Technology Vendor Summit

Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

On Thursday, February, 22nd, nearly 200 IT professionals from our local area, along with 17 technology vendor partners, gathered at the Old National Events Plaza for the first Keller Schroeder Technology Vendor Summit.

This daylong event featured networking opportunities and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. We were also honored to have Assistant United States Attorney Todd Shellenbarger and Secret Service Agent Jeff Ehringer serve as our key note guest speakers to discuss our government’s efforts to combat cyber security.


“Keller Schroeder has been around for over 40 years now, and we’re passionate about our clients. We’re also passionate about the opportunity to bring them new products that can help them in their day to day business. The Technology Vendor Summit is an opportunity for a large number of our vendor partners to come to Evansville, and educate our clients and prospects about their offerings. It’s really a unique way we feel we can make a positive, personal impact on our clients, so that they understand the wealth of opportunity and the wealth of products that are out there that can help them in their business.”

– Stephen Sleziak  |   Vice President of Infrastructure  |  Keller Schroeder


As you may know, Keller Schroeder always tries to include a way to give back to our community during our events. During the Technology Vendor Summit, we invited attendees to visit each of our vendor booths and vote for their favorite local charity, in hopes that their organization would win our $1,000 Give Back donation. We are excited to announce that our attendees chose Vanderburgh County CASA as the recipient of our $1,000 Give Back donation. Congratulations to the team at Cisco for gathering the most votes for your organization!

We put together two videos recapping the event, both from a client’s and a vendor partner’s point of view. You can see those via the Keller Schroeder YouTube Channel. You can also see additional photos of the event at kellerschroeder.com/tvs.

Thank you to all of our valued clients, employee-owners, and vendor partners for making this a fantastic event. Stay tuned for more information on next year’s Technology Vendor Summit!Keller Schroeder Technology Vendor Summit


Thanks to our Totally Rad Clients!

Each year in October, Keller Schroeder invites our clients to join us for an on-site event that serves as our opportunity to thank them for their continued business. Around 400 of our clients, prospects, and staff members get together for lunch, prizes, and a lot of fun. Each attendee receives a thank you gift for attending (we’ve given laptop backpacks, Maglites, Tervis tumblers, lunch coolers, etc.), and are also entered to win prizes which are drawn every half hour during the event.

Keller Schroeder Totally Rad 2017 Client Appreciation Event

KS Client Appreciation Event Tent

In 2017, we went retro with an 80s-themed “Totally Rad Client Appreciation Event.” We are proud to say we took this theme to the max with lots of neon, Rubix cubes, cassette & VHS tapes, Slinky’s, floppy disks – the works!

 

KS Client Appreciation Event Prize WinnersKS Client Appreciation Event Retro Arcade

Thanks to the Cisco Team at Tech Data, we were even able to secure a retro arcade- complete with Pacman, Galaga, Frogger, Asteroids, and more. Attendees were also entered to win some pretty sweet 80s-themed door prizes including a 50” 4K TV along with a Nintendo NES Classic, an adult-sized big wheel, a retro-style turntable with 80s vinyls, and an updated Polaroid camera.

KS Client Appreciation Event Give Back TentOur Client Appreciation Event also involves a unique charitable aspect, as we ask our employee-owners and clients to bring along a donation for a different charity each year. They are always exceedingly generous, and our chosen charities come away with truckloads of useful items they have requested. This is a major contributing factor in the Client Appreciation Event being our largest and most anticipated event every year.

Albion Fellows Bacon Center LogoFor this year’s event, we partnered with Albion Fellows Bacon Center as our give back organization. For over 35 years, Albion Fellows Bacon Center has been strategically working toward preventing domestic and sexual violence in our community and offering services to empower victims. Their services assess barriers to safety and self-sufficiency as well as the emotional and psychological needs of victims.

Albion Fellows Bacon Center Dryers

The generosity from our clients and employee-owners was once again overwhelming, and Albion left with tons of needed supplies. Keller Schroeder as a company was also able to provide two high-capacity dryers and laundry supplies for Albion’s shelter.

Thank you once again to our clients, employee-owners, and our vendor partners for making this year’s Client Appreciation Event an incredible success!


CLIENT SUCCESS: Improved Experience For Employees And Customers with Cisco

In partnership with  Tech Data, Keller Schroeder was able to obtain a series of case studies depicting recent client experiences with our team and Cisco technologies. Keep reading to learn how Keller Schroeder helped Jasper Chair Company improve their employees’ and customers’ experiences with an upgrade to the company’s IT network and security infrastructure with Cisco network and VOIP technology.

The Challenge

Jasper Chair Company LogoJasper Chair’s IT network and phone systems were outdated and systems were disjointed. In fact, it was starting to affect the workforce and it was slowing down production. Jasper Chair needed to find an IT company to help them build a roadmap to overhaul their existing IT infrastructure and replace it with faster, better performing technology that would enable them to offer an improved experience to their employees and customers.“Offering better technology that works together well is an essential backbone of any successful business. We knew we needed to heavily invest in new technology infrastructure, and we were looking for a trusted provider to help us build a strategy and a roadmap to gain a competitive advantage with the new technology,” explains Chad Barth, Vice President at Jasper Chair Company.

The Solution

Great Strategy and IT Roadmap for the Future  –    Jasper Chair needed to build a cohesive IT network and completely overhaul its existing phone system. Jasper Chair reached out to its IT manager, who then referred the company to Keller Schroeder. When Jasper Chair hired Keller Schroeder, their engineers and account managers were able to hit the ground running. The Keller Schroeder team listened to Jasper Chair’s concerns, they took time to understand the company’s technology wish list, and fully learn the current IT landscape. “We have really put our faith in Keller Schroeder, and they successfully laid out a plan to help us build the IT infrastructure we needed to be successful. We are confident in the technology selected because we chose Cisco,” adds Barth. Keller Schroeder created a roadmap and added in security solutions that would meet the IT needs of Jasper Chair. This new infrastructure included Cisco VoIP phone system, a server, Cisco Adaptive Security Application (ASA), and a new network. “Most importantly, Keller Schroeder helped us choose the best Cisco security products to protect our company from ransomware or cyberattacks.”

Benefits

High-Performing, Driven, and Organized – Throughout the project, Keller Schroeder was organized, attentive, and thoughtful about meeting Jasper Chair’s needs. The Keller Schroeder team led the charge in effectively managing the projects, and the company worked well with the Jasper Chair IT team.

“What most stood out to us with Keller Schroeder was their people. They were great to work with. They are all so effective and driven, and you can definitely tell that they love their job and the work they are doing” – Chad Barth, Vice President at Jasper Chair

Cisco LogoKeller Schroeder’s extensive knowledge about the Cisco products and solutions provided Jasper Chair with a guarantee the final solution would be high functioning and reliable. “They were cohesive with our IT systems, they integrated the projects well, and their engineers worked with the network team to ensure everything was working well together.” Managing the budget efficiently is a large part of successfully seeing the project through. Jasper Chair’s headquarters is located about an hour away from Keller Schroeder’s office, so the company took the time to conduct video conferencing sessions as much as possible to help control the costs. Barth says, “Keller Schroeder really put us first. Once they had the IT infrastructure in place, they really worked with us on the budget by accommodating us remotely.”

Thorough Support

Building and installing a new network and VOIP phone system can be complicated. Throughout the process, Keller Schroeder provided Jasper Chair with end-to-end support. From planning and purchasing and all the way to installation, Keller Schroeder was organized and set expectations for Jasper Chair to ensure the project’s success. “Keller Schroeder brought so many good ideas to the table, and we depend on them for that. They not only helped us build our new network and VOIP phone system, but they also gave us a plan for the future,” says Barth.

Results

Carefully Vetted, Secure Solutions – When building an expansive IT network, it is important to make sure all the products and solutions work together well. It is also important to ensure the best products are used to meet the business needs of the customer. Keller Schroeder carefully vetted the products and provided a cohesive ecosystem to help Jasper Chair’s business thrive. Barth adds, “With Keller Schroeder’s guidance, we decided to go primarily with Cisco products to build our IT network, VOIP phone system, and data center. Their solutions are reliable and secure. Protecting our data is a high priority.” Like many companies, Jasper Chair had been a target of malicious cyber-attacks. Now that they have Keller Schroeder on their side building reliable IT infrastructure with Cisco solutions and security, Jasper Chair has not had any further issues.

Happy Employees, Satisfied Customers – Prior to their engagement with Keller Schroeder, Jasper Chair’s employees had experienced a slow network and other technical issues that were distracting from their day-to-day tasks. Now, with the new system in place, employees are happy and more productive. “Keller Schroeder provided us with incredible service and they helped us find exactly what we were looking for. They have done a fantastic job with our current projects, and now they are already working on taking us through the next phase.”

Throughout the projects, Keller Schroeder worked to exceed Jasper Chair’s expectations and accomplish all their project goals and objectives. “They did everything we asked them to do, while exceeding our expectations on all levels. We don’t get as many complaints from employees anymore because things are working effectively.”

“The team at Keller Schroeder went the distance with us and has taken care of everything. Their commitment to our success was really felt by all of the employees at Jasper Chair.” — Chad Barth, Vice President at Jasper Chair Company

Exceeded Expectations – Keller Schroeder prides itself on going the distance to satisfy its customers. They don’t just meet the customer’s needs, but it exceeds them on all levels. Throughout the projects, Keller Schroeder was attentive to Jasper Chair’s needs and thoughtful about providing them the best customer service in the industry. “We look for consistency and trust and believe that slow and steady wins the race. For me, the most important factor for any business partnership is reliability, consistency, trustworthiness. We want reliable performance on a steady basis. Barth explains, “Keller Schroeder offered us the performance, quality, and expert knowledge we were looking for from an experienced and professional IT service provider. They were able to help us with all of our IT needs and build a roadmap for the future.”

For more information about how Keller Schroeder can assist your organization with Cisco technology, please contact your Select Account Manager.


Stay Connected With Us!

Social Media DiagramThe team at Keller Schroeder is always searching for new opportunities and avenues to stay connected with our clients, employee-owners, and vendor partners. If you haven’t already, take a quick moment to scroll down and “like,””follow,” or “subscribe” to our pages on your favorite social media sites.

We post the most up-to-date content and announcements to these pages including:

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Keller Schroeder’s Boomerang Retirement Program

Staffing Solutions Group DirectorSusie Mattingly – [Business Unit Director, Staffing Solutions]

Boomerang Retirement Group of EmployeesAre you facing the loss of skilled, experienced employees to retirement? The Baby Boomer generation is retiring in record numbers between now and 2030, requiring companies like yours to replace experienced talent and hard-to-find skills. New hires take time to train and acclimate to your company’s culture and procedures.  Keller Schroeder’s Boomerang Retirement Program offers a unique way to fill that gap.  The retiree can return to work for Keller Schroeder as a consultant.  They would be assigned to work at your company, as requested, to train and mentor employees, work on special projects, or for staff augmentation.

Benefits to You as the Employer:

  • The retiree completely separates from your company’s payroll and benefits.
  • Your company maintains unique, hard-to-find skills from talent who knows your culture and procedures.
  • Use as much or as little of the retiree’s services as needed—for months at a time as staff augmentation or sporadically for project work on a part time or full time basis.

Benefits for the Retiree:

  • No corporation to set up to become self-employed and no invoices to send.
  • Receives a pay check as a Keller Schroeder employee for hours worked and receives a W-2 form for tax purposes.
  • Receives challenging work assignments involving projects, handling of pressing problems, or training and mentoring junior employees.
  • Flexible schedules, part time or full time hours and remote work when appropriate.
  • Benefits including health insurance (if not of Medicare age) along with vision and dental insurance—even for those enrolled in Medicare.

Keller Schroeder Boomerang Retirement Program

What is a Boomerang Retiree?
An individual that retires from an organization but is willing to assist the organization for a temporary period of time as a consultant on a contractual basis.

Why was this program created?
This program was designed with the ever-growing population of ‘Baby Boomers’ in mind. Baby Boomers were born from 1946 – 1964 and began to reach full retirement age in 2012.  Recent statistics show 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day and will continue through 2030. Starting in 2016, on average, five Baby Boomers will retire for every one new hire.

Why would a retiree want to go back to work?
Often, leaving a satisfying job cold-turkey for retirement can be an abrupt jolt to employees accustomed to feeling purposeful, earning money, and enjoying relationships with their colleagues. The Boomerang Retirement Program allows them to negotiate a work schedule that affords them the benefits of both continuing to work and retirement simultaneously. For your business, it is extremely beneficial to have experienced hands train junior employees or new hires and pass along institutional wisdom, company processes, and project insights with fewer strings attached.

How does Keller Schroeder’s Boomerang Retirement Program work?
The retiree becomes a Keller Schroeder employee and is assigned to work at the former employer’s company as a consultant full time or part time, as needed, when they are available. Managers simply contact Keller Schroeder and request the services of the former employee. The retiree can also contact Keller Schroeder about employment if they know their former employer will be needing their services or if they desire to provide services for our other clients when an opportunity becomes available.

To learn more about our Boomerang Retirement Program or any of the services our Staffing Solutions Group, send us an email or give Susie Mattingly a call at 812-474-6825.


2017 NCAA March Madness Kick-Off Event

 Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

We began our 2017 event schedule by getting into the NCAA action with a March Madness Kick-Off Event!

The Keller Schroeder team, along with our friends from Cisco and Nimble, met our clients at Bar Louis in Evansville
for a laid back afternoon filled with food, live action game play, friendly rivalries and fun! Thank you to everyone who came to hang out!

Clients who both pre-registered and attended were also entered into our Grand Prize Drawing for a Samsung 55″ 4K Ultra HD TV. Congratulations to our winner, Jana Shelton of Cresline!

We feel honored to have each of you as our client, and we look forward to seeing you again soon at our next event!


It’s OK to Ignore the CEO, When it is NOT the CEO!

ImagineBrad Mathis  – [Senior Consultant – Information Security]

Imagine the following scenario.

You are going through your daily routine and you receive an urgent email from the CEO.  The email is urgent, appears to be time sensitive, and is requiring you to act immediately.  You are aware the CEO is currently out on vacation or away on business, and is therefore unreachable.  However, the email is direct and to the point.  “Get this Done!”  The email is asking for you, a member of the financial team, to process a payment or monetary transfer.  It may even inform you someone from another company will be reaching out to you with further instructions, such as account numbers and routing information. An abbreviated example of such an email may look something like this:

CEO Email
What if you also received an email ahead of this one from someone in finance saying “Keep an eye out for an email from the CEO asking about a funds transfer”, followed by an email from the alleged company the CEO mentioned in their original email?  Transferring large sums of money from one account to another is a normal part of your job.  Although this chain of events is a bit out of the ordinary, it also seems perfectly legitimate.  Would you process the transfer?  Would a co-worker?

Sadly, far too many organizations are falling victim to these type of crimes known as CEO Fraud and Business Email Compromise (BEC).  Some of the email senders’ email accounts are spoofed, meaning the criminal sender is making the recipient think the email is from the actual sender.  Even more concerning is when the actual senders’ email account credentials are compromised and the criminal is able to send emails directly from the account of a CEO, CFO, Attorney, and so on.  This may sound complicated, but it isn’t.  With the advancement of malware laced email attachments and infected links, it is far too easy to install malicious software on a victim’s workstation, thereby allowing the criminal to capture every keystroke the legitimate user types.  Even more concerning, cameras and microphones can be controlled by the criminals.

The FBI estimates the organizational amount lost to Business Email Compromise between October 2013 and February 2016 to be $2.3 Billion.  Since January 2015, the FBI has seen a 270 percent increase in identified victims and exposed loss! Keep in mind, this is only the amount of loss actually reported.  Many businesses remain quiet and never report their losses for fear of public reputation damage.

Know Be 4Luckily, the risk of becoming a victim to this type of crime, as well as other email and web based threats can be reduced.  A modern and evolving layered security infrastructure is extremely important.  It cannot and should not be overlooked.  However, the most effective and most overlooked method to reduce your risk of becoming a cybercrime victim is effective and measurable End User Security Awareness Education.

While we constantly stress the importance of Vulnerability and Patch Management, this does not just apply to your technology.  User vulnerability levels need to be assessed in order to gauge their likelihood of falling prey to a Phishing email and other criminal scams.  This activity is most effective when supplemented with required security awareness training.  This is where it sometimes gets tricky.  The simulated phishing campaigns and security awareness training requirements must apply to ALL employees, up to and including the President and CEO.

Identifying your employee vulnerability baseline is an important and effective step toward lowering your overall risk profile, as well as empowering your workforce to always be on the lookout for malicious and criminal activity that can threaten your business.

So, Yes… It is OK to ignore the CEO’s request when it cannot be verified it is truly the request of the CEO.  When the business is on the line, they will thank you for your due diligence.

How vulnerable are your users?  How likely are they to fall prey to becoming a victim?  How have you taken steps to get data to support your answers to those questions?  When performing these employee vulnerability baseline assessments, we have already seen as high as a 75% failure rate for the initial Phishing test.  Launching an effective awareness solution that allows you to measure risk and track improvements is a critical first step in lowering your employee vulnerability risk, making your organization less likely to become a victim of cybercrimes such as CEO Fraud, Business Email Compromise, and Ransomware.

Contact Keller Schroeder today to find out how we can help you implement solutions that effectively reduce your employee vulnerability risk through ongoing security awareness training and testing.


New Year’s Resolutions for Application Owners & Managers

Rob Wilson[Business Unit Director – Application Solutions]

2016 Goals

Just in case you were having a hard time coming up with your goals and objectives for 2016, we wanted to pitch in and help. We asked some of our application developers, architects, and owners to contribute New Year’s resolutions for software application professionals. If you are responsible for owning or supporting an application at your organization, this list is for you.

Check your logs

Make it a goal to monitor your application logs proactively. It could be that errors are occurring behind the scenes that do not surface on the display. Proactively monitoring your application logs may help you identify smaller issues before they become large ones.

Upgrade your solution

Are you at the current release in your packaged software? Do you have a custom written app that was developed for an older version of .NET, Java, or another platform? If so, you may be missing out on some of the latest features or making yourself vulnerable to security risks that have been addressed in future releases. Make it a goal to get your packages and platforms up to date.

Archive and purge old data

If you have data that is old and irrelevant to your existing applications, it may be taking up needed space and causing performance degradation on your servers. Resolve to archive and purge that data in 2016 and maybe you will get a performance boost in your data intensive applications.

Give some needed attention to your mission critical applications

Have you developed mission critical applications in Access, Excel, or another platform that they have outgrown? Bite the bullet in 2016 and rewrite those applications on a more robust, multiuser platform such as .NET, Java, or SharePoint. The advantages will be immediately recognizable.

Make your web site mobile friendly

If you did not get the message in 2015 that Google will not include non-mobile sites in its mobile index, then you need to get motivated right away. Mobile devices are prominent. Google has said that more searches are performed now from mobile devices than from desktops in some regions. If the Google threat alone does not motivate you, focus on the improved user experience you will be providing to your employees, customers, and prospects.

Get a handle on your source code

Is the latest source code for all of your custom applications checked in to a central repository? Is it backed up regularly? If one-off applications do not make it into the repository, or if developers do not check in their latest revisions at the appropriate times, then you may put yourself in a precarious situation if those developers are unavailable or their workstations are compromised. Make 2016 the year you get a handle on the source code situation.

Have a security assessment performed

Do you have sensitive information in a database? Do you integrate with Active Directory or another directory service every place that you should? For every high profile data breach that hit the news in 2015, there were more data breaches that went unreported and possibly undetected.  Learn from the mistakes of others and have a security assessment performed by an experienced, quality partner.

Learn something new

There are plenty of free online resources that you can use to keep your skills relevant and up to date.  Try GitHub (https://github.com/vhf/free-programming-books), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com), or the free Pluralsight (https://www.pluralsight.com) subscription that comes with a MSDN license.  Spend a few hours to make sure your next project takes advantage of the latest software tools and runs as efficiently as possible.

If you need assistance accomplishing any of your Applications New Year’s Resolutions, contact your Keller Schroeder Account Team. We are here to help!

 


The Results are In

quality survey form with red pencil showing marketing concept

As a Microsoft Gold Competency Partner, Keller Schroeder annually participates in a customer satisfaction survey to gain valuable feedback regarding our services.

For the past 6 years, our clients have been asked to rate these services based on several key performance indicators. As in previous years, Keller Schroeder significantly outpaced partner averages in categories such as the quality of our products, customer satisfaction, and the technical competency of our staff. Our customers would also highly recommend Keller Schroeder, feel they receive great value from the services they receive from us, and are confident in our ability to meet their needs.

2015 Survey Results

AI-Gold-Black

Does your company need assistance with Microsoft? Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information regarding our Microsoft skills and how they might benefit your organization.


2015 Client Appreciation Event : All-Star Bash

Allstar Bash
Carissa Montgomery
– Marketing & Communications Coordinator

On October 2nd, 2015, Keller Schroeder hosted our annual Client Appreciation Event. This year, we held an All-Star Bash to celebrate the TRUE MVPs of our organization. It was a day filled with delicious food from Marx Barbecue and Pacetre, plus fellowship and a lot of fun.

Full SwingGirls

Along with our vendor partners, we also gave attendees the opportunity to win great prizes – including our grand prize – a set of 4 Indianapolis Colts Tickets.

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 Boys & Girls Club of Evansville was chosen to receive our give back donations. We successfully collected over 2 truckloads of supplies for the organization – things like cleaning supplies, healthy snacks, copy paper, and supplies for the care of their sports field.

Giving BackBasketball

Thank you so much to all of our employee-owners for their hard work in making this event a reality every year. Thank you to 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.

Group ShotRay

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Client Appreciation Event! It’s always the first Friday in October – October 7th in 2016!