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About Johan van Soest

Johan van Soest

Johan is:

  • Business Continuity Manager ICT - Expert
  • Analytical
  • Creative
  • Out of the box thinker
  • Good mood & humor
  • High sense of responsibility
  • Decisively even during failures and disasters

Motto

I strive towards structured, standardized, redundant, stable ICT-solutions with the best possible service for internal and external customers bound by policy, possibilities and budget
Johan lives in Aalst-Waalre (map). This is a town located between the city of Eindhoven (map) and municipality Valkenswaard (map) in The Netherlands. After completion of the HAVO he studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Professional Education in Eindhoven with a specialization in Technical Computer Science (TCK) and graduated with very high grades.

[Courses for the University of Professional Education in Eindhoven with a specialization in Technical Computer Science]
Courses for the University of Professional Education in Eindhoven with a specialization in Technical Computer Science. Hover the mouse over the image to get more information)

To complement this education, he studied relevant courses at the Technical University of Eindhoven. He especially liked the social orientated courses and the team based courses. That his interests are not limited to technical issues, is shown by the fact that he also managed to complete, with success, the Management education for technicians in Utrecht (The Netherlands)
Management and OrganisationCommunication
Strategic ManagementCommercial Management
LeadershipPersonal skills
Personnel ManagementChange Management

Modules Post HBO education Management for technicians.

Brief career description

Johan is employed at the ICT - Department of Brabantia. This is a global operating leading company that designs, produces, sells and distributes household goods. There he started programming and supporting the mainframe software for manufacturing (MRP, purchasing, calculation, planning, inventory management), logistics and sales. Next he worked as a system designer for these ERP applications and was responsible for the Mainframe Management. Because of his advice to standardize on one platform for software development and network management, significant costs could be saved on network management and expensive mainframe licenses and accompanying expensive hardware upgrades. Realising an immediate cost saving of 1.5 million guilders and additional yearly savings on expensive Mainframe licenses. After having successfully managed the large network and mainframe migration projects, Johan is currently employed as Business Continuity Manager (BCM) and ICT - Specialist within the same company. In this role the groupleaders and ICT-Manager are coached in organizing, describing, configuring and testing disaster recovery procedures concerning the entire ICT services. Modifications and investments are assessed against possible consequences for disaster recovery, and high availability of the final solution. Given the constant introduction of new technologies, trends and services a continuous improvement process (Deming) is set up, so the changes are consolidated in standardized procedures.

web-master animated gif Johan is also the technical Webmaster of the company web-sites, purchases the international domain registrations and takes care that partners and importers are supported configuring their webshops. The brand Brabantia is being protected on the internet with the use of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) and support of the sales directors.

ICT renews itself so quickly with new concepts and technologies so "lifelong learning" consisting of a solid education supplemented by product-oriented courses and through professional literature is required. A complete list of courses can be found here (Partially in Dutch).

Successful projects

Johan has managed several large IT migration projects. These projects include the complete cycle:
[*] Problem inventory
[*] Researching Technical and Business specific solutions
[*] Project planning
[*] Resource planning (in- and external) including training of employees and IT-staff
[*] Arranging travel and stay
[*] Implementation
[*] Evaluation
All these project phases are presented to and agreed upon by the Management Team
One of the strategies was to reduce the number of operating systems supported by the ICT - department. Subprojects included:
[*] Migration of worldwide Novell Netware network to Microsoft Windows Active directory
[*] Migration of worldwide Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange mail services
[*] Migration of complete logistical system from the Unisys mainframes to Microsoft Windows Enterprise servers on Microsoft SQL Enterprise databases with the LION toolset. Realising an immediate cost saving of 1.5 million guilders.
[*] Migration of all the ERP software to a High Availability platform with a hot standby location. The platform is based on Active-Active Microsoft SQL clustered databases and redundant Application servers for the business logic. The storage technology is based on HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array and HP StorageWorks Modular Smart Array
Other successful projects include:
[*] Implementing EDI shipment carrier information in the logistical system
[*] Introducing ITIL
This was an important organizational change for the IT-Department and it introduced the:
  • New first-line knowledgeable ICT-helpdesk with ticketing system
  • Defined second and third-line support levels using in-house expertise and suppliers
  • Configuration management database CMDB
  • Change Management
[*] Business Continuity Management: Reshaping the ICT - infrastructure (hardware, software, interfacing and synchronizing) and awareness for establishing a company owned Business Continuity room that fully mirrors the primary location. (RTO = 48 hrs, RPO = 24 hrs)
[*] Virtualizing the Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise databases and LIONDev based ERP applications on the VMware ESX platform on HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays (SAN) with compressed Log shipping
[*] Relocation of the ICT - Department, computer centre and employees because of the imminent demolition of the offices. This required the Business Continuity room to be fully operational, data traffic rerouted and all pc's to be reconfigured for the new location. In a weekend the Business Continuity procedures and configurations Johan developed were executed and the systems were fully operational the next working day without any downtime and loss of data. Next the employees could be relocated to their new offices.
[*]
I share with you an Asysco communication for the completion of the Brabantia upgrade to LION6.NET.
Many thanks to all your team involved in this project, and I think the minimal number of issues we've seen so far is a credit to the teams intensive testing over the last few months.
Brabantia have certainly helped to lead the way for all our other LION customers.
Kind regards,
Andrew

Andrew Jackson
Global Technical Services Manager
Asysco Software BV
After the product comparison, risks and benefits assessment the management team has decided to migrate the LIONDev based ERP applications from the 32 bit Delphi platform to the Microsoft.net c# platform using AMT-LION. The Application, Reporting and Database servers run on Windows 2008R2 (64 bit) utilizing the Microsoft SQL Server 2008R2 databases. In addition to the modernization of the deployment platform, this will make Unicode support (among other Baltic and Asian fonts) and graphical tools available to the ERP development group.
Johan played a major role in this project developing a Business Continuity and upgrade strategy, preparing the servers, services and databases, rolling out the client software and resolving migration issues.
[*] Upgrading and migrating the worldwide Windows network with the Windows 2008 R2 64 bits server architecture. Focus is directed to the "New working style" (anyplace, anytime and anywhere), but in a safe manner.
To increase disk capacity Sun/Oracle SAN's were introduced. With the added disk capacity it is possible to utilize the versioning and undelete functionality of the Windows 2008R2 platform. This increases end-user efficiency as they are, most of the time, able to restore previous versions of a document or undelete a document on the file servers by themselves. Activation of Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 2008R2 servers is managed with the Microsoft Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
[*] After an extended comparison of several application and desktop virtualisation products, it was decided to replace and migrate the Citrix Presentation Server environment to the Windows 2008 R2 Server Citrix XenApp 6.5 environment using the Citrix Secure Gateway 3.3. Two Factor Authentication is implemented by using Yubikey OTP tokens.
[*] Replacing LibreOffice with Microsoft Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote) also within the Citrix XenApp environment.

Current projects

Johan is currently, next to second and third level end user support, working on the following projects:
[*]
This year the integration of a foreign production unit into the company domain starts. This also requires a design that confirms to the Business Continuity strategy that Johan designed.
[*] Improved supply chain management. With the Citrix portal suppliers get an overview of the production planning of products containing their articles. This project gives external suppliers access to the company network and core applications making it necessary to increase the application and network security.
[*] Managing "mode 2" ICT-projects (Gartner 2014 Bimodal IT / Bipolar IT) to improve ICT-Services. These include:
  1. New e-Mail infrastructure
  2. PKI infrastructure
  3. Upgrade Forest/Domain levels
  4. Mobile Device Management (MDM) to support Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) and/or Choose Your Own Devices (CYOD)
  5. New Radius services TFA
  6. AntiVirus/AntiSpam
  7. Desired State Configuration
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