Welcome back to another episode of Leadership In Action! Joining the show this week is an IT visionary who started her journey into Information Technology over 20 years ago.
Providing both consulting and training, she has over 200 video based courses available for purchase worldwide. Please welcome to the show, Founder and CEO of Sandra Network, Sandra Batakis. Host Mark Stiles sits down with Sandra to learn about the importance of having an easily communicable name, using education and humor to handle conversations with clients, and Sandra’s gardening setup in Maine.
- Many people are drawn to being an entrepreneur because you “get to make your own schedule”. You do get to make your own schedule, but that schedule revolves around running a business.
- A lot of people view being an entrepreneur as not having a boss. While you don’t have a traditional manager, both your customers and employees end up being your boss as you have to meet their needs.
- It is important to make sure your company name is easily communicable, and that people can spell it and find it easily.
- When you face business challenges, it is tempting to first go to your spouse or friends for advice. While they may be great listeners, and incredibly caring, if they don’t run businesses their advice may fall a little short.
- Imposter syndrome is more common than you may think. Those same feelings of inability can provide a powerful tool to help you identify areas to learn more about.
- Despite strides made to improve the gender gap, networking IT still remains a heavily male dominated field.
- Having recorded educational content provides value in multiple ways. That content can be used as a marketing tool, but it can also be used as an onboarding tool when implementing new processes at a client of yours.
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SandraNetwork
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandranetwork/
- Website: https://sandranetwork.com/
Quote of the Show
- “Anyone who thinks they are permanently on top, is wrong.” - Sandra Batakis
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Mark Stiles: hey folks. Welcome back to Leadership in Action. This is your Boston chapter of EOS podcast. Today's. Is an IT visionary.
She started her journey into information technology over 28 years ago, providing both consulting and training. She has 200 video-based courses available for purchase worldwide. In 1999, she started her own company with the goal to combine great IT support with user functionality. She's been neo member for under one year. She's the founder and c e O of Sandra Network. Please meet Sandra Patak. Welcome to the show, Sandra.
Sandra Batakis: Thanks, mark. Glad to be here.
Mark Stiles: Cool. You ready to get right into it? Sure. Let's go. What is a common misconception about leader? Running a business and or being an entrepreneur to you?
Sandra Batakis: Ah, that's easy. Uh, that it is easy, actually. I guess that is a misconception, , um, that I get to make my own schedule and I seem to have endless vacation time ,
Mark Stiles: so it's easy at the top.
Look at me at the top, I'm at the top. I'm doing it all.
Sandra Batakis: Absolutely. I stroll in and out what I want, you know, there's, there's no one above me to tell me what to. And, uh, I guess that's pretty wrong, right? Well, so
Mark Stiles: tell me the reality of it. .
Sandra Batakis: Well, you know, the reality is I might not make it in the office till, you know, 10, but I've been up since five hitting it, you know, and, and sometimes I'm hitting it cuz I'm on the treadmill trying to clear my head and sometimes I've cranking out emails at, you know, 5:15 AM and um, there's, there's a lot to it.
And you know, when you're an entrepreneur they think it's great cuz you don't have a boss. But, uh, I have more bosses than. Right. All my customers are bosses. I consider my employees bosses. You know, I have to account for them. I have to provide them a good working environment. You know, I can, I can fire them, but they can fire me by deciding to go somewhere else.
So I think the, the concept of I have no bosses the furthest from the reality, uh, in this world, that's
Mark Stiles: a really interesting concept as having. , the employees. Your team members are your boss too. I, I like that. I like that a lot. So tell us about your company a little bit. The name of it is interesting.
Sandra Network. How did you come up with such a
Sandra Batakis: creative name? Yeah. Well, you know, when I first started, I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I became s JB Enterprises. Yeah. Well, s JB Enterprises is nothing about what we do, and I spent my entire life going. S s as in Sam. B as in boy, J like S like no one could get the letters.
And ekkos at s jb was an impossibility. Um, so I decided to rename my company literally over my email address because it just wasn't flowing. It just didn't position us. Um, and after a lot of soul searching, one day I looked down and realized that we do security. and administration and networking and data and remote assistance.
And as an acronym, that's spelled Sandra. So Sandra is what we do. It happens to also be my name, but it's what we do.
Mark Stiles: I love it. I love it. I love, love, love that. So tell us, and for
Sandra Batakis: the record, my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I never have to spell it anymore. I don't have to sound out letters. People remember.
it worked ,
Mark Stiles: and there's real meaning behind it, which is really, really cool. Tell us about Sandra Network. Like what do you all do at the Sandra Network?
Sandra Batakis: Well, we, uh, we fixed things. How's that? So I like it. I try to be a very white glove IT support, you know, there's a lot of IT companies out there. Um, there's a place for all of us.
You know, you get the little guys that do the home computers. You get the big guys that do the Fortune 500, 5,000 node. You know, there, there's really a lot of play space. But what I consider white glove IT support is. , a lot of security, a lot of handholding. We do virtually everything for our clients from their hardware and software to networking, um, all the things, right?
But because of the client base, we also, you know, really have to look at the whole thing because our companies can be anywhere from 10 till, let's say 200. and that means they don't have a full-time IT person like we are the only people that understand. So it's, it's really our responsibility to not just reset passwords, but to really give them a foundational IT support experience so they know that they just can log in and can work and they don't have to worry about, what am I forgetting?
Um, and that's really what we're all about. You know, I mean, granted we do the, uh, the standard desktop support, right? And that's what the users see. They have a problem. They call us, they need a password reset, they call us, but behind the scenes we're doing a whole lot more.
Mark Stiles: So you're an outsourced department for that company basically?
Exactly. . So you're giving them guidance. What are we looking at over the next 24 months? We're right here at the beginning of 2023. What are the, what, what should companies of that size be thinking about security?
Sandra Batakis: Yeah, I mean, it's so bad out there. Um, I always say running an IT company. My little analogy, right, um, is like having 2000 children in New York.
with money hanging out of their pockets unsupervised. Wow. That's what it feels like to run an IT company. Um, things are getting hacked, left and right, left and right. Um, I am always at security conferences. You know, the decisions I made for, um, my company and my, my customers this year may not be the best idea next year, you know, because technologies change and securities change and methods of attack change and it's, uh, you know, the.
24 months is really a, a complete lockdown, uh, you know, big, uh, password vault company where it saves all your passwords and you just need your, your master password. And they're the best of the best. Um, they just had two major security breaches, you know, and, uh, that's leaving all of us to. not change a password, but going in and changing 300 of them
So it's, uh, it, it, it's an interesting world to be in and I think if anyone is looking at anything, you know, people are wondering what computer they should buy, that's almost irrelevant. Uh, most computers out there will handle most tasks. It's really, where's my data? And is it secure? That's, that's gotta be everyone's focus.
Mark Stiles: and how do you keep folks comfortable with that
Sandra Batakis: education and a good sense of humor? Yeah. You know, there's, uh, and there's only so much you can do. I mean, sadly I can, I can have discussions with my customers and say, you need to do this and it's gonna cost you this. And they say, well, we don't wanna spend this.
and sometimes they just, they just really don't understand, you know? And that's, that's the probably the, the toughest part of my job is saying, you, you have to understand this. Like, I'm, uh, I tell my customers I'm a lousy salesperson. If they tell you, you need it, you need it. I'm not selling you anything.
You need it , right? That's, that's the challenge. And,
Mark Stiles: you know, where does your liability lay when they simply don't take your advice? I mean, do you end up having to fire clients?
Sandra Batakis: I have, I've fired many clients. Mm-hmm. many clients,
Mark Stiles: I would imagine, because that would keep me up at night. If, you know, you knew that there was potential for breach and they simply weren't taking on your advice, that's not a good partnership.
You know, you're not doing what you're being asked to do.
Sandra Batakis: And you know, the, the challenges, and I guess back to. The things that people don't think of. It's such a liability focused world we live in, sadly, right? That, you know, it used to be that I offer people something and they say no, and that was the end of it.
Um, now I send them a quote and I make them say no. Like I make them actually decline the quote because I need some documentation. God forbid they say, you never offered. . Right. And you know, you hate to think that's the world we live in, but, but it is, and it's a, it's a challenge.
Mark Stiles: Yeah. Cuz what's gonna happen if they get breached?
Right. They're gonna look for every potential person to be responsible as possible. Yeah. So the insurances are getting pretty, uh, intense too. We've, we've seen a, a huge increase in the types of policies we're buying, but also in the restrictions that they're, they're placing on us. ,
Sandra Batakis: you know, I'll have conversations with clients and I'll say, you know, you, you need, let's say two-factor authentication, right?
We've all been annoyed by that. It pings your cell phone, you put in a code or some form of equivalent, and I've had clients who are um, don't want it. I'm like, you, you gotta have it. Because honestly, if you get breached and you don't have it, and you should have had it, the insurance company's not gonna pay you.
Like the, I have cyber insurance. Doesn't cover it. They don't wanna pay either. So they're, they're looking for loopholes and
Mark Stiles: they're probably representing to the insurance company that they're utilizing two factor authentication. Right. Or multifactor authentication. So they're gonna breach their own contract right then and there.
Sandra Batakis: Right. Although, you know, an interesting story, uh, you wanna talk about keeping me up at night and I guess I take things personally and I. absorb them, right? Mm-hmm. , there was, uh, a potential customer and uh, you know, we went to many meetings and everything was positive and their IT company wasn't what they wanted it to be, and I did a security audit on them.
which I do all the time, and it just scours the network. And I found that there was no two factor anywhere and there was nothing encrypted. And you know, there were all these things. I think the report was like 97 pages long. Wow. Of all of the things wrong in their network. And of course me, I'm like, okay, so I'm in the, the other IT company is out and he came back and he.
I talked to my IT guy, he said he'd do better and that none of that was important. Oh, how important was that? Now I want you to guess. more than critical. Now take one. Guess what industry this particular prospect was in? I don't know. Finance, insurance. Oh, they've sold cyber insurance. Really? They absolutely.
Mark Stiles: cobbler's kid doesn't have shoes,
Sandra Batakis: right? Yep. So when I say, you know, some people just, they just don't understand the importance of it, you know? Um, it's scary that they're like this, this person that sells cyber insurance doesn't understand that when they get compromised and from looking at their network, they will, that they're not gonna be covered.
Mark Stiles: Right. Wow. That's fascinating. Yeah. So as an entrepreneur, you know, who do you share with? Who do you share your fears and, and, uh, reservations and future plans with,
Sandra Batakis: you know, uh, what a great time to ask that question. My new EO forum, um, thank God for them. Right, because I've never had a place. You know, I try to talk to my husband.
He's an intelligent man, but he doesn't see things the way I do. He doesn't run an IT company, you know, he works for a big company. And follows the rules. Right. Um, and you can't share with your employees. And, you know, I have so many friends and I'm so fortunate to have a great support group, but they don't run companies.
They're not entrepreneurs, so they, they can't, it's just not good, a good ground. Um, so
Mark Stiles: tell me how the forums become valuable
Sandra Batakis: for you. The forum's been amazing and. . You know, for me, one of my first form experiences as you're just trying to figure it all out, is I had one particular problem in the office I was trying to solve, and it was keeping me up at night.
The anxiety was high, like I just, I couldn't figure out the resolution for this. And they said, well, next week, we'll, we'll put you on board and we'll, we'll discuss it. And it was amazing because by my second forum meeting, just listening to all the areas, , the answer became very clear to me. And, and that's no longer an issue.
Um, so it really has become super valuable. And, you know, I sometimes have imposter syndrome, like, ah, what am I gonna give to them? And then at the end of a forum meetings, you're like, oh, okay, this is good. You know, it's almost like it, it takes you a while to get out of the mentality that you're the only one in this head with those issues.
Mark Stiles: love, or I, I love the fact that it's a shared experience. Right. I'm not gonna give you advice, Sandra, but I'm gonna explain a situation that happened with me that's kind of similar to what you're going through. Yeah. But can we talk about the imposter syndrome a little bit more? Do you feel that, do you feel that anywhere else beyond the, um, the forum?
Like, do you experience like days where you're like, Hmm, who do I think I. ,
Sandra Batakis: you know, almost every day. Yeah. And I, I think that's human. Yeah, right. I would like to say, gee, I'm a rockstar and I know it, and you know, I guess I do know it, like I work hard and I, I do well by people and whether it's personal or, or business, but I, I just think it's human for every single day to at least have a moment where you go.
I need to know more about this, or maybe I'm not as great as I thought I was, or, um, but I think that's healthy. I think it's humbling, you know, I think, um, anyone who thinks they're permanently on top is wrong.
Mark Stiles: So you see it as kind of a positive, right? It keeps you hungry for knowledge. It keeps you working hard to find that perfection as opposed to correct.
a negative that's gonna cripple you and say, I can't go into this meeting with this client because I'm not
Sandra Batakis: worthy. I'm not worthy. I don't know enough about that. I should've learned more about their business. I should, I should've. I should've. I don't. But instead of that crippling me, I take that as, take a deep breath, step aside.
reorder your brain cells, do that extra research. Yeah. Um, and you know, there have been many, many times that, um, in my career, I mean, I guess it'd be normal to say, you know, I sit in an interview with somebody and it could be an employment interview where they're coming to me for a job, or maybe I'm meeting with a potential client and the first time someone sits across from the table from me and says, I know everyth.
There's not anything I don't know, and I can't count the amount of time. Right. No, I'm, I'm the best at that. I've immediately taking you off . Like, you are not the best because no one's the best. Right. You know, we all, we all have something else to know.
Mark Stiles: Do you run into that a lot in your, uh, in
Sandra Batakis: your world? I do.
I do. I think my favorite line, um, is I know a lot about computers,
Really, I, I was totally saying, dude, that's a bad sentence. That's just a bad sentence. .
Mark Stiles: Right. Let's start there. Let's go back to, let's start there. This drunken white book. So tell me, how did you, how did you get into this space in the first place?
Sandra Batakis: You want the long of the short version? Well, we've got
Mark Stiles: time.
I think folks want
Sandra Batakis: to hear. Well, there are two paths. So there's one path that led me to it, and there's another path that led me to owning a company. Love it. So the path that led me to it, I think is more entertaining. than anything cool. But I like to tell it because anyone who's new in their career, who's trying to figure out their career, who has kids who were freaking out over what they should study in college, I like the story because hopefully it'll be relevant.
Um, I grew up in small town Maine and small town New Hampshire, and it was a pretty sheltered life back then. Right. So, , it came time to, to do something. I, I wasn't, I didn't know what there, what there was to do, but I did know that I'd worked retail quite a bit. Um, I was an assistant manager at the Gap by my senior year in high school.
Cool. And I thought, oh, I'll study fashion cuz I didn't know what else to study. So I went to school for fashion. Now once, you know, I'm a very well dressed geek . That's what I was telling you. I went to Burette school for fashion merchandising in Boston and I was gonna be a buyer, you know, for some company.
And I really liked the gap. So that was my inspiration. And when I did the interview, um, they said, well, you know, you gotta go to the executive training program to get there. But it just closed. It's not available for another year. And I'll still remember the name, the HR manager, Jean Fellon, I haven't talked to.
30 plus years, which is hard to believe cuz I'm only 27. . Love it. Um, she said You'll be good at that, but I really think you'll be a good trainer. Would you mind being an in-store trainer and working in HR while we wait for the executive training program to open? And in that very sentence, I can still remember the sentence.
I can almost see what she's wearing. That was what changed the. Interesting because I learned that I was very good at training people. I enjoyed it. I could somehow connect to them. Um, and it was a great experience. But back to being bored, you know, people say, well, how does this work? And I'm thinking, I don't know, there's like a wire.
Remember the big cash registers? They were like, yeah. You know, small car, big . Yes. Um, and I was like, how does all that data go down the. , where's it go? Like how do people know? It's so like it. It was fascinating to me. Cool. And I left there and I worked for a software company and then I traveled the company or traveled the country teaching software.
Um, so I realized, uh, also at that moment that I hate the fashion industry. interesting. I could care less.
Mark Stiles: Isn't it wild how the, isn't it wild how you just follow the leaf in the wind and let it take you where it may?
Sandra Batakis: I would rather be in my bean boots up in Maine, in front of a campfire, like I am so far removed from carrying what the next fashion.
Mark Stiles: So they took you to the right place though, which was first software and then from software. Yeah.
Sandra Batakis: Yeah. So the next story is, uh, I spent a couple of years, um, training and traveling the country. I was teaching, I think it was close to 200 classes. Wow. And you know, 200 classes is, you know, intro intermediate in advance of program, a intro, intermediate answer of program B, you know, um, and I was doing well.
And you know, back then people were just getting their first computers on the desk. Wow. You know, like not everyone had one. Can you imagine there was a time ? Yes, I can. . I remember spending three months at Fleet Bank in Rochester, New York, putting computers on people's desks and teaching 'em what a mouse was and they were clicking in mid-air and, but, um,
The long and the short of it is, you know, we'd get Evaluat evaluated every day in paper. And on a score one to 10, my average eval was a 9.9. Nice. And, uh, I was already bored. Like I needed to follow that wire and figure out the rest of the stuff. Like word perfect was great, but there's enough is enough, right.
And I went to the. And, uh, I said, well, you know, Dan, I, I love doing this. I love training, but I'm bored and I really wanna get into networking. And at the time we had two male instructors and they were teaching networking. And again, we're way back at the beginning of networking, like two cables and two computers.
And he said to me, in all seriousness, he said, you're doing great just where you are. Why don't you leave that for the boys? What. Yep, that that
Mark Stiles: actually what year? What year? What year are we talking about? Is this before y2k?
Sandra Batakis: Ah, yeah. So this must have been
95 ish. I
Mark Stiles: gotta do some math that for the boys. So was it a male dominated industry?
Sandra Batakis: It, well, you know, it still is. Okay. It still is, I hate to say, but back then, you know, there were a lot of female instructors, but they. , they were teaching the word processing in the Excel, like you didn't see 'em in the technical realm teaching programming or back then advanced DOS was considered technical, which is kind of funny.
Yeah. Um, Novell just came out with their networking product. We still had Dell Landman, um, um, digital Landman deck lineman. I can't even say it all anymore. So the bottom line is, um, There just weren't a lot of women in the technical space and leave it for the boys. They're doing just fine. Was like didn't sit well.
No, no, it really didn't. I was like, and the good news is, you know, there's a lot of woman warriors out there and there should be Yeah. Right. Fighting to get up there. But it didn't even occur to me that that was part of the issue cuz it didn't even occur to me that I wasn't capable. Like I just wasn't brought up that way.
I wasn't brought up in male female. Leave that for the boys. Yeah. So, I mean, I did what, you know, every other timid woman in the world would do. I've never been called timid by the way. Um, I quit. Nice. and I went somewhere else and I got all sorts of engineering degrees and M C S E and Nobel certifications, and I spent the next few years teaching engineering, you know, how to put these networks together.
How much sharp
Mark Stiles: elbows did you have to throw around at that point? Was there still the concept of, eh, this is kind of a boys.
Sandra Batakis: You know, there wasn't as much with the boys game, but what I found interesting is in teaching the classes, because I knew it, my evals were good. So I was no longer questioned there.
Um, there weren't a lot of women in the classes themselves. There just weren't. Why do you think that is? Um, I don't know. I really don't know. , they were just all then in the classes. I mean, it, it, it wasn't that they weren't invited or not allowed or you know, there's a woman teaching the class, but they just weren't there.
Mark Stiles: And you say the industry is still short on women leaders? Absolutely.
Sandra Batakis: I would love to see more women in networking in it. You know, as an employer I would love to have a staff of female engineers, not female only, but like to have a mix, but they don't. Why do you think that is? I don't know. I don't know. Um, you know, I've, I, historically, most of my engineers are men, and that's not because I choose it, it's because there's no, there are no resumes.
That's really interesting and it baffles me. Interesting.
Mark Stiles: That's really interesting. So it sounds like there's a huge passion of, of teaching. Tell me about your 200 video based courses. I saw that in the intro and was like, whoa. That's, that's a lot of to content.
Sandra Batakis: Yeah. . What I started to do is when I was traveling the country teaching Mcsc courses and MCSE is just your Microsoft certified systems engineer?
Yeah, I think they've redone the acronyms a few times, but I don't, I don't keep up my certs anymore cuz I've got a company to run. . Yeah. So, um, so as I started teaching them, I was contacted by a company who produces training video. And they wanted me to do, you know, one quick training video and they were given my name.
So I went in and that was successful and it ended up that I ended up spending 50% of my time in a recording studio. Recording all of these and you know, I've got some of the easy one day type courses, but I also did in an entire MCSE track, which was everything from networking 1 0 1 to the architecture, to security, to building the servers that give us email to, and they're all in there.
And I would go in and I would film all those courses. So one of each one of those courses about a 40, 40 hour. . Wow. Some of them might be a little, they might be 24 hours, but collectively there's 18 of them that make up. Um, The whole MCSE program. So you've got all the application training out there, you've got all the MCSE based training, um, they're still out there selling 'em, they're still being used in different places.
And, uh, recently I went back into the studio on my own accord. Mm-hmm. and I recorded all the Microsoft 365 courses. Cool. And I wrote 'em and I wrote them as I thought my customers would wanna consume.
Mark Stiles: So you're, you're creating the content for your consumers to help educate the consumer themselves, right?
Whether they listen to it or not, that's up to them, right? It's up to them. , but you're delivering it. Are you able to monetize those?
Sandra Batakis: I do. And I don't. Um, if I had more time back to the entrepreneur's issues, right? Yeah. Like how many places can you, can you go? Yeah. Technically, if someone wanted to buy them from us, they absolutely could.
They're out there. You could. Um, what I do, just because I like to take care of my customers, is if we are managing your office 365 tenants, right? And that's part of our responsibility to, to take care of that for you. I send the training to all of their employees so that they can take it, you know, because for me to successfully support a company with it, I think that we have to have some sort.
education, you know? Yeah. I don't sell you a tool and walk away. I wanna make sure that, yeah, your employees have this, but they should know how to use it. Like it helps everybody , right.
Mark Stiles: Open the curtain up. Right. Let's open the knowledge for everybody. Right. We, we tend to do that in my business too, like educate the consumer so that the.
Experience is better, right? Why hide things, right? I see that with some IT people as the, they're magicians, right? So we're gonna keep all of the secret recipes and we're gonna throw some pixie dust at you, and you're gonna be in awe, right? I love the fact that you're sharing with the, with the clients.
That's, I love that. That's more of an experiential selling and an experiential relationship than. than that vendor vdi, which I always say the V word is such an awful, awful word. We like partnerships. Not vendor vdi.
Sandra Batakis: Vendor vdi. No. You know, I meet with all my customers on a regular basis. You know, some of them it's weekly, some of them it's quarterly.
Let's just, how are things going for you? How are things going for us? I look at all the help desk tickets. Gee, it looks like everyone's calling about this. Why don't we have a conversation? helping your users understand this, you know? Yeah. Um, I'm bringing on a new customer. We're in the middle of onboarding them right now, and they've been paying for 365 for years, but the company that sold it to 'em just sold it to 'em, set up their email and walked away.
it's like, and they have two servers co-located, which means they're basically renting the servers for a lot of money every month. And I looked at the servers and I looked at the 365 and I said, you don't even need these. , you just need to know the tools that you're paying for. Ah, just put this here.
Mark Stiles: You must see that a lot when you're, I see it all the time when taking over new relationships.
How do you find those new relationships? How do they find you?
Sandra Batakis: You know, I do a ton of marketing, which I can say is highly unsuccessful. cute. Do you track it? I do track it. Um, but really it's a lot of networking. You know, a lot of my business comes in from relationships. Uh, I'd love to say that my marketing team is killing it and it's bringing in all these great leads.
Uh, I am the marketing team. Hmm. The challenge of being an entrepreneur. I'm also the janitor, um, . So today I put away snacks in the snack room. So, you know, , the glory is endless. I
Mark Stiles: love it. So tell me, Sandra, when you're not working and, and helping clients, what do you do for.
Sandra Batakis: I guess my, my two favorites, uh, I'm a huge gardener for one.
Cool. Huge. Uh, so in the summer I've got this big raised bed garden. I'm building a new greenhouse. Uh, but in the winter, uh, much to my husband's dismay, I just bought this giant hydroponic gardening system. cool. And it's on a light schedule that lights up the whole house like a spaceship. And, uh, until the plants grow, it just looks like a bunch of PVC tubes.
So he's relatively unimpressed at the decor. But, uh, that's my first passion. Um, and the other thing is really anything Maine, you know, I, uh, I'm, I'm here in the Boston area and I can dress up and go to work like the rest of them, but I'm a secret redneck and I love it. And I'm in Maine in my, my bean boots and my flannel, and I love to cook, so I'll bring the best of all the foods and the best bourbon and the best wine.
And I sit in the woods in the middle of nowhere. And enjoy it.
Mark Stiles: Secret, secret, redneck. I love it. I love that. So country music, little whiskey. What else we got all
Sandra Batakis: the way through it. It's bizarre. It's all there. It's all there. I love it. I have uh, I have a couple four-wheelers. One of them is effectually called the Mom Mobile.
So the mom mobile, I love it. . So, uh, I'm in there with a dog. I have a, uh, 80 pounds Cian Siberian Husky, and he goes everywhere with me. So, uh, I'm here to say that my four-wheeler can hold, uh, a couple women, two bottles of wine and a husky. Oh, that
Mark Stiles: is, that is so much fun. That is so much fun. Sandra, I appreciate you sharing your stories with us.
It's, uh, it's enlightening. Um, let me ask you this though. Sure. Where's the future of it? Are we seeing blockchain anywhere in the security piece?
Sandra Batakis: Absolutely. And, you know, I would like to say it's gonna be blockchain, it's gonna be this, it's gonna be that, but I think that security changes almost every single day.
Mm. , you know, the unbelievable, perfect security answer yesterday isn't working today. Right. So it's hard to be that specific and anyone who is completely specific is kinda like telling me, you know, everything. Yeah. I don't think that's the case. Uh, you know, I spend my career. Security. Studying the patches, studying the software tools, studying.
Uh, I've got peer groups outside of eo that's all MSPs. We all do the exact same thing and we meet in the boardroom once a month. Cool. And we talk about stuff and you know, it's like, wow, this is the greatest tool. We've gotta do this. And then, wow. Okay. So that was compromised. Let's think about it again.
So security layer. It's not blockchain, it's just, it's layers upon layers upon layers of making sure everything is set.
Mark Stiles: I love it. It's gotta be a constant dance, I would imagine.
Sandra Batakis: It is. It's a crazy dance. No one likes to see the dance .
Mark Stiles: No. So you protect them from it. You protect them from you. Protect them
Sandra Batakis: from it.
I love it. Yeah. You know, again, security, blockchain. Um, , there are so many levels of security that I could send you a 10 page document on. Just all the different things that you have to look at for your network alone. Right? And each one of those things change by the day. So it's, you know, not antivirus, it's not encryption, it's not, it's all of them.
Mark Stiles: blockchain solve
Sandra Batakis: for that though? It can. It can. And you know, I don't like answering that question specifically because it's not the full answer. Right. And I'm careful to say, is it important? Yes. Is it the answer? Not at all. It's like someone's saying antivirus is the answer. Yeah. My computer's protected.
That's, that's, yes. It is in one layer. .
Mark Stiles: That makes sense. So Sandra, if someone were to want to connect with you or maybe work with you, how would they best get in touch with. .
Sandra Batakis: Well, as we now know, my email address is very, very easy. at sandra sandra network.com. Love it. Um, and if you want a little sense of it, education and entertainment, cuz I try not to make it so dry.
Uh, we have obviously a website of sandra network.com, but we have uh, Facebook page, you can find me on LinkedIn and we try to post some content up there with some little security tips and trick. all with the same
Mark Stiles: handle. Sandra
Sandra Batakis: network, all with the same handle with Sandra network.
Mark Stiles: That makes it easy, right?
So go to any place you would seek somebody and punch in Sandra network. You heard it? You got it. Well Sandra, thank you for sharing and thank you for being willing to come on the show and tell your story because it's an important one and I wanna, I wanna applaud you and and let you know how gracious we are and how much we appreciate you
Sandra Batakis: doing.
Well, I appreciate talking to you. It's been fun, folks.
Mark Stiles: Thank you. This has been another exciting episode of Leadership in Action. Hopefully you learned something, you laughed a little bit, and you wanna share it with somebody because maybe you thought of somebody and go ahead and forward it or post it right to your social platforms and re-share it for the.
We would really appreciate that. Again, Sandra, thank you for joining our EO Boston Chapter podcast called Leadership and Action. Thank you very much, folks. We'll see you next time.