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!

 


Microsoft Partner: Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

As part of an annual qualification process, Microsoft Gold Competency partners participate in a customer satisfaction survey completed anonymously by active clients.  Over the years Keller Schroeder has consistently exceeded partner averages in every category, and that trend continues.  This year, Keller Schroeder also scored a perfect 100 on overall performance while the average of all Microsoft Partners dropped to 65.

Area Keller Schroeder Partner Averages
Overall 100% 65%
Ease of doing business 100 71
Quality of communication 92 68
Value received 100 62
Likely to recommend 100 91
Likely to repurchase 100 88
Ability to meet your needs 100 69

Some firms specialize in infrastructure (such as server and database software), and others specialize in applications (such as SharePoint and .Net development), but Keller Schroeder’s deep expertise includes both.  This adds strength to Keller Schroeder’s Microsoft practice, and is evidenced by the 100% score for “ability to meet your needs”.

“I want to thank our clients for their trust and confidence, as well as their continued business partnership!” says Keller Schroeder President Larry May.


Not Your Average Business Partner

As part of an annual qualification process, Microsoft Gold Certified Partners participate in a customer satisfaction survey completed anonymously by active clients.  Keller Schroeder again received high marks with an overall performance rating of 88 percent, compared to the average for all Microsoft Partners of 68 percent.  Additionally, Keller Schroeder’s ratings exceeded partner averages in every category.

Area

Keller Schroeder Partner Averages

Overall

 88%

   68%

Ease of doing business

100

74

Quality of communication

94

71

Value received

88

66

Likely to recommend

100

92

Likely to repurchase

100

89

Ability to meet your needs

100

73

Some firms specialize in infrastructure (such as server and database software), and others specialize in applications (such as SharePoint and .Net development), but Keller Schroeder’s deep expertise includes both.  This adds strength to Keller Schroeder’s Microsoft practice, and is evidenced by the 100% score for “ability to meet your needs”.

“Across our areas of business we strive for solid, long term business partnerships with our clients,” says Keller Schroeder President Larry May, “and it is gratifying to see the tradition continue.” 


Rob Wilson Selected INETA Community Champion

Rob Wilson, Business Unit Director – Microsoft Applications at Keller Schroeder, was recently selected as a Community Champion by INETA for his contributions to the SharePoint User Group in Evansville and to other communities in our region.  INETA is a non-profit, independent organization, chartered with supporting all user groups interested in the Microsoft .NET platform.  Keller Schroeder has been a long-time supporter of technology user groups – including coordinating, hosting, sponsoring and speaking.


Received Superior Customer Satisfaction Scores

Information technology companies can be creative in the use of white papers, webinars, and ad campaigns to tell their success stories.  But, “Nothing speaks more credibly about us than the very words of our clients”, says Keller Schroeder President Larry May.

Those words came through loud and clear from Keller Schroeder clients in this year’s customer satisfaction survey, administered by Microsoft and required of all its leading Partners.  Keller Schroeder received an overall performance rating of 94 percent, compared to the average score for all Microsoft Partners of 65 percent.  Loyalty ratings for Keller Schroeder were 100 percent, compared to 86 percent for all Microsoft Partners.

As part of an ongoing qualification process, Microsoft Gold Certified Partners participate in an annual evaluation which includes a customer satisfaction survey completed anonymously by active clients.  “We are passionate about seeing our clients succeed,” says May, “and it is gratifying when they tell us so resoundingly that we are impacting them in a positive way.”

Since becoming the first Evansville-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in 2007, Keller Schroeder has seen its Microsoft business grow faster than any other segment.  While some firms specialize in infrastructure-related Microsoft tools (such as server and data management software), and others specialize in applications-related tools (such as SharePoint and .Net development), Keller Schroeder’s expertise includes the full spectrum of Microsoft solutions for businesses of any size. 

The firm’s reputation for excellence extends well beyond the Microsoft space.  Keller Schroeder received the 2007 Cisco Outstanding Indiana Customer Satisfaction Award, the 2008 Cisco Outstanding Growth Award, the 2008 Spirit of United Way Award, and was named as one of Indiana’s “Best Places to Work” in 2006.


By the Moon….of the SilverLight App

SilverLight Has No Place in Business…or Does it?

 

You’ve heard of Microsoft SilverLight.

It’s that cool technology used by NBC to show videos of the Olympics and by CBS to stream all the action of the Final Four this year. So, what’s that got to do with running your business? Well, maybe more than you think.

Internet usage has risen sharply since 2000. This means that more and more of your customers, business partners, and employees are using the internet every day, and interacting with sites that provide not only high definition media, but empower the user through rich interactive applications (also known as RIA’s), such as easy drag and drop interfaces, real-time feedback with no reloading or jerking in the page, and personalization capabilities. (See Hardrock.com for some examples of RIA’s in action.) It’s all about user experience. Using the same techniques within your business gives your customers, partners, and employees familiar tools that not only provide a great user experience, but a more productive interface. That means efficiency and time savings, which lead to cost savings for your business.

SilverLight is being used every day in businesses just like yours to:

  • Enhance public facing sites to deliver a compelling message that keeps customers coming back.
  • Deliver easy to use, fast and efficient applications on extranets to communicate more information with business partners.
  • Provide tools, such as training videos and RIA’s, which empower employees to do more in less time.And it only gets better from here! 
  •  

    Microsoft defines today’s SilverLight as “a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web and for mobile devices.” The next generation of SilverLight (out in beta now and due out for production later this year) will include support for browser-less web applications, meaning your applications can live anywhere and you may not need to be online all the time to use them. The ability to create a genuinely seamless workflow for your in-house and mobile workforce is within sight!

    Keller Schroeder can help you discover ways to unlock the power of SilverLight in your business too. Contact Jill Epperson or Rob Wilson at (812) 474-6825 to get started today.


    Introducing our Microsoft SharePoint Blog

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    Keller Schroeder is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with competencies in Advanced Infrastructure Solutions, Data Management Solutions, Custom Development Solutions and Information Worker Solutions. In addition to our years of experience with .NET, Office development and SQL Server, we are also your local SharePoint expert – having staff who have specialized in SharePoint since late 2005. Our SharePoint experts have recently created a blog to share some of our SharePoint insights. On our blog you will find information suited for SharePoint developers, administrators, power users and information workers. Our SharePoint blog is a great way to stay in touch with things we have recently done with SharePoint and to find information that is useful to your organization.

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