About My Work Print E-mail

 

Career

I started my career in 1995 with Arthur Andersen in the Chicago area.  There, I was heavily involved in architecting and building the firm’s global Novell network and directory services infrastructure consisting of over 1500 servers and 86,000 highly mobile users. In addition, I was also the chief architect and developer of a mobile networking solution for engagement teams at client sites worldwide. I also was also involved in global training on technology solutions.

I then joined Grant Thornton back in 2003 as a Senior Internet Engineer and am now the Senior Manager responsible for Enterprise Systems Management within the firm (50 locations and 7500+ users).

Responsibilities

I have many responsibilities associated with my current position,  In addition to managing the daily activities, roadmap, and strategy of the group, my job functions and responsibilities cover 8 areas:

  • Endpoint Architecture (end-user computing)
  • Software Integration/Distribution
  • Configuration Management
  • Asset Management
  • Security Operations
  • Local Office Infrastructure
  • Enterprise Monitoring
  • Systems Management Software Development

I also perform many functions that span the areas above.  I am involved in project management and have managed many complex from beginning to end, I perform many business relationship management functions, and I have participated on leadership teams (i.e. Operations and Execution Leadership Team, Covey 4 Disciplines of Execution Core Execution Team, IT Leadership Council, and fiscal year budgeting committees).

Endpoint Architecture (end-user computing)

  • Laptop/desktop standards, guidelines, and technical specs
  • Standard desktop/laptop image
  • Endpoint imaging process
  • Deployment Oversight Committee
  • Hardware Vendor Selection
  • Manage the desktop engineering SME group
  • Endpoint group policy administration
  • Develop and release communications and training events

Software Integration/Distribution

  • Fielding and prioritizing software distribution requests from business customers
  • Comprehensive application, component, and utility package creation integration and deployment services
  • Package testing against current endpoint image set to determine readiness
  • Providing comprehensive reporting around distribution results
  • Package and release of monthly business content for standards and research
  • Develop and release communications and training events

Configuration Management

  • Architecting and managing the entire Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) infrastructure and environment
  • Configuration management reporting services
  • Software and hardware inventory services
  • Configuration Item (CI) architecture, development, and release
  • Configuration Management ITIL process ownership and strategic direction
  • Develop and release communications and training events

Asset Management

  • Tracking all leased assets (laptops and desktops) in the firm
  • Tracking owned assets firmwide
  • Leased asset financial reporting
  • Working with the leasing vendor as a relationship manager
  • Manage the Asset Management SME group
  • Asset Management ITIL process ownership and strategic direction
  • Develop and release communications and training events

Security Operations

  • Server patch management
  • Desktop/laptop patch management
  • Endpoint data encryption
  • Endpoint data backup
  • Virus and anti-malware scanning implementation
  • Desktop firewall management
  • Endpoint intrusion detection/prevention
  • End-user computing device security compliance and remediation
  • Development of compliance tools to aid in remediation
  • Working with security governance group to create and implement security strategies and roadmaps
  • Develop and release security-related communications and training events

Local Office Infrastructure

  • Site strategy and roadmap for infrastructure services
  • Server management
  • Infrastructure management (power, racks, HVAC, UPS, cabling)
  • Local site backup/business continuity services
  • Legal search and recovery services as needed
  • Infrastructure management for segregated advisory services forensic environment
  • Liaison with network services for management of network devices (not owned by my team)
  • Fielding infrastructure requests from the business to help them grow and become more profitable
  • Develop and release related communications and training events

Enterprise Monitoring

  • Monitoring Standards and Process Definition
  • Architecting monitoring solutions
  • Manage the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) environment
  • Reduce downtime of systems due to proactive monitoring measures
  • Training asset owners on self-management of their own alerts
  • Working with off-shore resources to handle monitoring alerts as they come in
  • Develop and release related communications and training events

Systems Management Software Development

  • Architect and maintain the group's internally developed Systems Management web portal
  • Create and release utilities to assist with the functions listed above
  • Implement and maintain data feeds to unify desperate system data under one umbrella so it can be visible and reported on
  • Develop and present training sessions around the release and/or update of utilities and services as they become available
  • Act as a liaison with the Grant Thornton development groups

I currently have 7 people reporting to me that are responsible for the activities listed above.  We also have a Subject Matter Expert (SME) program implemented at Grant Thornton, and between all of the functions above, I have 20 local IT staff that indirectly report to my group who we train, mentor, and rely on for performing the tasks associated with their individual Systems Management groups.

Accomplishments and Opportunities

I've had many accomplishments and opportunities since starting work for Grant Thornton.  Listed below are some of them...

  • ITIL v3 Foundations Certified
  • Active member of the Intel Enterprise Board of Advisors
  • Member of the Code42 Customer Advisory Board
  • I have become a certified trainer for implementing the FranklinCovey 4 Disciplines of Execution process within the IT department.
  • I have had the privilege to present at the Computerworld Mobile and Wireless World Conference in 2007.
  • I presented at the 2007 and 2008 Fall Collaborative Conferences of the Information Technology Alliance Group (ITA).
  • My work with Grant Thornton has helped the IT department earn coveted awards from Computerworld including 12 consecutive years in the “Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT” placing in the top 5 in 2006.
  • Through my work, the IT department was twice awarded “2007 Laureate” status in the Computerworld Honors Program for work in data compliance and efforts in securing and managing the highly mobile workforce. Our case studies are now on file in the Library of Congress and at national archives in over 100 universities, museums and research institutions throughout the world.
  • Created an overall 9% increase in customer satisfaction scores through increased customer productivity and reduced cost.
  • Reduced endpoint imaging time 6 hours to 1 hour, resulting in a cost savings of $3.5 million per year.
  • Increasing productivity with enhanced technology and solutions, resulting in savings of $2.34 million annually.
  • Successfully managed the strategy around and implementation of local office infrastructure projects resulting in cost savings of over $1.75 million annually and a reduction of server outages by 20%.
  • Reduced response time to release requests by 30% and increased package distribution speed by 50%
  • Through implementation of better security measures, drastically reduced the number of endpoint security events and impact to users.
  • Successfully managed over $6 million in leased assets with a loss rate of less than 1%
  • Graduated from the SIM Regional Leadership Forum
  • Published article/case study with Intel on personal productivity
  • Published study with Lenovo on hardware and user productivity