Synergy Hits its Stride at MMPC

IMG_3092Each year during the first week in May we are reminded again why diversity is so important. No, I’m not referencing a national holiday or even a news story making headlines, but that does not diminish the importance of the events that take place. From May 4-7, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, (MMSDC), hosted an event that brought Minority Business Enterprises together and served as an intermediary to those companies seeking to allocate their minority spend. Together, minority suppliers and purchasers alike, participated in an amazing three days of celebrating diversity and promoting commerce amongst the business owners in Michigan.

As in previous years, Cobo Hall was bustling like the auto show was on a reunion tour – and at the center of it all was Synergy Computer Solutions. Synergy, as always, participated in the show’s many events and even sponsored a booth at the MMSDC Minority Procurement Conference’s Opportunity Fair. Everything appeared to be status quo, however, what did change was what Synergy has to offer. This year Synergy Computer Solutions debuted its Continuous Improvement application and it created some buzz!

Armed with a digital media display, Synergy’s Business Development Managers and Sales Reps were busy all day long showing off the new innovation to interested individuals from all walks of industry.  The booth was not the only place Synergy was drawing a crowd. While walking the floor with our new Microsoft Surface Pro, Synergy employees could hardly take a step without being approached to explain what the interesting application was that scrolled across our tablet screen. By day’s end and almost 20 requests for product demonstrations,  Synergy left the MMPC with validation that the application was a hit. From robotics to automobiles, warehouse management to coating applications, Synergy had successfully engaged several companies servicing multiple verticals.

All in all, the MMPC served as a reminder to Synergy, its staff, and its customers that we continue to be on the cusp of new and innovative solutions that help our clients “solve IT problems.” We are truly grateful for the opportunities the MMPC and the MMSDC have presented and we look forward to continuing to support MBEs and expanding diversity in the IT realm. Working to improve our clients’ workplace while promoting diversity? WE DO THAT!

Synergy Finds Its Center

It is no secret that the American workplace has rapidly changed and the “Madmen” office culture from the 50’s, (you know, the chain smoking cigarettes and having midafternoon drinks), is gone. Now-a-days, the 40-hour work week is all but history. The stress of keeping a job has never been higher and the American worker is momindful mind birdsre physically and emotionally taxed than ever.

We all know stress is bad for our health but what you may not know is that stress is terrible for the bottom line – not just your company’s but it’s detrimental to your own checkbook as well. This comes to fruition in two ways. The first is rather obvious, that being healthcare costs. Stress related diseases cost Americans and the businesses they work for an astronomical amount. Healthcare spending has soared as high as 300 billion dollars according to the World Health Organization, proving many employees and companies are spending more on healthcare than ever before. Unfortunately the cost isn’t predicted to drop anytime soon either. Within the last 30 years, stress levels in women have grown 18% and they’ve grown 25% in men. These elevated levels have resulted in the American worker being exposed to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. In fact, two thirds of all doctors’ visits for employees are due to stress related conditions. You might not expect stress to affect your performance or the company’s output but it is, without a doubt, doing so. U.S. employees spend 200-300 percent more on indirect healthcare in the form of absenteeism, sick days, and above all lower productivity.

The second way stress robs us blind is by cutting into productivity. While you may be putting in extra hours, the benefit of each additional hour spent working while stressed yields a lower quality of work. While the “work yourself ragged and squeeze ‘em for all they got” mentality might have been the approach that kept butts in seats for more hours, studies have shown it doesn’t always mean more revenue generated. We are seeing that happier employees produce more in less time than individuals who are stressed out due to working longer hours. Like some economist said way back when, the law of diminishing marginal returns is always at play. The time you spend at your job will not be valuable if you are overly stressed out and in this case it’s not only supported by economics, but science too.

However, all hope is not lost. We as employees must find balance in our lives…a “center” if you will. For many Fortune 500 companies that center is coming in the form of meditation. It is widely known that one of the best and least expensive ways to become healthier and happier is through meditation. In fact participants in a mindfulness program displayed “an increased sense of purpose and had fewer feelings of isolation and alienation.” Combine this with the decreased symptoms of illnesses related to stress and you get a Grade A solution according to the Huffington Post.

The benefits don’t stop there. According to an additional study done by the National Institute of Health, benefits can be even more dramatic than these aforementioned ones. Individuals that participated in frequent mindfulness meditation saw up to a 23% decrease in mortality and a 30% decrease in death due to cardiovascular disease. To those who thought working yourself to death was just an expression, and to those who thought meditation was simply some breathing exercises…you couldn’t be more wrong.

The wonderful thing about mindfulness is that there is no overhead. There is no equipment needed to indulge in enlightenment. All you need is yourself and an open minded approach. While there are studios available and an increased number of classes popping up around the United States, mindfulness can be practiced in your own home or cubicle. According to http://www.helpguide.org, mindfulness lies in practicing techniques to achieve a state-of-alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to the thoughts and sensations without predetermined judgment. These steps allow the mind to refocus on the present moment.

To practice mindfulness on your own (courtesy of helpguide.org):

Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor

Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale

Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas

Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

 

These exercises practiced and incorporated into a daily routine can be extremely helpful for individuals in high stress positions or for anyone seeking to reduce the amount of stress in their lives. In this new business landscape, companies recommend their employees try to find their center and practice mindfulness.

Encouraging our employees to lead physically and mentally healthy lives? WE MINDFULLY DO THAT.

Why is IT So Impersonal?

emaIL ARTICLE BANNERIt’s funny how things we once pegged for dead seem to find their way back into mainstream. Like a cat with nine lives, items from previous decades are rising from the ashes and making their way to the forefront of pop culture. Millennials are grooving to vinyl again, teenagers are walking around snapping Polaroids, and John Lennon’s sunglasses are the hottest thing in fashion. Everywhere you look there is a back to basics approach.  Does this only apply to pop culture? Or in this digital world can this apply to business?

I’m glad you asked, because that’s the reason I sit down in front of my computer to bring you some cold hard truth. Fact is, advertising is going back to basics. What does this mean? Are we going to see “Where’s the beef?” spots and 30-minute TV infomercials again? Does it mean your computer screen will be flooded with popups once more? No, both of these predictions miss the mark. In fact, to see what I am talking about, you will have to look up from your monitor, stand up, and head out the door. That’s right! I am talking about regular, direct mail.

Direct mail is back. That stuff that gets delivered six days a week, the same form of advertising that used to make your heart jump for joy in your youth is making a comeback in the B2B sales realm. Your tech guys might ask, “We have email and it works all right so why do we need direct mail?” Well Mr. IT Guru, your company likely does have email. I’ll even make the prediction some employees have more than one email address. However, if you are like 99% percent of Americans you will agree that email, and furthermore digital communication in general, has become tired. I personally can attest that if I don’t recognize the sender, or your subject line reads, “Dear Sir or Madam,” you are getting
thrown in the trash quicker than an “Office Space” TPS report, (as I said we are bringing things back). In fact, with a house list, e-mails only generate a .01% response rate as compared to direct mail’s 3.7%, (according to a direct marketing association survey). With more companies having in-house tech support devoted to reducing spam, increasing firewall security, and limiting means of digital contact, electronic communication is not only becoming blasé , but it’s also becoming a royal pain in the uh …neck.tps-reports-coversheets-800x450

What is the driving force behind direct mail dusting off the cobwebs and getting back into circulation? Many in the sales realm attribute it to building meaningful relationships again. When asked why he supports direct mail, Scott Langohr, Business Development Manager at Synergy Computer Solutions, stated, “I get hundreds of emails from prospects and companies every week. After a while it all becomes white noise.” Scott continues, “When someone takes the time to type something out and send me a hard copy, it’s attention getting, much harder to look past, and it’s a nice personal touch.”  Recent survey results seem to speak to Scott’s point. That same DMA survey showed direct mail to be up to 30 times more effective than email marketing with over 50% of respondents saying they prefer direct mail to email.

So what’s the overall message here? I think it’s clear that some if not all IT companies have lost that personal touch. Yes, we are all involved in the same space. We often work within or sell similar services built on even more similar platforms but we no longer communicate like we used to. Too often we utilize what we create in our day-to-day jobs to communicate, sell, advertise and broker deals. The driving force behind business is personal communication no matter what line of work you are in. Direct mail allows us to step out from behind the computer screen, to reach out with a more personal touch, and show that the person or entity on the receiving end is worth more to us than a few swift keystrokes.

Synergy is committed to restoring the personal touch into IT business.  That is why we will be reaching out with our new direct mail campaign. We understand that your business and IT resources are important to you and that makes them important to us.  We will be sending personalized letters to our prospective clients with the goal of arranging face-to-face meetings and doing our part to show we value you as a customer, and that you mean more to us than an email. Putting the personal touch back in IT? WE DO THAT.

Synergy Spotlight: Sridhar Reddy

 

“It is a great feeling knowing you have the independence to establish your own direction.” This is what Sridhar Reddy commented when asked why he loved working for Synergy Computer Solutions; it’s this flexibility that has led to his continued success, within Synergy and in the IT industry.  Sridhar Reddy has been with Synergy for 20 wonderful years and has done just about everything from working in the field, at a client site; in the office supporting different initiatives and now as an executive.

34f9fa37-88b5-4305-949b-fe07f1ee28ca-largeSridhar Reddy currently holds the position of Synergy’s Director of Global Delivery and Solutions. He is involved with various aspects of Synergy, the majority of which focus on the creation, development, implementation and delivery of Synergy Computer Solutions’ I
T resources and packaged solutions.  Reddy has also participated in new product presentations and demonstrations for potential customers. Moreover he serves as the point of contact and moderator between the Offshore Development Center and our Synergy employees both in the office and in the field.

Sridhar Reddy studied Biomedical Engineering in his native country of India. Upon graduation he traveled to America to pursue his Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami. It was at this time Reddy would meet Sridhar Guduguntla via a mutual friend at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This relationship would prove valuable after his experiences at University of Miami.  Reddy would continue on to receive his PHD from the University of Miami in the same field.  During his PHD studies Reddy became proficient in another art as well. While preforming various aspects of his research it was necessary to conduct his own programming, thus, the more research that was needed the more he programmed. Reddy became extremely proficient in the art of programming

Upon graduating with his Doctorate Reddy put his plethora of programming experience to use and became an independent IT consultant. After various successful projects with multiple clients, Reddy received a call from Mr. Guduguntla asking if he would like to become a part of his next project, Synergy Computer Solutions. From there the rest is history. Reddy has done everything from running wires to get the Chicago office online to serving as a senior consultant and has even has done work as a field consultant. Reddy truly is the embodiment of putting Synergy first and doing what needs to be done to help our company.

Reddy stated “The Technology Industry has jumped so much, and the learning curve is much steeper,” “No other field has grown as fast as IT and maintaining trends is a huge challenge.” Reddy has not only helped Synergy keep pace with these changes, but has kept our company ahead of the curve. Working closely with our Off Shore resources, he has been able to solve many IT problems, something he attributes to the freedom Synergy provides.

We would like to thank Reddy for his outstanding performance over these last twenty years, and look forward to celebrating 20 more. His dedication to this company is second to none and one of the reasons why Synergy remains a step above.

Synergy Cares

IMG_2564
The saying goes that the holidays are all about giving. If this is truly the case then Synergy Computer Solutions was surely in the holiday spirit for 2015. Not only did Synergy’s employees continue to perform community service that they do independent of the organization, but the company itself made sure others around Detroit had a safe, and happy holiday season.

Organized by Synergy’s Recruiting Manager, Marina Hart, Synergy Computer Solutions “adopted” a family of five for the 2015 holiday season. Being fortunate enough to have this opportunity, Synergy pulled out all the stops to ensure that this family’s Christmas was a merry one. Everything form jeans to scarves, socks to assuring the family had a Christmas dinner, Synergy Computer Solutions provided essential items and made sure there were plenty tidings of comfort and quite a bit of joy in the home of this family – and we could not be happier we had the opportunity to do so.

IMG_2578Synergy, however, did not stop there. As our company has done for the previous two years, we continued the holiday tradition of working with the Detroit Rescue Mission: a ministry-sponsored homeless shelter with multiple locations in the downtown area. In years past, our company has done everything from volunteering in the kitchen to helping feed individuals at the shelter, and has even made monetary donations. This year Synergy donated over 30 blankets to ensure we could spread the warmth for those in need and allow the less fortunate a chance at a hot meal and a warm bed.

No matter the time, Synergy will continue to make a concerted effort to have a positive effect on the Metro Detroit community. Be it through the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council or through community service, Synergy Computer Solutions is and will continue to be active in our community. It does not matter if it’s the holidays or the summer time, Synergy cares.