Blog

April 11th, 2012
Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

Innovation

As technology guides, our clients look to us for direction on how to get the most return on their IT spend.  They want to stay current, use proven technology and improve their business productivity. How do we manage all these needs and wants? Through embracing, not rejecting, innovation.

The proliferation of technology breakthroughs is ushering in a new era of business tools and advancement such as like cloud services, virtualization, and hosted applications. We already accept many mobile solutions as a given part of business, not to mention daily interaction with products armed with sensory intelligence.

In order to maintain our relevance and stay true to our mission as Business Technology Guides, we continue to innovate, sometimes on a daily basis.  Since one size definitely does not fit all, rarely does a single technology answer our of our client needs.  Although we maintain a healthy skepticism towards new and unproven technology, we’re often the first company to deploy new tools in the field, treating each one as a opportunity for our clients to learn and gain solid information with us. This is a challenging task as we must always consider the individual client’s needs, unique operating environment and business applications.  But we must prove out different sets of technology for many scenarios, and MySherpa likes to keep a full roster of customized solutions ready for any situation.

For example, we have been advocating eliminating servers and reducing complexity for clients who do not rely on local server based applications.  Connectivity, reliable – high speed Internet and hosted applications have made it possible for some to reduce their computer footprint by eliminating extraneous equipment (see my last post about Low Tech Triumphant). This can be a great boon for companies with limited expansion space.

We also provide innovation for our clients that have demanding on-premise applications.  For these cases we look to provide low cost options for secure anywhere access.  Our private MySherpa® Cloud allows us to restore a client’s complete work environment in a server farm we control, in just a few hours.

New technology is great but adds complexity!

Much of this new technology augments existing systems but rarely does it replace the technology in place; it is a net add.  Really? Yes. New technology is primarily additive and, unless you’re considering a massive, expensive infrastructure overhaul, does not eliminate the legacy technology.

I have a couple of examples to highlight my point:

  • iPhones may be the communication device du jour but there are still millions of BlackBerry  users out there.  Now many companies are running two mobile email systems and not one.  Twice the administration; and we are just getting started!
  • How about virtualization technology?   It’s (mostly) free, offers the promise to do more with less and is definitely cutting edge.  However, most clients right now will opt to keep newer servers in place and not virtualize them because they are new, healthy and functional.  So there is more of a mix of traditional and virtual architecture which adds complexity when troubleshooting or planning for expansion.

We surveyed our clients and learned they wanted more strategic guidance for long term planning coupled with weekly contact for continuous improvement.  In short, we have innovated our company structure and functions by defining new dedicated roles to serve our clients.

 

Best regards from the summit!

 

Greg

 

For weekly sneak peeks, check out our Facebook page and follow us on TwitterYou can also find Greg on LinkedIn.

 

 

February 29th, 2012
Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

In our Future Now series, we’ve been exploring how advances in technology can enable us to stay ahead of the curve for business trends. But I want to share an alternate view of the Future Now philosophy – knowing when there isn’t a high tech solution, and relying instead upon good old-fashioned ingenuity.  This may seem contrary to what we’ve already talked about with Future Now, but I firmly believe that the wider view in this whole mindset is to know when technology isn’t the optimal solution, and making the decision to look to alternate ideas that can complement and coexist with technology.

Take, for example, this recent event. A new client asked MySherpa® to virtualize their Linux server farm – a grouping of dozens of individual computers, each with a task-specific purpose.  They wanted to make a proactive move to consolidate and decommission the units, reducing their carbon footprint and risk of mechanical failure.  The MySherpa® Project Team planned and moved all of the Linux machines to a virtual host running VMware, saving the client headaches and future power bills. A concise plan, using the best server technology available, correct?

But then the question remained: what to do with the orphaned server farm PCs?  Many service companies would see the opportunity to cleanse and dispose of these computers as a goldmine – charging the client fees for getting rid of the units. However, the MySherpa® team saw this as an additional opportunity to save money and time for the client – engaging what some would call a “low-tech” solution.

MySherpa® came up with a novel idea: we suggested that our client use interns or part-time workers to assist in the cleanup process. Our clients did one better and brokered a deal with a local Boy Scout troop. The Scouts could remove the hard drives as a community service act, and in return, our client agreed to generously donate to the upcoming Jamboree fund.  The cleansed machines would then be donated to Goodwill Delaware for re- purposing.  The scouts are just as capable of using screwdrivers as one of our technicians, and with proper guidance, could easily remove hard drives safely and securely.

For a fraction of the cost, our client not only received a cleaned up server room, but also the grateful thanks of the Scout community. In this situation, our Project Team considered all the possibilities –not just technological – and were able to devise a creative and unusual solution to an issue that didn’t necessarily have to be a high-tech or expensive. MySherpa® seeks to add value for every project we work on; the Future Now mindset is what allows us to know how to pick the correct solution for our clients, every time.

 

Best regards from the summit!

 

Greg

 

Sherpa compliment of the week:

“ I can enthusiastically recommend MySherpa as an exceptionally good IT service provider in every sense of the way.  They came up with solutions that met our budget until we could overhaul the systems.    Julie Van Blarcom, Executive Director, Delaware Children’s Museum,  Wilmington, DE

For weekly sneak peeks, check out our Facebook page and follow us on TwitterYou can also find Greg on LinkedIn.

 

February 15th, 2012
Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

In our youth, we have the distinct advantage of viewing the world in a straightforward manner. Cause and effect is a simple logic that we are taught to follow – if we want to buy something, we must earn the money. If we want to be healthy, we must eat right and exercise regularly. We know that that the things we do (or don’t do) have a direct relationship with how our lives develop.

Unfortunately, this cause-and-effect model can begin to break down within the complexities of the business world, particularly when paired with the shields that make up business technology.  Suppose for example, in our previous model, we had a client with a billing inaccuracy – we would hope that they would be able to call the billing department and be able to speak with someone regarding their invoicing and get a resolution. This is how we are taught to provide good business, right?

However, with voicemail and email as the primary sources of communications, there may be ample opportunity for many companies to “duck and cover” from these simple cause and effect transactions. Unanswered emails, avoided texts, and explanations of “I never got it” are commonplace with less than straightforward customer service types. What we are not doing is meeting our customer needs – and by our direct logic, this WILL affect our business.

So how do we reduce the number of phantoms in the system and get back to delivering? One obvious Future Now technology that I think enterprise class businesses should be embracing is the video conference/calling. We already see it in cell phones (FaceTime, Tango, Skype Mobile), so why isn’t it the standard in business applications, particularly in our global environment? Recent statistics state that more than half of business people are using smartphones to run their business while mobile – then, shouldn’t video conferencing be a technology we are rushing to meet, instead of using intermittently?

We all understand the pitfalls of misunderstood communications, particularly in email. But if you can see another person’s face, hear their voice, you will understand them better and likely be better understood.   In sensitive business transactions, this can be a deal-breaker. It seems like an obvious choice – one that will unclutter communications and bridge the gaps between people, and help solve problems.

I firmly believe that this is a change all business owners should be embracing – I encourage you to see what’s out there now, and give it a try. At its essence, isn’t the heart of good business making those personal connections and getting your customers what they want and need? Remove the phantoms that are preventing you from seeing the real people who fuel your business, and in return, show your customers how you are harnessing the technology of the future to get back to the basics of good business.

 

Best regards from the summit!

 

Greg

 

Sherpa compliment of the week:

“MySherpa eased our transition to EHR.  They provided immediate call-backs and resolved problems promptly and efficiently.”  Kathleen Law, Dr. Kevin Law, Hamilton, NJ.

 

You can find Greg’s blog at www.mysherpa.com/blog. For weekly sneak peeks, check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

 

 

February 7th, 2012
Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

Greg Gurev, Head Sherpa

Before I got into the technology business, I used to think of the “the future” as a projected time so far beyond my immediate reality that it seemed like a sci-fi movie. I would see this high-tech future in terms of outer space, like, “In the future, Explorer space probe will start sending high resolution photographs of Saturn’s rings.”  Or, “The next visible pass of Hale-Bopp comet will come in the year 4385.” It was always something way out of my reach or conceptual thought.

I felt the same way about computer technology.  The promise of a better, faster, smarter solution was always relegated to the future; artificial intelligence, speech recognition, wearable devices, etc.  But look around us – phones, laptops, tablets – they’re encompassing this technology right now. Technology has finally reached an important intersection where processing power, miniaturization, virtualization, and connectivity are all intersecting. I call this a Future Now state – and I think it’s one of the greatest achievements that we have reached, as a civilization.  My science fiction movie has crossed into real life, right before my eyes.

Late in 2011, I had the fortunate experience to see Daniel Burrus, eminent technology futurist, speak at a convention. I was stunned!  If you’re unfamiliar with Daniel’s work, then a must-read for you is his latest book, Flash Foresight. Daniel has spent many years accurately predicting technology trending, and this book makes it easy to understand the logic and steps he uses so you can correctly assess your own environment. What I found was my own ideas of evolving technology and its business application eerily echoed in his work – he sees how the future is approaching, faster than we ever thought. And this book helped me understand how to apply those approaching trends to my own business.

On that note, my new weekly blog will explore this Future Now phenomenon; I’ll be sharing some of my own examples how of how I’ve realized that Future Now is a predictable and vital part of your business. By realizing your own Future Now and learning how to apply it to your own business successfully, I hope to help you realize significant foresight and give you a considerable advantage to grow your business and free up your personal time.

I’m looking forward to this journey with you…best regards from the summit!

Greg

For weekly sneak peeks, check out our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter. You can also find Greg on LinkedIn.

Sherpa compliment of the week:

“Yes, we are lucky to have an IT team like yours, and we know it!”   Sharese Alston, Produce for Better Health Foundation, Wilmington, DE.