Shaping the Future of Financial Services
Since opening our doors in 1980, Lutz has steadily grown to become the largest locally owned firm of its kind in Nebraska because of integrity, work ethic and, most importantly, our talented 225-plus person team who isn’t afraid to step out of the box. We communicate openly, collaborate willingly and network exceptionally.
Lutz provides accounting services such as tax, business consulting, client accounting services, and valuation to individuals and organizations in a variety of industries. In order to help our current and future clients thrive in all aspects of their business, we’ve created multiple service lines including Lutz Financial, Lutz Tech, Lutz Talent and Lutz M&A.
About Lutz Tech
Founded in 2000, Lutz Tech was established when UNL approached us to create an application that would solve a complex business problem that the university was experiencing. Word spread that the application could provide value to multiple universities in the Big 12 conference and, since then, we service that application for approximately 35 major universities throughout the United States. With only a handful of employees in the beginning, the support needed for the demand by our College Athletics applications fed the business.
Throughout our interactions with our large base of accounting clients, we found there was a constant need for assistance with their IT issues. In the early days we would send our own internal IT personnel to a client’s office to help them in one off situations. Once we realized there was a niche market for this type of service, we acquired two local Managed IT Service Providers, OurTech and Network Solutions Group (NSG), in 2012 and merged them together to form what is now the Lutz Tech MSP division.
Since then, Lutz Tech has grown significantly to provide a variety of services from Application Development, Infrastructure project design and build, and our flagship service of Managed IT Services, where we become the IT resource for the client’s internal IT needs from A to Z. Today we have roughly 40 employees that contribute to our division and our clients’ needs in a variety of ways, from the person answering the phone on the helpdesk to the high-level VCTO consultant that can advise you on the correct technology to advance your business forward, all of this while being cost conscience and aware of the cultural and operational structure of your company. We currently manage about 3,000 end users and roughly 5,000 endpoints throughout our portfolio.
It’s in our roots. Nebraska offers an array of advantages that make it a rewarding place to live and work. With a right-in-the-middle-of-it-all location, many companies world-wide have discovered that Nebraska offers an ideal blend of economic opportunity and lifestyle, and we agree. We have offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings and Grand Island. The majority of our client base is made up of Nebraska companies.
Technology Drives Us
Like it or not, technology drives our lives and schedules on a daily basis. With the adoption of automation, employees spend less time on tasks that once required hours and complete. This is important not just because the automation can do these sometimes menial tasks in a fraction of the time, but it also shrinks the chances for human error. Whether employees are rushed due to a volume of work or they just make a simple data entry mistake, there will always be human error when tasks are done manually. Automation takes that component out of tasks like data reporting.
In most industries, employees are confined to one place: the office. That’s because, in order to complete certain tasks manually, an employee has to use a specific machine. Employees are no longer confined to the walls of the office to accomplish a task that is now automated. This allows them to work wherever it makes the most sense, and they can access the information they need from anywhere on any device.
By reducing the amount of time spent on unnecessary tasks, shrinking the chances of human error, and allowing more people—specifically clients—to be involved in projects, your company will be better able to operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and improve communication with clients simply through automation.
Lutz Tech + Team Spotlight
Scott Kroeger is a Shareholder and serves as the Director of Sales and Operations at Lutz Tech. He is a skilled Information Technology professional with substantial expertise in web technologies, systems infrastructure, databases, programming, business cases, and application integration. He is well-versed with industry accepted best practices in the areas of software development, IT infrastructure, project management, change management and problem resolution.
With over 14 years of experience in the technology field, he offers an arc of expertise that extends from behind-the-scenes data center infrastructure to user-facing specialties like interface design.
Scott is highly valued for his ability to recruit and lead top industry talent and is dedicated to building accountable teams. He is recognized for his capability to translate complex technical concepts into terms that anyone can understand and drives fundamental business development initiatives like improving products, increasing revenue and reducing expenses.
Ron Nebbia joined the Lutz in 1987 and serves as a Consulting Partner at Lutz.
He specializes in business management, mergers and acquisitions and business valuation consulting as well as technology and process efficiency consulting.
Ron has performed these services for a wide variety of industries including wholesale distribution, healthcare, construction and personal service businesses.
Gary Newton joined the firm in 2012 and serves as a Partner for Lutz Tech. Gary’s primary responsibility is managing and designing network solutions for new and existing clients. He has more than 29 years of experience designing, managing, and supporting local and wide area networks. He can communicate technical terms to decision makers and helps clients create strategic technology plans.
His specialties include: virtualization design (Vmware & Hyper-V), disaster recovery and business continuity planning, multi-site connectivity (Cisco, HP, MPLS), thin client technology (Terminal Services, Citrix), hosted and published application design, technology consulting and planning / licensing compliance.
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Shaping the Future of Financial Services
If you use mobile banking or pay your bills online – or interact with a financial institution at all – chances are you’re more familiar with Fiserv than you realize. The company offers a wide range of technology and services for the financial services industry, including award-winning solutions for mobile and online banking, payments, risk management, data analytics and core account processing.
Fiserv delivers deep expertise and innovative technology to help financial institutions, businesses and consumers move and manage money faster and with greater ease.
Over the course of its more than 30-year history, Fiserv has grown dramatically. Its presence in Nebraska began with the acquisition of a locally owned business called Information Technology, Inc. (ITI), which was founded in Lincoln during the late 1970s. The 1995 acquisition put Fiserv on the forefront of “client/server” solutions for banking and delivered hundreds of Nebraska-based employees to the company – along with a strong client base stretching across the U.S.
Today, Fiserv is a FORTUNE® 500 company with approximately 750 of its 22,000 associates located in Lincoln. Many of these Nebraska-based employees are part of global teams that work to rethink and reshape the way financial services are delivered. Together, they manage hundreds of applications and focus on everything from product design, development and installation to quality assurance, account management, finance, marketing, consulting, business development, technical support and more.
Technology and innovation are key to the Fiserv mission of enabling its clients to create best-in-class results.
“Fiserv has always been a technology-focused company,” says Kent White, a Lincoln-based vice president of Product Management at Fiserv. “It’s imperative for us to understand our clients’ world and who their customers are before we can deliver the technology to help propel their business and create a better banking experience.”
Over his 28-year career with the company, White has seen a massive shift in demands from banking customers. He says financial institutions are now expected to be technology companies that deliver experiences on par with cutting-edge consumer brands with multi-million-dollar research and development budgets. By focusing on the technology of banking, Fiserv helps financial institutions of all sizes deliver the experiences their customers are asking for, so their staff can focus on the business of banking.
Today, White’s primary responsibility is serving as enterprise product manager for Notifi℠ – a new solution that makes it easier for customers to manage their financial lives. Customers can subscribe to receive alerts based on account activity. They choose what they want to be alerted about, how they receive those alerts (email, text, push notification), where they receive alerts (mobile devices, email addresses, online), and even when to receive alerts (customers can indicate quiet times). Not only are alerts delivered in real-time – as the account activity is occurring – Notifi also makes it easy for customers to take action. So, instead of simply notifying a customer of a low account balance, the alert includes a response option to quickly transfer funds using the mobile device.
The Next Big Idea
Innovations like Notifi enable Fiserv clients to deliver the experiences their customers expect, and the company is always looking for the next big idea for delivering financial services in an increasingly digital and connected world. Fiserv is committed to driving purposeful and focused innovation through the development and delivery of new solutions, strategic partnerships and investment in other innovative companies.
Dan Senft, senior product manager, Fiserv, has played a key role in one such initiative – the partnership between Fiserv and the Jeffrey S. Raikes honors program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Last year, Fiserv celebrated its 10th year partnering with the Raikes program. Each school year, a team of Fiserv associates and students research creative ways to influence banking using emerging technologies like facial recognition, voice detection and beacons.
“We take the students out to our clients, have them sit with bankers and then let them loose to create solutions,” says Senft. “It gives them an opportunity to work on a real-life business challenge and provides us with an opportunity to innovate freely. Anything’s possible.”
Most recently, the Fiserv and Raikes team brainstormed ways for bankers and consumers to interact with one another across multiple devices in the branch to make processes like account opening more engaging. The result of their project was showcased to thousands of bankers at the Fiserv national client conference and received the Platinum Award from the Raikes program for the best project of the year.
The world is pushing toward a new kind of financial services experience. Responding to this demand is no simple task. Fiserv draws on deep knowledge and foresight to constantly look ahead for our clients, delivering solutions that work for today’s realities and will take them into the future.
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Dundee Venture Capital
Mark Hasebroock, founder of Omaha-based Dundee Venture Capital
How Did DVC get started and why Nebraska?
Between Mark being an Omaha native and a die-hard Husker fan, it was a pretty easy decision. In reality though, the reason to set up shop in Nebraska was based off of Mark’s experience co-founding Hayneedle –an online home product retailer based right here in Omaha. While at Hayneedle, VC firms across the country were calling Mark, but he couldn’t get a dime of risk capital in the Midwest.
Luckily, a roadshow in California gave Hayneedle the exposure Mark needed to secure funding from two of the country’s top VCs, Sequoia Capital and Insight Venture Partners. Mark knew of other rapidly growing businesses in the Midwest with incredibly talented founders who were also succeeding, but had no investment capital to fund further growth. And, as the costs of startup technology companies continued to decline, he couldn’t just sit and watch from the sidelines. And so, in 2010, Mark founded Dundee Venture Capital with the intent to invest in Midwest companies at the earliest stages and to mentor startups as they ramp up their growth.
Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska we now have over $40M under management and typically invest between $250k to $750k in high-growth, seed-stage startups. We are currently in the process of investing out of our third fund, a $30M fund aimed at cultivating innovative ideas throughout the Midwest and continuing the reputation of success associated with the DVC name. Our philosophy is that we are about more than just funding startups. We want to build lasting partnerships with our founders. We choose opportunities based on our belief in the business and the founders alike, so we are there every step of the way.
How Does Technology Drive Your Business?
Without technology and new ideas, we wouldn’t have a business. Innovation is the lifeblood of Venture Capital. It’s what keeps us busy. As a VC firm, we constantly keep our ears to the ground on what the next emerging tech innovation will be. At the same time, we aim to be efficient in our processes. To go from hearing an idea to closing a deal and funding the next great tech venture takes time. So along the way we rely on technology to drive our business in a number of ways.
The first being that, we see hundreds of ideas come through our door which means we have to make a conscious effort to listen and remember all of them. By having the right systems in place, we are able to actively track and engage with the entrepreneurs whom we see throughout the year. Second, we take advantage of new applications such as Slack and Google hangouts to constantly stay connected as a team and to collaborate with one another on pitched ideas or general day-to-day activities. Third, and most important of all, we love to try new things. If there is a way in which we can do things better, we want to know about it. Trial and error is the best way for us to figure out what works and what doesn’t work; whether that’s through experimenting with new types of video conferencing tools, or just by finding new ways to store and save important data. In the end, technology drives our business through constant innovation and efficient work applications.
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Proxibid – a Homegrown eCommerce Company with Global Reach
Proxibid’s Founders: Andrew Liakos, Ken Maxwell and Joe Petsick
Proxibid is creating exciting new products and services that change the way people buy and sell online. Founded in July 2001 to provide auction companies with the ability to sell to bidders through an online portal, Proxibid’s formative years were spent at the Scott Technology Center Incubator on the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Over the last 15 years, the company has evolved from a conduit for auction companies to the world’s most trusted way to connect buyers and sellers of highly valued items. Proxibid has worked with more than 4,000 unique auctioneers, asset owners and consignors with buyers from 190 countries to provide a safe way to transact. More than 15 categories of inventory pass through our Marketplace via 4 different ways to buy and sell.
Although we have global reach, Omaha will always be our home. We’re proud of our Nebraska heritage and we are dedicated to support technological development and job creation in the region. Proxibid’s headquarters in Omaha feature an open floor plan, a wealth of natural light, original artwork from some of our city’s up-and- coming artists, flexible work spaces, and a fully-stocked kitchen with all the comforts of home. Our culture of stand-up meetings, a weekly happy hour, and the occasional BBQ on our patio ensures our team is happy at work every day.
From entry-level to the most experienced developers, everyone on the software development team works to directly improve the code, the site, and ultimately, improve Proxibid’s position in the technology space. Lots of companies talk about their cool cultures, flat org charts, open environments and relaxed workspaces, but Proxibid is the real deal. Single level seating where executives are available, not behind office doors, helps maintain a culture of open communication among all levels of the company and among all departments.
We’ve been a part of some amazing moments. From a technology standpoint, one of our most exciting moments in the development of our platform was in 2011, when Proxibid rolled out the largest code release in the company’s history. Internally, the project was dubbed “Superman.” With a newly designed website, we added additional category landing pages, more efficient fraud prevention measures, a streamlined registration and bidding processes, and tools to make it easier for users to browse for and find events. Many of the major improvements are still integral to Proxibid’s site today.
Proxibid is on the verge of another major change to the platform. Our focus in the upcoming months will be to re-architect the site, using state of the art Java open source technology. As a part of the new buyer foundation initiative, the back-end system will receive a major overhaul with additional changes to the user experience and site design to keep our system ready for whatever the future may hold.
Through this initiative, we are excited to bring more modern technology to the Nebraska tech ecosystem and provide opportunities for developers to work on an exciting project that will integrate with some of the biggest names in the business. As Proxibid’s position in the market expands, we have formed several partnerships with ecommerce leaders like eBay, providing team members the opportunity to work with counterparts and leadership at various organizations.
We’re proud sponsors of the Technology Association of Nebraska. When organizations like TAN cultivate an environment where tech companies and talent can thrive, we all win.