jeffWe would like to introduce Jeff Wellemeyer, our Technical Support Specialist. You may have spoken to Jeff on the phone, because for the past one and a half years, Jeff has been providing help desk support to the entire Go West customer base. As our Technical Support Specialist, Jeff fields incoming support requests via phone, email and our website.

Jeff has been in the IT field for 8 years. He is a graduate of Westwood Community College where he earned a BS in Information System Security. His certifications include Comp-Tia A+, Net+, and Security+, and ITIL v3. He is currently working towards an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) designation.

When asked what he most enjoys about his Go West IT job, Jeff responded, “What I like the most is the day to day challenges of something new. The experience I get from week to week is amazing and it is really helping me grow as an IT professional. I really enjoy working closely with our clients to not only resolve their IT needs, but also to answer any questions they have as many of them are eager to learn.”

Jeff appreciates the Go West IT approach to servicing customers’ needs. “The one thing I am positive of is that Go West really takes the time to understand the needs of our clients and uses that information to provide the best solution. Go West is not your typical IT shop and is genuinely focused on their clients to provide the best possible service.”

“Jeff has been instrumental in the success of Go West IT since he joined the team in October 2011,” says Matt Staats, Director of IT Services at Go West IT. “His customer first mentality encapsulates some of the most important aspects of what it means to be a member of Go West IT Team. He has a great deal of character and a wonderful personality which makes for an excellent fit for our team and customers.”

Jeff grew up in Wichita, Kansas and has been in Denver since 2003. Jeff’s favorite thing about living here is the mountains and he goes hiking, snowboarding, and driving in the mountains as often as he can. When not working or in the mountains, Jeff enjoys gaming, building PCs, playing volleyball and grilling during the summer. But, most of all, he is a dog lover and spends time playing with and walking his 5 year old Schipperke, Raiden.

David Lewien – Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Go West IT is a proud sponsor of this year’s Colorado Companies To Watch, a unique awards program that honors second-stage companies that are “developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and creating new industries throughout the state.”

Second-stage companies play a critical role in our economy. They are the role models of our new economy, being responsible for a significant amount of Colorado’s economic growth and stability.

The Companies To Watch program gives participating companies a chance for greater visibility and generates increased awareness of career opportunities with some of the state’s most innovative companies. The program is a powerful vehicle that energizes the entrepreneurial community in our state by rallying around fast-growing businesses, their communities and the organizations that support them.

Participating companies possess attributes such as:

  • Growth focused
  • Privately-held, headquartered in Colorado
  • 6 to 99 full-time equivalent employees
  • $750,000 to $50 million in sales or a similar range of working capital

For more information about Colorado Companies to Watch, including the 2013 Annual Gala Awards Dinner on June 28th, visit CompaniesToWatch.org.

CCTWBlog

 

See how CTW has benefited the states, organizations and companies where it has operated: (From http://edwardlowe.org/tools-programs/companies-to-watch/)

  • CTW is not your usual recognition program — it is a force to bring every element of the business landscape together. In Colorado, 16 entities from the public and private sectors work together to deliver this highly dynamic program.
  • CTW transforms the reputations of ESOs from doing good work to helping companies that make a difference. Says Michigan SBTDC state director Carol Lopucki, “Now we’re a player that provides statewide visibility for companies on the cutting-edge,” adding that these companies are quick to say, “The SBTDC nominated us because they’ve watched us grow.”
  • CTW has changed the conversation from “too big to fail” corporations to “too hot to ignore” second-stage companies. According to Chris Gibbons, who served as director of business and industry affairs for Littleton, Colo., for more than 25 years, “During the most severe economic event in 50 years, CTW honorees have continued to innovate and create wealth — and most of them have kept adding jobs, which is astounding.”
  • In 2008 at the height of the recession, Michigan CTW winners were notable for 36% growth job creation. More than 1,200 jobs were created by these companies, giving an economically challenged state a cause for hope instead of despair.
  • To winners, CTW bestows instant credibility: “One bank specifically mentioned the award when they contacted us. Having people knock on your door instead of having to knock on theirs is impressive, especially in a down economy,” says Todd Anthony, CEO of NTsupply.com in Indianapolis, a 2009 Indiana Companies to Watch winner

David Lewien – Friday, February 01, 2013

Strategic Partnership Allows for Customized Cloud Solutions

We would like to introduce you to Ajubeo, a provider of high-performance, enterprise-class virtual private data centers and cloud infrastructure-as-a-service based in Boulder, CO. Go West IT is an authorized partner of Ajubeo. When implementing Private Cloud solutions for our customers, we appreciate the large enterprise-class cloud deployments Ajubeo of

Through our partnership with Ajubeo, we are able to offer our clients highly customized cloud infrastructure solutions, increased security and centralization of end-user data, universal access to desktops and applications from any device over any Internet connection, efficient workforce collaboration and file sharing, and improved productivity and mobility.fers to even small businesses with their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering.

Ajubeo’s robust virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offering accommodates business requirements from small deployments to thousands of desktops and features VMware View 5.1 Premier, NetApp SSD storage and carrier-grade networking technology from Brocade.

 “Ajubeo VDI runs on our proven enterprise-class cloud infrastructure, delivering industry leading IOPS and network performance, leading to end-users that see a marked increase in performance when compared to their physical workstations,” said Tom Whitcomb, CTO of Ajubeo. “Our Elite VDI offers capabilities that few vendors in the space can match, with performance that enables developers, engineers, architects, and other resource-intensive end-users to become more productive through the offloading of rendering processes, easy sharing of large files, and efficient collaboration.”

The idea for a cloud infrastructure company built to “enable the highest levels of business and architectural agility for today’s enterprise CIO” came as the founders of Ajubeo were conducting a cloud-readiness assessment for a large publicly traded enterprise. They discovered that a cloud infrastructure provider with the scalability and Cloud customization capabilities to meet the company’s current and future requirements simply didn’t exist. By fusing the world’s best technology with inspired innovation from experienced IT executives, Ajubeo is able to deliver maximum agility, security, reliability, and connectivity.

Go West IT’s partnership with Ajubeo allows us to deliver truly customized cloud solutions to our customers that result in the profit and peace of mind our customers expect from their IT consultant.

David Lewien – Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Planning ahead will ensure that unforeseen events do not derail your business.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning ensures that a business is prepared for disruptive events – natural or human induced, major or minor.

A quick distinction between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity…

Disaster recovery is the procedure for which an organization can recommence business following a disruptive event, which can be anything from a hurricane to a minor power outage. Disaster recovery (DR) is the process for data recovery and continuity of those elements critical to business operations.

Business continuity planning is more comprehensive. It includes disaster recovery, but also plans for other various operational challenges that a business might face. These challenges might include personnel disruptions and supply chain problems.

Regardless of the distinction, many organizations are not fully prepared for disasters.

Most businesses want to be fully functional as soon as possible after a serious disaster. After all, when business operations are at a stand still, every hour that goes by is a serious financial hit. Unfortunately, few businesses are willing to pre-invest in the infrastructure that will ensure a swift recovery. Business executives tend to be optimistic by nature, focused more on creating success than planning for the worst. This is good – but disasters do happen and can cripple a business that’s caught unprepared.

While the principal objective of a disaster recovery plan is to ensure a quick and effective recovery from an unforeseen interruption in information systems and business operations, additional objectives may include:

  • Cost-effective contingency arrangements
  • The complete understanding of key personnel duties within the DR plan
  • The understanding and adherence of operational policies
  • Planning for possible implications on other company sites
  • The mitigation of detrimental effects that disaster recovery could have on key vendors and customers

Go West IT consults with businesses to help them develop the IT portion of their Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan.

We recommend the IT components necessary to achieve Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity objectives, design and implement the DR process, and help our customers set realistic expectations about withstanding a serious disaster.

For example, if a customer wants to have their entire network up and running in an off-site location within 4 hours of a catastrophic disaster, we can tell them what that would take. Most of the time, we are able to share alternative strategies with our customers for insuring that critical components are accessible even on a limited basis. Last, but not least, we help our customers regularly test their DR plan and accommodate the inevitable changes in technology and business operations.

If you would like to discuss your company’s disaster recovery plans, let us know. We are always happy to talk with you.

Contact us.

David Lewien – Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Go West IT just completed another successful cabling clean up. Maintaining neat, organized cabling is about more than just appearance. The state of your cabling may be an indicator of the condition of other critical components within your network. If you are in need of a fall cleanup project, just let us know. We are always happy to talk with you.

 

Go West IT, Inc.

6970 South Holly circle, Suite 202, Centennial, CO 80112

 

Phone: (303) 795-2200 | Fax: (303 798-4500 | info@gowestit.com

Dave Lewien

Yes, you have a spyware infection. No, it is not the same as a virus. Yes, we can help.

Go West IT removes three to four spyware infections a week on average. Infections seem to come in waves and they usually pick up when one of our crew comments aloud “…haven’t seen many spyware infections lately.”

Having a spyware infection does not mean you have engaged in questionable online activity. You do not have to gamble on the Internet, visit adult websites, or shop for male enhancement drugs to get a spyware infection. Really nice people get spyware infections without ever having stumbled across an adult website.

Spyware is simply an application installed on your PC that is designed to disrupt your ability to use your PC, gather information about you, or to entice\force you to buy something you would not buy if you were not infected with spyware. Most spyware infections are spread through web servers that were either set up for the purpose of spreading spyware or that were not adequately protected\patched and subsequently became a spyware host.

Like germs spread by people who cough in their hand and grab the doorknob to your office, spyware lies in wait on web servers for the next innocent visitor. A seemingly innocent pop-up warns you of a potential problem with your computer, you heed the warning, and then a moment to late stop and wonder if that was a legitimate message. It wasn’t. You’re infected.

Now what do you do? If you don’t know how to clean up spyware, stop. Pick up the phone and call someone who does. Spyware removal can sometimes be accomplished with tools like Malwarebytes or Combofix but only if caught early. DO NOT buy software online to remove your spyware. The best tools we use are free. If free tools don’t work, you probably need someone who knows how to look at processes, delete hidden files, and clean registry keys. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily make the situation worse.

If the spyware infection is really bad the best course of action may be a complete wipe and re-install of your system. The decision to do this is usually a financial decision because the amount of time it will take to clean a bad infection surpasses the amount of time it will take to give you a clean start (4 -5 hours). In most cases your data can be preserved if it is determined that a wipe and reload are your best option.Let me offer one last piece of advice. I cannot tell you how many times a customer has called and said something to the effect of “…My son was using my laptop last night and now I have pop-ups all over my screen”. Kids are incredibly proficient web surfers. Consider investing in a separate PC for your kids so that if it becomes infected it will not take you out of commission for several days.

Happy surfing.

 

Dave Lewien

With the Windows 8 billion dollar advertising campaign and the building media hype surrounding its release, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.  In seeking out the answers, our President, David Lewien, has been running Windows 8 since October 23rdand here is his take on the new OS:

 

Windows 8 is the most dramatic overhaul of the Windows OS in nearly 17 years. It is more different from Windows 7 than the sum of the differences between 95, 98, XP, Vista and 7 combined.  I’ve embraced the change and after a few days, am enjoying it.

 

Windows 8 has one foot in the past and one foot in the future.  The old desktop is still present but it is obvious Microsoft wants you to start using the “Metro” or tiled interface.  It helped me to understand that the two are not intermingled.  The apps you open from the tiled (“Metro”) interface are different than the apps you open from the traditional desktop.  The best example of this is Internet Explorer.  Two different browsers opened from two different locations.  Once you understand this, it is easy to keep them separate or commit to using one over the other.  The same dynamic is true of the other applications, like the built in PDF reader, the new Mail app, and apps for video, camera, etc.

 

Everything you need is still there, you just access it differently.  I recall Apple die hards telling me “…Macs are so intuitive…”  I didn’t find this to be true (perhaps because Windows was second nature to me).  Regardless, it didn’t take me long to adapt to Macs and I can say the same of Window 8.

 

Like Macs, once you know how to navigate the interface, it is easy.  Windows 8 navigation was designed for touch screens, if you don’t have a touch screen, you will just need to know certain tricks.  Following are the shortcuts I used the most:

 

  • Windows Key + Q = Search.  Use the Search feature to quickly find anything you need, be it a contact, email, settings, apps, web pages and more.  This one keystroke will get you through Windows 8.
  • Windows Key + X = All of the configuration settings you need.  IT guys and power users will appreciate this keystroke that gets you to Programs and Features, Event Viewer, Control Panel, Task Manager, File Explorer, Search, Run, Desktop and more.  All the support and configuration essentials are here.
  • Drag your Mouse to the upper right or upper left of the screen.  In the upper right you get Search, Share, Tiles (“Metro”), Devices and Settings.  In the upper right you can navigate through open windows by clicking the mouse repeatedly to see a preview of what is open or by dragging down the left of the screen to see the windows that are open.
  • Close the new Apps by dragging from the top of the screen to the bottom.  The “X” at the top of the window is gone.  Just put your cursor at the top of the screen, a hand will appear, then drag it to the bottom.  This closes the app.

 

Perhaps most importantly, everything is working in Windows 8.  In fact, I think moving to Windows 8 was easier than re-installing Windows 7.  I’m a fairly typical user so I installed Office 2010, QuickBooks, our quoting software, VPN software, printers, remote support software we use to help customers, and a few other applications.  All installed without any difficulty and are running fine.  I’ve only had to search for a couple of drivers, which I was able to find easily.

 

The bottom line is that if you are looking at Windows 8 for personal use or if you have small office with less than 5 people, Windows 8 will be a legitimate option for you in the very near future.  If your business has more than 5 computers, it will be VERY important that you consider the amount of time your people will spend getting used to the new OS, compatibility with ALL of your business critical applications (CRM, ERP, Accounting, hosted and on premise, etc.), and test thoroughly with one or two users before you dive in.  As always, Go West IT is happy to help you make the best IT decisions for your business.