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Archive for the ‘Kansas City’ Category

Mapping the KC IT Galaxy

In Kansas City, Kansas City Business Journal, Kauffman, KCBJ, startups, Uncategorized on July 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Last month Swiss Professor Heike Mayer mapped out the rich history of Kansas City’s nearly 600 tech firms and institutions. The data funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows Kansas City’s vast entrepreneurial development over the past 50-plus years. More than 200 entrepreneurs provided data through an online survey Mayer conducted between 2012 and 2013.

A History of Kansas City Tech Companies


Mayer’s research shows that around a dozen firms and institutions—including the University of Kansas, Sprint, Marion Laboratories, MRI Global, Perceptive Software, UMKC and Cerner—have produced a majority of the IT and bio sciences companies in the Kansas City region.

The survey responses also gave interesting insight into entrepreneurial opportunities  in the Kansas City area:

  • 70 percent of Kansas City entrepreneurs used personal savings to launch their start-ups, while just 9.4 percent accessed venture capital. They cited difficulties in accessing capital locally, as well as local shortages of technology, marketing and sales talent.
  • Advantages of the region include informal local access to innovative people, ideas and technologies, as well as supportive local entrepreneurship organizations and initiatives.
  • Respondents gave mentors who give advice the highest rating (52.5 percent) as sources of new ideas for Kansas City entrepreneurs; customers and users followed at 43.8 percent.

Can you spot your own company in the Tech Galaxy?

Mayer considers the Tech Galaxy Map to be an ongoing process and encourages local companies to provide their own data. The form is available here.


Snowmaggedon 2013

In emergency, emergency situations, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, remote access, snow, snowmageddon, telecommute on February 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

The Midwest, especially the Kansas City metro area, has been lucky enough this winter season to have very little severe winter weather… until today.

See all those pink dots in the center of the map? That’s snow. In the last 24 hours, extreme winter weather has engulfed the entire state of Kansas and approximately 90% of Missouri.

via Reddit

Schools announced closings early yesterday evening; today flights have been delayed and  businesses have sent employees home, back out into the cold they braved to get to work. The city of Kansas City declared a state of emergency at 9am, and we even experienced what has been referred to as Thunder Snow – appearances of lighting and thunder during a heavy snow storm. For what some speculated would only be a dusting to 1-2 inches of snow has definitely halted business as usual.

A couple years ago when the area experienced an equally city-disabling blizzard, I blogged about the value of a remote-access system for computer-dependent employees but can’t help but continue to wonder how many businesses do not provide this technology.

Thankfully, TriCom is set up with a remote-access system that allows employees to log into work computers from home. Not only is it awesome for situations such as these, but it allows employees to log in during off-hours to check in and work as needed.

There are many systems available with remote-access capabilities, including Citrix, LogMeIn, and GoToMyPC.

For more options and reviews, check out 40+ Ways to Access Your Computer Remotely via Mashable.

TriCom is Top-Ranked in KC Area Staffing Services

In IT, IT news, IT/IS, Kansas City, Kansas City Business Journal, KCBJ, performance, staffing/consulting, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on October 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

TriCom is excited to announce our rankings in the latest Top Area Staffing Services as listed by the Kansas City Business Journal.

In this week’s Kansas City Business Journal (September 28 – October 4), TriCom Technical Services was ranked the #1 IT-specialized firm placing local W2 employees in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

We also placed seventh in over-all staffing agencies in the number of W-2 forms issued to locally placed workers in 2011, tenth in area staffing services ranked by hours billed in 2011, and twenty-first in top area staffing services ranked by number of Kansas City area employees providing placement services.

Thanks to all for working with us – we certainly look forward to continuing the tradition and ranking well next year!

A Glitch in Google’s Fiber Plan

In 2000 Census, fiber, fiberhoods, Google, Google Fiber, internet, IT news, Kansas, Kansas City, Kansas City Star, Missouri, Troost, Troost Avenue on August 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

As you already know, Kansas Citians have recently been presented with the opportunity to enroll in Google Fiber services. Beginning with availability in core area neighborhoods deemed “fiberhoods,” this 100x speed internet service comes at a premium price, which many of us are willing to pony up for to reap the benefits.

Or so we thought.

What many of us had not considered up to this point is the unfortunate historical foundation on which this city was built. And no, I’m not talking about cows.

Any local urban planner knows about the Troost line, a very distinct boundary between black and white communities in Kansas City. Some might even say the extreme segregation is more severe here than in many other major metropolitan areas. What Troost Avenue also indicates is a line drawn between low-income and middle class neighborhoods.


This base map represents the race and ethnicity present in the Kansas City area, based on information from the 2000 Census. Each dot represents 25 people – Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, and Gray is Other. The distinct separation you see in the center between red and blue shows the stark segregation down Troost Ave.

For comparison, here are similar data maps for New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas.

So what does this have to do with Google Fiber? It all comes down to money. Predictions of a backlash are coming to a head in community meetings, citing a fear that neighborhoods west of the Troost line will be unable to fulfill the required pre-registration goal for each “fiberhood,” leaving these communities in the dark.

Here are the present Kansas City, Missouri side pre-registration standings. Again, you can see the distinct line between income tiers down Troost Avenue.

According to the Kansas City Star, “Not enough pre-registrations could mean there won’t be wiring to those neighborhoods’ schools, community centers, police stations, libraries — a range of public buildings that Google promised free access if goals were met. Not one school east of Troost has hit the percentage of pre-registrations of surrounding homeowners that Google deemed necessary to trigger the free hookups.”

To add insult to injury, the Kansas City public school system has already lost accreditation, and missing out on this opportunity to improve educational standards could prove fatal.

So what can we do to help?

Volunteers are going door-to-door in these low-income neighborhoods to spread information about what Google Fiber has to offer and what it can do for communities. Community leaders are also asking for assurance that Google won’t back out of providing the free hookups for libraries and schools if the paying customers never materialize. (Kansas City Star)

As of this week, The Social Media Club of Kansas City reports 4,089 more pre-registrations are necessary in Missouri and 1,749 in Kansas City, Kan., to turn all neighborhoods green. At $10 per registration, we’ll need to raise approximately $58,380 to apply for service for all Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS fiberhoods.

And this is just for pre-registration fees – not to mention the money needed for construction and service fees per home! But I suppose we’ll cross that bridge if and when we get there.

Google Fiber Launched in Kansas City

In Google, Google Fiber, internet, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, TV on July 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Google announced today the launch of its Google Fiber service – a 1 gigabit internet speeds, available to Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO “fiber hoods.”

As demonstrated in the press conference, Google Fiber will enable internet speeds of 100 times faster than current internet speed.

Fast, right? But how fast? In comparison, if you two cars were to drive from downtown Kansas City to New York, by the time the faster car reached New York City, the slower car would have just made it to Kauffman Stadium. That’s how much faster Google Fiber is than broadband internet services.

Also in a surprise announcement, Google introduced its new TV service which includes “all your favorite channels,” all in HD, a sleek TV box, and a Nexus 7 tablet that acts as the remote control at no extra charge. In addition, the TV box acts as a hot spot for your internet devices, and according to the people at Google Fiber, you will never have dropped internet or TV service again.

What Google didn’t mention is they are not carrying channels from Disney (ESPN et al), Time Warner (HBO/CNN/TNT), or AMC (and some of my other favorite channels like HGTV, CartoonNetwork, and DIY Network). However they did mention that premium movie channels would be available for an extra fee. Click here and scroll to the bottom for the full list of channels.

Now here’s the interesting part. In order to get these services, the fiber optic construction has to be directly connected to your home or office, with a fee of $300. And in order to have your home or office connected, a good portion of your neighbors also have to pre-register for the service, which can be done at

So Google Fiber is running a 6 week rally, somewhat of a contest, to see which “fiber hoods” in the KCK and KCMO areas will receive service first. The “fiber hoods” that meet their pre-registrant goal will receive the service first.

Ok, ok. How much does it cost?

Google is offering three packages for service: internet and TV, internet only, or connection only.

  1. Gigabit Internet and TV for $120 a month
  2. Gigabit Internet only for $70 a month
  3. Free internet (5 megabits down, 1 megabit up) for up to 7 years for a one-time $300 construction fee. With this package you can upgrade to Google Fiber at any time.

Additionally, the $300 construction fee will be waived for the first and second package plans if you sign up for a 2 or 1 year contract, respectively.

At this time, the areas available for service appear to be neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO, Kansas City, KS and parts of Wyandotte County. The rest of us will have to wait an estimated 1-3 years to get in on the good stuff.

Hopefully the TV channel list will be more extensive by then.

To learn more about Google Fiber and to experience it first hand, visit the Google Fiber space at 1814 Westport Rd., opening July 28th. *by reservation only*

Watch the full announcement here.

Google Fiber Construction Update

In download, fiber, Google, internet, Kansas City, upload on April 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

If you work or live in the Kansas City area, in the last week you’ve probably noticed Google workers out hanging fiber on utility poles and digging holes to install fiber underground.

Over 100 miles of fiber has been hung, and Kansas City is well on it’s way to getting faster, more efficient internet capabilities.

So how does it work?

According to Google’s Fiber Blog: Google will route fiber connections into Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO through several equipment aggregator huts. From there, the fiber cables will travel along utility poles into neighborhoods and homes. Every home that has Google Fiber service will have their very own fiber-optic cable that directly connects all the way back to the Internet backbone.

Google Fiber users will be able to download and upload files at the exact same speed, enabling users to upload large files in seconds rather than minutes or sometimes hours.

Sounds great, right? We’ll just have to be patient – the service won’t be ready for some time. The infrastructure must be completed throughout Kansas City before area homes can be connected to enjoy this incredibly fast internet.

I can’t wait!

The 11th Annual TriCom Golf Benefit for MOCSA

In benefit, charity, golf, Kansas City, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, MOCSA, money, Overland Park, photos, pictures, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on October 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

September held TriCom’s 11th Annual Golf Benefit for MOCSA, our community partner and beneficiary, and it was a great turnout! Since 2001, we have been a proud supporter of this Kansas City non-profit’s mission to lessen the ill effects of sexual assault through prevention, education, intervention, treatment and advocacy.

We raised just over $40k with 27 teams (more than 100 golfers) in attendance. Congratulations to the winning team – David Hunt and Friends!

Home Sweet Home

In home, Home Sweet Home, honeymoon, Kansas City, Vacation on September 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Everyone looks forward to vacation (hopefully) but I honestly never thought I’d be so glad to come home to Kansas City.

Although we had a good time on our honeymoon, we were definitely ready to return home to our loved ones, our normal lives, and our every-day jobs. Thank [insert your deity here] for steady ground! Let’s just say we’re not boat people.

As my husband of 2 weeks would say, “half the benefit of a vacation is a greater appreciation of home,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Now back to work!

TriCom Appreciation Happy Hour – Take 2!

In Contracting, coworkers, Events, happy hour, Kansas City, KS, staffing/consulting, summer, TASTE, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on August 5, 2011 at 11:07 am

Last night we held our second Appreciation Happy Hour in homage of our candidates, consultants, and clients at TASTE in Overland Park, KS. We had a great turnout! A big thanks to all those who attended – we look forward to seeing you all at our next event!

Proud to Sponsor KCDC

In conference, fun, IT, IT news, IT/IS, JCCC, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City, Kansas City Developer Conference, KCDC, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on June 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

This Saturday marks the third annual Kansas City Developer Conference at Johnson County Community College, and we are proud to be a silver sponsor.

Check out the day’s procession of events below. To register, visit and click on the button in the right column.

KCDC Schedule

  • Keynote – Matt Cavallari


  • Overview of Agile Approaches – Martin Olson
  • Learn MVVM Basics – Kevin Griffin
  • Architecting Applications the Microsoft Way – Clint Edmonson
  • TDD techniques – George Westwater
  • Reporting in SharePoint 2010 with TFS 2010 and SQL Reporting Services 2008 – Bringing it all together – Karthik Venkataraman
  • SQL Injection and XSS: How they work and how to stop them – Rob Kraft
  • Exploring Domain Driven Design Implementation Patterns in .NET – Steve Bohlen


  • Values to Value – A Values Based Introduction to Scrum/Agile – James Pekham
  • The Low-Hanging Fruit of HTML5 – James Eggers
  • Real World, Large Scale Applications Using S#arp Architecture and ASP.NET MVC – Geoffrey Smith
  • Getting It Right With BDD – Wes Garrison
  • MongoDB – Brian Wigfield
  • Windows Phone and Windows Azure – Mike Benkovich
  • Exploring Domain Driven Design Implementation Patterns in .NET (cont.)– Steve Bohlen


  • Lunch


  • Scrumbut and Fragile – Mark Randolph
  • Javascript for the .Net Developer — Brian Moon
  • The Case for CQRS and Event Sourcing – Tyrone Groves
  • Mocks in Testing – Phil Ledgerwood
  • Building webapps for the Cloud with Python and Google App Engine – Juan Gomez
  • Programming for Windows Azure – Leslie Koorhan


  • Guerrilla Kanban – Troy Tuttle
  • What’s New In Silverlight 5 – Kevin Grossnicklaus
  • Building Distributed and Scaleable Architectures – George Westwater
  • Unit Testing Patterns and Anti-Patterns – Steve Bohlen
  • Moose:  A new ORM for Node.js – Douglas Martin
  • MonoTouch/MonoDroid with Data Services – Patrick Leikhus
  • Silverlight with RIA Services – Yair Segal


  • Story Points & Sizing Explained – Frank Rios
  • jQuery – Getting Started – Shawn Mehaffie
  • How Ruby is Making Me a Stronger C# Developer, and a Better Man – Darren Cauthon
  • Dependency Injection for Dummies – Phil Ledgerwood
  • FREE as in BEER!!! Manage Your Packages w/NuGet – Rob Reynolds
  • Scala Development in an Existing Java Development Team – Sean Griffin
  • Silverlight with RIA Services (cont.) – Yair Segal


  • Mercurial: Tales from the Trenches – Russell Ball
  • Script#: Javascripting with C# – Sky Morey
  • The Little Wonders of .NET – James Hare
  • Paradoxes and Ironies of Testing – Mark Randolph
  • Writing Faster SQL Faster – Bill Graziano
  • Startup Tips and Tricks: Getting s Small IT Shop Off The Ground – Kevin Grossnicklaus


  • Closing Ceremonies