Keller Schroeder Names New Network Solutions Group Business Unit Director

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Corey Ainscough
Network Solutions Group Director

 

Corey Ainscough has officially been promoted to Network Solutions Group Business Unit Director at Keller Schroeder. This announcement ends a year of transition for Corey from Service Delivery Manager into his new role. The NSG Business Unit Director position was previously held by Jeff Gorman, who became Keller Schroeder’s President on 1/1/17.

Corey has nearly 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field. Prior to his role as Service Delivery Manager, he spent 10 years as a Senior Systems Consultant with Keller Schroeder focusing on security architecture and implementation, as well as Microsoft server and messaging technologies. Among his many projects, Corey also served as the virtual CIO for a large financial institution and managed the IT transition during the divestiture of an international electronics and manufacturing corporation.

Of Corey, President Jeff Gorman said “Corey has been a well-respected employee owner at Keller Schroeder for ten years.  He has been actively involved in the operational aspects of the Network Solutions Group for several years and has been an integral part of that team’s growth.  His promotion into the role of Network Solutions Group Business Unit Director is well deserved and keeps that group positioned for continued growth and success.”

Corey lives in Newburgh, IN with his wife of eight years and two sons. In addition to enjoying time with his family, Corey is an avid cyclist and fitness enthusiast.

Please join us in congratulating Corey!


Keller Schroeder Completes Transition of Leadership

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Jeff Gorman has been appointed President of Keller Schroeder, effective January 1, 2017, replacing Larry May, who will be retiring in February, 2017 after 20 years with the company.  The leadership transition was announced in January, 2016.  Gorman will also be appointed as a Director and Board Chairman.

“Keller Schroeder has experienced significant growth over the past several years, and Jeff has been a key part of our success,” said May, “He is highly respected by our employee-owners and has an outstanding reputation with our clients.”  Gorman joined Keller Schroeder in 2004, and most recently served as Director of the Company’s Network Solutions Group, its largest and fastest-growing business unit.  Prior to Keller Schroeder, Jeff held technical and leadership positions with Ascension Health/CSC, Welborn Clinic, and South Western Communications.  He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and his Masters of Public Service Administration from the University of Evansville.

Please join us in congratulating Jeff!

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Holiday Wishes

holiday-bannerDear Colleagues and Friends,

The holiday season is often a time for reconnecting with those closest to us and reflection on what and who are most important to us.  At Keller Schroeder, that means being thankful for each other (we really do like each other here!) and being thankful for you, our clients.  We enjoy many deep, enduring business relationships, even friendships, with our clients.  For this we are sincerely grateful.

It is our goal to be more than “resources” to you.  Our aim is to make a positive, personal impact every time we connect with our clients – helping you achieve your business objectives, but also leaving you in a better place, personally and professionally.  We appreciate every opportunity to serve you in 2016, and we look forward to new ones in 2017.

For me, this year-end is especially significant as I pass the leadership reins to Jeff Gorman, our new President, on January 1, 2017.  I have been richly blessed by the good friendships and experiences with my co-workers at Keller Schroeder and my client colleagues.  Thank you for the opportunities we’ve had to do some great work together.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones in 2016, and best wishes for a prosperous 2017!  Not everyone subscribes to Jesus (the “birthday boy” of the Season) as Lord and Messiah, but all of us would agree He was a world-changer.  He certainly changed mine.

Sincerely,
Larry May
President

Ownership Thinking

how-to-choose-a-careerI was asked recently to speak to a group of college students about lessons learned from my 35 years in the marketplace.  As you can imagine, narrowing 35 years of experience down to a 30-minute talk was fairly challenging, but one of the topics I chose for these students – and a factor that has contributed significantly to our success at Keller Schroeder – is what I refer to as ownership thinking.

Keller Schroeder has been employee-owned for 13 years through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), but ownership thinking has little to do with who actually holds the stock certificates.  There are lots of people who own companies, in full or in part, who do not practice ownership thinking.  And, there are lots of people who have never owned a share of stock in a company who are pros at ownership thinking.

choose-your-pathOwnership thinking is about choosing to believe – and it is a choice – that you have the most to do with your path and your destination – not your circumstances, and not the actions of others.  Psychologists refer to it as a strong “internal locus of control”.  Students who practice ownership thinking will blame themselves, not their teacher, for a poor outcome on an exam.  Leaders who practice ownership thinking will focus on shaping the future and influencing outcomes rather than reporting on the past or justifying underperformance.  Conversely, individuals who tend toward an “external locus of control” are quick to blame others or environmental factors for their misfortunes.

What is your bias?  Do you “own it”, look for solutions, and take action?  And would you agree that those who do so are far more pleasant to live with and work around than those who don’t?  Doesn’t it stand to reason that those who practice ownership thinking perform at a higher level and achieve more than those whose default is to look beyond their sphere of influence to explain most of what happens to them?

You and I as individuals can strengthen our tendency toward ownership thinking by surrounding ourselves with those who have a strong internal locus of control – those who habitually believe and act as though their own actions are more important than the hand they have been dealt.  As leaders, we can build a bias in our organizations toward ownership thinking by rewarding action and initiative over justification and deflection.

There are always environmental factors and circumstantial contributors to what we see and experience in business and in life, but if we choose to own, act and move, rather than blame, dwell and wait, we exponentially increase our chances for success.

Larry May[President]


Enterprise Storage Is Not A Game

Kris Linville – [Senior Systems Consultant]Basic RGB

Winter is coming… have you chosen which house you will ally with?  Challengers will rise and fall but only the one true king will sit upon the throne when the game is won.

Your current storage solution has done an adequate job at fulfilling your needs in the past using the same old traditional methodologies.  Still, you have learned that, all too often, quality of service will vary under the stressful load of a busy day and you realize that a little more struggle will be in order to get what you need when your storage must divide its attention between multiple courtiers.  Maybe you are ready to see how much your highly-virtualized, production server environment can prosper when a worthy solution is allowed to take its place in your data kingdom.

Pass the crown.  It’s time to elect a small but mighty array to rule the bits and bytes in your data center and Keller Schroeder with Nimble Storage can light the way.

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In 2015, Sr. Systems Consultant Chris Haynes explained the features of the CS-Series arrays and told you why Nimble Storage is favored by Keller Schroeder as the best next-gen hybrid storage array.  With its groundbreaking simplicity and advanced administrative features, Nimble Storage has been renowned, worldwide, as one of the fastest growing storage vendors in history and has rightfully received numerous industry awards in the process.

Since its first product shipment in 2010, Nimble Storage has attentively listened to its partners and customers to develop innovative solutions that fulfill the ever-growing enterprise data center storage needs.  It is that attention and innovation which has led to the release of the most predictive, most scalable, and most reliable all-flash storage array on the market today.

With the Nimble Storage AF-Series all-flash arrays, you will get all of the NimbleOS feature enhancements at no additional cost, Triple+ Parity RAID to survive 3 simultaneous drive failures, variable block sizes for application performance optimization, predictive analytics monitoring for your storage arrays and virtual machines through the InfoSight portal and VM Vision, and FIPS-certified encryption at rest and on-the-wire when natively replicated… just to highlight a few.

Hold the door!  The illustration below compares the performance and storage capacity based on data center footprint of the Nimble Storage AF-Series with other well-known all-flash offerings.  Obviously, the Nimble Storage AF-Series is no sheep.  This small package has a beast inside and it is not afraid to break through the large shadow cast by other solutions on the market.  How will you choose to arm your data center?

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Other all-flash solutions may offer great performance and latency numbers, but do not scale well as storage demands grow.  Nimble Storage products offer simple and seamless scalability in enterprise storage solutions.  Keller Schroeder has seen, first-hand, the real-world results of the All Flash Array scalability and data reduction technologies that provide over 3x storage savings for highly virtualized environments.  When you need to grow, whether you are looking to scale up, scale deep, or scale out, you can rest easy knowing that performance is decoupled from capacity to allow for scaling only the necessary components.  This uniquely allows for independent and non-disruptive scaling operations that include upgrading storage controllers, adding external storage shelves, and clustering any combination of Adaptive Flash or All Flash arrays in up to four nodes per cluster, to provide guaranteed performance of 1.2 million IOPS at sub-millisecond latency in as much as 8.2PB of storagsmartstacke capacity.

Modern data centers are all about consolidation and integration which makes building specialized infrastructure silos feel like a step in the wrong direction.  There’s no longer a reason to limit your best performance to just a select set of workloads.  Nimble Storage has once again partnered with Cisco and VMware to develop reference architectures; combining Nimble Storage Arrays, Cisco Unified Computing Systems (UCS), and VMware vSphere; known as Cisco Validated Designs (CVD) for all types of production data center workloads.  The SmartStack Integrated Infrastructure increases performance and availability while driving down data center hardware cost and footprint.

Nimble Storage All Flash Array Key Feature Summary:

  • All NimbleOS Software Features Included
  • Consistent Storage Performance
  • Tailored Application Optimization
  • Predictive Analytics with InfoSight and VM Vision
  • Data Reduction with Deduplication and Compression
  • Unified Flash Fabric – any 4 CS-Series or AF-Series arrays
  • Scale-to-fit Architecture
  • Triple+ Parity RAID for Maximum Availability
  • FIPS-certified Encryption at Rest and On-the-wire
  • SmartStack Integrated Infrastructure CVDs

“That’s what I do… I’m fast and I store things.”

                                                                  -Nimble


Winter is coming.  Take up your watch.  Build a true history of great conversation by contacting your Keller Schroeder Account Manager and be the fire that burns against the cold.


2016 Client Appreciation Event : Superheroes Unite

Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing and Communications Coordinator]2016-cae-logo-superheroes-unite-2

On Friday, October 7th, 2016, Keller Schroeder hosted our annual Client Appreciation Event. This year, we wanted to again honor the true superheroes in our organization, our fantastic group of clients. With a theme of “Superheroes Unite,” it was a day filled with a delicious lunch from Marx Barbecue and dessert from the Pacetre, plus fellowship, fantastic prizes, and a lot of fun. Our prizes this year icae-2016-photo-booth-1ncluded a Bose Home Theater System, an Apple Series 2 Watch, fun superhero gear, Yeti tumblers, gift cards, a more!

Perhaps our favorite aspect of this event every year is the opportunity we give our clients and employee-owners to give back to the community. The continued generosity shown at this event never ceases to amaze us. This year, The Lampion Center was chosen to receive our give back donations. We successfully collected over 2 truckloads of supplies for the organization – things like cleaning supplies, office supplies, Daniel Tiger DVDs, and new equipment to aid the Lampion Center’s therapists during their sessions.

2016-cae-centerpiececae-2016-cupcakesThank you so much to all of our employee-owners for their hard work in making this event a reality every year. We also greatly appreciation our vendor partners for both their resources and for joining us. Most importantly, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our clients for their continued loyalty and support. Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Client Appreciation Event! It’s always the first Friday in OctoberOctober 6th in 2017!

 


How Does Work Flow in your Organization?

workflow-illustrationCarrie Rudolph – [Keller Schroeder Certified Nintex Workflow Professional]

How often do you hear individuals in your organization say, “I haven’t been able to work on that ‘important task’ yet, because of all of these other smaller things needing my attention each day.”?  How often do individuals in your organization answer questions on status with “It’s somewhere in the approval process but I don’t know whose desk it’s on.”?  These phrases are all too common.  When work doesn’t flow smoothly and efficiently throughout your organization it causes backlogs, distractions, and frustration, all of which impact your organization’s ability to function, react, and grow.

According to businessdictionary.com, a workflow is defined as a progression of steps (tasks, events, interactions) that comprise a work process, involve two or more persons, and create or add value to the organization’s activities.  Every department in every organization has workflows.  Some are simple and straightforward, others are more complicated with many people, tasks, and events.  Workflows made up of logical and repeatable steps present an opportunity for automation.

When many organizations begin to explore workflow automation, they focus on the larger, more cumbersome workflows thinking that streamlining these complex processes will yield the most savings of time and resources.  Starting with these larger processes however, many times results in failed attempts at automation or lackluster adoption and savings due to the complexity of these processes.  Instead, I challenge organizations to consider the numerous simpler processes that employees perform every day.

These work items are fundamental processes that are crucial to the operation of your organization, such as document approvals, expense reports, leave requests, and service requests. These are workflows that may distract employees from larger issues/tasks, and because they are performed so frequently and viewed as simple, they are prone to more mistakes, which can add up in rework and lost time.  These processes are perfect candidates for automation because they have a great chance for success, are less complex, and train users to think about workflow solutions.

Automating these solutions takes the burden of managing the processes off of your employees and results in more than ROI.  You can get more done with less effort, focus on what matters most, and expand the impact and scope of your organization. Workflow automation also provides a clear picture of current status and participants’ performance, and this additional data can lead to process improvement. The keys to success, when starting to introduce workflow automation in your organization, are to make an immediate impact by getting started quickly, easily reaching all participants, and connecting to content across your organization.

nintex-logoThe Nintex Workflow Platform is a suite that Keller Schroeder recommends to assist organizations with workflow automation.  Nintex enables organizations to create solutions in days and weeks, instead of months, so you quickly see the benefits from reduced steps.  It allows workflow participants to interact with tasks via mobile devices, emails, or Skype for Business.  The Nintex Platform also facilitates links across your work systems, cloud applications, or social channels to facilitate information sharing.

The Nintex Workflow Platform sits on top of Microsoft SharePoint and doesn’t require additional infrastructure.  Nintex workflows, forms, and connectors are designed using the drag, drop, and configure approach instead of coding, so it’s very easy to learn and use.  If work isn’t flowing within your organization, consider workflow automation as a means to ease the backlog and frustrations and allow your team to focus on what’s most important.

Keller Schroeder is a partner with Nintex and has two employee-owners who are certified Nintex Workflow Professionals.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more about workflow automation with the Nintex Workflow Platform.


United, We Serve

Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing and Communications Coordinator]

One of the most unique things about Keller Schroeder as a company is our caring group of employee-owners and their generous hearts. The culture we have fostered emphasizes making positive impacts on people, and our employee-owners continually do this through charitable giving, camaraderie, and joining forces behind causes that directly impact our community. This fall presented us with many opportunities to work together to give back to our community, including to one of our own facing her own battle.


day-of-caringUnited Way’s Day of Caring – September 9th, 2016

Each fall, businesses in the surrounding area allow their employees to spend time volunteering alongside the United Way of Southwestern Indiana on a single day known as “The Day of Caring.” This year’s “Day of Caring” was held on September 9th. Volunteers first met at the Old National Events Plaza for a kick-off breakfast. They then headed to areas in need all over the community. This year, our President Larry May worked with Payne Wealth Partners to assist the Evansville Association for the Blind.

 


Komen Evansville Race for the Cure – September 28th, 2016rftc-the-girls

September also marks our community’s annual Susan G. Komen’ Race for the Cure. Thousands of runners and walkers gather along side breast cancer survivors and their families to raise funds and awareness. This year’s Race for the Cure was particularly meaningful for our Keller Schroeder family. Our Inside Product Manager Dezarae Loewen is currently battling Stage 2 breast cancer. Our employee-owners banded together to walk or run to help find a cure and show our love and support for Dezarae. It was a hot one, but we had a blast “Doing It for Dez!”


United Way Giving Campaign Company Picnic – October 4th, 2016united_way_logo-svg

The end of September brings Keller Schroeder’s United Way Giving Campaign, where employee-owners commit to giving to the United Way of Southwestern Indiana for the following year. Our campaign for 2017 was another huge success, with our employee-owners opening their hearts and wallets to support this amazing organization. To cap off our campaign, we always host an outdoor picnic to celebrate. We used this year’s picnic to thank and celebrate our staff for their generous pledges, and as a way for our group to come together to show our support for Dezarae Loewen. It was a great day filled with food, prizes, fun, and lots of love. Thank you once again to our employee-owners and their families!
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Larry May to Serve as USI’s 2016 Executive in Residence

dsc_0023Keller Schroeder’s President Larry May will serve as the 2016 Executive in Residence for the University of Southern Indiana’s Romain College of Business. His presentation, titled “The Value of Ownership and Running Shoes,” will be presented at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, in Carter Hall in University Center West. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The primary purpose of the Executive-in-Residence program is to provide opportunities for students to gain insights into the business world and into the thoughts and lives of business executives. This year is the 44th year for the program at USI.

More about Larry May from the University of Southern Indiana’s post :

Larry May led Keller Schroeder’s transition from its founding owners to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan structure in 2004, fostering a highly-engaged ownership culture that serves more than 200 clients and 85 employee-owners. Prior to Keller Schroeder, he held technical and leadership positions in IT and human resources with Bristol-Myers Squibb. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer systems management and a master’s degree in business administration from Murray State University.

usi-logoMay has been a resident of Evansville for 35 years and currently serves as the chairman of the board of United Way of Southwestern Indiana. He also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children (CASA) volunteer for Vanderburgh County. May has served as chairman of the IT Alliance advisory board for the Romain College of Business at USI.

May resides in Evansville with his wife Tammie. They have three children daughter Diana; son, Travis; and daughter, Carly, who is a CPA and recent accounting graduate of USI.


Vision Trumps Strategy

We businesspeople love our strategies.  We conduct strategy meetings and summits, develop strategic plans, and more.  And yet on a recent mission trip to El Salvador I was reminded, perhaps more vividly than ever, that vision trumps strategy.  If you don’t know your destination, a map for getting there is pretty useless.

 Sus-HijosKurt Ackermann is a missionary and founder of Sus Hijos (Spanish for “His Children”), a non-profit organization in El Salvador dedicated to serving orphaned and abandoned children, under-resourced families, and the homeless in this impoverished, crime-laden Central American country. This year was the second time I had served on a team hosted by Kurt and Sus Hijos.

To summarize Kurt’s passion for El Salvador, I would say he wants to help kids and families from “hard places” find their way socially, economically, and spiritually.  It should be no surprise, then, that a Sus Hijos mission team agenda typically includes serving and doing projects in orphanages, prisons, and transition homes for older youth.  Would it surprise you, though, if Sus Hijos opened a United States-themed diner in an upscale business and retail district in the capital city of San Salvador?

States DinerOn a trip with Kurt four years ago, I heard him share his dream of opening the “States Diner” as it is now called, a place where young adults who “age out” of orphanages can find employment, job skills training, and income when they would otherwise have nowhere to go but the streets.  Kurt didn’t come to El Salvador to start a diner.  He was drawn there by a vision to help lift up struggling kids and families in a country where there are very limited government support services.

While enjoying a couple of meals at the diner on my recent trip, I had the benefit of seeing its impact firsthand.  I saw hard-working, hope-filled smiling faces who are learning how to work, improving their English, learning new skills, and planning for their next step up after the Diner.  It was and is a highly-effective strategy for helping kids from “hard places,” and the strategy was born out of a compelling vision, not the other way around.

As business leaders, we can learn from Sus Hijos.  “Start with Why” (as eloquently suggested by Simon Sinek in his book and his popular video at TED.com), building a clear vision of why your organization or team exists.  Then “begin with the end in mind” (per Stephen Covey in his classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).  The strategy for getting there is important and a worthy investment of time and energy, but only after your organization is healthy enough to know why and where you are going.

Planning and strategy have always been in my comfort zone as a businessman, yet the longer I work the less stoked I get about planning and strategy, and the more I find myself asking about the purpose and the destination of those plans and strategies.  The more I focus on the destination, the more I find my colleagues joining me with inspiration and aspiration for excellence.  As Kurt is so effectively demonstrating in El Salvador, a leader with a purpose can make a deep and lasting impact.

Larry May[President]