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!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

LIFE IS A POKER GAME by James A. Kandrac

It’s called “theatre in the round.”

May I suggest regardless of the path you choose: you can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you want to go. Young men and women’s goals can certainly change over time. Unexpected turns can create completely different and unanticipated outcomes…and life, as a poker game, continues to roll.

The compelling theatre.

A basic plan. Work it. Be flexible enough to change it. Nothing too detailed or exotic. Remember, Southwest Airlines started on the back of a cocktail napkin and of the U.S. majors, is the only profitable airline.

The beginning.

At the age of 12 I began molding my plan. I wanted to work for IBM. Back in the mid 1970’s, IBM was a growing company in the technology field. That’s all I knew. I wanted a good job, wanted to sell and make money! After completing undergraduate studies at Cleveland State University in 1983, I entered graduate school and successfully started my dream with an internship at IBM. I quickly became disenchanted. IBM may be challenging and rewarding for some. I found it to be extremely political and not an environment I would prosper in and enjoy, long-term. Politics was part of the game and I didn’t want to play. I was born to be an entrepreneur and control my destiny, but didn’t know where to go.

After a six-month search, the president of an entrepreneurial $18M computer leasing firm brought me on board as his assistant. Within 12 months, I was promoted to Sales and helped grow the firm to $125M in three years. We went public and soon thereafter, the environment changed from entrepreneurial to political. Additional layers of management were created, territories and commissions were reduced. The company needed to appeal to Wall Street and shareholders, and unfortunately for me, the firm became a “mini-IBM”.

In June 1987 I went home to my wife of two years and six month old daughter. In December 1987, at age 26, I founded United Computer Group, Inc. (UCG) with $30,000 in savings, and gave myself six months to make it.

Catch perfect.

Today, UCG is a successful and growing company and has been for nearly 30 years. This is not because I am overly intelligent, but because the UCG team has focused and worked harder than our competitors. People and great clients are your most important assets.

Require them to work hard, be honest, take pride in what they do and have fun at it. A marriage of any kind isn’t easy. Go after your dreams and do not give up.

My most important asset, valued over everything else, has been the never-ending support of my wife Pam. Excitement, challenges, successes, and even failures.

The Kandrac Family
Jim and his wife Pamela live in Brecksville, OH;
Lauren resides in Chicago, IL; Kristin and Bret Ernst live in Agoura Hills, California

I controlled my destiny.

Remember: Life is a poker game. You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you want to go.

James A. Kandrac is Founder and President of United Computer Group, Inc.  UCG has served over 1,500 clients globally. Visit and

UCG is an IBM Advanced Business Partner specializing in providing technology solutions to mid-market companies.  

Most Interesting Persons: Ted Turner and Herb Kelleher

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Brecksville residents experience exciting Republican Presidential Primary Debate

By John Benson, Brecksville Gazette
August 19, 2015

Northeast Ohioans are still buzzing about the recent Republican presidential Primary Debate held earlier this month at Quicken Loans Arena. “Certainly it was very exciting,” said Brecksville resident Jim Kandrac, who attended the debate with friend Frank Fantozzi.

“The first debate being here brought people and dollars to Cleveland. It was a perfect kickoff for the city as we go into the next year and ultimately host the convention next July.”

While the debate itself lasted two hours, Kandrac, the president and founder of United Computer Group, Inc. and VAULT400, said the night was a whirlwind. Watching from his club level seat, he specifically enjoyed the commercial breaks.

“At home you’re watching commercial breaks but when you’re down there, things were happening with the moderators and the 10 candidates interacting between themselves,” Kandrac said. “I was watching who are they talking to, who are they not talking to. To see that was really interesting.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Transform Your Marketing with IBM Digital Content Marketing!

Did you know:

Digital channels influence about 90% of purchases made by business decision makers?

Today's buyers are 57% of the way down the purchase path before they contact you, that is, if they contact you at all?

Thank you IBM for a fantastic digital marketing workshop presented on August 13 in New York. Kudos to all involved! 


IBM Digital Marketing Workshop Attendees

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Please join UCG and IBM Systems Magazine for a webinar!

2015 State of IBM POWER8 Backup, Disaster Recovery & Cyber Security, 
from United Computer Group. 

September 23, 2015
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT 

At some point, your organization will suffer a data loss and/or cyber-security breach. You may even have a breach at this current moment. Predictions for 2015 indicate that at least 60% of enterprises will incur a breach of sensitive data. Most breaches are not even discovered by the breached party. An inadequate response leads to financial, operational, and reputational losses.

Recognized DR Expert and Entrepreneur, James Kandrac, will discuss how best to protect corporate data and achieve a cost effective RTO.

Learn how to protect your organization and/or recover from a data loss or security breach. Register today for this important and timely event!

Registration is required to participate.

To discuss how UCG can help protect your organization, call 800.211.8798 Ext. 155 or email

Sunday, August 09, 2015

IT Jungle: The IBM i Market Is Not Economics 101

Excerpts of article by Timothy Prickett Morgan, IT Jungle

"It is a time of transition for the Power Systems line, and that is one of the reasons why sales have been picking up in recent quarters. The full Power8 product line has been rounded out and is shipping in volume, from the smallest single-socket box up to the biggest, baddest 16-socket server. The Power7+ processors have been in midrange machines since October 2012 and came to entry machines in February 2013 and are winding down in the channel. With IBM i 5.4 sunsetted and IBM i 6.1 saddling up for its ride to the west, this is when we would expect a lot of customers to start moving up to new iron and systems software.
This, say the resellers that we have talked to, is precisely what is happening, and that is good news for the IBM i community. While the Power8 machines are not the universal choice for customers running IBM i, at least not for the dealers we spoke with, they are becoming the mainstream choice for those companies who can move their applications up to IBM i 7.1 or 7.2." 

Our favorite part of the article...just sayin'. 
"Jim Kandrac, president and owner at United Computer Group in Cleveland, Ohio, says that the combination of the Power S814 plus a Storwize V3700 is just the ticket and that such a configuration, with a mix of 15K RPM disks and SSDs, can be used to upgrade systems that have hundreds of disk drives spinning at much slower rates. As we all know, many AS/400 and iSeries shops bought disks more to increase the number of spindles riding over their data than for aggregate disk drive capacity, so having a number of disk drives compressed can save space, noise, and electricity. (Most of the resellers we talk to say that are using the Navigator tools from Midrange Performance Group to cull performance data from current workloads and model them on new machines to make sure they buy the right iron to meet their performance needs.)
Kandrac says that most of the deals he is doing are for the four-core Power S814 machine, too, and like many customers, he wishes that this machine had more memory capacity than its current 64 GB limit. We think 256 GB would be nice, 512 GB would be better, but IBM wants to push that six-core version, too, and that is why the cap is put on the four-core variant. A very small configuration of the Power S814 with 16 GB of memory and maybe 500 TB of disk will run around $35,000, according to Kandrac. UCG's typical deals, which come with Solution Edition pricing thanks to the the company's VAULT400 service, run between $45,000 and $75,000; customers who active all four cores and buy a hefty machine get just under 40,000 CPWs and pay $100,000 or more, depending on the hardware and software configuration. Kandrac says that he is not selling Power7 or Power7+ machines, despite what some resellers tell us, because he thinks the numbers just don't make sense."
+Timothy Prickett Morgan  

Friday, August 07, 2015

Hope to see you at the 2015 VAI Executive Summit!

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

UCG is pleased to attend the 2015 VAI Executive Summit. 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! We look forward to seeing you. 

Download PDF

"Effective use of technology lies at the heart of many successful business growth strategies. Having a technology savvy business culture, and the right technology partner, can truly help your company prepare for innovation opportunities. Efficient inventory management and order fulfillment operations have always been paramount in business, but recently the need for an updated ERP system, that is cloud ready, and provides analytics, e-business and mobile capabilities has become even more important with rising customer expectations.

Come join us for two days of fun, networking, and education. You will hear from VAI experts on how customers are using the latest S2K technologies to improve efficiencies, lowers costs, increase sales, and improve customer service." - VAI
The Executive Summit
An exclusive event filled with opportunities.

The Golf Outing

Grab your clubs and hit the links, 
compliments of VAI.

The Winery Tour
Food, fun, and spirits compliments of VAI.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Join UCG at the Optimum Solutions Users Conference in Nashville!

As a conference sponsor and partner to Optimum Solutions, United Computer Group is pleased to invite you to Nashville for the Optimum Solutions Users Conference.

Dates:       September 15-18, 2015
Location:    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. 

Click here for the full agenda. Note that Windows Sessions are in red, iSeries Sessions are in blue, and General Sessions are in yellow.

For further details, visit the Optimum Solutions Users Conference website

Hope to see you in Nashville. Be sure to stop by the UCG booth for a visit!

The deadline for registration is August 14. 

Hilton Suites, Downtown Nashville