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  • 05/25/2021 1:17 PM | Deleted user

    Uptime Solutions & Vertiv

    It’s not an exaggeration to say the global pandemic created a new healthcare delivery model virtually overnight. Telehealth, previously a simmering patient engagement option, has now erupted.

    The global telehealth market is expected to grow dramatically, reaching $266.8 billion by 2026 and showing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4% between 2018 and 2026. The biggest barrier to pre-pandemic adoption was behavioral inertia. Now due to COVID-19, momentum is building toward a marked transformation.

    Understandably, most healthcare providers are struggling to keep pace. Existing IT systems, infrastructure, and security and privacy protocols already were stretched or outdated due to the proliferation of diversified healthcare systems. Telehealth adds another layer of complexity requiring new IT strategies and investments.

    Read our white paper to learn more about the critical decisions that are looming for healthcare IT managers and chief information officers (CIOs).

    Download the White Paper at the Vertiv Blog


  • 05/25/2021 1:08 PM | Deleted user

    Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation

    The next round of TechCred opens on June 1st and closes on June 30th at 3:00 p.m.

    Ohio businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.gov to apply and help their employees earn a short-term, technology-focused credential at no cost. Not only can businesses upskill their current employees, but they can upskill those they plan to hire as long as they are on the payroll at the time of reimbursement.

    More than 1,100 Ohio businesses have used TechCred, some having used it multiple times, creating the opportunity for 19,841 technology-focused credentials to be earned by Ohio employees.

    The results from the April application period will be announced in the near future.

    Visit TechCred.Ohio.gov to learn more!



  • 05/21/2021 10:36 AM | Deleted user

    Info-Tech Research Partnership

    To provide additional resources for our members, we have formed a new Partnership with Info-Tech Research Group.

    Through this relationship, Info-Tech is offering our community complimentary access to specific research and services across a wide range of topics as an additional benefit to members across the Technology First community.

    Ensure your IT team delivers measurable results for your organization while networking with a community of peers and access these benefits through Technology First today!

    If you are a member, be sure to log in and visit the Tech First Member forum under our Peer Groups tab to receive your complimentary resources!!


  • 05/12/2021 12:48 PM | Deleted user

    WANTED: Area organizations to host a student for 1 week!

    Back to Basics Youth Education Center is a free non-profit after school program that focuses on coding and programming in the Dayton area.

    This summer, they are holding a 4-week summer program for 5 students in the area. Two of the weeks they are wanting to set up  5-day mini internships with local IT organizations! Would you be willing to sponsor a student for a week? 

    Please contact: Lawrence Lindsey, Director, Back to Basics Youth Education Center at lbtbyec@gmail.com



  • 05/03/2021 2:29 PM | Deleted user

    Kathy Vogler, Communications Manager, Expedient Technology Solutions

    Every employee affects your organization. The executive leadership team may have the most direct impact on your company culture, but any employee who “leads” can too.  While culture revolves around the engagement, environment, atmosphere and success of the company; leadership affects staff confidence and self-worth.  Leaders at every level have a responsibility to “be the change you want to see” and to demonstrate the company values in their actions.  Technology connects us in increasingly new ways that place a bigger social responsibility on our companies.

    If you have a great culture, guard it as the precious foundation of your success.  You must hire people who fit your culture.  If your employee represents your company through account management, sales, marketing, support staff or even avenues outside of work; you’ll want to make sure that first impression is an accurate and favorable reflection of your company.  

    Why do you want to work here?

    This is a common HR question and a great way to know that the prospective employee has done research on your company and the position. Are they onboard with your values? Do they live your values in their personal life? No one is perfect, but you’ll want to watch for dysfunction, passive-aggressive behavior and the dreaded sociopath.  HR and hiring managers will need to look past the surface and see the real person. Some people are fantastic at interviews and can hide their true selves.  A deceptive bad hire may slip through and will be very hard on team members and your culture even if they don’t make it to their 90-day review. 

    We’ve all witnessed that high-performing employee who didn’t fit the culture, often called “cultural vampires.” Even with solid performance, their attitude will be detrimental to the company culture. Maybe you’ve lived the “people don’t leave a company they leave a bad boss” meme. I have. And I felt forced to leave a job I loved and people I respected.  A bad boss is hard on the culture.  HR may want to look for signs to see if that polished, charming, capable person you are interviewing may be a toxic nightmare for your staff and culture. 

    A strong culture is distinguished by firmly held core values that are organized, openly shared and permeate throughout the entire staff. Employees will thrive when they know their leaders personally care about their well-being.  The five aspects of well-being include physical, social, community, financial and purpose.  Focusing on only one or two aspects will miss important opportunities to grow the best workplace culture. Quality leaders demonstrate a genuine interest in promoting the growth of their employees and will collaborate to build career paths and provide the resources needed.  By encouraging employees to take risks in order to grow, effective leaders are able to foster a culture of learning and growth.  Good leaders incentivize hard work and good behavior, and they promote a vision of the future that is positive and values-based. Strong leadership knows that good ideas and good decisions can come from anywhere.

    People are all different, but you need that.

    Most companies use some form of personality tests prior to hiring and there are plenty to choose from. Hippocrates suggested that humans had a “persona” in 460 BC and the rise in psychodynamics in the 1800s led to a drastic change in the way we viewed and understood personality in social situations.  Sigmund Freud suggested that our behavior and personality are driven by our innate desires and needs.  Carl Jung proposed there are four human personality influences: sensing and intuition (irrational or perceiving functions) and thinking and feeling (rational or judging functions).  This spurred the popular Myers-Briggs testing.  New hire assessments come in many forms and people are pretty used to doing skills assessments, personality quizzes and IQ testing as part of the hiring process.

    Those of us who are Technology First Women 4 Technology (W4T) members have had the great opportunity to delve into the importance of creating teams and groups inside of our organizations that encompass all personality types.  In 2017 we walked through our DISC (Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance) profiles and in 2021 we virtually worked through our Clifton Strengths self-assessments.  I walked away from these meetings with a better understanding of my own strengths, the strengths of my peers and that each personality type requires unique communications.  In our differences, we are a stronger team.

    The DISC session was focused on building effective teams using complementary styles.  You probably get along great with some people and others take all of your energy and patience.  In this analysis, all four personalities have a style that determines the way we approach our work and life and defines how we will react to situations and other people.  This program is a great way to identify your style and what to look for in others to build highly effective teams.  Those teams need to have an even number of people of each type and not be dominated by one certain personality characteristic.

    We use this program at work through Innermetrix values with Dave Ramsey’s goal tactics as part of our hiring process and openly share our profiles with the team. I was surprised to see how different my “adaptive” style is from my “natural” style, which I attribute to a large family and strict parents.  You can see by my chart that “C” (compliance or caution) goes from 39 natural to 60 adaptive.  Whew!


    You can use the complete executive summary to understand how employees will approach solving problems, interacting with team members, environmental preferences, expectations and their approach to the pace of their work.  Additionally, the results will offer opportunities for developmental growth, motivation, learning styles and communication insights.  There is a free assessment, or you can complete the full assessment for $29 per employee.

    Focus on strengths and not on your weaknesses.

    Clifton Strengths from Gallup breaks talents (strengths) down to 34 themes that fall into 4 different domains (Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking).  We are born with innate talents or gifts.  The Clifton Strengths Test method, introduced in 2001 by Gallup and created by Don Clifton, concludes that a person experiences more success and satisfaction when they can use their talents in their daily activities.  According to Gallup, a focus on weaknesses does nothing to help development, but a focus on strengths will allow you to succeed and continue in situations that others have decided are impossible or extremely difficult. When we create teams with a variety of strengths, the number of tools and talents they have access to increases exponentially.


    Of course, completely ignoring weaknesses is not an option.  It is healthy to identify the cause of the weakness (education, experience or opportunity) and there is almost always something that can be done about it.  StrengthsFinder 2.0 ISBN 978-1-59562-015-6 can be purchased anywhere, I bought mine on Amazon for $17.  Each book contains a unique code to take the CliftonStrengths Assessment online.  The personality test consists of 177 questions and each should be answered within 20 seconds. The entire test usually takes around 30 minutes.  A report is generated based on the answers and clarifies the five strongest themes and summarizes a strengths insight guide.

    You cannot change your basic personality type. However, you can, and should, change the aspects of your personality that you are unhappy with to become a more well-rounded person.

    Are technical people introverts and sales people extroverts?

    2014 was declared the year of the “Introvert Craze” mainly due to the influx of technology in our daily lives and the rapid rise of social media channels. The terms introvert and extrovert are consistently misunderstood and usually show two polarized personalities – the extremely shy and the extremely confident.  The truth is that introverts can be as social as extroverts, but when their batteries are drained, they need solitary downtime.  Extroverts, on the other hand, need people to recharge their batteries.  2020 memes often showed introverts claiming to have prepped their whole life for the solitude of the pandemic.  Has social media given a voice to introverts?  Face-to-face socialization gears us for talking while the qualities of listening and thinking are largely ignored.  Unfortunately, we may have taken that same thought into social channels too.


    The stereotype of tech people being introverts is mostly false.  Highly technical people tend to be more capable of being quiet and focused on what they are doing and are proficient at working alone. You won’t get very far in technology without this natural behavior.  However, it’s unfair to perceive the extreme when most people are adept at crossing directions and socially adapted and able to handle human interactions.  The perfect example of each extreme are the rivals Thomas Edison (extrovert) and Nikola Tesla (introvert).  Where would we be without either of those?  I believe I am an Ambivert.  Anyone who has met me knows I love people and talk to everyone, but what you don’t see is when I’m drained of energy that I prefer to be alone to recharge.  I think this is much more common than either of the extremes.

    “Company culture is what employees live and breathe every day in the workplace.” ~ Mike Zani, The Predictive Index

    Diversity and inclusivity at every level of your organization brings many benefits to your company and to your individual team members.  It is important to create a culture where all people feel included and represented -- every department, every team, every project.  You must first understand the true personalities of your team members then work to utilize their skills collectively.


  • 05/03/2021 2:22 PM | Deleted user

    Jim Bradley, VP IT, Tecomet & Technology First Board, Past Chair

    So, what has it been like being a technology leader during these unprecedented times over the past year?  And how has the technology culture changed in the new normal virtual world?

    Technology Leadership

    Being a technology leader during the past year has been truly challenging.   For many of us, traveling has gone from regular to non-existent, whether that be local, regional, national, or global.  This has freed up a significant amount of time which was subsequently and rapidly filled with on-going remote video meetings, typically supported by more presentations.  Also, most of us are working longer hours without our usual commutes, both earlier in the morning and longer into the evenings and weekends.

    Many of us depended on personal face-to-face interactions with our customers, our team and our partners and suppliers.  We never thought it could or would work without that, but it has.  It is less personal for sure, without the ability to see full body language, having some of the interpersonal chats before or after the meetings, or the always valuable informal hallway chats or those during travel, meals, and drinks.  We’ve had to compensate and communicate in other ways.

    Our first thoughts were around the bandwidth for work from home, having enough computers, peripherals and accessories, cybersecurity, and personal home wi-fi and internet.  Many of these concerns were easier to overcome than initially anticipated.  One of the items we had to address quickly were electronic signatures, which also became easier than originally thought.

    What about Vision and Innovation?  Technology has received more respect over the past year; everyone began to see their own dependencies for sufficient and better technology.  On top of that, there was now more interest in how technology could help organizations more, adding to what was the technology vision and innovative solutions for many Executive Teams and Boards.  What else could we do for mobility, agility, productivity, and efficiency now that it was in the spotlight?  It was good for us to have more of a say at the table and to bring forth what else could be done.

    Technology Culture 

    As for the technology culture, changes in the new normal virtual world have been dramatic.  Technology influences our everyday lives and has a strong influence on culture.  It impacts the ways in which we do most anything; personal computers, mobile smartphones, tablets, e-mail, the internet, social media - how did we ever survive without these things before we had them?  They have changed the way we communicate, learn, think, and how we interact on daily basis.  We are more interactive and collaborative than ever before.  But do these items also lead to addiction, psychological, or physical health issues?

    Promoting technological understanding at a user level occurred as many, both in the professional and personal world, have become much more computer savvy, leading us to the point that we are all likely much more efficient…or are we?  While we think we are, what overall psychological or physical health detriments have we ignored?  How are we working harder and longer than ever before while remaining isolated from each other, unable to socially interact as we used to?  And how are we physically? Are we still getting as much exercise and/or are we eating better in a more sedentary world?  I would argue both worse and better depending on the individual.  Have you rebalanced your eating, drinking, and exercise habits to remain healthy while working longer, and more stationary, hours? I’ve seen many more people standing at their desks all day to compensate.       

    Information Exchange occurs predominantly via remote video meetings, as well as over the phone.  Is that as productive as a face-to-face meeting?  I say not, but I also see it working for some individuals.  But are we making tasks easier and solving problems this way?  I believe we are, there is more automation, less downtime, and we are still getting our jobs done. 

    What do you think?  My goal was to get you to consider all the pros and cons we’ve experienced in these past few months and truly think about it.  What would you like to change now, and what would you like to keep?   While we’ve still got a long way to go, keep your chin up and do what you can! Good luck!

  • 05/03/2021 2:19 PM | Deleted user

    Mardi Humphreys, Change Agent, Integration Edge

    The World Health Organization recognizes burnout as an official medical diagnosis caused by an unrelenting workload and/or no work-life balance. It’s number two on this list of what employees said were their biggest challenges during the pandemic.

    They feel

    ·         pressured to be available 24/7/365

    ·         lack of flexibility at work

    ·         worried about losing their jobs

    ·         overwhelmed dealing with shuttered daycare and online school

    ·         not at liberty to talk about outside-of-work issues affecting job performance

    To begin battling burnout, define, set, and enforce your personal boundaries with your manager.

    Define

    Your boundaries are based on your values and priorities. When defining them, think about what you need to feel empowered. The last time you felt undervalued, disrespected, or out of balance, what was the trigger? Did you have to work last weekend? Do you buy the office birthday cards and cupcakes for coworkers and it’s not in your job description? That’s where your boundary is. If you could live that situation over again, what action would you take to change it?

    Set

    ·         Does your manager randomly call you throughout the week? Schedule a recurring 1:1 catch up meeting with an agenda.

    ·         Feeling overwhelmed? Make a list of your priorities and ask your manager to do the same. In your next 1:1, compare lists. Are they different? Decide together what your top three responsibilities are and how much freedom you have to accomplish them.

    ·         If your manager’s expectations cross a boundary, how important is the boundary to you? Is a compromise possible? Is saying no a battle you want to fight?

    ·         Give updates on your projects’ statuses and request they prioritize them. Ask them to tell you more about why they need this assignment done in this timeframe, and why the task requires your unique skillset.

    ·         Personal goals count. If your manager wants you to stay late, but your trainer is meeting you at the gym at 6:00PM, offer to get started early tomorrow morning. Compromise so you aren’t saying no all the time.

    ·         Best practice is setting boundaries at the beginning of a project. For example: Make a rule to only answer texts after 7PM if it’s an emergency, and define what constitutes an emergency.

    ·         Use technology to help you communicate boundaries: change your status to busy in the business communication platform your company uses, calendar an hour a day and label it as busy. You don’t have to say what you’re using the time for. Get the kids started on their homework if that’s what it takes to enable you to finish your work.

    Burnout doesn’t just affect you; it affects the work too. You need to be flexible and accommodate the occasional emergency requiring overtime. But, regular work hours and exceeding the expectations of the project are good boundaries to help you both do the work every day and juggle the other aspects of your life. Do not apologize for protecting the time it takes to do the work you are already assigned.

    Enforce

    Practice for boundary crossers. Rehearsal takes the emotion out of holding your boundary. Visualize your manager asking you to work on a Sunday morning; what do you do? Instead of silently fuming over the infraction for hours, immediately reinforce your boundary by clearly and respectfully stating what it is and why it exists. Be consistent in holding healthy boundaries. You aren’t communicating clearly if you keep moving them. For example, if you said you won’t respond to emails after 7:00PM, don’t open your inbox.

    Your boundaries will be challenged. That will reveal where they are and help you to refine and iterate them. Those who set and hold boundaries gain respect. A friend just gave up a committee chair position because she assessed her commitments and realized she needed to off-load some. Will I miss her leadership? Yes. Do I respect her for making choices that help her achieve her goals? Absolutely.


  • 04/29/2021 2:37 PM | Deleted user

    Paul Webendorfer, Director of IT, ChangeUp Inc.


    Did you always want to work in IT?

    As far as career paths go, I am still weighing my options. I sincerely hope to make a decision before retirement, but the clock is ticking. Despite the fact that I have been working in IT for nearly 25 years, I had no aspirations of working in IT. I was actually planning for a career in financial law. Somewhere along the way, I took a job with a small local company, started helping with the fledgling IT department and the rest is history. Maybe I didn’t know what I really wanted to do or maybe it was just fate. Either way, I am blessed to have accidentally found a career that has provided me with so many challenges, so many rewards and so many opportunities to work with amazing people.

    What’s the best career advice you ever received?

    Throughout my career, my managers have primarily been on the business side of the organization, rather than the IT side of the organization. I think this factor helped form my “business first” IT philosophy. As a young man, just learning about business technology, enamored by technical bells and whistles, my boss gave me some excellent advice. He told me, “technology doesn’t mean a thing to us, if it doesn’t help the business.” This simple, practical advice set me on the right path of focusing on business solutions and not on the technology itself. To this day, I consider myself a business person working in IT, not an IT person working in business… and that has made a big difference for me.


  • 04/29/2021 2:32 PM | Deleted user

    Staff Writer

    Technology First had an opportunity to sit down, virtually of course, with Vincent Lewis, President of The Hub Powered by PNC, which is an exciting new joint venture here in Dayton. Given the April theme is building an innovation culture within our companies or individual teams, we thought getting a better understanding of this new organization’s mission and leader would be interesting to our 175 member companies.

    With over 95,000 square feet of unique space, The Hub sits in the heart of downtown Dayton and is breathing new life into the city as well as a historic landmark building that was built in 1906 and previously called Dayton Arcade. If you have not seen it yet, there is a great YouTube video called “The Dayton Arcade: Waking the Giant” we would personally recommend watching to get a little better understanding of the space The Hub and its development partners are helping to reclaim.

    The joint venture itself, which is between The Entrepreneurs Center and The University of Dayton, is designed to help drive forward new venture creation and social innovation and will also serve as the centralized location for the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators. An important part of that venture will be the team of organizations behind it which includes not only the University of Dayton, but the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program, which will be housed at The Hub, The Greater West Dayton Incubator, numerous Dayton-based startups, and the Entrepreneur Center. This team and the venture are designed to build out a critical and needed focal point of the activity that physically and programmatically will merge two of the region’s primary entrepreneur-oriented organizations. This space will allow the free flow of ideas and help facilitate what they call “serendipitous collisions” among innovative thinkers while offering practical, flexible, and cost-effective space solutions for entrepreneurs.

    At the heart of this effort are Vincent Lewis and a strong team of individuals who will be focused on driving both a cultural as well as a business impact. The Cultural Impact is focused on partnering with the City of Dayton to ensure the resources, talent, and capital available within The Hub can also positively impact the broader Dayton community. The Greater West Dayton Incubator is a good example of one of the partners tasked to ensure pathways are opened to the opportunities in our startup ecosystem for minority and women entrepreneurs in underserved areas.

    No less important will be the business impact The Hub has been tasked to accelerate. Primarily this impact will be focused on the opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs to launch their ideas, grow their businesses, and drive prosperity within the startup ecosystem. The Entrepreneur Center itself has served as a tremendous advocate and supporter of entrepreneurs in the Miami Valley for years including small businesses, high-tech, and research commercialization-focused startups. Specifically, one of the Entrepreneur Center’s tasks will be continuing to provide support through its mentorship, funding, and marketing programs at The Hub.

    Based on Dayton’s heritage of innovation, strong work ethic, and existing business community, it presents a real possibility to create hundreds of new jobs and ripple across all segments of the business community.

    For more information about ways to engage with The Hub Powered by PNC Bank, visit https://www.thehubdayton.com.

     

     

    In our time with Vincent, we had the opportunity to get to know him and asked him to share some personal things about himself and at the end of the conversation ways the Technology First Membership could collaborate with his team.

    What needs do you believe the Hub addresses in the region?

    The Hub meets many needs, but simply it will serve as a “Melting Pot” of opportunity and hands-on activities for a wide segment of our city, from the students and business owners who will occupy the 95,000 square feet of space to the citizens and investors looking for creative inventors, business owners, and other resources in our region.  This is also a great resource to give students the opportunity to remain in the region after graduation.

    What’s a lesson you can share that's shaped your work?

    Humility and learning you do not have all the answers and are not required to have all the answers to be successful were important lessons.

    What’s a trend in technology or innovation that you think maybe doesn’t get enough attention?

    I believe innovation is an overused word and there is not a straight line between technology and innovation. The Arcade serves as a great example of that. The origin story of the Arcade involves food wagons needing to get out of the rain so they started pulling into the building to better sell their products. It took many years and pivots to come to the current innovation and believe real innovation can take time.

    Do you have a personal favorite place in the region you like to visit? 

    With a smile, “The Arcade”. Vincent has always enjoyed the 360 miles of regional bike trails in the Dayton region and two of his favorite locations are Charleston Falls in Tipp City and Sugarcreek Metropark south of Bellbrook.

    Anything in closing you like to share with the Technology First Membership and overall technology community?  

    I believe the Technology Community is an important piece of critical infrastructure to any region and it’s extremely important that we continue to grow it here in Dayton. Having technology-focused companies such as DataYard support our launch is only one example of how we can continue to collaborate.

    Professional background

    A Western Kentucky graduate, Vincent went on to get his Master’s degree at Antioch University. After graduation, he went on to become the CEO of Hyde Park Electronics, a family-owned business at the time that would go on to become the #1 provider in the world (in front of companies such as Siemens) as a high-tech provider of ultra-sonic sensors technology. Over his 11 year career, he would lead the company on to eventually be sold to Schneider Electric. He would continue until leaving the company in 2007. He then went on to own Logos@Work,  with his wife for fourteen years, where he continues as chairman today. Finally, in 2014 he followed his love of teaching to his current role at The University of Dayton.



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