Kirkwood SD Letter

Kirkwood School District R-7

Excellence in Education Since 1865

David Damerall

February 20, 1997

To Whom It May Concern:

As superintendent of the Kirkwood School District during the past three years, I have worked closely with Mike McNeil of the Sonacom Company in the development of a technological infrastructure for our district. In that capacity, I have learned to count on Sonacom to perform quality work and complete it on time. However, I have counted it a particular advantage to work with Mr. McNeil, whose honesty, insight, and expertise have enabled our changing technology plan to adjust and move forward in a quality manner.

We initially chose Sonacom because of their ability and personalized service. In order to avoid problems with a variety of vendors who tend to point the finger of blame at each other when things do not go as planned in the installation of an innovative technology system, we developed a partnership arrangement with Sonacom in which they provide all service to us for a reasonable percentage of profit beyond their costs. They have regularly offered to let us review their books to double check a particular amount. In addition, I feel that we have often gotten bargains from this process because Sonacom can integrate a new system, such as the Bay System 5800 network cards, smoothly and seamlessly since they were responsible for implementing every other part of it. We have learned that in the area of technology, one component may work well by itself, but when integrated with other systems, problems often occur. By using Sonacom as an all-purpose technological vendor, we have avoided serious integration problems and saved money in doing so.

Sonacom has also been valuable to us in providing solutions to unexpected problems. For example, last spring and summer we had an opportunity to structure an arrangement with Charter Cable Company to connect all our campuses with fiber optic cable. However, they had to use single mode because of the distances between the schools, and we were using multimode to connect classrooms with fiber within the schools. Sonacom worked out a solution to connect the two fiber systems and enable our district-wide network to go on line as planned.

Mike McNeil is a key ingredient in Sonacom’s success because you can trust him and he is a terrific problem solver. We use a variety of independent consultants in making technological decisions, but we have come to trust Mike so much that at times I have to remind myself that he is a vendor as well as a tremendous consultant.

I recommend Sonacom and particularly Mike McNeil, as people who have integrity and perform high quality work. We have been extremely pleased with all they have done to help us in our network.

David Damerall

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