Fête de la Musique 2010 hits the streets

15 06 2010

The Summer Solstice will be celebrated once again on 21 June, but this ancient celebration is now being overshadowed by what is known as World Music Day. The origins of this stem back to 1982 when on the streets of Paris, France the Fête de la Musique was launched by Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture at the time.

The idea was to promote the right of all amateur and professional musicians to perform for free in locations around the country (from concert halls to street corners).

Since 1985, this idea has spread and been celebrated in most EU countries as well as further afield in USA, Brazil, China, Nigeria and Morocco. However, France still leads the way with every town and village in the country entering into the annual celebrations.

Those traveling to France on 21 June should arrive forewarned to bring ear plugs – all noise restrictions are lifted, thus giving the streets the freedom to create an organized cacophony of sounds, sights to stimulate all your senses.

Promotion and publicity is naturally much easier due to advancement in technology. Once again, social media is playing its’ role to spread the word, secure attendees and of course to offer live streaming of events as they occur. There is not one event where smartphones, cameras and videos are not in full use as they capture shots and sounds to share. Those unable to attend can still review the nights entertainment via YouTube, Flickr and other social media sites.

During the past few years, more and more “arranged” events seem to dominate the evening’s line up. For some this has diluted the original spirit of the Fête , but nevertheless, the rules still remain the same. If Grandpa feels he wants to share his talent of spoon playing, or your Auntie is great at knocking out those operatic numbers – feel free to hits the streets and perform – no-one will be arrested!

Meanwhile, for those living or visiting the south of France, near Nice, do yourself a favour and consider supporting Jam’s Band on 21 June 2010.

JAM'S Band, France.

An interesting international, amateur group – mainly comprised from people who work at Hewlett Packard(!) – who demonstrate they have more musical talent than perhaps their geek side work persona. Male and Female lead singers – Jam and Dom (who are French) add a wonderful sexy angle to their English rock singing!

The group covers music from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s (Pink, U2, Muse etc) – hear a sample of their sound on YouTube: Bohemian Like You (The Dandy Warhols cover) – plus one or two band originals.

Check out Jam’s cover of Bohemian Like You (The Dandy Warhols)

The band will be performing on 21 June at 21.00h in St Laurent Du Var. Playing Live, together with another group, at the port in front of the Bandiera Blue Restaurant – should be a good recipe for a fun night out – Stimulate all your senses: View, Aroma, Sound, Taste and Touch if you dare (;-)

Concert : Bandiera Blu Restaurant
167 PROMENADE DES FLOTS BLEUS – 06700 Saint-laurent-du-var,France Tel 06 60 03 74 23‎

Jam's Band

Management World – Cloud on the Horizon in Nice?

17 05 2010

Spring is in the air – the Cannes Film Festival is well under way – dodging the annual rain showers – the Monte Carlo authorities are clearing the roads once again, after their annual Race and TM Forum hits the Acropolis, Nice, for its’ annual Management World conference.
Now in its 11th year, Management World 2010 is a key service management event for the telecom industry but now also including representation and content for the IT, media and entertainment industries.

The event includes the required keynote thought leader presentations, real world case studies and various interactive debates. It also features 15 proof of concept demonstrations via its catalyst project, as well as membership displays in their Expo hall.

Bucking the trend, this event has grown some 23% ahead of 2009 with more than 3,000 attendees planning to attend. Over 55% of attendees represent C-level executives and decision-making senior managers. Attendees will learn how to drive their company to focus on growing revenue through new business models, increasing operational efficiency and cutting costs, whilst addressing the challenges of revenue assurance, customer experience and retention.

Their double-edged theme “Cloud on the Horizon?” is well selected. In recessionary times, adversity offers opportunity… This is good for an organisation that helps service providers becoming more efficient and effective.

As the telecom industry struggles to remain in profit (due to market saturation and flat revenues) as networks are doubling each year and prices are reducing by 50%, what is the solution? There is a silver lining to this cloud, by way of cloud services (but of course not the only possibility). Services such as mobile broadband is helping to deliver success. As the TM Forum state, people need to change the way they do business. The mantra be very lean, mean and cost effective is the path to follow.

They are promoting 3 pillars for success:

Investment to grow revenue,
investment for improved customer experience
and investment to cut costs.

Will industry players agree to change the way they are doing business? Will they make the necessary investment to build smarter networks? Can they cut out waste whilst hanging on to their customers by improved customer care ? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, 200 speakers, 5 major summits, will be looking at these issues – Nice will be the place to learn more – Assuming you can dodge those ash cloud, hope to see you there!

Fact file:

Management World 2010 will be held at the Acropolis Convention Centre, Nice, France, May 18-20, 2010. For further details on the conference visit Management World 2010 at http://www.tmforum.org/mw2010

• The 2010 conference features more than 200 influential speakers through a range of interactive presentations, panel debates and case studies, across six conference summits: New Content & Innovative Services; Cloud Services; Successful Business Transformation; Driving Operational Excellence; Revenue Management & Profitability and Excellent Customer Experience;

• Complementing the conference are more than 10 TM Forum training courses to help companies adopt TM Forum best practices and standards.

Le crise (What the French call the Credit Crunch or Crisis)

22 02 2009

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”

– Alexander Graham Bell

All this gloom and doom talk about recession has taken its’ time to filter to France.  Whilst in the UK, USA and other places have been pulling in their belt – banks going belly up and cap in hand to their respective governments, stores closing down, lay-offs and redundancy a weekly news item since late October 2008 – the pain was still not felt in la belle France.  I put this down to a reduced habit of buying on credit, over borrowing and spending.  People in France generally wait until they have the funds before buying, and thankfully the “I want it all, I want it now” behaviour is greatly reduced.  Plus the “retail therapy” habit is diluted as there are better ways to spend the weekend in France than just shopping.  As a result, the trickle and slowing down of the economy is only just hitting.  The slow down has first been felt in a place where it hurts most – in the stomach.  Restaurants in particular have felt the reduction in dining numbers and are fighting back.  The first “le crise”  menus have appeared in southern France: lunchtime menu, main course, dessert with coffee for an inflation beating price of only 6 euros – that should hopefully encourage the weary sandwich munching crowd to rush back.

The next step to help beleaguered restaurateurs and retailers – let’s hope the mobile marketers are listening – is the speedy roll-out of improved mobile advertising.  A great example was the experience I had today to try and find a restaurant for lunch.  My mobile phone was able to dial a “yellow page” style application to find suitable names and “Mappy” – A European LBS specialist – popped up great maps to offer location guidance but that was it.  Wouldn’t it have been great if I could have been given the option to open a video clip giving me a “virtual tour” of each restaurant, or receive a copy of the menu, perhaps read reviews, perhaps push me a coupon to get a meal discount, or get the restaurant to call me back to make a reservation.  You get the picture – these are the services consumers are seeking but sadly the market has not as yet delivered on those desired “killer apps” .

The mobile advertising sector will be worth $18.5 billion by 2010, largely because advertisers want to take advantage of the most exciting channel for delivering targeted messaging in the history of advertising, but also because operators want to supplement their traditional business with an additional revenue stream says Cathal O’Toole, Product Manager Jinny Software.

As operators fumble to figure out how to open and release this pot of gold, a potential solution is now being offered by an Irish company, Jinny Software.

Jinny is offering a fully-managed mobile marketing and advertising service with a revenue share commerical model so operators do not have to worry about the up-front CAPEX required to build and implement the solution.   By offering a wide range of mobile channels – SMS, USSD, MMS, WAP, HTTP – to the advertisers, Jinny can implement a campaign on any of these channels and then expand into others as the success of mobile advertising is proven.

Let’s hope this will drive improvement on mobile advertising in the near future.

As I grabble with this new application, I hope to add further content and features over the coming weeks.  I will immediately delete any spam or impolite messages.