May 23, 2019
How an IT Provider with Microsoft Competencies Benefits Your Business
At the start of the Olympics, athletes in every sport are unified by one goal: going for the gold. The medal (along with silver and bronze) designates those athletes as the best in the world at what they do. Microsoft has a similar system designed to highlight superior partners: Competencies.
It requires fewer sessions in the gym but the meaning is the same. Partners receive Silver and Gold competencies as a mark of exceptional work. To dive deeper into Microsoft competencies and gain an insider’s view, we spoke with Gharun Hester, a Senior Partner Development Manager at Microsoft.
How Microsoft Competencies Work
Competencies single out the Microsoft partners who make extra efforts to educate employees and surpass client expectations. Partners can identify areas for competencies like Communications or Cloud Business Applications.
Currently, Nortec has 8 Gold and 2 Silver competencies, an achievement Hester described as “fantastic.” When partners want a Gold or Silver competency, they first receive educational material. The partner then needs to prove knowledge of the subject and the ability to deliver solutions to clients. This can be done through exams and certifications or by meeting stringent performance goals. Additionally, customer references must be submitted and approved by Microsoft. Silver competencies usually require 3 testimonials, while a partner needs 5 references to attain Gold.
“Nortec’s commitment to people, culture and development is exactly what we look for in outstanding partners,” Hester stated. “For years, Nortec has consistently demonstrated the ability to deliver high-quality, expert support to clients while continually evolving internally to stay on top of the latest technology trends.”
Benefits to Our Clients
Having Hester as our dedicated partner manager is an incredibly valuable resource for our clients because we can escalate issues on their behalf.
These deep inroads into Microsoft mean our team can access more resources and capabilities. We have insights into new innovations, making it easier to roadmap information, help during whiteboarding sessions, implement end-of-support solutions or access funding for implementation of new projects. Nortec’s Microsoft Competencies
To read more about how competencies work, check out the full article on our blog.
- Application Development
- Cloud Platform
- Cloud Productivity
- Collaboration and Content
- Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions
- Enterprise Mobility Management
- Windows and Devices
George Has Been Invited to Address Undergraduates at CUCSC!
In July, Nortec COO and EVP, George Hammerschmidt, will be heading to The Canadian Undergraduate Computer Science Conference (CUCSC) in Windsor, Ontario. This annual conference presents undergraduates the chance to engage with the latest research, interact with industry experts and learn from their peers. George will be speaking about the future of computer science and we look forward to hearing about his trip up North!
Team Nortec - Deb Wiker, VP of Sales
Meet Deb Wiker, our VP of sales! Deb took some time from her busy day to answer a few of our questions. 1. How would you describe your role at Nortec?
I would describe myself as a business development and cloud evangelist, team lead. Additionally, I help to improve sales operation processes and ensure our new clients have a great experience (particularly on-boarding) with Nortec as an organization. 2. What inspires you the most about the people you work with?
I am inspired by the level of commitment and focus all Nortec employees have for clients! Regardless of the role, everyone at Nortec works hard to be very responsive and satisfy any concern a client expresses. It does not matter if it is sales, operations, training or some other related matter. 3. Why should businesses think about the cloud?
All businesses, regardless of shape or size, should think about the cloud because it provides many advantages to increase their internal user’s productivity while greatly enhancing their corporate security posture.
For example, small businesses now can leverage enterprise level security and collaboration tools that even 4 years ago was beyond their reach. It is fair to say the cloud has leveled the playing field for all businesses, in terms of scalability & flexibility, from small startups and mid-sized organizations to very large multi-nationals regarding data security, improved collaboration and back-up/business continuity. 4. What are you interested in outside the office?
Outside the office I am an avid outdoors person; I love to go scuba diving, ride horses, cycle and hike. 5. What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I have and ride a V-Star Classic motorcycle as often as I can.
The Nortec Nine
New Addition to the Hirschman Family!
Please join the Nortec team in congratulating Lauren Hirschman and family! Ava arrived for Easter: 6:15 p.m., April 21, coming in at 6 lbs. 8 oz. and 20 inches. Both baby and mom are doing well.
May 8, 2019
March 22, 2019
Microsoft Teams is a Slam Dunk for Your Employees
Every year, workplace productivity takes a hit when the NCAA tournament tips off. We can't prevent this kind of downtime, but we can help make your employees more efficient throughout the rest of the year with Microsoft Teams. A collaboration and productivity platform that outpaces popular Slack and is backed with easy integration with Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications, Teams is a powerful tool every office should use.
To learn more about the benefits Teams offers, we spoke with Microsoft Partner Technical Architect Robert Gates (no relation to Bill). Here are some of the highlights from our discussion: Here are some of the highlights from our discussion.
Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 / Sequel Server 2008 are Getting Benched
It is unlikely that a 16-seed will be a threat to the higher seeds in their section of the bracket but ignoring all the buzz about the current Microsoft End of Support (EOS) will endanger your business.
On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7, Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008. Right now, we are in the “sunsetting period” – the stretch of time between End of Life and End of Support. This is the ideal time to prepare and determine how you will address EOS. This article
on Nortec will get you up to speed on the real dangers your company will face if you don’t act and help you start planning a transition. If you haven’t started planning your transition off Windows 7 or Server 2008, Contact us.
Team Nortec - Kevin Wills, VP of Professional Services
Meet Kevin Wills, VP of Professional Services, who took time out of his immensely busy schedule to answer a few questions. 1. What is a typical day like for you as the VP of Professional Services?
I meet with customers about ongoing engagements and hold working sessions with them using Skype or Teams for collaboration. At least part of each day – and right now it is a big part – is spent learning something new about technology. Currently, the focus is on the ever-changing Azure. I’ll also assist sales with the creation of statements of work and RFP responses. 2. In your opinion, why is your role pivotal to client success?
The position serves as an escalation point and helps customers fix business problems by applying technology. It brings in an outside perspective, framing problems and approaching solutions in a way that is very difficult to do with only an internal view.
Typically, clients don’t have time to stay current on industry trends and new technology, but this position ensures someone is keeping an eye on these for their organization. 3. Can you share some thoughts on what you think is on the horizon for technology for businesses in the next 5 years?
One thing business owners can expect is an evolution of cloud data centers. As new implementation strategies are adopted there will be far less IaaS and much more SaaS and PaaS.
There will also be an explosion of Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence, and the cloud will become central to backup disaster and recovery plans. 4. How can an organization know if they need to improve their business processes?
There is always room for improvement, but two major red flags are: something is redundant or there are inefficiencies that disrupt/block workflow.
Also, if people are saying, “I wish we could do this,” without actually confirming they can’t. 5. What are 3 things on your bucket list?
- Driving cross-country
- Attending a Barrett Jackson auction
- Learning German
The Nortec Nine
Event-Planning Firm Grows Its Security Solutions with Data Protection
Located in Washington, D.C., J Street Group provides event-planning services and consultations to public and private sector clients in the U.S. and around the world.
High-profile leaders and international organizations are among their clients. The team is often out of the office, relying on email to communicate. These factors make security a top priority for J Street Group, and this was one of the reasons they initially reached out to us.
J Street had outgrown their first email provider and wanted to switch to Office 365. At the same time, employees were receiving an alarming number of spam messages and phishing attempts – as many as 75 to 100 per employee per day. To resolve these threats, Nortec implemented Office 365 and took further steps to improve security at J Street.
December 4, 2018
What’s Under the Tree from Nortec
FREE Whiteboarding session with your Executive team and Nortec! We work with you to develop a high-level architectural design for potential networking solutions customized to your business needs. This should be the first step in prioritizing your projects for 2019. More >
November 8, 2018
Nortec Communications, a premier Mitel partner, recently worked with their long-standing partner Bowlero, holder of over 300 bowling alleys nationwide to implement a state-of-the-art unified communications phone system that will help the company grow into the future. Read more about the transformation
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