First of all, may I thank Ronan Shields of New Media Age for his great profile article about me, and Dawinderpal Sahota of Computing for his excellent article on the same subject - a great piece of work guys :)
However, I conclude that anyone reading these articles might be forgiven for thinking that I manage Tesco.com’s entire mobile strategy.
I have mentioned Angela Maurer, Senior Marketing Manager and head of Tesco.com’s web and mobile development team, a number of times on this blog. If a name is to be put to management of our mobile strategy, it’s Angela.
I regard Angela as the customer’s champion. She works at this by commissioning research, managing a large group of customer triallists, and creating the groundbreaking designs (using both in-house and external experts such as Ribot and EMC's Paul Dawson & team) for mobile which have given us such great feedback in recent weeks. I've mentioned several members of her team in 'this blog over the past months.
In IT (and particularly in R&D) we work in part to bring Angela’s ideas to life. For example, we created the Application Programming Interface (API) and architecture at the back-end to make the mobile stuff work at the front-end.
We've also created our own mobile applications that are presented to customers under the 'Tesco.com R&D Team banner in, for instance, the Apple App Store. I've taken our R&D mobile work 'public' early to explore with customers what works best for them, as well as deal with any 'devils in the technical detail' that might stop an end-to-end service from working. We have learned a lot and gained much experience as a result and this has, I admit, given us our own reputation in the world of mobile.
In any 'normal' circumstances I would be working quietly behind the scenes providing the technology.
But I am not 'normal', and I make sure that Tesco.com R&D is not 'normal' either! Instead, we work by punching above our weight to excite and engage people with our work through ideas and proofs-of-concepts (PoCs). We do this through networking with peers, attending leadership team meetings, and making the most of our membership of IMRG (the e-tailing industry body), and of course this blog.
We do this because it enables us to bring early versions of implemented ideas to the customers, staff, industry peers, and the leadership team of Tesco. As a result nobody minds that the PoC they have been given is sometimes a little rough. People enjoy being part of something new and I enjoy having them help me through feedback to prove that something does (or occasionally does not) work.
Given that I take responsibility for all that happens in our public-facing R&D projects, I make sure my name gets known and ‘people know where I live’. An up-and-down-side to this is that media articles get written about me, which sometimes drown out the other names who have played their huge part in this work.
I think Angela Maurer’s name, and that of her web and mobile development team, have been drowned out in recent weeks. I hope you now understand my intention to 'correct' the direction of this trend.