At Converge’s annual national sales meeting, Greg Berard (President, North America) and Justin Hall (VP of Strategic Alliances, North America) offer their thanks and thoughts on the event’s impact for the upcoming year. Designed to enable growth, ConvergeUP 2020 provides strategic partners & sales teams the opportunity to discuss business strategies and IT industry trends with the goal of furthering Converge’s influence and go-to-market strategy. #ConvergeUP2020
Lexington, Kentucky was founded in 1775, seventeen years before Kentucky became a state. William McConnell and a group of frontier explorers were camped at a natural spring when word came from nearby Fort Boonesborough that the first battle of the American Revolution had been fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. In honor of that battle, the group named their site “Lexington”. By 1820, Lexington, Kentucky, was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle, the city soon gained the nickname “Athens of the West.”
Many years later, after numerous moves across the United States while working with IBM, one of the principals of SIS selected Lexington, Kentucky as the company’s headquarters location. Although Lexington is most notably known for southern culture, tobacco, bourbon, and world class thoroughbred breeding and racing, SIS chose this city for its strategic location to several major metropolitan areas in the surrounding region. This has enabled SIS to expand as a technology leader in these adjacent cities over the past 25 years.
Today, Lexington is recognized as a top-rated city to raise a family and conduct business in the United States. The University of Kentucky, UK Medical Center, and Transylvania University provide a foundation of education, research, and innovation for businesses to leverage in growing regional and national companies. Plus, we all know UK’s rich tradition as a basketball icon and powerhouse in college sports! Additionally, Lexington is built on a spoke reaching out to other great cities in the region. The richness of these nearby communities and states provides growth opportunities SIS has capitalized on in the past and continues to rely on for significant growth in the future.
The majority of SIS’ clients are in the Ohio Valley region and, in addition to Lexington, include cities like Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Detroit. Each of these places have had a major influence in how we have assembled our sales and technical teams in order to support the diverse geography and client bases we are so fortunate to partner with. Unrelentless effort to always place the customer first and be immediately responsive to their needs has allowed SIS to build a business in this region that is foundationally solid and includes vendor relationships with major technology providers. We continue to support our clients in Lexington and beyond with technical advisory, advanced & modern managed services, data center hardware, and best of breed software to deliver solutions that meet the demands and needs for the markets we serve.
What a journey and privilege it has been to see the technology sector grow and work with the great businesses & people in Lexington, the Ohio Valley Region, and across the great USA.Read More
The Bay Area is full of talented people – engineers, thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. This mix is destined to create new products and services and change the way we do the things we’ve been doing our whole lives. Our world is being transformed at every level: How we communicate with others, where we source products for our daily needs, how we acquire knowledge, and how we commute, to give a few examples. Beyond that, tech in the Bay Area is impacting the economy and our lifestyle as well. On a daily basis we see new ways that technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing (to name few) are being employed to make our lives easier.
At BlueChipTek specifically, we are known for Datacenter computing with our partners such as Supermicro, Dell, and Cisco; datacenter networking with trusted partners such as Juniper Networks and Cisco; Network security with multiple solutions coming from Palo Alto Networks, Juniper Networks, Cisco, and Checkpoint; corporate wireless networking with innovators such as Mist or Meraki; and public cloud deployments and operation. Our customers pay a lot of attention to agility and elasticity of cloud computing and increasing effectiveness through automation of various aspects of their IT operations and business processes.
There are a lot of benefits to the focus on technology and innovation in our area. Because there are so many interesting projects and initiatives going on, we have a high concentration of talented people from all over the world, and we get to work with them on a daily basis. Furthermore, we have the opportunity to create new things and be pioneers in and/or witnesses of how new ideas are applied in technology.
On the other hand, the fast pace of change our here puts a lot of stress on people, and it can be difficult to cope with. Because the market is so dynamic, it is challenging to predict the direction it will go in, so it’s tough to decide which technologies to invest in. Because of all the disruptive technologies, something that is commonly used today may be completely forgotten tomorrow if not enough innovation and effort is put into it. That means keeping a close eye on who’s doing what, and that’s a difficult task considering how many organizations we have out here.
Looking to the future, one of my favorite emerging technologies is Artificial Intelligence – it is something equally exciting and scary for anyone who’s attention was captivated by Sci-Fi movies as The Terminator or The Matrix. Of course, we’re nowhere near anything that sophisticated yet. More immediately, I see technologies that enable remote work changing our lives the most. I personally believe that with all the means of working remotely that are being innovated or reinvigorated, companies from the Bay Area will expand to other parts of US and the world in order to reduce workforce costs and decrease the concentration of talent in just one area. The number of interesting projects being worked on by the numerous innovative companies here has created a high population density in the Bay Area. There are tons of talented people around the world, and remote work technologies will allow companies to employ them where they are instead of bringing them to Silicon Valley.
The IT culture out here is vibrant; most people are personally invested in the projects that they’re working on. At BCT specifically, our culture is made up of enthusiastic people who are willing to go the extra mile to provide help to our clients, and we subscribe to a work hard, play hard mentality. We value when the customers who we work with recognize the value of that culture and tell us that they love working with us, that we provide unique value for them, and that they see us as a trusted adviser. That’s how we know that we’re making a difference and contributing to the continued growth of both our company and the technology industry as a whole.Read More
Regularly referred to as the Entertainment Capital of the World, La-la-land, and Tinseltown, Los Angeles, California is so much more than bright lights and movie stars. Often overlooked is the town’s rich history of technological innovations. While outsiders may just see pretty beaches and an insane amount of traffic, the city has harbored some of the greatest inventions in modern history, including the internet, fast food, gangster rap, and more! In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the technologies that have shaped the city’s past and discuss new innovations shaping the city’s future.
Some of Los Angeles’ favorite pastimes include sports, movies, music, traffic, and, of course, high-speed chases. The most notable chase to happen in LA was the O.J. Simpson white bronco event that gripped the nation in 1993. Viewership of such events would not be possible without the advent of the “telecopter,” which was invented in 1958. Built in North Hollywood by KTLA engineer John D. Silva, the telecopter was able to capture aerial shots of wildfires, parades, and car chases, forever changing the way news was reported. Over 50 years later, the telecopter is still a staple in broadcast news coverage.
Just a little over ten years later, a government-funded research project called ARPANET was launched at UCLA. In response to a need for a network that would allow computers to communicate and share resources, ARPANET was created as a series of high-speed lines connected to computer ‘nodes.’ This network laid the groundwork for what became known as the world wide web.
Jumping back 30 years before ARPANET, the 1930s saw the creation of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. A crew of amateur rocketeers founded the laboratory that is credited with building ‘Explorer I,’ the first American satellite, which is credited with paving the way for the Apollo missions and other space explorations.
While the history of Los Angeles’ technological explorations is vast, today the city continues to experience a number of modern innovations alongside the migration of many startups from Silicon Valley. Ironically enough, Los Angeles (and parts of Orange County) is known as “Silicon Beach” and houses more than 500 companies. In 2016, Los Angeles startups raised $4.2 billion with big name companies such as Snap Inc., The Trade Desk, and Hulu calling the city home in addition to new office locations for Google and YouTube.
Furthermore, Los Angeles is in involved in numerous city-wide innovations to help create a better future for its citizens. First and foremost, the city is in the beginning stages of rolling out 5G cellular networks with upgraded cover speed and cell sites with a fiber connection. Secondly, Los Angeles is battling the homeless issue by using 3D printers to build out portions of homes as part of a Blokable modular homes campaign. Lastly, Los Angeles is one of the major cities partaking in the ideation around ‘smart cities’ to help make commuting, traffic control, parking lots, structure infrastructure, and the like easier to handle for the population. For example, we’ve seen growing investments in solar planning to help meet the demand of electric vehicles and parking structures in Irvine, which is right outside of Los Angeles.
As a longtime resident of LA and the surrounding Orange County area, KeyInfo has seen how technology has changed the city, especially within the IT environment. As a company, we’ve personally made the change from VAR to cloud provider to finally landing under the all-encompassing umbrella of the Converge family of solutions. Looking specifically at our clients in the Los Angeles area, we are watching them trend towards cloud-first options and building new cloud-native applications. Additionally, networking and storage continue to expand. Storage for large amounts of video data, such as the kind gathered from policy body cams, requires a lot of investment in both security and hardware, while networking has shifted to make virtualization, and the isolation of traffic, easier and easier.
Being the third most populous city in North America, it is no small task to speculate exactly what the next big thing will be in technology and IT in Los Angeles. Thankfully, as part of the Converge family, KeyInfo has the technical resources, thought leaders, and experience to tackle whatever comes next.Read More