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Getting to Know You...

Name: Jesse Houser

Title: Systems Engineer

Tenure with Sovran: December 2013

Current Role: I wear a variety of hats at Sovran. As a Systems Engineer, I attend Business Consults with our sales team to assist in evaluating our client's existing infrastructure and needs. I then take that information and design a custom solution for the client and complete the implementation. In addition to new installations, I am the responsible administrator for several managed services clients as well.

Favorite Client Experience: Working with people to not only fix things when they are broken, but to also help them understand how the issue appeared and the best way to avoid/handle similar situations in the future.

March 6, 2014: Sovran, Inc has surfaced on Nine Lives Media’s seventh-annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition, a distinguished list and report identifying the world's top 501 managed service providers (MSPs).

“Sovran is proud to have been recognized as one of the world’s top MSP’s.  This is a testament to our employee achievements and ultimately our client satisfaction.”  said Brian Arneson, President/CEO, Sovran.  “We are deeply committed to serving our clients in an exceptional way.”

 

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Getting to Know You...

 

Name: Shonn Twight

Title: Systems Engineer

Tenure with Sovran: Since June 2008

Current Role: I rarely have two days the same. Some things that I do commonly, however, are my visits with Sovran's clients. During those visits I check on a wide array of items (the specific list depends on the client in question) to make sure that things are running correctly. I also make sure to check in with people at the client site. There are always things that people will ask me to look at if they see me that they will rarely bother to call in about.
All in all, a lot of my time (probably majority) is spent trying to find things that are not working and then make them work.

Favorite client experience: I have been involved with a couple of client moves (one location to another). They have all been experiences that  I have really enjoyed, seeing all of the equipment moved into a room designed specifically for the equipment, it is always exciting and rewarding.

Explosive increases in the quantity of data in digital format (i.e., email, faxes, application data, documents, and media files) is fueling small businesses and large enterprises to need data storage and backup technology like no other time in the history of the electronic age. Despite a sharp increase in affordability and availability of automated backup systems, many businesses still rely on unsecure tape devices to backup and restore vital information.

 

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One of the most frequent discussions we have with our clients is the need for a good backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity plan. The conversation usually starts with the question: “How long could your business survive without its data?” Gartner Group states that 43 percent of companies were immediately put out of business by a “major loss” of computer records, and another 51 percent permanently closed their doors within two years; that is a 6% survival rate.

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Sovran is pleased to announce, all Total Care & Co-Managed Agreements will receive unlimited, no-cost, instructor led training classes from our partner New Horizons Minnesota, to provide training to our clients who are IT professionals and end users alike. This is in addition to the features included such as proactive support, reactive support, system administration and technology consulting.

New Horizons is the world’s largest independent IT training company that delivers a full range of technology and business skills training from basic application and desktop productivity tools to complex IT systems. As a learning solutions provider for many of the industry’s top vendors, such as Microsoft, Cisco and VMware, New Horizons Minnesota is positioned to offer the latest authorized curriculum delivered by certified instructors to keep you on the cutting edge of technology.

Choose from a variety of classes, levels and learning modalities offered in Eagan or at a remote location. Learn at a pace that best fits you with Traditional Instructor Led Training or Online Live. Classes include Microsoft Applications, Project, Visio, SharePoint, and Adobe CS6 Suite.

Click here to view the classes available to Managed Services Clients

“As part of Sovran’s vision to provide the ultimate client experience, it’s important that we help our clients ‘upgrade’ their employees to be more productive and effective in their roles.” states Brian Arneson, Sovran’s CEO. “We value our clients and wanted to offer an additional benefit that no other managed services provider can match. We all benefit from the use of the latest technology and features, but in order to maximize its use, training is a key ingredient.”

Contact your solutions consultant today for more information!

With the recent revelation that Target’s Credit Card data was compromised, I felt it important to discuss a few things you and your company can do to ensure your data and your client’s data are safe. In addition, Sovran can help implement the measures outlined below.  (We include this for all of our Managed Services clients.)

  1. Don’t “share” your passwords.  Passwords can be shared in many ways. The obvious one is telling people your password.  The other ways are leaving them written on a post-it note on your monitor, underneath your keyboard, or on your white board.  In addition, don’t share your password between accounts.  In other words, don’t use a “master” password for every device, service, online account, and email account you use.  It makes it more difficult to remember them, but it’s a simple way to ensure your data (and identity) is protected.

  2. Make sure you utilize enterprise-level network protection.  While it’s true that any firewall is better than no firewall, the more sensitive the data you have, the stronger firewall you need. Your firewall also needs to be updated with the latest firmware to protect you and your business from any new or emerging threats.

  3. If you are subject to any regulations, such as PCI Compliance, you must also be able to provide Intrusion Detection and Prevention.  These services watch your perimeter defenses for exploit indicators and policy violations.

  4. Ensuring your anti-malware (virus, spam, and others) software is installed and up to date is critical: as they say, the best offence is a good defense. Intrusive and “scary” problems start with a virus being deployed on your network that creates an opening for other malicious activity.  

  5. Anytime you deal with sensitive data, it’s important to have a robust Security Incident Plan.  The question is not “if” someone will get on your network: it’s “when.”  When it happens, you need to be prepared to take action, including who will coordinate response, appropriate (and required) notifications, and follow-up security measures.

These are just a few quick tips to help as you may be wondering if your data and your company’s safe and secure.  If you have any questions, there are many forms of security audits that can be performed to give you peace of mind, including an easy penetration test to a full-scale security audit completed by an authorized security firm.

Have a wonderful (and safe) holiday season.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Sovran at 651-686-0515.  You may also contact your sales consultant directly.

 

winxpIf you aren’t aware, Microsoft is pulling the plug on some of its software in the next few months. These include Microsoft XP, Windows Server 2003, and Office 2003.

I had many debates with a particular client about why we had to go through the process of relearning things in Microsoft Office every few years, why they removed different obscure components that he used “ALL THE TIME”, and why they forced users to buy new hardware (printers, computers, etc.) when it was all just perfectly setup to work!

(Sound familiar?)

 

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Sovran Launches a New Web site!

Sovran announces its new Web site layout and template.lifehack-web

In late October Sovran launched a new Web site layout that is more user friendly to our online guests. There are many similar features from our previous site but some much needed improvements for our online users that we think will be a big hit. See below pictures some of the great new features and functionalities of our site.

Menu Page

We have redesigned our menu page that will allow for easier use when browsing our content.

sovran website banner

Login

There is a "login" function at the top of the page that will give users access to more content as well as make the purchasing process and service ticket process easier for clients to monitor. If you would like to take advantage of this feature and do not have an account with us you are able to request one through the link below the sign in box.

log in drop down on site

Free Consult

You also have the opportunity to request a free consultation with one of our experience consultants.

free consult on site

White Paper

We have case studies and white papers available for downoad. Below showcases the Managed Services white paper we have available for download on our homepage. If you are looking for case studies look in the "About Us" drop down.

free white paper on site

Sovran Takes New Leadership Approach

Sovran has announced that effective October 1st, 2013 Brian Arneson is now the CEO of Sovran. Brian has been with the company since 2005 and brings a vast array of experience. During his tenure at Sovran he has held many titles such as: Manager of Business Solutions, VP of Managed Services and his most recent role as President/COO. He has more than 15 years in the technology industry and has a proven track record of success.

"I am honored, humbled and excited to lead Sovran down the path of success for the next 25 years and beyond," Brian said. Brian has also expressed his gratitude to the owner and previous CEO, Lisa Loken, who has done an incredible job growing and maintaining the company's success. With this change Lisa has stepped down as the CEO for Sovran and will stay on as the CFO of the company. With this change Lisa will be able to focus more time and energy on our sister company, New Horizons Minnesota, which is a regional technology training facility.

 

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