IBS Office Highlight: Downtown Chicago

Recently we spoke with Branch Manager Ryan Sturgis about working out of the Downtown Chicago market. Previously, it was left up to Oak Brook to handle the Downtown market but, given particular trends and changes in the market, it became IMG_4613imperative to expand to the city.

Iain McDavid: How did the Downtown Chicago team come about?

Ryan Sturgis: Well Downtown Chicago is very, very different in terms of the talent it’s yielding. And given trends with how newer generations and the new workforce are living: Most of them are staying in city. Especially the top technologist, they’re not moving out to the suburbs.  Conversely, our original IBS Oak Brook was primarily suburban focused.

IM: So the branch is relatively new—it opened for business back in January 2017. What was the initial team size exactly? What is it now? And how has it changed over the past year?

RS: We started with 3 employees and we actually just added our newest hire. Her name is Chloe Kittle and she just started back in February. So at this point we are a team of four, all of which are brand new IBS employees.

We recently expanded and so everybody at the Downtown Chicago office is new to the IBS family. They all started with me. Like Daniel, for instance, the other sales person started with me. And we added a hire back in November and again in February of this year.

IM: So it’s my understanding that you guys work out of a shared work space environment. I’m curious how that differs from a traditional office environment. Is there anything you prefer or dislike about that kind of environment?

RS: I like the shared work space environment. For one, there’s free flow of ideas—there are no barriers, there are no walls in a space like this. Everyone is around when we’re getting emails and phone calls and we’re making decisions, so we are able to ask for immediate advice and feedback. There are also startups in the office, including some staffing companies, so we can ask them “what would you do in the scenario?” There’s just a lot people with different backgrounds circling through, and I’ve actually gotten some leads from it too, so it’s kind of cool working in a dynamic work space.

Over the course of a year we’ve seen some of startups grow, two of them got too big to be here and had to move out. So it’s good environment, especially in downtown Chicago because it’s kind of a hotbed of technology.

IM: What is it about your approach that has made the branch so successful?

RS: Well I came from a much smaller staffing firm where I to wear a lot of different hats and fill a lot of roles and positions. So when I came into IBS I had the thought process of “ok, there’s a lot of different things we can work on, so we need to go into the marketplace right now and just be flexible.” So people needed to learn new things. For instance they might have to recruit in area they haven’t worked in before: marketing technologies, digital technologies like UI, UX and digital design. We had scraped that surface before but we never really focused on it. So now we’re partnering with a lot of different companies, like advertising agencies and e-commerce agencies, staff startups. And that’s a very different market than what IBS was previously reaching in. They were more focused on the “old school” companies and the large enterprise companies. So I guess the main thing is I had my team target more mid-market companies, companies that you can have an actual relationship with. We’re a partner instead of just being a vendor.

John Schroeck: So, in wrapping up, you’ve been with IBS for over a little year now. Is there anything that has set IBS apart from the previous roles you had? Obviously getting the opportunity to start this new branch and giving the company a new face to a new audience. But is there anything else you’d say particular enjoy about working at IBS?

RS: I think there’s a lot of investment, not only in our team but also in our consultants. So I think one of the major differences in this position vs others one I had in the world of staffing, is that IBS is very much a relationship based organization built out of respect and accountability, and less of a transaction based kind of company.


Employers Prioritize Problem Solving Skills

Employers Prioritize Problem Solving Skills

Problem-solving skills are often cited an important qualification for position openings. This should come as no surprise, but what’s interesting is that was cited more often than technical skills. In this report from HackerRank, 94% of the IT employers surveyed consider problem solving skills a priority when hiring, while 55% mentioned programming proficiency. Debugging, system design and performance optimization ranked highly as well.

It should be noted that smaller companies do place more importance on program proficiency (or less importance on problem solving) than larger ones. One explanation is “the right knowledge of frameworks is more important for startups since they need to launch code quickly, and frameworks help developers push code faster.” See the report for the full analysis. 

Flow Modern Approvals

 Beginner Flow Lessons Learned

We have a business scenario that centers on filling out a word template and Karen Adkinsgetting approvals. The Project Charter (which is the word template in my case) is typically filled out by one person and the approvals are generally a formality.

With the above in mind, I started on my journey to learning Flow. The focus is on the Flow Modern Approvals using a SharePoint Online Document Library. Here are my findings:

  • General

All flows stay active 30 days and then expire.

While writing this blog, I found an article on setting the expiration time on a card.

“Developers can now embed actions in their emails or notifications, elevating user engagement with their services and increasing organizational productivity.   Note – Actionable Messages is available only on the Outlook web app and on the desktop version of Outlook 2016. For the latter, you can install the latest update to get Actionable Messages functionality.

 Start an Approval Card

  •  General

You have to manually add a field to show response info/workflow status (flow variable flow approval has been responded to) status

Update workflow status field in flow   This is a single line of text.

You need to add the condition using the Responses object created when you select “Start an Approval.

Everyone from list

Stays in “Not Completed” state until everyone has replied or expires after 30 days with no activity – provided you didn’t change this particular setting.







What to do when an External User gets “Account not found in SharePoint Directory” Error

BScott Zischerky Rick Berryman

When a user attempts to log into their SharePoint site and gets a “Not found in SharePoint Directory” error, this usually means that the user received the External User invite at one email address, but used a different email address to accept the invite. When this occurs, the only fix is to remove all occurrences of both the user’s accounts (invite and acceptance) on the SharePoint site, explain the error to the user and how to properly accept the invite, then re-send the invite.

NOTE: In order to remove the email accounts of the external user, the person performing this task must have Site Collection Administration rights.

Continue reading “What to do when an External User gets “Account not found in SharePoint Directory” Error”

Talent Shortage with JavaScript Frameworks

Talent Shortage with JavaScript Frameworks

According to a report from HackerRank the widest skill gap with IT talent plays out in JavaScript frameworks, particularly with React. More and more employers are seeking developers proficient in the framework, but the talent isn’t readily available just yet.

It should also be noted that AngularJS and Node.js are more heavily favored by developers. Spring and Django seem to gaining popularity with employers and developers alike but not quite as much as React. Visit HackerRank for the full breakdown.

External Users Access Change in Office 365

Duane OdumIf you receive the Office 365 Message Center Update Notifications you know that it’s rare to see a “Major Update Notification” that you must act upon quickly, but that is exactly what we received on Saturday February 24th. Starting on March 23, 2018 external users will no longer belong to the following groups in SharePoint Online: Everyone, All Authenticated Users and All Forms Users.  While this does not directly impact any of the Office 365 customers we are engaged with on a regular basis I am sure it will impact some organizations in a major way.

Continue reading “External Users Access Change in Office 365”


Rick HerrmannIn the 4.3 release of Angular, there was a new HttpClient API introduced.  HttpClient is an alternative to the existing Http module and exists in its own package (@angular/common/http).  For any projects that are using Angular 4.x, both Http and HttpClient are supported so you don’t have to migrate to the HttpClient all at once.  However, in Angular 5x, the original HttpModule is deprecated so only HttpClient is supported.  Hopefully with this overview you will see that HttpClient is actually easier to use and switching from Http will simplify your http service calls. Continue reading “HTTPClient”