Category Archives: Technology

Former Boeing worker opening Tech Solutions on North Rock Road

WICHITA — Nayan Patel is another businessman who decided to turn his hobby into his full-time work.

“I have been enjoying playing with different Audio Video equipment for many years,” he said via e-mail.

Patel worked for Boeing for a dozen years but now is opening Tech Solutions at 350 N. Rock Road. He said his goal is to help customers transfer older files of all sorts into digital ones. He said that could be a shoebox full of photographs or negatives or it could be albums, 8-track tapes or VHS tapes, among other things. Patel said he also has high-speed scanners and duplication machines.

There are other services Patel will provide as well. For instance, he’ll offer shredding services and pick-up and delivery for computer, cell phone and TV repairs at the GeekShop Repairs.

By July, Patel will have a 16-person conference room set up for international video conferencing and other meetings.

Patel said these are merely some of his initial plans.

“Future plans are 3-D printing, home video security installation, LCD/LED TV installation, etc.”

You don’t say

“The same thing that happened to the Obamacare site happened to us today.”

College Hill Elementary fourth-grader Judah Hansen explaining to his parents about computer glitches with state testing

Cybertron International to open Oklahoma IT office in first regional expansion

WICHITA — Kansas, Egypt and Oklahoma all have something new in common.

Each is home to Cybertron International, a Wichita-based computer manufacturer and IT service provider that’s now expanding into Edmond.

“This is our first regional expansion,” says Bill Ramsey, chief technology officer.

“We chose Edmond because it’s a pretty up-and-coming area in Oklahoma City,” Ramsey says. “It’s a fast reach to any part of that city.”

Ramsey says Cybertron is one of the largest computer manufacturers in Kansas and one of the top 15 in the country. Ramsey’s three partners, Ahmed Abdelaziz, Shadi Marcos and Emad Mekhail, met at Wichita State University and founded the company in 1997. It now has about 90 employees, 80 of whom are in Wichita.

Ramsey became a partner two years ago when the business acquired his company, the Bill Guy Technology Solutions. With the acquisition, Cybertron began offering IT services. That’s what the Edmond office will do.

“Oklahoma is our first stop, basically,” Ramsey says.

He says the company is wanting to develop a repeatable process for starting new offices.

“We have plans for future expansion,” Ramsey says. “This was the one that made the most sense initially.”

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You don’t say

“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

Geek Shop to expand to new space near Intrust Bank Arena

Jason Gregg of the Geek Shop, who says he fixes most anything with batteries or that plugs in an outlet.

WICHITA — Rockers, athletes and partiers all hang out in and around Intrust Bank Arena, so why not geeks, too?

Jason Gregg is moving his Geek Shop from 1,500 square feet at 837 S. Poplar near Lincoln and Interstate 135 to almost 11,000 square feet at 214 S. Commerce just north of the arena.

“With the arena starting to stand on its feet now, the area could change,” Gregg says. “The area will change. … I see it right now as unrealized opportunities.”

He likes the growing residential component along with the increasing number of businesses. Gregg thinks his company could see a lot of new work from customers in the area who need technology repairs and support.

“Basically, we’re just a little bit of everything,” he says of what he offers.

In addition to repairing almost anything that takes batteries or plugs in an outlet, Gregg also plans a 1,000-square-foot gaming lounge in his new space and a 1,000-square-foot Internet cafe that also can be used for board games and card games.

“We’re really into gaming. We love technology,” Gregg says. He says he views it “as a passion, so this really isn’t just a job.”

The new repair area will grow by 400 percent, he says, and he expects to be able to handle about 50 repairs at once.

In the new store’s basement, Gregg says, he’ll be able to properly handle the disposal of chemicals and components from electronics.

“It has to be recycled responsibly,” he says. “We’re a green company. We like to reuse, repurpose. We like to utilize limited resources and be creative.”

Jameson Decker of Builders Inc. handled the deal for the space.

Gregg plans to move in early October, and he expects his new store to be a test of sorts by furthering research into technology, particularly as it relates to open-source applications, meaning any technology without a license. The idea, he says, is “people being able to share information as fast as light will travel.”

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Wichita’s LSI office to move to Ruffin Building on East Douglas

UPDATED — When LSI’s Engenio storage division sold to NetApp in 2011, one piece of the LSI business remained at the NetApp building on North Rock Road.

LSI is now moving into its own space at the Ruffin Building at 9111 E. Douglas, which is the one-time Pizza Hut headquarters.

“We’re excited to have them,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

The 5-year lease is for 19,000 square feet of the 254,000-square-foot building.

“I have about 25,000 left,” Ruffin says of what’s still available to lease.

Marty Gilchrist and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons helped him with the deal.

“They were instrumental in helping put it together,” Ruffin says.

Also helping was California-based Ham Southworth of Studley Inc. Southworth represents LSI nationally.

He says about 50 people will be moving. Southworth says most are engineers but there are sales, operations and marketing employees as well.

“They’re going to move in as soon as possible,” Ruffin says. He anticipates that will take three or four months.

Other tenants include Ally, CCH and Pure-Formance Sports & Fitness Training Center, which Ruffin says is open to the public.

He says Ruffin Properties recently spent $115,000 on landscaping at the Ruffin Building.

“And it’s going to really improve … the overall appearance to the building.”

Ruffin says the LSI lease is significant.

“It’s just a really good deal,” Ruffin says.

And not just for Ruffin Properties and LSI, he says, but for Wichita in general.

“It means that the private sector’s moving a little bit.”

Lowen IT purchases Wichita-based Cardinal Technology Consulting

WICHITA — For the second time in three months, Lowen IT is expanding, this time with the acquisition of a Wichita company.

Lowen IT has purchased the one-man shop of Cardinal Technology Consulting, according to Lowen IT operations manager James Starkweather.

He says the company is “just kind of your generalized IT support.”

“We’ll add a few more variables to the offering,” Starkweather says. “Their clients will get some added benefits. We can offer things like voice and virtualization.”

Lowen IT is part of Hutchinson-based Lowen Corp., a 62-year-old graphics and sign company.

In August, Lowen IT purchased Buhler-based IdeaTek Consulting Division.

“They wanted to get away from IT services and support and focus mainly on telecommunications,” Starkweather says

Lowen IT has clients all over the state, he says, and is looking for overall growth.

“Wichita is an obvious choice for us because it’s 45 minutes away,” he says.

“Any opportunities we find down there, we take advantage of.”

Tech Outlet to open next to west-side Party City next week

WICHITA — Sterling Morrison was working for a wireless business when he got an idea for a new company.

When the wireless chain needed new computers, he says, it would buy refurbished ones online.

“So I’m like, wow, there’s a niche here,” Morrison says.

That’s why he’s opening Tech Outlet late next week at 6810 W. Kellogg, which is next to Party City.

Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the 2,250-square-foot space.

“We offer factory refurbished electronics,” Morrison says.

That includes TVs, computers, cameras and game consoles among other things.

“A lot of people go online and try to buy refurbished things rather than paying full retail,” Morrison says. “Here, you can just walk in the doors, look at the things we have to offer . . . and you can buy it right then and walk out of the doors with it.”

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Bill Guy Technology Solutions owner Bill Ramsey is named SBA’s 2011 Kansas Small Business Person of the Year

WICHITA — Bill Ramsey, owner of Bill Guy Technology Solutions, was in his office Thursday morning when he received a letter from the Small Business Administration.

His wife and son were there, too, and saw his face drop.

“My wife was like, ‘What? What’s wrong?’”

Nothing was wrong, but Ramsey couldn’t believe what he was reading was right.

It said the SBA named him the Kansas Small Business Person of the Year for 2011.

“There’s got to be a mistake,” he told his family. “I’m not reading this right.”

So he called the SBA.

“They knew exactly who I was,” Ramsey says. “I’m just stunned.”

Ken Elliott with the Kansas Small Business Development Center nominated Ramsey.

Elliott has been Ramsey’s business counselor.

Ramsey started his business as a one-man shop in 2001 to help businesses manage their computer networks.

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Mindfire Academy to open in 50,000 square feet at Office This

WICHITA — A year ago, a prominent Wichitan approached Office This developer Max Cole with an idea for a school to teach adults and children digital video, audio, web design and game art (the art of making video games).

Cole thought it was a great idea but he wasn’t interested in doing schools at the time.

His connection with Bethel House Training Institute, a school at Office This that teaches nursing assistants and other medical personnel, changed that.

So this summer, Cole — with help from the unnamed prominent Wichitan — is opening Mindfire Academy in 50,000 square feet at Office This, which is at 4031 E. Harry.

He’s beginning to build the technology training rooms now.

“That’s what everybody’s interested in,” Cole says.

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