Archive for A5 News’s sister company, CIAN Inc., sponsors the D*I*C*E Man

Peoria welcomed the return of Ray Semko, aka D*I*C*E Man, on May 11, 2012. What an exciting day we had. Starting with a radio interview on the WMBD “Greg and Dan Show,” the former counterintelligence agent shared with the listening audience the security threats companies in Central Illinois need to be aware of and how those threats are only getting worse. D*I*C*E Man (Defense Information to Counter Everything) explained that educating employees to be aware of their surroundings will help in stopping “the bad guys” because so often it is the employees within who are getting the “crown jewels” that are sacred to their business.
Mark Welp and Gretchen Wirtz, hosts of “WEEK Good Company,” then met with Ray to do a brief interview to discuss why Americans need to be constantly vigilant and responsible for their own protection. The episode of “Good Company” aired on Thursday, May 17.
The members of Rotary Club of Peoria were captivated by the “mini briefing” given by Semko during their weekly meeting on May 11. Many members followed up the lunch hour asking questions regarding the security issues that were addressed. There was quite the buzz from this eye-opening briefing.
The main D*I*C*E Man event was held at Packard Plaza in Peoria from 2–4 p.m. with a “meet and greet” immediately following, when guests took the opportunity to visit with Semko while enjoying light refreshments. Over a hundred guests sat engaged in the briefings and mind-opening information. Briefings of local heists to what is happening within our government kept the audience quietly but intently listening. Illustrations on how to be aware of our surroundings, especially in the workplace, evoked understanding nods from the audience. The information may appear to be logical information that everyone should either know or seek out but unfortunately most of us live in our own little world, which in our heads is a safe, happy place.
The D*I*C*E Man briefings brought to life the many security threats that surround us as Americans, especially in the cyber world. Protecting our networks is imperative and can be done only with appropriate security measures and education. Why would we work so hard to only let our pertinent information be stolen by our own employees (or spies for other countries) so that they can turn around and put us out of business and use our geniuses for their profit? It doesn’t have to be this way; thankfully there are people like Ray “D*I*C*E Man” Semko, passionate about the safety of our country and about the people who call the USA home, who spends his days traveling across the country to educate us.
To learn more about the D*I*C*E Man, visit his website at, and be sure to stay tuned to learn when you can attend his 2013 briefings underwritten by CIAN.

Posted in: A5 News

Leave a Comment (0) → Expanding in Bloomington-Normal IL is looking to expand its presence in Bloomington-Normal Illinois due to high customer demand. The goal will be to establish a Tier3 datacenter facility and office location to better meet the needs of existing clients and the local marketplace as well as corporate clients from Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis and government agencies looking for disaster recovery locations. We’ll be starting our location search and hope to finalize a site selection in the next 60-90 days.

Posted in: A5 News

Leave a Comment (0) → to Build Central Illinois Health Information Exchange

CIHIE will electronically connect hospitals, healthcare providers and other healthcare services organizations., an Empyrean company, has won a multi-million dollar contract to implement and manage the Central Illinois Health Information Exchange, which will electronically connect the region’s hospitals, health care providers and other healthcare services organizations.

The 5-year contract calls for A5 to develop the exchange using the SaaS (software-as-a-service) model in which the hardware, software and data center operations will be managed by A5. The company will also deploy analytics and management platforms to augment the core SaaS offering in conjunction with ICA Informatics and the CIHIE member organizations.

The exchange is being developed for members of the CIHIE regional consortium comprised of hospitals, healthcare providers, payers and other related parties. CIHIE will govern the exchange and plans to begin piloting the network in the 1st quarter of 2012.

“A5 will provide consulting, design, implementation and the operational foundation for the CIHIE here in Illinois,” reports Steve Hope, the president of “The project is a partnership between CIHIE, ICA Informatics of Nashville, TN, and”

The CIHIE hopes to reduce duplication of tests and procedures, enhance prescribing capabilities and facilitate communication with groups that might not have the financial capability to deploy their own electronic healthcare record (EHR) system at their facility.

The providers involved in the CIHIE initially include, Advocate Bromenn Medical Center, Normal; Community Health Improvement Center, Decatur; Decatur Memorial Hospital, Decatur; Easter Seals of Peoria & Bloomington-Normal & Decatur; Heartland Community Health Clinic, Peoria; Human Services Center, Peoria; Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Peoria; Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, Peoria; OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria; Proctor Hospital, Peoria; St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur; St. Mary’s Hospital, Streator;  and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

To contact, call (309) 999-2700.

Posted in: A5 News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Empyrean Acquires

Empyrean Inc. announced today the acquisition of has been in business for over 10 years serving the Central Illinois and Midwest markets for data centers, WAN management and disaster recovery. Empyrean Inc. is the latest venture of Steve Hope. Hope’s other businesses include Office Automation Systems, Limited and CIAN, Inc.- both nationally recognized IT companies. CIAN specializes in IT security services, and Office Automation Systems, Limited is an IT consulting firm.

Changes at will be minimal. “The crew that runs the data center has been doing so for years. They are professionals and know the clients, services, and technology inside and out-their knowledge and skills are an imperative piece of the A5 puzzle,” says Empyrean owner Steve Hope. Additionally, he has decided to keep the name since it is so well known in the area and has particular significance to the staff.’s staff will also be augmented by security and IT specialists from Hope’s other companies.’s product and service offering is not going to change at this time. However, infrastructure improvements slated for the company will provide better and more secure service for its clients.

By the end of 2011, Empyrean plans to bring up to Tier 3 data center status. Having this classification would mean that the entire A5 facility is fully-redundant and concurrently maintainable and would give A5 the honor of being the first Tier 3 data center in Central Illinois. Additionally, is scheduled to receive a SAS 70 audit and certification. Passing this audit represents that services provided by have met the standards put forth by an in-depth audit of control objectives and activities. Hope also expects to introduce cloud computing as one of its core services.

Posted in: A5 News

Leave a Comment (0) →

A5 Completes New Data Center, Peoria IL, with existing data centers in Peoria and Bloomington IL, has announced that the construction of their new 5000 square foot Peoria data center is complete. The facility is fully redundant including ECARO-25 fire suppression, unsurpassed physical security, redundant CRAC and UPS systems and back up generator power. The facility employs diverse-path OC48 connectivity from 5 major carriers supplying the facility and will also have connectivity to the existing Bloomington data center.

The new data center will provide businesses the opportunity to co-locate equipment in Peoria, and allow the firm to provide data security and disaster recovery services for its clients in this state-of-the-art facility.

For more information, please contact Eric Fisher @ 309-999-2700, or at

Posted in: A5 News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Steve Hope, CEO of CIAN &, signs statement of support of the Guard and Reserve

ESGR-Steve1-300x200On March 7, 2012, Steve Hope signed a statement of support of the Guard and Reserve, known as the ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). Supporting our military is the philanthropic mission of each of Steve Hope’s companies and is proven with the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom nomination in recognition of exemplary support of Guard and Reserve employees.

About ESGR:
ESGR, a Department of Defense agency, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. ESGR is supported by a network of more than 4,800 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Volunteers, hailing from small business and industry, government, education and prior military service bring a vast wealth of experience to assist in serving employers, service members and their families. Together with Headquarters ESGR staff and a small cadre of support staff for each State Committee, volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve.
ESGR has served our country for 40 years, developing and promoting a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. These citizen warriors could not defend and protect us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families. ESGR has continued to adapt to meet the needs of our Reserve Component members, their families and America’s employers by joining forces with a network of other national, state and local government and professional trade organizations as together, We All Serve!

“About” information gathered from the ESGR website:

Posted in: A5 News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 3 of 3 123