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Lasco Newsletter
Winter 2013

I hope your New Year is off to a great start! Lasco is proud to be celebrating our 46th year of service! Such a great accomplishment can only be attributed to devoted clients like you. Thank you for your partnership with our company. We could not thrive without the wonderful clients, employees, partners and friends who make each day a success.
One recent success is our partnership with Charter Business, which represents a significant win for us as well as for our clients. The size of our company along with our new fiber offerings with Charter will position Lasco to have unbeatable pricing for the services we offer. The major transition to Charter is expected to be completed by the end of March. With this new partnership, we are positioned to be a 1-stop solution. We will now handle not only in-house infrastructure communications but also the communications between client sites or branches. Whatever your communication needs, we are able to help at competitive pricing thanks to our new partnership with Charter.
If you haven't spoken with us yet about how we can better meet your needs or how this new partnership can improve your current communication design, please get in touch soon. Lasco is always looking for ways to strengthen our relationship with you and your business.
Warm Regards,
Dennis VanLandschoot
President & CEO
800-800-6197 Ext. 1051                                           
Charter Product Spotlight
Ethernet over Coax VS. Fiber Network  


Both Ethernet over Coax (EoC) as well as Fiber are products available through the new Lasco/Charter Business Partnership. Here's a quick review on these two products and how they can benefit your business...


EoC: This product is more widely available to geographically remote locations. It is cost-effective as it uses existing infrastructure. Also, it can achieve higher speeds than what you may be currently running, but is still limited. The current speeds available are 3, 4, and 5 Mbps (megabits per second).


Fiber Network: This is the ideal product. The speeds you can achieve through Fiber are a far cry faster than EoC or any other product on the market - and you can choose which speed you want to run at. The current speeds available for Fiber are from 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps. Although it is not as widely available to geographically remote locations, it is still used in many cities here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If your location is accessible to a Fiber Network, it is well worth purchasing. 



If you are interested in updating your current network or finding out what may be available for your business, please contact Tim Shandonay, Vice President of I.T., at 800-800-6197 Ext. 1044 or


Lasco Client Corner
Below quote is from Richard Englund, VP of First Bank Upper Michigan   


"We just finished our Deposit Origination conversion, to update our deposit account opening system.  We are pleased with how the conversion was handled.  Our customer service personnel have noticed time saving efficiencies in their account opening and customer service procedures."


I.T. Security
Take Control in 2013

Information Security has never been more critical to how we do business. The more we interact electronically via, SMS, email, web-based apps, etc. the more ways there are to leak information either maliciously or unknowingly.


One attack that I see increasing this year is 'SMiShing'. This is an old attack on a new medium. The attack occurs when your customers receive a text message that states something like, "Your bank account has been compromised. Call XXX-XXXX to verify your account number/credit card" or "We're confirming your parcel delivery. Click here to confirm" (and then it redirects the user to a malicious website). There is no technical solution to this immediate problem. The best counter measure is to keep customers informed of how it works so they do not respond emotionally to the attack. They can also verify the text message by calling you on an established phone number.


It is funny how much things have changed and yet how little they have changed. While writing this article I have received a 'snail mail' letter regarding "extremely urgent- time sensitive material" prompting me to call and extend my factory warranty on my vehicle.


As always, keeping your head up and being alert is half the battle. Here's to you  and yours, may this new year be a good one!


Article Written By: Ryan Valiquette, Logical Security Officer and Support Technician

For more information regarding IT Security or to contact Ryan Valiquette regarding this topic, please call 800-800-6197 Ext. 1056 or email him using the following address:   


Electronic Payments
 EMV... Paving the way to Mobile Wallet

As some of you may be aware, EMV is making its way to the United States. EMV chip based payment card systems are utilized in numerous countries around the world and the US is one of the last countries to migrate to EMV.

EMV is a global standard for credit and debit cards based on chip card technology. The EMV name comes from Europay, MasterCard and Visa, who in 1994 initiated the development of the EMV specifications.

These "smart cards" contain an embedded microprocessor chip which holds the information needed to make payments. This is protected by a variety of security features and is more secure against credit card fraud than cards that rely on a magnetic stripe*.

EMV also lays the groundwork for contactless and mobile payments. This will pave the way for the move to mobile wallet. With the EMV chip card terminals to be installed by most merchants in the US; this will enable them to accept contact and contactless EMV chip card payments.   EMV is being recommended as the payment platform for NFC (Near Field Communication) mobile. NFC is the technology that enables smartphones and other devices to establish a radio connection by touching them together or coming in close proximity. With mobile wallet, credit and debit card information can be stored securely on the application and when a consumer is ready to pay they select the card they want to use, enter a pin, and place their phone close to the contactless symbol on the terminal to make a payment. Over the next few years the NFC chip will come standard on most cell phones allowing the mobile wallet technology to take off**.

For further information please see the attached links.


Resources:   *  





Article written by: Mindy Daavettila, Bank Services Customer Support Representative For more information regarding Mobile Banking or to discuss this topic further, please contact Robert Baer, VP of Bank Services, at 800-800-6197 Ext. 1055 or  



Windows 8

Is it worth the upgrade?


One of the questions I've been asked most in the last couple of months is simply "How's Windows 8?" Most have seen commercials or quickly tested a demo model at one of the big box stores, but many aren't sure if it fits their needs. If you didn't receive a new PC around the holidays and are researching the new Windows, you'll find that like most things, there are split feelings about Windows 8. Some experts think it's the best thing since Windows XP, while others say it is rapidly evolving as the same disaster that Windows Vista proved to be.

My response to the question is simple - fantastic, on a touch screen. Windows 8 is hugely icon driven, with the iconic Start Menu being replaced with rows of shortcuts to your most used programs. On a touch interface, this is a welcome addition, but to those sporting the good old keyboard and mouse, simple tasks can become cumbersome and time consuming.

Many new laptops and tablets feature touch screens, and using Windows 8 on those devices couldn't be easier. In fact, the experience becomes much like that of an iPhone or iPad, which many are familiar with. If you're a bit more comfortable with a physical mouse and keyboard, you may find that Windows 8 takes some getting used to, and functions such as shutting down the PC end up being a multi-click, "hide and go seek" process.

If you are considering purchasing a new Windows 8 PC, my best advice is to visit a retailer and try a Windows 8 system - test functions that you would normally use at home, such as browsing the web or sending email. If you find that you aren't in love with the new look and feel, ask an associate at the store about a Windows 7 downgrade - remember, Windows 7 will be supported by Microsoft until at least 2020.






Article written by: Noah Fazer, Support Technician

For more information regarding Information Technology, please contact Mark Niemi, Sr. Support Manager, at 800-800-6197 Ext. 1058 or


Tech News...
  • Ability to text 911 for help... coming in 2014 *   
  • Electronic displays are expected to start being produced this year with thinner, more flexible glass to make new gadgets even slimmer and easier to use.*
  • Police Departments nationwide are expected to begin storing their data in the cloud. **
  • Expect to start seeing cooler, quieter electronic devices such as laptops and tablets, as well as extended battery life over the next several years. *** 
  • AT&T is placing a large volume of new cell towers across the nation which will help cell phone coverage and should yield fewer dead zones. ****  


The Kiplinger Letter
   *Vol. 90, No. 2

  **Vol. 90, No. 6

 ***Vol. 90, No. 4 

****Vol. 90, No. 3

In-House News...
  • Lasco receives Plus One award from the Lake Superior Community Partnership. The Plus One award recognizes businesses in Marquette County who have added at least one job position in the past year.
  • Lasco donates to Marquette Regional History Center (History on the Move)
  • Charter Business to provide a Wide Area Network for Lasco throughout the U.P. and Wisconsin
  • Employee Anniversaries! Congratulations to Ryan Valiquette who is celebrating 2 years of employment at Lasco, and Mindy Daavettila who is celebrating 1 year.
  • We would also like to welcome Tyler Moore who was recently hired. Welcome aboard! 
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