Joseph Sweeney

Joseph Sweeney

Dr. Joseph Sweeney is an IBRS advisor specialising in the areas of workforce transformation and the future of work, including; workplace strategies, end-user computing, collaboration, workflow and low code development, data-driven strategies, policy, and organisational cultural change. He is the author of IBRS’s Digital Workspaces methodology. Dr Sweeney has a particular focus on Microsoft, Google, AWS, VMWare, and Citrix. He often assists organisations in rationalising their licensing spend while increasing workforce engagement. He is also deeply engaged in the education sector. Joseph was awarded the University of Newcastle Medal in 2007 for his studies in Education, and his doctorate, granted in 2015, was based on research into Australia’s educational ICT policies for student device deployments.

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Conclusion:As previously discussed, organisations must be exceedingly careful about how they deploy Microsoft desktop products within a virtual desktop environment, or risk exposing themselves to potentially millions of dollars of unexpected licensing fees. Worse, Microsoft’s own staff and channels have been known to misinterpret how Microsoft licensing works within virtual desktop environments, which is causing customers frustration, fear and potentially adding time and cost to virtual desktop initiatives. However, there are solutions (incorporating both legal and technological aspects) that can limit an organisation’s licensing exposure in virtual desktop environments. In this research note, we provide an overview of these solutions and demonstrate their application through several licensing scenarios, all of which have been validated by Microsoft.


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Conclusion: A decision to migrate an enterprise’s desktop operating environment from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista in the near term, or to wait until Windows 7 is available, is both technically and politically complex. The final decision depends heavily upon many interrelated IT infrastructure factors, as well as business issues, not in the least of which are end-user animosity against Vista. However, senior IT executives and Enterprise Architects should not dismiss Vista as an option, nor rush to Windows 7 without first a careful evaluation of the risk and benefits of each.


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Conclusion:SharePoint is rapidly becoming a victim of its own success. Rapid tactical deployments and uptake by individual departmental teams has led to pockets of isolated information, which are growing in size at an alarming rate. Also, lack of understanding and planning when developing SharePoint-based solutions is leading to unexpected licensing costs. Organisations must re-evaluate their SharePoint deployments and, if needed, step back and architect their SharePoint implementations if they are to avoid being bitten by their SharePoint projects in the future. Following are four SharePoint deployment scenarios that bite.


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Conclusion: Discontinuing a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) appears to be a quick way to reduce IT spend in the short term – which is especially attractive in the current economic environment. However, there are substantial financial risks involved in terminating an EA and organisations must be exceedingly careful not to open themselves to licensing liabilities. Exiting a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement requires its own business case review, looking at not only the obvious financial savings, but also at the risks, change management and mid-to-long term impact.


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Conclusion: Several models exist for planning mobility around broad categories of mobile worker. While useful, these models are being overused, placing emphasis on the wrong aspects of mobility without deep consideration of the processes and applications being addressed. The basic tenet appears to be ‘build it and they will come.’ That’s fine if you are building a field of dreams, but not so good if you are spending $1.5 million on a new IT architecture. Instead, strategic plans for mobility should consider that different workers will use different applications at different times for different purposes. Planning for mobile collaboration must start with a thorough understanding of staff functions, their information and application needs, and then apply these information needs and applications to categories of mobile usage, not users.


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Despite the generally positive press coverage of Windows 7, its widely reported performance improvements are already being questioned by independent testers. My own tests on a dual-core Intel box and 2GB of RAM suggest that Windows 7 may indeed be a tad faster than Vista, but only by a fraction.


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Conclusion: To be successful at an enterprise level, SOA (service oriented architecture) requires a backbone to provide integration between applications, transport of events messages and data, and manage deployment and (optionally) discovery of applications. The deployment of an Enterprise Service Buss (ESB) is essential for enterprise SOA, yet no single ESB product can magically turn an organisation into a SOA powerhouse.


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Conclusion:Deployment of Microsoft products in virtualised desktop environments requires careful consideration of how virtualisation impacts on an organisation’s Microsoft licensing costs. Even though Microsoft has introduced new licensing packages to address desktop virtualisation, it is not uncommon for organisations to significantly underestimate the licensing costs involved.

IT organisations must first properly understand how Microsoft structures its desktop operating system, productivity tools and server licences before they can correctly interpret them in a virtual desktop environment.


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Related Articles:

"Has Microsoft's desktop licensing got you on edge? Part II - licensing a virtual desktop" IBRS, 2008-11-30 00:00:00

Conclusion: When working on intranet and extranet initiatives – especially those involving collaborative applications – IT managers should appreciate that there will always be a significant gap between the views and priorities of IT and those of business unit managers. IT management will often be looking at infrastructure and governance issues, while line-of-business will be thinking in terms of unstructured, Internet-like applications. Overcoming the gap requires careful structuring of the intranet initiative’s planning and execution teams.


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Conclusion: Video conferencing (VC) solutions have split into five different strands, each of which must be considered when planning to implement an Enterprise Video Communications (EVC) solution. Technology should not be the deciding factor when selecting an EVC. The main reasons video communications / conferencing implementations fail is not related to technology, but to mismatched user expectations resulting from a lack of training and change management, poor environmental considerations (room design, lighting, seating and so on), inconsistent interfaces and poorly engineered integration of components. Address these points of failure when evaluating EVC solutions.


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Conclusion: Building a business case for supporting Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) is similar to building a case for Collaboration and Unified Communications. At this point in the technology’s evolution, business cases will rarely be able to be based purely on financial models because it is difficult to identify the productivity benefits of PEDs as discrete and measurable elements. 1 However, this does not mean that PEDs have no role to play in modern enterprises. IBRS proposes that organisations consider the benefits of PEDs via an appraisal model aimed at identifying individuals and applications with a need for greater communication and collaboration. One such model is working spheres.


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Related Articles:

"PED Antics part 1: The broken promise" IBRS, 2008-07-28 00:00:00

Conclusion: Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) are flooding into enterprises. In addition to the technical challenges and costs PEDs place on IT departments, PEDs may be actually hindering service quality and productivity. Management need to step back from the promises that PEDs offer, and take a long, hard, pragmatic look at how these devices are really being used.


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Related Articles:

"PED Antics part 2: a collaborative perspective" IBRS, 2008-08-28 00:00:00

Conclusion: Although Microsoft’s new range of servers products have been available for some months, it is only now that the software giant’s marketing engine will go into full throttle. Understanding Microsoft’s likely marketing strategy that will endevour to shift the market from virtualisation to what it calls “Dynamic IT,” and being prepared for this strategy’s ramifications and the pressures it will create for IT managers will be essential to managing expectations from the business and smooth technology deployment.


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Conclusion: More than a year after its launch, IT managers in large enterprises perceive Vista as being costly, having compatibility issues with legacy applications and offering few benefits over its popular predecessor, Windows XP.

However, there is a concern that delaying the move to Vista may lead to problems in the deployment of other highly-desired products from Microsoft and third-parties. This concern is unfounded. Given the other more pressing priorities for IT management, and the relatively few benefits associated with Vista, organisations can afford to wait at least another three years before migrating to Vista, or skip the current iteration of Vista altogether. IT managers should look beyond pure operating system issues and examine a variety of desktop and application deployment models.


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