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:SharePoint’s rapid installation across organisations (and especially within the public sector) is leading to fragmented deployment, which is then causing difficulties when attempting to merge or share content and applications. Organisations that are part of a federation, such as Local and State Councils – can alleviate future integration bottlenecks, reduce investments in application development, increase the rate of eServices delivery and help ensure that stakeholders can share information, by adopting the governance practices from the open source community.


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Conclusion: Microsoft licensing costs for SharePoint range from free to well over A$100,000. Minimising installation costs requires organisations carefully analyse user requirements, business needs and then narrowly define what SharePoint features are actually needed, then work through Microsoft's licensing model, taking into account existing enterprise licensing arrangements. Savings of over A$30,000 on SharePoint deployments are possible through careful selection of licensing options.


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Conclusion: Windows 7 is ready for release and by now most organisations' IT departments will have spent some time evaluating the product. While initial reviews have been positive, a fundamental question still needs to be asked - does this new operating system offer your enterprise anything of substantial benefit that would warrant its use?


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Conclusion: The recent media frenzy regarding Google’s soon-to-be-released operating system is not a sign of a serious competitor to Microsoft’s Windows Operating system – it’s the last gasps of a dying IT topic. That is, the importance of the operating system. As the computing power of underlying hardware on non-desktop devices (SmartPhones, handheld devices, netbooks, game consoles and so on) increase, and as consumers become increasingly technology savvy, users are caring less about the operating system and more about the overall ‘usability’ and ‘experience’ of the applications on the devices, which are provided by user interface layers that reside above the operating system. While operating systems will remain a consideration for IT architects, they will increasingly be a moot point for users. This has significant implications for IT management.


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Conclusion: A decision to migrate an enterprises desktop operating environment from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista in the near term, or to wait until Windows 7 is available and proven, is both technically and politically complex. The final decision depends heavily upon several key factors: the existing software and hardware infrastructure, Microsoft licensing arrangements, the sophistication of desktop management tools, scale of the help desk and ability to train end users and manage change.


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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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