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Day in the Life - Andrew McKenzie, Account Executive

Posted by Kirsten Henagin on Apr 29, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In a world of fast technology and changing markets, what do people in an IT consulting company actually do? At Network Center, Inc. we engage in responsible innovation, have a relentless dedication to our customers, and most of all - we are committed to our employees. The Day in the Life blog series highlights our employees’ talents, passions, and expertise in all of our departments. Day in the Life has the goal to provide a holistic, behind-the-scenes look of our company.

Andrew McKenzie has been with Network Center, Inc. for the last three years as an Account Executive . Andrew graduated from Moorhead State University Moorhead, where he obtained his degree in Communication Studies. When Andrew isn’t at the office, he is a baseball coach and enjoys spending his time outdoors.

“If you spent a day with an account executive at NCI, you’d notice our relationships with customers aren’t just sales focused. We spend time to develop relationships and become a partner, not just a vendor.”

-Andrew McKenzie, Account Executive

The typical day for Andrew is spent working with nearly everyone in the office. The Account Executive role is versatile because they interact with various teams across the organization. You could be working with one department for part of the day and another group for the remainder of the week. Andrew’s role at Network Center, Inc. has a plethora of tasks that get tied into being an Account Executive. It isn’t just cold-calling customers, but also meeting with customers face-to-face and navigating customers needs and goals. For Andrew, the fact that his role is different from day to day and even week to week, provides a sense of excitement and drive to continue to be engaged.AndrewBaseballCoach.jpg

The Account Executive position does primarily serve the company by developing a steady sales pipeline, but this takes on a different level of importance when operating in an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program). With this kind of organizational structure, the impact the sales team has benefits the most senior employee to the newest hire. To be successful in this role there are key traits to develop and master such as, persistence, resilience, adaptability and tenacity. The team of Account Executives spends a great deal of their time interacting with customers, being a resource for them and seeking to understand their business’ needs. Through these interactions, the information gathered not only helps NCI understand that one specific customer case, but provides knowledge that can turn into a best practice across the organization when helping all customers.

With each new customer and project, and the information and learning acquired as a result, it only adds to how effectively Network Center, Inc. can service and support a wide spectrum of technology. Andrew views NCI’s expansive range of technology services as a key differentiator in the IT industry. The company value of providing responsible innovation is a pinnacle in his mind for how we provide value to customers, not just another gadget. The goal of NCI is to provide solutions to business problems, not to sell a product. 

For Andrew, he is inspired by the fact that NCI is always growing and changing. The dynamic atmosphere, approach to solving business problems, and large array of service offerings help him to stay motivated. When reflecting on when he started at NCI three years ago, he said, “We are constantly revamping our efforts to be as valuable to our customers as possible. It’s a great environment, culture and mentality to be a part of.”Andrew.jpg

Key challenges that face organizations seeking IT services are the adversity of making change (and the risks incurred by said change) and an unfamiliarity with newer technology and how it can improve a company in various capacities. Rightfully so, as a change in a partner or vendor, or utilizing different technology provides a sense of vulnerability and discomfort. Andrew notes that overcoming these adversities, resolving business problems with new technology, and establishing a solid relationship with a new IT partner are rewards that outweight the risks. 

When giving advice to those that are looking for IT services, Andrew encourages customers to ask questions and to never settle. Make sure that the relationship developed with your IT vendor provides value and benefits you, as the customer. When partnering with any IT vendor, you want to find a partner that shares your goals and visions, and operates proactively to help you achieve them. Asking questions is key as the IT world is ever-changing and your partner should be a reliable resource to stay on top of those changes.

In closing, Andrew’s fun fact is that he was born at the same hospital as Will Ferrell. We almost have a celebrity in the house!

Stay tuned for more installments to the “A Day in the Life” series; giving you a behind the scenes look at the people behind your project. Click the link below to browse through other members of the NCI Sales Team.

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Topics: Company Culture, Day in the Life

Day in the Life - Jeff Bolstad, Help Desk Technician

Posted by Kirsten Henagin on Apr 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

In a world of fast technology and changing markets, what do people in an IT consulting company actually do? At Network Center, Inc. we engage in responsible innovation, have a relentless dedication to our customers, and most of all - we are committed to our employees. The Day in the Life blog series highlights our employees’ talents, passions, and expertise in all of our departments. Day in the Life has the goal to provide a holistic, behind-the-scenes look of our company.

“Trust that who you are working through [for IT solutons] has your best interest, and don't expect the cheapest solution to be the best.” – Jeff Bolstad

Jeff Bolstad, Help Desk Technician, has been with Network Center, Inc. (NCI) for five years. Jeff attended Valley City State University, and he has been in the information technology industry for a total of nine years. Jeff spends his free time computer gaming, specifically Dungeons and Dragons. Jeff is rarely caught without his computer, but when he is offline he enjoys reading fantasy novels, fishing, gardening, and spending time with his Rottweiler-Labrador mix. 

20150829_162319.jpgJeff is often the first one to arrive at the office, which his favorite aspect of his day. He enjoys starting the day in the stillness of a quiet morning. The early morning is an opportunity for him to get organized and prepared for the day before customers start calling. He ensures that the Support Center is up and running, and checks for new tickets. Throughout the day, he takes calls from customers to support their company’s success and resolve issues.

Network Center, Inc. takes a team approach to solving problems and providing the best services to customers. For example, Jeff collaborates and coordinates with Sean Todd, Director of Managed Services, to distribute resources and assign tickets throughout the department. He interacts with a number of people over the course of the day, mostly customers, but also other team members to assist with various service help tickets.

Jeff’s role could be perceived as transactional for the company because his time is billable to the customer, however that assumption would be incorrect. His impact goes beyond the interaction and time spent assisting customers. His success in serving customers furthers the trust built between the various accounts he serves, the Support Center team and NCI as a whole. Dedication to customers is one of the core values of the company, and the Support Center team lives and breathes that value every day.Jeff-pic-1.jpg

According to Jeff, NCI has more resources at its disposal when assisting customers. Services are managed between departments to create a collaborative and holistic approach to solving problems for customers. Jeff feels that NCI is perceptive and can readily recognize customer needs, then can take a proactive step in resolving issues.

For customers to be successful, Jeff stressed “Trust that who you are going through [for IT solutions] has your best interest, and don't expect the cheapest solution to be the best.”

Overall the company’s laid back atmosphere has hooked Jeff into always coming back to the office. He enjoys being surrounded by people determined to do their best for the customer every day. He appreciates that the company places a priority on investing in technical education for its employees. Cutting edge technology continues to surface and evolve in the IT industry, and through connections with customers he is able to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

Lastly, a fun fact about Jeff is that while his knowledge of the IT industry and technology is widespread and global, he has not yet stepped foot on an airplane.  

Stay tuned for more installments to the “A Day in the Life” series; giving you a behind the scenes look at the people behind your project.

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Topics: IT Solutions, IT support, Company Culture, Day in the Life

Day in the Life - Corey Stoner, Network Systems Analyst

Posted by Kirsten Henagin on Mar 18, 2016 10:00:00 AM

In a world of fast technology and changing markets, what do people in an IT consulting company actually do? At Network Center, Inc. we engage in responsible innovation, have a relentless dedication to our customers, and most of all - we are committed to our employees. The Day in the Life blog series highlights our employees’ talents, passions, and expertise in all of our departments. Day in the Life has the goal to provide a holistic, behind-the-scenes look of our company.

“In the short time I have been here, I have learned more about IT than I have in my whole career.” – Corey Stoner, Network Systems Analyst

Corey Stoner, Network Systems Analyst, hails from University of Mary with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management. He has been with Network Center, Inc. (NCI) for the last four and a half years. However, his exposure in the industry goes back to his first internship in 1999 – seventeen years ago.  His favorite pastimes include barbequing, hunting, fishing – and pretty much, anything outdoors.

For Corey, each day is different at NCI. He has a core set of clients that he spends the majority of his time assisting. He time consists of a combination of tasks ranging from fixing issues to attending sales meetings with potential or existing customers. Training Microsoft Cloud and Azure products are staple jobs for Corey. Other tasks include implementation planning, and according to Corey fixing “the whole gambit.”

Corey1.pngIn a typical day, he works with customers, small companies (3-4) to large companies (100+). These customer situations vary in the number of people he will be working with on an implementation. For example, a smaller customer will have one onsite person that has a technical focus. However, in a larger customer site he could be working with five other IT people. Office 365 migrations are a common task Corey performs, some of which are hybrid integrations with over 100 mailboxes. These processes can vary in length depending on magnitude and intricacy, but on average from start to finish approximately a few weeks to a month is a typical process. 

When reflecting the favorite part of Corey’s day he said, “When the customer is happy.” He likes seeing the whole plan come together and having that plan work for a customer. The role that Corey holds at NCI directly impacts customers. He is now transferring into a role with more design and planning work for projects to ensure success and timeliness. He also helps the sales team when serving customers. 

Corey revered NCI’s differentiator within the market with the following statement, “We do things that are right for the customer, not just trying to sell things.” The emphasis NCI places on customer service is lived by our employees every day with the company’s value of dedication to all customers.

Corey_Muskie_2.pngComing back to the office every day isn’t hard for Corey because of the people that surround him at the office. There is a strong team aspect when serving customers. The satisfaction provided to customers would not be attainable if the NCI team members were working alone.

What are some words of advice Corey has for customers looking for IT services? He thinks customers should approach IT services how you would look at hiring a contractor or an electrician. You are hiring someone that knows more about something than you and that you need help with. This allows for the hired professionals to take care of the details you may not understand, and they make sure it is done well.  

While at NCI, Corey has been able to see how good businesses run and how to do business the right way. “In the short time I have been here, I have learned more about IT than I have in my whole career,” Corey said.

Lastly, a fun fact about Corey is that he has an identical twin brother, that only a handful of people have met.

Stay tuned for more installments to the “A Day in the Life” series; giving you a behind the scenes look at the people behind your project.

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Topics: Company Culture, Day in the Life

A Day in the Life:  Paul Staszko - Application Developer

Posted by Kirsten Henagin on Feb 17, 2016 10:00:00 AM

In a world of fast technology and changing markets, what do people in an IT consulting company actually do? At Network Center, Inc. we engage in responsible innovation, have a relentless dedication to our customers, and most of all - we are committed to our employees. The Day in the Life blog series highlights our employees’ talents, passions, and expertise in all of our departments. Day in the Life has the goal to provide a holistic, behind-the-scenes look of our company.

“I’d still be writing software even if no one was paying me to. It’s my thing.” – Paul Staszko, Application Developer

Society has found the fruits of application development to be a norm of everyday life with smart phones, tablets, laptops, and countless other forms of technology constantly surrounding people. What many people don’t realize is that application development is truly challenging and thought intensive work.

Paul Staszko has been with Network Center, Inc. for six months, but his experience in professional software development began 13 years ago. For Paul, his work at Network Center, Inc. is not just a job, but also a deep-rooted passion.

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His actions speak louder than his words. Paul’s mission is not only to perform good work when helping clients, but to do great work. The projects at Network Center, Inc. are “interesting and engaging,” continually stretching Paul’s skills in new ways.

Paul’s day begins with coffee and a granola bar as he begins to jump into his daily tasks. When approaching a problem, he always seeks innovative new ways to debug the issue. He works with the Interactive Team at Network Center, Inc. finding optimal solutions for clients on a daily basis. Paul is truly an ambassador of the NCI brand and culture, always seeking new and innovative opportunities for client projects.  He keeps coming back to the office every day, not just for the coffee – but for the people.

“I’d still be writing software even if no one was paying me to. It’s my thing,” Paul stated.

Paul believes that the depth and breadth of services that Network Center, Inc. offers is key in what makes NCI unique. He says, “IT is very diverse and we can do it all in a one-stop-shop model.” However, this is not to over simplify the problems clients face or to undervalue each employee’s specialization when solving issues. “People [at Network Center, Inc.] have a strong attention to detail and what will serve the customer well,” Paul emphasized.

For customers that are in need of IT services, Paul recommends establishing and developing a relationship with the people providing services. The point is to find people that a client can trust and will do right by the client. “When you do business with NCI, you have a lot of resources available to you,” Paul highlighted, in comparison to segmenting your services to multiple providers. In the time that Paul has been with Network Center, Inc. he has displayed the company’s core values through his work, collaboration with his colleagues, and while seeking optimal solutions for customers.

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When Paul isn’t at the office he spends his time in his newly purchased house. His favorite pastimes include video games, watching Netflix, kite flying, bike riding, and constructing and collecting complex Lego sculptures. His favorite book is PowerShell in Action by Bruce Payette, which exemplifies his passion deeply rooted in script administration.

Stay tuned for more installments to the “A Day in the Life” series; giving you a behind the scenes look at the people behind your project.

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Topics: Application Development, Day in the Life

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