CIO SERVICES IS NOW KARPEL SOLUTIONS!

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 www.insightbykarpel.com 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.”

ABOUT KARPEL SOLUTIONS

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 http://www.karpel.com.

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

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.

Websites

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

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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!

 

wendysig

 

Fresh-Picked Gadget the Infinite USB

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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.

 

 

 

Join Our Team!

logo_CMYK_transparentJoin our team! We handle computer and network support, serving as an outsourced IT department for our small to midsized business clients in the St. Louis area. Are you a solutions oriented, innovative thinker? A team player who has a “whatever it takes” attitude?
We’re a friendly, fast-growing company with a collaborative, team-focused culture, and we take great pride in contributing to our clients’ success. Are you ready to join our team?

Apply HERE
Dedicated Field Engineer- Tier 2 Support

This position will be a dedicated resource for one of our clients, working from our office and still very much a part of our team here at CIO. Most of the work will be done by phone, however there will be occasional travel required, averaging one week per quarter. You must be equally comfortable in person and on the phone with executive level clients, and extremely professional and quick on your feet. This position is not a management role, but there will be a leadership element as the communications lead for this client. You must exhibit an intermediate degree of technical knowledge that can be applied to this customer’s technical issues and problems. Moreover, as the primary support for the client desktops, printers and infrastructure, you will be responsible for resolving issues with the support of our team as necessary. By providing exceptional service delivery, you will secure the company’s positive reputation with this client. We will rely on you to perform service and preventive maintenance activities on products, and assist in installations and deployments.

Responsibilities:

  • Work independently to answer service desk calls, urgently analyze technical issue(s), troubleshoot over the phone and via remote log-in, and escalate problems to Level 3 support when appropriate.
  • Provide onsite and remote desktop support to our clients who have critical response time requirements for their business technology systems.
  • Troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve all hardware configuration, application software, security, firmware and connectivity issues at the desktop level.
  • Troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve all wireless configuration and connectivity issues.
  • Troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve issues with smartphones and tablets, such as iPhone, or Android.
  • Propose and successfully implement process improvements.
  • Provide problem resolution and Trouble Ticket responsiveness at the local Help Desk.
  • Multi-task to support a variety of network and end-user environments with executives, business owners, managers and end users.
  • Demonstrate superior communication skills to respond to diverse clients with urgent needs while recognizing they are looking for solutions, not technical explanations.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Business Technology, related field of study or equivalent work experience (minimum 4 years experience working in similar role).
  • Experience working in a managed services organization preferred but not required.
  • Microsoft MCP, Comptia Network+ and/or Comptia A+ certifications are a plus!
  • Microsoft certification is highly desired as we are a Microsoft partner.
  • Certifications or extended work histories may be substituted for the educational requirement in some situations.
  • Proficiency in supporting Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.
  • High Proficiency in Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Knowledgeable of desktop software such as Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Basic server support skills and understanding of Windows 2003, 2008 and 2012.
  • Networks, internet connection issues, as well as be able to configure network devices such as routers.
  • Basic desktop VPN connectivity troubleshooting and configuration (Cisco, Sonicwall, OpenVPN).
  • Security software such as Anti-virus, Anti-SPAM, Anti-Spyware, and other security related technologies.
  • Ability to adapt to an ever changing environment.
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of situations; ability to interpret a variety of instructions.
  • Deadline and solutions oriented with the ability to handle multiple competing priorities; wide variety of responsibilities means you’ll never be bored!
  • Team player who can roll up their sleeves and get involved in everything from big projects to mundane, simple tasks – A true go-getter!
  • Not easily frazzled and strong time-management skills during busy and slower periods throughout the day.
  • Valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.

This position does require Engineers to be part of an on-call rotation to handle basic triage and network emergencies for a one week duration usually once every month and a half for each Engineer. This position will require travel averaging one week per quarter.

Benefits:
We value our employees’ time and efforts. Our commitment to your success is enhanced by our competitive compensation and an extensive benefits package including paid time off, medical, dental and vision benefits and future growth opportunities within the company. Plus, we work to maintain the best possible environment for our employees, where people can learn and grow with the company. We strive to provide a collaborative, creative environment where each person feels encouraged to contribute to our processes, decisions, planning and culture.