Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Small Business

How Managed IT Services and Cloud Computing can Save you Money

Alpen Technology Group, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Cloud Computing, Information Security, Information Technology, Innovation, IT Modernization, IT Security, KAI Partners, Managed IT Services, Non-profit, Project Management, Ransomware, Sacramento, Small Business, Systems Engineer, Technology

By David Baker, Microsoft MCSA & MCITP, CompTIA+ & Network+, CSM

We’ve talked before about how your organization can benefit from our managed IT services. We can help you reduce downtime, improve productivity, and more.

Something else we do is help you reduce the money you spend on IT services.

An IT company that helps you reduce IT costs? Yes! Our IT team is always on the lookout for ways to save our clients money.

We recently completed a phone migration and network infrastructure upgrade for one of our clients. We found a way to decrease their monthly phone bill by half, ultimately saving them well into five figures annually.

Another way to save your organization money? We’re a big proponent of cloud computing—for example, using Microsoft 365 or Google Cloud for your files, emails, calendaring, and anything else you need to run your business.

We know a lot of people are still hesitant to move over to “the cloud,” but here are a few examples of how migrating from in-house servers to cloud computing can save you money and peace of mind:

  1. Reduce hardware and electricity bill cost.Cloud computing means you no longer need to use certain computer equipment—you can repurpose the equipment for another use or donate it as a tax write-off. And, migrating your servers to the cloud can save money your electricity bill because you’re no longer paying for cooling costs.
  2. You don’t need to pay an internal IT staff. Especially when you take into consideration the hidden costs of FTEs—health insurance, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, the list goes on—it’s often more cost-efficient to have a team like ours manage your IT needs. Our team handles the security and maintenance, and many other updates are automatic within the cloud.
  3. Disaster recovery. In the event of a building disaster, your electronic files are safe in the cloud. You and your team can still perform work duties and access any electronic files you need to. While this is never a welcome occurrence, you have peace of mind knowing your most valuable files are safe in the cloud.

KAI Partners’ expert cloud computing engineers are ready to help you meet your business goals. If you’re ready to let us take care of your IT needs, call 916-465-8065!

About David: David Baker holds certifications in Microsoft MCSA, Microsoft MCITP, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and has extensive experience in server, platform (HP/Dell). Mr. Baker has experience working with developers and supporting their development environment. In his current role, Mr. Baker monitors clients’ backups, active directory, DHCP and DNS, resolves helpdesk tier 1-3 support tickets, and has successfully completed AD migrations from server 2008 to server 2012 and 2016. Mr. Baker has successfully completed VOIP phone migrations, WAN ISP cutovers, network redesign and implementation, firewall replacements and security lockdown, AWS web server build out, AWS helpdesk call center engineering, and more. In his spare time, Mr. Baker enjoys BBQing, photography, and fitness.

What does an Enterprise Architect Do?

Enterprise Architecture, Project Management, Sacramento, Small Business, Startup Company

By Barbara Hill

The crossroads of complexity and volatility lead to enterprise architecture.

If the processes, people, technology, and other environmental factors that make up your business are very simple—but changing rapidly—you can probably manage without documenting your architecture in detail.

If these things are very complex—but changing very little—you still probably can conduct your business without detailing and diagramming your architecture.

But, when things get so structurally complex and are shifting unpredictably (startup and entrepreneur friends, are you listening?), then you will really need to have more precise information about those things, how they relate to each other, what their interdependencies are.

This is where an Enterprise Architect can help.

An Enterprise Architect’s goal is to help nurture an environment where your business can be more efficient, effective, agile, and durable.

A good enterprise architect works similarly to a personal trainer. When you look for a personal trainer to help you get in shape, the trainer will ask you what your goals are. Are you trying to lose weight for an upcoming reunion? Do you need to lose weight for serious health reasons? Are you trying to accomplish an athletic goal, like running a marathon?

An Enterprise Architect looks for similar answers regarding the health of an organization or business. They want to know about the organization’s strategic goals, discuss the business needs, and assess the overall organizational fitness to achieve their business strategy.

Typically, this results in some diagrams and narratives relating to the current “As-Is” state of the business along with the desired “To-Be” future state. Is the business a start-up trying to handle tremendous growth? Is it a recently merged enterprise, trying to meld disparate cultures and organizational approaches? Has it had to recently downsize and is struggling with poor employee morale and customers skeptical of its ability to deliver?

An Enterprise Architect works with your organization to assess how “fit” your organization is today and helps you formulate an appropriate improvement plan to achieve your desired goals. This is often accomplished via a maturity model, which you can use to help determine how fast and in what areas you wish to proceed. This helps in planning out what is reasonable to accomplish, setting out both long-term and short-term goals, based on your organization’s particular strengths and weaknesses.

Just as for individuals, getting an organization more fit for its purposes involves stamina, strength, dexterity, suppleness, agility, speed, and a slew of emotional well-being components. An Enterprise Architect will help you devise a roadmap that sequences projects and initiatives to best optimize the time, risk, and cost needed to achieve your organization’s strategic goals.

An Enterprise Architect uses their considerable wealth of knowledge to tailor their recommendations of tools, methods, policies, and procedures to fit the specific business requirements and culture of your organization. There is no “one-size fits all” approach to improving the health of a business enterprise. To ensure the plan is working requires regular monitoring and check-ups—an Enterprise Architect makes recommendations for establishing and regularly reviewing business performance metrics.

The very best personal trainers are experts at motivating and cheering their clients to victory. Similarly, the very best Enterprise Architects also must be strong communicators who have tremendous empathy and support you in your efforts to adapt to the volatility of the increasingly complex world in which you conduct business.

About the Author: Barbara Hill is a Senior Enterprise Architect with KAI Partners. With over 20 years of experience working with both California state government and private sector companies, she has been instrumental in helping clients address the complexity and volatility of change, while ensuring alignment between strategic goals and operational realities. Barbara has held Enterprise Architecture certifications from Zachman International and Pragmatic Enterprise Architecture (PEAF and POET) and is currently working on certification from the Business Architecture Guild. Her Enterprise Architecture practitioner’s bag includes considerable knowledge and experience with organizational change management, quality improvement practices (such as LEAN and Six Sigma), knowledge management, data management, and data governance. Barbara’s wide-ranging work interests are a reflection of her nomadic early days, having resided in a number of different U.S. locations, as well as Mangla, West Pakistan and London, England.

What the KAI Partners Team is Thankful for in 2018

Community Service, Employee Engagement, KAI Partners, Learning, Sacramento, Small Business

How often do you actually take the time to be thankful? With the holiday season upon us, it’s a great time to show appreciation to coworkers, employees, family, and friends. An attitude of gratitude allows us to reflect on the year and think about all we’re thankful for. Here are a few things our team is feeling grateful for this year–we’d love for you to share with us what you are saying ‘thank you’ for this year.

From the KAI Partners team to yours, we wish you a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free Thanksgiving holiday.

KAI Partners Staff Profile: The Systems Engineer

Alpen Technology Group, Information Security, Information Technology, KAI Partners, KAI Partners Staff Profile, Managed IT Services, Sacramento, Small Business, Startup Company, Systems Engineer, Technology

There are many paths to success and while not everyone takes the same path, we often manage to arrive at the same destination. In our KAI Partners Staff Profile series, we share interviews and insight from some of our own employees here at KAI Partners. Our staff brings a diversity in education, professional, and life experience, all of which demonstrate that the traditional route is not necessarily the one that must be traveled in order to achieve success.

Today, we bring you the journey of David Baker, a Systems Engineer with our managed IT services division, Alpen Technology Group. Alpen Technology Group provides organizations the benefits of an internal IT department at a fraction of the cost of staffing one themselves.

The role of the Systems Engineer within IT services is critical. On any given day, Mr. Baker’s responsibilities include troubleshooting advanced security technologies such as Single sign-on and Multi-factor Authentication, managing IT initiatives, collaborating with clients, providing strategic advice on using technology to achieve goals and objectives, supporting new technology implementation, training users, and more.

Today we’re excited to share more about Mr. Baker’s Managed IT background and his current role.

KAI Partners, Inc.: How did you get into your line of work?

David Baker: My troubleshooting skills caught the attention of an instructor of mine who had just started a software training/consulting firm. He was impressed at my ability troubleshoot and reconstruct the computer. He was also looking for someone who loved computers and tech. I was able to work summer days and nights while going to school and increasing my technical knowledge. IT was fun, and I love playing video games, so it led down this road.

KAI: Are there any certifications or trainings you’ve gone through that have helped in your career?

DB: I have a certification through Microsoft—the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)—as well as CompTIA’s Network+ and A+. I am also currently working on a certification with Amazon Web Services.

KAI: What is your favorite part about your line of work and why?

DB: My favorite part about my line of work is creating new networks for clients. \ Completing a project gives me a sense of satisfaction. I take pride in knowing that I have created something that will help a client meet their goals.

KAI: What is one of the most common question you receive from clients and what counsel or advice do you give them?

DB: The most common question I get from clients is how we can save money on IT. I tell them let’s look at your environment and streamline it. For example, I once moved a client from physical servers to a virtual environment, which saved them money on cooling and electricity use.

Now that we’ve learned more about David’s Systems Engineer work, here’s a little more about him!

Quick Q&A with David:

Daily, must-visit website:  www.techcrunch.com

Preferred genre of music: Blues

Best professional advice received: Never give a firm time to resolve an issue in IT. You do not want to set an expectation that you cannot meet due to Murphy’s Law or other outside factors.

Book you can read repeatedly: “Who Moved My Cheese?”

Most-recent binge-watched show: Dear White People

About David: Mr. Baker has 11 years of experience in IT ranging from help desk to network/systems engineer and working with different technologies such as Cisco, SonicWALL, Dell, VMware, and Microsoft. Mr. Baker currently works for KAI Partners as a Systems Engineer, helping clients meet their IT needs. For fun, Mr. Baker enjoys enjoy BBQing, photography, and fitness.

Interested in learning more about how David and the Alpen Technology Group can help your organization? Call 916-465-8065!

KAI Partners is Hiring!

Agile, Business Analysis, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Communications, Corporate Training, Hiring, Human Resources, Information Technology, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Managed IT Services, Onboarding, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management, Sacramento, Small Business, Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Technology

KAI Partners is excited to be expanding its team once again! Interested in joining our growing company, including positions within our training and managed IT services divisions? Take a look at the following positions for which we are currently hiring!

Business Solutions Analyst

The Business Solutions Analyst performs business systems analysis and is responsible for work that involves applying analytical processes to the planning, design, and implementation of new and improved business information systems and business processes to meet the business requirements of customer organizations.

Click here for more information or to apply for the Business Solutions Analyst role.

Certified Business Analysis Professional

KAI Partners’ training division, the KAIP Academy, is seeking a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) in Sacramento. The CBAP will be expected to deliver the following trainings:

  • ECBA – Level 1
  • CCBA – Level 2
  • CBAP – Level 3

Click here for more information or to apply for the CBAP role.

Software Developer Erlang and Elixir

The Sacramento-based software developer is experienced, motivated, enthusiastic, and flexible. The ideal candidate should have three or more years’ experience, working knowledge, and interest in Elixir and Erlang.

Click here for more information or to apply for the Software Developer role.

System Engineer

Our Managed IT Services division, Alpen Technology Group, is looking for a Sacramento-based System Engineer with 6-10 years of relevant experience. The System Engineer is responsible for resolving Information Technology (IT) issues for Alpen TG clients.

Click here for more information or to apply for the System Engineer role.

But wait, there’s more!

Here are some other positions for which we are currently hiring:

We look forward to receiving your application today! Any questions about the above positions? Email recruitment@kaipartners.com.

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