Our October Client of the Month is Peigi Cook, Director at Corning Children’s Center, a year round childcare and education setting serving up to 160 children from 6 weeks old to five years until they leave for kindergarten, located in Corning, NY. For over 20 years Peigi has led the Children’s Center and seen their data and technology needs grow and change tremendously.
In 2011, Databranch had the opportunity to respond to an RFQ the organization sent out and was chosen as their new provider. Peigi recalled, “We were looking for better documentation of what was being done to our network and a more proactive, engaged interface with our provider. When you hire someone to manage your technology you expect them to know more than you do and you want them to utilize their expertise to tell you what you should be thinking about. We chose Databranch based on their rigorous documentation and reporting on a sustained basis.”
The biggest benefit for the organization since becoming a Comprehensive Care client for Peigi has been, “No downtime and a sense that when work is done it’s done with a focus. Which means for us that when we have work done, we know it’s done right and that it will be done efficiently.” According to Peigi, the relationship has been relatively easy from the beginning and the key to our longstanding partnership is mutual respect, honesty, and an appreciation for the work each of us does. She stated, “You have always been really good at listening to who we are, our challenges, and working within the parameters we need to live in. I’m sure every client you work with has different operating environments and priorities and that’s never been an issue because you pay attention and value who we are. I wouldn’t be happy with someone that’s always trying to upsell us. You’ve been good at understanding that and working with us within our means. That counts a lot.”
One unique way we’ve worked with the Corning Children’s Center to aid their mission and maximize their IT budget is training their Operations Director, Delores Folk, to function as an internal super user, addressing easily fixed user issues. Peigi emphasized that this has enabled the organization to save money and our training expertise has been invaluable in bringing her team up to speed technically. To conclude our interview Peigi remarked, “We appreciate the quality of your staff. They’re smart. They’re respectful. They’re focused. They get the work done without glitches or hiccups.”
Databranch President, David Prince, had the following to say about our relationship, “It’s a pleasure to work with Peigi and her staff at Corning Children’s Center. Over the five years we’ve been working together we have collectively made enhancements and improvements to their technology infrastructure which has resulted in increased reliability and productivity for the staff. It is a privilege to partner with someone who cares so deeply about the mission of her organization.”
To learn more about the Corning Children’s Center and how you can support their mission to set the standard in early care and education by inspiring learners, leaders and dreamers visit their website http://www.corningchildrenscenter.com/supporters/
Our September Client of the Month was Kathy Miller, IT Manager, at Cameron Manufacturing & Design, a leading producer of metal fabrications, weldments, customer machinery, and engineering services located in Horseheads, NY. Kathy has been involved in many different aspects of IT at Cameron Manufacturing starting in a programing role, moving to customer service, and then transitioning to database management, all leading to her current Database and IT Administration/Management role.
In early 2015, Cameron Manufacturing had a very talented IT staff member that took a position at another company closer to his home, leaving the business with an IT void that needed to be filled quickly. Kathy recalled, “At that time, IT technicians with experience were very difficult to find. Databranch had the qualifications and talent to fill our needs. I had positive and successful interactions with my current contacts at Databranch and wanted to continue that relationship”
Databranch had been partnering with Cameron since 2008 for software renewals and we were excited when the opportunity arose to take our business relationship to the next level and welcome them as a Comprehensive Care Client. The biggest benefit for the organization according to Kathy has been, “Regular maintenance of our servers and client PC’s as well as an improved data recovery plan. I think Databranch is very responsive to our needs that fall inside and outside of our monthly service agreement.” Recently, one of the servers managed by Databranch was infected with Locky Ransomware, but because of our familiarity with their environment and their adoption of our preferred business continuity solution, Datto, we were able to identify and respond to the issue within the first fifteen minutes of the work day, restoring their server and all infected files by the end of the day with little disruption to users.
Since becoming a Comprehensive Care client, Kathy feels her peace of mind concerning the business’s technology has greatly improved. She knows that all work will get done in a timely manner without having to hire and have experts in multiple fields on staff. In regards to the Databranch team she says, “I think all the staff members are very prompt and have great qualifications to get done what is required at Cameron Manufacturing. There have been no issues with the staff, service, and support we receive from Databranch.”
Databranch Account Manager, Jeff Bussard, who has worked with Kathy for many years had the following to say about their relationship, “I like working with Kathy Miller from Cameron Manufacturing because she has a great attitude. When it comes to IT solutions, we are able to work together to find the right services or products to improve processes for Cameron Manufacturing and Cameron Bridge Works. We hold a level of trust that enables us to solve problems quickly and efficiently, which helps support the mission of the business and we look forward to partnering with them for their IT needs for many years to come.”
1) Defend your computer
- Strengthen your computer’s defenses. Keep all software (including your web browser) current with automatic updating (or follow the directions of IT staff). Install legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware software. Never turn off your firewall.
- Don’t be tricked into downloading malicious software. Stop and think before you open attachments or click links in unusual email, text, or instant messages (IM), on social networks, or in random pop-up windows. If you’re unsure if a message is legitimate – even from a coworker – contact the sender to confirm using a different device and another account.
2) Protect company data and financial assets
- Don’t put confidential information in email, instant, or text messages; they may not be secure.
- Beware of scams. Never give information like an account number or password in response to a phone call, or email or other online request.
- For the most sensitive transactions – Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, payroll, and the like – consider a dedicated computer not used for email or web browsing.
3) Create strong passwords and keep them private
- Lock devices, company routers, and online accounts with strong passwords or PINs. Strong passwords are long phrases or sentences and mix capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t disclose passwords or PINs to coworkers.
- Use a unique password on each account or device containing personal or business data, and change them regularly.
4) Guard company data when you’re on the go
- Treat all public Wi-Fi networks as a security risk.
- Choose the most secure option – it could include password-protection or encryption – even if you have to pay for it.
- Confirm the exact spelling of the wireless network you’re connecting to – beware of clever (slightly misspelled) fakes, such as www.micrsoft.com.
- Encrypt all confidential data on smartphones, laptops, flash drives, and other portable devices in case they’re lost or stolen.
- Never make financial and other sensitive transactions on any device over public wireless networks.
- Use flash drives carefully. Minimize the chance that you’ll infect your company network with malware:
- Don’t put any unknown flash (or USB) drive into your computer.
- On your flash drive, don’t open files that are not familiar.
What to do if there are problems
Using a web service
When using email, a social network, or other service, report:
- Scams, obscene material, or aggressive behavior to the service. For example, in Microsoft services or software, look for a Report Abuse link or contact Databranch.
- Any misrepresentation of your organization – for example, a phishing scam that pretended to be from your company – to your system administrator.
Theft or loss of company data or other assets
If sensitive company data or accounts have been compromised because of theft or loss of a laptop, smartphone, or other device, or because of a breach of network security or an account:
- Report it immediately to IT or security personnel, if your organization has them, and to the bank, when appropriate.
- Change all passwords used to log on to the device.
- Contact the service provider for help in wiping the data from smartphones and other devices.
Content courtesy of Microsoft Community Connections