New Look. New Logo!

Here at Datotel and the Globe Building, we’ve recently completed some updates that we’re excited to share with you. First, we are excited to share with you the revamped Datotel logo. As our company has evolved and grown over the last decade, we came to realize that the symbolism that represented us in 2004 is not the same that represents us today. So we re-imagined our visual statement with an identity that is sophisticated, hip and modern. At first glance, you may just see Datotel with a funky “E”, but to us it represents power, growth, energy, cloud, colocation and so much more.


When you next visit the Globe Building, you’ll certainly note some of the more cosmetic modernization. From the improved garage lighting and the new parking space layout through to the updated elevator finishes. Likewise, gone are the tiles on the 3rd floor, replaced with the original concrete floor. Modernized and polished to a very hip, cool and shiny finish. We’re glad to have you check out our new look as you come to visit our offices.

But, for as cool as the lobby, floor and lighting are, what’s more important are the items you may not see on every visit. Such as the upgrades in physical security and access control. The common areas and stairwells now have new cage doors and automated access control has been put in place for an additional layer of security and compliance.

The last improvement is one that we are most excited to share. Our building garage has always been available 24×7, but the new automated badge based entry system will allow a more streamlined access for our clients in off hours. No longer will you need to call our NOC for entry after business hours, the secure door will open with your Datotel Security Badge. And I must add that the aesthetics of the new entry ways are now in keeping with the modern look of the building lobby that was updated earlier in the year.

Of course the easiest way to see the improvements are to come and see them in person. We’d love to give you a tour and show you around the building.

Posted in Company Info, Core Values, Industry, Security | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Working at the speed of business – an agile philosophy

A common challenge for IT departments in today’s business environment is keeping up with the demands of the business. How can we ensure that our client’s data is protected and systems are reliable and available? All the while implementing modifications and upgraded environments in a time frame that doesn’t slow the business down.

To help to address this challenge at Datotel, we’ve adopted an agile philosophy called the Scrum methodology. Scrum is an approach defined by set roles, responsibilities and recurring meetings that don’t change. Through an iterative process focused around sprints, which normally last around two weeks, the Scrum team delivers on defined set of project outcomes on a regular basis.

While initially conceived for the software development industry, we’ve found that the agile methodology behind Scrum applies equally as well to both the project and operational aspects of what we do at Datotel. The general principles of the Scrum methodology are:

  1. Customer satisfaction is the highest priority.
  2. Open to changing requirements, at all stages of the project.
  3. Faster turn-around.
  4. Built on a foundation of teamwork
  5. Full leadership support to provide the team with the environment and support they need to get the job done.
  6. Conveying information to and within a development team via face-to-face conversation.
  7. Measuring progress through working environments and deliverable delivery.
  8. Maintaining a constant pace indefinitely, the Scrum process promotes sustainable development.
  9. Around-the-clock attention to technical excellence and good design.
  10. Ease, the art of “working smarter” is essential.
  11. Self-organizing teams, the best solutions, requirements and designs emerge from this structure.
  12. Adjusting behavior at regular intervals. The team can then reflect on how to become more effective, and fine-tune accordingly.

Ultimately, by using Scrum, we are able to provide our clients:

  • Faster implementation
  • More efficient delivery mechanism
  • Flexibility with regards to change requirements
  • Earlier deployment for parts of the solution
  • Finding problems/blockers early so we can tackle them sooner
Posted in Company Info, General, Managed Services, Metrics, Service Level Agreements | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SSAE16 SOC2 – What is it and why should you care?

When you outsource elements of your IT support and environment, how do you know the partner you have chosen is operating soundly, efficiently and not exposing your data and systems to unwanted risk? It’s a bit like choosing to go on a trip with someone that has passed their driving test versus someone that just tells you they are a good driver, with no valid license. It sure is comforting to know the driver has demonstrated to an independent 3rd party that they know what they’re doing.

To solve this problem in the IT space, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) developed an auditing standard SSAE16 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements) SOC2 (Service Organization Control 2) through which organizations such as Datotel could demonstrate through an independent CPA auditing and attesting that not only do they have the necessary controls and processes in place, but that they are adequate, sound and being adhered to. The result is an annual report that you as the client can request that give assurances that you and your IT systems are in good hands.

This level of auditing shows a high level of discipline in the IT organization and means real and tangible positive differences for you and your organization versus working with a vendor that doesn’t subject themselves to these higher standards. It demonstrates the ability to mitigate security, reliability and availability risks, lowers your risk of outages, system performance issues, data loss and leads to an overall improved quality of operation. Armed with this information why would you choose a partner without this level of audit?

As I mentioned earlier an important distinction to look for in the report is to ensure the partner has gone through the Type 2 audit and not stopped after completing the initial Type 1 requirements. The former simply lets you know what controls are in place in the organization whereas the Type 2 audit not only examines what the controls are, but ensures that they are being followed. A big difference. Secondly make sure the report has covered all areas of the business and not been limited to just one service offering such as colocation space.

Datotel’s SSAE16 SOC2 Type 2 certification indicates that processes, procedures and controls adopted by Datotel have been formally evaluated and tested by an independent accounting and auditing firm. Datotel has been SAS70 certified since 2007 and subsequently SSAE16 certified since 2012 across all lines of business from Colocation to Managed Services, Cloud Services and Service Desk.

Posted in Cloud Computing, Colocation, Company Info, General, Managed Services, Metrics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping up with HIPAA

The fact is, as technology continues to grow and change rapidly, so do rules and regulations that are intended to save us from ourselves.

We’ve heard about the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), the government act put in place to essentially, keep your private information private. HIPAA was put in place in 1996…a long time ago (in technology years), so in 2009 the government had to step up security of Protected Health Information (PHI) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with regulations contained in what is called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH). I believe they came up with the acronym first because it’s just too perfect.

HITECH essentially means, if you’re using any form of shared technology related to the healthcare industry, you need to comply to strict regulations of security.

Understanding The Web (of involvement)

If you look at the number of hands that touch private medical records, you’ll find it goes way beyond the doctor, the nurse and the receptionist. Almost half of the HIPAA data security breaches in one year trace back to a business associate. That could be 7-10 layers from the actual patient. For instance, the lab tech’s data entry associate’s resident intern. Guess what happens when there’s a breach that’s not even close to the original doctor or medical expert, they, or the lab, are the ones who will be fined tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Don’t take any chances. If it affects the healthcare industry monetarily, it may trickle down to the patient bills and co-pays to absorb those costs.

If you’re in the healthcare field, or your business has any association to the healthcare industry, then the first order of business is to educate your entire team. If anyone is in and around the healthcare field they should sign off, acknowledge and understand how to keep medical records from being compromised.

Encryption, Encryption, Encryption

One more time…Encryption. You can be saved by encryption. If you have encrypted PHI that’s within the requirements of the HITECH Act, then you’re not liable. That’s because encrypted information is currently the most secure way of handling sensitive, private information.

Since the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) element is added to the mix it’s even more imperative that everything meets HIPAA compliance standards. An encrypted secure messaging system will be the closest thing you can get to guaranteeing that all PHI is secure and confidential.

Look To The Cloud

Cloud storage for high-resolution medical imaging not only provides a great storage option that’s less time consuming than other means of backups, but it can also be a tremendous money-saver. When looking for a cloud service provider for your storage, there are a few things to consider.

  • Does the provider offer the right back-up system and infrastructure for your needs?
  • Is the provider HIPAA compliant beyond just saying they are?
  • Does the provider offer the security needed for medical imaging storage with protection put in place that deters hackers or leaks in security?
  • Does the provider offer an SLA that still ensures data ownership to the client?

These are tough questions to ask of any cloud service provider, so don’t expect the perfect answer, but DO expect the provider to be willing to share all their information that will make you feel comfortable about putting sensitive medical records in the cloud.

Don’t Put All Your Medical Data in One Basket

Besides cloud storage you need to consider your backup plans and data recovery. The biggest identifier should be, are the backups secure and safe from malware.

There is so much to cover to be HIPAA compliant. But instituting the above practices and making yourself knowledgeable about keeping PHI secure is the greatest thing you can do to protect your company and our information.

Posted in Backup, BYOD, Cloud Computing, Datavaulting, HIPAA, Mobile, Security | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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