Applied Connective’s new headquarters has ‘wow factor’

After starting as a small company 15 years ago, Applied Connective Technologies reached another milestone recently by moving into a newly remodeled headquarters building in Albion.
Since late November, the company has been operating from the former Shopko at 2585 State Highway 14. The building was purchased last June, and remodeling started soon afterward.
One of the finishing touches, a new sign on the building front, was added just last week. An open house will likely be held in May of 2020.
Visitors to the new headquarters will find an industrial chic decor, featuring an open ceiling with exposed duct work, hanging lights, and a large open 9,000 square foot office area that emphasizes collaboration. Floors are a combination of polished concrete and industrial carpet tile.
Several of the executive offices feature roll-up windows. There is a large conference room near the front entry, and a commons area with kitchen for employees and clients.
First to catch the eye is the large entry area featuring the company’s three-dimensional metallic logo and etched glass side windows. The same decor is used throughout the office area.
The building’s rear (south) portion contains parking for 10 to 12 company vehicles, with racks for tools and equipment. Along the west side of the rear portion is a large storage area for inventory.
Applied Connective Technologies started in May of 2004 with Knott and Tom Krings as co-owners, serving the Boone County area primarily with IT and communications. Tom retired in 2015 and Ed took over sole ownership.
The company has grown gradually since then, and now has 24 total employees. This includes 20 in Albion and two in Columbus.
Ed said the company’s primary service area now extends to a 120-mile radius from Albion. They also serve customers as far west as Valentine, east into Iowa, and north into South Dakota.
Applied Connective currently has three main divisions. One is information technology (IT), which includes most anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software and the Internet. Another division is infrastructure and security, which includes security cameras and systems, cabling and wireless systems. A third division is telephone systems and related services.
The company has seen a large increase in demand for high-speed wireless Internet, which it also provides in the Albion and many other area communities.

Article published December 17, 2019, in Albion News Online.

Applied Connective staff donates to Boone County Health Center’s Look Good, Feel Better CancerCare program

ALBION, Nebraska (November 4, 2019) – Applied Connective staff got a jump start on the giving season this year with a donation to the Boone County Health Center’s CancerCare program.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Applied Connective held a company-wide fundraiser this October selling pink t-shirts depicting the breast cancer awareness message “proud to wear pink.” With costs of the t-shirts covered by Applied Connective Owner Ed Knott, 100% of the proceeds from staff purchases went into a pot to be donated to the CancerCare program. Staff decided to use half of the proceeds to purchase gas cards for local cancer patients who need to travel for treatment and the other half to be given as a cash donation to the CareCare program.

A portion of the funds was also used to purchase a mirror for the CancerCare program’s Look Good, Feel Better program at Boone County Health Center.

The Look Good, Feel Better program gives cancer patients free access to Professional Cosmetologist Sara Rasmussen, who offers makeup application tips and techniques to help with skin changes during cancer treatment. Rasmussen is an employee at Applied Connective and has been volunteering for Look Good, Feel Better since the program’s start in 2012.

“I’m proud of the work our staff does through volunteering and fundraising to help cancer patients at Boone County Health Cancer. Cancer is a tough diagnosis, and it’s important to support our local people any way we can,” said Knott.

The Look Good, Feel Better program also offers help with wig selection, fitting and care, as well as help with scarves and turbans through volunteer expert Sheila Leetch. Cancer patients also get tips to restore dry skin, nails and cuticles after treatment.

Look Good, Feel Better is free to all patients, and donations such as that of Applied Connective help keep the program strong.


Media Contact:
Aprill Murphy |402-395-3252 |

Applied Connective celebrates 15 years in business as company continues to evolve

ALBION, Nebr. – May 2019 – Applied Connective Technologies is celebrating their fifteenth year in business this month. Originally starting out as a two-man operation focused primarily on IT and communication solutions, Applied Connective has evolved tremendously in the decade and a half since their inception.

Today, the 23-employee business operates as a full-service MTSP, providing customers with expert managed IT, voice, cyber security, physical security, surveillance, audio/video and high-speed wireless Internet solutions. Coming off of what was their best year yet in 2018, the group is well on their way to a year of exciting new developments, bigger office spaces and even higher goals.

Following his college graduation in 2002, Ed Knott worked as an IT professional in Lincoln, Nebr., for a couple of years but was itching to escape the urban environment to settle down in a small town. At the same time, two hours away, Tom Krings, owner of Krings Communication, Inc., was in search of a business partner with technical experience. A mutual acquaintance, knowing both parties’ strengths and long-term aspirations, introduced the two in late 2003, and soon, Tom and Ed began making plans to join forces. Ed moved to Albion in April of 2004, and he and Krings established Applied Connective Technologies in May of that same year, enjoying 11 years of success together before Tom’s retirement in 2015.

“I owe a lot to Tom both as a former business partner and a mentor,” says Applied Connective co-founder and president Ed Knott.

Fast forward a few years, and a picture of Knott assembling a growing team of IT, infrastructure and technical specialists starts to take focus. Little by little, new talent joined the company, and their service offering blossomed from a small shop to a one-touchpoint contact for all of their customers’ technical needs. Due in large part to word of mouth reviews and references from their rapidly growing list of clients, the group has stayed extremely busy.

In the past two years, Applied Connective has seen its staff add ten more employees (and still hiring), one new office in Columbus (in addition to their Fullerton and Albion locations) and countless new customers from all over the Midwest. The group has been recognized twice for outstanding performance in the industry in 2018 and will be moving from their current main office into a new, much bigger office space in Albion before year-end.

“I grew up in a very small town,” says the Taylor, Nebr., native. “And I loved that kind of true Nebraska upbringing. You learn respect and hard work. You develop important character traits much more quickly, and you figure out how to work and interact with a wide range of personalities. Most of our employees are small-town natives themselves as well, so we’re passionate about serving our friends and neighbors in rural Nebraska and beyond. I attribute our success to the skill and dedication each of our employees brings to the table.”

Applied Connective may have some firmly planted roots, but they’re also extremely mobile. Billed as the “technology group that goes the extra mile” on their website, the group certainly travels far and wide to deliver that “Nebraskan” level of personal service to their customers. As if to serve as a metaphor for the company’s evolution—starting in a singular space and expanding into multiple areas—company vehicles take off every day from headquarters in separate directions bound for consultations, on-site work, customer training and installations.

“On a given day, the majority of us typically start out in the Albion office, and within about half an hour, we disperse and scatter. By mid-morning, there aren’t too many bodies left in the office. Everybody’s out delivering personal service.”

In Applied Connective’s early years, customers were mostly localized to Boone County. Today, the company serves customers from Albion to Valentine and Yankton to Utica. And while most of the services they provide are geared toward businesses and organizations, they’ve also found an unexpected niche in providing high-speed wireless Internet to residential customers.

“High-speed wireless Internet certainly didn’t start our as our flagship service here,” mentions Knott. “But high demand in rural communities that have been neglected by larger service providers has kept us busy with installations. We now bring high-speed wireless to hundreds of households from Atkinson to Newman Grove, Albion to Duncan and Fullerton to Petersburg.”

At this 15-year milestone, Knott looks back on all the growth and change they’ve enjoyed but marks the importance of focusing on the future. “I am very grateful for the incredible customers we have and the talented, hard-working group we’ve assembled here at Applied. It’s a dream to be able to live and raise my family here in small-town Nebraska doing what I love,” he reflects.

“I’m very proud of where we’ve come from as a business, but I’m even more excited about where we’re going this year and beyond. We may have had a record year last year, but now our sights are even higher.”

Nance County Journal “Getting to Know: Will Zoucha”

FULLERTON, Nebr., April 24th, 2019 —

Will Zoucha

Will Zoucha, Voice Manager at Applied Connective Technologies

Family: Megan (spouse), Aurora (4) and Miles (1)

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, NE

What do you enjoy most about your business?
I enjoy knowing all the people that I’ve met over the last eight years. It is very rewarding to build a relationship with a client and be trusted to support them with all their technology needs. In many cases, not only are we providing highly effective solutions, but we are also saving them money.

What do you feel is the greatest asset of your business?
Easily the greatest asset of Applied Connective is our staff. We have a wide range of personalities, but we’re all small-town Nebraska kids at heart and take great pride in helping our neighbors. Most of us moved away for education but, having experienced this lifestyle, were drawn back and once again live in or within minutes of Fullerton and Albion.

What did you want to be when you were a youngster?
I had plans to be an astronaut, professional athlete or farmer.

Hobbies: I like to grill, listen to music, play/work outside and go to movies/concerts with my wife.

Favorite TV show: Sporting events.

Goals yet to achieve:
There are specific markets that we need to have a bigger footprint in. There is always a new technology that we need to be able to offer to our clients and implement successfully.

What would you like to see done towards the improvement of Fullerton?
When my family decided to move to Fullerton eight years ago, we had some trouble finding a home to rent. We began looking in Albion and Central City, but luckily, things worked out, and we were able to purchase a home in Fullerton. I don’t think much has changed for housing in Fullerton, and I’d hate to see another family choose to live elsewhere.

Applied Connective provides remote performance management solutions to customers

ALBION, NE – Apr. 9 – Applied Connective Technologies, a leading managed technology services provider, has begun providing its customers with remote performance management solutions. This technology offers a cost-effective remote monitoring and management capability to diagnose underlying network problems, assess network readiness and monitor application performance. This advancement is allowing businesses to capitalize on powerful applications, such as VoIP, video, SaaS/ cloud services, disaster recovery and desktop virtualization.

Gartner analysts caution that “75 percent of enterprises that do not perform a pre-implementation analysis of their IP network infrastructure will not achieve a successful VoIP implementation.”

Transitioning physically separate voice and data networks onto a single shared infrastructure without compromising the quality of either voice traffic or data traffic will require new practices and procedures. Remote performance management solutions play a central role in successful network assessment.

“The cloud is growing and as a result businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on cloud-based technologies to run their businesses,” commented Will Zoucha, Applied Connective’s voice manager. “One example revolves around VoIP technology. Many business owners are attracted to VoIP because of its cost savings and applications that drive employee productivity; however some business owners hesitate because they are concerned about sacrificing call quality. This often occurs when companies conduct business with a technology provider that does not have the proper technical expertise or the tools to successfully deploy IP based solutions. Leveraging advanced remote performance management software pinpoint network drains, all the way down to the appliance. The tool provides valuable insight that can determine which appliance, such as a PC, within an organization is sucking up bandwidth causing poor voice or video quality.”

In order to keep up with the rapid pace of technology, data networks will need to become much stronger, faster, flexible and transparent. The success of a business’s operations will strongly correlate with network performance, and remote performance management solutions allow businesses to diagnose network issues and resolve problems immediately. Data networks are the lifeblood of business operations and companies like Applied Connective Technologies are proactively protecting their customers, increasing their profitability and providing them with a competitive advantage.

Applied Connective’s Educates Customers on the Power of Microsoft Office 365

Fullerton, NE – March 2019 – Applied Connective, a leader in unified communications, announced today that they have launched an awareness campaign to help their customers to leverage the powerful capabilities of Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft’s software is ubiquitous in the business world and this latest development will greatly impact the way business gets done across the globe.


Microsoft Office 365 is a package of software programs and services that Microsoft has put together in order to dramatically enhance office productivity. They have dedicated a massive amount of their resources and focus to ensure that it is a success, which means that the majority of business owners will be using these tools in the near future, whether they transition now or later. The package includes Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Sharepoint, Microsoft Link and Microsoft Skydrive, which all work together seamlessly to create a much-improved user experience. These programs open up new ways of collaborating online, bringing the power of Microsoft Office to the mobile environment and improving communication amongst team members more than ever before.


“When Microsoft makes a massive change, every business that uses a PC is affected,” stated Ed Knott, Applied Connective president. “This new advance is about tying everything together so Microsoft users can collaborate regardless of the device they’re using or where they’re physically located. This tool helps businesses owners collaborate securely, while giving their employees the tools they need to be successful.”


One of the most dramatic differences between Microsoft Office 365 and the existing suite of Microsoft tools is that it eliminates the need for purchasing additional licenses year after year. This answers one of the most frustrating problems that business owners have faced, and with this development they can finally get everyone in the company using the same software with the same version at the same time. This provides business owners with a suite of technology tools, priced on a per-person model, that can scale up as the business grows.


Microsoft 365 has an extremely wide range of capabilities. However, the functionality ranges from real-time, online document collaboration to email/task management to calendar synchronization across devices to instant messaging and more. The bottom line is that new technology exists in order to assist business owners in accomplishing their strategic objectives. This is exactly why companies need to spend the time strategizing with a trusted IT advisor in order to leverage all of the power in this technology.


“The most intelligent business owners will leverage this transition period to outperform their competitors,” added Knott. “By devising a strategic plan, educating themselves on the new possibilities and finding ways to utilize Microsoft Office 365 to accelerate the accomplishment of those initiatives, business owners can gain a steep competitive advantage.”

MSTP Helps SMBs Deploy Mobile Workforces to Increase Sales and Productivity

ALBION, NE — February 2019 — Applied Connective Technologies, an industry leader in unified communications, helps their customers leverage technology to allow for a remote workforce in today’s mobile environment.

According to a Cisco study, the growth of the mobile workforce has evolved from startups to enterprises, and 3 out of every 5 workers say that they no longer need to be located in an office in order to be productive. With clear benefits in reduced rent costs, flexibility in scheduling, reduced employee commute times, environmental friendliness, improved employee morale, results-focused productivity and enhanced accountability, it’s no wonder that managers and employees alike are embracing the notion of the mobile workforce.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to embrace the idea of a remote workforce is that there is finally the capability for business owners to properly manage telecommuters through recent advances in technology. Also, the functionality of such technologies has matured to the point where they are reliable, simple and scalable.

One such feature that is quickly rising in popularity is called presence management. This technology enables a manager the same functionality as if they were in the same room as a remote worker without actually needing to physically be there. Presence management technologies monitor employee location, track laptop activity, share availability and enable instant messaging for quick collaboration. In fact, presence management has gotten so precise that it can actually notify a manager when a remote worker has left his or her desk, is on the phone, or has taken a break to go to lunch. With managers constantly within an arm’s reach for assistance, this advancement completely eliminates the frustrating element of “phone tag” inherent in antiquated telecommuting environments.

Many of today’s businesses operate with a central folder on the local area network (LAN), which stores all of the businesses key documents, spreadsheets, presentations and files. A virtual private network (VPN) is one that enables remote workers to access all of the exact same files as if they were sitting at their desk in the office, through a secure and safe remote connection.

With VPN access, remote workers can instantly collaborate with in-office or out-of-office coworkers, since they all have the same documents at their fingertips.

Furthermore, telecommuters can now leverage desktop optimization centers (DOCs), which monitor, manage, enhance and fix remote laptops or desktops with ease. For example, regardless of location, an employee can call into a designated customer service line and get immediate assistance with any technical issues that arise. In fact, DOCs often solve computer issues much faster than in-house IT staff because of the inherent scalability associated with these firms and sheer number of technicians available. For example, if a computer crashes during an installation of new software program, an employee simply calls the technician and the technician remotely connects to the off-site computer and resolves the problem right in front of the employee’s eyes.

Lastly, call accounting, call forwarding and caller ID features have absolutely vital use-cases in the work-from-home environment. Sales managers can utilize simple call accounting software to track employee outreach, see how long employees spend on the phone, number of calls, and screen calls all the way down to specific words that are used. So, if a salesperson is never supposed to say “free,” a manager can know how many times that word was used. You now can have a remote workforce that essentially functions “under the same roof,” enhancing the customer experience. To the outside world, calls will sound the same to the end user whether that call is being answered at an employee’s home or in the boardroom.

“When you have the same level of technology in the home office as you do in the corporate headquarters employees are able to save time on their daily commute, business owners can scale the organization more effectively by adding staff and everyone involved can enjoy increased flexibility and productivity,” says Applied Connective President Ed Knott.

“Now, business owners can leverage the talents and skill sets of people all over the world, and we make it our mission at Applied Connective to provide the technology and the guidance to get this accomplished.”

Cyber Security Nebraska

Applied Connective Educates Customers on Ransomware

Leader in unified communications helps businesses fight malware

Cyber Security Nebraska


ALBION, NEBR. – January 2019 – Applied Connective Technologies, a leader in unified communications, announced today that they have launched a ransomware awareness campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to quickly educate business owners in understanding one of the latest threats now facing small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Ransomware is a specific variation of malware that is running rampant amongst hackers, and Applied Connective is doing its best to alert business owners of this new tactic. Applied Connective’s existing customers are very well protected against this type of threat, but many business owners may be unaware of the potential destruction this has on an organization.

While business owners have always understood the need to protect their businesses from malware, short for “malicious software,” ransomware is a new tactic that hackers are using to attack businesses in an especially aggressive way. Essentially, an employee will receive an email with a deceptive link with a call to action, such as “Click Here to See Resume” or “Download Report Now.” Upon clicking the link, a ransomware application will be installed immediately on the computer. Then, the software can remain hidden for several days until it is activated. At that moment, the ransomware application will hijack critical files, remove them from the network, and encrypt them so no other computers can access them. Then, hackers will send an email demanding payment for the release of the missing files.

“This is a serious and increasingly common problem that can have a devastating impact on an organization,” says Ed Knott, president of Applied Connective Technologies. “And many business owners don’t know how to defend against these types of attacks.

“We take great pride in protecting our customers from threats like this,” adds Knott. “The first line of defense is a technically educated staff. While the majority of these threats come in the form of suspicious email links, an educated staff can avoid these catastrophes simply through awareness. That’s one of the reasons we issued this press release. For business owners that see the value of peace of mind, we devise comprehensive solutions that thwart these types of attacks from every angle. We take a global approach that includes a combination of antivirus software, anti-malware software, strong firewalls, employee education, data backup, and network redundancy paired with targeted cyber security awareness training, which we offer to our clients. This training has proven to be imperative. We’ve seen measurable improvements in all clients who have enrolled.”

Applied Connective Technologies’ mission is to leave business owners in a more empowered position by serving as an educator of emergent technologies. “Our biggest aim with this campaign is to educate businesses now, instead of fielding frantic phone calls from them after they’re already in a difficult, immutable situation later,” concludes Knott. “Understanding how to defend against these cyber threats has saved our clients a lot of downtime, heartache, and money.”

Cloud Computing’s Silver Lining for Small to Mid-Sized Companies

Applied Connective Technologies Explains Fast-Approaching Technology

ALBION, NEBR. – December 2018 – Gaining tremendous popularity among companies big and small, cloud computing is a data-processing infrastructure in which the software and the data are stored on remote servers. These servers are connected to the Internet rather than a PC or a company’s LAN. When one needs to use some form of software application or access data, the computer connects to the remote server through the Internet.

The explosive growth of the Internet has fostered the idea of shared data infrastructure.

“Cloud computing is more prevalent than many realize and most people don’t even realize they’re operating in this fashion,” explained Applied Connective President Ed Knott. “But if you’ve ever created a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook or sent an email from Yahoo, you have engaged in cloud computing. The data that was created resides on a remote server instead of on your PC or other form of conventional hosting.”

Simply put, cloud computing includes server processing, data storage, security and voice applications. As one might imagine, there are tremendous advantages to cloud computing. First and foremost, it enables small- to mid-sized businesses to leverage storage space and application solutions without having to make significant capital expenditures on hardware or infrastructure. As a company needs more storage space or software, they can pay as they go. In other words, providers offering cloud computing offer services based on utility, such as Amazon S3, subscription or a flat monthly fee. Software as a service (SaaS) is another advantage of cloud computing because companies can tap into solutions hosted on the Internet.

Easy collaboration is another great benefit of cloud computing services. With both the application and the data stored in the cloud, it’s easy for multiple users to work together on the same project—anytime, anywhere. This gives companies with virtual employees extreme flexibility as well as enhanced productivity. Furthermore, depending on the provider, the data and applications stored in the cloud in most situations have complete disaster recovery. The information is protected by multiple, geographically dispersed data centers with extensive backup, archive and failover capabilities. In addition to SaaS, cloud computing has given rise to platform as a service, meaning one can build their own applications to run on the cloud provider’s infrastructure. Again, it can be tapped into by multiple users regardless of their location.

Cloud computing is still in its infancy, but the value proposition is quite clear and should be on every IT department’s radar. Although, there are issues that still need to be worked out from a security standpoint because hackers do pose a threat. All in all, the technology provides both a reliable and scalable solution that can greatly impact an organization’s cost structure, can support for future growth and can enhance operating efficiency and employee productivity. More and more attention will be directed towards cloud computing, especially as organizations learn how to harness its power.

Applied Connective

Local MTSP’s Cyber Security Brings Peace of Mind to Business Owners and Their IT Networks


Local MTSP’s Cyber Security Brings Peace of Mind to Business Owners and Their IT Networks

Applied Connective Technologies educates customers on the evolution of malicious threats


ALBION, NEBR. — Nov. 2018 — Applied Connective Technologies, a leading managed technology services provider, has launched an awareness campaign on recent advancements in cyber security. As technology has become even more central to business operations, hackers have grown in proficiency and are posing several new threats to business owners. Applied Connective is actively engaged in alerting customers of these new methods by which hackers are attacking businesses.

Cyber attacks, such as malware, have become one of the biggest threats on an organization’s network because of the speed by which these attacks evolve. Cyber security has become one of the fastest changing technologies in response, and is constantly vying to remain a step ahead of the threats that face most organizations. While business owners were previously able to avoid most threats by purchasing a strong firewall, hackers have continued to evolve their methods and simply put, a firewall doesn’t offer any sufficient level of protection anymore. As technology continues to move forward, the threats facing organizations have become much more sophisticated, brazen and bold.

One such common tactic used by hackers is the coordination of simultaneous attacks to overwhelm any server, LAN (local area network), or other critical endpoint on the network. Essentially, this overwhelms the endpoint and creates openings for hackers to attack the network during the overload period. Every endpoint is vulnerable to these types of attacks, and hackers can circumvent firewalls through any mobile device or tablet, unless the organization has a Unified Threat Management System that automatically evolves with and is designed to thwart these types of attacks.

“Hackers have a malicious goal of accessing and misusing proprietary company data for financial gain,” stated Ed Knott, president of Applied Connective. “One of the best practices that we recommend is triple layered infrastructure protection,” he adds. “This means establishing a layer of security at the edge of the network, another security layer at the desktop and a final layer of security at the LAN.

“This exponentially reduces the risks facing any enterprise because of the redundant nature of multiple levels of protection. This simple step can save companies thousands of dollars and unnecessary downtime.”

Another challenge facing organizations, as it relates to cyber security, is when employees access unauthorized sites and are phished for login credentials, making the network instantly vulnerable. “Through our guidance and technology we help our customers control access to certain websites and automatically prevent employees from interacting with sites that pose security risks to the network. The technology is configured to automatically detect malicious sites and shutdown the threat before any interaction begins.”

Applied Connective has established a cyber security division and is helping companies understand and implement a unified threat management system. During the company’s initial stages of customer outreach, they’ve found that most customers are completely exposed to threats.

“The question business owners must ask themselves is if they truly believe that a static solution can combat a dynamic problem?” said Knott. “In other words, if your firewall hasn’t evolved in the past several years, how can you expect it to keep pace with the evolution of hackers? And more importantly, where do you think that leaves your company data and customers’ sensitive information?”