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With SDN providing service, First Premier’s CEO has fewer worries

As the CEO of First Premier Bank in Sioux Falls, Dana Dykhouse has a lot of responsibility. He oversees 18 branches in eastern South Dakota, approximately $1.5 billion in assets, and 350 employees.

Fortunately, Dykhouse doesn’t have to spend much time worrying about broadband connectivity and whether the bank’s electronic information is safely getting where it needs to go. That’s because First Premier is a client of SDN Communications.

In addition to offering traditional checking, savings, and loan services to its customers, First Premier can point to its solid operating condition as an attraction. Two other services also differentiate First Premier from other full-service community banks.

The bank has a large trust and electronic funds transfer businesses. The trust department manages more in assets – $2.3 billion – than the bank. And the bank’s Automated Clearing House business, which involves funding transfers at the national level, is among the largest in the United States.

In addition, the bank’s sister organization, Premier Bankcard, is a major player in the credit card business. Premier Bankcard, headed by Miles Beacom, operates four call centers in South Dakota and has 2,000 employees.

First Premier and SDN kind of grew up together, Dykhouse says. He also appreciates that SDN executives, like those from First Premier, are active in the community.

“They kind of think like us, and we think like them,” Dykhouse said. “It’s been a great partnership.”

Ads put SDN’s role in context

Banking is one of the key industries that SDN serves with high-speed, broadband connectivity and related services.

Banking is also one of the three industries featured in SDN’s new advertising campaign. The ads, which put the complex services that SDN provides into everyday context, also feature services for education and the agriculture sector.

The TV version of the bank ads opens with the depiction of a bank executive working in his office and closes with a family unpacking in their new home, while a male voice says:

“Unless you're responsible for the security of your clients' accounts, you probably have no use for SDN's Managed Firewall service. Unless you collaborate with multiple branches, you might not need our Managed Router service. And you probably won't think much about how SDN's protected broadband service kept your mortgage application moving through the bank, until you're moving into your dream home.”

All three ads in the new series put into everyday perspective how important SDN is to the regional infrastructure and the economy. Consumers benefit from SDN services every day, even though they are not direct customers of SDN.

SDN provides services to businesses, organizations and institutions. But it’s important for consumers to appreciate how they benefit from SDN’s products and services.

Economic prospects are good

SDN’s core product is Internet connectivity. SDN’s fiber-optic pipeline crisscrosses South Dakota and reaches into seven other states to help companies connect with each other and the world.

The broadband pipeline, which is more than 22,000 miles long, allows businesses such as First Premier Bank to efficiently and securely transport, share, and store information for their customers.

The pipeline also provides the foundation for an array of other SDN products and services – everything from telecommunications equipment to a recently expanded menu of Managed Services.

Incidentally, Dykhouse says that in his 30 years of banking, he’s never seen the area in stronger economic condition.

Agriculture is in great shape, he says, and businesses are doing pretty well. Companies had to get lean during the national recession. Now they are in a strong position to deal with challenges such as health care, he says.

“That’s a very good sign,” Dykhouse said.

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