SDN Blog

Overcoming challenges was a popular blog topic in 2019

Posted on Monday, January 20, 2020

Blog written by SDN Communications

An underground transformer fire temporarily knocked out electrical power to several blocks of downtown Sioux Falls in early 2013. The fire burned beyond the sightline of most people in the area, but the blaze left an impression on some business leaders. 

The eerie threat to part of the community’s power-delivery grid was followed less than two months later by a historically devastating ice storm that splintered thousands of trees, took down power lines, and caused millions of dollars of damages to businesses, homes and vehicles across Sioux Falls.

The back-to-back disasters helped executives at The First National Bank in Sioux Falls decide that the locally based financial institution should upgrade the institution’s data-protection and operations strategies in the case of future catastrophes.

Last year, Timm A. Hoffman, chief information officer at FNBSF, reviewed some of the steps the highly regarded bank has taken in recently years – with some help from SDN Communications - to improve its data protection and business continuity. One important step involved moving stored data from the bank’s headquarters to two, interchangeable data centers that are more than 150 miles apart.

I wrote a column about the bank’s updated disaster preparations, and it turned out to be SDN’s most popular blog of 2019.

SDN’s business-oriented client base evidently likes blogs about real-life challenges to organizations’ networks and effective responses because the No. 2 blog on the most-read list also focused on solving a problem. In the second situation, the corporate challenge involved a hardware malfunction at Bedford Industries.

Bedford, which is based in Worthington, Minn., is a global leader in the production Twist Ties and other packing enclosure. A server at Bedford had unnecessarily started replicating data, which was threatening to clog the company’s computer network. SDN helped resolve the issue by quickly and temporarily boosting the company’s bandwidth capacity.

In 2019, readers also were attracted to blogs that discussed advances in communications technology, including political actions. Columns about the key people behind SDN’s 30-year history of growth in the telecommunications industry also got a lot of clicks. 

In some cases, columns probably were shared by readers with others, which increased readership. That’s fine with us. The purpose of these blogs includes getting informative and useful information to people who can benefit from it.

May 28 was a particularly good day for blog readership. SDN normally publishes a blog or two each week. On that day we published two, and they both finished in the Top 10. One reviewed the business reflections of SDN CEO Mark Shlanta’s and past CEO Rich Scott. The other blog published that day contained news about communications grants announced by Gov. Kristi Noem.

In another case, I suspect the headline contributed to the heavy readership. That was a May 6 column titled, “Sex, lies and possibly videotape: Beware of sextortion.”

I was pleased that the blogs about two companies overcoming challenges finished first and second in readership for the year. It was personally satisfying because I wrote them. More importantly, the blogs told a small part of the story of what some of the technical experts at SDN quietly do around the clock, every day of the year, to help customers.

In case you’d like to review any or all of the Top 10 blogs of 2019, here’s the complete list. I didn’t write them all. My boss, Vernon Brown, who is SDN’s vice president of communications and community relations, also contributed.

The blogs are listed by headline, followed by the date of publication, in order of popularity. They can accessed from the blog link at

  1. Bank goes extra miles to improve customer data protection. July 2
  2. Twist Tie company leverages SDN's flexibility in emergency. Oct. 18 
  3. SDN takes extra effort to make network fixable and reliable. June 10
  4. 7 numbers to know about SD's digital divide and Gov. Noem's $5 million kickstart. Jan. 24
  5. Regional telecom services take big, seamless step into future. Jan. 7
  6. Sex, lies and possibly videotape: Beware of sextortion. May 6
  7. One South Dakota reservation is wired like none other. Feb. 14
  8. SDN's only two CEOs reflect on company's 30 eventful years. May 28 
  9. Noem Announces Connect South Dakota Grant Awards. May 28
  10. Board guides successful, 30-year evolution of SDN. July 15

Thanks for reading!

SDN Communications is a leader in providing business internet, private networking and cloud connectivity to businesses and organizations in communities such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Worthington, and the surrounding areas.