2014 Client Appreciation Event

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing Assistant


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Despite a few early challenges compliments of Mother Nature, the 2014 Keller Schroeder Client Appreciation Event was a tremendous success. On October 3rd, over 300 Keller Schroeder guests, employee owners, and selected vendor partners took a walk on the wild side, as the theme for this year’s event was Jungle Safari. Greeted by animals, bright colors, and jungle-inspired sounds, the event gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy exotic food, fantastic conversation, and lots of fun. [PICTURES]


gorillaAn important element of our Client Appreciation Events each year is our commitment to giving back to our community. This year, we partnered with CASA of Vanderburgh County, an organization that provides court appointed special advocates for children from birth to eighteen years who have been physically or sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned. It truly is “a jungle out there” for these children, and we were extremely excited to include them as our “Giving Back” organization this year. Keller Schroeder, both corporately as well as individual employee owners, along with our event attendees, provided office and other supplies for CASA’s advocate training center and children’s items for a store the organization provides for its children. Once again, attendees were entered into a gift-card drawing as an incentive to contribute items at the event. In all, hundreds of items worth thousands of dollars were donated.


Key vendor partners who joined us for this year’s event and provided support and sponsorship included Cisco, Nimble, LogRhythm, Barracuda, and K2.


Join us next year, on the 1st Friday in October, for the 2015 Client Appreciation Event!



Business Edition 6000

Tim Deem, Sr. Network Consultant


As a Cisco Partner with a Voice Specialization for over a decade, we have seen the growth and maturity of the Unified Communication platforms and products firsthand – from the earliest Cisco 7750 consolidated single-chassis product providing simple dial-tone & voice mail services to today’s distributed modular unified communication product line that contains a wide array of collaboration tools to manage voice, video, messaging and numerous other means of communication.


In its first iteration beyond the single 7750 chassis model, each individual product, such as Cisco Call Manager and Unity, ran independently on stand-alone servers using the network for their inter-connectivity. Shortly after migrating the products from a Microsoft Windows platform to one of Red Hat Linux, to meet the demand of smaller businesses, Cisco released a single-server combined solution called Business Edition in which the primary products, Cisco Call Manager and Cisco Unity Connection (the new messaging product), would co-exist as a single image. This marked the beginning of a new product line and provided an entry point for those businesses wishing to reap the benefits of IP-based Communications at a price point much more palatable to their financial position.


Since that time, the original product has become known as Business Edition 5000. This was assumed to be an effort to differentiate it from the new announced Business Edition 6000 or as it’s become known, BE6K for short. The BE6K retains its namesake primarily in Marketing only as its design takes advantage of Cisco’s migration to virtual implementation. This new platform is based on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) hardware platform, available in a medium-density and high-density model, and is designed for an organization of up to 1000 employees utilizing up to a combined total of 2500 devices.


ciscobe6kIn addition to the basic services of the Business Edition 5000 product, Business Edition 6000 also provides the mechanism to deploy video conferencing, Jabber-based collaboration, Contact Center, and numerous complementary services such as Emergency Responder and Paging services and a wide variety of approved third-party applications. Each of these inherent, complementary or third-party applications co-exist within the Cisco UCS as virtual machines (VM) instances, extending to those managing the environment all the benefits a VMware environment provides.


Worth mentioning is a recent enhancement to the BE6K product that’s served to increase its popularity both with potential customers and Cisco Voice Partners is the ability to provide system redundancy both in day-to-day operation and business continuity planning by allowing for multiple physical servers in the overall design.


With the inherent applications focused on voice and video, the availability of third-party applications, and an ability to design a physically and geographically dispersed solution, the Business Edition 6000 product just might be the right solution for your environment.


Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information about these products and how they might benefit your organization.


Spotlight On…

MattBarton

Employee Owner: Matt Barton



Matt has over 14 years of experience in the Information Technology field. Prior to his role with Keller Schroeder, he was a Systems Engineer for a multi-location durable goods manufacturing company, supporting a VMware environment of 500+ servers spanning Windows Server 2000-2012 R2. He also has several years of Sr. Systems Administration experience working for Tier 1 automotive suppliers. His primary area of focus was on operational systems deployment and support, providing expertise to ERP and shop floor IT initiatives. Most recently, Matt led a large multi-domain Active Director & Group Policy consolidation initiative, DR and Business Continuity testing utilizing VMware Site Recovery Manager, and multiple Microsoft server migrations, including File/Print, Exchange, and Remote Desktop Services. His other skill areas include VMware VDI, Cisco UCS, Backup/Recovery solutions, and Barracuda Appliances.


Matt’s certifications: VMware Certified Associate-Data Center Virtualization,
MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration


Matt currently lives in Evansville with his two children, Olivia and Alexandria. His hobbies include hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. He also enjoys watching baseball and playing video & board games.


Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Matt and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.


Are You Friendly? (Mobile Websites and Web Applications)

Dan Ehrhart, Vice President of Applications


Psychology Today defines friendliness as, “a down to earth approach that is welcoming and positive.” So, what is mobile-friendliness? For a website, it’s one that is easy to use on a mobile device browser requiring no page resizing or horizontal scrolling.


Why is it important to be mobile-friendly? Well, it’s down-to-earth, welcoming, and increasingly it’s the window through which people first encounter your organization. Many people will not endure an unfriendly site. And 57% of users will not recommend companies with poor mobile sites (Source: Search Engine Journal).


Here are some local examples of website traffic:

  • Nineteen percent of Keller Schroeder’s website visitors come from mobile devices.
  • For a handful of manufacturers, it’s 25%.
  • A sports league exceeded 50% of visits coming from smartphones this year.


Mobile-Friendly-WebsiteDiscouraging a significant and growing percentage of website visitors doesn’t seem wise for any organization. To find mobile visitor info for your website, look at your on-site web analytics tool (e.g., Google Analytics). Also, check the bounce rate, which means the user left your site without going to a second page. If your site is not mobile-friendly, the bounce rate will probably be higher for the mobile category than the one for desktop/laptop.


If your website is ready to be replaced, consider responsive design, which allows for one site that dynamically adapts to devices ranging from smartphones to tablets to PC monitors. If you are happy with your website, consider a separate mobile site. Experienced with both approaches, Keller Schroeder can likely save you some blend of time, money, and grief.


Mobile-friendliness is not only for public websites. What software in use by your organization would be much more effective if accessible on a smartphone or tablet? If you are an application developer or your company develops or uses custom web apps, consider making mobile-friendly your standard approach. It’s a lot more efficient to build in mobile-friendliness from the beginning. We can help you get started, explore evolving an existing application, or develop your next web application. If instead you want a mobile app, we can help you with that as well.


For more information on mobile, visit www.kellerschroeder.com/mobile or scan the QR code below.


KS-mobile-QR


Living Large

Mann mit Fernglas aus der NäheEverything can’t be critical. Everything can’t be a top priority. If everything is important, nothing is. We’ve all heard these axioms, but in our daily experience, we observe widely varying responses to identical circumstances. A challenge or a change can seem huge to one person or organization, causing panic or paralysis, while another seems to take the same challenge or change in stride. How is it that certain situations stymie or devastate some, while others keep on going seemingly unfazed?


I think it has a lot to do with whether we are “living small” or “living large”. When our focus is inward and centered primarily on our own needs, this narrows our vision and keeps our attention on the little things close to us that affect us. In doing so, we live smaller and smaller lives. The smaller we live, the larger any new challenge or difficult circumstance seems to be.


When our personal focus is outward and more centered on others’ needs, this broadens our vision and takes our attention away from the little things close to us that affect us. In doing so, our lives grow larger – more robust – and new challenges or difficult circumstances naturally seem smaller. Our line of sight for big picture stuff is clearer. Examples are plentiful of those who are able to overcome tremendous personal obstacles by turning their eyes and their passions toward the interests and concerns of others.


Living large on a corporate level, as with individuals, requires an outward focus. While internal procedures and practices and financials are essential disciplines for a viable organization, the real “stuff” of a large-living firm is how it connects with and impacts customers, community, suppliers, and employees beyond the walls of its own existence. With a purpose far beyond profit generation, large-living organizations help their customers succeed, support and enrich their communities, work with their suppliers as partners, and help their employees be better in all spheres of life, not just in the workplace.


An organization that is living large will give appropriate attention to competitive challenges and changes in its marketplace, but instead of being obsessively preoccupied with the ebbs and flows of quarterly earnings and short term challenges, it will have the necessary clarity and bandwidth available to leverage macro trends and opportunities. With less time and energy focused on smaller, inward challenges, greater visibility is available for larger, external opportunities.


Living large sounds great, but it is easier said than done. We would like to believe we live large all the time, but the gravity of life pulls toward self-preservation and inward focus. As leaders, we would do ourselves and our organizations well to pause periodically and assess the “size” of our focus – whether we are predominantly living small or living large. Perhaps a trusted friend or colleague would provide some healthy objectivity, or maybe it’s a worthwhile discussion topic for your leadership team.


Either way, as we shift our focus outward and upward, obstacles may be inevitable, but they will seem less insurmountable.


Larry May
President


The End of an Era

Corey Ainscough, Sr. Systems Consultant


That's All FolksDoes your environment include any Windows Server 2003 servers? Did you know Microsoft will end support on July 14, 2015 for all versions of this product? This truly marks the End of an Era and could mean a drastic risk to your business. After July 14, 2015 Microsoft will provide no additional security updates or patches for this system. As a result, we recommend you consider the following when establishing project prioritization:

  • Overall Cost – Without Microsoft support, Windows Server 2003 will be more expensive to maintain due to third party application vendors ending support for their products. In addition, deployment of updated firewall rules, intrusion detection, and vulnerability management solutions will be needed to help mitigate unsupported operating system risk.

  • Compliance and Security – Vulnerability scans and audit reviews will identify Windows Server 2003 as an unsupported operating system, increasing your overall security risk score.

  • Windows Server


    Now is the time to consider alternatives for application migration and server operating system upgrades including Windows Server 2012 R2. This latest member of the Microsoft server operating systems provides a dramatic improvement over its decade old counterpart, including Work Folders, Storage Tiering and Workplace Join, just to name a few. One of the most beneficial solutions Microsoft has offered to administrators with Server 2012 R2 is the ability to centrally manage all servers via the Microsoft Server Manager dashboard. Microsoft Server Manager removes the boundaries of managing a single server (2003) to the ability to manage multiple servers throughout the environment from a single host. With Server 2012 R2 you can check performance statistics, identify troubled remote services, and take corrective action all from one centralized, customizable dashboard. Multiple servers can be grouped by role, location, or other special criteria.


    As you can see, upgrading to the Windows Server 2012 R2 Server from Windows Server 2003 will save you time and money. Why not make it happen now, well before the End of an Era arrives?


    Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information about these products and how they might benefit your organization.