What is “It” about Keller Schroeder?

confidence
Keller Schroeder has earned a stellar reputation for the quality of our work and the value of our contribution to the clients we serve. So what is “it” about us? What makes us stand out in a crowded marketplace of consultants, VARs, and systems integrators? If you will allow me a few lines here to shamelessly brag on our staff, I will offer three key characteristics, cutting across all of our diverse practice groups, which I believe contribute most to the positive impact we make for our clients.


Competency: Our 80+ employee-owners average 20 years of experience in the IT industry. We are an employer of choice who hires and retains really good people who love the field of IT and have been high performers in challenging environments. Our consultants must have strong communication skills and know how to navigate the complexities of large and small business environments.


Humility: As a regionally-focused firm, we cannot afford to approach our clients with a “my way or the highway” mentality. We listen and learn how best to add value for each unique client and project, and we “ask the extra question” to be sure we are not just doing things right, but also doing the right things. The employee-owners you get to know at Keller Schroeder are confident and capable, but not arrogant. We realize that while we have much to offer you, we are only succeeding when we are making you better. It’s about your business.


Ownership: Since 2004, we have been majority-owned (via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan) by all members of our core staff, not just senior management. When you engage a member of our team, you are dealing with an owner. There is a high degree of pride in what we do, and a high degree of accountability to do it well. Each employee-owner has the opportunity to increase the value of our firm by making your organization more successful. We believe this is the ideal model for a services firm.


As you strive to make 2014 your best year ever, I encourage you to include Keller Schroeder in your plans. Whether we come alongside you to augment your IT staff, or whether you need to outsource a project or service completely, you can rest assured that the employee-owners of Keller Schroeder will be highly motivated to make your experience with us a positive one.


Larry May
President


Spotlight On…

Employee Owner: Mike Sanford

mikesanfordWith over 20 years of experience in IT and the last 12 in networking, Mike has served as Network Administrator for a manufacturing company and maintained network environments for domestic and international sites. Mike’s experience also includes work with a financial institution maintaining over 70 banking centers and lending institutions, as well as a large national hospital system. He has installed, maintained and supported wide area and local area networks, including firewalls, Virtual Private Networks and network monitoring solutions. Mike also has experience with Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager and Unity Connections voice platforms.
Mike and his wife Misty reside in Evansville as do two of their four children, Emma and Kelsey. Their other two children, Justin and Gabriella are active members of the US Navy and reside in Norfolk, VA. Mike’s an avid sports fan, but had to abandon his promising basketball career due to a back injury that forced him to have height reduction surgery. Mike and Misty recently welcomed their first grandchild, Brayden, into the family and much of their time is dedicated to that new adventure.
Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Mike and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.


Xamarin and Microsoft, Better Together

Xamarin large logoEric Maurer, Systems Consultant


If you have read our previous newsletter articles on mobile, tried out our Client Appreciation Event (CAE) App, or talked to us about mobile development you probably already know that we are big fans of Xamarin. Xamarin lets us write native iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps entirely in C#. By using C#, we can utilize our existing team and development infrastructure to write shorter, simpler and more maintainable code across platforms. With a goal of 90% code reuse we can quickly roll out versions to additional platforms and easily keep features in sync between them.


Xamarin recently announced a new partnership with Microsoft that will make cross-platform app development even easier. Their new collaboration includes the following highlights:

  • Tighter integration with Visual Studio 2013, allowing development across platforms almost entirely from Visual Studio
  • The ability to share a single solution across multiple platforms by utilizing Portable Class Libraries
  • A special discount for MSDN subscribers, including 30% off of individual licenses and 50% off of team licenses
  • Free training and certifications through the newly created Xamarin University


    Xamarin is also partnering with Microsoft to support Windows Azure Mobile Service on Android and iOS. This partnership allows the creation of a scalable and secure backend for your Windows, Android and iOS apps. A few of the major benefits of Azure Mobile Services are:

  • The ability to auto scale your backend to always meet current demands
  • A built-in Notification Hub for managing cross-platform notifications
  • User authentication that doesn’t require custom code


    The integration of these features allows for writing C# application code only once and using it across all three platforms bringing us even closer to our goal of 90% code reuse.


    At Keller Schroeder, we’ve already seen the benefits of using Xamarin firsthand, including faster ramp-up times for team members and code reuse across existing code base (mobile and non-mobile), along with the ability to deploy an app on additional platforms in a fraction of the time. We fully believe that this partnership will further cement the role of Xamarin in the mobile development arena and increase its value in the enterprise.


    Are you interested in taking advantage of this great new partnership? If so, contact Keller Schroeder today for more information on how we can help you get to efficient, high quality mobile solutions in less time and with less investment.


  • What is Office 365?

    Office365
    Dezarae Miller, Inside Product Manager
    What is Office 365 exactly?
    Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service, hosted by Microsoft, that end users access across the Internet. It offers a variety of services and software based on the Office platform. It isn’t just hosted email, but includes a range of services including instant messaging, collaboration, and more. These services can either be purchased as a suite, as individual components, or mixed and matched.
    The most common individual plans consist of:

    • Exchange Online Plan 1 & 2 – Email
    • SharePoint Online Plan 1 & 2 – Collaboration
    • Lync Online Plan 1 & 2 – Instant Messaging, Voice, and Video
      The pricing for SharePoint Plan 1 or Exchange Plan 1 come in at $48.00 per user/per year. For Plan 2, the plans come in at $96.00 per user/per year. Lync pricing is $24.00 per user/per year for the Plan 1 option and $66.00 per user/per year for the Plan 2 option. All Plan 2 offerings include features from Plan 1.
      The suites used by most businesses include:

       

    • Office 365 Midsize Business – limited to 300 users, Office Pro Plus desktop version, components of Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync
    • Office 365 Enterprise E1 – Components of Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync
    • Office 365 Enterprise E3 – Office Pro Plus desktop version, components of Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync
    • Office 365 Enterprise E4 – Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync, Office Pro Plus desktop version, Enterprise functionality
      Pricing for these plans ranges from $96.00 per user/per year to $264.00 per user/per year. Midsize Business, E3, and E4 include the desktop version of Office Pro Plus for the period of the subscription.
      Office 365 service is built on an update structure. Updates are provided once per quarter. Any new releases of products are automatically upgraded during those quarterly updates. Also, since all services are hosted by Microsoft, your organization can benefit from being backed by a 99.9% schedule uptime SLA, and a premium disaster recovery service.
      As you can see, Office 365 offers plans from small to enterprise businesses with options to mix and match according to your business needs. If you have any additional questions, please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager for more information.