Kestrel Tellevate News
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Get to know our KTL team! This month, we are catching up with KTL SharePoint Specialist/Developer Jaime Stout. Jaime has over 20 years of experience developing holistic IT solutions that create a more robust and efficient environment. She is based in KTL’s Madison, WI office.
Tell us a little bit about your background—what are your areas of expertise?
Let’s just say I am not your average IT professional, but that is exactly what makes me so good at what I do! I am a creative problem solver with a knack for coming up with some pretty crazy solutions to any challenge handed to me, which is basically a long story short of how I ended up becoming a SharePoint Developer.
My background is in business. I have a graphic design degree and moved around the printing, publishing, and insurance industries before coming to KTL. In all these positions, I was challenged with creating systems to do things where an existing application didn’t already exist—some simple, like creating project tracking, inventory tracking or billing, and some more complex, like creating an online proofing system when the technology was still in its infancy—all working with no budget and only the software available.
SharePoint popped up on my radar about 14 years ago while working on a project where I wanted our print vendor system to match our internal system to create a more fluid user experience. I was simply told this was not possible, but I am not one to take no for an answer! I started digging into what was available to me within that company’s framework and discovered SharePoint. It has been a love story ever since.
When I first started working with SharePoint, I realized it worked very similarly to the applications I had learned in design school. By applying those same design principles, I was able to create the look and functionality within SharePoint to match the print vendor site and create a one-site experience, which was key to success on this project. I have been applying that theory ever since, with a focus on making applications work for the user rather than making the user work around the application.
What types of clients do you work with? What are the biggest issues you see them facing right now?
I work with any and all KTL clients—anyone who is looking for a paperless way to do business in a more efficient manner. The biggest issue I see my clients facing right now is too many applications and not enough solutions. A trend I have seen over the years for companies big and small is that they tend to pick single-focus solutions that don’t talk to each other to solve an immediate need rather than looking at the big picture need. As a result, they end up with all these different applications doing different things, and the data is basically useless.
One thing I try to focus on when we start any information management project is how we can consolidate however many systems the company is using to pull information so they talk to each other. It is important to figure out what other areas might be affected by the project, because what lies just below the surface is usually the first thing to cause issues. Data is very specific, but at the end of the day, it is still a human who enters it. Anywhere we can streamline processes provides a better chance of keeping data clean and useful.
What would you say is a highlight of your job?
What I love most about what I do is the challenge. I refuse to accept “it can’t be done” or “no” as an answer. The fact is that it almost always can be done. You just have to think outside the box, and then the opportunities become endless. One of the great challenges we get from our clients is creating systems that make their lives easier, and I love being the one to come up with those solutions. If you can stump me or challenge me with something I can’t figure out, you will be the first.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My two girls and my very spoiled dog Luna keep me pretty busy in my free time. In the winter, we are a hockey family, and life revolves around the ice. Even Luna goes to games—she is the unofficial team mascot. I am also a huge fan of adventures and traveling. We have been home a bit more than usual this past year, but we have also had the opportunity to really enjoy some great trips to Chicago and Hawaii with a little extra precaution.