What Does CES 2018 Mean for Business?

7 minute read

CES 2018 – the Consumer Technology Association’s annual cavalcade of high-tech wonders – was held last week in Las Vegas. Honestly, we love the CES hype as much as anyone, but hype doesn’t always equal value. Mind Over Machines is about adding value to businesses, not about the newest consumer gadgets.

That said, your employees are a critical part of your business, and all employees double as consumers. How we live outside of work influences our expectations for work. Since the birth of the BYOD movement, we’ve tracked the consumerization of enterprise. While those hot prototypes on the show floor aren’t coming to an office near you anytime soon, CES 2018 is a leading indicator of the forces that shape the consumer experience, and those forces will eventually impact employee expectations.

Alexa Is Everywhere 

Our Director of…

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Honey, I Shrunk the Furniture

7 minute read

It’s 2018. Not being able to visualize whether an armchair will ruin the feng shui of your living room before you purchase it is simply unacceptable. For this reason, and a few others, the innovators at Amazon have released AR View, the company’s new augmented reality shopping experience.

Currently, AR View is only available for iOS 11.0+ devices, but it happened to drop at an opportune time for us. Mind Over Machines is expanding. Adding employees means adding office furniture, and we’re planning to refresh the place while we’re at it. In the last week, we have moved, repurposed or trashed many old pieces of furniture, turning the vibe of the office on its head.

Our Interior Design Objectives

Of course, our new office furniture must be comfortable and durable, but we also want to strike that balance between functional and fashionable. Our office space should “wow” prospective…

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Holistic Hiring Helps the Candidate and the Client

4 minute read

If you’ve spent any time in our Twitterverse lately, this won’t come as a surprise to you: We’re hiring! And like everything we undertake, Mind Over Machines puts our own unique spin on the process.

Sure, that alphabet soup resume with its lengthy language list will more than likely secure you an interview. Talent, education and experience are certainly important. But don’t come in expecting that interview to be the usual IT professional pop quiz. Our hiring process is client-centric. We privilege communication and problem-solving skills over the ability to crank out code. But what’s at the top of our Must Have list? Enthusiasm, love of the game. We need to know you can identify a client’s needs, are driven to find the most effective solution, and are able to articulate the steps required to get…

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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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Growing Pains

6 minute read

The good news: The online education company was revolutionizing the industry and growing like gangbusters, providing a virtual education experience to thousands of students across the country.

The bad news: The company’s 10 year-old systems were sputtering and stalling, unable to keep pace with the company’s explosive growth, and the online school found itself offline one too many times.

The problem: Everyone and everything was calling on a single, enormous database. It was used by every user for every action, hosting millions of live testing sessions, calculating zillions of test scores, performing institutional reporting, and everything else.

Imagine all of Target’s check out registers in all its stores attached to a single database that also served the corporation’s inventory management, time card, security, and corporate reporting functions. Scanning one too many items would overload the system.

The same was…

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Visualization Technology Helps Companies See the Future

15 minute read

When was the last time you visualized your company’s operations? I’m not talking about a spreadsheet or a slide deck, or a new arrangement of chairs. Have you taken a few hours recently to sit back, think out loud, and try to form a picture of how your business might look in the future?

If you aren’t quite sure how to translate the raw numbers that describe your business the way it is today into a set of visuals that might remind you of science fiction, talk to someone like JR Reagan, the Chief Innovation Officer and Partner at consulting powerhouse Deloitte in Arlington, VA. JR is on the cutting edge of using technology to help us render robust what-if scenarios. He runs the Highly Immersive Visual Environment (HIVE), a victory for innovation in itself that…

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Dunbar Armored COO Offers Top 5 Cyber Security Tips

10 minute read

The Dunbar armored car company is a titan of the trust industry. Family-owned for ninety years, Dunbar is best known for protecting and transporting cash in reinforced, guarded trucks.

But what can Dunbar do for us in a world where we’re just as worried about bad guys foiling our firewalls and hijacking our data?

I asked Chris Ensey, COO of Dunbar Digital Armor, that very question.

“Our primary directive here, in whatever we do, is to retain the integrity of the brand,” Chris told me at the Dunbar home office in Hunt Valley, MD. The decision to move into cyber was the brainchild of CEO Kevin Dunbar, an entrepreneurial chief executive whose family has spent generations working to make the family name synonymous with security.

A few years back, Kevin realized that the marketplace lacked an end-to-end risk management…

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How Hopkins’ CIO Built a Collaborative IT Culture

10 minute read

Stephanie Reel had what some may categorize as an insurmountable challenge — pull some of the best doctors in the world away from their hectic schedules to chat about IT. Tapping her penchant for innovative thinking, Reel, CIO for all divisions of the Johns Hopkins University and Health System, guessed that maybe the way to a doctor’s heart was through the stomach, not the sternum.

Chicken, wine and IT

That was two decades ago, and her Monday night chicken dinners are still going strong. Dozens of diners come ready to chow down, drink wine, learn from an interesting speaker and chat about the IT tools they’d like to help develop.

“They don’t expect us to go fix their problems,” she says, “but they do expect us to be available to work with them to invent the future.”

Reel doubts…

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Geek Speak

14 minute read

Jody Giles is the Chief Information Officer at Under Armour and Loyola University of Maryland Sellinger School of Business Lattanze Executive of the Year for 2013. Jody has made his mark as a strong leader who instinctively understands the specific ways that technology supports business goals, and he has a contagious excitement for what technology can do. He has pounded code and led the deployment of massive database systems at corporate and public sector giants, but “Business first; technology second” is Jody’s motto. His career has made him a big believer in the importance of system awareness—the willingness to map and analyze how information moves through your business—to a leader’s ability to drive continuous innovation and stay leaner and meaner than the competition.

Jody told me what he had just told a large group of Loyola…

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Making Music

14 minute read

I didn’t know if I should try to look cool when I sat down across from Paul Reed Smith. He’s the CEO of PRS Guitars, a fine mark of craftsmanship and innovation based right across the Bay Bridge from Annapolis on the eastern side of the Chesapeake. I knew that Paul’s business had helped to make cool things possible, and I had a suspicion that both the art and process of making music—from painstaking songwriting to cheering crowds—had some parallels there in the manufacturing plant where we sat. So I asked my first question: “What’s the concert like here?”

I elaborated: “Who plays rhythm at PRS Guitars? Who can play a solo without throwing off the beat?” I wondered if I was marking myself as a geek, but Paul started to nod as he saw where…

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