Monthly Archives: August 2015

Get that Network Assessment…now!

Here’s a tired old story, and I hate having to tell it again.

We’ve been working with this small client for a few months.  Their network was set up by the “last IT guy” and it wasn’t done very well.  The server was a dedicated PC but nothing more than a tower.  Their whole system was set up sort of “on the fly” and and wasn’t being backed up.

The key though, is that their main connection to their back-end manufacturer’s data system is accessed via the server and their vendor database on the Internet.

Meaning their whole business is dependent on two components:

  1. the server (and vendor’s application running on it)
  2. their connection to the internet via their firewall.

Unfortunately, they relied only on their vendor to get things up and running in the most rudimentary way.

So, when they called us to “load some drivers and get the printers working,” we noticed many shortfalls and possible single-points-of-failure.

So we dutifully recommended we provide them with a “Network Assessment” that would allow us to spend the time and identify these critical points, which we would then, make recommendations and propose resolutions, such as software updates, system monitoring and regular backup procedures.  Of course, the cost was too much and they’d rather just call us when they needed us and they pay time & materials.  This was fine for about six months….

Then it happened, they called us Thursday late afternoon with a “problem.”  Since we don’t have a contract, we weren’t able to prioritize them, and get an engineer out until Friday.


Their IT person did “something” that took down the server and their entire operation and they were desperate.  They wanted someone to come on Saturday, so our engineer came in, but could not resolve the issues because the vendor’s support wasn’t available on Saturday.  We couldn’t send someone on Sunday (yes they are usually open on Sunday).

By Monday they were down for 4 days.  They dumped us and brought in someone else, whom I’m sure would be starting from scratch.

What a grim and oft repeated tale of woe.  Had they paid for the assessment and followed the recommendations, they would have spent less then half of what they ended spending on overtime emergency calls, and likely experienced zero down-time – no telling how much revenue and customer good will was lost.

What’s the point?   When was the last time your business had a network assessment?

  • Did you follow through on the recommendations?
  • Have you eliminated all single-points-of-failure?
  • Is your server software up-to-date?
  • Back up processes running regularly and tested?
  • Could your business keep running if your network was down?

If you answered NO to any of these questions….Get that Network Assessment…now!

New Ed Tech books stirs controversy…

“It’s an unrealistic view of today’s Education Technology landscape.”

“Most people are un-prepared for these concepts, their heads would blow up!”

“This book made me ask, has the author ever even worked with Teachers and Administrators?”

These are some of the comments author Darryl Vidal is getting as feed back from early reviews of his latest Educational Technology block-buster, “Confucius in the Technology Realm – a philosophical approach to your schools Ed Tech Goals” now available on Amazon (click here).

His response, “It’s exactly the response I was expecting – just a little less cynical…some of the concepts are out there!”


Confucius in the Technology Realm is a ground-breaking new approach to the dynamic world of Education Technology.  Vidal’s previous two books (co-authored with Michael Casey), “N3XT Practices,” and “VISION,” which have received high acclaim in Ed Tech circles, and are recommended reading by the Google Education Task Force, have focused on the process and methods for developing Ed Tech Vision and Strategic Plans.

In this work, the author has decided to soften on structure and focus on art – to take a philosophical approach to the planning and management of the chaotic and ever-changing realm of Educational Technology – what would Confucius think about Ed Tech?

But while providing a method of inquiry for philosophical guidance, the book is also meant to reinforce the ethereal concepts with real-world, Ed Tech examples.

“This is where I may lose some readers” Vidal explains.  Even with real-world examples, it can be difficult to relate transcendence and the “Ultimate Embodiment” while configuring network protocols and enabling classroom BYOD devices.

Confucius in the Technology Realm explains how the ultimate objectives of impacting student learning and achievement and mastery of philosophical self-discipline becomes one and the same – thus, this latest work can be seen as Confucius’ viewpoint, helping identify the path to transcending the organization’s people, policies, and processes to attain a state where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – where the education technology infrastructure and operational support structure are ingrained and embodied within the organization as a whole.

Don’t worry, your head won’t blow up!