Learn AI with Einstein

Can AI be useful for business during the Covid-19 pandemic? With an increased urgency to go digital fast, now is the time to skill up on practical applications of artificial intelligence to stabilize, reopen, and grow your business.

Did you catch the “Learn AI with Salesforce” virtual series? If not, watch as Lizet Vanessa Avila, CleanSlate’s Salesforce Sales Specialist, walks through the steps on how to build a chatbot. In addition, see how Hornblower Cruises and Events implemented this AI tool to help employees quickly answer questions about the company’s response during COVID-19.

Questions? Contact Vanessa at vanessa.avila@cleanslatetg.com.

Q&A with CleanSlate Senior UI/UX Consultant, Ronnie Fenwick

Ronnie Fenwick is CleanSlate’s Senior UI/UX Designer. His job consists of the planning, design, and execution of user interfaces and user experience designs. He can be found coordinating interface production with clients and other developers, working through UI/UX issues, developing features, and designing internal marketing executions. We asked him a few questions about his current work at CleanSlate, where he sees the future of UI/UX consulting, and advice he has for others in his field.

Q: What makes you excited about working for CleanSlate? Tell me something about a recent project you’ve been working on.

A: At CleanSlate, I appreciate the variety of different projects and technologies I get to use on any given day. We were recently engaged with a client to build out a medical sales app. It is a greenfield project with only a name. It has been very rewarding to see the excitement from that “First Look Feeling” as the brand took shape, and then the app come to life. I really get a sense of satisfaction helping others realize their software dreams.

Q: What advice do you have for someone entering your field right now? What are the most important hard and soft skills?

A: Be prepared to never stop learning. The whole industry changes technologies and tastes every few years. A good designer can work in their natural style; a great designer can work in any style. Learn a few extra skills such as front end development, motion graphics or copywriting. If you know how to build sites it will make you a better UI designer, and I would start there.  

I would say the most important hard skills are being a master at design software, staying current on new and emerging UI/UX patterns and learning how to effectively communicate visually. One of the biggest soft skills I developed over time is helping your client solve business pain points with UI/UX executions. Often times they come to you with a redesign or even a greenfield project, but what you are really solving are operations issues, or customer experience issues more so than just making a great interface. You need to learn how to ask the right questions, follow your instincts and be able to communicate effectively with a diverse roster of internal and external stakeholders.  

Q: What do you think the future of UI/UX consulting looks like?

A: I think the future of UI/UX looks really good. With the ubiquity of technology in our lives and the current climate of the pandemic, I think everyone realized just how important eCommerce is to the future of business. Additionally I think it has never been more clear how a good UX/UI strategy and execution is to users adopting your software into their daily lives or buying from a store online. For the last 15 years, often times your first impression to a customer has been via a digital medium. I have always believed this is one of the most important factors to finding success online, but it has not always had good representation in the project scope. However, I think the larger market in general has caught up to this thinking. I can see it in the emphasis put on UI/UX in the last 6-7 years, versus what it looked like in the earlier part of my career.

Q: What was/is your favorite quarantine activity?

A: I love to golf. I get to be outside enjoying nature, getting some exercise, and I can maintain a safe distance from others while doing it.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax in your downtime?

A: I enjoy hanging out with my family, playing golf and riding my motorcycle.

CleanSlate Technology Group Achieves AWS Partner Network Advanced Consulting Status

Milestone demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to drive business value leveraging AWS expertise for clients in the Midwest Region

CleanSlate, a full-service cloud transformation agency, announced today that it has achieved Advanced Consulting Partner status in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN). Reaching the Advanced tier status requires the demonstration of expertise and successful delivery of AWS solutions. CleanSlate joined the AWS Partner Network in 2018 and has since experienced exceptional growth in the delivery of AWS cloud-based services. Advanced Partnership tier designation is also a recognition of CleanSlate’s commitment to client success and satisfaction by obtaining the full value from their AWS investment. CleanSlate’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Konow stated, “While we are excited about this achievement and the growth of our company, we are even more excited to receive exceptional feedback from our clients regarding the delivery of modern AWS cloud solutions.” 

The cloud is having measurable effects on businesses who are choosing to embrace the digital transformation. For example, some researchers are predicting as much as 20-30% improvement in time to market. CleanSlate has seen similar significant results – including a cloud implementation which resulted in 80% reduction in time to provision infrastructure environments using AWS services. Cloud transformation requires AWS expertise and experience – a big part of what CleanSlate brings to clients. “Our team of consultants are a top-notch group of certified engineers, architects and consultants. Every day I am excited to see the innovation and advanced technology we are providing our clients with AWS solutions. And our team is growing, which is also very exciting as well. Together with AWS, we will continue our commitment to improve our clients’ business by leveraging AWS and cloud transformation.”

 

Additional Resources 

About CleanSlate TG 

Founded in 2000, CleanSlate is a privately held consulting company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. CleanSlate’s dedicated practices specialized in the delivery of Cloud, Enterprise Integration, and Salesforce consulting services. Our mission is to provide a clear pathway for client success by combining strategy, solutions and technical expertise. This approach makes it easy for our clients to adopt leading edge cloud solutions in a manner that accelerates business outcomes.

 

Chris Konow named CleanSlate COO

Chris Konow joined the CleanSlate team about six years ago, and formerly served as the VP of Consulting Services. Konow came to CleanSlate to start the consulting practice in hopes of driving new business for the company. Since his start, CleanSlate has more than doubled their headcount and revenues continue to grow by 50% year over year.

Chris Konow was unanimously voted on Tuesday, February 18th to become CleanSlate’s Chief Operating Officer, or COO, effective immediately.

“Starting a new initiative and seeing it come to fruition and grow has been the most rewarding part of working at CleanSlate. Seeing new faces in the office embodying the company’s lively culture is something to look forward to each day.” Konow says that his focus on strengthening CleanSlate’s operations, sales, and marketing has attributed to the rapid growth; all indications lead to continued steady growth for the foreseeable future.

“The leadership Chris has shown over the past few years has enabled us to scale our consulting practice to where it is today. We expect to continue to see his team expand and grow in 2020 and beyond.” – John Loveys, CleanSlate President and CEO

More executive leadership was needed to continue to foster the growth of the company, and a unanimous vote agreed that Chris Konow would be the right fit to be CleanSlate’s Chief Operating Officer. His partnership with CEO, John Loveys, continues to accelerate the leadership and direction of CleanSlate, as the company prepares to move into a new office in June 2020.

CleanSlate has built a strong brand and reputation in the Indianapolis area, and intends to continue to grow its clientele in this market, as well as penetrate other marketplaces outside of the Indianapolis area. The company’s expansion has been fostered by its growing consulting and software partnerships with AWS, Salesforce, Mulesoft, and many others.

The future for CleanSlate is endless with new opportunities knocking on every door and CleanSlate is very lucky to have the leadership and guidance from its new COO, Chris Konow.

Heading into the New Year with IT Asset Management

Heading into the New Year with IT Asset Management

It is about that time of the year when companies are trying to finalize their future budget cycle and financial allocations. Companies allocate roughly 5%, and even upwards of 10% for some industries, of company revenue for IT budget. This equates to a very large sum when you start considering the various companies in the financial, tech, retail, and manufacturing industries. To put it in perspective, a company with $10 billion in annual revenue would spend approximately $500 million. So this begs the question: Are the executives and upper management in a position to make intelligent and innovative business decisions with the data provided coming from the IT department?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES COMPANIES FACE WHEN TRYING TO FINALIZE THE FUTURE IT BUDGET.

  • No governance established – Many companies do not have an established governance, policies, or procedures in place to efficiently manage the lifecycle of IT assets. More often I see companies working as separate groups in segregated systems with no set standards and no defined ownership. This type of behavior leads to inefficiency of resources, increased risks, and costly mistakes.
  • No attention to IT Asset Management – The majority of companies have never had IT Asset Management practices at the forefront. There has not been a champion to own and incorporate it, so other priorities continue to undermine ITAM. There may also be misconceptions around ITAM practices that play a part in how well adopted they become, and stakeholders have not been properly informed of the need for it so it continues to take the back seat.
  • No ITAM Maturity – There are many companies that have basic ITAM processes in place, but many of them are manual and lacking important data points. There may not be enough resources to effectively manage and optimize the entire IT asset portfolio, the necessary tools for doing so may not be available, or a combination of the two, prevent companies from moving up the maturity scale. Also, different departments and lines of business are working separately instead of together. This makes it extremely difficult to operate with efficiency and agility and to make strategic and innovative decisions.

    SO WHAT DO YOU DO? DON’T WORRY, THERE IS HOPE!

    Start by creating your “why” statement. Why is IT Asset Management important to the company? Support your argument with concrete examples and statistics to get the attention of executives and decision makers. Executive level buy-in is critical for making an ITAM practice successful.

    Once you have executive support, work with key stakeholders on determining your highest priorities. What has the most impact on the various lines of business? Criteria may include things like largest area of spend, compliance/audit risk, time period of renewal or true-up. 

    You may currently be a in a position of preparing to finalize the 2020 budget, and the task feels daunting if you identify with any or all of the challenges listed above. You may know that you need to present the challenges to managers to gain their support, but you are not sure how or where to start. If so, we would love to help you get started.

    We can partner with you at any point along your journey to help you map out and execute ITAM maturity.

    CleanSlate Announces Partnership with Zylo

    CleanSlate Announces Partnership with Zylo

    INDIANAPOLIS – October 9, 2019 – Cleanslate Technology Group, a leader in technology consulting, today announces their partnership with the leading enterprise SaaS management platform, Zylo. This partnership is designed to deliver optimal value for customers investing in cloud enterprise software and SaaS.

    With its established leadership position as the SaaS management platform of choice for innovative enterprises, Zylo complements Cleanslate’s domain expertise in specialized services for enterprise integration, applications, and IT asset management.

    The partnership we’ve forged with Zylo is truly the best of both worlds. Zylo’s innovative approach to SaaS management builds on Cleanslate’s experience in serving the software needs of progressive enterprise IT teams.

    Chris Konow

    VP of Consulting Services, CleanSlate

    We’re thrilled to establish a partnership with CleanSlate because of their track record as an experienced enterprise software consultant. We believe that by combining our unique capabilities, together we will provide customers with solutions that quickly maximize the full potential of cloud software and SaaS.

    Dianne Decena

    VP of Alliances, Zylo

    The partnership will kick off with an event on November 7, 2019 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM at Zylo headquarters on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. As enterprise IT leaders begin planning SaaS and software budgets for 2020, Zylo and CleanSlate invite them to learn more about key industry benchmarks and how optimizing SaaS and software management is the foundation for business success. Reserve your spot today, seating is limited.

    To learn more about the partnership, visit zylo.com or cleanslatetg.com.

    About Cleanslate Technology Group

    We are a leading full-service digital transformation agency providing Clarity in Technology. Located in Indianapolis Indiana, CleanSlate provides dedicated practices and specialized consulting services around Cloud, Enterprise Integration, Enterprise Applications and IT Asset Management. Our vision provides a clear pathway for success by combining Strategy, Solutions and Domain Expertise. We exist to make it easy for companies to adopt leading edge cloud technology solutions that accelerate business outcomes.

    To learn more about CleanSlate Technology Group, visit us at cleanslatetg.com or follow @CleanSlate_TG.

    About Zylo

    The largest independent enterprise SaaS management platform, Zylo transforms how businesses manage their SaaS application portfolios. By creating transparency around SaaS spend, license utilization, and user feedback, Zylo provides a centralized system of record that empowers business leaders to discover, manage, measure, and optimize their SaaS investments. Zylo was noted as a Rising Star in Forbes’ 2018 Cloud 100 list, the definitive list for private cloud companies, and was recognized as a Cool Vendor by Gartner.

    For more information on Zylo or to request a demo, visit zylo.com or follow @getzylo.