Business competitions

The Steve Hodges megaprize caption competition

intrepid Andrew Fox scores crucial try for Newark 4ths v Paviors 4thsWe operate a fair play system at Timico. Staff who work Andrew Fox powers through Paviors tackleshard during the week are allowed out on Saturday afternoon to engage in a recreational activity of their choice1. A happy employee is after all an effective employee.

Some of the sales guys play rugby and last weekend Steve Hodges, Andrew Fox and Guy Beales formed the mainstay of the back line for Newark 4ths versus Notts Paviors 4ths.

Apparently they scored half of the points. The first three pics show Andrew Fox bursting through his tacklers then driving forward to score a crucial try that no doubt crushed the Paviors’ morale and set the gameAndrew Fox breakthrough up for the home side.

The other pics are of Steve Hodges. In fact there is a caption competition for the first one at the bottom. The best caption gets a bottle of red I have been keeping in one of my desk drawers for a special occasion. The second photo shows Steve running with the ball. He must have beaten his tacklers because there is no sign of anyone else in the shot. Either that or it was taken after the game.  You can decide 🙂

In a similar vein I note that England were beaten by Wales at Twickenham on Saturday – bad luck chaps.  Should have taken advantage of the 10 minutes that we were a man down really. I’m going to Cardiff on the 9th March to see Wales play Italy –  if anyone is in town that weekend let me know & perhaps we can meet up.

You can have till end of play on Friday to come up with a winning caption. This competition is open to all comers including Timico staff.

Andrew Fox scores

Steve Hodges - caption competition
this is the pic for the caption competition - click for a bigger view

Steve Hodges flies solo1 as long as they are back in the office by 6pm to make up their shift – they then usually get away for last orders at 10pm – fair dos.

Business Cloud competitions datacentre video

Video games killed the art of conversation – spot the game megaprize competition #TimicoDC

Timico datacentre logoWe had a hugely successful data centre opening event at Timico yesterday – 210 customers, prospective customers and business partners came along and, if I say so myself, had a great time (and were impressed 🙂 ). More on this as soon as I’ve assembled the photos etc – I’m on the move at the moment.

In the meantime I have a little prize competition for you. At the back of the lecture theatre (conf room, call it what you will – it had more than 200 odd people in it), just for fun, we had a range of “antique” video games, consoles and computers on show.

There’s a bottle of champagne1 and a mug for the first person to correctly identify all the different systems shown in the video below (Timico staff not eligible here as they will have been able to view the kit yesterday).  Note no apologies for the title of the post. It is partly true and the internet is now doing its best to finish the job.

1 I saved it specially from yesterday’s celebrations 🙂

Business competitions

Santa visits the office to judge mince pie competition and I missed him

Santa seen on Timico premises

entries for the Timico mince pie competitionToday we had four entries for the Tref being massage by Karen Mayfield - as you doTimico mince pie making competition.

You will note from the picture on the left that one of the entrants looks as if he only brought in one mince pie. That was Big Rich Wright.Great care is taken over the judging of the Timico mince pie competition  with Santa looking on

He ate all the others The judges line up for a cuddle with Santa and to tell him what they would like for Christmas(claims it was his workmates). I had intended to be one of the judges but whilst I was having my regular massage, Santa came in, rounded up a teamFiona Spear - winner of the Timico mince pie competition is congratulated by Santa himself of judges and cracked on with the competition.I totally missed him! I am pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s Timico mince

hmm, whats this, a tin containing mince pies, a Santa outfit and a Cisco router on someone's desk!pie competition is Fiona Spear – seen here being congratulated by Santa. I have to say I thought they were all winners and would like to thank Faye Hemingway, Victoria Webster and Rich Wright for also entering.

The judges were Daryl, Danielle and Sophie – beautician students from Grantham College. I wish them well.

competitions Engineer

Is Your Aging Terminal Emulator Putting Your Applications at Risk? #catchymailshotheadlines #anotherwinatimicomugcompetition

There isn’t much to this post other than I like the title. It came from one of the many junk emails I get daily – 12 today in that category. I must stop leaving my business cards at trade shows – I never win the iPad anyway.

This particular title isn’t very catchy which is why it stood out. Usually it’s all about “deploying this”, “helping staff with that” and sometimes it has to do with “the other” though the spam filter usually catches that kind of email. In fact they are very rarely catchy titles.

I am gradually unsubscribing from these mailing lists though it’s probably a battle I will never win.

Anyway I figured it would be a good idea to run a competition for the least catchy junk email competition – real or imaginary. Sometimes I get a huge response to these competitions and sometimes nothing. Doesn’t stop me coming back for m0re though 🙂

As usual please leave your entries as comments. Kudos but no mug to anyone guessing the name of the sender of the email in the post title.

competitions End User

Caption competition – demise of the Bb Trumpet

tarmac being laid on the carpark of the new Timico data centre in NewarkAs we approach the final days of the Timico data centre build the lads are putting down the tarmac in the car park. This is quite convenient as I happened to be in need of a steam roller – assuming that’s what they still call them despite the absence of steam. If you can’t get the video below to work then there’s a link here to the original YouTube location.

Here are a few other photos mapping the before and after. There’s a prize of the best caption for the “after” shot – entries left as comments please 🙂

site manager Nigel has a word with the driver of the roller Site manager Nigel has a word with the driver of the roller. In case you were wondering my 14 year old plays the trumpet.  He found this in a skip at his school and decided it would go well on his bedroom wall in a slightly altered stateBb Trumpet on my desk at the Timico offices

Bb Trumpet after a tussle with the rollerJust to finish off an artistic view of the air conditioning fans outside the data centre:)

fans line up outside the Timico Newark Data centre

competitions End User

It’s all about focus – 4000 throws a month & who am I with – this week’s grand prize giveaway?

Olympic medalists in panel aboard Aurora for ITDFIt’s an idyllic life, the cruising game. You board at misty Southampton and wake up the next day to the splash of the anchor running out in the calm waters of an exotic island in the stream. A stroll out onto the balcony of your cabin reveals Guernsey on the starboard bow. Not Antigua or Barbados perhaps but hey…

On this occasion the location is academic, a backdrop to the serious business of the IT Directors Forum on board the liner Aurora where I am giving some talks entitled “The State of the Internet” and chairing some debates on Consumerisation of the Workplace. More on these anon.

On the first evening we were treated to a panel session with Kelly Sotherton, Sally Gunnell, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Daley Thompson and Steve Cram. Good entertainment with the Olympics coming up.

The one thing that really stuck in my mind

Apps competitions End User

My camera keeps ringing – massive prize competition

Horseguards,Parade,changing,guard,Galaxy S2,Timico,competitionI had a full day of meetings in London on Wednesday. At 2.30pm I finished one and I needed to be in Westminster for the next one at 3.15. It was a beautiful sunny day so I decided to walk and made my way down through St James’ Park to Horseguards Parade.

We do have an impressive capital city and I happened to be there as they were changing the horseguards. With a few minutes to spare before the meeting I joined the tourists and got my Galaxy S2 camera out. As I was taking a photo the camera rang! Annoying huh? They will add phone functionality to useful personal gadgets.

That particular photo was lost but

Business Cloud competitions

Announcing the Timico fairy cake champion

Timico fairy cake competition

At Timico we now have a champion fairy cake maker to add to the long list of other cake making honours within theTimico fairy cake competition company.

This time the winner is engineer Stephen Burdock who spends his days sorting out  customer problems and clearly must spend some of his evenings practising his baking skills.

As usual the standard of entries was top notch and the produce is available to purchase at £1 each – all moneys to charity.

Thanks to the judges, including Powernet’s marketing manager John Heritage and to all the other entrants who put so much effort into the competition.

The picture on the right is a cross section of the winning cake before being demolished by the judges. It’s nice to see blokes winning these competitions:)

competitions End User

#Beckham baby named Harper Seven – defeats all name competition entrants

I’m thrilled to tell you that the Beckhams have named their baby daughter Harper Seven. Nobody came close to guessing this. Becks has played a canny game here as he knew people were thinking of place names. Instead he went for a time – he is quoted as saying “It’s about time we had a girl”.

The actual birth was, I thought 07.55am so either the Beckhams have gone for the nearest obvious name (who ever heard of a girl called seven fifty five?), their clock was wrong at the actual time of naming or half past seven was the time of conception.
We may never find out.

What is sure is that the England ladies football team will be looking forward to 2029 when Harper (or it be Seven?) will be eligible to play. She may of course opt to play for the country of her birth. By then it will probably be down to who is offering the most lucrative sponsorship contracts but hey, that is for the future.

For now let us all join in congratulating the Beckham family on their new addition and hope that in these exciting early days they are given the appropriate degree of privacy. Those of us who also have kids know how hard it can be to keep looking good after being up half the night feeding the kid and changing nappies (diapers).

There is no competition winner but I am pleased to provide a prize for @18days for letting me know the name and @timcoop3r for providing me with a link to the BBC website carrying the news of the name. If you guys want to let me have your postal details I’ll send you a mug each 🙂

competitions End User

Guess the name of the Beckham baby competition – big prize

I don’t know about you but I’m a big fan of the Beckhams and have been following all the latest news about the imminent birth of their fourth baby. I’m a big softie really.

Anyway we have been speculating around the office as to what the name might be. Milton Keynes,  Northampton, or even Peckham? Of course I’m not sure I even know what sex it is going to be (even though I have MarieClaire and Hello Magazine bookmarked) although that probably won’t matter when it comes to a name.

So in the interest in participating in the fun around the birthday I have decided to run a guess the baby’s name competition. Please enter your guesses as comments. The winner will receive a fine Timico mug in the post. I’m sure that this will be something they will cherish as a memento of the birth for years to come.

On this occasion, because it is such a happy event, entries are also open to Timico employees, their families and anyone they have ever met – even very casual acquaintances  whose name you can’t actually remember.

I’m looking forward to following the birth live on Twitter – If I know those clever folks at @hellomag they will have secured the tweeting rights. Follow the #hellomag or #beckhambaby hashtags to stay up to the minute with all the contractions (or incisions).

To get the ball rolling I am going to suggest Brian if it is a boy and Catherine if it is a girl. Good luck. It’s a great mug to win. Note if there are any issues re spelling etc my decision is final 🙂

PS I wonder if the Beckhams would like a Timico mug. They always come in handy you know and with 4 kids…

PPS I met David Beckham once you know at the launch of Virgin Media Business – photo here.


Business competitions

The Betty Crocker Cake mix competition results

one of the runners up in the Timico Betty Crocker Cake mix competition was a cake by Luke Johnson depicting

We have just had the first of the new season’s Timico Cake Competitions. This one was a Betty Crocker Cake mix competition.

So what’s special about a cake made from a shop bought standard kit do I hear you say? Well first of all it gave an opportunity for some people who don’t consider themselves to be skilled bakers to enter. Secondly you would be amazed at the variations you can get.

I have pictured all the cakes below for your delectation and delight. The winner was Jess Woods, pictured with me below. Jess’ cake was wonderfully gooey chocolate covered in M&Ms.  Slices available at £1 a go with proceeds going to charity.

Individual entries displayed here:


Business competitions

Lemon Drizzle Cake competition results – read all about it

Faye Hemingway is congratulated by Trefor Davies for winning the Timico Lemon Drizzle Cake Competition
Faye Hemingway is congratulated by Trefor Davies for winning the Timico Lemon Drizzle Cake Competition

As I write this post the rain is lashing against my office window trying to break the glass and play at the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament has been suspended due to the weather. Inside Timico Towers though the drizzle has been of a different sort.  This month’s eagerly anticipated cake competition was, yes you guessed it, Lemon Drizzle Cake.

It always worries me that in arranging these competitions I might find myself in the embarrassing position of not getting any entries. The team has not yet let me down and the standard of entries has been getting higher and higher with each new competition.

Business competitions

cheezy grins all round at the Timico cheesecake competition

My cake making competitions have become very popular.  The strange thing is that I get people I’ve never met before coming up to me saying that the posts I write about these competitions are amongst their favourites. Well one person did last week at the LINX meeting anyway. 

I’m not sure what that says about my other posts but in answer to this huge demand I am happy to report the winner  of the August competition – this time for the best cheesecake – is Paula Davies (no relation afaik).

competitions End User

and the winner is #chocolate #chocolatecake #justforfun

The carrot cake competition was so successful that I was asked to organise another bake-off but this time with chocolate cake.

The 5 entries, shown below, were all top class and there were on 1 1/2 points separating the first and second place cakes.

the 5 entries for the Timico chocolate cake competition
the 5 entries for the Timico chocolate cake competition

The winner, with a fine triple decker offering, was Head of Product management, Andrew Massing – shown below being presented with his certificate.

Andrew massing (left) is presented with his certificate for "Best Chocolate Cake, 2010"
Andrew massing (left) is presented with his certificate for "Best Chocolate Cake, 2010"

Below is me during the judging.  This is a highly responsible job that has to be taken very seriously as you wouldn’t believe the competitive nature of the entrants:)

trefor davies judges the Timico chocolate cake competition
trefor davies judges the Timico chocolate cake competition
Business competitions

Carrot cake competition – we have a winner

I am very pleased to announce that Timico Tech Support Engineer Faye Hemingway has won the First Annual Carrot Cake Bake-off. All entries were of a very high standard with Highly Commended Certificates being awarded to Sian Steen, Verity Rushby and the Will Curtis/Fiona Dickinson  team.

Pictured below is me congratulating Faye on her success and also the judges at work.

Faye Hemingway - winner of the Timico carrot cake competition
Faye Hemingway – winner of the Timico carrot cake competition

Thanks to everyone who took part.  The entries were sold off after the competition with the proceeds going to a local charity.

judging the Timico carrot cake competition
judging the Timico carrot cake competition
Business competitions

Announcing The Timico Carrot Cake Cook-off

Announcing the Timico Carrot Cake Competition. Entries need to be submitted to me during Monday morning. Judging will take place at 1pm on Monday in the Tech area on the first floor. Entry is free.

The cake must have been baked by the entrant who must in turn be a Timico employee (apologies to readers re this – if there is sufficient demand I will conduct an “Open Carrot Cake Competition” at a later date).  Fake entries from M&S etc will result in naming and shaming of the entrant.

The winner will be awarded the title of Timico Carrot Cake Cook of the Year 2010 and will receive vouchers entitling them to 1 year’s unlimited viewing of

Judging will be by a top panel of gastronomes renowned for their carrot cake tasting skills. For security purposes the names of the judges will not be revealed until just before the tasting.

Happy baking and good luck to all entrants. Results will be posted here on Monday.  You read it first on

All work and no play…

Business competitions video

Video competition

Following on from a post I made in June regarding Polycom putting over a hundred videos on YouTube I have started exploring this myself.

The video at end of this post is my first post on YouTube (timicocto) where I have uploaded details of a video competition that we are running at Timico in July. The hope is that we will get some good material to post on the company website.

Ultimately we will be looking at broadcasting live and this is a step towards that goal.

I’ll report back on how it went when it is all over and done. Sorry – the competition is open to company employees only.