About Barry Cousins

Barry Cousins is a Senior Consulting Analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, specializing in Project Portfolio Management, Help/Service Desk, and Telephony/Unified Communications. He brings an extensive background in technology, IT management, and business leadership.
Barry Cousins
Barry Cousins
Senior Consulting Analyst
Info-Tech Research Group

Your phone system is due for replacement soon. The alternatives aren’t just phone systems, they are Unified Communications (UC) suites. But the case for UC is unclear, and you don’t know if people will use these features. Are they already using UC via free consumer services?

Ask them.

Please join me and subject matter expert panelists on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm EDT for a Webinar on, “Unified Communications: Are you making your decision based on data?

Register Here For This Webinar
(Video of this webinar will be available at this link after the event)

During this webinar we will discuss:

  • What is the current level of adoption of unified communications through corporately provided tools, departmentally procured tools, and employee-owned / BYOD technologies?
  • What is the level of interest in expanded UC offerings?
  • What is the real business need?

Info-Tech Research Group webinars occur during the early weeks of our research projects. Attendees will weigh-in on several key polls and will be able to pose questions to the group. We want to work closely with our members and potential members as we build out our research to ensure we are thoroughly meeting your needs.

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Barry Cousins
Barry Cousins
Senior Consulting Analyst
Info-Tech Research Group

The “agile footprint” in the IT organization has reached critical mass. Like most organizations, the number and size of Agile projects represents most of the project portfolio.

There is enough Agile to render traditional portfolio metrics useless. The challenge is to improve project oversight without imposing old-school command-and-control.

Please join me and subject matter expert panelists on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm EDT for a Webinar on, “Agile Portfolio Management: Are you still old-school command & control?”

Register Here For This Webinar
(Video of this webinar will be available at this link after the event)

We will discuss:

  • Prevalence of Agile
  • Executive oversight of a partially Agile portfolio
  • Metrics that matter
  • Portfolio owner as ambassador

Info-Tech Research Group webinars occur during the early weeks of our research projects.  Attendees will weigh-in on several key polls and will be able to pose questions to the group. We want to work closely with our members and potential members as we build out our research to ensure we are thoroughly meeting your needs.

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Barry Cousins
Barry Cousins
Senior Consulting Analyst
Info-Tech Research Group

Many IT projects fail because planning fixates on technology and underestimates the importance of organizational change.Human behavior tends to be a planning blind spot, especially for IT professionals with technology backgrounds. People don’t follow rules and instructions in the same prescribed and predictable way that technology does.  To ensure project success and maximize benefits, you need to set aside time to plan and facilitate the “soft” side of organizational change.

Please join me on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm EDT  for a Webinar on, “Change Management: Do You Have a Blind Spot?”

Register Here For This Webinar

In this Webinar we will discuss the challenges you are facing and possible solutions including:

  • How can you prevent users from refusing or failing to adopt new systems and policies?
  • What can be done to counteract the costs due to post-implementation helpdesk volume, retraining, ongoing design or functionality and change requests (or worse, full roll-back)?
  • How can you ensure IT’s ability to successfully manage change and avoid the erosion of IT’s ability to work with the business

We will hear from guest panelists who have experience in this space. Attendees will weigh-in on several key polls and will be able to pose questions to the group.

Info-Tech Research Group webinars occur during the early weeks of our research projects. We want to work closely with our members and potential members as we build out our research to ensure we are thoroughly meeting your needs.

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BarryCousins
Barry Cousins
Senior Consulting Analyst
Info-Tech Research Group

After 15 years of availability of commercial Project Portfolio Management tools the number one tool for PPM remains Excel spreadsheets. But in avoiding the high cost and low adoption of commercial PPM tools, PMO Directors and CIOs also need to deal with common pitfalls of homegrown solutions.

Addressing these challanges to  develop an affordable, adoptable, and effective PPM solution using widely available tools is the subject of an upcoming Info-Tech research project: Grow Your Own PPM Solution. As part of this project you are invited to participate in a one hour Discovery Video Conference on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1pm EST.

Register for this Discovery Video Conference.

Please join me as we discuss:

  • Challenges maintaining the backlog of requested and/or approved projects
  • Difficulties reporting on the progress of in-flight projects
  • How to ensure projects receive management oversight and support

By participating in this event you will:

  • Hear from guest panelists who have extensive experience in this IT space,
  • Help shape the direction of our research,
  • Through polls and questions, share your insights and challenges with your peers, and
  • Connect and learn from our analysts

Info-Tech Research Group is launching a series of Discovery Video Conferences which occur during the early weeks of our research projects. We want to work closely with our members and potential members as we build out our research to ensure we are thoroughly meeting your needs.

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System Center 2012 is Microsoft’s unified systems management platform, intended for hybrid IT environments, in terms of its ability to manage private and public clouds, and physical and virtual servers, as well as in terms of its ability to manage Microsoft and third party products. Its level of success in performing the latter claim is debatable and, I would postulate, not fully realized in this release of System Center.

For large organizations with Microsoft environments, System Center 2012 can be a solid investment, in terms of its ability to provide centralized and automated management. It bundles together a number of components that were previously sold separately, which both simplifies the licensing, but also makes it more expensive.

A core component to the upgrade is System Center’s Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). This component is really the driving force of Microsoft’s strategic vision for System Center as it claims the ability to manage Virtual Machines (VMs) on VMware and Citrix hypervisors, as well as Hyper-V VMs within a single console. However, functionality for the management of these third party server virtualization solutions is basic. If the majority of your virtual infrastructure depends on VMware or Citrix, you will certainly still want to use vSphere or XenServer for managing your VMs.

VMM can now also be used to manage VMs deployed in Azure public cloud, and SP1 (expected to be released soon) includes a new Service Provider Framework API, providing the ability to manage other third party public cloud providers.

A strong benefit in VMM for business users is its Service Template Design and System Center’s App Controller component. These functionalities enable the bundling of VMs that work together to deliver a service into Service Templates that can then be deployed on demand by delegated end users. This ability for self-service of applications is an exciting new feature in its ability to minimize the loss of communication between the business and IT by enabling business users to have the ability to interact with the resources they require and have a level of self-service.

Deployment of System Center is quite complex. Before investing in System Center 2012, consider your environments needs and weight the associated costs of System Center licensing and the infrastructure that is necessary to implement it against the value you will receive out of deploying it.

For more information, see Decide if Microsoft System Center 2012 is Right for the Enterprise.

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