News

KENO KOZIE WILL EXHIBIT AS A PLATINUM SPONSOR AT #ILTACON 2017

Keno Kozie Associates, a leading provider of information technology design, service and support to law firms and legal departments, announces a Platinum level sponsorship at the International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) Annual Conference August 13 to August 17.ILTACON 2017

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Partner Post – ACRONIS – How Blockchain can help you sleep a little better

How Blockchain Can Help You Sleep a Little Better

By Acronis

Today’s digital world contains a huge number of assets whose originality and ownership are difficult and costly to define and track. Blockchain-based technology can solve this problem by providing global authenticity and security for data and transactions of any kind, reducing the cost and complexity by removing centralized trust systems and making data “tamper-proof.”

Acronis has extended its data storage and protection solutions with blockchain technology to monitor data integrity and validity at all times.

Acronis solutions using blockchain technology can provide indisputable data verification in any industry. Common use cases include property and medical records, chain-of-evidence for court documents, police video or security camera footage, intellectual property bound documents, long-term archiving that could be subject to IT audits, and consortium data storage, where multiple entities or individuals need to securely store and exchange massive amounts of data and information.

Using blockchain technology, data and transactions are processed to produce a unique signature verified by rules of consensus. When these signatures are entered into blockchain, they can never be erased.

You can think of the blockchain as an “append-only”’ ledger with transaction order that is distributed between many entities, each one keeping the same copy of it. Each record in the ledger is time-stamped, is immutable and independently verifiable. Blockchain secured data has provable integrity because the data is attributed to an irrefutable identity, is validated by all copies of the ledger, is always available, and can never be changed.

Already, many U.S. States are working on bills accepting the use of blockchain to increase transparency and protect consumers, describing the technology as immutable and providing “uncensored truth.” Two States have already signed the blockchain bills into law, and more are expected to follow the suit in the coming months.

Acronis has integrated this powerful blockchain-based data verification technology into its data protection and storage products, placing it within reach of any business, big or small.

Acronis Notary and Acronis ASign Enable Blockchain-based Data Verification

With the Acronis suite of data protection and storage products, you get easy-to-use and class-leading blockchain-based data verification solutions. Acronis Notary and Acronis ASign together enhance data management tasks by leveraging blockchain technology.

Acronis Notary computes a unique cryptographic “fingerprint” hash of each file. This hash algorithm produces the same output given the exact same input file every time, regardless of circumstance. Any change, however slight, in the input file results in a dramatically different fingerprint. The hash algorithm is designed to work in one direction—making it impossible to determine the original file inputs from the output alone.

A hash of the whole structure containing all the file fingerprints is recorded into the blockchain. Authenticity of those files can be independently confirmed by any party (even one not doing business with Acronis) that has access to the blockchain.

When you back up your data to local drives or the cloud, you correctly expect Acronis technology to faithfully back up those files. Acronis Notary can add a level of confidence to the authenticity of your personal and business data. In the future, you may want to simply reassure yourself the file is unchanged. Or, you may have, or someone may present you with, a file and you need to validate whether or not it is authentic and unchanged from the backup. Common use cases include property and personal copies of records, chain-of-evidence for court requested documents, and long-term archives that could be subject to various legal or tax audits.

Acronis ASign is a blockchain-based document certification tool that complements Acronis Notary. It allows multiple parties to execute and certify a document with a secure and publicly auditable digital signature. Users can protect their backed-up documents, which are verified with Acronis Notary and electronically signed—all within the same reliable backup solution.

Blockchain-based approaches to solve all manner of secure data management requirements are coming. At Acronis, we embrace the underlying disruptive nature of the evolving transactional and computational world. In the current-day environment, where data is under constant threat, traditional backup is not enough to guarantee data protection. Acronis technology transforms the data protection model. The new data protection paradigm focuses on secure backup in which data is not only copied (backed up), but is also protected from cyber-attacks and can be verified through blockchain.

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KENO KOZIE CREATING 36 NEW JOBS IN THE COLUMBUS AREA

Columbus, OH – Keno Kozie Associates, a provider of information technology design, service and support to leading law firms and legal departments, announced it is opening a new location in the Columbus Region and hiring 36 new employees.

“Our new Columbus Region location will extend Keno Kozie’s national footprint of delivering superior solutions designed to support the legal technology community,” said Martin Catania, partner, Keno Kozie Associates. “Our focus has and will continue to be serving clients in the most creative and cost-efficient ways possible. As our clients have grown and adopted a real-time, agile approach to technology, it made sense for us to open an additional location to accommodate strong, more efficient client service and improve geographic redundancy.”

The Chicago-based company will open a to-be-determined location in the Columbus Region to accommodate expanding domestic and international service offerings. Hiring for the 36 management, customer service, technology and support analyst positions will begin in May.

“The Columbus Region values a strong work ethic, customer service and community, and those values fit well with the culture at Keno Kozie,” said David Pardun, chief operations officer, Keno Kozie Associates. “We are eager to recruit top local talent and as we continue to evolve and grow our client base across the U.S., expanding in the Columbus Region is an excellent strategic and geographical fit to recruit best-in-class talent and continue to provide excellent service in the technology field.” The Columbus Region is one of the country’s top metro areas in terms of IT talent and growth of IT labor force. KLG Advisors ranked Columbus the top metro for IT staffing

(more…)

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KENO KOZIE WILL EXHIBIT AS A PLATINUM SPONSOR AT ILTACON 2016

Keno Kozie Associates, a leading provider of information technology design, service and support to law firms and legal departments, announces a Platinum level sponsorship at the International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) Annual Conference August 27 to September 1st.

Released on August 5, 2016

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Creating a Smarter Law Firm

By Tami Schiller | Social Media and Research Specialist at TutorPro Ltd

Disruption or distraction? Technology change is outpacing our ability to update skills quickly enough to keep up. In legal, the skills conversation typically focuses on lawyers and legal workflows. However, no one working today is immune. Every department in your firm is facing deep changes within their areas of expertise.

It is time to elevate the conversation and talk about the critical need to place more emphasis on talent development and enhance learning skills for all legal professionals. Some experts suggest the impact of technology is creating a massive restructuring of our economy. To thrive, firms must develop the ability to learn hard things quickly. This will be a challenge when lawyers face the constant distraction of email and instant messages and support staff job descriptions include skills like “multitasking” and “ability to manage constant disruptions.”

But the challenge is worth it. The latest research from Towards Maturity, a UK-based nonprofit research organization with a focus on the impact of learning technologies, reports 70 percent of workers think learning has a positive impact on job performance.

To face the challenge, firms must embrace learning as a highly valued skill and consciously make time for it beyond today’s continuing legal education programs (CLE). The responsibility to create a learning culture should not rest on the shoulders of HR, professional development, or technology training departments. It is the responsibility of everyone at every level. Here are several ways to meet the challenge.

Get to know the real business

The first step in building a learning culture is understanding the business. The goals and objectives of the business should not stop at the management level. Organizations that support learning share information about the business, and people at all levels understand the current business vision. Of course, organizations that have strong learning cultures include talent development objectives as strategic business goals.

Get to know your users

Regardless of the role you play, you provide services to others. As a matter of routine, most of us consider roles, practice areas, and geographical regions as we evaluate our users. I’m challenging you to look deeper. Talk to people and ask probing questions to find out how their work might be unique or different.

Back in my consulting days, while meeting different teams from a firm’s litigation practice group, I stumbled on a team that had a very specialized practice. The primary client used WordPerfect, and the lawyers were on the road most of the time. The team’s workflows were unique among their litigation peers. Had I not considered each of them as an individual versus part of a high-level practice group and asked probing questions, I would not have realized the patterns I had already started to recognize wouldn’t fit this team.

Learn to share knowledge instead of train

Josh Bersin, an expert on business-driving learning, describes a learning culture as business-relevant and not at all academic; it enables successful organizations to identify problems and fix them quickly. Changes to technology are not necessarily problems. Although they can create momentary challenges while we adjust and relearn how to use them, we must learn to adapt more quickly.

In fact, the Association of Talent Development has conducted research and concluded that there is a connection between knowledge and learning, and both should work together to reduce time to competency.

While the classroom and formal learning definitely has a place, learning is more than classroom events. In the course of the workday, our users encounter specific moments when they need specialized knowledge. One could argue that many of our classroom events miss the mark of sharing knowledge. Often, we rely on subject experts who have a limited amount of time to convey their knowledge. The instinct is to cram as much as possible into the allotted time, which results in oversharing.

But that isn’t how adults learn. Adults want to have some level of control in how and what they learn. They must experience a mixture of knowledge-sharing and teaching approaches, including considerable interactivity: role-play, scenarios, discussions, assessments, and even project work.

Understand the adult learning perspective

Learning has an emotional base. There are a variety of characteristics that make adult learners who they are as individuals. Generally, we share some common themes.

Adults learn for the here and now. They want to learn skills that apply to work they are doing today and will be most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their jobs.

Adult learners come with experience and unique skills. Experience is vital because new knowledge builds on previous experiences. Respect their experiences, varied backgrounds, and motivations.

Training topics must be relevant to what they do. Adults make connections to memories of things that are familiar to them in the learning process. Strong connections to real situations embed new memories in the brain, making them easier to retrieve when needed.

Embed learning into everyday work

As our users are working, they will encounter times when they need access to knowledge or instructional content to help them perform at their best. The challenge is finding the right mix of knowledge-sharing and teaching approaches we referred to earlier. Learning experts Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson have identified five moments of need. Consider these moments when developing resources that you can embed into everyday work:

  1. Learning about something for the first time
  2. Wanting to learn more about a topic
  3. Trying to remember and apply knowledge or skills
  4. Dealing with change
  5. Encountering something going wrong

Build skills and confirm knowledge

Assessment has a place in adult learning and plays a critical role in building skills and changing behavior. People need to understand where they are now and where they need to be to see the gaps in their skills and give them goals. A true assessment places learners in a place where they have to use their knowledge to solve problems. It is a transfer of knowledge from WHAT? to action. Because skills build over time, having to remember when you are responding to an assessment makes the memories stronger in the brain. The stronger the memory, the easier it is to recall it when you need it.

To meet the challenges of the complex technology changes ahead, firms must adapt and create time for deep learning across all disciplines. A firm’s leadership and its legal professionals must share a commitment to this. Adult learners like to control their learning experiences, and most are curious and want to learn new skills. But they don’t always make time to learn. To break old habits and anxiety around lack of time, firms must allocate specific time and goals for learning. Technology change doesn’t have to be a disruption or even a major distraction. It can be an opportunity to improve the way we learn and create smarter law firms.


Tami Schiller, social Media and research Specialist at TutorPro Ltd, has focused on legal technology training for more than 15 years. She possesses a strong commitment to seeing individual achieve their potential for technical competency and is always looking for innovative ways to deliver learning opportunities to busy legal professional. By recognizing emerging trends and willingly sharing with others, Tami supports the legal community as it navigates through rapid changes to business practices and technology innovation. Contact here at tschiller@tutorpro.com

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KENO KOZIE ASSOCIATES IS HIRING!

We are actively seeking skilled and hard-working professionals to join our team. Along with an exciting work environment, Keno Kozie Associates provides formal training, mentoring, competitive salary and an excellent benefits package. Keno Kozie Associates is the IT partner of choice for law firms across America, specializing in solutions and support tailored to the legal industry for over 25 years. 

See below for available opportunities:

Engineering Project ManagerView Full Position Description – PDF »

Financial Controller View Full Position Description – PDF »

Help Desk Analysts View Full Position Description – PDF »

IT Infrastructure Engineer View Full Position Description – PDF »

Legal Document Processor – View Full Position Description – PDF »

Managed Services Systems Administrator –  View Full Position Description – PDF »

Systems Engineer(Chicago or DC) – View Full Position Description – PDF »

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KENO KOZIE NAMED #1 IT OUTSOURCING COMPANY IN THE 2016 BEST OF THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL AWARDS

Nearly 7,300 readers in more than 83 categories cast votes for the Best of The National Law Journal awards, a reader’s choice ranking of the top legal vendors and law schools nationwide. Voters had the opportunity to express their opinions about which companies provide the best services, products, or education to law firms. Keno Kozie ranked first in the IT Outsourcing category.

 

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Keno Kozie Named #1 IT Outsourcing Company in the 2016 Best of the National Law Journal Awards

By Keno Kozie Associates | Marketing Department

Keno Kozie is excited to announced they have been named the leader in IT Outsourcing in the 2016 Best of The National Law Journal awards.

Nearly 7,300 readers in more than 83 categories cast votes for the Best of The National Law Journal awards, a reader’s choice ranking of the top legal vendors and law schools nationwide. Voters had the opportunity to express their opinions about which companies provide the best services, products, or education to law firms. Keno Kozie ranked first in the IT Outsourcing category.

“We are truly honored to receive recognition as the top IT Outsourcing resource in the industry,” stated Barry Keno, president of Keno Kozie. “With our client roster continually growing nationwide, we are humbled and greatly appreciate this top honor.”

The complete list of the 2016 Best of The National Law Journal awards and recipients is available at: http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/flipbook/BNLJ2016/Best_of_NLJ_2016_web.html

Best of NLJ 2016_Keno

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Disaster Recovery Planning 101

By Acronis |

Introduction

Businesses rely heavily on technology, and technology disruption for a few days or even a few hours can result in significant financial loss. According to an ITIC [1] survey, more than 95 percent of large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees say that a single hour of downtime costs their company more than $100,000 per year on average.

According to another study by Emerson Network Power and Ponemon Institute [2], the average cost of data center downtime was $7,908 a minute in 2013—or $690,204 per outage. In addition, 91 percent of data centers experienced an unplanned outage during a 24-month period.

If your company is small to mid-size and does not have a sizeable data center, your organization might be at an even greater risk. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety [3], an estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster.

If you do not have a disaster recovery plan in place, your company could be a statistic.

Your ability to develop a comprehensive plan to prepare for potential disasters will minimize disruptions and help you maintain normal business operations.

In this article we will discuss:

  • Why you need a disaster recovery (DR) plan
  • What a disaster recovery plan is and how it is different from a business continuity plan
  • What you need to include in an effective disaster recovery plan
  • How to avoid five common disaster recovery mistakes.

IT Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity

A business continuity plan is a road map that “describes the processes and procedures an organization must put in place to ensure that mission-critical functions can continue during and after a disaster.” [1] A business continuity plan not only comes into play during times of disaster, but also when other unforeseen events occur, such as a major security breach, illness or death of a company executive, pandemic, civil unrest, etc.

A disaster recovery plan is a sub-component of your business continuity plan. It outlines the process, policies, and procedures to prepare for recovery and continuation of the business and infrastructure operations in the event of a power outage, equipment failure, fire, flood, or other disruptive incident.

An IT disaster recovery plan is a major sub-component of your business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan. It is an outline that defines the steps to continue IT operations and resume IT systems, including the network, servers, desktops, databases, applications, and any other component of the IT infrastructure.

Your disaster recovery plan should include the following steps:

  • Establish a planning group
  • Perform a risk assessment and prepare an inventory of IT assets
  • Establish priorities
  • Develop recovery strategies
  • Develop documentation, verification criteria, and procedures
  • Test the plan
  • Implement the plan
  • Maintain the IT infrastructure

Your plan should address all aspects of your infrastructure and provide a step-by-step response process.

Every Organization Needs an IT DR Plan

Disasters come unannounced, which is why it is important to get an IT DR plan in place as soon as possible. A fully functioning plan will help minimize risk exposure, reduce disruption, and ensure economic stability, as well as reduce insurance premiums and potential liability. Most important, a well-executed plan can save your organization thousands—even hundreds of thousands—of dollars in the event of a disaster.

To determine how much a disaster can cost your organization, consider the cost of system downtime—the impact on employee productivity, loss of billable hours, missed sales from a down ecommerce website, penalties for failure to meet regulatory compliance obligations. Data is a valuable asset—customer data; financial, human resource, and R&D documents; and emails are all irreplaceable. Each document represents minutes or hours of work, and retrieving it is essential. In a worst-case scenario, your disaster recovery plan may save your company.

Avoid These Common Disaster Recovery Mistakes

Recovering from a disaster is never easy, but with the right plan, you can restore your systems—and peace of mind—with as few missteps as possible. Avoiding these five common mistakes will help make your disaster recovery solution a success.

  1. Focusing on single IT technology, like SAN to SAN Replication. Single technology will rarely address all types of disaster recovery needs. An effective solution will provide your organization with flexible options for disaster recovery. Be sure to take the following considerations into account as well:
    1. Virtualization environments
    2. Application-specific agents
    3. Snapshot storage requirements
    4. Server activation and documentation
    5. Backup and recovery
  2. Remote Colocation/Location Choice. Choosing a disaster recovery location is critical to the success of any DR project. When choosing a location, make sure it is not too close to your production site and is capable of remote activation in the event of an emergency. Not all facilities are the same, so check to make sure that your facility is in line with all governance, risk, and compliance standards. For example, facilities should be SSAE 16 SOC Type II certified in the United States and ISO/IEC 24762 certified in the United Kingdom.
  3. Hardware/Software Drift. Your disaster recovery site represents a working replica of your production environment, and, as such, you need to maintain it on an ongoing basis. Be sure to keep software licenses, patch levels, and upgrades in sync. If you decide to use old hardware, be sure to calculate the extra maintenance costs necessary to keep the DR hardware up to date and in parallel with your production site.
  4. Failed Testing. Designing a disaster recovery testing scenario can be a project in itself. If your test fails, you need extra time to analyze the failure and design a solution, so be sure to take that into account. Evaluate these costs when deciding whether to create your DR solution in-house or outsource it to a disaster recovery provider.
  5. Underestimating Resources. Even if you have a talented IT staff and enough resources to execute a disaster recovery plan, will these resources be available when you need them? Careful planning and frequent meetings help ensure access to your resources in the event of a disaster.

Conclusion

A disaster recovery plan can make the difference between bankruptcy and the survival of your organization. Consider the myriad reasons it is important to have a DR plan in place: minimizing lost sales, lost revenue, and disruptions to operations; limiting legal liability; lowering insurance premiums; and protecting your organization’s assets. Creating a disaster recovery plan is the first step toward protecting your company from natural and man-made disasters.

Useful Links

Acronis Website

Acronis Disaster Recovery Service

Case Study: Bristows LLC

Case Study: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

ABOUT ACRONIS
Acronis sets the standard for new generation data protection through its backup, disaster recovery, and secure access solutions. Powered by the AnyData Engine and set apart by its image technology, Acronis delivers easy, complete, and safe backups of all files, applications, and OS across any environment—virtual, physical, Cloud, and mobile.

Founded in 2003, Acronis protects the data of more than 5 million consumers and 300,000 businesses in more than 130 countries. With its more than 100 patents, Acronis’ products were named best product of the year by Network Computing, TechTarget, and IT Professional and cover a range of features, including migration, cloning, and replication.

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[1] “2013-2014 Technology Trends and Deployment Survey,” ITIC,
http://itic-corp.com/blog/2013/07/one-hour-of-downtime-costs-100k-for-95-of-enterprises

[2] “Understanding the Cost of Data Center Downtime,” Emerson Network Power and Ponemon Institute, http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/documentation/en-us/brands/liebert/documents/white papers/data-center-uptime_24661-r05-11.pdf

[3] “Emergency Preparedness,” U.S. Small Business Administration,
http://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-planning

[4] http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/Business-Continuity-and-Disaster-Recovery-BCDR

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The Importance of Software Integration

By Sue Keno | Vice President of Keno Kozie Associates

In today’s day and age, when firms want to stay ahead of the game, their systems need to function synchronously. Software that is not integrated and thoroughly tested results in significant increases in cost and resource consumption.

Defining systems/application integrations is the first step in explaining its importance. Understanding the business needs and determining the best technical strategy for implementation is a key component to the success of any software integration. Here are some important points to consider:

1. Choosing the best software for a need

Knowing the range of products available for is important, as is knowing which options are best. Reach out to independent integrators/consultants, who often are not tethered to any one vendor; they act in the best interest of the client and advise based upon their experience in the marketplace.

2. Improving the quality and reliability of an integration project

No person knows everything. Software integrations need to take into account the mechanical/technical, process, and business intelligence issues and ways to integrate those disciplines into a working solution. A common mistake firms make is acquiring software without involving the technical team. Improve the overall quality and cost of integration by including the technical team from the onset.

3. Having the right skill set

Project management, quality control, and execution require different skill sets. Software integration requires all of them. Prepare a comprehensive plan for initial deployments and updates to incorporate each of these components. Proper planning, testing, and execution result in long-term savings.

4. Saving on implementation costs

Should a firm use independent system integrators? If a firm does not have internal expertise to deploy, test, and remediate, it should evaluate its integration strategy and consider taking advantage of outside assistance. Doing so could potentially save the cost of hiring someone and allow an expert with a vast knowledge base to handle the implementation.

5. Accounting for time and resources

Track and learn from the beginning. Use experience from the firm’s previous software integrations to continuously improve those practices. Apply a budget to an integration project, whether you are using internal or external resources. Software integration has an end user/firm-wide business impact. If it does not work properly, the loss could be substantial. A firm should be accountable and track historical practices to minimize repeated failures. Whether software integration projects are fixed or variable, the firm should manage costs, labor, and materials based on a prepared plan and budget. Software integration projects should always include product definition, scope, and an associated cost structure. When internal staff members implement a project, there is often minimal accountability. An attitude of “it’ll take as long as it takes” can exist, and, in turn, budgets and schedules often suffer. Use a project approach for software integrations whether they involve a new application or an update; the benefits will be significant.


Sue Keno is the vice president of Keno Kozie Associates, a leading national IT integration and support consultancy that has provided integration and Help Desk services to law firms for more than 25 years. She specializes in client management, document management, and application services within the law firm environment. She earned her undergraduate degree in business at Elmhurst College.

 

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