Jeff Newton

As vCIO, Jeff is responsible for collaborating with and advising Five Nines clients on high level strategic planning. He focuses on formulating strategic IT goals, budgeting, analyzing and reworking business processes and facilitation technology changes. He interacts with a variety of boards and c-level execs to help Five Nines clients leverage IT for overall business success. FACTS ABOUT ME I grew up in Omaha and graduated from UNO with a degree in Criminal Justice and Minors in Political Science and Psychology. I spend nearly all of my free time inside the firearms industry, operating my business as a federally licensed firearms dealer. I was welcomed back to my office with a desk drawer that had been converted into a fish tank; complete with six happy goldfish, rocks, and decorations! I used to get in trouble a lot as a child for having an answer for everything!

Recent Posts

Service Desk vs Primary Engineer Model



If you have looked to outsource your IT needs in recent years the words, "Service Desk" or "Primary Engineer" have probably come up. What do they really mean and what is the difference?

The Service Desk can be defined as - The single point of contact between users and IT service management. Or more simply put the individual on the other end of the phone when you call the designated phone number. Typically a Service Desk team is made up of tier one support level engineers who will do their best to complete your request within a given time frame. If they are unsuccessful at solving your issue they will then push you up to a tier two individual, and so on until your request meets the corresponding tier to provide a resolution.

A Primary Engineering model takes a more strategic approach to providing IT support. A company is typically matched with a team of one or two tier two level support engineers, based on their industry, needs, culture and support requirements. The primary engineer(s) are available 24x7 to handle anything that may come up in the companies environment. Typically the engineer(s) are assigned to a select few number of accounts that they then become responsible for their overall success and most of the time become a part of their clients team and organization.

How do you choose one over the other? Well, that’s for you to decide but here are a few key factors to consider:

Service Desk Model:

  1. Typically, the lower cost option.
  2. Layered approach, resulting in depersonalized interactions.
  3. Rigid time constraints or SLA's to dictate the urgency of the request which the customer conforms to.
  4. Focus on the individual "issue" or "ticket" at hand, little thought goes into the holistic view of the environment.
  5. High internal priority placed on efficiency & task execution & ticket closure, rather than root cause identification or problem prevention.

Primary Engineer Model:

  1. Personalized & intentional service, wrapped around the culture & personalities of the customers’ organization.
  2. Efficiencies are gained with time through familiarity of people, processes & the workflows customers environment.
  3. The focus is placed on the "intangible" parts of service rather than what can happen behind a keyboard, including:
    1. Flexibility to understand, define, & quantify implications of the "problem" and recommend a solution that aligns with the companies goals.
    2. Work is driven by the urgency or needs of the client, not availability of the team.
    3. Intimate environment context to help bridge communication gaps between the server room & the board room.
    4. A strong understanding of the company culture as the engineer(s) becomes a part of the companies team. They may even attend a Holiday Party or two.
  4. The model inherently instills accountability, ownership, and a sense of pride by its nature.  Once the customers' account is assigned to an engineer, it is truly theirs.  The success/failure of a partnership is a reflection of their ability to meet their goals and align for future success which prevents complacency and drives their best interest, not the managed service providers.


To learn more about Five Nines model, click here:

Topics: Outsourced IT

Top 10 Benefits to having a Mobile Device Management Plan

mobile device management

Mobility, efficiency and time sensitivity are all too common business drivers in today's world. With the presence of mobile devices in every pocket in America, the need for businesses to keep themselves and their clients secure has become a major topic in technology. What used to all be data stored and secured on mainframes, servers or CRM databases locked within the walls of an office building is now very easily in the pocket or purse of all the employees, exposed to the world every moment of every day.

Enter Mobile Device Management or MDM, the plan behind the security of those walking computers and your companies valued information.

There are currently three scenarios within a company in regards to mobile devices:

1. Company Furnished Device

2. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

3. Mobile Devices Not Available for Employees to Link to the Company 

In any instance it is nearly impossible to avoid employees and mobile devices; here are the top 10 benefits to having an MDM Plan: 

  1. Compartmentalize the device for corporate data & personal data

  2. Selective removal of data:

    1. When an employee leaves the company

    2. Major application change becomes available - Mass manage legacy data or software

  3. Destructive removal of data:

    1. Completely & quickly wipe an entire device of personal & business information as a result of a device becoming lost, stolen or un-coverable

  4. Location detection services; for lost or stolen devices; mobile workforce location reference

  5. Enforcement & acknowledgement of company use policies for activity and data on the devices

  6. Add / remove / control the installation of apps or software on devices

  7. Force controls - Mandatory screen lock times & passcode access criteria

  8. Centralized control for device configuration profiles / updates / patches / modifications

  9. Content management & controls

  10. Security & layered approaches to control (i.e. Executives have different policies applied to their devices)


The plan is only the first part of the equation. It’s taking the time to think through workflows and vulnerability gaps, and define what controls or remediation you want to have in place.  As a result, the plan can be surface level, or incredibly granular, selecting the right technology solution to implement Mobile Device Management is critical.  A proper requirements gathering session is paramount to seeing it executed smoothly & completely. To help you better evaluate your MDM plan we have compiled the 5 big MDM features you must consider when creating a plan.

 Click to  Download the Checklist 

Topics: Mobile Device Management