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by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Keller Schroeder Achieves VMware Master Services Competency in Data Center Virtualization

Vmware Master Services Competency Data Center Virtualization

Keller Schroeder is pleased to announce that we have successfully achieved Data Center Virtualization VMware Master Services Competency. This competency demonstrates that Keller Schroeder is committed to helping organizations accelerate their digital transformations by leveraging their validated services delivery capabilities around advanced VMware technologies.

“VMware is pleased to recognize Keller Schroeder for achieving Data Center Virtualization Master Services Competency. This achievement shows customers that partners like Keller Schroeder are dedicated, invested and have validated expertise in advanced VMware technologies,” said Jenni Flinders, Vice President and Worldwide Channel Chief, VMware. “We value Keller Schroeder as a VMware partner, and appreciate their efforts in achieving this VMware distinction as they work to increase their service delivery capabilities.”

VMware Master Services Competencies are designed to help partners demonstrate customer-centric solutions and technical proficiency, with proven success and expertise in a specialized area of business. These competencies also allow partners to differentiate into five specific solution areas.

VMware partners can achieve VMware Master Services Competencies in:

  • Cloud Management and Automation – Designates expertise in the delivery of VMware Cloud Management and Automation solutions and services with deep understanding and execution of cloud management design principles and methodologies.
  • Data Center Virtualization – Designates expertise in the delivery of VMware vSphere environments and digital infrastructure services with a deep understanding of and execution in Data Center Virtualization design principles and methodologies.
  • Digital Workspace – Designates partner organizational expertise to design, deliver and support the ongoing management of customer apps, data, and virtual desktop solutions whether on-premise or cloud-delivered. Achieving this competency validates partners’ deep understanding and execution on VMware Horizon and VMware Workspace ONE end-user computing solutions.
  • Network Virtualization – Designates expertise in the delivery of VMware NSX environments and services with deployment and optimization of NSX environment capabilities.
  • VMware Cloud on AWS – Designates expertise in the deployment of an integrated cloud solution that delivers an on-demand service enabling customers to run applications across a VMware Cloud Infrastructure environment with access to a broad range of AWS services.

The VMware Partner Network is the framework for collaboration between VMware and its partners, offering a wide range of benefits, training, certifications, and rewards. The VMware Partner Network includes a range of programs to meet the needs of a variety of partner expertise. Read more about VMware Partner Network.

You can download the official press release via this link: Keller Schroeder Achieves VMware Master Services Competency. If you have any questions about this competency, please reach out to our Director of Data Services, Matt Barton at 812-474-6825.

by Mallory Mallory No Comments

LogRhythm to Offer Industry’s First Unlimited Data Plan for SIEM

 

 

 

EVANSVILLE, IN | Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 – Keller Schroeder is now offering an unlimited data plan for SIEM through its partnership with LogRhythm. While other vendors in the industry have previously claimed to support unlimited data plans, those promises have always come with a catch. LogRhythm is changing that with the industry’s first true unlimited data plan for its NextGen SIEM platform.

The reality is that big data volumes are growing exponentially. To stay within budget, CISOs are being forced to make difficult and risky decisions about which data they choose to protect—and not protect. LogRhythm introduced its unlimited data plan precisely because it believes CISOs shouldn’t be forced to restrict the amount of the data and what they protect. Not only does LogRhythm’s unlimited data plan allow CISOs to free themselves of these restrictions, it also lets them do so at a predictable price point, thus greatly lowering the risk of unprotected data. With the LogRhythm True Unlimited Data Plan, customers can have peace of mind knowing that they can add additional data sources to achieve complete visibility, implement new use cases, and scale as they grow — no tiers, fine print, or contract surprises.

“With unprotected data responsible for 3.2 billion breached records annually, LogRhythm’s model means our customers no longer have to sacrifice security because of cost,” said Corey Ainscough. “The unlimited data plan for LogRhythm’s XDR Stack makes it easy for organizations to get the appropriate level of security they need at a single consistent cost, no matter how much data they have in their environment. This offering represents a tremendous step forward in the fight against cyber threats.” Organizations that select LogRhythm will pay one price—and only one price—for their entire contract, enabling them to protect all their data, users, and systems, even if those numbers increase throughout the year, and even if their deployment architecture changes.

“2019 is set to be the worst year ever for data breaches, but how many of this year’s incidents could have been prevented if organizations had the ability to ingest and protect all of their data?” said Mark Logan, CEO, LogRhythm. “That’s why we created the industry’s first truly unlimited data plan for SIEM. With LogRhythm, CISOs no longer have to sacrifice security because of cost. Instead, they can now monitor and protect all their data while still staying well within their budget.”

The LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform combines patented machine-based analytics, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), network detection and response (NDR), and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) in a single, unified architecture, delivered from the cloud or as an on-prem solution. The platform strengthens the maturity of security operations by better aligning a customer’s technology, team, and processes.

About LogRhythm
LogRhythm is a world leader in NextGen SIEM, empowering thousands of enterprises on six continents to measurably reduce cyber and operational risk by rapidly detecting, responding to and neutralizing damaging cyberthreats. The LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform combines advanced security analytics; user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA); network detection and response (NDR); and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) in a single end-to-end solution. LogRhythm’s technology serves as the foundation for the world’s most modern enterprise security operations centers (SOCs), helping customers successfully secure their cloud, physical, and virtual infrastructures for both IT and OT environments. Built for security professionals by security professionals, the LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform has won countless customer and industry accolades. For more information, visit logrhythm.com.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to Corey Ainscough.

Corey Ainscough- Keller Schroeder Leadership Team Corey Ainscough
Director, Information Security
(812) 474-6825
cainscough@kellerschroeder.com

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Ownership is Special

 

Jeff Gorman Keller Schroeder President

Jeff Gorman  – [President]

People who know me well will be quick to agree I fall victim to being a creature of habit in many ways.  When I find things I enjoy, I tend to stay with those things.  For example, not only do I generally eat at the same small set of restaurants, I tend to order the same food at a restaurant each time I visit.  I appreciate the advice from friends regarding mixing things up for some variety, but I fall victim to the comfort of taking away one more decision to make after a day full of decisions, and I enjoy knowing I will like what I am ordering.  One restaurant I frequently visit, however, brings out a different approach.  They have a couple ‘daily specials’, and they really promote those offerings as something which will bring people in; not things from the menu which are on special, but completely unique offerings which are only available on that day.  They rarely repeat, and they are not even always available after the peak dinner hours because of their popularity.  Come on in we're OwnersSometimes the special items feature ingredients from local suppliers as their unique thread.  Sometimes the special items are themed around the time of year or a different ethnicity than the normal fare of the restaurant.  This ‘one day only’ trait makes the restaurant different for me; I always order from the ‘specials’ menu, and I’ve always enjoyed it.  The restaurant uses the specials menu to be even better at who they are – a locally owned restaurant offering friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere with some unique menu choices that change every day.

Knowing what is unique about your business and finding ways to exhibit the difference are important traits in a digital economy where consumers and employees have more choices than at any other time in history.  At Keller Schroeder, we feel strongly regarding the uniqueness of being an employee-owned business and our culture of ownership.  Our focus on employee-ownership makes us better at our mission of being a technology company in the performance improvement business and aligns perfectly with our purpose of making positive, personal impacts on our employees, our clients, and our communities.  All of our core staff employees are owners in the business, and because of our focus on sharing accountability, knowledge, and growth among those owners, we are different from most businesses.  Every employee has direct benefit from the growth of our company, so we value long-term relationships differently, our employees are empowered differently, and we share knowledge differently.  Application development, infrastructure solutions, staffing solutions, and data strategy are not inherently unique offerings where our clients have no option but to work with us.  The responsibility lies on us to be a business partner our clients choose to work with, where they value our positive impacts more than what other providers can offer.  Our ‘special’ is offering the ability for our clients to engage in those areas with knowledgeable employee-owners who work differently because of their ownership.  If you are a current client, we continue to thank you for your partnership; if you are not a client and you would like to discern if working with an employee-owned company is really a ‘special’ experience, we would love to hear from you to discuss how we might be able to make a positive, personal impact on you and your business.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Time to Level Up?

 

Craig Schulte  – [Sr. Application Developer/Architect]

Do you sometimes feel like your web applications are not all they could be?  Do your users grumble about slow page loads?  Are your applications swimming in a sea of JQuery that make them harder to maintain?  If so, it may be time to take your web applications to the next level using a framework like Angular or React!

Angular and React are two competing technologies that receive a lot of attention these days.  So which should your company use when developing a web application?  This article will explain some of the key differences that will help you decide if one of these frameworks should be in your future.


Overview

Angular and React Apps PlatformsLet’s start with a short introduction and description.  Google first created Angular in 2010, followed by Facebook with React in 2013, showing both have the backing of major industry players.  Both are popular web platforms written in JavaScript, which primarily run in your browser.  Much of the code that traditionally ran on a server has migrated to your browser, and Angular and React have helped to push this trend forward.  A common goal shared by both is to decouple an application’s logic from its user interface (UI), and both strongly focus on dynamic page updates (aka AJAX) – meaning your entire browser window does not reload when updates are made, only the content that changes needs to reload. This generally leads to a much nicer experience for the user.

A common sentiment is “Why should I use Angular or React when I already have JQuery?”  Angular and React are fundamentally designed to embrace building modern applications that seamlessly update the UI and gather data via AJAX / Fetch requests.  Of course, this has long been possible, but Angular and React take this concept to the next level, often to such an extent that they are coined “Single Page Applications” – a web application that never reloads the browser window.

When building these types of applications, JQuery may no longer be the best choice.  Using JQuery requires extra code to keep the UI synchronized, a manual task that may grow complex and difficult to manage.  In contrast, both Angular and React help to automate and simplify this chore, resulting in optimum performance.


Size & Scope

React Apps Platform SampleAngular is typically classified as a full framework while React is considered a library.  This means that Angular includes everything plus the kitchen sink, but React only concerns itself with the user interface.  React is more lightweight than Angular, but includes less functionality out of the box.

Which approach is better, the all-encompassing framework or the specialized library?  Well, that depends. Angular already includes all the tools you need within easy reach.  Meanwhile, React may need to be supplemented with additional libraries, but you have the flexibility to choose which ones.


Learning Curve

Angular Platform dashboardSince Angular is a full framework, it naturally has a longer, steeper learning curve.  Angular also requires the use of TypeScript (a statically typed version of JavaScript), which is an additional skill that must be learned.  On the upside, Angular includes a tool for almost every scenario, so there’s usually a standardized, well-defined path forward.

In comparison, React requires less time to achieve a fuller understanding of the platform.  React does not dictate a highly opinionated architecture, allowing for better reuse of previously learned knowledge and skills.  However, due to React’s open-ended approach, there’s probably a greater risk of running astray, and developers must take special care to ensure they are following best practices.


Popularity

According to a variety of sources (such as Stack Overflow, NPM, GitHub, and Google Trends), React has the edge when it comes to growth and popularity.  For example, according to Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey, React usage narrowly surpassed Angular in 2019, “a switch from last year”.  Perhaps more importantly, 75% indicated they would use React again, while only 58% would use Angular again.

Why is popularity an important metric to consider?  Primarily, it can indicate a measure of quality.  Secondly, it may also influence the amount of online resources and availability of job pool candidates.  No matter how you look at it, both Angular and React rank among the most popular web technologies, with only jQuery topping them in usage.


Summary

Both Angular and React provide great platforms to build web applications upon, and there really is no right or wrong answer.  Before making any decisions, do some research. In the end, the right technology is the one that best fits your team and the project at hand.  It could be Angular, React, or something else entirely.

If you would like to learn more about Angular or React, please reach out to our Applications Solutions Group to start a conversation with us.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Announcing Keller Schroeder’s NEW Data Strategy Group

 

Since our founding in 1978, Keller Schroeder has continually evolved to meet the technology and business needs of our clients.  In today’s digital economy, we subscribe to the idea that Data Science, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence are skills that are now vital to a company’s future.  To that end, we are excited to announce the addition of our Data Strategy Group.  Keller Schroeder’s Data Strategy Group can help businesses develop the culture, capability, and methods to use advanced analytics for a competitive advantage.

Keller Schroeder's Data Strategy Group
Tom Vargo
will lead the new division as the Director, Data Strategy Group.  Tom has over twenty-five years of experience in the strategic application of technology for business improvement, and has been heavily involved in corporate analytics and enterprise architecture.

Morgan Duckworth joined Keller Schroeder on June 19th as a Senior Data Architect, Data Strategy Group.  Morgan had 17 years of experience as an Applications Developer, Business Analyst, and Senior Data Architect.

Josh Pack joined Keller Schroeder on July 3rd as a Principal Consultant, Data Strategy Group. Prior to joining Keller Schroeder, Josh earned experience as a Senior Data Scientist and as a Manager of a Data Science team.

Bryan Blubaum joined Keller Schroeder on July 29th as an Enterprise Architect, Data Strategy Group. Bryan has experience as a Data Engineer and Work Stream Lead for Data Governance in addition to experience as a Systems Administrator.

If you have any questions regarding Data Strategy or would like to discuss how your company can begin utilizing an organizational data strategy, monetize your data, or fine tune the methods you are currently using, please reach out to us any time for more information.

by Mallory Mallory No Comments

Introducing Our New Ecommerce Site

 

Graham Paxton_ KS Employee-Owner

Graham Paxton – [Inside Sales Manager]

Keller Schroeder’s mission is to provide our clients with the IT tools and services to improve business performance. That intention includes finding effective, time-saving methods to get you the IT products and information you need in the most efficient manner. With that focus in mind, we are excited to announce our new ecommerce website: Shop.KellerSchroeder.com.

Shop.KellerSchroeder.com was developed to meet a specific, increasing need among a number of our clients. They were looking for a quick resource that allowed them to research products, check availability, and compare the specifications of products.  PLUS, once they had made their buying decision, they wanted the opportunity to go ahead and place an order immediately. This is especially true for commodity-type items (i.e. laptops, components, accessories) where a traditional quote and design from our team is often unnecessary.

With this site, we are making those types of simple orders even easier, and it provides a convenient way to do business with a company that you already trust. Do you know exactly the product you need? Search for it and place your order on Shop.KellerSchroeder.com. Do you want to compare specs on products to see what best fits your needs and environment? Research it on Shop.KellerSchroeder.com. Do you need to determine what solutions and gear will fit within your budget? Take a look at Shop.Keller Schroeder.com.

Shop.KellerSchroeder.com IT Ecommerce

Upon entering the site, you will find a multitude of ways to search for products and organize search results. You will see real-time updates of availability directly from our distributors, along with any special promotions. This system also allows YOU to track your products once they have been shipped.  Plus you can use it anytime, day or night, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

As we are currently only issuing invoices for payment, our ecommerce site will initially require you to sign up for an account before you can place orders. It requires your team to fill out a simple form on the site, our team to validate it, and then you will be able to begin placing orders. For those who just want to peruse, all of the search and comparison features are available without an account.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and hope the new ecommerce website is an effective, time-saving way for you to make the purchases you need for your business. If you have any questions regarding Shop.KellerSchroeder.com, please reach out to your Select Account Manager or Graham Paxton, Keller Schroeder’s Inside Sales Manager, at onlinesales@kellerschroeder.com.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Technical and Interpersonal Skills are Equally Important

 

Jeff Gorman Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman  – [President]

As an IT professional, knowing your strengths and learning to recognize how to best interact with others is not viewed as a technical aptitude, but it does allow each of us to perform better in terms of providing desired services to business areas who need technical resources to achieve their goals.

Learning how to communicate effectively among people is equally important with knowing how to make technical systems communicate with each other.  There are plenty of stories from business units about projects failing because IT did not understand requirements.  There are also countless stories from IT about projects failing because the business units do not understand the technical implications behind their requests and actions.

At its most effective level, good Information Technology is about providing service to others to help improve business performance. Efficiently performing Information Technology takes both technical and interpersonal skills in equal parts. Beyond interactions with the rest of the business, even within IT there are frequently opposing objectives, which are not based on technical requirements but are critical to navigate successfully.

For example:

  • Security administrators want to keep systems patched at all times.
  • System administrators want to keep systems up at all times.

In most cases, it’s not possible to achieve both of those divergent objectives.  Common technical architecture principles say you get three choices among “good, fast, and cheap,” which inherently means as IT architects it is imperative you understand how to balance different needs and collaborate with others to determine the best courses of action.

The best administrators have to be effective communicators; listening with empathy, asking questions to seek context, establishing clarity on objectives and intentions, understanding a ‘big-picture’ outside of the tasks or systems they are responsible for to ensure their actions match the true ‘best case’ for the organization.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Thanks For Trusting Us Nashville

 

Rob Wilson- Keller Schroeder Leadership Team

Rob Wilson  – [Principal Consultant – Greater Nashville Area]

As we approach the two year anniversary of when we started to emphasize growing our business in the Greater Nashville Area, I wanted to give an update on how things are progressing. Road warriors no more, Lee Barron and I have both moved into the region as of earlier this year. In 2018, we more than doubled the number of clients we serve in Nashville. In the past twelve months, over one-third of our employee-owners have been engaged on projects for our Nashville area clients. There is much to be thankful for, but nothing more than the trust our new and existing clients have given us.

Trust is an interesting thing. We often think of it as something we must earn, when in fact it is something one must choose to give in advance. That’s why we don’t take trust for granted. It is the hardest thing for you to let go of. It is said that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. We can help you know us by making you more aware of who we are and what we do. We can help you like us by being likable. And, of course, we can influence your trust proving ourselves trustworthy. But it isn’t enough just to share how others trusted us and how we delivered for them, or even to tell you of the times we messed up and how we made it right. In fact, our trustworthiness is not something we can prove to you personally at all until first you give us your trust. Once you give it, the onus is on us to prove you right.

We’re very grateful for those who have trusted us, and then gave us the highest of compliments by trusting us again. It’s a big step, putting your personal seal on a relationship recommendation, and we know it. You have business objectives you are trying to achieve, and you need to make sure the right technology partnerships are in place to achieve them. Once you trust us on an endeavor, we share the responsibility of making it a success. We own that responsibility, and we care deeply about your success.

Another interesting thing about trust – it goes both ways. We have expressed our trust in the Nashville community through our investments of many types. Of course, you have delivered on your end. As we continue to strive to make positive, personal impacts on the businesses and communities in the Nashville area, through technology and other meaningful ways, we look forward to continuing to build upon that mutual trust.

In future posts, I’ll share more about the type of work we’re doing here and ways we are getting involved. For now, we just wanted to say thank you again to our clients and partners here for your warm welcome and for proving your trustworthiness to us.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Let Your Data Tell Your Story

 

Matt Mulherin - Keller Schroeder Applications ConsultantMatt Mulherin  – [Applications Consultant]

Currently, AI or Artificial Intelligence is quite the buzzword.  AI is defined as intelligence exhibited by machines or software.  AI is growing leaps and bounds in the business world and AI investment increased by 300% in 2017 according to IDC.  Deloitte reports 82% of organizations will be investing in AI by 2020. There are many levels of AI, some more advanced, costly, and complex than others.  Many smaller organizations hesitate, and rightly so, to take the plunge into the newest, costly AI technologies.  How do these organizations get started without having to invest too much time and resources into AI technologies?

Our answer is Microsoft Power BI, an affordable business analytics solution that visualizes data and allows you to share insights across the organization.  It can connect to many data sources and bring data to life with interactive, live dashboards and reports.  Power BI can integrate with Azure Machine Learning Services, which are a subset of AI, to analyze data and make future predictions about the business.  Power BI is available as a SaaS option running in the Azure cloud or as an on-premises option as Power BI Report Server.

Even if you are not quite ready to go big with AI, your business will benefit greatly from Power BI because of its easy-to-use capabilities to create reports and dashboards to gain insight into your data.  Different departments in an organization have different needs for the type of data, reports, and visualizations they use to monitor performance.  For example, Finance might want to see visualizations around revenue, profitability, and expense management, while individuals in Operations have a need to see inventory performance and resource consumption trends.

The great news is that Power BI is affordable.  You can sign up for a free account to give it a test drive or subscribe for $9.99 per month per user.  There is a premium license available for capacity-based pricing.  Compared to other tools it can be much more affordable to get started, providing you more time to get buy-in from the organization before investing too much up-front.

Power BI is a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. This is quite an achievement for only being in the market for 4 years, but Power BI is a cloud-based platform built using technologies from Microsoft that have been around for the last 20 years.  It is an industry-leading product and can scale as your data analytics and AI practices grow within your organization.

Power BI Desktop is a free downloadable client desktop tool used to configure, model, and build visualizations and reports in Power BI.  It is designed for a power user, someone with data and technical skills, but not necessarily programming skills. Power BI Desktop uses Excel like expressions called Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) for extending your data model for reporting purposes.  No coding is required.

The process for getting started using Power BI is straightforward.

  1. Connect to your data using over 100+ built-in data source connectors
  2. Easily clean the data using the user interface options and load it into Power BI Desktop
  3. Shape the data to match your analysis and reporting needs using DAX
  4. Create relationships and enrich your data model with new calculated columns and metrics
  5. Create reports with dozens of customizable pre-built visualizations
  6. Publish the reports and datasets to the Power BI service for collaboration and consumption by others in your organization

As a consumer of Power BI, you choose datasets and fields you want in your reports, filter the data, build dashboards, share with others, use natural language to ask questions of the data, and view visualizations anywhere on your mobile device.

In the data culture we are currently living in, gathering data from multiple sources and analyzing it in order to clearly understand what story the data is telling can be a daunting task.  Power BI enables you to easily connect, model, and then explore your data with visual reports so that you can collaborate, publish, and share.

Keller Schroeder can help you purchase, configure, model your data, and build visualizations that will change your data into insights using Microsoft Power BI.  Gaining insights and telling a story with your data can be the first steps to utilizing AI in your business and modernizing your organization’s data strategy.

If you would like to learn more about Power BI, please reach out to our Applications Solutions Group to get started.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Keller Schroeder Cloud Readiness Assessment

 

Matt Barton  – [Director, Data Center Services]

Quick quiz: How many of the following Cloud related terms can you define?

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DRaaS, BaaS, HPC, AI, BI, Cloud Native, Private, Hybrid, Public, Hyperscale, Serverless, Burstable, Elastic, CDN, EC2, Containers, Objects, Multi-tenancy, Microservices, CSP, SLA, IoT, VPC, AWS, and Azure.

Confused?  You’re not alone.  The cloud market in 2019 is a mash-up of thousands of vendors and tens of thousands of applications.  From Cloud Native, to ‘Cloudwashed’ re-branded on-premises applications, there is no shortage of solutions for any problem facing your business.  Deciding what to migrate, when, and to which cloud provider are all important decisions.  Monthly costs and a predictable budget are not necessarily a sure thing, either.

Thankfully, Keller Schroeder can help!  Using the recently launched Microsoft Azure Migrate product, Keller Schroeder can help simplifying key technical decisions surrounding migrating apps to the cloud:

  • Assess whether your on-premises machines are suitable for running in Azure.
  • Get size recommendations for Azure VMs based on the performance history of on-premises VMs.
  • Get estimated costs for running on-premises machines in Azure.
  • Visualize dependencies of on-premises machines to create groups of machines that you will assess and migrate together.

Azure Migrate, combined with Service Map gather information about all TCP-connected processes on the server where they’re installed and details about the inbound and outbound connections for each process.  This prevents migrating dependent apps on different servers, racking up potential additional bandwidth charges.

In addition, data collected from Azure Migrate can be used to determine if a local SQL server should migrate to an individual SQL VM (costly) or to SQL as a Service (much cheaper).

Azure Migrate automatically suggests VM sizing based on ACTUAL on-prem performance requirements; no need to manually adjust the sizing of those VMs you KNOW are oversized.  Consistent costs and a fixed budget are possible by starting with properly sized Azure resources:

Azure Migrate is quickly & easily deployed into most VMware environments, and support for physical servers is due out soon.  Reach out to your Account Manager for more information!

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