Managing Partner, Optimal Partners Consulting, LLC; | Consultant at Harvard University
Nuno M. Couto was born in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Açores having immigrated to the Boston area in the United States when he was 9 years old. Mr. Couto is Managing Partner of Optimal Partners Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consulting company situated near Boston, Massachusetts that specializes in Project Management of large and complex computer systems development and implementations. Over the last approximately 20 years, Mr. Couto has managed IT projects involving software development, implementation of vendor software solutions, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, network infrastructure, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Internet technologies. He has done this within corporate, consulting, academic, and small business environments including Harvard University, Accenture, Boston College, and Boston Scientific. After finishing the implementation of a multi-million dollar Business Intelligence project, Mr. Couto is working at Harvard University as a Consultant on another multi-million dollar software implementation in the Research Administration area. Beyond Project Management, Mr. Couto’s other professional responsibilities have ranged from programming to business and systems analysis, technical leadership, and consulting with interaction at all levels including senior management. Over his career, Mr. Couto has achieved significant success including personally developing industry-first technologies and winning several awards including Boston Scientific’s HR Systems 2002 annual Best of the Best Total Quality award. Mr. Couto’s other professional love is entrepreneurship. He is currently leveraging his past experience building his own company to provide advice and mentorship to start-up companies as part of the IDEA venture accelerator at Northeastern University in Boston. Further, he is a member of the Business Advisory Board of the Business Innovation and Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth which focuses on economic development in Southeastern Massachusetts. He is also a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society, the Project Management Institute, and the National Honor Society in Business Administration. Mr. Couto holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where he graduated with highest honors and an MBA in High Technology from Northeastern University. In addition to English, Mr. Couto speaks Portuguese fluently and is conversant in Spanish. Mr. Couto lives with his wife and children in Taunton, Massachusetts, USA.
> Managed implementation of $1.7 million Data Mart and Cognos Reporting Environment through all phases of project life cycle. This included daily managing a team that fluctuated between 5 and over 15 people across ITS and Institutional Research, managing relationships with Vice-Provost sponsors, developing a project plan and budget, recommending staffing skills and levels, and communicating with stakeholders at varying levels. Project was delivered on time, per agreed upon scope, and within budget.
> Managed the development of several web applications for the Graduate Schools of Nursing, Education, and Social Work. Clients were very happy with resulting industry leading software.
> Salvaged a troubled Oracle Application Express development project from impending failure by building a new team, improving client relationships, and implementing better processes and enhanced oversight. Project turned into a big success.
> Co-authored multi-year Data Warehouse roadmap and recommendations at the request of Associate Vice President.
> Led analysis and recommendations for Data Governance implementation research project.
> Project managed implementation of PeopleSoft 8.9 portal through all phases of project life cycle. This included developing relationships with VP-level sponsors, developing a project plan, recommending staffing skills and levels, communicating with stakeholders at varying levels in a highly matrixed environment, and directing and coordinating activities of about 25 people including several Directors and VPs. Project sponsors were very happy with my contribution.
> Managed technical integration of multiple HR projects including implementation of Learning Management System by coordinating between outsourced implementation team and dispersed internal technical team and managers.
> Coordinated design, development, testing, and implementation of improved synchronization processes between upgraded PeopleSoft, Microsoft Exchange system, and Phone System. Management was very happy with results.
> Leading cross-functional team, researched major integration problems between Microsoft Exchange, PeopleSoft, and eLearning systems, identified root causes, designed solution, presented results to senior management, and implemented improvements. Internal customers have expressed great satisfaction.
> Coordinated technical aspects of $1.5 million PeopleSoft upgrade to version 8.3: application upgrade, migration from Windows to Unix operating system and hardware, technical development, and security modifications.
> Acted as internal consultant and liaison to business during the planning stages of PeopleSoft upgrade project by answering questions, doing research, making recommendations to management, and leading needs gathering sessions with high-level functional end users and outside consultants.
> Migrated self-service web application used across the country from outdated servers to newer platform, coordinating all project activities with internal and external resources. Project was completed on time, within budget, and with highly satisfied customers.
> Formulated a business case for a knowledge repository and project managed the team that successfully implemented the related web application on time, within budget, and with satisfied customers.
> Created a user group consisting of representatives from 10 different local companies to share software implementation knowledge and experiences. This has significantly reduced research and development time. Feedback has been very positive.
> Determined how R&D could work more collaboratively with the use of information technology and presented recommendations to the Senior Vice-President.
> Awarded both quarterly and annual Best of Best awards for Total Quality and received several additional nominations for this departmental award. Recognized seven other times for outstanding service.
> Collaborated with HR to create a Speaker Series. The idea is to invite renowned speakers from outside to come and infuse the company with new ideas. One renowned process management expert agreed to present.
> Created screen and reporting enhancements, performed technical support, and installed and configured PeopleSoft application on Oracle database and Windows server.
> Completed a High Tech MBA in two years while working full-time.
> Led team that developed approach for PeopleSoft web application that allows employees to report a change in personal status and choose their new benefits options in one session. According to VP, this was an industry first.
> Provided leadership and hands-on assistance in the analysis, programming, documentation, testing, deployment, and support of enhancements to enterprise applications.