Our Approach

WHO WE ARE

In a perfect world, your IT system should work seamlessly and invisibly to help propel your business forward. But glitches happen. And systems get outdated. So the next best thing is to have an IT team on hand that you actually enjoy working with.

So take a good look at the people listed here, because we’re the people who will respond to your call for help, whether you’re looking for a new whole-systems approach to your company’s IT, or simply need to reset your password. (Hint: we’re an IT company. So we love email.) And yeah — those are our real email addresses, not some gateway to a generic spam box. Send us a note!

scott-bernoudy
steven-charbonneau
andrew-korb

devon-klooster
dev-taylor
Jennifer-nault

Scott Bernoudy

Scott Bernoudy

scott.bernoudy@openapproach.com

CEO & Principal Engineer

Scott’s favorite place to be growing up was undoubtedly outside, working on his family’s farm. When it came time for college, he headed off to the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he studied philosophy and enjoyed exploring the mountains on foot and by bike. He also worked at a bike shop in Boulder, where, in the process of helping the shop computerize its systems, he first discovered his interest in using computers to optimize business operations.

When he moved to Vermont in 1996 with his wife and newborn, he continued gaining insight into the role technology could play to offset business challenges while working as a Systems Administrator at Vermont Federal Bank and Country Home Products. Inspired to help others do the same, Scott launched Open Approach (OA) in 2002. OA’s goal was to support businesses of all types with a business-friendly philosophy—namely, that computers could and should work like the lights, phones and heat: easily and without hassle.

When Scott’s not trying to match his clients with the best-fitting tech solutions possible, he enjoys traveling, hiking, jogging, cross-country skiing and cycling—all of which balance out his love of cooking and eating good food.


Steven Charbonneau

Steven Charbonneau

steven.charbonneau@openapproach.com

Senior Systems Engineer

Prior to joining Open Approach in 2006, Steve ran his own consulting business, giving him a solid foundation in systems and network administration that he’s been able to build upon considerably in the past decade. “I was excited to finally be able to take the skills I had been developing over the years, and apply them in larger-scale environments where I was making a real difference,” Steve says.

A Computer Science student from SUNY Potsdam, Steve focuses primarily on network and systems infrastructure design, implementation, and support—but don’t be surprised if he’s on the other end of the line when you call in for help resetting your password, either. Steve believes that learning is an ongoing process that is absolutely vital to remaining relevant in the world of IT. “Not a day goes by that I don’t learn a new concept, have my ideas challenged, or spend an inordinate amount of time troubleshooting a complex problem,” he says. “And for that, I am grateful.” Steve enjoys running, hiking, and camping in the Green Mountains. A native of Colchester, he currently resides in Burlington with his two cats, Norma and Iso.


Andrew Korb

Andrew Korb

andrew.korb@openapproach.com

Systems Administrator

A long-time computer aficionado, Andrew has been tinkering with computer hardware and operating systems for as long as he can remember—or at least back to the days of Windows 95 and sub-gigabyte mechanical hard drives. Fascinated by the software and applications that seemed to tie everything together, Andrew became intrigued by programming, and eventually entered Champlain College with an initial focus on software engineering, before finding a deeper interest in business and management information systems.

Well-versed in Windows desktop and server environments, as well as automation and a wide variety of firewall and networking configurations, Andrew deftly handles any problem that comes his way. Outside of the office, he enjoys hiking and biking (sometimes both when he’s got a flat tire), and enthusiastically participates in Burlington’s adult kickball league during the summer months.


Devon Klooster

Devon Klooster

devon.klooster@openapproach.com

Project Manager

A degree in Biology and Psychology doesn’t usually give way to a career in IT, but an innate passion for technology certainly can. Devon’s work with Open Approach is a culmination of years spent in the classroom focusing on one field of study, juxtaposed with his natural curiosity about technology outside of it. Devon attended Cornell University, where he quickly realized he was enjoying his work-study at the on-campus technology retailer as much as (and sometimes more than) attending classes in the lecture hall.

In his work at Open Approach since 2014, Devon has used his love of learning to become the “utility man” for the company. Whether it’s front-line help desk support, assembling quotes for system builds, writing both technical and client-facing documentation, or digging into advanced-systems administration and project work, Devon recognizes that the cliché line about “learning something new every day” is truer than ever. Outside the office, Devon attends far too many concerts, snowboards and waterskis, and brews his own beer—which he encourages brave testers to drink only at their own risk.


Dev Taylor

Dev Taylor

dev.taylor@openapproach.com

Help Desk Technician

Joining up in late 2016, Dev is the newest addition to the Open Approach team. Dev has travelled to and lived in more places than he can count. This only changed when he came to Vermont, fell in love the state’s beauty and decided to stick around. With few other things staying consistent while growing up, one thing that never changed was Dev’s interest in computers and drive to pursue a career in IT.

Dev is a recent graduate from Burlington’s Champlain College with a B.S. in Computer Information Technology, specializing in Computer Science. With an extensive background in customer service industries, Dev is now on the front lines of OA’s Help Desk Support, eagerly assisting clients through their IT questions and troubles.

In addition to the office life, Dev is also a passionate musician, spending much of his free time engaged in music: writing, playing in bands, going to shows, and jamming with friends. He also enjoys travelling, getting better at cooking, PC gaming, and the occasional local beer.


Jennifer Nault

Jennifer Nault

jennifer.nault@openapproach.com

Account Manager

Recently joining Open Approach in 2016, Jennifer adds another opportunity for us to connect with our clients, supporting our vision of being in direct service to each of our customers. She firmly believes exceptional customer service is the most important element when operating a successful business. Her goal is that we consistently meet if not exceed our customer’s expectations.

Graduating from UVM with a Business degree and accumulating over twenty-years of experience, her task is to help us grow our client base without losing the unique, personal service we are currently able to provide. Service is at the center of our company values and one which Jennifer has built her career upon. Jennifer thrives on creating community and when she isn’t working with us, you’ll find her spending time with her family, active outside, or volunteering in the small town of Lincoln, VT where she lives with her husband and children.

BENNINGTON POTTERS

Bennington Potters designs, produces, and markets beautiful, heirloom ceramics. Founded by David Gil in 1948, employed potters continue to follow David’s
legacy, embracing his technical creativity, commitment and tenacity, acting as the driving forces to build the remarkable company that thrives to this day.
Today they operate out of Bennington Potters Yard in southern Vermont, where they give guided tours 7 days a week, as well as a retail-only store in
downtown Burlington!

SOLUTION

Working with a jumbled web of computers, files, and encountering painful drops in network connectivity, Sheela Harden, owner of Bennington Potters, knew
productivity was suffering. They needed a change, but more importantly, they needed guidance. Looking for someone to work with them on their day-to-day
challenges, Bennington Potters reached out to Open Approach in 2006. From switching and firewall upgrades, to server and computer replacements, Open
Approach was able to bring stability and efficiency back to the pottery.


“Working with Open Approach is fluid and conversational, and their work feels that way too; everything works, projects are simple and streamlined, and
issues are resolved quickly and effortlessly.”

— Melissa Colon, Marketing Manager at Bennington Potters

HUBBARDTON FORGE

From its humble beginnings in 1974 operating out of a 19th-century barn, Hubbardton Forge has grown to become the oldest and largest commercial forge in the United States, generating more than $35 million in annual sales. Located in Castleton, Vermont, the company produces thousands of high-end, hand-forged lighting products – “Art that Lights up” – marketed through residential lighting and home furnishings retailers as well as contract distributors. In its highly competitive industry, Hubbardton Forge has distinguished itself as the preeminent design shop with a product line that is anything but common.

SOLUTION

Hubbardton Forge was one of Open Approach’s first clients, and the two companies have figuratively grown up together. As the demands on the Hubbardton Forge network grew, Open Approach worked hard to not only meet these demands, but to help shape the future computing environment to match their corporate vision. Like all visionary companies, Hubbardton Forge works toward opportunity and avoids reacting in fear toward challenges. Open Approach embraces this philosophy, and the result has been a network that is flexible, functional, economical and equal to the demands of this growing company.


“Open Approach has a way of projecting ‘calm’ in the midst of an IT ‘storm,’ and I never have to worry about their professionalism when they interact directly with our users.”

-Dale Carr, MIS Manager at Hubbardton Forge

VERMONT LAND TRUST

Working to protect the productive, recreational, and scenic land that gives Vermont its rural character, Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a member-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a land conservation organization operating five regional offices throughout the state. Established in 1977, Vermont Land Trust has permanently conserved more than 1,900 parcels of land covering more than 550,000 acres, or about nine percent of the private, undeveloped land in the state. They provide technical and legal assistance to individuals, communities, and local land trusts to help them achieve their conservation objectives.

SOLUTION

VLT and Open Approach began working together after VLT experienced network connectivity issues at one of its remote locations. Later, VLT engaged Open Approach for full systems support, which has included migrating to a highly available cluster of servers, introducing necessary redundancy into a previously aging infrastructure. Along the way, VLT was able to retire its deteriorating tape library for backups, as well as move to Microsoft’s Office 365.


“From the first interaction with Open Approach, communication has been very clear, friendly, and thoroughly professional. They really listen and respond to my concerns and ideas in designing solutions that work for us.”

— Teija Huttunen-Green, Director of Operations & Technology at Vermont Land Trust

MERIDIAN TRUST FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union is a multi-branch organization that has been catering to its customers’ financial needs since its inception in 1954. Originally founded by a dedicated group of state employees, Meridian’s goal was to establish a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that would be built on the philosophy of people helping people. That ideology has held through to today, as Meridian has grown both internally and physically throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with the fifth and most recent location opening in 2004 in East Cheyenne, Wyoming.

SOLUTION

Part of Meridian’s growth yielded some growing pains, one of which was the loss of their network administrator in early 2013. Unhappy with another nationally known technology company, they utilized Open Approach in parallel while waiting for the contract to run out. “After only a few months of working together, we soon realized that going with OA was the best thing we ever did. We were treated like partners,” noted Huda Hussain, Director of Business Analysis.

Since joining the team, Open Approach has worked with Meridian on a complete network overhaul, including server virtualization, backup implementation, Active Directory restructuring, and network infrastructure optimization. They deployed a robust network monitoring system, a Citrix XenApp environment for more than 50 users, and an aggressive web filter, which increased productivity, security, and efficiency — all while being located more than 2,000 miles away.


“Despite the distance, Open Approach is in in contact with us all the time. We are kept in the loop of events, issues, etc. They are like our very own virtual IT staff.”

—— Huda Hussain, Director of Business Analysis at Meridian Trust

HELEN PORTER HEALTHCARE

Nestled into farmland bordering Middlebury, Vermont, Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center is a comfortable, secure residence where loved ones are assured of skilled nursing care and assistance. Privacy is honored, individuality is respected and residents can choose to dine, socialize, play games and activities, or exercise with staff and fellow residents. With accommodations for 105 people, Helen Porter is a nonprofit that is licensed by the state of Vermont and certified by Medicare and Medicaid.

SOLUTION

Open Approach and Helen Porter have been working together since 2002, when they teamed up to move their systems from paper files to electronic medical records while ensuring security and complete HIPAA compliance. From migrating non-redundant physical servers into a high-performance server cluster, replacing and standardizing an ever-growing list of workstations and laptops, to performing regular security audits of firewall, networking, and wireless configurations, Open Approach has worked diligently to help keep security and performance optimal, while also keeping costs minimized in support of Helen Porter’s non-profit mission.


“Cost containment in medical delivery is a major driver, and Open Approach has consistently delivered great value while also being one of our best partners. They work tirelessly on our behalf and feel more like fellow staff to all of us.”
 

— Jim Darragh, Facility Administrator at Helen Porter Healthcare

CHAMPLAIN VALLEY EQUIPMENT

Champlain Valley Equipment (CVE) is a Vermont-based company that represents Kubota, New Holland, Polaris, STIHL, Yamaha, and others to provide world-class parts, sales, service and after-sales support to customers for agricultural, light construction, and residential needs. Incorporated in 1970, Champlain Valley Equipment continues to evolve rapidly, and has undergone significant expansion of its product sales and geographic reach.

SOLUTION

“Growing to meet your needs” is Champlain Valley Equipment’s motto, and growing they have been, now with five different branches spanning the entire state of Vermont. To simplify the expansion, CVE wanted to quickly unify all of their separate stores under one network, and called upon Open Approach to do so. By building an interconnected network of firewalls, switching, and servers, Open Approach took five disjointed stores and brought all users into a single domain with minimal interruption or changes to their desktop environments. Open Approach addressed CVE’s increased reliance on email as they migrated to Office 365, and in response to the growing mobility of their users, they deployed a unified wireless solution between all stores, allowing users to seamlessly move between networks with minimal effort.


“Growth and change are the constants here. We are always looking to expand to meet the needs of our customers. That puts a lot of pressure on our systems. Open Approach has really helped us to take on as much as we have. It’s been a great partnership.”
 

— Jennifer LaRock, Office Manager at Champlain Valley Equipment

NORTHERN TIER CENTER FOR HEALTH

Northern Tier Center for Health (NoTCH) is a primary-care practice serving multiple locations throughout Vermont’s Franklin and Grand Isle counties. A federally-funded nonprofit corporation, Northern Tier’s team of compassionate and devoted health care professionals and support staff offer a full spectrum of health care services, including family medicine, obstetrics, internal medicine, behavioral health, pharmacy, lab, and general dentistry.

SOLUTION

Open Approach began working with NoTCH mid-2015, filling the void when a critical internal IT employee left unexpectedly. Work commenced quickly with a sizable project to restructure NoTCH’s backup environment, simplifying and automating backups for their entire server infrastructure, including offsite replication of vital data. Next up was a deep evaluation of network security and firewall configurations, resulting in a significant simplification and hardening of the rule set, which in turn reduced complexity and increased manageability. Along with this came enhanced flexibility for users to roam freely across their multi-site network — and resulted in more than $20,000 in annual savings.


“We needed a resource with the appropriate skillset who could come up to speed quickly, cost less money and have greater availability. The Open Approach philosophy matches ours to a tee.”

— Andrew Hoadley, IT Manager at NoTCH

NSA INDUSTRIES

Founded in 1982 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, NSA Industries was built on a reputation of excellence in quality and performance. The company grew from its initial customer, the manufacturer of the Garden Way Garden Cart, to become the largest metal fabrication, machining, and powder-coating operation of its kind in Northern New England. Today, NSA works collaboratively with customers to develop manufacturing solutions, specializing in metal fabrication, machining, powder coating, engineering and prototype development, and assembly.

SOLUTION

Open Approach has worked with NSA since 2008 to support the systems infrastructure required to maintain the reputation that they’ve built. Early on, a high availability virtual environment replaced their collection of outdated physical servers. This paved the way to support a variety of business demands, such as remote access, a robust phone system, standardized workstations, and multi-site networking for all users across the entire organization. As NSA grows, OA’s latest work has been to facilitate the integration of acquired companies by extending the computer environment into new locations.


“Open Approach has become part of the NSA team. Our concerns become their concerns and are worked through together.”

— Jeff Keyworth, Process Engineer at NSA

MARINE ENGINE

Marine Engine is an online retailer in Brandon, Vermont, that provides boat motor repair information and parts to both boat owners and mechanics across the country. Marine Engine has had a large online presence for over 17 years, selling everything from boat motor parts to engine repair manuals, accessories, and supplies. They also maintain an active discussion forum that provides a wealth of knowledge for boat owners everywhere.

SOLUTION

Open Approach teamed up with Marine Engine nearly a decade ago when their IT needs began to overwhelm the quickly growing business. Due to the important nature of Marine Engine’s online presence, Open Approach established redundant internet circuits from different providers with automatic failover to serve those high-availability needs. They were able to perform an email migration from in-house Exchange to the more dependable and robust Office 365, and built up a modern virtual infrastructure as the company backbone. Today Marine Engine is sailing smoothly, and OA continues to monitor, maintain, and be readily available should any needs arise.


“We recognized the need for network support beyond what we could do on an ad-hoc basis, and we wanted a solid business to cover that realm for us. OA is always available for discussion surrounding issues or whatever comes up, and there’s nothing out of bounds.”

— Andrew Menkart, owner of Marine Engine