Dear clients, friends, colleagues, and whoever else happens to be subscribed to this newsletter,
As I write this introduction to our last newsletter of 2012, it is Christmas afternoon, snowflakes are falling outside the window, and the kids are quietly playing. What a great time to reflect on another year and start planning for next year!
This year has seen a lot of changes in our business – which may, (or may not) have been evident to you.
Early this year, we made the difficult decision to close our sister business, Caylix Internet. This company was an ISP that provided filtered internet (eg – blocking porn, time wasting, gambling, violence, etc) for ADSL, Cable, dialup, and wireless users. We provided this service for 7 years. I loved the concept of helping protect families, schools, and businesses with providing a safe Internet environment, but unfortunately their was no business case due to the high support burden for all the different types of internet connections. All the administrative and technical support was done by KTI staff in our Chilliwack office.
This fall, we split the Bonded Internet division of our company into a new organization called Multapplied Networks Inc. We have been working on, and selling, the Bonded Internet technology worldwide for the last 4 years. What it does is combine multiple internet connections (any mix of DSL, Cable, Fibre, T1, etc) into a single connection that is not only faster, but also much more reliable then typical broadband connections. We sell the software license through a channel partner network, who in turn sell to businesses. Multapplied employs 4 fulltime and 4 part-time staff currently, and is still hiring. Two of the KTI software developers (Matt Fox and Nick Huber) now work for Multapplied, albeit from the same desks.
As of December 31st, 2012 we have discontinued a number of products that did not make good business sense to either our clients or us. This includes our standalone ByteVault, Anti-Virus, Monitoring, Sentry, and Live Expert services.
Our service division has changed substantially the last year. Derek Froese and Robb Breckenridge have joined us as service engineers, and Richard Clark continues as our senior engineer and Linux guru. As Service Manager, Paul Sky Switzer has implemented a ton of new processes such as triage, dispatch, quality management, documentation, streamlined billing, and more. Luke Duguid is our senior software engineer, working primarily on a custom electrical engineering application for a local manufacturing company but also handling regular Windows software development for other clients both in Canada and the UK.
On the operations side, Ruth Weller has joined us as fulltime Controller and Office Admin. As Business Development Manager, Cora Price is meeting with many local businesses to educate them on better ways of managing technology and the results we are delivering for other clients.
Organizationally, we have matured with improved systems and processes, professional development, regular staff meetings and think tanks, and quarterly planning. We have an accountability board and work with several business coaches. A ton of changes and adjustments were required for everyone, myself included!
All of the above changes have allowed us to hyper focus on our business technology support package called Technology Loving Care (TLC). Manufacturing, Construction, and First Nations organizations are already enjoying this fixed-free service plan. With TLC, clients with 5 or more computers can call us anytime without extra bills, worry free backups, predictable 5 year budgets and strategic plans, regular meetings, and a lot more. For some clients, we also work together with their in-house IT professionals.
I have made some changes in our newsletter format to simplify it. The entire goal of the newsletter is to keep you informed of activities at KTI, and especially provide you with valuable Technology content that you can use in your business free of charge. At the moment, almost all of the blog content is written by writers that we pay. Over the coming months we will be introducing our own blog posts that will be more engaging and relevant to you. I want you to look forward to receiving the next newsletter and not just delete it… I am open to receiving topics and ideas – just drop me a line at email@example.com! Guest blog appearances are also welcome!
For today’s newsletter, here is a quick intro to each of the major topics as to why I think they will be of interest to you. (You can find a many more similar articles at www.kerkhofftech.ca/blog):
- Password Management – Everyone complains about the zillions of passwords they need nowadays. Every website has its own password, your computer can have multiple etc. What should you and are you going to do to add some order to the chaos? Leaked or hacked passwords can not only be just inconvenience or embarrassing, but also have major financial and legal risks.
- Policies – in another word, you need rules for your business. As part of TLC, we provide a large number of technology related policies to your business.
- Solid State Drives (SSD) – these new generation of hard drives are slightly more expensive then the traditional “SATA” drives – however they provide a HUGE performance boost to computers and servers. I use them in my own home & work computers and would never go back.
- Windows 8 – my recommendation to all businesses is to AVOID Windows 8 for now. There are no real benefits. The major item to be aware of is a drastically redesigned interface intended for tablet users who use touch rather then a mouse. The corporate world is holding back on any upgrades for office environments.
- Referral program – we provide a $500 appreciation gift to anyone who refers an organization to us who they feel would benefit from our TLC package.
On a more personal note, my wife Rudi and I are looking forward to the birth of our 4th child at the end of February, and probably another pilgrimage in the spring to the Netherlands to visit her family and our friends there.
To all clients, vendors, staff, coaches, business friends, and other business acquaintances – a huge thank you for how you have positively impacted our business and myself this year! I wish you a fantastic and healthy 2013! Keep an eye on your quarterly and yearly personal and work goals and work hard for them.
Wim Kerkhoff | President & Systems Architect
Is your Technology Lovingly Cared For?
Ask me about $500 CASH in your Jeans!