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Joseph Sweeney

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Dr. Joseph Sweeney is an IBRS advisor specialising in the areas of workforce transformation and end user computing, including: workplace strategies, enterprise solutions, collaboration, policy, organisational cultural change, and software deployment and licensing.  He is the author of IBRS’s Digital Workspaces methodology. Dr Sweeney has a particular focus on Microsoft products, and often assists organisations in rationalising their Microsoft licensing spend and helping to identify budget for end user computing innovation. He is an accomplished technology strategist and pioneer of Asia’s internet industry. He was a cofounder and Vice President, of Asia Online, where he headed up product development  and assisted the start-up grow into one of Asia’s leading Internet and on-line services. He is also deeply engaged in the education sector. He 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.

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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Conclusion: While the hype surrounding collaboration technologies and Web 2.0 services reaches fever pitch within the media, vendors and business managers alike, it will serve organisations well to stop and think carefully about what the buzzword collaboration really means for organisational processes, structures and efficiencies. When collaboration services are misaligned with business objectives, they will hinder, not aid, productivity. Having a model to categorise different forms – or modes – of collaboration is an important first-step in accurately matching technologies to different collaborative applications.


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Conclusion: Business units and end users are calling for, if not demanding, IT managers to deploy Microsoft SharePoint. SharePoint is this years ‘must have’ product1 - however few understand what SharePoint is, what it does well and what alternatives exist. SharePoint initiatives will backfire without significant effort to ensure that an organisation is properly educated, specific applications and business needs are identified, and realistic expectations are set.


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As technology plays and increasingly important role in marketing, especially with the rise of online marketing and its influence on real-world marketing programs, a myriad of jargon has evolved from both the technical and marketing camps of the business. Unfortunately, not all of this jargon is readily understood by both camps and misunderstandings are common. This document provides definitions of essential marketing terms for technologists and fundamental technology terms for marketers.


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In the News

Outdated work from home policies bog down Aussie businesses - Computer Reseller News - 6 April 2020

IBRS analyst Dr. Joseph Sweeney provides best practice-advice on working from home in the current pandemic situation. Dr. Joseph Sweeney discusses current working from home policies which are...
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Centrelink crashes under demand for crisis payments - Australian Financial Review - 23 march 2020

IBRS workforce transformation advisor Joseph Sweeney said many government departments had to navigate difficult IT environments that were only part-way through their digital transformations, with...
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Inside EY's security work at ANZ - Australian Financial Review - 3 March 2020

"There is more security work to go round than there are resources. So I don't think the market is that crowded. It's important to remember that security is not something you buy and then it's done;...
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Google cloud boss looks to AI as it fights Amazon, Microsoft duopoly - Australian Financial Review - 2 March 2020

IBRS analyst Joe Sweeney has been tracking the three major Cloud vendors capabilities in AI and said Google is right to believe it has an edge over AWS and Microsoft when it comes to corpus (the...
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What should be in Australia’s next cyber security strategy? - Computer Weekly - 10 Feb 2020

Peter Sandilands, an advisor at analyst firm IBRS, called the discussion paper “a pre-judged survey” that is mostly looking for answers. He also questioned if the resulting recommendations would be...
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