Build IT 2014 WKZO Radio Interview

In case you missed it, Newmind’s CEO and Marketer were interviewed this morning by Jim McKinney from WKZO am radio to talk about our upcoming event: Build IT Together. Their conversation is transcribed below.

590 AM WKZO Build IT Together Interview

Jim: “It’s tech time! Let’s talk a little tech with, uh, Matt Vollmar who is CEO of Newmind Group and Dan Proczko, who is the Marketer for Newmind Group. Nice to see you guys! It’s always nice to see Dan again, uh, from a previous radio..”

Dan: “Yeah, yeah, it’s great to be back!”

Jim: “Man this is something else. Now, it’s coming up on June 11th at the Radisson. Tell us a little bit, Matt, how this whole thing came about and how you guys got into a collaborative effort with BlueGranite and Maestro.”

Matt: “Sure, so uh, last year we started our Build IT Together event for local small and medium businesses. Last year it was really focused on the technology directors and their staff to be able to collaborate together to kind of share ideas as well as problems that they’re having with their technology in the area. Um, and what we noticed was that there were lots of groups outside of Kalamazoo; Grand Rapids has a very large group of collaborative IT directors but nothing in Kalamazoo and as I talked to local IT directors, they said, ‘Yeah I don’t actually really know anyone else who does this.’ And so, our goal was to bring people together, share the problems, share ideas about solutions, uh, and really just get an idea about what’s going on.

This year, what we’re doing, we’re kind of expanding this to more of a leadership level. What we realized is, IT directors sometimes have a problem getting buy-in from their senior leadership, so we’re inviting senior leadership as well. CEOs, COOs, people that really make those decisions on the finances, um, and then, the IT directors as well – teaching them how to get buy-in from senior leadership.

So we have kind of a technology track with Jen Randall and Matt Mace from Maestro and BlueGranite. And then we have kind of a leadership track with Daniel Jefferies, our Founder of Newmind, as well as Hans Erickson from the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

Jim: “Dan, let me ask you this really quick. Is this an area where it’s almost, almost impossible to keep up on things because IT moves so fast?”

Dan: “Uh, IT definitely does move fast, so does technology. So I would- I think it’s fair to say that, yes, it’s very difficult to keep on top of it, which is one of the reasons why this event is so great is that we bring a lot of minds together to share the experience so that it’s not all on top of a single individual, that you can collaborate, network, and share that experience and success across, uh, multiple industries and businesses.”

Jim: “We’re talking with Matt Vollmar and Dan Proczko, both of Newmind Group. Matt, let me ask you this really quickly. Your uh, your area of, uh, as far as where you’re going to be, you know, pushing sessions, you said, uh Daniel Jefferies, your Founder…Um, basically, how does- It sounds like it’s how to stay on top of things – how do you get that buy-in from people who are maybe a little skeptical or are you finding that maybe CEOs or COOs and stuff like that, the problem isn’t necessarily they don’t want to do; it’s because they don’t understand it, and that’s what scares them?”

Matt: “I think, really, there is that element of misunderstanding about what technology does. Um what we’re finding is a lot of, a lot of IT directors actually report to the Chief Financial Officer and what that does is it puts a budget line item for IT and it doesn’t bring IT into the strategy of the organization. But I’ve talked to several leaders of local businesses here who have started moving and shifting their IT group either underneath the CEO or underneath the Chief Operating Officer. And the difference there is that is the thought is strategy. It’s not about the budget line item. It’s what can we do to make IT more valuable. Everyone knows technology is pushing everyone to a different level so let’s use it strategically and make our business more effective.”

Jim: “Well, before we can talk about how people can register for this, let’s talk a little bit about Newmind Group. Tell us a little bit about what you do.”

Matt: “Sure, so we started about 10 years ago. Our Founder, Daniel Jefferies, noticed that a lot of people were asking for help with IT here locally – uh, just small businesses needing some people to help with their computer systems. Um, and really, what Newmind Group does – we had kind of a foundational transition to what we call proactive management back in 2007. And our goal is really to take the headaches out of IT and to make your work more productive, profitable, and fun. Um, and so that’s where the innovation comes in. People love new technology as long as it doesn’t impact their workflow, right?”

Jim: “Or in some cases their bottom line, I think.”

Matt: “Yeah, absolutely. There’s that bit too. And so, uh, from our standpoint, we try and make things profitable so that the end result is they’re making more money through strategic choices. And then, the fun element comes in because people aren’t experiencing as many headaches. They’re experiencing more productivity.”

Jim: “Sounds to me like you guys are, with this conference, this half-day event, that you’re going to try and alleviate that and people can breathe a little deeper and things like that. So, it is free but seating is limited. How do you register for it?”

Dan: “So to register you can just come to our website newmindgroup.com, um, or go directly to the page newmindgroup.com/bit. Um, and with all of that, that business stuff, you know, there’s going to be some fun stuff too. We do have Google Glass. We have a telepresence robot by Double Robotics where you can login and control this robot from any room and come tour the entire, uh, the event and just play around with some new technology and see how it might fit with your business.

So yeah, it is free. We only have a limited number of seats but to register, newmindgroup.com.”

Jim: “It’s coming up, uh, June 11th at the Radisson. Uh, I imagine you guys are going to be standing room only. I mean this is something that you’ve gotta go to; it’s a must go-to.”

Dan: “Definitely, definitely.”

Matt: “Absolutely.”

Jim: “We’re joined by Matt Vollmar and Dan Proczko, both of Newmind Group, the CEO and a Marketer. Guys, thanks so much for coming in early. We appreciate it. I know this is early but uh, we appreciate it. And I think you guys are going to, like I said, it’s going to be standing room only. This is something that really, really needs to be done. And hopefully it’ll be done not just once a year but maybe more often.”

Matt: “Absolutely.”

Dan: “Great, thank you.”

Jim: “We appreciate it very much.”

To learn more of what this event is about and to sign up, go here. We hope to see you there!

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About

Daniel Proczko has been working with organizations and individuals to build & grow the entrepreneur community of Kalamazoo, MI. From organizing TEDx events, hack-a-thons, and documentary screenings to engaging with business leaders, Dan strives to inspire individuals with new ideas and better thinking. Having always been interested in tech and understanding the value of innovation through IT, communicating the importance of strategic IT thinking is one of Dan's primary goals within Newmind Group.