Monday, December 30, 2013

Google Apps Updates [January] - Vault, Takeout, Calendar and hangout updates

Notable new features include:
  • Targeted legal holds - hold individual messages
  • Admin console update - Device Management icon
  • Updates to Calendar - Hangout names & location autocomplete
  • Takeout expanded - emails and events added to Google Takeout
Full release notes below...

Is this email useful? Get it in your email!

Save time from hunting down all the new features and let us send you an email each month with all the new features and updates to Google Apps.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Best Articles of 2013

From Managed IT Services to Chromebooks, we covered a lot of topics on our blog this year. To celebrate the year's end, we've ranked our 5 most popular blog posts. Check out the list to see highlights from the year and tell us in the comments section what you'd like to see next year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chromebooks Update [December 2013]

Notable new features include:
  • New Acer Chromebook
  • 3 Admin Console updates
  • 5 Stable Channel Releases
Full release notes below...

Brand New Acer C7 Chromebook

Get in touch with a Newmind team member to see if this Chromebook is right for your organization!
  • 11.6’’ (1366x768) display
  • 1 inch thin – 3 lbs / 1.4 kg
  • Up to 4 hours of battery1
  • Dual-core Intel® Celeron® Processor
  • 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with 16GB SSD
  • Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet
  • HD Camera
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • 1x HDMI Port, 1x VGA port
  • 2-in-1 memory card slot (SD, MMC)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Google Apps Updates [December] - New sign-in page & Admin Hangout Controls

Notable new features include:
  • New Sign in Page - Consistent sign-in pages across all apps products
  • Admin Hangout Controls - Filter Hangouts features by employee
  • Save Attachments Directly to Gmail - Save docs directly to Google Drive
  • Domain-restricted G+ communities - Create a domain specific G+ community
Full release notes below...

How do you use Google Apps?

Google Apps is a productivity suite and we love hearing stories about teams being productive. Share your story with us and you just might be highlighted on our blog!
  • Did you just finish a big project?
  • Are you now able to offer better customer service?
  • Have you saved time or money by switching?
  • let us know!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Core Values Series Part 5 - Rest & Reflect

Every year we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. This is the final article of our Core Values series, written by Newminder Luke about Resting & Reflecting. Enjoy!
Reed Flute Cave - Reflecting Pool via Brent Rostad

Time to unwind.  

Work is done and you need to recharge.  Rest and reflection time is tough to come by for most of us, but making it a priority pays off big.  We all need a counterpoint to the daily hustle.  Our minds need space to be contemplative, to make abstractions and to pursue the things that ignite our passions.

Finding something beautiful or fascinating or just plain fun might not be easy for everybody.  Our culture doesn't always validate these kinds of pursuits, and seeing them as secondary or auxiliary to the main goal - productivity - sets us up for failure.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chromebooks Update [November 2013]

Notable new features include:
  • Enable SSL Inspection
  • HP Chromebook 11 Charger Defect
  • Keep Tabs on Media now in Beta
  • 1-Click Browser Reset
Full release notes below...

Protect Students With Web Filtering

Securly protects students on computers throughout the school while giving them safe access to 21st century learning tools like YouTube, Google and Wikipedia.
  • Safe Search
  • Safe Social Media
  • YouTube for Schools
  • and more...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Core Values Series Part 4 - Make New Mistakes

Every year we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. This is the fouth article of our Core Values series, written by Newminder Nicolas about Making New Mistakes. Enjoy!
Henry Knox 1775
There’s an old proverb a wise man once shared with me that goes like this:

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”

In other words, if you plan on getting stuff done, there’s going to be some 'stuff' to clean up. 'Stuff' is the bi-product of abundant crops. Mistakes are the cost of productivity born out of risk.

In the 4 min it takes for you to read the rest of this, I’ll attempt to raise your value for taking more risks and making new mistakes so you can benefit from the rewards.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Core Values Part 3 - Make Things Better

Earlier this year we held our summer company party. At that party we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. This is the third article of our Core Values series, written by Newminder Dan about Making Things Better. Enjoy!

We should all strive to "Make Things Better." In the day-to-day scramble of getting stuff done, it’s easy to lose focus on why we do what we do. Taking a moment to dive deeper into our daily tasks can open up opportunities for improvement and make us indispensable.

At Newmind Group we try to pay attention to everything we do, and to always get better at it. I’m a marketer and as such I have many tasks that can be measured and improved. One of which I’ll use to illustrate this core value - increasing traffic & engagement with our website.

So, let's get to the "Make Things Better" cycle.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Google Apps Updates [November] - New Google Bar, Hangouts w/ vault, more

Notable new features include:
  • New Google bar - Easily accessible launcher menu near user icon
  • Hangout For All - Hangouts are now accessible for those with Google Vault
  • Google Docs for those without Google
Full release notes below...

Protect your Google Apps with e-archiving

Archive and retain emails and chats according to your policies, preventing inadvertent deletions.
  • Ensure compliance
  • Be prepared for audits
  • Prevent deletion
  • and more...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Core Values Part 2 - Get Stuff Done: The Newmind Hallmark

Earlier this year we held our summer company party. At that party we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. This is the second article of our Core Values series, written by Newminder Luke about the Newmind Group core value. Enjoy!

The cardinal Newmind value is Get Stuff Done.  GSD.  It’s blunt, and it speaks for itself.  There’s no explanatory paragraph on why Newmind thinks Getting Stuff Done is important, because Newminders define it ourselves.  We’re proud of the incredible work ethic we all have, and we have fun feeding off each other.  We might recognize our teammates’ GSD prowess with impromptu high fives, group email shout-outs (sometimes triggering hilarious .gif memes),  or nominations for the Hustle Board.  Hustle Board?  On the giant, 12 foot whiteboard that sprawls across a wall at Newmind HQ,  that’s the prestigious spot in the corner reserved for the Newminder that recently went above and beyond.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Core Values Part 1 - This is an Awesome Blog Post

Earlier this year we held our summer company party. At that party we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. As we get closer to the end of this year we’re going to showcase those Newminders and their stories as only best they could, in their own words. Enjoy!

Hi, I’m Ben. I was rated highest for the 'Be Awesome' core value. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it is a big deal.

I am awesome in large part to my exuberant hilariousness (second only to my sincere humility.) Everyone, of course,  is awesome in different ways. There are ways to be awesome besides God-given natural talent. I have compiled some ways to exude awesomeness in your life.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chromebooks Update [October 2013]

Notable new features include:
  • New Chromebooks!! Check out the HP Chromebook 11 & Acer C720
  • Admin Updates - Regulate automatic reboots
  • Share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who do not have a Google Account
  • Chrome OS Update - The Stable channel has been updated to 30.0.1599.101
Full release notes below...

2 New Chromebooks

Introducing the HP Chromebook 11 & Acer C720
HP Chromebook 11 Acer C720
  • 0.69 inches thin and 2.3 lbs
  • USB micro charger
  • 176-degree viewing angles
  • No Sharp edges
  • 0.75 inches thin and 2.76 lbs
  • Boots up in less than 7 seconds
  • Up to 8.5 hours of use
  • 11.6” display
For full specs and release timelines click the link below to get in touch with a Newmind Chromebooks team member.

Get the new Chromebooks

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Preparing for a Backup solution

Server crash...Data corruption...Virus attack...Coffee spill over a laptop…Phone dropped down a sewer drain...

In the normal day-to-day, hopefully these won't be very common. In reality, the average organization will experience one of these more than twice a year, giving credence to the need for quality reliable backup or business continuity. But this post is not about what backup service to go with, instead what information you’ll need to help evaluate which solution will work best, thus making it easier to deploy.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Student's BYOD Experiment

I am a technophile. I like technology, the latest gadgets, trends, software, and everything else. This is to be expected, as I’ve grown up in the age of digital media, smartphones, and the internet. I use technology everywhere, however, I recently noticed a technology black hole in my life: School. It seems backwards that in a time when more and more teens have a smartphone or a mobile device, the places where teens spend the majority of their time have not embraced this trend. A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in March of 2013 found that 37% of teens age 12-17 within the US own a smartphone. That amounts to a lot of untapped potential for educators with smartphones alone.

Don’t get me wrong, schools do have technology integration. However, many times technology is under-utilized in the classroom. I’ll use the school that I attend as an example. We have computer labs, Google Apps for Education, and an online grade viewing program. However, the IT infrastructure is aging and inadequate at times. My school is working to remedy the problem by creating a program where every student has an iPad to use for class, allow for easier access to materials, and other digital learning tools. This program has worked well but at the moment it is only available for several grade levels. The program will begin rolling out in our high school within the year, but many teachers are beginning to take the jump to digital learning early.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Build IT Together Detroit Wrap Up

Thank you to all who joined us at Grand Circus in Detroit for Build IT Together on October 1, 2013. We're happy to say it was a success with over 20 different companies' CIOs, and Technology Directors coming together to share experiences and collaborate on emerging trends and ever present needs. Congratulations to Eric Spicer, of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, and Jeff Schefke, of City of Oak Park, who won themselves a Nexus 7 tablet and Samsung 303 Chromebook, respectively. We have already received great feedback and look forward to being involved with future collaboration events.

Philip MacKethan of
University Liggett School testing Google Glass
We all gathered at Grand Circus early Tuesday morning and were able to experience brand new technology including Google Glass & a Double Robotics robot. It was fun to see attendees' reactions to wearing Google Glass, trying out the voice commands and hear the discussions about use-cases for the new form factor. Many discussed practical applications of the device in their environment, from streaming technical specs and hands-free information look-up to training videos for new employees. When it came to the Double robot, the ability to interact with a space and group over long distances seemed to be the most valuable feature.

Getting to Know Each Other

Build IT Together opened with a unique survey allowing attendees to anonymously compare their current IT environment to the rest of the group. This allowed everyone to reflect on areas of improvement, while simultaneously providing connections to others at the event with which to network and learn from. Those in small companies were able to compare their current setup with that of a mid-sized company and glean insights for how to scale. Larger companies were able to see what helped smaller companies remain nimble.

Technology Infrastructure Benchmarking

We're building an IT Assessment Tool to help your organization benchmark your technology infrastructure against industry trends.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Google Apps Updates [October 2013]

Announcement - Gmail Outage Explanation

On September 23rd, many Gmail users were receiving messages slowly, and some of their attachments were unavailable. The message delivery delays were triggered by a dual network failure, where 2 redundant networks failed. Google has assured us they are taking steps to ensure sufficient network capacity, including backup capacity for Gmail, even in the event of a rare dual network failure. Even including this event, Gmail remains well above 99.9% available, and we intend to keep it that way!

Notable new features include:
  • Monitor user logins, storage consumption and apps usage with the Admin SDK
  • Quickoffice Acquired - Share & edit files with people that heaven't made the switch to Google Docs.
  • Real-time data in BigQuery -using new API calls, you can stream & query real-time data. 
  • 4 New Google Form Customizations
Full release notes below...

Protect your Google Apps with e-archiving

Archive and retain emails and chats according to your policies, preventing inadvertent deletions.
  • Ensure compliance
  • Be prepared for audits
  • Prevent deletion
  • and more...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mobile Security Best Practices

Mobile devices are quickly surpassing traditional computers for more and more of our needs.  As these functions evolve and expand, and we use our wireless tools to access more information, the security risks multiply.

Most companies let employees use their work devices to access personal information or let them use personal devices to access work information. With the rapid proliferation of mobile devices not slowing down, malware infections are on the rise, growing 163% in 2012. Just like the golden days of Netscape Navigator and those AOL discs in the mail, hackers are more than happy to take advantage of this vast new crop of unprotected devices.

But it’s not only hackers we need to guard against. We need to make sure other scenarios are covered, such as What happens when my phone is lost or stolen? Or, How do I prevent a data breach? And, How can I manage all this stuff?  So with all this in mind, let’s go down the list:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Managing Mobile Devices - Platform Reviews

It’s a big world out there. Lots of places to go and people to see. Also, lots of places to lose your mobile device and a fair few people who may want to nab it from you. Fortunately, different developers are coming up with solutions that help you protect your device - or at the very least your data.

Droid Does

First to weigh in, Google has released it’s own device manager for Android devices, called Google Apps Device Policy. You can access this tool from any browser by visiting Installing is super easy: just pull up the app from the Play Store (Or scan the QR code that will display from the device manager on your browser). Once it installs, just ‘add device’ from a browser, sync the device, and you’re good to go.

Chromebooks Updates [Sept 2013]


We're always trying to bring more value to our customers. Starting today we'll be sending a summary of all the new features to ChromeOS & the management console as a monthly email newsletter.

We invite you to share this newsletter with all Google Apps users in your organization, and invite them to subscribe, so that they can stay informed about recent updates to get the most out of Google Apps.

Notable new features include:
  • Custom Terms of Service - upload your own terms of service agreement
  • Disable "Add-User" - Admins can disable the ability for chromebooks users to add new users
  • Immersive Mode - which hides toolbar and shelf for a less distracted viewing experience
  • Monitor Scaling - which can help free up more screen real estate.
  • App Launcher Search Updates - dynamically learn what you search for, apps are more prominent, search web store if you don't have app installed
  • Pin Apps to Shelf - Drag & Drop apps to shelf to pin them
  • Wallpaper Sync - default wallpaper will now sync across devices
Full release notes below...

Protect Students With Web Filtering

Securly protects students on computers throughout the school while giving them safe access to 21st century learning tools like YouTube, Google and Wikipedia.
  • Safe Search
  • Safe Social Media
  • YouTube for Schools
  • and more...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Taking Advantage of Data

“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”  - Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (the movie released in 1987)

The time and resource commitments required to calculate a return on investment or determine if conference attendees would prefer a turkey or ham sandwich are much different than they were a generation ago. In fact data-crunching tools are improving at a near constant pace and every few years there are better ones. Because of this new reality the percentage of data-driven decisions we make can and should increase.

Big Important Decisions

There are numerous examples of how really important decisions are being made better and faster because of this new reality, like this TedTalk given by Joel Selanikio: The surprising seeds of a big-data revolution in healthcare, telling the fascinating story of how the introduction of Palm Pilots in 1995 began a revolution in collecting and analyzing data on important global health statistics.

Monday, September 2, 2013

BYOD vs Standardization - SaaS makes it easy

I started this BYOD series to show that the root of this conversation isn't about devices, specifically, but instead business goals. This post, the 3rd installment of the BYOD vs Standardization series, will touch on a few security misconceptions and strategies for becoming device agnostic. If you're not familiar with device standardization head back to the first post of this series, BYOD vs Standardization - Understanding Your Mobile Strategy Pt1. (Understanding the various device policy models can give insight into how to implement what this post will discuss, so check out part 2, BYOD to COPE: The Mobility Spectrum.

What is driving the mobile device discussion?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chromebooks for Education: A Student’s View

As a high school senior and an intern at Newmind Group I see the need for technology in education and the struggles that many people face with it. In school these days, not having a computer can put a student at a severe disadvantage. Teachers expect you to type papers, create slide shows, and accomplish other tasks that require a computer in your free time. This can be a struggle for students without a computer of their own.

2 major struggles that I’ve had include:

  • Finding a device to work on
    While using computers at school or at a library is an option, it is inconvenient and the environment is not always conducive to accomplishing school work. Not to mention availability is always an issue when dealing with publicly accessible devices.
  • Saving & Transporting Files
    You also have to worry about how you save & transport files. Every teacher that I know stresses the importance of saving every document three times to guard against data loss. Without a personal device I’ve had to email myself, save to a USB drive, or to my Google Apps account at my school. (That last one isn’t so bad as I can get to it anywhere I have internet access, which is what I’ll touch on in a little bit.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

IT at the Small and Growing company

This post was originally published to Daniel Jefferies' Medium blog feed.
“A company this size can’t afford mistakes.”
For the last 13 years or so I’ve been working on IT with great folks in small, mid-sized and large organizations all over the country. In that time I’ve noticed that just as businesses change as they grow so do the IT departments that serve them. As the business changes, the IT challenges change. Sometimes the IT department keeps up with these challenges and sometimes they get stuck in the ways of the past. I want to start today by looking at the IT needs of Small and Growing businesses which many times have no IT department of their own. In future posts I also plan to cover lessons learned in working with IT in Mid-Sized and Scaling businesses as well as Large and Transforming organizations.
Impact Athletic builds quality work surfaces and storage equipment for Athletic Trainers.

Monday, August 12, 2013

BYOD to COPE: The Mobility Spectrum

This is part 2 of our look at mobile policy strategy and the great mobility debate. Be sure to read the first post, "BYOD vs Standardization - Understanding Your Mobile Strategy," to explore device standardization.

Environment & History

Look around the office of 10 years ago, and you’d probably find basically the same place as today. Sure, we have better computers now, but those are basically the same boxes as before.  So, in terms of tech, what’s changed?  For that answer we need to look in our pockets.

10 years ago, if you needed your work email on the go, you got a Blackberry.  Spreadsheets Presentations?  ThinkPad.  Fast forward to now, and you probably have a device in your pocket that an do all of that, and faster.  Wireless devices - whether phone, tablet, laptop, or any of the hybrids in between - have become indispensable at work.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Newmind Summer Party 2013

Thank you Laura for taking the time to craft these amazing
Minion cupcakes! 
Throughout the year Newmind Group brings together employees, family and friends for retreats to build friendship and community. Our time together is used to meet new friends, share stories, and recognize hard work.

This summer we gathered in Covert Park, MI and spent a weekend enjoying the Lake Michigan Beach!

For some of us, the retreat started with camping that included cooking over open fire, stories around a campfire, and a short midnight torrential downpour.

Monday, July 22, 2013

BYOD vs Standardization - Understanding Your Mobile Strategy Pt1

Mobile devices, collaboration & mobility, seem to be a hot topic recently. In just about everyone’s pocket is a device that gives them instant access to the Internet. A Nielsen study recently found that “66% of Americans 24-35 now own a smartphone.” With so many users owning their own mobile devices and bringing them to the workplace, its not surprising that IT departments and employees are clashing over ownership, data access and privacy.


Employees aren’t waiting for IT & management approval to bring their devices to work. According to a CTIA study, “60 percent of IT professionals believe 25 percent or less of their employees are accessing work related information on their smartphone or tablet, while 57% of users said they access work related information on their smartphone or tablet at least once a week.” This may be why “smaller companies, with fewer than 500 employees, are less likely to communicate to their employees about BYOD and security.” Misconceptions about the workforce drive IT departments to prioritize the importance of strict mobile device policies, defaulting to device standardization. Standardization circumvents the grey areas of privacy and personal property, but comes with its own pitfalls.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Get Your IT Project Approved

At a tech event I attended recently I asked a room full of IT Directors if they would say that internally marketing and selling a technology project to their leadership was one of the main hurdles in keeping their company’s technology infrastructure healthy. The feedback was a unanimous yes.

This topic comes up over and over with IT Directors I come into contact with.

How does an IT Director go about getting a technology project approved by Operations and a budget allocated from Finance? And all within increasingly shorter time frames so that productivity gains can be made without falling significantly behind competitors who were quicker in snapping up [insert your favorite technology game-changer here]?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Data Backup & Business Continuity - June 2013 Survey Results

The infographic below illustrates the results of our June 2013 data backup & business continuity survey that we distributed to small- & mid-sized business IT professionals.

Learn More About Data Backup

Schedule a 1:1 consultation with Newmind Group and learn how we can help with:

  • Reduced Downtime & Data Loss During a Disaster
  • Data protection for multiple platforms and devices
  • Application Aware backups


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Backup Killing Your Free Time?

This is a guest post by Daniel Kuperman and the team at Axcient.

There are three moments in an IT person’s work life that they typically dread.
  • Setting up backup
  • Testing the backup
  • Restoring from backup
In each of those moments there is more at stake than you think.

If backup jobs are not setup correctly, the whole backup chain can break and all your efforts would have been for nothing. Testing a backup is not particularly a joyful activity because it requires a lot of time and effort to make sure that a) you had indeed setup backup jobs correctly, and that b) you can actually restore files if needed. And, of course, when disaster strikes, you always hope that you can actually restore files as your testing results implied.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top Sources of Business Data Loss - No One Is Safe

Not too long ago we were contacted by the Macomb County Clerks office due to a fire that shut down the building for months, to help them get their operations up and running again as quickly as possible. The wiring, which connected the county network to the data was burned and the building sustained damaged. Since the fire, users had to do their best to carry on with paper documents, a frantic return to carbon copies and limited phone service.

When your entire staff works out of a single office and all of your data is stored on PCs, laptops, or a server housed in that office how do you carry on after a disaster? Are you able to return to paper documents? Will you be able to provide that same level of service and keep your clients and customers?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Integrating Technology with the Classroom

It’s good to understand that the key to education is keeping the student on task and involved in your program. In today’s digitized culture incorporating technology can help teachers and educational organizations connect with today’s students, but in order to make integrating technology into education work seamlessly, you need to start with a good class website. The website will serve as a hub for all of your links, apps, blogs pdf’s, presentations, social media, videos and every other cool new teaching tool that comes down the road.

Within 5 years, just about every student is going to have smart technology in their pocket via some mobile device. Providing exposure to tech and web in a learning environment will not only teach students to respect the devices and personal information, but also empower them to use them for good and learning.

The first step is to understand your goals and relate them to the 2 aspects of technology in the classroom - hardware & software:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Power Outages & Brownouts Secretly Hurting the Bottom Line

Consumer's Energy Outage Map of
Kalamazoo for July 23rd, 2013
Consumer's Energy Outage Map of
Downtown Kalamazoo for May 29th, 2013
A power outage today, July 23rd, has left 4500+ without power!(Another on the east side of downtown Kalamazoo, on May 30th resulted in almost 1000 Consumers Energy customers out of power for the majority of the afternoon.) The outage left many Kalamazoo businesses unable to process transactions.

Of course, we're writing about this outage because it affected out direct surroundings, but that's what power outages do. And they do not ask if it is convenient to occur, nor are they predictable, yet they cost businesses millions every year.

Here are the hard facts. The US Department of Labor estimates that power outages cost $80 billion per year and that 73%, or $57 billion, of those losses come from the business sector and 25%, or $20 billion, come from the industrial sector. A typical convenience store/gas station, for example, can lose about $445 per hour in revenue.

But lost revenue alone does not tell the whole story.

Read the full article about power outages and brownout costs on Newmind's official blog

Daniel Proczko has been working with organizations and individuals to build & grow the entrepreneur community of Kalamazoo, MI. From organizing TEDx events, hack-a-thons, and documentary screenings to engaging with business leaders, Dan strives to inspire individuals with new ideas and better thinking.

Having always been interested in tech and understanding the value of innovation through IT, communicating the importance of strategic IT thinking is one of Dan's primary goals within Newmind Group.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Building fire knocks out network, Chromebooks help county clerk restore service

The phone call came on a Thursday afternoon and Friday morning I was in my car on my way to downtown Mount Clemens to deliver several Chromebooks to Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh, and her employees to help get them through this crisis...

The Fire

On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, the Macomb County Building in downtown Mount Clemens, Michigan, had an electrical fire that destroyed the fiber, network and phone connections to the county’s data center, displacing 200 employees and several departments. See, “State of Emergency: Hackel says County Building shut down for months following fire,” Macomb Daily, April 19, 2013.

Friday, May 24, 2013

June 2013 Data Backup Survey

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete our survey. We are surveying businesses gather their feedback about trends in data backup. This survey should take you approximately 5 minutes to complete.

The information you provide can be accessed only by our internal research team, and reported in aggregate. If you would like to be notified of the published results of this survey, you will be able to enter your email address at the end of the survey.

This survey will be available for submission until June 18, 2013. Should you have any technical problems, please contact Daniel Proczko at or 269-271-2688.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Build IT Together 2013 [Live Blog]

The official live blog of Build IT Together!

8:00 - We're at the Radisson setting up. Just unpacked the brand new Google Pixel and Google Glass. I'm sure you can't wait to try them on!

8:30 - First attendees are just showing up

Welcome Address

9:00 - We played a sweet movie about our experiences with IT, old tech to new tech. (I'll post it here after we upload it.)

9:05 - Daniel Jefferies reminisces about past IT practices and timelines the progressions of IT.

9:11 - Daniel Jefferies "How many people are excited about riding in self-driving car?" Only about 4 people raised their hands.

9:14 - "All that computing power is on your desk, now. All these tool were born during the personal productivity era, but it's changed again. The era we're in now. we've got all that computing, that used to be on our desks, is now in our pocket." - Daniel Jefferies

9:18 - "Many of our tools are built for me doing my own work, but most of our work, is make the team productive. Make the stuff work together." - Daniel Jefferies

9:21 - Sharing the pains of scaling and "technical debt". Technical Debt, the investment in technology and processes that makes it hard to move to new and better tech. "There is a great deal of pain moving to a new system." - Daniel Jefferies

9:25 - Attendees are being encouraged to reach out to businesses of different sizes to exchange experience and collaborate together, to better understand the pains we all face in IT.

Let's get to know each other - Activity

Congratulations to Ed Freed of the City of Kalamazoo,
who won a Samsung Chromebook!
9:26 - Attendees are working together on a peer evaluation survey. Matt Vollmar & Michael Jefferies are leading attendees through the survey.

All of the attendees are working on Chromebooks!

Questions range from IT outsourcing, to backup & recovery, networking, file sharing, to content filtering and device management. This survey will allow attendees to see real time results and compare their current systems with others at the event.

9:40 - Connecting about the pains of not having IT personnel at every business location and how working remotely has changed.

9:42 - Survey results are showing that there are many companies that have a lot of locations, yet very few IT personnel. This is very common in Government and Education industries.

9:43 - Combination of outsourced IT and in-house IT provides internal staff the ability to work on high value projects instead of projects that just "keep the lights on," like anti-virus.

9:46 - Mobility and access to files across multiple devices and platforms is difficult and can be a major pain among IT departments.

9:47 - Face-to-face video collaboration helps bring the workforce closer together.

9:49 - Question "Why would a company want to keep 10gb of email? There is a legal issue with hall that information."

"If we provide everyone with that much storage or more, images, and files are replicated multiple times, and backed up multiple times versus a file sharing program where a single file is shared to multiple people."

"A good practice may be to implement a and archiving policy and enforce it."

"As to employees using email as file storage, it may be a symptom of the email system, and file storage system being difficult to use."

Productivity sins: Inbox as to-do list, Using email as a memory vault

"Culture shift for people is the hardest part. You can give them a Ferrari, they still drive it 20mph." Meaning, you can give tools, but cultivating better use of those tools is the hardest part.

10:00 - Reporting and real-time data is very important for organizations to find their pulse or rhythm.

10:02 - Diagnosing a problem is a must, but if a problem occurs, how quickly can you diagnose and give an answer as to what the problem is?

Answers are ranging from minutes, to seconds, to the ever popular "We'll look into it and let you know shortly."

One of our attendees organizations has built a troubleshooting tool that can help employees reach a diagnoses in minutes.

"The answer and diagnosing is becoming even more difficult with the advent of multiple platforms, technologies, software, etc..."

10:06 - "The pain we see all over the place. People like us are on Facebook, email, etc, we don't know the tools to know when or how much, but to be able to go to your leadership and say, 'Let me look it up...oh, well, Johnny is on YouTube, using 20% of our bandwidth' So you can walk right over to his desk."

10:07 - Debate over open policies of network usage and differentiating between useful use and non-useful use.

Bandwidth cost is the question at hand, but the cost of bandwidth is falling fast.

10:09 - Promoting a productive culture that empowers and encourages employees to provide results of their position can help alleviate improper use of resources. Collaboration helps each employee keep each other accountable as well.

Locking employees out does not stop employees form trying to get around. So, its more important to create a cultural shift.

10:13 - Challenge: Move away from normal work-week. Let them work when they are most productive.

10:30 - Attendees have split into their respective breakout sessions.

10:39 - 6.1% of business data is lost and not recoverable, according to the IDC. Unfortunately this data cannot be picked or chosen and includes financials, confidential emails, memos, business plans, personnel data, etc.

10:45 - Both early sessions "Backup & Disaster Recovery" & "Mobility" are working in groups to identify their own pain points and collectively and collaboratively brainstorm solutions, essentially sharing experience and knowledge.

"I hate being a tape Jockey."

11:15 - Break

11:30 - Starting up sessions on "Helpdesk & Monitoring" and "Network, Mobile Device Management"

Content Filtering Solutions in EDU [Infograph]

The results of our content-filtering survey are out. The infograph below illustrates the distribution of solutions among the survey respondents and features respondents felt were lacking from their current solution.

Not too long ago we came across a new content-filtering solution that addresses the desired improvements identified in this survey. The platform is called Securly, and we really think you should look into it. Let us know if you want a tour.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

4 Simple Steps to an Effective BYOD & Mobile Policy

There is building momentum toward creating a connected & mobile workforce. This trend requires business data access through personal mobile devices. News headlines of leaked business-critical data, financial statements, corporate espionage, hacked corporate accounts, corrupted data flash across your eyes. BYOD & mobile devices won’t end in catastrophe or cause friction within your organization, but will require some change management and a mobile policy and some Mobile Device Management (MDM).

We took some time to chat with some IT directors and found some research showing that,
  • 60 percent of IT professionals believe 25 percent or less of their employees are accessing work related information on their smartphone or tablet.
  • 57 percent of users said they access work related information on their smartphone or tablet at least once a week.

It became clear that a BYOD/mobile policy is becoming a necessity and should have the following elements:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why we want to Build IT Together

Build IT Together | May 21st @ Raddisson Plaza hotel

My experiences with the Kalamazoo entrepreneurial community

For the past couple of years I have had the privilege of being involved in the growing entrepreneurial community in Kalamazoo. A series of events and meetups over the course of that time, sponsored by Startup Zoo, have brought many like minded folks together, caused businesses to be formed, partnerships to emerge and has brought me into the lives of some fantastic people.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Newmind named to Michigan 50

It has been a busy couple of months at Newmind.

The team is growing, business is expanding and our friends in the press are saying kind things about us.

On top of all that, we are proud to announce that Newmind has been named to the Michigan 50!

The “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch”, or "Michigan 50" for short, is a list of remarkable second-stage companies from across the state. Winners are selected by Michigan-based judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development, industrial and venture capital communities.

Michigan 50 Company to Watch Logo

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Make the Internet Safer for Students

The age of the internet can be a scary place to raise kids. Once upon a time, if a kiddo was interested in more adult topics, their only resource was the bank of encyclopedias. These days, even completely innocuous searches can uncover some pretty eye opening content, and kids are connected to the internet now more than ever. To the standard user, tools like Google SafeSearch are heartening, but hardly block out all the bad.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Newmind adds to leadership team

Wow. We can’t believe its almost been 10 years since Newmind was first founded in 2003.  In the early days we did simple computer and server maintenance and as we grew, larger and larger companies began to take notice and ask us for help.

Now we are nationwide, 900 customers strong, and bringing new innovations to our friends in education,  winning awards, and setting the standard for our clients on how to execute “smooth and painless” technology upgrades. We’ve also had a lot of fun along the way.

Today we open a new chapter at +Newmind Group as we welcome a friend from the past into the key role of leading our Sales & Marketing that will help us move forward.  +Matthew Vollmar was Newmind employee #3, and along the way he left us to have some new adventures and find his path.   He is now returning to Newmind with the exact skillset, knowledge, and experiences that we need to take our team into the future.