karpel logoKarpel Solutions Has Acquired CIO Services to Provide Unmatched  Levels of IT Expertise, Services and Support in the St. Louis Area

Combining CIO’s managed service experience with Karpel Solutions’ infrastructure will offer clients greater expertise, service and support than ANY St. Louis area technology company.

Karpel’s unmatched technology solutions and expertise will increase your productivity, efficiency and profitability and help your business grow!

Find out more about Karpel Solutions at or call us at 314-892-6300.

Karpel Solutions Acquires CIO Services

karpel logo

Acquisition Provides Unmatched Levels of IT Expertise, Services and Support in St. Louis Area

St. Louis, MO — October 15, 2015 — Karpel Solutions announces the acquisition of CIO Services, LLC, a St. Louis based company with over two decades of providing St. Louis-based companies with IT services and support.

The acquisition of CIO Services will enable Karpel Solutions to provide clients with access to an expanded range of expertise, support, services and customized IT solutions to help businesses increase productivity, efficiency and profitability.

Both companies have been leaders in the business technology industry for over a decade. CIO was the first company in the St. Louis area to offer managed services and technology solutions with a solid business strategy and focus. Combining CIO’s managed service experience with Karpel Solutions’ infrastructure will offer clients greater expertise, service and support than any St. Louis area technology company.

“Karpel is always looking for ways to bring more value to our clients. The acquisition of CIO increases the breadth of products, services and expertise we provide as companies look at managed services and technology solutions as a strategic growth area for their businesses,” said Matt Ziemianski, CEO of Karpel Solutions.

“We appreciate the hard work of Tony Morris our V.P. of iNSIGHTbyKarpel, and Wendy Gauntt, President of CIO Services, for making this happen in a short period of time. Overall we now have a higher level of managed services, and can partner with any business to help it grow,” Ziemianski said.

Wendy Gauntt, President of CIO Services said, “CIO is joining forces with Karpel to provide clients with Karpel’s unparalleled helpdesk, support infrastructure and excellent range of service offerings. I have been nothing but impressed by the people at Karpel, and the level of service and support they offer their clients. I’m confident CIO clients will be in good hands as we move forward. This is a great match for everyone involved.”


Karpel Solutions is a business and government solutions and managed services provider that focuses on its clients’ strategic goals through the application of current and cost effective technologies. Founded in 1985, Karpel is a three-time Inc. 5000 company, providing business solutions that mobilize technology to meet specific business needs. We oversee process efficiencies and strategic initiatives through the engineering of Managed Services, Website Programming, Business Continuity, and Remote & On-site tech support. Karpel has worked with over 300 companies and government entities throughout the United States, ranging in size from $10 million to over $10 billion. Karpel Solutions is a firm currently comprised of more than 40 business and technology professionals with experience in multiple business verticals. For additional information visit

Outsourcing Your IT

squeeze with orangeWhen it comes to technology, it’s hard to do it all yourself. However, it can be expensive to outsource everything, and sometimes vendors just don’t know enough about your company to do what you need. What are the best tech tasks to hand off?

Computer Support

Help desk services are easy to outsource, although not all help desk providers are willing to support software applications outside of Microsoft Office. They will do a fine job with Windows issues like printing, virus removal, Internet browser issues, Word and Excel questions, and other general errors. If most of your software applications are web-based, this may be more than enough to meet your routine support needs.

If you run critical software applications in-house, or specialized software like AutoCAD, you may need a company that can provide more customized support. You’ll have to interview providers carefully to determine which ones are willing to invest time in learning and documenting the software you run, so that they can answer whatever questions arise. Alternatively, you may have separate support contracts with each software vendor. In that case, your staff calls the help desk vendor for general questions, and they call the software vendor for issues specific to the software. Occasionally it will be unclear where the issue lies, so your team may need assistance managing the vendors to ensure their problems are resolved.

You’ll also need onsite support to address computer hardware issues. This can often be done in-house by someone with a moderate level of technology expertise. However it is also quite easy to outsource this to someone who is expert. It’s just a matter of determining which is the better fit and value for your needs.

Network and Server Support

While PC support is often fairly straightforward, network and server management require greater skill and more experience. These activities should be outsourced. What many companies do is hire a tech company that can manage the infrastructure that they already have in place, both remotely and onsite. They also typically handle network security, which includes PC level applications like anti-virus and anti-malware.

Be sure to consider outsourced alternatives like colocation and cloud hosting. Colocation means that your servers are housed in a data center instead of your office, and your office is networked directly to them. Typically you own the hardware in a colocation scenario. Cloud hosting costs more than colocation, but you don’t need to buy any hardware at all. You simply “rent” server processing power. Again, your office is networked directly to the cloud servers that you set up. Keep in mind that with both these options, you’ll still need some assistance in your office with network setup.


Email is incredibly easy to outsource. Microsoft used to offer Exchange, their email platform, as part of Small Business Server. They no longer do that and are encouraging companies to move to their Office365 service instead. It is a very reliable and cost effective choice. If you prefer not to use Microsoft, there are other hosted Exchange email providers.

Nearly every web hosting company offers hosted “POP” email. That is a low-cost email option but it doesn’t work as smoothly as hosted Exchange email.

Business Application Software

You will almost always turn to a third party when it comes to business software. There is rarely a case where it is cost effective to write software yourself. Take care to choose a good vendor, because it can be extremely difficult to change software providers once you’ve gotten set up. Make sure the company is financially stable, has a strong support team, releases regular updates, and – of course – has software that closely fits your business needs.

Once you’ve started using a software package, you need someone who knows exactly how it is set up for your company: the options that have been selected, reports that are available, business processes it supports, etc. That person will typically handle new user setups, security, process changes, report updates, and training. The role can be filled by a consultant, but this person must know your business well. For that reason, you may prefer to keep this role internal to your company. Just make sure you have someone tech-savvy in charge, and send them to plenty of training so that they have the knowledge and skills they need to handle this role effectively.


There are thousands of do-it-yourself websites available, but doing it yourself isn’t always the best choice. Many business owners “don’t know what they don’t know” and end up with unprofessional and ineffective websites in an effort to save money. A good quality website created by a professional design firm will ensure that your company is well represented online.

Once your website is built, there is ongoing work to keep it fresh and up-to-date. Ask your web design company to provide “content management” features so that you can make these basic updates yourself.

If social media is part of your online marketing strategy, take a close look at whether it should be outsourced or kept internal. Either can work. The key here is that social media requires constant attention and frequent updates to be effective.

Security and Regulatory Compliance

Any business subject to regulatory compliance requirements (HIPAA, SOX, PCI, FISMA, etc.) should engage outside consultants to test their security on a regular basis. Specialized security firms can run security audits and penetration tests. They will be up-to-date on the latest requirements and can help protect your company from liability.

Making Final Decisions

In a nutshell, you want to hand off the activities where advanced technical knowledge is required, and/or where services are so standard that there’s not much business-specific knowledge needed. Use employees when in-depth knowledge of your business really makes a big difference. Plan to train your vendors on your business-specific needs; plan to train your team on the technology tools they will use. Whichever way you go, focus on clearly communicating your needs so that you get the best possible IT experience.


Work should be fun


During my Price Waterhouse days, I was privileged to work with many talented people, and some incredibly gifted managers. Nonetheless, to this day, one truly exceptional management team stands out above all others, where both the client manager and our own were incredibly gifted.

I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.

~ Thomas Edison

What I remember most vividly is an early project meeting where our client manager talked about key goals for the project. One of those—to my great surprise—was that we have fun. Given how hard I usually worked, this seemed like a pretty radical concept, very un-business-like. But you know what? We did have fun, loads of it. Somehow all this fun brought us closer together as a team, and it made us incredibly productive, too.

As a business owner, it’s easy to focus on metrics. Billable hours, utilization, ticket volume, actuals vs. budget, etc. Those are important, but I’ve noticed that they all improve dramatically when the team is happy and work well together.

I’d like to propose a new business metric: team fun quotient, which would be the total fun had by all divided by the effort it takes to make work fun. Then we can track and trend happiness levels as well as what activities have the most and best impact. Sometimes even the smallest gestures can make a huge impact, and if we’re going to be smart managers, we need to pay attention to how we can build a great environment for our staff.

The only thing I can’t figure out: how do you measure fun? Send me your ideas and I’ll send you a fun toy!




3 “Gotchas” Most IT Pros Won’t Tell You When Selling You Their Cloud Solution

Are you using any cloud applications to store data?

Then listen up!

There are a few “gotchas” you need to know about 3rd-party cloud apps that most sales reps will NEVER tell you.

  1. They aren’t responsible for keeping a backup of your data. If you read the small print of your contract, you’ll see that in every way possible, your cloud provider is NOT responsible for data loss or backups – even if it’s their fault. In fact, Office365 will only keep 3 days backup of your data; so if you delete or overwrite a file and don’t notice it until 4-5 days later, it’s GONE. If your data is important, you need to implement a backup solution that works with cloud applications.
  2. What you see may NOT be what you get. There’s nothing more frustrating than an incredibly slow application when you’re trying to work; and the salesperson demo’ing the application or platform is going to make sure you only see the BEST-case scenarios for performance. But there are a lot of things that can determine how fast your cloud applications run, such as the file size you’re working on, CPUs and RAM and storage, time of day, day of the week, your Internet connection and the number of users accessing the application. Make sure you get some verification of the speed in YOUR specific environment before spending a lot of money, time and aggravation moving to a new cloud application.
  3. What if they cancel you? Here’s a scary situation: what if your cloud provider decides to shut down your account because they go out of business or simply decide not to service you anymore? Or what if YOU want out? Make sure you have in writing what happens if YOU cancel your contract AND what your cloud provider can and cannot do if they go out of business, cancel your account or have any other issues that would cause service interruption. Moving a network from a cloud platform is NOT a simple task and you need to make sure you can get your data and that you’ll be given sufficient time to make the transition.

Need help interpreting any of these scenarios?

CIO has “gotcha” covered!

Give us a call at 314-414-8400.

We will help you put in place a solid “Plan B” for any of the above issues, so you never have to worry about your 3rd party cloud applications saying “gotcha, too late.”



Fresh-Picked Gadget the Infinite USB


As laptops grow thinner, USB ports become scarcer. InfiniteUSB cables allow you to plug multiple devices into one USB port. Starting at $10, and available in varieties that also support microUSB and Lightning connectors.

Want to see these gadgets in real life? Come visit our “gadget grove” of tech toys you can try out yourself.



Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values


Conscious Business: How to Build Value through ValuesPicture1

By Fred Kofman

Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work.  A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders.