Scandal raises questions about technology usage policies

The scandal over explicit emails that cost Nancy Sebring her jobs as a school superintendent illustrates the perils of deteriorating distinctions between personal lives and professional responsibilities and raises questions about employers’ technology usage policies, experts say.

The Internet and mobile devices are imploding work-life boundaries by placing email and other office functions literally in employees’ pockets. Yet employer policies often still presume a clear separation between work and home and acknowledge only incidental intrusions from one side or the other.

That viewpoint, tech gurus, academics and IT officials said, is simply outdated.


LightEdge Recertifies its Microsoft Gold Hosting Competency

LightEdge has been a committed Microsoft Gold Partner since 2004.

Des Moines, IA, April 3, 2012 – LightEdge today announced it has recertified their Gold Hosting competency, demonstrating a “best-in-class” ability and commitment to meet Microsoft Corp. customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment and distinguishing itself within the top 1 percent of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.   LightEdge has been a Microsoft Gold Provider since 2004.

To earn a Microsoft gold competency, partners must successfully complete exams, resulting in Microsoft Certified Professionals, to prove their level of technology expertise, and then designate these certified professionals uniquely to one Microsoft competency, ensuring a certain level of staffing capacity. They also must submit customer references that demonstrate successful projects, implement an annual customer satisfaction study, meet a revenue commitment, and pass technology and/or sales assessments.

“As one of the premiere cloud hosting providers, LightEdge is committed to Microsoft and continues to utilize our Microsoft Gold Hosting competency to showcase our expertise and knowledge of Microsoft server operating systems, hosted products (such as Exchange) and licensing structure,” said Jeff Springborn, COO and president of LightEdge Solutions.  “We consider our Gold Partner status and relationship with Microsoft to be a key element of our Cloud Computing strategy.”

Attaining the Hosting competency is exclusively for partners that specialize in hosting solutions and maintain their own datacenters or act as a reseller or agency of services hosted by Microsoft, providing agreed-upon service levels and customized hosted offerings and consulting for common customer scenarios. Equipped with exclusive training, the latest software and support, partners help customers offset the cost of maintaining critical business applications with scalable hosting solutions.

“By achieving a gold competency, partners have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment to the latest Microsoft technology,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “These partners have a deep expertise that puts them in the top 1 percent of our partner ecosystem, and their proficiency will help customers drive innovative solutions on the latest Microsoft technology.”

About LightEdge Solutions

LightEdge Solutions is a customer-centric cloud computing and consulting company devoted to solving the IT issues of businesses nationwide. By utilizing our economies of scale, connections with world-class vendors and our own internal passion for engineering, LightEdge allows its customers to “plug in” to enterprise-grade IT solutions that maximize uptime and performance, yet fit into their budget. For more information, visit

What innovations will Google Fiber in Kansas City bring (Video)

Michael Gelphman, Founder of Kansas City IT Professionals, sits down with Enrique Salem, the CEO of Symantic, to discuss the ramifications of the Google Fiber build out in Kansas City.

Watch the video

Data Centers: A look inside the factors companies consider for site selection

Data centers for Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp. have already made their homes in Iowa’s low-cost market, and a recent study suggests the state could soon see more similar projects.

The Boyd Co. Inc., a corporate location consultant based in New Jersey, conducted a study to find highly secure, cost-effective sites on which to build data security centers to support the banking and finance industry — with several Midwestern cities landing in the top 10.

The Ames area was in the No. 3 spot, behind Sioux Falls, S.D., and Tulsa, Okla. Council Bluffs placed fourth, and Omaha took the No. 8 spot.

Based on operating costs alone, Des Moines ranked No. 9 out of 45 cities in the survey, while Ames ranked No. 6. (see chart below)

Read more:

Simple Explanation of Storage/Backup Best Practices

EMC VNXe and Data Domain 160

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LightEdge Names Travis Thompson Chief Security Officer

Travis Thompson, Chief Security OfficerDes Moines, IA, March 14, 2012 – LightEdge is proud to announce that Travis Thompson has been promoted to the role of Chief Security Officer for the company. Holding a highly desirable Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) designation for 15 years, Travis brings a wealth of experience in real world network design, management and security architectures that is invaluable for a company providing cloud-based IT services for financial, healthcare and legal verticals.

With the growing number of internal and external threats, and the increasingly punitive nature of regulatory requirements, the risks can be steep if you do not have someone equipped with a detailed knowledge of corporate security.  Risk management and mitigation, combined with audit awareness and regulatory compliance efforts, make up a key strategic area for most companies.  In the past, these concerns were largely the domain of the Fortune 500 companies; however, with the increasing interdependency of multiple partners in an information ecosystem, many companies find themselves faced with the need to maintain enhanced security controls for their businesses.

“Travis is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of security and regulatory compliance in order to ensure that all of our customers’ sensitive data is safe and secure.  His knowledge of systems architecture and expertise in network design has allowed LightEdge to create a sophisticated, fault-tolerant network and platform to satisfy today’s enterprise requirements. ,” said Jim Masterson, CEO of LightEdge Solutions, Inc.

Travis has been responsible for managing the data center operations for the past six years and has been the driving force behind LightEdge SAS-70 and SSAE 16 independent audit examinations.  His unique knowledgebase and skillset have placed him in high demand as a speaker for the topics of Network Security and Regulatory Compliance.

For additional details or to request to have Travis come speak at one of your engagements, please contact LightEdge Sales at 877-771-3343, e-mail or visit

About LightEdge Solutions

LightEdge Solutions is a customer-centric cloud computing and consulting company devoted to solving the IT issues of businesses nationwide. By utilizing our economies of scale, connections with world-class vendors and our own internal passion for engineering, LightEdge allows its customers to “plug in” to enterprise-grade IT solutions that maximize uptime and performance, yet fit into their budget. For more information, visit


You should get to know Travis Thompson

Travis Thompson, Chief Security OfficerJob description: During my time at LightEdge, I have ranged from building out the Altoona Edge BCC data center to managing the engineering team and now working on our compliance and security requirements. As more and more private information is consolidated in a public cloud setting, the security of that data becomes more and more important.

Background: I was born in Mason City but have lived most of my life in Des Moines. I have a bachelor’s degree from University of Northern Iowa. I previously worked in software development and for 10 years as a senior networking engineer for Baker Communications Inc.

Notable achievements: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert/Routing and Switching in 1997; Eagle Scout in 1983; Scouter of the Year, Raccoon River Valley District in 2011; Citywide PTA Family of the Year in 2008.

Why I do what I do: Because I can’t imagine doing anything else. The pace of technology change and helping customers overcome their IT challenges creates a job environment that is constantly challenging and rewarding.

What I do to get away from work: Bike (the human powered kind), Boy Scouts, hockey (play or watch), tinker in my workshop, and basically get involved in my kids’ lives.

How I give back to the community: Previous board member American Red Cross, BlackHawk District; assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scouts Troop 43; retired Cub Master; volunteer for Food Bank of Iowa and service projects with Heartland Presbyterian.

Words to live by: I couldn’t pick a single quote to sum it up, but the following will be recognizable to my fellow scouters: “We never fail when we try to do our duty; we always fail when we neglect to do it. The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others. Leave the world a little better than you found it.”

One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: On a personal level I’m thrilled with the communities’ commitments to increasing safe biking routes throughout the city, and I would love to see that effort expand even faster. On a business path, I think Des Moines is doing a great job of building on a great entrepreneurial spirit, and the key will be continuing to fuel the drive of locally owned and operated companies.

What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: Continue to provide an excellent place to raise a family. Focus on building schools with an advanced science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum to build for our future.

My leadership philosophy: The best leaders are those that lead without those being led realizing it is happening. The key to effective leaders is to clear out the obstacles your team is facing and let them go wild on solving the challenges presented to them.

What I would do if I could do something else: I’d be running a charter company on some island in the Caribbean.

Google’s move in Council Bluffs a high-speed leap to future?

Google is seeking federal permission to put a satellite antenna farm near its Council Bluffs data center, a move that experts speculate would enable the California search giant to receive movies and TV shows that could be bundled with the super-fast Internet service it’s developing in Kansas City.

The reason cities competed for the project is clear: The high-speed access will likely mean more businesses will be attracted to Kansas City, and existing businesses will be able to operate more efficiently.

LightEdge Solutions, a Des Moines-based technology consulting firm, plans to open a permanent office in Overland Park, Kan., on April 1 to take advantage of the newly laid fiber in the metro area.

“We consider (Google Fiber) a disruptive technology,” said LightEdge spokesman Scott Riedel. “It’s bringing in so much access that people will start doing things differently.”

Riedel said the core services his company provides, such as cloud computing, information technology and data center consulting, will benefit as more companies move to the area. He said the hope is those businesses will then seek consultations with his firm.

“The idea of Google coming in and giving people access to that enables them to rethink how they are doing things,” he said. “Having Google there and disrupting the market and changing the paradigm will benefit us.”

Google chose to come to Iowa in 2007, when it announced it would build a data center that state officials estimate cost $800 million, so far the largest capital investment in the state’s history.

Google said it chose Council Bluffs for the data center because it sits on a rich backbone of the fiber-optic cables; it has reliable and inexpensive power, which is a tremendous need for data centers; and a strong pool of qualified workers.

Read the entire story at

Iowa in running for $1.2 billion data center; is it Facebook? Apple?

It could be Apple. It could be Facebook. It could even be the U.S. government that’s considering Iowa for a $1.2 billion data center, say industry experts.

“It’s all very cloak-and-dagger stuff,” says Clyde Evans, West Des Moines’ economic development leader. The city, already home to a $200 million Microsoft center, has fielded interest recently from three or four site selectors looking to locate large data center projects. “We get contacted by a real estate agent, they won’t give us a card or a last name. We never know who they represent.”

Nebraska lawmakers, who are pushing through incentives they hope will match Iowa’s data center tax breaks, call the proposed mega-center “Project Edge,” according to the Omaha World Herald. Debi Durham, Iowa’s economic development leader, confirmed Thursday that Iowa was competing against Nebraska for the data center, but declined to name the company behind the project.

She told the Associated Press it wasn’t the massive high-tech companies already in Iowa, like Microsoft in West Des Moines, Google, with a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs, or IBM, with a $42 million high-tech hub in Dubuque.

Read the rest of the article at the Des Moines Register

LightEdge Solutions signs lease in Kansas City area LightEdge Solutions, drawn by Google, signs lease in Kansas City area

A Des Moines-based information technology company with its eyes on Google Inc.’s incoming ultra-fast network has selected a permanent sales office space in Corporate Woods in Overland Park.

LightEdge Solutions Inc.  has signed a three-year lease for roughly 2,500 square feet at 9393 W. 110th St., effective April 1.

Four employees will move into the office in April, but LightEdge, which is spending $40,000 on space improvements, plans to hire about six more employees for the location, marketing director Scott Riedel said.

Jennifer Carroll of Stoltz Management, which runs Corporate Woods, represented both the landlord and tenant in the transaction.

LightEdge entered the Kansas City market in September as a way to test a new company model for metropolitan locations.

The company, which needs a lot of bandwidth to provide managed IT and cloud computing services, identified Kansas City because of the 1-gigabit broadband network Google is building in Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., and because of its proximity to LightEdge’s Iowa headquarters.

The company, which has built data centers in Des Moines, Minneapolis and Moline, Ill., tentatively is planning to build a data center in Kansas City — a potential investment of $18 million to $20 million — if customer needs warrant more data center space.

In the meantime, LightEdge is leasing local data center space from 1102 Grand LLC in Kansas City, where it plans to access the Google Fiber network.

Read the article at Kansas City Business Journal


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