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Posts by Becky Mender

10 Ways that Home Renovation Projects are Oddly Similar to Automation Projects

automation - projects - software - implementation - agile (1)I’ll admit it. My name is Becky and I am addicted to home improvement shows. Love It or List It, Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, House Hunters, House Hunters Renovation, Property Brothers, Buying and Selling – I watch them all! And with good reason. Winter in Wisconsin doesn’t leave you with much else to do except to hibernate where it is cozy and watch TV show marathons. And fantasize about home improvement ideas (as well as moving to a warmer climate, but that’s a different topic).

While watching my version of reality TV, I started to notice that the lessons that are learned and applied with each project are oddly similar to the lessons we have learned throughout the years implementing software and Cloud automation solutions for our customers. For anyone out there planning a home improvement project – or a software implementation project – here is what I would recommend you keep in mind: Read more

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Take the Quiz: Is the Cloud right for you?

cloud - computing - technology - quizThe cloud is everywhere lately! But how do you know if it is right for you? Check out my comprehensive list of questions below and discover how many of these points apply to you:

  1. You have limited funds to spend up front getting a solution in place.
  2. You are tired of having your IT staff spend time maintaining servers.
  3. You are an early adopter of technology and enjoy having access to the latest and greatest features.
  4. Your fax, sales order and/or invoice volumes fluctuate throughout the year.
  5. You anticipate your volumes to grow annually.
  6. You have no idea what your volumes actually are.
  7. Your IT staff is busy with projects – the last thing they need is to procure and manage yet another server.
  8. Your company employs a lot of skills – data center management is not one of the core competencies.
  9. You already use cloud services (iTunes, Yahoo mail, Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce.com CRM, Pocket, Skype, Evernote, etc.), so you are familiar with the concept and benefits of the cloud.
  10. Your current software is end of life, your current hardware is dying, and you either have to replace it or move to the Cloud.
  11. You are able to let go of control and allow someone external manage the infrastructure.

Read more

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Top 11 Benefits to Cloud Computing

The Cloud. Hosted. Software as a Service. SaaS. IaaS.

Doomsday_Faxers_LogoRThis phenomenon is everywhere today, it seems. I know because I not only talk about it on a daily basis, but I receive emails on the topic, and I see it mentioned on LinkedIn, and on Twitter. I use cloud applications myself on a daily basis, whether it is Esker’s fax service, our CRM or an app that I have downloaded to my phone or iPad. And I greatly enjoy the benefits that I receive as an end user. The services I choose are reasonably priced, easy to download, easy to maintain and they make any task easier for me to complete. Fortunately, I am not making the software decisions for an entire company – only myself. For those out there who are considering moving a service or a business process to the cloud, here are some of the benefits that I have heard and continue to hear:

  1. Pay per use. – Less upfront expense. This allows your volumes to fluctuate naturally vs. having to scale a solution to meet the highest demand.
  2. Take advantage of a better solution than you could build from scratch yourself.
  3. Reduce internal resource costs of training and knowledge building that an internally run infrastructure often demands.
  4. Minimize carbon footprint.
  5. Available for all size companies –SMB’s can take advantage of the same solutions that Fortune 500 companies are running.
  6. Someone else is managing the system on your behalf. One less server that you have to worry about applying patches to, antivirus, software upgrades, etc.
  7. Offers a greater disaster recovery plan than what your company could afford to put in place – or maybe you can afford it – But, is that your company’s main objective? To be best in class in fax or in running server based applications?
  8. It’s scalable. – Not only can your solution allow an increase in volumes without purchasing additional capacity, but you can also scale back down if they decline, as well – without penalty.
  9. Ability to provision new services quicker.
  10. Transfer IT risk to the solution provider.
  11. Transition from CAP EX to OP EX.

If you want to learn more about the cloud, particularly the benefits of moving fax to the Cloud, then watch this webinar recording to more more on how you can survive the doomsday disaster of fax.

 

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How the waterfall ruined my hair… and your budget?  

Learn more about Rebecca Mender.

Recently, I got a bad haircut. I suppose you get what you pay for, as I went for cheap and convenient–instead of planning ahead and making an appointment with my regular hairdresser. I was in desperate need! I was flying out to present a solution for a prospective buyer, and I wanted to make a good impression. Instead, I was left with a dilemma.

Let me start by saying, this is not a full haircut but rather, a bang trim. If you have bangs, you know how important it is to get the length just right, as it is one of the first things people notice about you. Too short and I look like a teenager, not short enough and I am in need of another trim in a couple of weeks.

The problem with this particular haircut is that it is crooked, and I did not notice it until I was in the car, driving home. Darn it! What am I supposed to do now? Read more

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Celebrating Volunteer Week with 1600 Pounds of Eggs

Learn more about Rebecca Mender.

Esker’s Inside Accounts Executive Team getting their “Volunteer” on with their “QuitHunger™” t-shirts! Recently, I got to do something unique – something that is not part of my every day routine. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin alongside my teammates.

Second Harvest is a non-profit organization that is near and dear to my heart, and I am very glad that Esker has selected this as the charity we are going to focus on as a corporation. They donate an average of 1,000,000 pounds of food each month, and serve 16 counties in southern Wisconsin. More impressively, 43% of the people they feed each month are children.

second harvest - volunteer - saas - esker - automation

Esker’s Inside Accounts Executive Team getting their “Volunteer” on with their “QuitHunger™” t-shirts!

Packaging Eggs for a Cause

On the first Monday of each month, Esker sends out five employees – dressed in “QuitHunger™” t-shirts – to volunteer a few hours of their time. On this particular occasion, we sorted eggs. Some of the local corporations donate cartons of eggs to Second Harvest, and they need to be inspected, repackaged, date stamped, boxed and put on a pallet. It’s really great to see various grocery stores and big box stores donate food to this organization. It was also very interesting to see the warehouse, and get to learn how the process of receiving and distributing food is done. Because this food is going to people in need, it was a little nerve wracking to handle such a fragile item, and I certainly did not want to be the one who dropped an egg and wasted something that someone needed! The good news – no one on our team dropped any eggs! But we certainly had to dispose of a lot of eggs that came in to the facility damaged. It was interesting to note that they had to weigh and account for the pounds of eggs that were being thrown out. Because they are keeping track of how much is coming in, they also have to keep track of how much is going back out into the community, and part of that is monitoring and keeping tally of how much is unable to be donated. Read more

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