January 30, 2013

In honor of our 10th Anniversary, read how we began.

Technology Team, LLC

In 1999 Allen Spinner saw a change in the IT Relocation business beginning to happen.  Desktops were getting easier and easier to disconnect and connect and sometimes they were even color coded!  He knew his current employer needed to do something in order to stay current with the times.  He thought of going into the relocation of Data Centers and took the idea to the owner of the company.  The owner did not want the liabilities that went along with moving servers.  About a year and a half later Allen took the idea back to the owner and he said “no” again.

At that time I owned a successful catering business and found myself unsatisfied with changes in the industry.  Being the risk taker that I am, I said “Let’s do it! Let’s start a new company.”  I started working on all the things you need to launch a business. …

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Cloud Enhances the Need for Disaster Recovery

November 2, 2011

The increasing number of outages hampering companies that provide cloud-based services highlights the need for re-examining cloud infrastructures with an eye toward disaster recovery, says Kelly Baig, director of product marketing of  recovery services for SunGuard Availability Services, Wayne, PA.

Cloud platforms and services are evolving quickly and leveraging more virtualization, running at a lower cost and reaching more parts of the organization. However, just because some or all parts of a business operate in the cloud—and off the firm’s premises and equipment—doesn’t mean that disaster recovery isn’t a prime consideration for a data center manager.

Cloud contracts run the gamut from the provider supplying capacity to supplying hosting and fully managing all services. So the data center manager who wants to know exactly how his or her firm is protected in the event of a disaster should carefully review the contract, paying careful attention to the actual provisions of the contract and the company’s own needs.

“You need to know who is responsible for recovery, availability, operating and securing the services in the cloud,” Baig says. Some contracts say little or nothing about back-ups, data redundancy and availability in the event of a wide area outage.

“Make sure you ask who is responsible,” she adds. “A common misconception is that all cloud platforms are highly available and geographically diverse. That’s why it’s important to have a contractual confirmation.” Baig recommends that companies prioritize their applications, determining which ones they need to have available 24×7, those that can be down for an extended period, and those in between.

Baig recommends that companies spend significant time designing (or working with a provider to design) architecture that is redundant throughout and looking
at the server level, network and bandwidth, data center, and storage. Redundancy throughout reduces risk, although it does come at a higher cost than less available services.

Similarly, managers need to prioritize data based on security of information.  Even if the contract stipulates that the cloud provider is responsible for security, in industries like financial services and health care, regulatory authorities will still reach back to the data “owner” in the event of a breach.  Baig says customers need to know the segmentation behind a shared, multi-tenant environment to ensure there is no customer overlap, meaning examining the service provider’s cloud infrastructure: network, virtualization and storage platforms. She recommends looking at the existence of and the management’s responsibility for security protocols.

For a more detailed article on this subject, “Offloading Data to the Cloud Remains Your Responsibility,” read the November/December issue of Data Center Management.

Google Juices Up Gmail

October 6, 2011

An online article by ComputerWorld reports that Google’s share of the enterprise email market currently “hovers” at around 1 percent, but it will reach 10 percent within a few years, according to research firm Gartner.

Google is gaining ground with enterprises that have 5,000 or more seats, Gartner said, naming several public-and private-sector users with more than 10,000 Gmail seats.

Big organizations that use Gmail include Motorola Mobility, with 22,000 users; the US General Services Administration, with 17,000; the Los Angeles city government, with 17,000; automaker Jaguar Land Rover, with 15,000; the InterContinental hotel chain, with 25,000; and the Wyoming state government with 10,000.

Cloud-based email systems account for about 4 percent of the overall enterprise email market, according to the research firm.

Microsoft released a cloud-based Exchange service in 2010, and a more expansive cloud offering, Office 365, this year.

Google, meanwhile, has been making improvements to its platform “at a blistering pace,” wrote Gartner analyst Matthew Cain, in the report, counting more than two dozen “substantial changes” to the platform in the past 12 months.

Those upgrades included improvements in security and manageability, Gartner said. For example, new security features include the ability to reset a user’s sign-on cookies. And enhancements to the system’s manageability include the ability to manage policy by user groups.

Microsoft’s answer to Google’s upgrade pace “is that it intends to add functionality to Exchange in the cloud before adding it to the on-premises version,” Cain wrote. “This represents a major shift for Microsoft, and its actual execution has yet to be
demonstrated.”

Cain, in his report, cited a number of things Google has to do to win more enterprise businesses. Among other things, he said the company must deliver new features on schedule. Another obstacle for Google is a lack of transparency, which is a problem affecting the cloud in general, he said.

Google recently announced that 4 million businesses use its Google Apps software, and another 5,000 adopt it every day. The company didn’t provide a breakdown on those businesses by size.

What Happens To My Online Accounts When I Die?

August 17, 2011

My friend, Betty Poage of Ameriprise Financial had this article in her recent Newsletter.  I thought it was well worth re-printing.

These days, using a personal computer is just a normal part of life. You may have e-mail or online accounts that require a password or you may have pictures, videos, or documents stored online or on your hard drive. You may even maintain a blog or website. Like your physical assets, these “digital” or “cyber” assets can have both sentimental and economic value. Chances are, nobody else knows your cyber assets even exist, and if they do, they may not know where those assets are stored or how to access them. It’s important that you make plans for the disposition of your cyber assets in the event of your incapacity or death. If you don’t, your survivors may have to deal with time-consuming and costly searches, or worse, the assets may be overlooked and lost altogether.

What happens to your cyber assets at your death depends on what type of asset it is, and while the laws regarding cyber assets are not well settled, there are some broad guidelines. Domain names, once registered, become your personal property under property law, and your websites and blog content are yours under federal copyright law. These types of cyber assets are clearly defined by law and are transferable to your heirs (e.g., through your will). On the other hand, certain online accounts, such as e-mail accounts, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, or PayPal, may not be classified as property in the legal sense; you are merely given a license by the website when you agree to its terms of service. Under these terms of service, transferability of your accounts may be limited or even prohibited altogether. Terms of service vary widely from site to site. Some sites, such as YouTube, will allow persons with legal power of attorney to access your accounts, and they post instructions on how to do so. Other sites, such as Facebook, will put your accounts into a “memorial state.” Many sites, however, will terminate and permanently delete your accounts upon notification of your death. You should read and understand all terms of service and make any necessary legal arrangements so your heirs will have access to your accounts.

Note: On the flip side, you may have certain private accounts to which you want to ensure that no one is given access and which will be terminated immediately upon your death. – Sherry Green

From Kabobs to Stir Fry… A Story About Improvising – by: Sherry Green

August 12, 2011

The other night I stopped by the store on my way home from work.  There in the meat case were these Chicken Kabobs.  After a second of consideration, I decided to grill them outside and save the heat in the house on such a hot August day, in Texas.  There were potatoes at home I could bake, add a salad and quick meal – done!  I go home with my Kabobs to start the grill – out of propane.  That was OK because I knew it was getting low and had another tank ready to go.  Changed out the tank and opened the valve to  find a horrible leak in the fitting.  Was  it going to be safe enough to just cook the Kabobs?  In the meantime, I discovered a bad  potato in the bag had spoiled all the potatoes!  OK, dinner was not going as planned!  I decided not to take a chance with the propane fitting, too much propane leaking out.  So after careful consideration and quick inventory of available ingredients, the next step was to remove the chicken, onions and peppers from the skewers and cut into bite size pieces for Stir Fry.  I had all the seasonings and sauces, even left-over green beans and broccoli to add to the mix.  Make some rice and we were all set!  The meal turned out great, even though not as planned, and all decisions were made within a matter of seconds.

In reflecting on how much improvising was done, I realized this is like a Data Center relocation.  We spend so much time in the planning stage, creating a plan,  coordinating all the players making sure all the ingredients are in place for a  successful transition and often during the actual implementation “something unforeseen comes up”.  It could be server rail malfunctions, a switch does not come up, backups did not complete properly or not even completed on schedule.  In all of these cases Technology Team has to make quick decisions and improvise.  It is with our experience and knowledge of Technology Relocation that we can ADJUST so quickly and confidently.  This is one of the reasons our customers say we are flexible.

I am proud of our ability to be flexible.  In my opinion this gives our clients confidence and security they have chosen the best company for their IT relocation.  Flexibility comes from experience knowing that “things happen” and confidence that the main ingredients are available to still complete the work. We could not do it without our great employees and the  experience we all bring to the table.

I am sure you have similar experiences.  Would you care to share them?  How have you applied your life experiences to your company?  I would love to hear your opinions.

Moving with Change- By: Jayson Haynes

August 3, 2011

Technology Team, LLC has assisted various companies with relocation projects since 2003. Our efforts in putting forward superior service to exhibit intended results as instructed by the client remains constant through the practice of cohesive teamwork and encompassing unfailing ideals.

Though our customer service orientation and broad practice of business has been unaffected by the waves of change, our processes, channels, and operations management, on the other hand, has juristically modified in sync with constant technological development and market fluctuations.

The Causes of Change:

Virtualization

Hardware virtualization, and that of servers, has greatly impacted the way we operate our business. Today, software can be executed on these virtual machines separately from the underlying hardware. For example, a computer running Microsoft Windows 7 may host a virtual machine that looks like a computer with Ubuntu Linux operating system. Subsequently, Ubuntu-based software can be run on that virtual machine.

Before this virtualization in IT systems, it was easy to do “phase” moves, with usage dependency having a direct correlation with the end user. This however, is not the case any longer. In the current state of virtualization, communication and data are now the dependents.

Data Storage

In 2003, any large company would run their network with multiple servers operating various functions (ex. exchange e-mail service). With virtualization of servers however, data storage has expanded exponentially. Backup systems and disaster recovery sites are also becoming more prevalent and data itself can now actually be suspended in digital space, or clouds.

Communications Highway

The world has really thrived on communication in the last ten years. Whether we are talking about the intelligent arrival of social media or the tech masterpiece we call the smart phone, it is obvious that communications in general have greatly affected business commerce and the rest of the world.

In the niche of IT relocation we had to follow the trends. Once virtualization began to prosper, along with data storage being expanded, the management of data and communications became simply unmanageable.

In turn, we took a new sophisticated approach on relocation. We became aware of the redundancies in our industry, and focused more on assessment and planning more than we ever had before. We hired real experts, who were before slim to find. But most of all, we realized that minimal downtime in the work place is critical and that was the ultimate reason for our services to be utilized.

IT Case of the Mondays

July 11, 2011

Monday 8:57 AM

You pull into your usual parking spot where the sign reads “IT Manager”.

Monday 9:02 AM

After getting your morning coffee, you sit down at your desk and open your Outlook E-mail. To your surprise you see an e-mail marked urgent from your CEO.

It reads as so:

[IT Manager],

I just received word from corporate that we will be moving our current offices in San Diego to Buffalo, New York in 6 months. I have absolutely no idea how we can move our server racks and PCs without sacrificing business downtime and risking equipment damage. Please get this figured out ASAP. I want this to go smoothly and I want the BEST considering the worth of all this equipment.

Sincerely,

Joe Blow, CEO

Monday 9:10 AM

 

After contemplating for a moment, you see the word “BEST” emphasized in your CEO’s email. So you do what any IT, call center, or data center manager would do.

 Monday 9:12 AM

You call a couple of your colleagues and receive a handful of references. After doing some preliminary research on the internet, you find that there is one national company whose mission statement is contingent with your CEO’s request… Technology Team, LLC.

Technology Team are relocation experts for mission critical equipment. The benefits of hiring their services include: Minimizing Downtime, Avoiding Costly Equipment Damage, Reducing Unforeseen Expenses and Ability to Manage IT Department Overload.

 

 

 

 

Monday 4:02 PM

You’ve forwarded your boss the suggestion to utilize Technology Team’s service for the move. He was the least to say… thrilled. You on the other hand, have some celebrating to do.

 

The Team Philosophy

June 30, 2011

Technology Team really is our business philosophy…The team is the customer, service providers, cabling companies, movers and us. We are the team leader and pick up the responsibility to produce the results the customer requires.”

Allen Spinner

Fort Worth Business Press Sept.-Oct. 2009

In 1919, Babe Ruth was sold by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. Prior to Ruth leaving Boston, the Red Sox had won five of the first fifteen World Series, with Ruth pitching for the 1916 and 1918 championship teams. In the 84 years after the sale, the Yankees played in 39 World Series, winning 26 of them, twice as many as any other team in Major League Baseball. Meanwhile, over the same time span, the Red Sox played in only four World Series and lost each in seven games. This unfortunate period of time, to Bostonians and Red Sox fans alike, has been coined as “The Curse of the Great Bambino”.

In the season of 2004, it seemed like the curse was eternal. The Red Sox met once again with the Yankees and lost 3 straight games in the American League Championship Series, including a 19-8 massacre at their own home, Fenway Park, in Game 3.

As Game 4 slowly commenced to the bottom of the 9th inning, the Red Sox found themselves in despair once again trailing 3-4 in the last embers of the series. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera shared the pre mature pride in victory along with the rest of his teammates, and incidentally, walked his first batter Kevin Millar. After replacing Millar on the field and securing a stolen base, pinch-runner Dave Roberts dashed to home after an RBI single from third baseman Bill Mueller tying up the game. The game was won on a 2-run home run in the 12th inning by David Ortiz.

Sequentially, the Red Sox won the next three games, and became the first Major League Baseball team to win a seven-game postseason series after being down 3 games to none. The Sox then faced the St. Louis Cardinals, the team to whom they lost in 1946 and 1967, and won in a four-game sweep, breaking “The Curse”.

 In terms of sport analytics, key players stepped up and made contributions that changed the overall outcome of the series. Curt Schilling pitched an infamous, yet successful Game 6 with a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle. By the end of his performance that day his white sock was soaked with blood.  David Ortiz hit 6 homeruns, with 3 of them being in the final Game 7.

Breaking the curse was not an easy feat. Time proves that. But who is responsible? Notable players like Ortiz or Schilling? Was it the new manager Terry Francona that gave the Sox new hope? Or was it the consistently loyal fans from Boston who stood by the team’s side when they needed support the most? In fact, it was a combination of all.

Just like The Boston Red Sox, Technology Team LLC makes its top priority working in a team effort to produce substantial and intended results. Sure, an employee, colleague, or customer can integrate an idea or solely contribute an asset to one of our various relocating projects, or in which ways we develop our procedures.  That being said, the cohesive team work of each individual within team is what makes a end result production possible. We pride ourselves in being a team-working organization, and believe that no matter what “curve ball” is thrown, we have a lineup who can knock em’ out of the park!

Failure: A Catalyst for Profund Reinvention– By: Jayson Haynes

June 28, 2011

To graduate from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX an undergraduate must complete 40 credit hours of liberal arts education. Three years ago, when I first enrolled into TCU, I couldn’t comprehend why this was necessary, however, upon completion of the 40 hours I get it.

Understanding Religions of the World, Philosophy of the Mind, and Ideals of Leadership were a few courses consistent within my liberal arts curriculum. I learned about the ancient philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. I learned about the way the human mind controls our personal, everyday life. But the greatest asset I took from my liberal arts education was never actually taught, but more so conceived– Life is a series of events, and based on your diligence, motivation, work-ethic, and personal and professional influence on others, great things will happen.

I write this blog in regards to a great philosophical self-help message I recently uncovered. The message does not feature the authorship Plato or Aristotle; nor does memorandum encompass modern self-help philosophies of Dale Carnegie or Tony Robbins. Believe it or not, my better understanding of professional success and personal growth stems from the ideology set forth by the Harvard scholar himself… Conan O’Brien?

Yes, indeed. Conan delivered an unforgettable commencement address to the Dartmouth Class of 2011 this last May. Though the 23 minute speech is filled with comedic antics, off-topic banter, and typical “late-night” puns, his comparison of his professional and personal growth throughout his career to just about any individual is inspiring, visionary, and what I find to be the absolute truth in finding success.

In his speech he states:

“Way back in the 1940’s there was a very, very funny man named Jack Benny. He was a giant star, and easily one of the greatest comedians of his generation. And, a much younger man named Johnny Carson wanted very much to be Jacky Benny. In some ways he was, but in many ways he wasn’t. He emulated Jack Benny, but his own quirks and mannerisms, along with the changing media, pulled him into a different direction. And yet, his failure to completely become his hero, made him the funniest person of his generation. David Letterman wanted to become Johnny Carson, and was not, and as a result my generation of comedians wanted to become the next David Letterman, and none of us are! My peers and I have missed that mark in a thousand different ways… but the point is this:

It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us, and makes us unique. It’s not easy,
but if you accept misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention
.”

To view Conan’s speech in entirety click the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDYXaaT9sA

Blog By:

Jayson Haynes

Technology Team, LLC

Marketing and Communications Administrator

Talk to Me- A Blog By Sherry Green, CEO

June 16, 2011

I read an article in today’s edition of Fierce CIO “How to Argue with the CEO—And Win” http://tinyurl.com/6dlggpt . You are probably asking yourself why am I, Sherry Green, CEO of Technology Team reading a publication for CIOs.  I will answer that first, so we can get on with my topic – being in the technology field, I utilize CIO information to keep me up to date.

Just last week I was told I stifle ideas brought to me by employees.  As much as I like creativity and admire people with visions, I have a very hard time understanding the comment, but on the other hand, I need to listen to what is being said about my management style.  This article is very timely.  In it, Meredith Levinson writes   “Arguments with the CEO are an inevitable aspect of the CIO role, whether they’re knock-down-drag-out battles or civil attempts to persuade the CEO on IT matters of importance.”  She continues “But CIOs who think they should avoid any kind of confrontation with their CEOs are mistaken. Not every CEO wants to be surrounded by Yes Men; some encourage debate and dissention.”  Levinson is correct; I do not want “yes men” (or women).  I want someone who will stand up for themselves and have a passion about their ideas.  Yes, it is my “job” to question.  I need to know how it will impact our bottom line, our company culture and our core competencies.  It may be the greatest idea in the world; however, if we do not have the resources to devote to the idea, we just will not be able to do it right now.  That does not imply we cannot do it later. 

It is up to everyone to consider each other’s communication styles.  Small businesses, like Technology Team, are risk takers.  It is up to our employees to understand this “style” and know which communication techniques to use.  I am not laying all the responsibility on other people.  I realize it is up to me to understand other people’s communication style, too.  I personally like to have options to choose from, you know – pros and cons.   I also want you to be brief.  Do not repeat over and over.  I get it the first time or I will ask for clarification.  Be prepared to answer my questions.   I am going to ask them.  I ask a lot of questions and always have.  This is nothing against the presenter, it’s just who I am.  You do not have to have all the answers for me, either.  This is just my way of looking at all the options. 

I think the questions probably shut down most of the ideas that come to me.  That is not the purpose of the questions.  I want to see the passion or maybe just understand how someone thinks.  I admire people who are visionaries.  Technology Team was created from a vision.  I am not in the field as much now as in the past and I depend on our technicians to have the visions for our continued growth.  I need the ideas brought to me and people not to be afraid of having an idea.  Maybe I am just envious I did not have the idea!

What are your communications styles?  What are your thoughts?