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Hi, I’m Ken Tyrrell, the President and Owner of Ivy Networks LLC. I have always been amazed at the power of the Personal Computer. In high school I had access to my first PC, a TRS-80, and was one of the first students in my class to turn-in reports that were produced on a computer, not typed on a typewriter. The discovery that I could just hit the backspace key to fix an error and reprint an entire report in a few minutes was absolutely miraculous. I was hooked on the power of what PCs could do and the efficiency they could provide, I knew I wanted to work with them for a career.
Thirty years later, I’m an Independent IT consultant, passionate about helping others get the most out of their IT investments, and still getting a kick out of the wonderment others enjoy when I’ve just made their jobs easier by enabling the right technologies.
If you want to know the details of how I made it to where I am today, keep reading, or you can skip ahead to a summary of my education and experience.
While still in high school I began working part-time for a local company that manufactured electrical components used in power supplies. It was pretty neat to see the internal components.
Right after high school I started coursework at the Vocational Technical College, (now NHIT) on a degree in Industrial Electronics, learning all about IC chips and the TTL logic used in making computers. I changed jobs, needing full time work, and went on to a printer manufacturing company where I started doing assembly work, and eventually found my way to the Circuit Board repair department where I could start putting my new education to work.
I continued working on my Associate’s degree at night and when completed, I continued right on with night classes to work on a Bachelor’s degree in Techni-business, a program specifically designed for Vo-Tech graduates to round out their technical degree with business skills.
When the printer manufacturer closed it’s doors, I had no trouble landing a job with a PC manufacturer. I was so excited to be getting hands on experience building PCs. This job also introduced me to computer “Networking” and “Servers”, opening a whole new world of possibilities and excitement.
I continued to plug away at my Bachelor’s degree at night and completed it just in time to see the manufacturing industry take a nose dive. Within a few months of earning the degree, the PC manufacturer gave the staff notice that they were sending the manufacturing jobs overseas.
My education and skills positioned me for my next big job, and I easily found work as a Computer Operations Specialist with a healthcare company. I was now deploying desktop computers in a business environment, configuring the networking, and connecting them to servers. This was the most awesome job ever. I learned about and earned certifications in Microsoft desktop and server operating systems. I learned about and deployed server based applications such as MS SQL Server, MS Exchange Server, and Internet Information Server (IIS web server). I learned about TCP/IP networking, the core communications protocol used to make up the World Wide Web or what we now call the Internet.
While working here a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in helping them set up a new business office. They would need two computers that could share data and have access to the Internet. And so my first consulting job was launched, and with it an idea that someday I could be an Information Technology consultant. I went back to night school and started taking MBA courses, and taking every course I could about becoming an entrepreneur and running your own small business.
My next employment transition came about as health care in NH began a rapid consolidation, while the new company that bought out my employer wanted me to stay on, I chose not to as they didn’t use the new Microsoft technologies that I had so recently studied and became certified on. I took a municipal government IT job where they were eager to deploy the technologies that I could see were going to dominate the desktop and server market in the immediate future. Working for the city was now the best job ever!
I jumped right in and learned about Wide Area Networking (WAN) and worked on connecting up over 40 municipal buildings to City Hall. I worked with the schools, Fire and Police departments, the Department of Public Works, and the Public Library. Each department had their own specialized software to manage their business units and I had the opportunity to work with all of it.
The next big thing that came along was server virtualization and storage virtualization. Using VMware to turn one physical server computer into many virtual computers allowed for major server consolidation and major savings for the city. I studied the new technology and became certified by VMware, and them I lead a team that reduced over fifty physical servers to four. This technology also opened up new cost effective methods of doing backups and disaster recovery. I also realized that this technology wasn’t just for big data centers, it had real benefits for the small businesses that I was serving part time. Now most of my consulting clients use virtualization today.
Today I am a full time, self employed consultant. I completed my MBA and now serve many small businesses in the Southern NH area. I offer Managed Services as well as Hosted Services, such as Off-site backups and Hosted Microsoft Exchange. Now THIS is the best job ever.
Summary of qualifications
Associate’s degree in Industrial Electronics – Focus on Transistor-transistor Logic (TTL) and Integrated Circuits
Bachelor’s degree in Techni-Business – Focus on business skills for the technical professional
Master’s of Business Administration – Entrepreneurial focus
In-depth, hands-on, Network Infrastructure management, from the Desktop and Mobile device, to the Servers, Switches, Routers, Firewalls and the copper and fiber optic cabling that links them all together, and to the Internet.
Nine years in computer related manufacturing; Electronic components, printers, and Personal Computers.
Over 24 years of IT Systems administration and customer service in the fields of Manufacturing, Health Care, and City Government, including support for Business administration, Finance, Legal, Public Library automation, Engineering CAD systems, Public Works traffic control systems, and video surveillance.