Author: Carissa

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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!

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

The Best Way to Work ‘On’ A Community is to Work ‘In’ the Community

Jeff Gorman- Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman – [President]

We are proud to be celebrating our 40th year of being a technology company in the performance improvement business.  At some point in our recent history, if you have joined us at a Keller Schroeder event, you have seen and heard us promote our even larger purpose of making positive, personal impacts.  We seek to exhibit that behavior among employee-owners, with our clients, and in our communities.  While the value of making positive impacts on clients and employee-owners is probably not hard to discern, it occurred to me people might wonder why we feel as compelled to consistently focus on making positive impacts in the community.

In its simplest form, the answer is the best way to work ‘on’ a community is to work ‘in’ the community.  We are proud of the local community, and we hope to see it continue to grow and offer greater opportunities for everyone.  Just like a business, though, the local community cannot improve by simply having people wish for improvement.  If its members want it to improve, they must be willing to get involved and make it what they want it to be.  Keller Schroeder does not view the communities in which we work as disconnected entities from our company; we view our company as an integrated part of the community.  In that capacity, we have an obligation to find ways to make positive impacts on and with organizations who are helping our families, our friends, our neighbors, and others who are dealing with significant needs.

Some make the case the responsibility for community involvement lies with the individuals of a company rather than with the company itself.  Their stance is to keep the company focused on profitability, remaining socially neutral, while allowing your employees to support causes which matter to them.  Our view is that our company, as a collection of employee-owners, has a responsibility to be an active member of the communities in which it exists.  Our employee-owners also have their own individual causes and contributions they can discern, but their activities do not preclude the company from its responsibility of working to make the community better in a way that balances both our value and our values.

We look forward to continuing to find ways to celebrate and support the communities where we do business, and we hope to have the opportunity to join up with you in that pursuit sometime soon.  The better our communities become, the better the environments are for our businesses, our employees, our families, and our future.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Baramundi Management Suite

Chance Webster – [Systems Engineer]

There are often tasks in IT departments that tend to create a lot of legwork and require significant time and effort to complete.  Reconciling hardware and software inventories, patching servers and PCs, mitigating security risks or misconfigurations, and deploying software quickly to many PCs or servers in a short amount of time are challenges that every IT department faces.  Baramundi Management Suite helps resolve many time-consuming tasks that you may have in your organization.

Baramundi Logo

With Baramundi Management Suite, hardware and software inventories can be automated, which reduces the manual overhead of collecting inventory information.  Inventories can then be broken out by static groups or groups based on specific attributes such as operating system versions or available disk space.  Inventory information can also be obtained from SNMP capable devices such as switches, routers, firewalls, and printers to reduce the overhead even further.

Security and vulnerabilities are also easier to manage using Baramundi Management Suite.  By providing vulnerability information in a consolidated way, it allows prioritization of these fixes either per machine or per specific vulnerability.  Baramundi Management Suite provides a platform which can be used to replace your WSUS deployment and provide you with a managed, up to date catalog of third party updates to help keep these applications updated.  In addition, a compliance management module is available to allow you to scan for any new vulnerabilities after your patch deployment is complete.

Baramundi Management Suite

Software deployment throughout the organization using Baramundi Management Suite is a snap.  If you are using a pre-packaged Microsoft Installer or other executable package, you can easily create a package to deploy that software with just a few mouse clicks.  If, however, the software requires some customization during the install, you can use the Baramundi Automation Studio to step through the installation as you normally would, recording each step along the way, to create your deployment package.  Once completed, you will be able to deploy even the most difficult applications quickly and easily.

Baramundi Management Suite is one of many systems management platforms.  What makes it stand out among the likes of SCCM, Altiris, and other systems management platform is the ease of use.  You can achieve tasks in minutes that have taken hours, if not days, to accomplish before.  Baramundi Management Suite also allows you to definitively see, in real-time, that action has been taken for a particular task.  Baramundi Management Suite is systems management in real time.

To learn how Baramundi can help resolve many of the time-consuming tasks you may have in your organization, please reach out to your Keller Schroeder Select Account Manager.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

B2B, EDI, and Data Transformation Made Easy

Mark Heuring- Keller Schroeder Applications ConsultantMark Heuring – [Applications Consultant]

As you move throughout your digital transformation, the need to share data between systems and entities becomes greater and greater.  You may need to share data with your vendors, customers, partners, or compliance agencies, or you may need to share data between two internal systems.

Business-to-Business (B2B) integration, or the automated exchange of data between two companies, is not a new concept. Although sharing data sounds simple enough, there can be many challenges. The entities you share data with might all have different format requirements, different supported communication protocols, different frequency for updates, or any number of items that make them unique.  Whether sharing data with third parties or internal systems, the data will likely need to be transformed into a compatible format for the exchange.

These unique requirements frequently require custom data transformation applications to be written for each use case, which lead to high development and maintenance costs. These high costs may prohibit or diminish your ability to share data in a real-time, automated fashion, which may in turn reduce or hinder your growth potential.

Some companies use EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, to facilitate their B2B integration needs. While Keller Schroeder offers EDI Managed Services to assist companies with the maintenance and support of their EDI systems, many companies do not require or need a full blown EDI system to handle B2B integrations.  The need for automated B2B data transformation and exchange is a requirement across industry verticals and throughout departments within companies.Keller Schroeder is introducing a new B2B service to help address the challenges of data transformation and exchange.  Our new B2B Integration Solution can be used to exchange information with third parties or between internal systems and will not require custom coding for each use case.  Our solution utilizes a cloud based data transformation service that has quick and easy setup and configuration, leading to less development and maintenance time.

Keller Schroeder’s B2B Integration Solution:

  • Automates the transformation and exchange of documents between two parties, including customers, ERP solutions, suppliers, regulatory agencies, warehouse managers, internal line of business systems, etc.
  • Supports many communication protocols, including AS/2, FTP(s), sFTP, web, email, SOAP, and more
  • Supports many message formats, including XML, Excel, EDI, CSV, and even custom file-formats
  • Allows you to mix and match incoming and outgoing formats and communication protocols
  • Maintains the highest quality and strictest security management processes as recommended by ISO27001
  • Removes communication protocol barriers with your trading partners and between your systems
  • Pricing based on number of messages with no minimum, which leads to a low cost and low risk barrier to entry

Please contact Keller Schroeder to learn more about our new B2B Integration Solution or our EDI Managed Services offerings and how we can partner with you to positively impact your digital transformation.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Carbon Black Defense Endpoint Security

Paul Miller Keller Schroeder Senior EngineerPaul Miller – [Senior Systems Engineer]

The world of endpoint security is a very crowded market right now, making it difficult to discern what makes one solution better than another. We at Keller Schroeder found ourselves hunting for answers in this market space last summer, and underwent an evaluation of the top ten solutions on the market. After this extensive research, we ended up establishing a new partnership with Carbon Black.

Carbon Black Logo

Carbon Black Defense brings a robust set of features to the table. Their entire technique for endpoint defense relies on detecting malicious software and stopping execution before damage is done.  As a cloud-based solution, Carbon Black monitors all processes running on your endpoint, scores them based on malicious tactics, techniques, and procedures (ram scraping, bad execution methods, self-elevation), and then stops the execution of processes that are found to be up to no good. This happens in real-time, and utilizes a very light agent (0-1% CPU) on the endpoints.

Carbon Black Predictive Security Cloud

The console provides kill chain insight like no other product on the market, and other advanced threat protection options.  From the console it is simple (a couple of clicks… really), to look at a threat’s kill chain, and blacklist the offending process from running again anywhere in your enterprise.  Management overhead for most environments are estimated at around 1-2 hours a week under normal conditions, making it light on administration overhead as well.

If you have a renewal in the future for your endpoint security products, and would like to take a look at CB Defense, please get in touch with your Keller Schroeder Select Account Manager. We would enjoy providing you a demo to show you why this product stands out in this very crowded field.

 

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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 www.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!

Technology Vendor Summit

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A Holiday Message From Our President

Keller Schroeder Leadership-Jeff GormanJeff Gorman – [President]

As 2017 winds to a close and the holiday season is upon us, it becomes easy to get wrapped up in a frenetic pace of gift-buying, party-attending, and filling every minute of available time with “required” activities.  Instead of giving in to the pressures of that type of schedule, I encourage you to give yourself the gift of some quiet time filled with reflection on what is most important to you and how you can ensure those relationships get priority.  These moments of self-awareness can reduce stress and provide clarity and perspective that greatly increase your enjoyment of a season to be filled with celebration and joy.

At Keller Schroeder, we strongly believe the purpose of our organization is to provide positive, personal impacts in all of our interactions.  Our desire is to make those impacts on our employee-owners, our business partners, and the communities where we work.  It is a blessing to have had so many opportunities to serve you in that manner in 2017.  We truly value our relationships with the businesses and community organizations where we work, and we look forward to additional opportunities to make even greater positive, personal impacts in 2018 and beyond.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.  If Christmas is not a holiday you observe, we wish you a season full of joy, grace, and peacefulness.

Best wishes for a successful 2018.

Jeff Gorman |  President

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Culture Surveys

Keller Schroeder President-Jeff GormanJeff Gorman – [President]

The importance of measuring key performance indicators, or knowing the ‘score’ of your progress toward goals, is a widely held view among leaders.  Without some consistent manner from which you can evaluate your progress, it becomes difficult to maintain clarity within an organization regarding the current state of key efforts.  Successful businesses frequently apply this mentality to financial performance, budgets, timelines, and other key initiatives.   Seeing the trend in share value, a comparison of year-to-date financials to budget, or comparing project milestones to forecasts are all great tools of measuring ‘lag’ indicators, those indicators that show the final impact of previous actions on current performance.

At Keller Schroeder, we strongly believe a key performance differentiator for our business is our ownership culture.  Because our employees are owners in the business, we believe they engage with a different level of commitment, they more strongly value client relationships, and they feel more connected to the purpose of the business.  To help assess and measure our performance with respect to our culture, we regularly perform employee-engagement surveys.  We have engaged with nationally known organizations who focus on effective ways to measure culture and employee perceptions of key aspects of the organization with the expectation that we want to compare how we align against those who set the standard nationally for having great workplaces.  Much like reviewing a financial statement, we use the output from the surveys to identify areas where we need to focus for improvement, and we look for areas where we are performing strongly and discuss how to leverage those strengths.  We use the baseline numbers from the top organizations as our ‘budget’ for knowing where we are currently against where we want to reside.

Best Small Workplaces 2017 LogoI am very excited and proud to share, based on the feedback from our employee-owners this year, Keller Schroeder was named to the Fortune magazine and Great Places to Work ’50 Best Small Workplaces’ in the United States this year.  Our results were scored against hundreds of other companies with surveys covering over seventy-thousand employees of small and medium businesses across the country.  From our collective scores and information provided about our benefits, our behaviors, and our focus on the community, Keller Schroeder was rated as #21 on this year’s list.  We have plenty to work on to continue to improve as an organization focused on making positive, personal impacts on our employee-owners, our clients, and our communities, and yet we are very proud of where the scoreboard shows us in our pursuit of that purpose.

It is consistently insightful and invaluable to get candid feedback from a wide swath of employees to create a scoreboard for your culture. It can be both very humbling and very rewarding.  It also should be a requirement if you support the view that the organizational health of your company is the most critical ‘lead’ measure, having direct impact on the ‘lag’ measures you have been using as a scorecard for years.  Research consistently shows the value to an organization, in all measurable ways, of ‘engaged’ employees over ‘content’ or ‘discontent’ employees.  Determining the best way to build a scoreboard to allow an organization to start tracking that key metric should be getting consideration.  We view our culture as a key difference maker in how we add value to our clients; we would encourage others to invest the time to measure those traits in their own organizations.  The benefits to knowing your culture ‘score’ can have a direct impact on all aspects of a company’s performance, and in a marketplace where competitiveness for business and for employees is extremely high, the insight gained from the assessment can help an organization turn culture into a positive differentiator.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

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!

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