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3rd November 2010 by Martin

How Yammer has improved our internal communication

When I started working here at ICO Partners, I noticed a challenge I’ve seen before in large global companies with multiple offices in different locations: there’s no water cooler or kitchen shared by everyone in the company. No place where information is passed on naturally from one person to the other, gradually making its way to each staff member until everyone ‘magically’ knows.


Even though we’re small enough to all fit into one cozy room, our people are located in three different cities, and often above the clouds on their way to clients or conventions on other continents. We really started to think about the information gaps when I, as a fresh starter, wanted to know more about what each person is doing (the typical “what are you working on right now?” question).


When you’re in a company with multiple offices, it’s dangerous to believe that just because everyone in your office knows about what’s going on, that means everyone at all the other locations knows it, too. Some information might have been shared with a few people via email and selectively passed along, which can create an impression that the info is common knowledge when it really isn’t.


Meanwhile…in another time zone…. remote colleagues wake up several hours later, open their inboxes and find this:

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16th August 2010 by Martin

We are going to gamescom!

Granted, this blog entry’s headline is not the most creative one – but I will try to make up for it in the following paragraphs:

 

While Thomas and Diane are already visiting panels and having meetings at the GDC Europe in Cologne, the rest of ICO’s crew is making the final preparations for their flights to the following gamescom convention starting on Wednesday. In fact, we are pretty much set and ready to go, staring at the planes taking off outside our office window at Gatwick Airport and looking forward to being on one of them tomorrow afternoon. We also finally got the confirmation for the catering service at our booth at Hall 4.1, Aisle H, Booth 055 – and as we are looking forward to seeing many of you in person, this means you can enjoy snacks and drinks while dropping by.

 

Like us, you may already have a busy schedule but even without having arranged a meeting you’re welcome to visit us and talk about business or finally meet in person. Whether you plan on publishing a video game in Europe, want to talk about partnerships with us or are just eager to collect the full set of our shiny new business cards, you should memorize the location of our booth.

 

Here is how I do it:

Germany-England 4:1, Hungary was the best team in ‘55 (before Germany won the world cup in ’56)

(EDIT: This is actually not true, but it works and could keep you busy to spot the error in the sentence)

Of course, that’s my way, easy for a German but might work for others, too.

 

(Now I’m back at nervously checking volcanic ash forecasts one more time)

 

 



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26th July 2010 by Thomas

From Brighton to Munich

On Tuesday 13th of July, I presented my lecture “Games as a service, do you really know what it means?” at the Develop in Brighton conference. While I have changed the slides a bit for the event, the content was essentially the same as when I presented it in Seattle for the LOGIN conference, and you can find the presentation on slideshare.


The really good news is that Dan Hon did a great write up of my presentation (something I meant to do for a while but never took the proper time to do) and you can find it on his blog:

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12th October 2009 by Thomas

KGC 2009 wrap-up

kgcThe past week in Korea has been very busy for us. We attended the KGC event for the first time this year, and it has been a very nice experience.

Thomas spoke at KGC, presenting not one lecture, but two! Both went very well, with a very attentive audience that was thirsty for knowledge on the European market and the European players.

The presentations are on SlideShare now:.

This presentation is similar to others we’ve done during the year. Some of the numbers have been updated, and as always we have provided additional information from previous iterations. The section on how to enter the European market, and related advice, has been fleshed out more thoroughly.

This is quite a new angle for us. We prepared this lecture at the request of the KGC organizers, and we can honestly say it was a lot of fun to prepare. We’d like to develop it even further, but we hope that in its current form it has enough material to be useful to its intended audience (non-European developers).

As ever, feedback on both presentations is very welcome!

[You may have noticed that those presentations feature a different logo than our previous materials. We'll talk more about that soon, but for now let's just say that we felt the need to move on to an image that's more representative of ICO's spirit.]



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7th July 2009 by Thomas

Expansion

JenAs we are entering the summer and we get increasingly busy, we actually have one important (to us) piece of news to share. ICO has expanded and has recruited another expert. Here is the official announcement:

ICO Partners hires Jen Bolton and Expands Community/Social Media Consultancy

London, England – Monday 6th July 2009 – London-based online games services company ICO Partners has added Jen Bolton, former Direct Marketing Manager and social media expert at NCsoft Europe, to their EU-focused consultancy team. Bolton has been building online communication and consumer engagement within massive entertainment-focused communities for the past ten years. In her new role at ICO, she will work closely with publishers and independent developers to tailor and implement strategies for growing their European business. “Adding Jen to our core team fits perfectly with our commitment to provide the best experts there are to our clients. She is joining us at an ideal time, as ICO Partners is growing very fast and the demand has never been so high,” said Thomas Bidaux, ICO Partners CEO. “With Jen on-board, we’ve expanded our management capacity while broadening the scope of our services.” “ICO Partners has given me a wonderful opportunity to help create win/win scenarios for our clients and their player communities,” said Bolton. “We’ve already seen the rapid uptake of social media have a profound effect on consumer expectations and brand perception, and this ball has only just begun to roll. I’m very excited about helping developers and publishers to integrate social spaces into a comprehensive marketing strategy that really works for everybody.” Prior to her role as Direct Marketing Manager, Bolton was Head of Community at NCsoft Europe, responsible for European community strategy and management of community teams for all NCsoft’s European releases, including Guild Wars, City of Heroes and the upcoming fantasy title Aion: Tower of Eternity. Before that, she worked for online communities consultancy Stor Entertainment as Producer, managing live celebrity chat and forums for (UK) Channel 4, and overseeing bespoke implementations of the StorTrooper avatar generator.

About ICO Partners ICO Partners was established in 2008 by Thomas Bidaux and Diane Lagrange, and is based in London. The company offers consultancy and services to online games/MMO publishers and independent developers seeking to establish and/or grow their European business. ICO’s past and present client list includes independent studios like SLX Games and Vae Victis, as well as international game publishers like Atari and GigaMedia. For more information, please visit www.icopartners.com.

Please join us and welcome Jen!



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14th January 2009 by Thomas

Worlds in Motion Summit – Business in the Old Continent

We are very pleased to announce today that our submission for this year Worlds in Motion Summit that will take place in San Francisco the same week as the GDC has been accepted. Read the rest of this entry »



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12th December 2008 by Thomas

The First Post

First of all, welcome on ICO Partners’ blog.
When putting together the website with Diane, we were arguing back and forth on the merit to actually have a blog there. The initial position we agreed on was not to have one. There were many reasons, but mainly, we decided against it because we knew that we would be very busy and the blog was always going to be left as a “when we have time” thing, and that always translate into in a “if we have time” thing.

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