Microsoft Gold Partner

2 Minute Read

Partnership means a lot to Mind Over Machines. We strive to be more than another vendor to our clients. Through collaboration, celebrating success, and sharing challenges, we work to be an extension of our clients. We expect the same from our vendors and have consistently found this partnership with Microsoft.

Today we are proud to announce that Mind Over Machines has added Microsoft Gold Partner status in Application Development and Silver Partner status in Cloud Development to our list of Microsoft competencies.

Microsoft Gold/Silver Partner status and competencies are achieved through a combination of team members earning certifications in Microsoft technologies and the firm demonstrating a track record of successful client engagements. We carefully measured the available competencies and invested in our team to grow into the competencies that would best serve our clients.

Mind Over Machines has…

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Pulling a Rabbit Out of the Hat

7 minute read

We had no idea what to do.

We left our planning meeting with the new client and drove back to our offices in near silence.

Normally we leave these meetings with a plan – or at least an idea – in mind.

But this one had us stumped.

The client’s business was providing back office systems and support for independent financial advisors. They made the stock trades happen and provided tools and reports that tracked client portfolio performance, commissions, etc.

The founder and CEO, Robert, had started the firm over 20 years ago. At the time, he was an independent financial advisor himself, and had become frustrated with the robotic nature of typical back office services. Simply executing trade orders and reporting monthly balances was just not enough.

He wanted tools and resources that also would help him build better relationships with…

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Oh, THAT’S the BI tool we’re supposed to use!

3 Minute Read

Surprise, surprise!

Just as Business Intelligence (BI) tools become the hot topic, there are more solutions available than ever…except that there aren’t, because only two of them are actually worth your consideration.

At Mind Over Machines, we’re always looking for ways to help you win. For our BI practice, this means constantly evaluating the marketplace for the best tools.

Here are the top trends we are seeing:

Only BI leaders are BI leaders – No wannabes allowed

The old guard of industry-leading reporting tools all bolted BI solutions onto the side of their existing wares. You would think that having a single solution for both reporting and BI would be the smart match. You would be wrong.

None of these “hybrids” remotely compare to BI solutions written from the ground up specifically for BI.

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What is a CRM?

3 Minute Read

Whether or not they realize it, every business engages in customer relationship management (CRM). They develop and exercise processes and strategies to grow and maintain their customer base, with activities encompassing the entire customer lifecycle, from lead to loyalty.

Most businesses have some process to manage this lifecycle, often involving artifacts and activities like marketing lists, phone calls, emails, and opportunity pursuits. In smaller businesses, sometimes this process is captured in a collection of spreadsheets, or managed in employee email. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of carrying this approach beyond what it can handle. Enter the CRM system, or what is simply referred to as “a CRM”.

Long ago, people realized that most businesses have the same general approach to the sales process. Most organizations speak the same language when it comes to leads, contacts,…

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When You Get Stuck, Talk to the Duck

3 Minute Read
What It Means to “Rubber Duck Debug”

Do you ever get stuck on a coding problem and, to help figure it out, you begin talking to yourself, or to a rubber duck on your desk?  Just me? Okay. Well, it’s unfortunate society associates self-talk with lunacy, because this underutilized problem-solving tool is excellent for debugging.

Think about it: have you ever approached a fellow developer with a tech problem and half way through explaining it to them you magically realized the answer?  It’s also at this point your ever-so-witty co-worker responds with, “Glad I could help.” It was your brain that did the solving all by itself. But how? How is it that speaking out a problem can result in its solution? There’s a psychological reason for this phenomenon and it has to do with the way your neurons associate ideas.

According to the Quarter Journal of Experimental Psychology, ‘ongoing perceptual processing’, or saying the word “chair” instead of just thinking about a “chair”, actually increases brain activity and awareness of that item, in this case a chair.  Educational psychologists support this approach with research indicating that, “Students…

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The Times, They Are ‘A Changin’

5 Minute Read

It’s not news that the world of technology is changing. Anyone who operates in our society today is very aware of how technology continues to evolve and become increasingly integral to our lifestyle, professions, and even our health. The article below walks through some situations that you may be familiar with and highlights how modern Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) are able to enhance typical business operations.

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One Location for ALL your Client or Account Information

The Situation: Sally from Sales is wooing Larry, a new lead, but doesn’t record their multiple calls and emails in the CRM. Mark in Marketing is unaware this conversation is happening, so includes Larry in the next marketing campaign. Larry receives an email asking him to reach out and begin a…

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The Changing Landscape of CRM

6 Minute Read

The following article was penned by our Director of Consulting, Dustin Sitton. It provides a more technical view of how advancements in CRM offerings are changing the way consultants and developers operate.

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Developers Have Been Waiting for This…Or Have They?

The promise of an enterprise application so flexible and easy to use that it eliminates the need for traditional custom software development has been talked about for a long time. Until recently, developers have been asked by businesses, and specific departments, to create custom solutions that this mythical enterprise application would solve, if it existed.

Developers are very familiar with programs that are typically used to create these custom solutions, such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, or notepad++. If you are not a developer and reading this, you may be…

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Office 365 Seminar Big Hit Among Region’s IT Leaders

3 minute read

On Wednesday April 20th, the Inner Harbor was buzzing with Office 365 talk, as Mind Over Machines combined forces with System Source to present Office 365: Way More Than Email! 

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Pier 5 was filled to capacity as area CIOs and IT Directors gathered to hear Dustin Sitton, Director of Consulting Services at Mind Over Machines and Deve Ferg, Consultant at System Source, discuss the many cost-saving features that Office 365 has to offer: benefits of migrating to the cloud; how to get your staff trained; cool DIY products that come with the suite like Delve and Sway; and exciting products like Dynamics CRM, Power BI and PowerApps that are lighting up the software development world.

The fastest growing segment of the software development industry, CRM as a development platform has made it possible for us…

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Welcome to the Cloud Neighborhood

10 minute read

Your system is mission critical. It has hundreds, thousands, or even millions of daily users and it must continue to perform its functions no matter what. But it’s now 10-15 years old, and though it has served its purpose faithfully and is still a solid performer, the time has come to plan for your aging system’s future.

It’s time to make a move, and you know it.

Whether you’re a hospital managing critical patient care records, or a financial institution conducting transactions, or any industry processing payroll or operations data – you need to fully understand the many options, risks, and costs associated with any modernization solution.

But like moving to a new home, the options are endless. Which neighborhood do you want to be in? What’s available in your price range? Is it better to buy or…

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Tick Tock…

7 minute read

Time was ticking away for the medical studies department at a top private research university.

Clinical researchers relied on the department’s web collaboration portal to house and share data from their studies of new medicines and medical treatments. And the application was just about to hit its 10-year anniversary – a dubious achievement in software.

The university’s IT department decreed that unless the aged system was modernized within six months to meet compliance, security, and a host of other IT standards, it would be disconnected from the university’s network.

The original developers, when contacted, announced they would no longer support the system. Their company had changed direction and was not interested in helping.

Our phone rang.

“Can your team bring our system into compliance before we get shut down?”

WARNING #1 – Do not trust any consultant who answers “Yes” to a…

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