Archive for May, 2014


CMIT’s Women Of The Channel 2014

May started off fast and furious by attending the annual CMIT Solutions convention. This was my 11th convention (haven’t missed one yet) and it was in New Orleans. The photo you see here is of five women (we are missing our colleague from St. Louis) who own CMIT businesses from all over the country. All were selected for the CRN Women of the Channel recognition for our work in and contributions to the industry as well as our respective communities. Several of us are repeat honorees and we encouraged others to get nominated. The power of my CMIT ecosystem has been a key element for our success and for sticking it out for 10 years. Within our ever-changing technology industry, CMIT Solutions has been a steadying force for my Denver operation.

Diving deeper into making the most of my personal ecosystem is my mastermind group, the CMIT Pacesetters, which just celebrated its sixth birthday and from where I stepped down from my 2 year term as Co-Dean. The professional growth from participating in a mastermind or peer group (go and find a copy of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich) along with the deepening of relationships has allowed me to share all things about my business and personal life because they all come together to affect outcomes. When business is great or challenging or when life is tough or there is a life cycle event to celebrate, my Pacesetters have been there for me. Let it be known that I am a member of various ecosystems, some of which overlap in the IT industry which is to my benefit and that of my current and future clients.

When looking up the definition of “ecosystem” I found the following from Merriam-Webster:

Complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space. An ecosystem’s abiotic (nonbiological) constituents include minerals, climate, soil, water, sunlight, and all other nonliving elements; its biotic constituents consist of all its living members. Two major forces link these constituents: the flow of energy and the cycling of nutrients. 

A simpler explanation or definition (courtesy of Merriam-Webster) is “everything that exists in a particular environment.”

My IT industry ecosystems (as I said there are several and they overlap), my personal (family and friends) ecosystem, and my community (Rotary and synagogue) ecosystems keep me busy. What I learn or discover in one will often translate into a lesson for another ecosystem. The fact that I enjoy being collaborative fuels the fire for making the most of these environments that are constantly changing, growing and evolving. The very successful people in my industry preach that one must always be learning (via reading books, attending conferences, watching webinars,…). I will set a goal for the remainder of the year as to my involvement in the various ecosystems and how to invest my time wisely in each. This needs to include careful selection of books to read that are already in my hard copy or electronic libraries.

Leverage what is right in front of you for you will benefit many times over. I certainly attest to that.

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PeggyKeensPicPeggy Keens is our newest team member at CMIT Solutions of Denver. She has extensive experience in our technology world of serving small and mid-sized businesses in Kansas City and Denver.  Peggy was brought into our firm specifically to be our Client Advocate and Manager of Daily Operations. She is passionate about her role.  Peggy makes sure that our CMIT Denver team is operating seamlessly and in concert. In fact, you could even think of her as an orchestra conductor.

What does Peggy’s role mean for CMIT Denver and especially our clients?

Client Advocate: “I am the voice of the client inside CMIT Solutions.  My goal is to ensure our clients are being listened to and that CMIT Solutions is taking care of our clients’ needs.  Whether it be a service ticket, coordinating resources, scheduling meetings with clients, technology business reviews, etc… “

Behind the scenes, Peggy looks at documentation, verifying that we have current information about our client’s network and technologies, reviews reports, and explores ways to take client communication to the next level.

Manager of Daily Operations:  “I am working closely with Phil to learn his daily operational responsibilities so I may free up things on his plate. He will have more time to focus on business functions, sales and client care from the owner’s perspective.”

managing everyoneIt has been clear since we first encountered Peggy that her passions are process and procedures, project management and coordi-nation, managing service delivery, and improving the client experience.

Welcome Peggy! You are music to our ears.


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protect finances onlineSeems like we’ve been inundated (that may be an understatement) over the past 6 months with rampant cyber-theft. Target, Neiman Marcus, Yahoo and even mysterious $9.84 credit-card charges. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is most likely the norm going forward and not just a blip on the radar.

So, how can you stay protected online? While there is no way to absolutely, positively, 100% stay safe online, by taking these 9 steps, you will be as safe as possible.

  1. Only Shop On Secure Websites. Before you type your credit card into a website, ensure it is secure. Look for “https://” in the address bar of your web browser when you are checking out.
  2. Avoid Financial Transactions Over Public WiFi. You can’t guarantee that free or shared WiFi access is secure. Ok to connect for browsing the web, but avoid financial transactions on these connections.
  3. Use A Secure Network For Financial Transactions. Protect your computer with a firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software.
  4. Setup Banking Alerts For Unusual Or Large Transactions. Ask your bank to notify you of any suspicious or large transactions.
  5. Use Credit Cards Instead Of Debit Cards. Most credit cards offer better fraud protection, plus if money is stolen from a debit card, then it has already left your bank account.
  6. Pick Complex Passwords. Use phrase acronyms and keyboard combinations. Never use repeat passwords or words in the dictionary for your financial accounts.
  7. Never Directly Answer Or Respond To An Email From Your Bank. Criminals have become very adept at appearing that they are a financial institution when they are not.  Never rely on links in emails to access your financial accounts.
  8. Install Available Security Updates On Your Computer, SmartPhone and Tablets. Many cybercrimes target known security holes on your computing devices.  Stay up-to-date to stay secure.
  9. Check Your Bank Balances And Statements Regularly. Good ol’-fashioned visual checks on your balances and a scan of your transactions are the best practice to be sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.




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Last September 2013, Google quietly began offering HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAA) to businesses that purchase its premium Google Apps for business cloud services. BAA’s are available upon request after you answer just a few basic questions. The Terms and Conditions for Google Apps for Business guarantee security of your information.

IMPORTANT! – Google is NOT offering Business Associate Agreements to those using their FREE Gmail service. CMIT Solutions as a company has invested hundreds of hours in educating our nationwide system and corporate office on HIPAA requirements from a technology point of view. It’s not to be taken lightly.

A medical or dental practice using free Gmail to send and receive electronic Protected Health Information (PHI) is committing a HIPAA data breach because:

a) Google will not sign a BAA
b) Google’s terms and conditions allow them to share – even publish – anything in free Gmail.

Remember, Google has a unique ecosystem to generate loads of cash. Their two main customers are:

  1. You the “online searcher” (Google wants to deliver the most RELEVANT content and fast)
  2. Google Advertisers (companies that pay for keyword advertising) who Pay Per Click [PPC] for online traffic

In 2011, Google posted revenues of $39.6 Billion and 96% of that came from Google Adwords PPC. So, it’s easy to see why Google wants adoption of their free Gmail services. It gives them full rights to “mine” and share your data so that they can provide feedback to their advertisers, who will in turn spend more money and they cycle continues.

I think that Google is great and even spawned a new verb, “to google”. But, I don’t trust them. As much as you may love Google, if you are covered by HIPAA you need to steer clear of free Gmail. If you have questions or need assistance getting HIPAA compliant, give Phil a call at 303-756-2648 or email pbush@cmitsolutions.com.


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