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: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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Conclusion: Building a business case for Unified Communications is currently more of an art than a science. Traditional Return on Investment (ROI) models are now inapplicable unless arbitrary values are placed on intangible benefits. However, the difficulty of building a business case for UC does not mean that there is none – just that we need to view (and measure) UC’s benefits in accordance with the stage of maturity of the technology’s adoption. Paradoxically, as UC evolves past its current human-to-human model over the next decade, we will be able to switch back to using formal ROI models.


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Conclusion: IT managers planning business-to-business integration, or with the need to couple old-school EDI (Electronic Document Interchange) and legacy ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning systems) with modern web-based architectures must look towards a uniform message-based middleware infrastructure. If the organisation is already moving down the .Net deployment path BizTalk R2 is now a contender along with the more traditional products, such as Tuxedo and Tibco.


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This month saw the beta launch of Microsoft’s Office Live, a Web 2.0 collaboration tool by Microsoft. The free service is yet another attempt by the Redmond Giant to halt the incessant march of Google. By going into a space that is normally associated with Google, Microsoft hopes to once again leverage its monopoly status with its desktop productivity tools to keep an upstart competitor off guard.


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Conclusion: Collaboration is not something you can buy. It is not a product. It is not even a solution. It is an approach to doing business. As such, collaboration initiatives must be viewed more as a transformative business project with IT support. Large-scale, monolithic collaborative initiatives run exclusively by IT will prove difficult to justify over time and likely turn out to be white-elephants. Instead, collaboration should be driven first and foremost by a change in company culture fully backed by management, with IT supplying a supportive network and software service architecture.


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Conclusion: While wikis are certainly an important new approach to information management, they should not be considered as a replacement for enterprise content management systems (CMS). Instead, wikis should be considered an adjunct to content management, providing added flexibility and collaboration where needed. Understanding the differences between CMS and wikis is vital.


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Conclusion: There are two ways to implement SharePoint: as an enabler of departmental point solutions, or as a set infrastructure components for collaborative knowledge management. Organisations looking to implement SharePoint for collaborative knowledge management must possess skills well beyond those needed for departmental solution implementations. It is highly improbable that any one person – or even a single development team - will possess all the skills required to implement SharePoint for collaborative knowledge management. Organisations should consider the establishment of a cross-departmental group dedicated to SharePoint deployment, integration, maintenance and training throughout the organisation.


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Conclusion: e-Learning technology has evolved substantially over the past two decades, but it is only in the past three years that inroads have been made into matching educational pedagogy (the study of educational practices and the processes of learning) with e-learning.

Advances in collaborative solutions coupled with a better understanding of how people learn, have given organisations the opportunity to improve employee education. E-learning initiatives that leverage educational pedagogy and collaboration can result in greater efficiency, increased customer satisfaction and more targeted learning activities based on business performance indicators.


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