National Productivity Centre Launch

You’d be forgiven for being surprised to find out that I haven’t yet begun my travels, and haven’t even dipped my toe in the water for more scuba.

Instead, I’ve been working as an independent consultant for the past few weeks, helping to complete the development of the first application for Ireland’s National Productivity Centre, a joint venture between the Irish Management Institute and Microsoft Ireland, who are supported in their effort by a host of industry collaborators.

MSR Teleconferencing App at the NPC

The environment of the National Productivity Centre (NPC) is the coolest part: A boardroom with seven enormous wrap-around screens, a table full of tablet PCs, teleconferencing gear straight outta Microsoft Research, and all the supporting technology you could eat. As much as I like the applications that have already been developed for the NPC, my head is swimming with ideas for what could be built for that space.

National Productivity Centre - Case Study App

Part of the first NPC application (shown in the photo above) integrates Virtual Earth with a Windows Presentation Foundation front-end to provide a geographically-partitioned view of case studies where Microsoft technologies are being put to work to simplify how people work together and improve business insight.

And so my time in Ireland (to date) now ends as it began: with a demo for Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (below).

Prime Minister Bertie Ahern launches the NPC

My good friend Damian Isla was a major part of the original Irish demo adventure, which culminated with Bertie, man of the people, herding virtual sheep on national television. Now, after thoroughly enjoying the celebration of Damian’s marriage to his incredible wife Julie, it’s time for some much-needed rest, after which I’ll enjoy the fruits of Damian’s most recent (technical) labour!