Thank you for dropping by my blog! So what will you find here?

A mix of technical posts and opinions for one, dating back from my first interests as a voluntary Technician in 1999 – to most recently as a former IT Manager. Some of my writings will centre around my experiences of managing and developing a live system.

There will also be some general education system musings; and reviews and inside views on the MIS market – mainly from Capita. My continued thanks for the openness and assistance of the product managers for working with me on this; and to Catherine Lane PR.

Followers of my Twitter feed will also see trending IT news, some of which will also feature here. I’m pleased to also welcome some guest bloggers from time to time.

Now, I am a consultant for a software company; providing integration services between MIS systems, Active Directory, Office 365 and Google.

On to a bit about me…

In 2005, I completed a BSc (Hons) Degree in Computing Informatics, from Plymouth University with a 2.1 grading outcome. Since completing my degree, I have maintained my registered status as a member of the British Computer Society; and I hold the ITIL Foundation.

Most recently, I also gained the MCSA for Office 365 and also for Windows Server 2012.

Currently, Im a Consultant for a software company specialising in integration services between MIS providers (SIMS, Facility, Progresso and others), with local Active Directory and also cloud services. We work with Exchange, Office 365, and Google Apps.

I have extensive experience of Solutions development and implementations using Microsoft technologies, and have been responsible for the overall strategic management and development of systems as well as the day to day support and management requirements of a busy ICT Helpdesk. I have previously designed a Server system of 40 machines (mostly virtual) – based on Microsoft Server 2008 R2, using HyperV as the virtualisation host platform, to complete a modernisation project. This was originally managed by System Centre 2007, which was later upgraded/migrated to the 2012 suite, and then to 2012 R2. The HyperV farm was also later upgraded to Server 2012, and extended to be a 6 host server farm with dual redundant SANs. I am a strong advocate of the “integrated” approach to systems – and utilise many “business” line of products including the previously mentioned System Centre Suite, Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync. In fact Office 365 is my main body of work now.

I have also been responsible for the in-house development and deployment of a Microsoft Sharepoint environment. The installation and design of this solution was an in-house operation, and used for document storage, team working and remote working, as well as fulfilling the VLE role for student access. I am proficient in System Centre – using Configuration Manager and Operations Manager for management and monitoring.  I regularly write blogs on these product areas; and support others deploying them. The first iteration of our system development with Configuration Manager and HyperV was reported by Microsoft on the Schools Blog.

My skills-set includes ICT strategy development, systems design and integration, network management, user assistance and support, workstation/server setup, software deployment, hardware and software diagnostics, interactive whiteboards and projectors, Microsoft Server Technologies (including Server NT/00/03/08/12 and Active Directory, Exchange 03/07/10, Sharepoint, SQL Server, System Centre, RIS/WDS, Forefront, ISA), Client Technologies (Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8, Office 97-2013 and their features/management) as well as a number of different wireless/wired infrastructure providers and manufacturers. Further to this, I also have experience with a number of common commercial management tools – including offerings from Symantec (Backup Exec and Antivirus), McAfee (Antivirus and Endpoint Encryption). Recent projects with virtualisation have further extended my skills; both in Server virtualisation (HyperV, including clustering) and client virtualisation using AppV. I have also successfully deployed Thin Client using Wyse units and traditional repurposed equipment running Windows Thin PC. This is powered by a Remote Desktop Services Farm designed internally; which is also used to support remote working via both traditional Remote Desktop and the newer 2008 and 2012 Remote App format.

Further work has included the design, procurement and implementation of a new managed wired and wireless infrastructure. This has included the configuration of VLANS on enterprise level Juniper switch equipment and integration of a Ruckus Wireless network and Vivotek/Mirasys IP CCTV system. I also successfully procured, installed and managed a Shoretel IP telephony system.

Although my level of day to day technical contact has reduced since I have moved on from school, I am still confident in dealing with high level technical concepts from internal escalations and while working with support contracts. I have built a network of contacts across the industry sector; which is a vital form of support and advice. Some of these contacts across the industry are the reason I can write the posts and articles here – so my continued thanks to you.


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