Navigating An IT Provider Change With Your Staff


As a leader in your company, you’ve done the research and know that moving toward a managed IT services provider is what is best for the success of your business. The concern? Change is hard. Really hard sometimes. You have the advantage of seeing all the numbers and all the ways that this move makes sense. How do you explain that vision to your team, however, and make the transition as smooth and positive as possible without interrupting “business as usual”? We all know the struggles that come with change management.

Here are some key best practices to consider:

Stakeholder buy in

The first step in change management is to make sure that the key leaders in your organization are involved and understand the vision that supports the decision. They should be aware of and understand all the “why's” behind what made this the best direction for the company.

develop Clear process for implementation

Once your stakeholders are all in, work with them to develop the plan for implementation. This plan will need to be well thought out, and Five Nines can help! We have experience with the transition process and can point you in the right direction. You know your team best and will be able to adjust the process, so it makes the most sense for your company. The plan should have specific steps of implementation and key dates.

Recruit help from within

It’s important to determine who your A Players are so they can help in making the communication around this transition positive. There will undoubtedly be individuals that don’t like the change. Change is difficult for a lot of people and really difficult for others. These individuals could start conversations among employees that may spread negativity. If you can identify A Players who are respected by their peers and get them on board with the decision, they can be your boots on the ground to promote the positive aspects of the decision. Pull them in and explain some of the in-depth reasons for the change, and how it will help them be more successful in their role.

Communicate on all levels

You have your key players informed, Five Nines on your side, and you have a roll out plan that’s ready to go! The best way to communicate the plan is in person. Email is great for some things, but communicating big changes isn’t one of them. Incorporate the roll out in a staff meeting or at one of your department meetings. This is where the big picture should be communicated as well as how the switch will benefit them in their role. Only then should the plan for implementation be sent out via email, so everyone is aware of the process and key dates.

conduct normal check-ins with the team

Once the change has been rolled out, don’t “set it and forget it”. Touch base with some trusted employees to see how things are going. I always tell people when they ask the question “How are things going?” be prepared to listen! Be prepared to offer suggestions, but more importantly, listen. There may be some actionable items you could easily change that would make a big difference for them.

Give it time

Last but certainly not least, acceptance will take some time. Those that don’t like change will not see the positives right away. And that’s okay. You’ve taken the right steps to make the best decision for the company and your employees. They will grow accustomed to the new normal and ultimately see the new partnership as a positive.

Change can seem overwhelming at first, but it can be managed and built upon. Don’t let your fear of change keep you from making decisions that could move your company towards greater success and higher levels of productivity. The most successful companies positively embrace change, and Five Nines will be with you every step of the way.

Want to learn more about developing a company culture that drives operational success? We will cover what makes a culture, how technology can help your culture come to life, as well as formal best practices. Sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch this FREE Five Nines Power Hour Webinar presented by Taleena Stanbrough. 

Watch The Webinar


about the author

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Taleena Stanbrough

Director of Human Resources

As the Director of HR, Taleena’s goal is to do whatever she can to make living life to it’s fullest easier for each Five Niner. She achieves this, by fostering a culture of collaboration, trust and positivity!

Facts About Me

- I grew up on a farm outside of Red Cloud, NE, today, I live in Lincoln with my husband and two daughters.

- When I was a child I loved music and animals, so my dream job was a Zookeeper who listened to the radio all day!

- My spirit animal is Taylor Swift!

- I loathe doing laundry. Fortunately, my husband and I struck a deal when we got married that he does the laundry and I do the cooking.

- If I won $1 million I would buy a second home on a lake in the mountains for my family to enjoy! 


Topics: Culture, Managed IT Services, Collaboration, IT Provider Change

Using A Strengths-Based Approach To Boost Workplace Culture


Studies show that employees who use their strengths every day are 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs. Tune in to this Power Hour to find out how you can use Gallup Strengths to better understand your staff and boost productivity in the workplace. 


  • Relevant statistics on Strength utilization 
  • Building a team with Strengths
  • Book recommendations
  • How to build your Strengths professionally


Marshall Ford: Training & Development Manager at Five Nines, & Certified Gallup Strengths Coach

Sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch this FREE Five Nines Power Hour Webinar: Using A Strengths-Based Approach To Boost Workplace Culture.

Watch the Webinar

Topics: Culture, Webinars

Developing A Company Culture That Drives Operational Success


The people you employ and the culture you cultivate can have a direct impact on your organizational success. During this Power Hour, we'll discuss how we get our staff to perform at "A-Player" level, ways to promote employee engagement, and how technology helps streamline communication.


  • What makes a culture
  • Why culture matters
  • How technology can help make your culture come to life
  • Formal best practices


Taleena Stanbrough: Director of Human Resources at Five Nines

Sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch this FREE Five Nines Power Hour Webinar: How To Develop A Company Culture That Drives Operational Success.

Watch the Webinar

Topics: Culture, Work Environment, Five Nines

Welcoming The Five Nines Internship Experience


Five Nines spent time searching all over Husker Nation for the go-getters, the self-starters, and the individuals who were full of ideas. Other criteria of this search? Five Nines was looking to hire students to become a part of the first official Five Nines Internship Experience.

The Five Nines team worked hard to develop an internship plan that would give young professionals the opportunity to shadow and learn about all aspects of a Managed IT Services business. The internship program was designed, first and foremost for the interns, so that it can be a valuable use of their time and efforts over a 12 week period.

Director of Human Resources, Taleena Stanbrough: "Our primary focus was to provide a developmental opportunity for students who are passionate about what we do. We feel we have amazing people with incredible minds, top-notch clients and an environment that is collaborative and fun. It’s truly a perfect recipe for an extraordinary internship experience."

Through this internship experience, the Five Nines interns will have the opportunity to gain exposure to how IT environments operate, develop an understanding of the various roles a Managed IT Services organization possesses, shadow projects in an energetic team environment, and have the chance to learn new IT skills from some insanely smart Five Niners.

Taleena: "Developing the youth in our community is our social responsibility, and we are better equipped to do that now more than ever before. We love what we do, and want to share that with students who are passionate about the same things. They will bring us new perspectives, fresh ideas, positive energy, and the team at Five Nines could not be more excited!"

The Five Nines interns seem pretty excited about their new gig, too.

"I’m most looking forward to seeing what the engineers do to support and service their clients. I want to learn as much as I can from them, so that I can have the skills to succeed in this industry."

-Larry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

"Through this internship I hope to gain a vast knowledge of the inner workings of the IT field and how Five Nines functions as a successful business. Using the information that I will gain will bolster my IT experience so I can add it to my skills and resume."

-Jake, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

These new Five Niners will not only become part of the Five Nines work family, they will get the chance to see how an Outsourced IT Provider can support clients across all industries from day-to-day support to project work. They will also have the chance to practice their foosball skills with fellow engineers over lunch.

Taleena: "The Five Nines interns will leave here with a better understanding of who we are as a company, and why we believe in what we do. In turn, our hope is they will understand themselves better as a professional and a person and be better equipped to navigate their journey outside of college."

Welcome to the first Five Nines Internship Experience, Larry and Jake!


For an inside look at what makes Five Nines different, click the button below. 

Click Here For The Five Nines Difference


Topics: Culture, Work Environment, Five Nines

Promoting Wellness From Within

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We are on Week 5 of our latest Five Nines Wellness Challenge! It's a challenge filled with a focus on eating the right food, being proactive about being active, and leaning on Five Nines team members to stay accountable.

Here is a breakdown of our latest Wellness challenge:


Five Niners have been using the MyFitnessPal app to consistently track what they have been eating over the past 6 weeks. Each week employees are given a new nutritional challenge, whether that is to add another serving of vegetables to their daily diet, or take away added sugars for an entire day. Advice and recipes are also shared each week to promote creativity and variation that gives Five Niners new and healthy foods to try.


Monitoring steps and time in the gym is also another goal for Five Niners throughout this wellness challenge. One goal that employees can choose is to log over 10,000 steps each week during the 6 week time frame. Another goal option is to visit the gym no less than 25 times during the quarter.

Our hope is, through these challenges our Five Nines team can be more intentional about their everyday health. We have learned the most successful way to be intentional is to set goals and have an accountability partner. We know a healthy lifestyle will look different for every person, which is why there are a variety of options to explore. Each quarter, Five Nines will bring awareness to a different area of wellness; Nutrition, Mental Health, Physical Health and Financial Health. By focusing on these areas, we hope to make life better for our team and their families.

We have enjoyed this extra boost from our Wellness Committee that has enticed all Five Niners to take some time to focus on themselves. We even got a great Banana Cake recipe out of the challenge.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2018 from our team to yours!


Now that we have your attention, do you want to learn more about the Five Nines Difference from a partnership perspective? Click below. 

What's the Five Nines Difference?


Topics: Culture, Wellness, Five Nines

Technology Shifts in the Office: What Do They Mean?

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From 8am to 5pm users are connected to their technology within their work environment. Being confined within one space all day may seem grueling, but technology is shifting the ways that will alter the way users and their work space interact. As technology within the workplace evolves, so will the companies that leverage it.

How does new smart office technology impact organizations?


Smart technology within a workspace is designed to deliver increased productivity.  Giving organizations the opportunity to track workflow within an office space, to determine if that space is being used to its full potential. Smart office technologies will also provide an even stronger security system to further decrease the risks of being hacked.


As technology evolves, so will the data collection behind it. Organizations will continue to have the ability to analyze metrics of their choice. Upcoming smart technology, however, will not only measure business success but how their office space is being used. This leaves room for higher levels of communication within organizations, based off of real metrics.

User Interaction

Improvements in smart technology not only focus on the efficiency of the business, but the user's environment as well. Smart lighting and other physical office space technologies will become more prevalent, with the purpose of increasing user compatibility and interaction.

Smart office technology is an up-and-coming development for organizations, and will only continue to grow. Taking advantage of the capabilities of this technology can increase efficiency and employee satisfaction.

How does Five Nines keep up with technological advances? Our Network Health Checks are a great start. Learn more!

Click Here for our Free Network Health Check Guide

Topics: Culture

10 Tech Tools You Needed Yesterday

10 Tech Tools 2.pngTechnology was created to provide efficiency and ease to ordinary tasks. Here are 10 day-to-day tech tools you needed yesterday.

Don't want to read through this whole blog? Download the short breakdown of each tech tool, along with website links with our free infographic! 

Download Infographic


Even when you know where you are going, and you think you know the best route, Waze is still worth using. Waze documents traffic, accidents, and construction so users can leverage technology during their commute. Think of it this way, if you save one minute on a commute you drive twice a day, every week, 250 times a year, you get an entire business day back.



Rather than keeping notes on your desktop, email reminders, or sticky notes, use OneNote to store all of your ideas and projects. This application helps users to organize thoughts while simultaneously storing and saving their notes. There are many useful add-ons with this application, such as the ability to drag-and-drop presentations for note-taking, allowing multiple users to work on one document at a time, and translating hand-written notes into digital text.


LastPass and DashLane

If you use the same password for everything, it's time to break the habit. These applications are used for the efficient documentation of passwords. As you navigate your browser and type in passwords, the applications will ask to save the passwords. This results in the creation of a secure document, filled with passwords specific to each account users are in control of. Applications such as these also allow for multifactor authentication.


Google Authenticator or YUBIKey

Rather than putting all of your eggs into one basket, Google Authenticator generates a one-time username, password, and a one-time code to protect applications such as LastPass and DashLane. If a password happens to get stolen,  this tech tool will continue to secure all other accounts. Yubikey has the same purpose, but is hardware based.



Prey is a personal mobile device manager. This is a simple way to track and control personal devices. If a user loses their phone, they have the ability to find it, or even wipe its data remotely. This tool can be compared to Find My iPhone, but it can be utilized across all devices.



Sick of a consistently full inbox? Here is a quick alternative to email. Slack helps employees chat with each other, rather than send emails back and forth. This application has a universal search, not limited to time, so information can be attained quickly. Users can also create channels with each other to promote different topics of discussion. The overall goal of this tool is to eliminate the clutter of email, and promote instant internal communication.


Google Hangouts, Google Voicemail

This tool helps provide a controllable filter between users, their phone, and their phone calls. This helps to alleviate the stress of answering unidentifiable phone calls, by prompting callers who are not in your contacts to say their name. Prompting users to say their name helps block automated callers, which in turn filters sales calls and telemarketers who are calling consistently. This tool also transcribes voicemails, and allows text messaging and phone/video calls from your computer.


Follow-Up Then

This service helps users to follow-up on their emails. When users send a carbon-copy on an email, this tool sends a copy of the email back to the user at the time and date specified in the original email. This helps when delegating tasks, setting appointments, etc.



Listening to music while working can be very harmful to production and focus, as well as refusing to listen to anything at all. This tool provides white noise to help users focus solely on the project at hand, rather than listening to music or side conversations going on around them.



Working all day on a computer, or working late at night is bad for your eyes and can mess up your circadian rhythm. This tool helps to alter the colors on devices by changing the color balance slowly throughout the day as the sun sets.


The best part about these tools is that they are little to no cost, depending on the plan users choose. See a tech tool you like? Let us know your favorites below. 

Topics: Outsourced IT, Culture

Five Nines Ranked #105 Among Top 501 Managed Service Providers

{cc020919-a613-4d26-9362-0b3d930d89cf}_MSPmentor501_2017-Edition_RGB_Winner.pngJUNE 20, 2017: Five Nines ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue, up more than 15 percent from a year earlier. The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at

“Being named to this list is a great honor and validation of our team’s efforts to provide the highest level of service in Nebraska,” said Joel Friesen, President of Five Nines. “We are committed to our ongoing investment in the best people, processes, and technology to drive our client’s success. We are also grateful for our dedicated team and our loyal clients who have been the drive and energy behind what has grown Five Nines.”

“On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Five Nines for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree,” said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. “The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry.”

Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha & Kearney, Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at:


Want to learn more about the services and statistics behind a Managed Service Provider? Take advantage of this free download. 

Download Infographic

Topics: Outsourced IT, Culture

Wellness is a Culture Shift

Sitting at a desk all day is not easy on your body. Employees who need computer access on a daily basis don’t necessarily have a choice, however, and in the IT industry that is especially true. We found a loophole to office fitness through our Beat the Bosses Step Challenge.

Beat the Bosses is a step challenge where employees are given new teams every Monday to defeat the Executive Team: Nick, James, Jenny and Joel, in number of steps walked that week. This means everyone at Five Nines has had to “step up” their step game each day to win.

 According to Very Well, walking has several benefits including a longer lifespan, boosted brain power and even mood and stress relief.

Walking: An idea so simple, yet an action that is so uncommon in the workplace.

Every employee has a fitness tracker of some sort, as Five Nines gave each Niner credit to buy a fitness tracker of their choice. That way, everyone has the ability to participate and track their fitness progress.

What started out as a fun way to compete, (because we are all competitors at heart here), quickly turned into an overall culture shift here at Five Nines. Here’s why.

One-on-one meetings have turned into walking meetings outside. Every employee is allotted one hour on the walking/fit desks if they choose to do so. Around the office you will hear employees joking about “sitting down” so one doesn’t beat the other in steps that day. A fun way to compete. A fun way to promote health.

Looking out the window, you will see employees taking a lap outside of the building every hour or so, to get some extra steps in. This is encouraged by all, and a lot of employees participate.

According to CEO Nick Bock, “Those 5-10-minute walk breaks are a great way to keep your productivity higher during the other 50-55 minutes of work.”

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Why is this a culture shift? Employees feel more inclined to get their steps in when everyone around them is also motivated. They don’t have to feel bad for taking a lap around the building every once in a while, because they are positively encouraged to do so.

56 out of the 80 Five Nines employees are participating in this six-week challenge. Over the past four weeks, Five Niners participating in the challenge logged an average of 3,236,659 number of steps per week combined. That would stretch to about 1,532 miles, which equivalent to walking from Lincoln to California. That’s a long walk.

This is week five of the Wellness Challenge, and Five Niners have not lost their fire yet. We believe wellness is for life, and this challenge is just the beginning.


Topics: Culture, Wellness

Creating a culture of learning


It is no secret that the world of technology is constantly changing, notably Managed IT Services. What Five Niners have learned in technical training programs as early as last year has probably transformed and changed today. This is not only true for Five Nines but all businesses that leverage technology across the world. So how is Five Nines staying current with all of these changes? We created a culture of learning. What can you do to create a learning culture in your workspace?

Humans are biologically wired to learn and grow. The challenge becomes how do you create a transformative learning culture that will not conform and become stagnate but rather thrive. Whether you are looking to become the newest Five Niner or just curious how Five Nines is staying relevant with the ever changing world of technology, checkout the steps below Five Nines is taking to create a culture of learning:

  • Employees are encouraged to study for and obtain certifications during work hours
  • Knowledge levels are tracked so that:
    • Employees know who is an expert in a subject
    • Management can review for risks/opportunities to increase knowledge on a particular subject
  • Employees are able to get certifications that interest and would benefit them in their current position
  • Growth and Development plans are created and maintained for each employee separately
  • Goals are employee driven but with the encouragement and resources from the Training & Development department
  • Employees are in the driver’s seat of their careers at Five Nines
  • Employees are provided blended resources to learn from that best suit their learning style, to include:
    • Auditory
    • Visual
    • Tactile (hands on)

As of today everyone at Five Nines has a training and development plan. Technical resources continue to focus on certifications to support products Five Nines offers through Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Microsoft, VMWare & Shadow Protect.

Five Nines continues to focus on these 5 Steps to create a transformative learning culture:

  1. Everyone is encouraged to treat learning as an unbounded resource rather than a scheduled educational event
  2. Learning is easily accessible. Slack channels are available to share knowledge and ask for peer help
  3. Blended learning opportunities are available to account for all learning styles
  4. Performance is evaluated based on learning and growth within every position
  5. A training and development manager is solely focused on the individual growth and development of all Five Niners


Topics: Culture