Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays from UCG!

In honor of our valued clients, employees, and vendors, UCG has made donations to the following charitable and educational organizations this holiday season. 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients. LLS is changing the landscape of cancer with more than 300 active research projects that explore different avenues of new and adventurous research; ones with promise and ones that will save lives not someday, but today.

Race For the Rescues. This unique non-profit, no-kill organization is dedicated to eliminating animal suffering and euthanasia.Their mission is to unite welfare organizations to fight pet overpopulation and save as many animal lives as possible. Through the creation of this fundraising platform, they help animal non-profits raise much needed funds to continue their life-saving efforts.

Our Lady of the Wayside. Established nearly 50 years ago, Our Lady of the Wayside supports children and adults with developmental disabilities through a Family of Services. This includes supporting 600 children and adults with developmental disabilities; managing nearly 70 homes in more than 30 communities throughout Northeast Ohio; operating a transportation fleet of 100 vehicles; becoming a major regional employer with a staff of 600; and pioneering The Pathways Program, an innovative Day Program for adults with developmental disabilities.

Wounded Warrior Project. Established in 2003, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a desire to provide comfort items to wounded service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center has grown into a holistic rehabilitative effort to assist warriors with visible and invisible wounds as they recover and transition back to civilian life. Tens of thousands of wounded service members, their families, and caregivers receive support each year through WWP programs.

The RIFI Institute, Chicago, IL. (Scholarship). The Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute (RIFI) is a non-profit educational organization devoted to fostering active minds, empowering each individual with the knowledge, reasoning skills, and independence to understand the world and build a life of adventure and creative achievement.

In April, UCG and RIFI collaborated to offer scholarships for The Great Connections Seminar to a small number of ambitious high school students in order to expand their intellectual and cultural horizons. The students are members of an entrepreneurial business program in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District. UCG President Jim Kandrac is a mentor to these students, in a business plan competition which is held every year.

From our families to yours, we wish you peace, joy, good health, and prosperity. Happy Holidays! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Industry Reaction to Carbonite Purchase of Seagate’s Evault

By James A. Kandrac, President & Founder
United Computer Group, Inc.

During a 7:00 pm to midnight “binge watch” of Netflix’s “Son of Anarchy” series, I received the text alert, “Carbonite buys Seagate’s Evault for $14M.” My initial reaction was, “$14M…that MUST be a typo! 

A brief seven years ago, Seagate purchased Evault for some $185M. Now it is being sold for $14M. Does anyone else find this astounding? Seagate just said goodbye to a net of $171,000,000 at a time when managed service companies are selling for multiples of revenue and Evault recently inked a coveted marketing agreement with IBM. Did this really just happen?

Did Seagate just say goodbye to $185M or in addition to the $14M, will Carbonite also pay Seagate a significant portion of recurring revenue for several years?   

While the industry waits for the dust to settle, here is my initial reaction. It comes down to focus and execution or lack thereof. Seagate’s Evault had an outstanding product line with very few holes. They support virtually all platforms and databases and are said to control up to 40% of the cloud backup market, either directly or through over 500 partners.

What it appeared to lack is committed management, focus and execution.

The hope for the industry and marketplace is that Carbonite takes a very legitimate suite of products, integrates it with a much better go-to-market strategy and continues to solve client backup and DR business issues and pains. 

What does all of this mean to our VAULT400 clients? 

UCG is being proactive on behalf of our clients to ensure a smooth transition. Rest assured that UCG will continue to serve our clients in the manner of excellence they have deserved and enjoyed for nearly 30 years. Thank you for your business!

About United Computer Group, Inc. and VAULT400 BaaS 

UCG provides cost-effective technology solutions including IBM P8 Servers (PROD, TEST, DEV, BaaS , DR and H/A), storage, and managed services in addition to a wide range of related products and services, all customized to fit the needs of their clients’ current needs and future growth. Founded in 1987, UCG is an IBM Advanced Business Partner specializing in mid-market and enterprise clients. UCG has been rated in the top 1% of IBM Business Partners nationwide.

UCG’s VAULT400 BaaS is a premier managed risk mitigation and business continuity planning service for secure online backup and disaster recovery. VAULT400 backs up an entire organization’s business-critical data to UCG’s secure data centers. Safe and off-site, the encrypted data is available online at all times for immediate, user-initiated recovery. VAULT400 works seamlessly within an organization’s existing infrastructure with no additional hardware required.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from UCG!

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for."  -Zig Zigler

For nearly three decades, United Computer Group has placed its highest value on the relationships we have built with our clients, business partners, and vendors. At Thanksgiving time, we pause to think about all we are grateful for and give thanks.

Thank you for your business, your trust, and your friendship. From everyone at UCG, we wish you and yours a happy, healthy, wonderful Thanksgiving.

Jim Kandrac, Mike Powall, and the UCG team

Monday, November 23, 2015


HOME       ABOUT      VAULT400       EMS     TALK2US     BLOG


UCG provides cost-effective technology solutions including IBM P8 Servers (PROD, TEST, DEV, BaaS, DR and H/A), storage, and managed services in addition to a wide range of related products and services, all customized to fit their clients’ current needs and future growth.
Founded in 1987, UCG is an IBM Advanced Business Partner specializing in mid-market and enterprise clients. UCG has been rated in the top 1% of IBM Business Partners nationwide. 

Learn more at

UCG's VAULT400 BaaS Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery

Accelerate business outcomes with local offsite cloud backups and restores.

VAULT400 BaaS securely and efficiently protects your organization’s critical data, automatically backing up desktop, laptop, and server data from across your organization. A simple web browser can be used to configure your desired backup policies and monitor your backups. With no additional capital expense, more resources can be put back into accelerating the core business. Learn more at

Key Benefits

IBM Power Systems | VAULT400 BaaS

Support excellence, disaster readiness, and technology that scales with your business.

“We operate 24/7/365, so ensuring our systems are always up is critical. When it was time for a complete technology refresh, we turned to UCG. The IBM i system they provided is absolutely essential because of its reliability. 
UCG’s VAULT400 BaaS is a secure, cloud backup and DR solution that always works. We no longer have to deal with the time and hassle of backup tapes.” 
- Marc Masters, IT Director W&LE Railway

S2K Enterprise Management Software (EMS)

Enterprise Management Software application for financial management from UCG. 

Monitor your business’ financial health in real time.

“Our S2K EMS financial software provided by UCG allows for the most complex input while providing sophisticated reports needed to make effective decisions.” - Donna Phillips, CFO

S2K’s feature-rich supply chain and business management software solutions can improve your company’s internal efficiencies and external responsiveness while delivering bottom-line results. Learn more at

Key Benefits

      •  Responsive Design 
      •  Cloud Based 
      •  Collaborative 
      •  Configurable

How much confidence do YOU have in your current hardware, data backup, DR, and cyber security programs?

800.211.8798 |

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Power Systems Tech Showcase: The Rising Cost of Security Breaches

by Margarette Burnette 
"If your company faced a cyber attack this year, it could cost $3.8 million. That's according to a new study from the Ponemon Institute, a cybersecurity company based in Traverse City, Michigan. 

The recently released “Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis,” sponsored by IBM, found that cyber attacks are also increasing in frequency."

Read article online here or download PDF

What can you do to help protect your company from cybercrime?

The recent Ponemon Institute report states that "Malicious or criminal attacks continue to be the primary cause of data breach. Forty-nine percent of incidents involved a malicious or criminal attack, 19 percent concerned negligent employees, and 32 percent involved system glitches that includes both IT and business process failures."

The importance of a security-minded culture across your business cannot be overstated.

As the result of our recent partnership with KnowBe4, UCG’s VAULT400 BaaS will now include a turnkey managed solution version of their cybersecurity solution suite via remote implementation in less than 90 minutes. The KB4 team has built, deployed, and supported market leading e-learning applications and has deep roots in IT Security.

Scheduled simulated phishing attacks and monthly reports will provide executives the insight they need to maximize training ROI and 
track security compliance. As an added value, a base number of KB4 users will be included at no additional charge to current and new VAULT400 subscribers.

Free Phishing Security Test

It's important to remember that it's not a matter of IF you'll be hacked, but WHEN.

Sign up for our complimentary Phishing Security Test to find out the level of risk to your business, and how security awareness training can lessen the chances that you'll be the victim of ransomware.

Visit, call 800.211.8798, or email to learn more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

UCG VAULT400 BaaS Clients Have it ALL!

See our latest ads in IT Jungle

You can’t say your data protection is complete until you have a disaster recovery plan that is itself complete and tested.


Consider these best practices when evaluating data backup, DR, and cyber security options:

  • Reliability. Up to 71% of restores from tape contain failures. Best Practice: Use disk-to-disk technology for backups. With disk-to-disk technology, your backup data resides on disk drives, proven to be far more reliable than tapes. When your backup completes, you know the data is secure and accessible on the disk drive. With tapes you never really know if your data is usable until you try to restore it, at which point it’s too late
  • Breadth of Offering. Choice in product and service offerings meet your business’ needs. Best Practice: Don’t settle for less than what you need. Vendor offerings vary widely. Some are designed primarily for consumers and others for enterprise data centers. Choose a solution that scales (see scalability below), and offers the features you need to provide the level of service you expect. De-duplication and delta-block technologies will improve performance, reduce your data footprint and save you money. Find out if their de-duplication offering is at the file level or the block level. Make sure the solution can back up servers, PCs, and laptops as well your applications.
  • Security. 60% of organizations using tapes don’t encrypt their backups. Best Practice: End-to-end encryption with no “back door.” Using encryption with tape makes backups run slowly and often takes too long to fit within a backup window. As a result, most people simply turn encryption off, creating a security risk. Even with the physical safety of disk-to-disk backup, encryption is essential. Look for 256-bit AES. Find a solution that encrypts your data during transmission and storage. Make certain there isn’t a “back door” that would let someone else view your data.
  • Cyber Security. More than 80 percent of U.S. companies have been successfully hacked, according to a recent Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey. Best Practice: Regular cyber security training and phishing tests for all employees using company email are essential to your organization. Your end-users are the weak link in your network security. Today, your employees are frequently exposed to advanced phishing attacks. Trend Micro reported that 91% of successful data breaches started with a spear-phishing attack. Be sure your vendor of choice includes cyber security training as part of their backup and DR package.
  • Accessibility. Companies waste thousands of hours waiting on tapes. Best Practice: Ensure that you can get your data back with minimal delay. You should have direct access to your backups, with no time spent on physical transport (no trucks, no warehouses). Your restores should take minutes, not hours or days. Set yourself up to work with your data, not wait for it. Make sure your solution provider can meet your Return-to-Operations (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) which determine how quickly you can recover your data and maintain business continuity. Inquire about onsite and offsite replication that provide both improved performance and a solid disaster recovery strategy.
  • Scalability. Some backup systems can’t scale readily. Best Practice: Invest in a data protection architecture that can grow with your business. You should be able to back up your data no matter how large it grows. Starting small? Look for an option that handles your backups automatically. Then, as you grow, gives you tools to manage complex environments. Look for “changes-only” and compression technologies to speed backups and save space. And insist on bandwidth throttling to balance traffic and ensure network availability for your other business applications. Make sure that their solution offerings rely on common technology to scale easily as your business––and data––grow.
  • Cost-effectiveness.  Companies lose an average of $84,000 for every hour of lost activity. Best Practice: Calculate the true total cost of tape-based back up. When you do the math, the dollars make sense: Go with disk-to-disk. Unlike tape, there are close to zero handling costs—no rush deliveries, loading, accessing, locating, or repeated steps. And there’s one benefit you can’t factor directly: Reputation. Reliability and security can make an incalculable difference with just one avoided breach or failure. 
  • Compliance. Most companies have problems satisfying privacy, security, and data retention regulations. Best Practice: Choose a data protection partner who has deep know-how about compliance, and the technology to ensure it.
  • Disaster Recovery. Most companies lack a comprehensive, tested plan for disasters. Best Practice: Find a vendor that delivers a complete DR solution. You can’t say your data protection is complete until you have a disaster recovery plan that is itself complete and tested. Your backup vendor should have both the product mix and professional services team to help you prepare for a worst-case scenario. Make sure they can help configure your backups so you rebound quickly. Best bet: A vendor who can train you to deal with disasters confidently, based on your company’s actual configuration.
  • Ease-of-Use. Some companies don’t —or can’t—manage their backups from one place. Best Practice: Get control and reporting you can use anywhere, with ease. Managing your backup environment should be simple, and the software you use should eliminate any guesswork that could lead to lost data. You should know at all times if your data is protected across your entire network—including remote offices—by simply looking at a dashboard. The software should be simple to configure using wizards, yet powerful enough to meet your specific needs with customizable views, job propagation, and roles-based security.
  • Operating System and Platform Support. Most backup vendors support a limited range of OS, server types, and applications. Best Practice: Look for broad and deep technology that supports your complete environment. Your backup solution should accommodate your environment, not vice versa. Demand a single solution to protect your laptops, desktops, and servers regardless of the platform and applications they’re running. Beyond the broad claims, check the fine print, and the level of protection offered for applications such as Exchange. For example, can they restore individual mail messages or contacts, and can they support Exchange running on a Microsoft Cluster?
  • Customer Support. Backup vendors’ product support varies widely. Best Practice: Find a vendor whose support is passionate, maybe even slightly obsessed. Customer support should be one of your vendor’s main selling points. You shouldn’t have to wonder if they’ll be there to help when you need them most. Do they offer phone support or email only, and who exactly are you talking to when you call that 800 number? Find a vendor that will treat your data as if it were their own.
  • Reputation. Does your backup vendor have a quality reputation and the financial resources to stay in business for the long haul? Best Practice: Find a vendor with strong financial backing and customer references. There are a lot of vendors that have come and gone. When you consider a service provider, look for one that has strong financial backing, a solid business plan and the ability to be in business as long as your data needs to be stored. Ask for customer references and case studies as their customers are the best validation you can get.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Nine States with the Most Dangerous Weather

Despite a historically slow start to tornado season in 2015, more than 400 tornadoes were reported in May alone, roughly double the average in recent years. May was also the second most active tornado month since 1950. While some states are more susceptible to violent weather than others, all states could be struck by a natural disaster at any time.

Using data from the National Weather Service (NWS), 24/7 Wall St. reviewed weather-related fatalities from 2010 through 2014. Nationally, 2,950 people died from natural disasters over that time, or fewer than two people per million residents in each of the five years reviewed. In Alabama, 12 people died per one million residents over that time, the most of any state. These are the states with the most dangerous weather.

Tornadoes are some of the most fatal natural disasters. From 2010 through
2014, twisters killed 723 people nationally, or 25% of all weather-related deaths. Oklahoma, the state with the seventh most weather-related fatalities, lies in the heart of Tornado Alley, which runs north from Texas to North Dakota and is the most active tornado region in the world. At least 57 Oklahomans died from tornadoes from 2010 through 2014, 49 of them in 2013 alone.

States outside of Tornado Alley are also susceptible to twisters. Alabama, the state with by far the most weather-related fatalities over the period reviewed, was hit in 2011 with 62 tornadoes in a single day, killing 250 people and causing roughly $3 billion in insured losses. This was the second most costly tornado in U.S. history.

Extreme temperatures — both hot and cold — are another major contributor to weather-related fatalities across the country. Nationally, nearly 600 people died from heat stroke over the five-year period reviewed. Nevada, the majority of which is covered in desert, accounted for a substantial share of heat-related deaths across the country.

Flooding can also cause many fatalities. Flooding particularly impacts northern states such as Wyoming and Montana, where warmer spring temperatures can cause snow to melt faster and overrun riverbanks and levees. Heavy rainfall can also cause floods.

In addition to being deadly, natural disasters are also responsible for billions of dollars in crop and property damage each year. From 2010 through 2014, severe weather resulted in more than $93 billion of damage, the bulk of which was to properties.

In each year from 2010 through 2014, fewer than 600 people died as a result of severe weather. Often, a single, extremely deadly storm can have an outsized effect on a state’s weather-related fatality rate. This was likely the case in Tennessee and Mississippi, which were each hit hard by a single storm over that time, despite having relatively few weather-related deaths during most of the period.

To determine the states with the most dangerous weather, 24/7 Wall St. compiled data from the National Weather Service on total weather-related fatalities for each year from 2010 through 2014. Because many of the numbers are small and susceptible to large fluctuations, our rank is based on the annual average number of weather-related deaths over the five-year period reviewed. Using population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, we calculated severe weather fatalities per 1 million residents. Also from the National Weather Service we reviewed the total value of damage caused by natural disasters, as well as breakdowns of the kind of weather responsible for the death: extreme temperature, flooding, lightening, tornados, wind, and winter storms.

Do you live in one of the nine most dangerous weather states? 
Find out by downloading the PDF:

 Nine states with the most dangerous weather.  

Source: Alexander Kent, 24/7 Wall Street

Thursday, October 08, 2015

UCG Associate Success Story: Michael D. Powall, VP

As UCG approaches its 28-year anniversary in December, we’ve taken a look back at the people who helped shape and grow the company, and have gotten to know them through a series of interviews titled UCG Alumni Success Stories.

In this article, we are switching gears to highlight our longtime associate, Mike Powall. Many of you know Mike and have worked closely with him over the years. If you've not yet met, we are pleased to introduce Michael D. Powall, Vice President of UCG. Mike has been with the company since July 1993 when he was hired as a Systems Consultant. Twenty-two years later, he remains a major contributor to the success and growth of UCG.

A little background.

This story begins with two friends from Wickliffe, Ohio who went their separate ways after high school. Mike Powall went to Bluffton University, while Jim Kandrac attended Cleveland State University. Jim graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing; Mike graduated in 1986 with a Bachelors degree in Business.

In 1987 at 26 years old, Jim founded United Computer Group, Inc. Before long, this startup technology company began to take shape. As it gained momentum, Jim needed help and began to build his team. At the time, Mike was working for a UCG competitor, and he and Jim reunited while competing for a deal! Jim was impressed by Mike’s competitive spirit, extensive computer sales and leasing experience, can-do attitude, and admirable work ethic. Jim knew he would be a great fit and offered him an opportunity.

Fast-forward twenty-two years.

“Mike is truly a thoroughbred racehorse. He wins the short sprints and has always been it it for the long haul. He is dedicated to UCG and handles authority and his responsibilities like a true gentleman. Mike can be counted on 100% and has been a true friend and valued business associate for over 22 years.” 
                                                                                       - Jim Kandrac

                                                   Mike Powall

“I have truly been blessed to be part of the UCG team for the past 22 years. The company and I have grown tremendously throughout my tenure. It would not have happened without the support of Jim Kandrac. Jim has provided me with the tools and environment required to thrive and succeed.”

Mike Powall, VP UCG

Mike, where were you working prior to joining UCG, and what type of work were you doing?

I worked for five years with Leasing Dynamics Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. I was responsible for leasing and selling IBM Systems Hardware and Software.

Can you describe how everything came together back in 1993 when you began discussions and joined Jim at UCG?

Jim and I actually became reacquainted competing against each other on a large System deal with a local Cleveland company. It was a very intense and challenging transaction with many players. Jim observed the way I competed and frequently asked if I would like to work for him. As fate would have it, after the deal was complete I ended up joining UCG. 

What was it like to work for UCG in those early years when the company was just six years old, but beginning to grow?

I had to start over in the business which was not easy. I was fortunate to have a great support staff at UCG plus valuable experience that was gained at Leasing Dynamics, thanks to my cousin Bob Delaney who introduced me to the successful Cleveland Company. With that great combination I was able to hit the ground running.

Please tell me about some of the responsibilities and tasks you were involved with initially as a Systems Consultant, and how your role evolved over the years.

I started out consulting and selling in specific accounts locally and in the surrounding Ohio states. I started small, selling computer peripheral products to my accounts. Eventually that led to Installation and sales of large systems.

And some of your greatest challenges?

The toughest challenge when I first came to UCG was starting over. I was not able to call on existing customers because of a non-compete agreement. With a lot of faith, the support of my wife, and hard work I was able to succeed.

What skills and experiences would an individual need to enter and excel in your specific industry?

A college education, hard work, and humility.

What do you envision for the company over the next five years?

I see our company continuing to grow. Since we began offering our VAULT 400 cloud backup and disaster recovery solution many years ago, we have proven that we can grow exponentially while adding resources as required.

What person/people, living or dead, do you admire most, and why?

I admire my Mother and Father the most because they brought me into this world. They provided me the personality, faith and work ethic to succeed in all facets of life.

Last but not least, can you share some of your most memorable moments at UCG over the past 22 years?

My most memorable moments at UCG happen with every transaction we complete with a new or existing client. It thrills me to offer a service, a system, software, or a solution that helps their company, and in turn helps UCG and enables me provide a very nice lifestyle for my family.

"I grew up 
in Wickliffe, Ohio in a family of nine; my parents, four brothers and two sisters. 

Without a clear objective yet in mind, I went to Lakeland Community College after graduating from Wickliffe High School in 1981. While working at my Father’s bar (Sonny’s Side of the Street), I graduated with an Associate degree in Applied Business and a Minor in Communications. I realized I still desired a higher education and wanted to play college football at any level.

After visiting multiple colleges in Ohio, I chose Bluffton College (now Bluffton University). I played football in my Junior and Senior year on a successful NAIA Division II football team. I credit the university, the football program, and the Head Coach, Carlin Carpenter, for believing in me and giving me a wonderful experience and most importantly, a quality faith-based education.

I reside in Highland Heights, Ohio with my beautiful wife Connie and my three children, Jake, Danielle and Hannah. Without them my life would not be complete
.” – Mike Powall

Learn more about Mike Powall and Jim Kandrac.

Interview conducted by Francine Ciaccia, MoMo Companies Ltd.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Keeping Ransomware Out of the VAULT

by Alex Woodie, IT Jungle

Cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting small and midsize American businesses with ransomware that encrypts the contents of a PC or a server until the victim pays $500, $1,000, or more in untraceable Bitcoin. After several of United Computer Group's VAULT400 customers were hit with ransomware scams, the company decided to team up with the security training company KnowBe4 to teach VAULT400 customers how to avoid falling victim to a ransomware scam.

A ransomware epidemic is spreading across the country, impacting organizations of all shapes and sizes. "Never before in the history of human kind have people across the world been subjected to extortion on a massive scale as they are today," the security software company Symantec says in its recent whitepaper on ransomware.

UCG chief executive Jim Kandrac tells IT Jungle that several VAULT400 customers succumbed to ransomware attacks recently--mostly by clicking on malicious emails sent as part of a spear phishing attack. The compromises didn't involve the IBM i servers or data. Instead, the attacks resulted in the hard drives of Windows PCs and servers being encrypted.

While UCG could have helped the customers by recovering their data from backups stored by VAULT400 (the company backs up up data from Windows servers and other platforms too), most of the victims choose to pay the ransom rather than recover their data. According to Kandrac, the problem comes down to lost time, which is lost money in the business world.

"We can wipe their system and restore the data, but it takes a bit of time--two to three days if they don't have high availability," Kandrac says. "The other thing is, they can pay the ransomware, but if they don't have a Bitcoin account, that can take up to three days to set up."

Kandrac was hesitant at first to get involved. "This isn't our marketplace," he said. "This isn't what we do. But more and more it affected us, and we genuinely felt bad because we've got the data protected, but these guys are getting hit."

The FBI shut down a big CryptoLocker server last year but other ransomware scams remain.

So UCG turned to KnowBe4, a Tampa, Florida, company that specializes in training employees how to identify and not fall victim to the various cyber-scams circulating on the Net. Today, all VAULT400 customers get access to KnowBe4's ransomware awareness training for 25 to 50 users as part of the base subscription.  

Read full article in IT Jungle.

Sign up for a Free Phishing SecurityTest at

Related blog post: UCG Partners with Leading Cyber Security Firm KnowBe4

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

IBM Magazine Presents iTalk with Tuohy: Jim Kandrac on Security, Backup and Success

In this sponsored content series, iTalk Business with Tuohy, Paul Tuohy talks with Jim Kandrac of United Computer Group about security, backup and his definition of success.

Here's a little taste of what you can expect in this informative and entertaining excerpt from their interview:

Paul Tuohy: This is something that we were chatting the other day, Jim, that you told me and it was your definition of success, which I thought was excellent, so would you share that with people please?

Jim Kandrac:  It was actually two definitions of success. One is you’ve gotta know who the boss is. You know I am the boss at work, but when I go home, I am not the boss. When I go home, I walk in the door and say honey, I am sorry. You are right. I am wrong, then I take off my pants and I put the skirt on. That is how I achieved 30 years of successful marriage with my wife Pamela, so that is the number one rule of success.

The other thing that I have always wanted and have achieved is my nice little corner office with my own private little washroom or as you would call it, a loo or whatever you call it. A water closet? It is for me and me only and that means more to me than having a Bentley in the driveway or whatever it might be, so that is it. A successful marriage and having my own bathroom in my office.

Want more? Listen to full podcast and read narrative!

Download White Paper: Five Key Questions for Assessing Backup & Recovery Solutions

About Paul Tuohy

Paul Tuohy has specialized in application development and training on IBM midrange systems for more than 20 years. He currently runs ComCon consultancy and is a partner in System i Developer and the RPG & DB2 Summit. He is also a frequent contributor to IBM i publications, the author of two books on re-engineering legacy RPG applications and iSeries Navigator, and an award-winning speaker at events around the world.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

UCG Partners with Leading Cyber Security Firm KnowBe4, LLC

Managed Service cyber security training now included with UCG’s VAULT400 BaaS and DR program

United Computer Group, Inc. (UCG), a global information technology services firm, is pleased to announce a partnership with KnowBe4 LLC (KB4) Tampa Bay, FL, the world’s most popular integrated Security Training and Simulated Phishing platform.

KB4’s solution suite provides both pre- and post-phishing security tests that show the percentage of end-users that are phish-prone. Scheduled security tests keep employees on their toes with security top of mind, and can provide remedial online training in case an employee falls for a simulated phishing attack. The solution suite is based on Kevin Mitnick’s 30+ year unique first-hand hacking experience, and provides tools to better manage IT security problems of social engineering, spear-phishing and ransomware attacks.  

KnowBe4’s CEO, Stu Sjouwerman stated, “We are very pleased to be partnering with UCG and are looking forward to helping manage the problem created by cybercriminals.”

James A. Kandrac, Founder & President of UCG said, “We continuously listen to client needs and cyber security has been on the forefront for quite some time. UCG’s VAULT400 BaaS will now include a turnkey managed solution version of KB4’s cyber security solution suite via remote implementation in less than 90 minutes.”

Scheduled simulated phishing attacks and monthly reports will provide executives the insight they need to maximize training ROI and track security compliance. As an added value, a base number of KB4 users will be included at no additional charge to current and new VAULT400 subscribers. UCG is very selective when adding a new partner. What impressed UCG the most was the experience, focus, continual product updates and unbridled passion for cyber security that KB4 brings to the table. 

Kandrac added, “We have done our due diligence and are pleased to bring this exciting solution suite into the UCG fold. We look forward to a long term partnership with KnowBe4, Stu Sjouwerman and his valued team.”

About KnowBe4
The KnowBe4 team has built, deployed, and supported market leading e-learning applications and has deep roots in IT Security. KnowBe4 was founded by Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”), formerly co-founder of Sunbelt Software, developer of VIPRE Antivirus, which in 2010 was acquired by GFI Software, a portfolio company of the Insight Venture Partners Venture Capital Fund in New York and Boston.

Listen to webinar replay: 2015 State of IBM POWER8 Backup, Disaster Recovery & Cyber Security Webinar, from UCG and IBM Systems Magazine

Download PDF: Why Security Awareness Training? Ransomware. That's Why.

Download PDF: Which email addresses are exposed on the internet and are a target for phishing attacks?

Download PDF: Find Out What Percentage of Your Employees is Phish-prone

Download PDF: Social Engineering Red Flags.

Friday, September 04, 2015

When your old IBM/InfoPrint printer goes down, bad things happen.

Has your team run amok because your old IBM printer is on
its last legs and is constantly down?

Finding parts is impossible, or maybe it's been discontinued. Do not despair...we
have a solution!

As authorized DASCOM printer resellers, we've gotten some very positive customer feedback on their brand new Tally 4347-i Series printers. The 4347-i08 and 4347-i10 are industrial serial impact printers available at a fraction of the cost of line printers.

With a host of interface options, a great trade in rebate, one-year on-site warranty standard with the printer, the Tally 4347-i Series has been designed as the perfect IBM/InfoPrint replacement.

We offer exceptional technical support and expertise, a 30-day try-it, buy-it program and much more.

(As far as these guys are're on your own!)

For additional details, contact Gina Creager, Printer Specialist, at 216.520.1333 #170, or by email at

Thank you for making a great choice with the Tally 4347-i Series printer! United Computer Group, Inc. is an authorized DASCOM printer reseller. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Upcoming Events!

UCG's Jim Kandrac and Mike Powall are getting ready for several upcoming shows and conferences. Come meet with us at the following events.

September 10, 2015
7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Embassy Suites
Rockside Road, Independence

The 16th annual OHTec CIO Symposium is the longest-running gathering of IT executives in Northeast Ohio. OHTec brings together thought leaders from the region and from around the country to bring valuable, strategic-level information to CIOs and IT executives leading the region’s enterprise IT organizations. Register Now!


September 15-18
Hilton Suites Downtown
Nashville, TN

The conference will kick off Tuesday evening at 5:00 pm with registration, a reception with light refreshments, and a great opportunity for social networking with other professionals in your area of expertise. Learn more.

September 29-30
Hyatt Regency Long Island
at Wind Watch Golf Club

Be sure to stop by our exhibit to learn how UCG can help you work smarter, faster, and reclaim your time with VAULT400 BaaS. While you're there, play UCG's Scratch Off game; 50% of players win various UCG prizes. Grand prize winner will receive an Apple iPad!  Register here!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The longest-running gathering of CIOs in northeast Ohio!

Thursday, September 10, 2015
7:30 am - 4:30 pm

UCG is pleased to be a sponsor and exhibitor at the 16th annual OHTec CIO Symposium, the longest-running gathering of IT executives in Northeast Ohio.

"OHTec brings together thought leaders from the region and from around the country to bring valuable, strategic-level information to CIOs and IT executives leading the region’s enterprise IT organizations.
Since 2000, The CIO Symposium has offered an exceptional forum for CIOs and IT executives to share insights on critical business issues and make important connections with one another. Through thought-provoking keynote speakers and engaging breakout sessions, the 2015 CIO Symposium offers an invaluable experience for CIOs of any industry, for any size enterprise and at any stage of their CIO career."
Register Now!

Learn more by visiting We look forward to seeing you!