Bill Holmberg is an IT Director who first got involved in computing when he created an Altair from a kit, shortly after making his first digital multimeter while attending an electronics institute. As a musician then, he co‐created a lot of artwork for printing companies for venues, bands, and agencies, as well as helped with studio recording installations and fine-tuning.
Being already addled by the rock and roll scene of the 80s, it was an easy transition to IT consulting, as he knew 1% more than anyone around him in business environments!
From IT consultant to employee, in various industries and roles, the journey would take Bill from being a SCO UNIX administrator to an Apple Evangelist under Guy Kawasaki. He started AlphaBetas to test Macintosh games for MacSoft, and was involved in hundreds of applications, even playing music and doing voiceovers. Bill installed and configured the first SAN for C.H. Robinson, and has been a director at several companies since.
Could you describe your role in your company, and how Mimecast helps you with your daily work?
As the IT Director of an SMB in the transportation world, I wear many hats. I create and manage servers in a VMWare environment, backups with VEEAM, and hosted exchange email with a Mimecast filtering service.
I oversee development of a mostly SQL environment to automate the fleet and digitally transform the company, while creating training and security awareness for our users. I try to help shape the technology future by sharing my corporate vision with management and teasing the business requirements from them.
Mimecast plays a crucial role in my success. I have used it to not only drastically reduce my incoming spam and malware (which let’s face it, makes me look heroic!), but also to end a vicious cycle of blacklisting due to past configuration errors and the unfortunate spam filtering choice my predecessors had in place. I have also had to use it for litigation hold reasons and termination investigations.
Best piece of advice/helpful pointers for one of your peers just starting off with our services?
Take the training: It’s free, comprehensive, and great. You will configure your own setup while going through it, and Peter, the instructor, is very knowledgeable and approachable, and wants you to be successful.
Also, use the reports! You will be pleasantly surprised at how well upper management receives the new data from these, and they look great! Easy-to-understand graphs that appeal to c‐levels.
Favorite feature of Mimecast products you couldn’t live without, or that’s been a lifesaver for you and your organization?
While I am still on my journey to fully utilizing the vast suite of products available, the obvious spam filtering advantage is huge. My users get thousands of fewer emails each month, and it’s freed up tremendous amounts of hours.
The ability to search the archives for recent legal issues has been huge, as has the ability to show customers that their supposedly sent emails never reached us, or that we did in fact send to them, but they were refused by their servers.
I’ve been a huge comics fan since childhood. Any Batman movie I will watch at any time, as well as the Marvel and DC universe stuff. I also love many classics: The African Queen comes to mind, as well as The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Sushi, steak, brisket, eggs with biscuits and gravy, cheese fondue, various Asian, pizza…if it’s edible, I probably like it.
As a musician myself, I am influenced by so many that I don’t have one favorite there, either: Paul Simon, Norah Jones, Sugarloaf; Blackmore, Bolin, and Knopfler; Steely Dan, Bob Marley…I’m all over the place. Love that 80s stuff, though.
What keeps you busy off the clock?
I still play and am recording some. Additionally, my wife and I enjoy dining out and in.
Favorite “geek”‐out thing?
My oldest son has a TeamSpeak server that we meet on regularly to talk and play video games with each other (mostly Steam games), and his two brothers and sister. I’m still a video game addict at heart.