Beginning Your Digital Transformation

  8/23/17    Posted in News

The digital transformation, it seems as though every keynote, panel, article and business across the globe are discussing it.

The movement known as the digital transformation is the integration of technology into all areas of a business. This results in core fundamental changes in how a business operates and delivers value to customers.

Companies rise and fall for many reasons and digital disruption is responsible for a large percentage of this.

Since 2000, research shows that nearly 50% of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist as a result of digital disruption.

Author, Greg Verdino, states “the digital transformation closes the gap between what digital customers already expect from an organization and what analog a business actually delivers.” To successfully transform into a true digital company, an organization must focus on what businesses that undergo digital transformation may expect to achieve.

From leadership to differential thinking and the increased use of digital technologies, at its core the digital transformation encourages innovation and supports new business models. Incorporating digitization of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organization’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.

Why your business should begin its digital transformation:

  • Your competitors are doing it: According to the Forrester Research Report, executives predict that by 2020 over half of their revenue will be from digital initiatives.
  • Your business will become more profitable: Companies that understand the benefits of the digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their competitors, according to the MIT Center for Digital Business.
  • Your organization will become more efficient: Nine out of 10 IT professionals claim that legacy systems are preventing them from fully incorporating the necessary digital technologies to help future growth for their organization.
  • Your customers will thank you: From home security to online shopping, most consumers have already adopted digital technologies, businesses that evolve with customers will experience continued success.

The Building Blocks

A digital transformation is different for each organization and is based upon their needs, challenges, customers and employees. From examining case studies, there are a few consistent elements in most businesses digital transformation which include:

  • Customer experience
  • Operational agility
  • Work enablement
  • Culture and leadership
  • Digital technology integration

Defining Organizational Culture

Culture is another key component to consider when planning a digital transformation for your business. Companies are no longer creating software or running IT for cost savings and operations. Instead, IT has become the primary driver of business innovation. Embracing this shift requires everyone in the company to rethink the role and impact of IT in their day-to-day experience.

Bryson Koehler, CIO of The Weather Company, says, “There is a very different at work when you take IT out of an operating mode of, ‘Let’s run a bunch of packaged solutions that we’ve bought and stood up’ to ‘Let’s build and create new capabilities that didn’t exist before.’ If you look at the vast majority of startups, they’re not starting with giant, shrink-wrapped software packages as the base of their company. If you’re trying to create innovation inside of a large enterprise then you shouldn’t start with that either. You’re not here to run the mainframe anymore. You’re not here to run the servers. You’re not here to run the data center, or the network, or operations. That is table stakes. That’s what you can outsource.”

Although IT plays an integral role in a digital transformation, for an organization to be successful in this endeavor, everyone within a company must be onboard will to implement and adapt to these new processes.

The digital transformation transcends technology. It is about people, culture and then it is about collaborating with these new technologies.

As an organization, VALiNTRY focuses on:

  • People Service: Enriching and serving our clients, our employees and one another.
  • Accountability: Being accountable and responsible to maintaining commitments and providing results.
  • Teamwork: Working to support our team for the greater good of the organization and our clients.
  • Honesty and Integrity: Doing the right things, the right way.
  • Innovation: Pushing beyond our comfort zones to seek new solutions for our business and our clients.
  • Transparency: Always providing reasoning and outcomes to our clients and employees.

Focusing on these core values has allowed our organization to successful evolve by leveraging the latest technologies for our own digital transformation.

A large component of the adoption of digital transformation is technology. However, another aspect is also eliminating legacy technology and outdated processes. Take for example the federal government. The federal government spends of $80 billion on information technology each year. Over three quarters of that budget is spent maintaining legacy systems.

Although it’s the 21st century, surprisingly in the healthcare field, 90% of hospitals still use pagers. To maintain these legacy paging services, hospitals overpay by 45% every year.

Most CIOs spend a majority of their budget on existing IT concerns, not able to fully focus on new technology initiatives. However, in order to evolve, they must understand the importance of leveraging technology to increase efficiency.

Trends impacting the digital transformation include:

  • Artificial Intelligence: To schedule a meeting, it takes humans approximately 17 minutes. Virtual assistants cost less than $100 per month. Soon, virtual assistants will have the ability communicate and negotiate even faster than humans.
  • Contextual Insight: Sensors and embedded devices are becoming common place within an enterprise generating large amounts of data. If not managed properly, this data will be rendered useless. This information should be consolidated to help an organization.
  • Security and Identity: Security and identity management actually do improve user experience and productivity. A lack of security can minimize productivity and as more information is continually shared, the proper security processes must be put into place.
  • Augmentation: Augmented reality helps information to be shared throughout an organization. Augmentation will soon be extended to larger groups, enabling multiple users to access information almost instantly. It will me more dramatic, contextual and adjacent information will be presented, all in real time.
  • Orchestration: APIs and orchestration are critical to increasing agility and creating new intellectual property for reuse.
  • Connectivity: Satellites and wireless technologies are allowing for increased collaboration within organizations.

Start Your Digital Transformation Today

The team at VALiNTRY has the expertise to help guide your enterprise and enable your digital transformation to begin. A digital transformation must build upon the basis of a digital operating model to ensure alignment among all initiatives. From operational excellence to customer experience and product leadership, our team will ensure that the proper steps and procedures are implemented to develop ecosystems as partners and ensure success. As a result, your business will be more aligned with customer demands and resilient in the fast-moving digital future.

Contact us today to begin your transformation.

VALiNTRY Joins the Ranks of Inc. 500

  8/16/17    Posted in News

Founded in 2013, what began as a one office start-up, with a handful employees has transformed into a multi-million dollar, nationwide corporation with over 50 employees.

In the short time frame of five years, VALiNTRY has been honored with the distinction of joining the elite ranks of Inc. 500.

Created in 1982, Inc. 5000 is an annual list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. As an expansion of the brand, Inc. 500 was developed, ranking the top 10% of the country’s top 5,000 organizations.

This year, VALiNTRY is proud to be recognized as number 142 on the list nationally and number 10 in Florida.  Now as an honoree, our organization has joined the ranks of other winners including Halo Top Creamery, Bitly and OrangeTheory Fitness. With past winners ranging from Oracle to Under Armour and GrubHub, we are excited to have our business held in such high regards.

Led by fearless leader CEO, Daryl Dixon, one of the core foundations catapulting the quick and sustained success of VALiNTRY is our core values. Role model organizations such as Disney, Apple and Southwest Airlines continually inspire VALiNTRY to put our customers first. Our team understands the importance of empowering employees and removing barriers that disrupt the ability to exceed expectations.

Our core values are:

  • People Service: Enriching the lives of our clients, while serving them, our employees and our team members.
  • Accountability: Being accountable and responsible to maintaining commitments and sustaining results.
  • Teamwork: Working together continuously to support our team, yours and the greater good.
  • Honesty and Integrity: Ensuring that everything is done correct, the right way.
  • Innovation: Pushing beyond our comfort zones to seek new solutions for our clients and ourselves.
  • Transparency: Sharing the results and outcomes of all of our efforts with our team and clients.

Inverted Organization Structure

The green upside down triangle and lowercase “I” in our logo is more than just a symbol, it represents a way of life at VALiNTRY. The lower case I deemphasizes the individual because at VALiNTRY we win as a team and we lose as a team. This mentality has allowed our company  and employees to succeed. The upside down triangle, represents our unique inverted organization structure. Clients, consultants and contractors always become ourselves, with management at the bottom of the priority list, here to support their team.

Identifying and implementing these core values has also allowed us to receive recognition from the Orlando Business Journal as a “Best Place to Work” and have been awarded the coveted “Florida Companies to Watch by GrowFL.

The Origin of VALiNTRY

Valor: Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

Our organization’s name, VALiNTRY was derived from this noun. CEO, Daryl Dixon and cofounders chose the name to represent the resiliency of their, at the time, new found team.

One unique aspect of VALiNTRY is that the cofounders who built the organization previously worked together. At these companies, they fought operational complexities, dated technologies, increased regulations and the rising costs of doing business. With solutions constantly falling short, they came together to collaborate and begin VAliNTRY.

A founder of Reflectx in 2001, Daryl sold the company in 2006 and worked with Maxim HealthCare until 2006 where he then again, sold the organization however, he continued to work with the business for a few years afterwards.

Reflectx was a web based company that utilized the internet to sell and recruit across the country. Here, founding partner and CIO, Steve Wise, built an intranet system so robust he was recognized in CIO magazine. Steve built this system, NovaNET, a high-tech command center than filtered and translated data every day, to over 1300 locations across the country. This innovation was the first time that Daryl had witnessed technology truly supporting business processes. The new technologies constantly being developed and the innovation that had just been displayed with NovaNet, was the catalyst for Daryl to collaborate with fellow cofounders and begin VALiNTRY.

One thing that became apparent to Daryl with all of his ventures was that technology streamlines everything. Daryl’s motto is, if there are certain technologies that have the ability to improve efficiencies, we always invest. At the cofounder’s former companies innovation was always a trademark that has been carried through to VALiNTRY.

Since the beginning, VALiNTRY’s approach has been to utilize technology to manage systems like a fleet of boats instead of an aircraft carrier. Daryl has always believed that one aspect of innovation is having the ability to plug and unplug technologies systems to help support business most effective was possible. He felt that there were few companies that understood the catalyst that technology within the company was to improve profitability and success. VALiNTRY team members are fighters against technical obsolescence. Many companies are hamstrung by technical obsolescence, where their systems aren’t able to keep up with other businesses. Instead of these organizations becoming a resource to clients to improve efficiency and profitability, they have actually become a liability due to their failure to invest.

Because of these relationships that VALiNTRY has built and due to our core values and innovation we have become trusted advisors for our clients. Our team is truly working to help our clients ensure continuous success.

Looking to the future

Looking to the future VALiNTRY’s next goal is to reach over 100 million in revenue while continuing to provide services with our core values functioning as the backbone of our organization. The core group of cofounders have all worked for large, publicly traded service companies. Leveraging this experience has helped create the foundation for VALiNTRY’s practices.

Cyber Security for Small Business

  8/7/17    Posted in Business Consulting IT Consulting Microsoft Partner Network Security
VALiNTRY Security Consulting Services

Protecting your Small Business from Cyber Attacks

What would happen if a hacker launched a cyber attack against your business? The answer is all dependent upon your security. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your business is crucial and the VALiNTRY team is here to help.

Over 40% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Hackers don’t always like to go after the big fish in these situations. Most larger organizations understand the importance of investing in cyber security, so their wall of protection is more advanced and acts as a deterrent. Small businesses are actually drawing additional attention from cyber criminals because many times they don’t have the same level of security that a larger firm can afford. Cyber security is a practice that requires consistency, which can be difficult when human interaction is involved.

Your business has exactly what hackers want, employee and customer payment information. If your system isn’t secure, cyber criminals can easily gain access to everything from credit card information to social security numbers. Every business is at risk, but smaller organizations are usually the most vulnerable.

The top 7 security threats to small businesses

Microsoft Security Response Center conducted research on recent cyber attacks which concluded that the average time for infection or exploitation of an unpatched node on a compromised network is as little as 90 seconds.

Although it may be easier for larger organizations to bounce back from data breaches, small to midsize businesses don’t always have the same resources. This means that it is important to protect your organization, employees and your business with the proper IT security.

Some of the top threats include:

  • Growth of mobile malware: It is now easier for criminals to develop and deploy malware onto mobile devices. Businesses routinely use mobile devices, which makes them an easy target for hackers.
  • Data theft from Internet of Things (IoT) devices: Apps connected to the internet with no security makes this specific type of cybercrime easy. Negligence over security measures increases the chance of lawsuits against manufacturers.
  • Extortion attacks from stolen data: Recent successes from extortion efforts has increased the likelihood of additional threats of data details being publicized.
  • Ransomware on the internet: Poorly secured IoT devices are often targeted by hackers who place ransomware on them. These attacks are becoming more advanced, many times completely locking out users.
  • Hacker mercenaries: The dark market attracts many people including mercenaries that understand they can sell access to hacked systems to multiple parties. Often times they resell information stolen by others and post it on sites, this data can be sold and resold.
  • Stolen data aggregation: Many times, hackers will aggregate data from smaller businesses to increase its value. Since these companies are easily targeted, they continue to be hit.
  • Your employees: From making poor password choices to bringing their own devices to work, your employees could be inadvertently exposing you to an increased risk.

Unaware employees, increased security risks for small businesses

Many times, employees don’t understand the security risk that they pose to the organization. At a recent Microsoft Partner Conference, Brad Smith, Chief Legal Officer, said that there is always one employee that is going to click. Despite how careful and diligent your employees may be, this statement is very true. Some employee threat risks that are becoming increasingly concerning include:

  • Passwords: Taking the easy route with passwords increases the risk of a security breach
  • Phishing scams: By unknowingly clicking on a link, opening a document or downloading a file, malware could be introduced to your system.
  • Mobile Devices: Having no security plan or MDM policy in place within your organization means that many times employees will bring their own devices to work which can increase the risk of a breach.
  • Physical Threats: Leaving devices unattended and accessible or writing down passwords can increase the risk of a breach.

When it comes to security, employee education is key and it all begins with Penetration Testing. Penetration testing, also known as a Pen Test, helps to identify vulnerabilities and evaluate the security of an organizations IT infrastructure. From operating systems and services to application flaws and improver configurations, this test helps to exploit risky end user behavior.

Pen test are usually executed by using automated or manual technologies to intentionally compromise an organizations servers, network devices, end points, applications and wireless networks. These technologies successfully exploit risk areas and testers attempt to use the compromised system to launch subsequent exploits. This entails trying to gain access to higher levels of security clearance and other information from privilege escalation.

Once this data has been collected, IT and network system managers help evaluate the information and help train the businesses employees or how to reduce vulnerability risks.

Pen Testing allows an organization to:

  • Manage vulnerabilities
  • Avoid network downtime
  • Meet regular requirements
  • Avoid fines
  • Preserve image
  • Retain customer loyalty

Your business has the option of hiring a pen tester to test your network or purchase penetration software. These analysis’ should be conducted consistently and whenever:

  • New applications or network infrastructure is added
  • Upgrades or modifications are applied
  • New office locations are created
  • Security patches are applied
  • End user policies are modified

There are three types of tests that can be conducted, comprehensive, application and wireless.

  1. Comprehensive penetration tests simulate a situation where an attacker is trying to gain access to assets by exploiting security weaknesses that exist across multiple systems.
  2. Application penetration test, evaluates an organizations custom web applications including antivirus, embedded applications and games.
  3. Wireless penetration tests involve security evaluations of standard corporate WiFi networks to assess the need of specific wireless solutions.

 

Do you need VALiNTRY’s Security Experts to Help your Small Business? Contact us today to learn more.

VALiNTRY Joins the Microsoft Partner Network

  7/14/17    Posted in .NET Business Consulting IT Consulting Microsoft Partner Network News
VALiNTRY is a Microsoft Partner Application Development partner

We have recently earned membership in the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), which means great news for us and even better news for our growing client base.

The benefits of working with a Microsoft Partner Network Member

What does this partnership mean?

This new affiliation will help blend our unique portfolio of client counseling expertise with Microsoft’s array of advanced creative and support products and services.

An exclusive seal of approval, joining the ranks of the MPN, allows us to help clients gain access to exclusive offerings, reduce costs and generate a consistent revenue stream. Our new designation ensures that we receive the latest technical training, get insight into product usage and more to help our customers. Through this partnership, we can provide our customers additional promotions, discounts and special offers to increase their efficiency and productivity.

Enhanced capabilities of Microsoft Partners

The IT realm is in a constant state of evolution, meaning business’ require expertise to stay on trend with the latest offerings and technology. Take for example, modernizing legacy applications. Over 70% of a typical business’ global transactions run on legacy applications. Most large organizations are in various phases of migrating off of these platforms. From proprietary nature to total cost of ownership (TCO), there are various reasons for the transition and VALiNTRY is here to help.

Due to the wide range of technologies necessary to build modern web and mobile applications, there is a steep learning curve for legacy application developers. Our team of consultants have the experience and capabilities to eliminate this curve and help organizations successfully navigate this migration.

VALiNTRY is a Microsoft Partner with Microsoft Stack expertise

Business operations are becoming more complex and identifying the right software solutions can be confusing. We understand the benefits of the Microsoft Stack for your business since it is the most unique and comprehensive software. It is necessary for successful app development and IT Operations.

Cloud computing allows people to access applications downloaded on a computer or server through the internet. The cloud allows for flexibility, disaster recovery, automatic software updates and more. If not done properly, a migration can present many IT issues, but the experts at VALiNTRY are here to help.

Here’s how the cloud can help your business:
  • Automatic software updates: Servers are hosted off-premise and suppliers maintain and complete regular software updates.
  • Capital-expenditure free: Cloud computing eliminates the high cost of hardware.
  • Document control: Over 70% of workers collaborate with others in different time zones which can cause many complications. Ensure documents are controlled and eliminate conflicting titles, file content and formats.
  • Security: If the event arises that a laptop is at risk, cloud computing provides increased security. Data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed despite what may happen with your computer.
  • Competitiveness: Gain access to enterprise class technology. Pay as you go services and cloud business applications ensure that smaller businesses can compete with larger organizations.
  • Flexibility: For fluctuating bandwidth issues, cloud capacity can be scaled through remote servers.
  • Disaster recovery: Smaller businesses may lack the capital and expertise to invest in robust disaster recovery. These organizations are two times more likely to than larger companies to implement cloud based backup and recovery solutions to save time and avoid a large up-front investment.

What can Azure do for my business?

Azure is a quickly growing group of integrated cloud services used to build, deploy and manage applications through a group of global network datacenters. Azure focuses on privacy, security and compliance, protecting your most valuable assets.

Providing a consistent portal experience, Azure leverages highly integrated cloud services so you can quickly develop, deploy and manage apps.

From initial concepts and designs to launch and maintenance, our experts will enhance your existing software applications to help your operations run as smoothly as possible.

Business operations continue to get more complex and choosing the right software solutions can be complicated. Improve your apps an increase speed of delivery with the right application development. Centered around Azure, Dynamics 365 and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Microsoft Stack is the future of app dev and IT operations.

These set of sub systems are used to create one, unified platform to accomplish a specific set of goals that meet your needs. These systems are able to be run by multiple vendors and linked by other programs as well.

As a Microsoft Partner, we are able to provide users at your organization with a customized set of software. Designed to specifically work in unison without creating any types of conflict that may arise when developers are not working together to define the end users’ primary needs.

With a strong familiarity with Microsoft’s options, our consulting team recommends integrating these into your system. Microsoft’s ever-evolving offerings ensure user’s needs are met.

Each organization has unique needs specific to their industry and stack components are dependent upon those needs. Although, there are general elements that our team recommends most businesses add in the design and implementation of their systems, these include:

 

  • Visual Studio: This is used to develop programs for Windows, websites and a wide range of other web applications. Microsoft’s vision for this is to be a one stop solution for hosting IDEs. From database development with SQL Server Data Tools to using Xamarin to write Android and iPad apps, it provides an advanced user experience for developers. Due to the available coding options, Visual Studio is ideal for any type of necessary debugging.
  • .NET: This tool enables coders to use coding in different languages and is used by millions across the world. This flexibility helps developers with function that include security, memory management and more. To address the concerns regarding the security Microsoft has initiated many improvements to the original versions.
  • C#: is a programming language developed by Microsoft to work within .NET. Recent iterations of the language are viewed as a rugged and general purposed programming language. This is always evolving to meet user’s needs and hardware changes.
  • SQL Server: This database management system is designed to easily allow access to data that is requested by other users. It allows other applications to access data from anywhere. This data keeper offers strong computing power which can embed .NET codes as stored procedures, functions and aggregates without sacrificing performance. Like other types of software, SQL Server is available in different versions to meet industry-specific needs. Our consultants work with organizations to develop customized system packages to meet their specific requirements.
  • Angular JavaScript (angular .js): Used to refine web application platforms and developed by Google, this is useful for accessing webpages frequently used by different mobile platforms. Search engine algorithms will penalize businesses for lack of compatibility and Angular JavaScript can help to counteract this. Our experts recognize that clients have the same types of issues as employees and are required to access data from different locations with different devices.
  • Azure: This is Microsoft’s cloud product that is dedicated to making it easier to develop and scale applications and services faster and at a lower cost. It’s many built in features and services allows designers to develop apps faster than competing products. Our consultants recommend using Azure because it supports technologies used by most IT professionals.
  • Windows Server: This cloud-based data center, used through Azure, has shown that it provides an elevated level of security. The incidence of malware and other malicious attacks is minimal and Microsoft has taken steps to ensure their platform can deflect emerging risks. A component of the Azure IaaS platform, the previous version can be hosted locally and on legacy servers.
  • Team Foundation Server (TFS): TFS is designed to allow source code management through a project’s lifecycle. Microsoft designed TFS to work in unison with Visual Studio and it enables teams to manage projects while seamlessly delivering enhancements to software.
  • Dynamics CRM: Microsoft encourages that this customer relationship management software product be paired with Dynamics CSM with its .NET framework to optimize effectiveness. Frequently used in sales environments, this software is easily adaptable to meet the needs of service divisions as well as operations, financials, service automation and marketing.
  • Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains / Dynamics 365: A well accepted business financial management application, it is particularly adaptable to be used by mid-sized organizations. It is used as an integral part of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform and handles financial accounting, balance sheets, general ledgers and financial reporting. The latest version of this software is expected to further enhance the usefulness of the application.

Why User Experience (UX) Matters

Becoming a member of the MPN also has its benefits when designing the proper user experience (UX). At the core of successfully designing a platform is UX.

UX deals with how a person feels when interacting with a digital product. It encompasses many factors, dictated by both designers and developers that are dependent upon user preference and environmental factors. These factors include accessibility, design, aesthetics, usability, utility, ergonomics and more. Usability is a key component of the user experience and deals with the effectiveness of a side and how user friendly it is.

Think about it, it doesn’t matter what your app or site looks like if users don’t understand how to interact with it. UX is extremely important for every digital product especially for complex sites and applications, retail and online sales, start up sites and businesses, small budget projects and projects or sites that are expected to last for a considerable amount of time.

Users must be able to easily navigate the site to understand how to use it. If it isn’t easy to navigate, users may be hesitant to return. An interaction rich experience will driver users back to your site.

Working on the Microsoft Stack allows our consultants to ensure that your company’s unique needs are met quickly and easily. Our AppDev team are experts at requirement gathering, project leadership, SCRUM/AGILE and Waterfall methodologies, having successfully led multi-million dollar software development projects. Adept at the Microsoft .NET language and associated libraries of code, our team of consultant are ready to lead your next software development project.

Discussing your options early

Mistakes can be extremely costly no matter what size your business is. Developing and implementing software that doesn’t meet the needs your organization’s needs allows for less productivity within the workplace. Contacting our consultants early within the process eliminates the risk of possible mistakes. When choosing between enhancing an existing software application that you’re running or rewriting the software, our team is well-versed in both realms. From initial concepts and designs to launch maintenance and even resale, we are here to help.

As a member of the MPN, our consultants explore all available options prior to making your customized recommendations. Depending on your organizations current and future needs, our trusted experts will guide you every step of the way to ensure enhanced efficiency and productivity.

How this helps your business

Although VALiNTRY already provides clients with high level consulting and support within the Microsoft space, benefits of partnering with our organization include receiving:

  • Dependable outcomes
  • Cost efficient ways to adapt forms and host applications
  • Quick results
  • Enhanced application functionality
  • Guidance on maintaining highly scalable framework
  • Insight into the latest technology

Doing Business in a World with Fake News and Alternative Facts

  5/3/17    Posted in Business Consulting IT Consulting News
VALiNTRY's VALUES combat dishonesty and build trust

As America rewrites its political playbook, we are alternately bemused and alarmed by the way in which phrases like Fake News and Alternative Facts have jumped into our jargon. And by the widespread acceptance they are gaining,

Savvy business leaders have long noted that the idea of telling the same mistaken story over and over will make it so or manipulating facts to fit a particular position aren’t confined to the political arena.

Bernie Madoff peddled fake news.  Brian Williams altered facts as he wrote and spoke about his journalistic exploits.  Their transgressions were high profile and captured national attention, but represent only the tip of the fact-fudging iceberg that drifts through the corporate environment, mostly relating to the educational accomplishments of individuals.  Consider these examples:

  • Sandra Baldwin, former president and chairman of the U. S. Olympic Committee. According to a New York Times report she claimed for years to hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a doctorate from Arizona State. When a student was assigned to interview her for an alumni publication, it turned out her bachelor’s came from Arizona State after she had studied only three years at Colorado, and she never got around to finishing her doctoral dissertation.
  • One of Yahoo’s past CEOs, Scott Thompson, provided a resume when appointed in January, 2012 that showed degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. A hedge fund shareholder investigated Thompson’s background and found he had a degree only in accounting – not computer science.  By May, 2012, Thompson was gone.
  • In 2007, 28 years after MIT had appointed Marilee Jones its dean of admissions, the venerable institution discovered that not only had she not earned the undergraduate or master’s degrees she had claimed, but never received any college degree at all. Jones admitted the deception and resigned, explaining that she “did not have the courage” to correct her resume when she applied for the job she held for nearly three decades.

The business world takes very seriously false claims of educational achievement, even though there seems to be little evidence, as is the case of Marilee Jones, that lack of any degree is an automatic deterrent to success.  Rather, the instances uncovered suggested, as the hedge fund manager who blew the whistle on Yahoo’s CEO Scott wrote Yahoo’s Board, that claiming credentials relevant to one’s position “1) undermines his credibility as a technology expert and 2) reflects poorly on the character of the CEO who has been tasked with leading Yahoo! at this critical juncture.”

Each incident of this kind requires thought and action from the employee involved and from the management structure – from Board member to immediate supervisors – as to the resolution that best serves the individual and the organization.  The literature is replete with instances where a management or Board decided to keep a key employee even after word of resume inflation had become public. Jeffery Papows, for example, president of IBM’s Lotus, fibbed about his academic and military background.  He claimed to have been a military pilot but was actually an air traffic controller. He said he was a Captain in the Marines when military records showed he was a Second Lieutenant. He cited a doctorate from Pepperdine that had really been issued by an unaccredited correspondence school, according to reporting by ZDNet.  He kept his job, though later resigned after being named in a sexual discrimination complaint.  Other CEOs and key employees have remained in their positions successfully, with some foregoing bonuses or making payments to the employer as punishment.

Like MIT, which took 28 years to verify resume claims, time is challenge for businesses of all types in assuring prospective employees are who and what they claim.  A CareerBuilder survey of 2,188 human resource professionals found that more and more people are lying on their resumes today. It’s not hard to identify some of the exaggerations, like the candidate who claimed 25 years’ experience at age 32 or who filed two applications for the same position, listing different work histories on each.  But other, especially older claims, are hard to verify and chew up large blocks of time, which is why some errors and more inflations slip through.

VALiNTRY Values

This is where the inverted organization structure of VALiNTRY – putting others before ourselves – becomes important.  Our goal is to be counted among those companies that put their customers first by empowering their front-line employees to deliver extraordinary service and unparalleled experience.  It may be why, because we are focused on your field, there may be both financial and security value in drawing from employment or staffing candidates whose aspirations and experience we can match closely with your current needs and longer range plans.

People service ranks high among VALiNTRY’s Values – we don’t deal in cookie cutters or cattle calls – we are dedicated to enriching and serving our clients, our employees and one another.  We were founded in 2013 by staffing industry veterans to provide consulting services throughout the United States.  VALiNTRY’s 100% U. S. based recruitment team is changing the game in IT, Healthcare, Marketing, Finance/Accounting and CPA contracting and consulting.   We’ve been living our dedication in a way that has led to our growth to three offices, in Orlando, Nashville and Dallas, staffed by members of a single team sharing the same values, vision, and real life experience.

Here is how we state our core values, each preceded by the typographical sign that reflects our commitment to placing our clients and consultants/contractors before ourselves, with management at the bottom of the priority list:

 

  • People Service – enriching and serving our clients, our employees and one another.
  • Accountability – being accountable and responsible to commitments and results.
  • Teamwork – working together to support our team for the greater good.
  • Honesty and Integrity – doing the right things the right way.
  • Innovation — pushing beyond our comfort zones to seek new solutions for ourselves/clients.
  • Transparency – always sharing the “why” and the ”outcomes” of things we do.

 

If our VALUES align with yours, we’d like to talk to you. Call VALiNTRY now at 800-360-1407 or contact us here.

Mapping the Internet

  2/26/16    Posted in News
Map of the Internet by the Opte Project and Barrett Lyon - Used by permission

Today, everyone takes the Internet for granted. It has been a part of our culture since the late 1950s, although it didn’t truly become widely used until the 1980s. Now, it’s become rather mundane to most people, although if we look carefully at the structure of the Internet it’s anything but simple.

Beginning with ARPNET in 1959, the concept of digitally communicating quickly grew. In the late 1980s, the Internet as we know it today was made commercially available. While looking back at dial-up networks evokes memories of long waits for information to be transmitted, the groundwork was in place, and improved methodologies quickly made the movement of vast quantities of information more convenient.

Networks Grew to Cover the Planet

As the Internet became increasingly accessible to more and more people, rapid communications between anyone located virtually anywhere in the world became possible. That ability to communicate and collaborate with others systemically altered our environment. Today, businesses, governments, various organizations, and individuals have access to sources and quantities of information that would have seemed impossible in the 1970s. But, how does that system really work?

It’s Difficult to Visualize the Internet

The vastness of the Internet as we know it today is hard to describe and even harder to visualize for most people. That’s where Barrett Lyon and the Opte Project enter the picture. The name is derived from the Greek word opt(ós), meaning seen or visible. Lyon sought to develop a visual representation of the Internet to assist others in their quests to understand what the Internet represents and how it has grown and changed.

While the Opte Project began in 2003, the principles involved are still relevant. Even though Internet usage has expanded exponentially since the project began, the nature of the map makes it possible to see how Internet usage is evolving.

Mapping the Internet is Relevant Today and Will Be in the Future

Lyon’s mapping idea provides a wealth of information that is useful as we seek ways to better understand not only the Internet, but our world as well. In addition to being a work of art, a map of the Internet provides a great deal of useful information for scholars, governments, and even aid organizations.

Any map of the Internet is, by its very nature, fluid. As the Internet’s use expands, it’s relatively easy to follow the changes. Networks expand as more people around the globe gain the ability to connect. The brightest area of the map, of course, represent areas where use is the heaviest today. Of course, the map changes dramatically as once-isolated people gain access. As use in any area grows, the network map makes it possible for viewers to see the patterns develop.

Conversely, any negative changes in use will also be relatively simple to visualize. That means, for example, when Internet use is curtailed due to wars, the results are quickly seen. The conflict in Syria, for example, would be visible as network infrastructure is damaged and Internet access is limited.

When natural disasters hit, it’s also easy to see the consequences as the map’s configuration will quickly be altered to reflect the loss of communication after a disaster. As a region recovers and communication capabilities are restored, the network map will reflect those changes as well.

On another level, Lyon’s creation is a constantly evolving work of art. The colors, patterns, and ever-changing content mean the map of the Internet is an amazing artistic creation that continues to enchant people who monitor it.

There are other interesting aspects of the map as well. Since the map represents the growth of the Internet and allows viewers to actually picture how the network works, it’s interesting to point out a metaphor the map also represents.

Today, We are One

When we look carefully at how intertwined our relationships with the world have changed, the importance of relationships becomes apparent.  We don’t live in isolation anymore. Events that impact one region are quickly felt around the world. The intricacies of the Internet demonstrate how closely we are related to everyone, no matter where they are located.

While an individual line included in the map may appear inconsequential, a closer examination will demonstrate that line is, indeed, connected to other lines, eventually reaching any location in the network. We are not alone. Indeed, the small bright spot representing our point on the map is connected to all the other points, whether they be small pinpoints of light or one of those omnipresent bright areas. That means we all have the ability to collaborate and make the world a better place.

Working Together, We Can Achieve More

With the vast resources available online, we can find ways to affect positive changes in the world around us. Working together, we can find better ways to improve healthcare around the world, but also in our own backyards.

Businesses can, and should, take advantage of the opportunities presented by Lyon’s map. Doing so can not only make them more successful, it provides a path to understanding how we fit into the big picture and how our efforts benefit the whole.

We’re all part of the big picture, and how we choose to see ourselves in that big picture shows the rest of the world what our true priorities are. Just like Lyon’s map of the Internet, we’re part of something much larger, and we have the ability to enhance our networks.

 

At VALINTRY, we understand that collectively we are stronger than if we choose to operate alone. We value our relationships and are always seeking ways to improve how our team interacts with those impacted by our organization. Collaborating to find better ways to solve problems allows us and our clients to take advantage of more of those pinpoints of light that may well hold the solutions we need to make the world a better place.

Lyon’s work dramatically presents us with a map of the Internet, but it also demonstrates how we’re all interconnected in other ways as well. When we recognize the importance of relationships, we’re all better able to achieve higher goals that positively impact those around us.

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