Month: May 2018

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

The Definition of Success

Jeff Gorman - Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman  – [President]

Quickly, name someone you consider highly successful.  Success is such an abstract concept, with wildly different definitions even within the same culture, that it is really challenging to get consistent answers to that prompt.  Some people will quickly conjure up names of leaders of large businesses.  Some people will default to celebrities from the entertainment or athletic world.  Still others will lead with a family member that has no exceptional level of wealth or celebrity status but had a profound impact on them.  While the word ‘success’ is readily understood, it’s scored abstractly for everyone based on what is most important to us personally.

If asking people to name someone successful can lead to answers that diverse, it stands to follow that asking employees if their team or business is ‘successful’ at a given point in time is likely to have a myriad of answers as well.  Successful teams, and therefore businesses, require clarity.  Part of clarity means success criteria are defined and leaders generate ‘buy-in’ on that vision.  If the business is not taking time to generate clarity and ‘buy-in’ on what it considers success to look like for the company, it can assume people are applying their own interpretation of success – and those views are not going to be consistent, which will lead to breakdowns in commitment and accountability.  The process of defining and reiterating that clarity is a critical task in the process of getting employees engaged in a common pursuit.  Those engaged employees, and the teams on which they participate, are the path to having a company which consistently pursues the same objectives, knows how that pursuit is progressing, and holds each other accountable for the process of achieving collective success.

If it feels like an employee, team, partner, or anyone else you have a relationship with is completely missing the mark with your expectations, consider how well you have shared in the process of creating support for a clear, shared definition of success.  What feels like a performance issue could possibly be as simple as leaving some portion of ‘success’ to personal interpretation.  Clarity and buy-in could be exactly what is needed to move the needle in a more positive direction.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

End of General Support for VMware vSphere 5.5

Chris Haynes - Keller Schroeder Senior Systems EngineerChris Haynes  – [Senior Systems Consultant]

The End of General Support date for vSphere 5.5 is September 19, 2018.  VMware just released the newest version of VMware called vSphere 6.7, which means the oldest supported vSphere version of 5.5 will fall off the support list and vSphere 6.0 will now become the oldest supported version.

Vmware Vsphere 5.5 End of General Support

To maintain the full level of support and subscription services, VMware recommends upgrading to the current stable vSphere 6.5 Update 1 version, or to the newer 6.7 version once it is compatible with your environment. VMware has extended general support for vSphere 6.5 to a full five years from its release date, which means general support for vSphere 6.5 will end on November 15, 2021. For more information on the benefits of upgrading and how to upgrade, visit the VMware vSphere Upgrade Center:

https://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center.html

If you would like assistance in moving to a newer version of vSphere, Keller Schroeder’s System Engineers provide a comprehensive service to upgrade your virtual infrastructure. The service includes recommendations, planning, pre-upgrade remediation, the actual upgrade itself, and post upgrade testing & validation. For more information contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

SharePoint News Update

Matt Mulherin - Keller Schroeder Applications ConsultantMatt Mulherin  – [Applications Consultant]

Microsoft has been very busy developing new and exciting features for SharePoint.  Now that SharePoint is online as part of Office 365, it is continually being updated and improved.  Microsoft’s vision for SharePoint going forward encompasses four key areas: share with confidence, transform business processes, inform and engage employees, and harness collective knowledge.


Share with Confidence

Microsoft Teams SharePoint

One of the newest updates is the ability to add a SharePoint page to a Teams channel.  Teams is a social and chat application that encourages quick and immediate collaboration.  For example, if you have a team of employees and you communicate regularly in Microsoft Teams chatting, by sharing files, etc., you then realize that you have a SharePoint page that needs be referenced by the team.  Instead of adding a link to the team chat window for everyone to click, which directs them away from the Team channel, you can simply add the page for reference directly in Microsoft Teams.

SharePoint and OneDrive files on Demand is another new feature that allows you to easily access your personal and professional files from your favorite device.  The files are not downloaded on your device until you choose to work with them.  This new feature is a major development because as a collection of files and folders grows exponentially in our personal and professional lives, we need a better way to manage and keep visible all of this important information.  We also need quick and easy ways to share this information from our devices, which you now can do by dropping the file directly into instant messages on your iOS device, or by simply right clicking directly in Windows Explorer on your desktop.


Transform Business Process

Microsoft Power Apps Sharepoint

You can improve your business processes by using SharePoint hub sites.  Hub sites give structure and topology to your SharePoint sites, allowing users to quickly find and access sites within your organization.  You can create one or many hub sites and organize your sites by associating like sites under the same hub site.

Create custom SharePoint forms and digital experiences with Microsoft PowerApps that surface directly in the context of a list or library.  These new forms provide better context to the user and are much more engaging and interactive.  Any user can transform a team’s organizational processes because PowerApps provides the creation of customized forms without the need to write any code.

Microsoft announced major improvements to lists.  Some of these features are available today and some in late 2018.  Cognitive analysis on list data, column and row formatting, more easily create lists based on excel data and other lists, edit lists more quickly, and real-time list updates (no more refreshing pages) are some of the new list improvements announced.


Inform and Engage Employees

Microsoft Sharepoint Communication SiteCommunication sites are dynamic sites that provide the ability to reach a broad audience within an organization.  Think of a communication site as a way for the organization to share news, inform and engage employees, while fostering open communication.  These sites look great on the web, on a PC or Mac, on mobile browsers and in the SharePoint app.  Publish news content on your communications site and it will automatically surface on the SharePoint home page in Office 365.  Configuring the layout of the communication sites is very user friendly with new multi-column sections and drag-and-drop authoring.

SharePoint provides many new out-of-the-box web parts, but custom web-parts are still possible.  Microsoft has a new SharePoint Development Framework (SPFx) that gives developers a better way to develop web parts and extensions.  SPFX is available today with SharePoint Online and it will be possible to develop SPFx custom code on-premises after the release of Feature Pack 2 this fall.

Microsoft just announced an exciting new feature called SharePoint spaces that is currently in limited preview.  It is an immersive, mixed reality experience for users, which allows visualization and editing of content from any angle on any device.  Microsoft suggests using spaces for recruiting and onboarding, learning, and product development business cases.


Harness Collective Knowledge

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019For SharePoint On-Premise deployments, Microsoft is committed to on-premises and hybrid customers.  SharePoint Server 2016 has several features that confirm this commitment.  One is the on-premises feature packs that can be installed, which include some of the previously released SharePoint online features.  In addition, Microsoft provides hybrid features that allow organizations to have both an on-premises and online SharePoint environments working together to offer users a single user experience, such as merging search indexes and allowing users to view search results from both on-premises and SharePoint online.  Essentially, users are simply given content based on their search criteria, regardless of where the content is stored.

Microsoft is planning to release to preview SharePoint Server 2019 any day now and to general availability in the second half of 2018.  More hybrid features, Next-Gen Sync Client support, Modern UX throughout, and more Flow/PowerApps integration will be included.  In addition, SharePoint 2010 workflows and InfoPath forms will continue to be supported in SharePoint Server 2019.


SharePoint continues to grow as a popular and widely used enterprise-wide collaboration platform and we do not anticipate the growth will diminish.  According to Microsoft’s Office 365 Roadmap, 62 updates are beginning to roll-out and 190 are currently in development.  We only touched on the surface of all of the new and exciting features coming to SharePoint.  Please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager to learn how SharePoint can positively impact the performance, collaboration, and engagement within your organization.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Cisco Umbrella: First Line of Defense

Tyler Carlisle - Keller Schroeder Network ConsultantTyler Carlisle  – [Network Consultant]

How do you protect your users when they are off your corporate network, outside the boundaries of your perimeter security solution? Do they use a VPN? Are you sure? A recent Gartner study predicted that as much as 25% of corporate data traffic will bypass perimeter security. How can you guarantee that your users are secure? Cisco Umbrella can provide the answer.

Cisco Umbrella First Line of Defense

Cisco acquired OpenDNS in 2015 and rebranded its enterprise security products to Cisco Umbrella. Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-based Secure Internet Gateway that protects your users wherever they access the internet, whether on or off the corporate network, and on or off the VPN. Its DNS-based architecture and IP layer enforcement provide a first line of defense against threats, such as malware, ransomware, and C2 callbacks.

Cisco Umbrella Security

 

Cisco Umbrella provides the same protection to all devices on the corporate network, including IoT and mobile devices, by simply forwarding external DNS traffic to the Umbrella servers. Best of all, it provides all this protection with zero additional latency, 100% uptime, and it can be deployed in as little as 30 minutes.

 

If you would like more information on Cisco Umbrella, visit www.kellerschroeder.com/umbrella to download our “At A Glance” information sheet or request to be added to our upcoming webinar distribution list.  You can also contact your Keller Schroeder Select Account Manager today to start your free trial of Cisco Umbrella.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Partnering in Business and Community Giveback

Carissa Eatmon -Keller Schroeder Marketing & Communications CoordinatorCarissa Eatmon  – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

Partnering Together in Business and Giving

At Keller Schroeder, we like to regularly emphasize our mission of existing to make positive, personal impacts on our clients, our employee-owners, and in our community. We are passionate about our clients, and are incredibly grateful for their generosity and willingness to partner with us to give back in meaningful ways. For example, with our annual Client Appreciation Event alone, our clients have helped us positively impact nine individual charitable organizations (plus our local United Way chapter as a whole) with truckloads of in-kind goods and thousands of dollars in donations.

With that sentiment in mind, our recent effort to create relationships with new clients and prospects has extended an opportunity to partner with us, both in business and also in giving back to our community. Each quarter, we are holding a drawing for a $500 donation to a United Way-approved organization nominated by a prospective client we have recently met with.

Partnering with Second Harvest Food BankWe are excited to announce our first quarter “Partnering Together In Business & Community Giveback” $500 donation recipient is Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, nominated by Brian Whittaker, Help Desk Manager from CareHere. Brian was recently joined at CareHere’s offices by Keller Schroeder’s Select Account Manager Lee Barron and Second Harvest’s Corporate Partnerships Manager Amanda Richard to accept the donation. Thank you for partnering with us in giving Brian!

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