Eclipse, Dark Web, Ransomware Roadshow!

August 31st, 2017

First, let’s talk about August. Not being in Texas or Louisiana, I can say it’s been a good month for me. Julie (the missus) and I decided to go Eclipse chasing, and headed out to Nebraska. This ended up being one of the weirdest trips we’ve ever gone on. Everything that could go wrong almost did. Key word being almost. Spoiler alert: Everything went fine.

Second Spoiler alert:  I didn't take the accompanying picture.

But, interesting things happened. Like:
Prior: Weather outlook for Monday (eclipse day): Cloudy
Saturday Afternoon:  Flight from Cleveland to Minneapolis: Delayed.  And then Delayed again.  Flight from Minneapolis to Lincoln: Overbooked (made it onboard).  Weather outlook for Monday: Cloudier
Saturday Night: Huge thunderstorm through the night. Room leaks. (incredible lightning). Little sleep.
Sunday morning: Middle of workout in morning: Emergency alarm. Evacuate hotel.  Stand outside for half an hour.  Weather update. Cloudiest. Maaaaybe some sunlight in western Nebraska.  Get ready for a “test run” to west Nebraska. Might get stranded, so pack up everything.  Drive 3 hours west to stake out what might be best option.  Weather outlook for Monday: Really cloudy across the state.  Best chance looks like somewhere around Grand Island. Head back to Lincoln.
Monday morning. Check out weather report. Looks like an area around Ravenna (northeast of Grand Island) is the best option. There’s a golf course out there that’s hosting an eclipse viewing event.  We have no idea what the traffic is going to be like. We prepare for the worst. We have one of the most peculiar survival gear lists known to mankind. Would not help against zombies.
• It’s about a 3-hour drive. Traffic is almost non-existent.  Get to golf course. Sit back, enjoy an absolutely incredible show (my second, Julie’s first).
Drive Back. Main highway (Route 80) bumper to bumper. Take parallel state route. Clear driving all the way.
Tuesday: Flight from Lincoln to Minneapolis: Overbooked (made it onboard).  Flight from Minneapolis to Cleveland: Delayed 4 hours.

Thankfully Julie took over from there, switching to a different airline and cancelling our original ticket (yea Frontier, boo Delta). Ended up getting more delay notifications and finally cancellation of the original flight (by this time we were home in Hudson).
Bottom line? Great trip all went well, always something *almost* happening.

But enough about me.

Now let’s move forward to September. We’ve got *four* events going on. Actually five, but we’re one’s a surprise for some of our best friends. We originally planned only two, but you know what they say about plans.

We’re adding a new service, one that involves monitoring “the Dark Web” to see if information arises concerning the accounts of our customers. We’ve got a free webinar about that on Thursday 7 September (and if you attend, we’ll run an initial report for your domain/organization for free!).  This is a new service of a...different type than we've had in the past.  I think you'll find it interesting.

Then we’ve got a biggy. Well, we don’t. But Sophos, our Partner in Security is sponsoring a “Ride Over Ransomware” Roadshow in Cleveland. It’s the morning of the 12th, and we’ve got your ticket! Plus free breakfast *and* lunch. If you’ve see our Youtube videos or attended our events, you know that we’re very pleased with Sophos’ approach to security (and you’re going to hear more about that from us in the coming months). This is a *great* opportunity to learn about the IT security playing field, even if you’re happy with your current security solutions.

The week following that we’re having a webinar where we’re going to talk about IT Policy and Procedures, and talk about some key points and issues. That free event will be on Thursday the 14th.

And we’ll wrap up the month on September 26th, with a free webinar about Microsoft Planner.

We’re also in the process of adding an additional technician to join our merry band. And a part-time book keeper. Both new positions, both hopefully filled by month-end.

We’re getting a lot more involved with LinkedIn. Kayla (Inside Sales and Marketing) has done a great job of getting our LinkedIn-based marketing up and running. Not terribly expensive!

At the same time, Patti is getting us started on Google AdWords. We’ll see where that leads.

We’ll be reaching out to our existing customers with our first Road Map, where we’ll be outlining new services that we’re adding over the next 6 months. It’s actually a daunting list. We’re adding a lot of new services without additional charges (as well as a number of optional services as well).

One concept that we’re formalizing is…ah, not yet. Not quite ready. But we’re committed to CoMITS.