Monday, September 17, 2012

When Isaac came to town, were you 100% confident in your backups?

When Isaac came to town, were you 100% confident in your backups?

Let me ask you a tough question: 
When Isaac came to town, were you 100% confident in your backups?

Every year during hurricane season, we evaluate hundreds of business networks’ security and backups.   This year, I have noticed that an alarming majority of Louisiana businesses are missing a critical step that could be implemented in a single day, saves money, and could literally make the difference between staying in business after a disaster or not.

Here Is What We Are Recommending...

Thanks to major advancements in backup technology, you can now have your choice between 2  incredible protection solutions against Hurricanes, fires, and accidents:

Solution 1: Basic Offsite Data Backup: For as little as $10 / month, your files can be securely backed up, automatically.   NO business should be without some sort of Offsite Data Backup solution.

This simple concept of backing up just your most critical files and databases could literally keep your doors open after a disaster.     This works great in environments where you have just a few gigabytes of data that is really important to you, and/or in environments where your upload speeds are limited.

Simple, fast and cheap, this backup solution doesn't prepare you for every disaster scenario, but it can be used to cover you in these:

1. Accidental data loss (Such as: "Oops!  I deleted the quickbooks database!", or "Oh no, the computer that had the quickbooks database on it died!"
2. Accidental data corruption (As seen on: "Oh nuts!   I think we made a mistake a week ago on this project.   Can you recover the file back to the way it was 2 weeks ago??"
3. Total disasters (Like: "Our office is destroyed, we know it's going to be a rough few days, but let's restore our accounting files, our customer database, and our collections reports so we can at least keep up with customer needs and our collections...")

Solution 2: Business Continuity Backup Solution: For a complete, automated, managed and monitored solution that will keep you UP AND RUNNING DURING the next disaster, we offer the ultimate "Business Continuity Backup Solution," often for as little as $200 / month in many configurations.   

Configured correctly, here's just SOME of what this solution provides you:

  1. The Business Continuity Backup device takes an image (snapshot) of your server many times throughout the day, automatically. That means you wouldn't lose an entire day’s worth of work if your server crashed or melted down; just a few minute’s worth.
  2. You don’t have to swap out tapes or drives every day or lug them around in your car.
  3. We will monitor the system 24x7x365 and notify you immediately if your server fails, and be ready to make the Business Continuity Backup Server TAKE OVER for your server if you need it to.   This means you’ll be up and running within minutes instead of potentially being down for  DAYS.
  4. Your data and server image get replicated to another data center far away from  Hurricane Alley to make sure your backup has a backup! This is FAR MORE secure and reliable than old tapes, USB drives, etc.

In either scenario you don't have to worry:
"Is my critical information safe?"
"Could I really restore my files if I had to?"
"If I lose these files, will I go out of business?"

Call us today, and KNOW that you're prepared for the next disaster.

There's simply no excuse for being worried about your backups.

Don't delay - call us at 225-751-4444.   

Friday, May 4, 2012

Small Business Day at the Capitol--Our voice for you.

Did you know that most legislators never hear from their constituents, even on key legislation?  According to Renee Amar, Louisiana State Director of the national Federation of Independent Business ( if a legislator hears from 4 or 5 constituents "it is like the world is on fire" – your voice—yes YOURS—can make a difference. 

The Small Business Day at the Capitol on May 3rd connected small business owners with our legislators and gave us an opportunity to learn about legislation that affects our operations.  Getting informed is the first step to making an impact. 

Turn Key Solutions is committed to serving not only our clients but also our community.  Because most of our Clients are small businesses (defined by the SBA as under 500 employees), we believe that advocacy is essential to the success of all of us.  It is a challenge for me to take time away from running my businesses to get informed about legislation, serve on the Baton Rouge Area Chamber's Small Business Council ( as Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and serve on the NFIB's Leadership Council.  But it is a commitment that my partners, Henry and Harold, and I have made because we cannot stick our heads in the sand and just let legislation and regulations happen to us. 

There are so many bills and regulations that threaten the success of small businesses, especially in the controversial area of healthcare.  Because of our experience in serving the healthcare industry in everything from HIPAA/HITECH compliance to servers and network security, we have seen first-hand how legislation and regulations can turn an entire industry on its head. 

Amar, one of the keynote speakers at the Small Business Day at the Capitol, went on to describe how legislators often only hear from lobbyists—and they have their place (who else is going to keep up with thousands of pieces of legislation?!)  But when our lawmakers are being pushed and pulled from opposing lobbies, the voice of even one business owner can make all the difference in how they vote.

Turn Key Solutions is your advocate—not just in getting you the technology that helps you meet your business goals, but also by fighting for your interests as a small business.  BUT you too can make an impact.  If you want to learn more about the issues threatening your success and how you can get involved, comment on this blog.  Together our voices are louder; together we help each other succeed.  Don’t risk your future by letting legislation and regulations just happen to your business.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Turn Key Solutions Takes a “H.I.T.” for Small Business

Business owners, what’s more frustrating than your healthcare premiums going up 15% again this year? Not getting any meaningful information WHY!

Turn Key Solutions is in a unique position to help Louisiana small business owners. We are leveraging our expertise in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) to push through House and Senate bills that would give small business owners much more control over one of our biggest expenses—healthcare insurance benefits.

Currently at annual renewal time, Louisiana small business who ask why their premiums went up so much (again) receive scant information—just a claims-to-premium ratio. As co-owner and CFO of Turn Key Solutions, I recently testified at a House Insurance Committee meeting in support of Representative Huval’s HB989. A simple ratio is not enough to go on to make business decisions about such a significant business expense! HB989 forces providers to disclose much more information so owners can make sure they are getting the coverage that best fits their employees’ needs and at the most competitive price.

Insurance providers have vigorously opposed this and similar legislation that shift some control from the powerful providers to small businesses. Often their opposition has been hidden behind misleading claims that the release of this information would either violate HIPAA and HITECH rules regarding disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) or put small businesses and their employees at greater risk of privacy violations.

Turn Key Solutions ( specializes in Healthcare Information Technology—we help our clients comply with HIPAA and HITECH. I testified in front of the House Committee that this bill does not require disclosure of any of the 18 components of PHI and that similar, more expansive legislation has been on the books in Texas for 5 years without a single HIPAA violation suit.

HB989 passed through committee without objection.

In addition to serving the technology needs of our clients, we are also frequent advocates for small business on issues that affect our ability to operate effectively and profitably. I am co-chair of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Small Business Council Advocacy Committee and serve on the National Federation of Independent Business ( Louisiana Leadership Council. I will testify again in support of similar legislation in the Senate, SB283, in May.

If you are a small business owner and want to support this legislation, call us and join the fight.

-- John Overton

Monday, March 19, 2012


HHS & the OCR may or may not be gunning for you.  
How prepared are you?
In warning that up to 150 organizations are going to be audited this year, the OCR just fired a big fat warning shot across your bow.

A short summary of the deal is found at their website, as follows:

"... OCR is piloting a program to perform up to 150 audits of covered entities to assess privacy and security compliance.   Audits conducted during the pilot phase will begin November 2011 and conclude by December 2012."

What does this mean for managers, owners, and other leaders at Covered Entities and Business Associates?

Simply enough: the audits are real, the audits are under way, and it would be in your best interest to at least take the whole concept seriously and start the simple, cheap steps to prepare your organization for compliance.

Quick reminder about why you care.....  the law requires from $100 to 1.5 million dollars fines to be levied this year.   Read this summary from the AMA for more details.

So, what do you do to prepare?    What simple steps will go a LONG WAY towards keeping your money in your pockets, and keeping your business in business?

Quite simply, as Turn Key Solutions & Turn Key Health (and a lot of other educated organizations) have been preaching for some time nowSTART WITH A PERIODIC, ANNUAL INTERNAL AUDIT.

A great summary from of what needs to happen next is as follows:

1. Get your documentation in place
2. Get your business associate agreements in place
3. Evaluate your compliance (periodic internal audits)
4. Implement a training program
5. Assemble your internal subject matter experts as relates to the HIPAA / HITECH laws
6. Prepare for a timely response 

If you need help with any of these steps, call us at 225-751-4444.    As the Gulf South regions' premier Healthcare Information Technology services team, we're helping clients every day run their practices and their clinics more efficiently, building HIPAA & HITECH compliance into every piece of their business.

And we'll be honored to help you, too.

Find out more about Turn Key Health here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WHY in the world would anyone do business with us?

In trying to grapple with what kind of customers we do best with, and what sort of employees do best @ Turn Key Solutions, I'm asking myself for the 984th time, "Why does Turn Key Solutions exist?   Why do I come to work every day?"

Here's what I've scribbled, scratched, and drawn out over the last few weeks:  

My partners and I, and our key employees, and, I think, all of our employees actually believe the following things (I believe so, because these are the things we constantly talk about, these are things we discuss in the lunchroom, these ideas are the heart of our conversations all the time.):

What Turn Key Solutions really thinks:
... that small businesses are terribly important (and borderline almost sacred), and that they shouldn't be taken advantage of.
... that every time our customers win, we win.   Not because they're going to give us money, or PO's, or references, but because we were a part of that victory.
... that business owners and employees need success for the american dream to happen
... that customers need to be protected because every time a business fails, families suffer and dreams fail.
... that in an industry as dynamic as Information Technology, businesses need reliable, proven solutions to safeguard their budgets.
... that rapidly evolving technologies often have an important place in the business environment
... that our depth and breadth of experience, our passion for our clients' success, and our appreciation for reliable technologies creates a culture whereby we can dramatically help clients that will PARTNER with us, TRUST us, and COMMUNICATE with us.

So maybe instead of talking about how big our office is, or how awesome we are, I need to start communicating with the world about what we believe.   

Because everybody thinks they're an I.T. company.   Heck, there's 2 other IT companies within a stone's throw of our front door.   Probably 5 within a 1 mile radius.   But what makes us different?   The above stuff - how we think, the filters through which we run every decision.

Are we the right I.T. partner for every company in the Gulf South USA?   Nope.   But I do believe there are plenty of people that think the same way we do.

And that's enough business for us.   

After all, when it really comes down to it, why do we come to work?   To provide for our families and to help someone so that at the end of the day, we hopfully can know that we made  difference to the people that trust us.

That's why.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What we do best

After being in business since 1999, it's dizzying to think of the sheer volume of products and solutions we've tested, tried, chucked out the window, and/or supported for 13 years now.

Thousands, I guess.  

And in the end, that's okay.  It's good - after all, Info Tech is a changing, dynamic industry by its nature.   

So take some dramamine, and stop spinning - that's what I always tell myself.   Then, let's focus on our primary goal here: protect our clients and help them grow.  

And how do we do that?   I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED...   

I working on updating our website to the new Joomla 2.5 CMS, and updating our "products and services" page - check it out here.   Short version, though is that here is what we focus on:

Solutions Consulting - figuring out the best way to meet a new need, a new business problem every day.   

Security & Compliance - keeping our clients' data secure, and keeping them in front of ever-changing legal and industry regulations.

Cloud Services - "cloud" stuff is cool because it's the best way to meet a lot of business goals.  BUT NOT ALL OF THEM.   Our job is to help clients figure out when it's a fit, and then pick from the 9 million cloud vendors out there.

Complete I.T. Management - day in, day out, 24 x 7 x 365, we watch our clients' infrastructure, we protect them, we staff them with caring & competent IT professionals, and we just make stuff work.

Hardware & Software - after reviewing so many products, we know what works good.   That's why we sell stuff - because we are trying to make it easy for our clients to get the right parts.   Certainly not because there's tons of profit in hardware anymore. :(

Disaster prep & recovery - few things stink worse than losing data.   Except poopy diapers, maybe.  (I have 5 kids and 2 decades of IT experience, still not sure which stinks worse, honestly.)

Healthcare I.T. Specialization - somehow we've gotten a ridiculous amount of experience helping healthcare clients with every aspect of their business, and we love it.  It's one of the specialized industries we really enjoy and focus on.

So that's it.   That's what we do best.   Somehow, website design is no longer on that list.   So if our site isn't perfect, we'll get around to that.   But in the meantime, I've got customers' problems to fix first. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm emailing you 1.5 million bucks... (HIPAA / HITECH Part 4: Email Security, ePHI & HIPAA)

How many times have you accidentally emailed something you wish you hadn't?   Forgotten to remove someone's address from a "reply all?"

These sort of simple, unintentional slip-ups can LITERALLY COST YOU MILLIONS in this age of enforced penalties for HITECH / HIPAA breaches.

If your organization handles Protected Healthcare Information (PHI), and you want a way to protect yourself from this scenario, read on...

Quick recap:  here's the quick summary of our suggestions on how to get started with HIPAA & HITECH compliance:

If you've not done it, though, I cannot stress enough the importance of #1 - The Self Assessment.   You simply have to get a good baseline for where you stand.    CALL US  for more details.   (Hint - it can probably be done very well for under $100 / mo)

Now that you've done your self-assessment....

On to an important part of #7 - EMAIL ENCRYPTION.

The HHS specifically addresses email security in several documents.   An easy read is one of the "Safeguards" documents you can find right here.

Specifically, is email encryption mandated for all transfer of ePHI?   No.

BUT......    the safeguard principle that colors every aspect of compliance states the following:

SAFEGUARDS PRINCIPLE: Individually identifiable health information should be protected with reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure its confidentiality, integrity, and availability and to prevent unauthorized or inappropriate access, use, or disclosure.

AND.....  there are very, very clear commentaries in several places that email is allowed under very specific situations.

AND... there are new cases of organizations (BA's and CE's) accidentally breaching PHI with email....  most of the time accidentally!

AND.... keep in mind that the annual max fines are between $25,000 and $1.5 Million dollars.   Not sure about you, but even getting slapped with a $25k fine would be enough to really irritate me.

So, if it's now cost-effective and technically simple to encrypt all PHI that may be transmitted via your email servers, would it' it seem reasonable?

Without hammering this point needlessly, I would suggest you look into how simple the solutions are for encrypting your clients' email.

While there are several great vendors on the market now, we sell and recommend the solutions from ZIXCORP.   They're the leaders in this industry, and we simply have not seen a cheaper, more flexible, more powerful solution on the market place.   Their basic ZixMail solution that will protect PHI and keep your email secure costs between $4 and $10 / user / month for most of our clients, depending on their size & specific needs.

From $4 to $10 / user / month.    And this issue is put to bed.

And you don't have to worry about your staff accidentally emailing out up to $1.5 MILLION worth of breaches.

Seems like a "reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards" to put in place to me.

Curious?   Want to see a demo?   Contact us at or read more at

Monday, February 13, 2012

AAAAGGHHH!!! We're growing again!!!! (Are you coming to see us anytime soon???)

You heard it right!   

Turn Key Solutions is excited to announce that we just brought on board two additional technicians.    That's after screening almost 200 resumes, putting about 30 through basic screening, and more interviews that I want to admit.   We're picky - we looked long and hard for technicians with the skills to do the job, the heart to take care of clients, and the personality that will be a joy to work with.

But, the good news is that with these two new guys, we've added about 13 years of experience to our team, and they fit our culture and our client needs really well.

So, yes, as a small business owner, it's a little scary to add on staff.  But it was time - we've been working our technicians a little too hard for the last year, and we needed the extra capacity to meet the growth of projects our clients are firing up. 

Oh, and did I mention that we moved offices, for the first time in over 11 years?    Yup!   In the last 4 years we've gone from using 2500 square feet to now we have about 7500 square feet of office space.    The big upshot?   We are planning on using the new space to add some great services to our clients and community.   Already we've been able to host one neighborhood community event on-site, and we're working to be able to have an open house or two in the upcoming days.

Needless to say, we are thankful to be so blessed on so many fronts, and we really look forward to finding new and better ways to bless our community and our clients in 2012.

SO....   drop on by, meet our long-term and new staff, and come grow with us!

-Henry Overton

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Here's what's big for TKS in 2012... (Subtitle: New Years' resolutions are stupid.)

Congratulations!  You've made it through the first month of 2012.

And, if you're like most people I know, you've quietly forgotten about most of your new years' resolutions.  (Quit eating greasy burgers in the car, stop watching Dancing with the Stars, etc, etc...)

If you're like a lot of small business owners I know, though, you're just getting started with your business goals.

Better yet, you may just be formalizing your goals for 2012.

At Turn Key Solutions & Turn Key Health, we're refining our business goals every day.   The most significant goals we've got all work to meet our new, refined vision statement:

Turn Key Solutions empowers businesses across the Gulf South region to focus on what they do best by providing technology teams and environments our clients can depend upon, grow with, and enjoy interacting with. 

We are passionate about providing the best solutions, excellent customer service, and overall excellent experiences for our customers EVERY DAY.

So this isn't quite as full of flair as the "Holstee Manifesto" but it captures everything we see in Jim Collin's "Good to Great" "Hedgehog Principle" -

1. What is Turn Key Solutions passionate about? - Harold Robinson and I (Henry Overton), as founders, really are passionate about technology.  We love it.  That's why our new office has thermostats with I.P. addresses.   It's why we actually enjoy reading the manuals for firewalls, operating systems, and our dvd players.

2. What can Turn Key Solutions be the best in the world at? -  I truly believe we can be best at these:

A. Custom crafting top-quality business technology solutions designed exactly, perfectly for our business partners (ie, clients) and

B. Providing an excellent customer service experience, every time.

3. What drives our economic engine?   Service, service, and more service.   Some specialized solutions do have better profit margins, yes, but it's been 15 years since any regional I.T. company made real money reselling computers.   

SO....  All that said, here goes our biggest goals for the year:

1. Provide excellent customer experiences, and excellent solutions, every time.   

              closely followed by...

2. Get the word out that we're doing this, and carefully grow our client base.

If you have any feedback already on how we're doing, PLEASE LET US KNOW!

So.... now that we've shown our cards, how are your goals coming for the year?