo Wii competition in support of the Virgin Media Charity Day. The task was to see how many footballs they could head and were charged a £1 for the privilege. Suffice to say their scores didn’t make much impact on the leader board!

We then left the office and drove the short distance to where the AirStream had been pitched for the week. The ‘caravan’ was also on a country-wide tour and was parked up to showcase UK’s fastest broadband and the best way to watch TV, namely TiVo. Passers-by were able to see the products in action in a cool, relaxing environment.

Maurice, Paul, Tony and Jerry and I soon got comfy on the leather suite and enjoyed the hospitality, seeing the latest 3D channels on the TiVo box which was set up for demo purposes.

It was soon time to head back to the office and so with a HOD and Director laden car, I drove off but was soon asked to turn around.

Parked close to our AirStream was a tiny caravan which caused some hilarity when someone shouted, “Hey, look there’s the Sky version!”Jerry snapped this photo in a hurry providing the evidence that the Virgin version was far more superior.

Back at the office I spoke to some of my team about how they felt the roadshow went and in particular how they felt about Maurice and feedback was positive.

“I thought Maurice was down to earth and well informed, giving me the impression that the company is in the hands of good leaders who are taking us in the right direction. He was also receptive to our questions and concerns and I believe these will be taken into account and fed back up the chain.” Dave Payne, Network Engineer commented after the visit.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.