Posts in Best Practices

Channel Partners 360° 2018

Think Honored with 2018 Channel Partners 360⁰ Award

April 19th, 2018 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, telecom 0 thoughts on “Think Honored with 2018 Channel Partners 360⁰ Award”

Think Honored with 2018 Channel Partners 360⁰ Award

Durango, Colo., April 19, 2018 – Channel Partners, a resource for indirect sales channels offering IT and telecom systems and services, announced today that Think Network Technologies has been selected as one of 25 companies in the U.S. to win the 2018 Channel Partners 360⁰ Business Value Award.

“Our 2018 Channel Partners 360° Business Value Awards winners illustrate the rapid emergence of the full-stack digital services provider. Our editors were impressed by the range of services delivered, from desktops as a service to security to SD-WAN to an all-in automation strategy and more,” said Lorna Garey, Editor-in-Chief of Channel Partners and Channel Futures.

Channel Partners 360° Business Value Awards winners are selected by a panel of editors based on real-world case studies that illustrate how the partner is using the convergence of IT and telecom services to create business value for its customers.

For more than two decades, Channel Partners has been the leader in providing news and analysis to indirect sales channels serving the business technology industry. It is the unrivaled resource for resellers, aggregators, agents, brokers, VARs, systems integrators, interconnects and dealers that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications as well as managed and professional services.

“Over the past 16 years, we have proven our value by streamlining IT and telecom solutions, improving efficiency and ultimately saving money for our clients. It is an honor to be recognized by Channel Partners as an industry leader,” commented Melissa Glick, CEO at Think Network Technologies.

Think Network Technologies is an award-winning, full-service IT company based in Durango, Colo. and servicing the Four Corners, providing managed services, premise and cloud solutions, integrated communications, and IT consulting for businesses. For more information about Channel Partners, click here.

For more information about this topic, please email us.

CRN Tech Elite 250 2018

Think Named to 2018 CRN Tech Elite 250 List

March 26th, 2018 Posted by Awards, Best Practices 0 thoughts on “Think Named to 2018 CRN Tech Elite 250 List”

Think Network Technologies Named One of 2018 Tech Elite Solution Providers by CRN

Durango, Colo., March 26, 2018 – CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Think Network Technologies to its 2018 Tech Elite 250 list. This annual list honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology suppliers, scaled to their company size.

To compile the annual list, The Channel Company’s research group and CRN editors work together to identify the most customer-beneficial technical certifications in the North American IT channel. Companies who have obtained these elite designations— which enable solution providers to deliver premium products, services and customer support—are then selected from a pool of online applicants.

“Being named to CRN’s Tech Elite 250 list is no small feat,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “These companies have distinguished themselves with multiple, top-level IT certifications, specializations and partner program designations from the industry’s most prestigious technology providers. Their pursuit of deep expertise and broader skill sets in a wide range of technologies and IT practices demonstrates an impressive commitment to elevating their businesses—and to providing the best possible customer experience.”

“We place a great deal of emphasis on training and certification. We are dedicated to providing our customers with the best service possible and it’s essential to maintain up-to-date training and certification in order to do so. We are proud to be on the Tech Elite 250 list for the 2nd year in a row,” commented Melissa Glick, CEO at Think Network Technologies.

Think Network Technologies is an award-winning, full-service IT company based in Durango, Colo. and servicing the Four Corners, providing managed services, premise and cloud solutions, integrated communications, and IT consulting for businesses. Coverage of the Tech Elite 250 can be viewed online here.

For more information about this topic, please email us.

CRN MSP 500 2018

Think Named to 2018 CRN MSP 500 List

February 20th, 2018 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Managed Service Provider, Phone 0 thoughts on “Think Named to 2018 CRN MSP 500 List”

Think Network Technologies Named to 2018 CRN MSP 500 List

Durango, Colo., February 20, 2018 – CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, announced today that Think Network Technologies is named to its 2018 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the MSP Pioneer 250 category, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market. CRN’s annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services.

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

“Managed service providers have become integral to the success of businesses everywhere, both large and small,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “Capable MSPs enable companies to take their cloud computing to the next level, streamline spending, effectively allocate limited resources and navigate the vast field of available technologies. The companies on CRN’s 2018 MSP 500 list stand out for their innovative services, excellence in adapting to customers’ changing needs and demonstrated ability to help businesses get the most out of their IT investments.”

“Think Network Technologies is proud to be on CRN’s MSP 500 list for the second year in a row. It is an honor to be recognized amongst the top companies in the industry,” commented Melissa Glick, CEO at Think Network Technologies.

Think Network Technologies is a full-service IT company headquartered in Durango, Colo. providing outsourced IT services including managed services, premise and cloud solutions, infrastructure support and integrated communications for businesses in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The MSP 500: Pioneer 250 list can be viewed online here.

For more information about this topic, please email us.

compliance security

Security and Compliance Solutions

January 24th, 2018 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Phone 0 thoughts on “Security and Compliance Solutions”

Solutions for Law Firms and Legal Service Providers

Think’s cloud services (T-Cloud) deliver essential IT services that maximize cost-efficiency and productivity for your team while offering the highest levels of privacy and security to protect your firm’s clients.

law firm IT services Audited security controls including SOC 2 Type II Mobile device management to protect data Admin tools to streamline IT management and security Reliability and support with a 99.999% uptime guarantee

Legal services firms are under intense pressure to offer services that are innovative and agile in the face of tough competition. Clients expect superlative responsiveness, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Our Compliance and Security plan includes high security email, file sharing, and web application security tools that increase productivity, project a high degree of technical competence, and conform to the security or regulatory requirements of clients.

Start with our Compliance and Security Plan

Our Compliance and Security plan services include security and privacy controls to protect attorney-client confidentiality and help to support client industry regulations, including finance and healthcare.

hosted exchangeHosted Exchange
Get business-grade, fully mobile email, calendar, and contacts for your attorneys and staff.

hosted emailEmail Protection
Tools that help you eliminate spam and viruses before they reach your users’ inboxes. Includes advanced spam and virus protection, company-wide white and black lists, and 24/7 threat monitoring.

ConnectID® single sign-on and identity management
Provide secure, easy-to-manage access to your web–based calendaring and docketing, conflict checking, document management, and legal research applications. Secure your cloud apps with 2FA, the strongest industry-standard authentication protocol.

pc backup servicePC Backup
Make sure your staff can recover quickly from hard drive failures and lost or stolen laptops.

email encryptionEmail Encryption
Protect against data leaks by automatically encrypting email containing privileged client information. Enforce compliance based on policies and rules that you define.

email archiving serviceEmail Archiving
Archive your email correspondence automatically and securely with encryption. Get tamper-proof, searchable records for auditing, compliance, and internal governance purposes.

share sync cloud serviceShareSync® file sync and share
Access and collaborate securely on discovery, client, and project files from anywhere, on any device, with at-rest and in-transit encryption. Manage research and discovery files and folders for staff and clients with strict access controls, even in a virtual office environment.

Add These Services to Enhance Your Solution

business phone serviceHosted PBX
Experience enterprise-grade phone service with conference calling and automatic call forwarding. Use the softphone mobile app to dial from a mobile device as if you were sitting at your desk.

business cloud serviceShareSync® 10GB Capacity
With upgraded storage, you will not need to worry about running out of room, whether you’re gathering large documents for discovery, or maintaining a library of research or case files.

Skype® for Business Enterprise
Instantly convert a chat into a conversation or video for richer, more productive project discussions. Share screens to collaborate quickly on proposals.

Security and Reliability that go Above and Beyond the Competition

IT security servicePrivacy and security to support confidential attorney-client communications.
• Annual SOC 2 Type II audits.
• A dedicated, full-time technical staff certified in information security.
• Full coverage of all aspects of security, including log and event monitoring, incident response, managing intrusion protection systems (both host and network), perimeter defense, service and architecture testing, and source code reviews.

uptime guaranteeReliability and support you can count on.
• With the T-Cloud 99.999% uptime guarantee, you can access your cloud services when needed, staying connected and productive.
• Receive 24/7 phone and chat support any time you need expert help.

IT admin toolsAdmin tools to streamline IT management and security.
• Centralized control over users and services, with granular configurability.
• Administrators can quickly provision,
de-provision and configure security controls, and delegate
setup and management to non-specialized staff.
• Single sign-on technology that comes with all Think’s applications safeguards sensitive financial and customer data and web-based applications.

business mobile device managementMobile device management and security.
• Purposefully built to protect data wherever it is accessed.
• Our email system includes mobile security controls and policy enforcement for the administrator, including remote wipe for employees with mobile devices.

Get started protecting your firm and your clients with strong compliance and security solutions. Contact Think to begin the conversation.

IT tax breaks

Tax Breaks for IT: Get Your Fair Share

January 21st, 2018 Posted by Best Practices 0 thoughts on “Tax Breaks for IT: Get Your Fair Share”

With so much red tape, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a love-hate relationship with the country’s small and medium businesses (SMBs). However, when you dive into the details of what most SMBs can claim as tax breaks, it’s clear Uncle Sam is more generous than you think.

Tax Deductions for Tech

First, know that Washington wants tech-savvy SMBs that are equipped for a digital future.

Under Section 179 of the tax code, IT hardware expenses such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, printers and scanners are tax deductible, up to a certain amount. Depending on the item, you can deduct the full cost on the year of purchase, or split it between several years. Your tax agent will have the details.

Section 179 never sleeps

Recent Section 179 changes added items like off-the-shelf computer software to the list of items that qualify for deduction.

Your SMB can now deduct the full cost of your IT equipment in the first year. The proviso is that you must employ it in that same tax year and use it in your business for at least 50 percent of the time.

Just be aware of the amount you can deduct under Section 179 because it changes each year. Your tax agent can help you maximize your return.

Claim your bonus

Another tax break to remember is bonus depreciation. This allows you to deduct 50 percent of the costs of new capital equipment. However, the bonus depreciation deduction will phase out incrementally from this year, reducing from 50 percent (2017) to 40 percent (2018) and finally 30 percent (2019) before it expires by 2020.

The day-to-day IT expense deductions you must not miss

Operating expenses are the costs you incur in running your business – such as stationery or renting office space. These costs are sometimes called working expenses. You can claim a deduction for most operating expenses in the same income year you incur them. For SMBs, such IT-related expenses might include:

  • Education, technical or professional qualifications.
  • Electricity.
  • Phones.
  • Insurance premiums on your tech gear.
  • Interest on money borrowed to buy your tech gear.
  • Renting or leasing business premises to house your tech gear.
  • Legal expenses, such as those incurred borrowing money or obtaining tax advice.
  • Costs of running a commercial website, such as site maintenance, content updates and internet service provider fees.
  • Tax agent and accountant fees.

Big purchases can bring big breaks

Capital assets – items with some longevity – include buildings, motor vehicles, furniture and of course some IT equipment. SMBs can claim as a capital expense:

  • The cost of an asset that has a longer life (usually more than one income year).
  • An expense associated with establishing, replacing or improving the structure of your business.

Got a website?

You might be able to claim the expenses you incur in creating and maintaining a website for your business, such as the costs of software, website development, domain name registration and server hosting.

Don’t forget any tax gifts from your state

Most states also offer sales tax exemptions for research and development (R&D) and custom computer programming. For example, any custom computer programming purchased by a business is exempt from sales tax. If you buy a standard program, then customize it, the cost of the standard program is taxable. However, the customizing, if you state it separately, is non-taxable.

The tax reward in R&D

Finally, a change in the R&D tax credit means businesses that make less than $50 million annually and invest in research can now apply the credit to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) or possibly even to offset payroll taxes.

The IRS web site has details about the deductions available to SMBs.

Remember, the worst thing you can do at tax time is avoid your share. The second worst thing you can do is pay too much. So, check with your tax agent and make sure you’re getting back exactly what you deserve.

If you would like more information on updating your business hardware, software, or communications, contact Think for a consultation.

business email phone encryption

Encryption for Email and Phone Security

January 4th, 2018 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Communication, VoIP 0 thoughts on “Encryption for Email and Phone Security”

To Encrypt or To Not Encrypt:

What is email encryption? Why would you use it? What about security for your business phones? Are you protecting sensitive data?

Today I want to jump into a topic that most of Think’s competitors seem to be missing. I walk into businesses every day that are not taking the necessary steps to protect patient, client, customer, and employee information. Email encryption is a simple a la cart service that Think Network Technologies provides.

HIPAA, PCI Compliance, and Email Encryption

Why does it take the urgency of regulatory requirements (HIPAA Compliance, PCI Compliance, or other laws) to get a company to purchase a product that is a socially and ethically responsible business practice? Encrypted communication should be a standard piece of every company’s infrastructure in 2018.

This topic came to light for me recently when I had a lawyer I was working with on a project send me an email. It was addressed from johnsmith@gmail.com. (Names have been changed to conserve the privacy of individuals in this story.) I was in disbelief and appalled that an attorney was utilizing a Gmail account, so I decided to look into whether or not it was even legal.

What I found was that it does not comply with the new American Bar Association guidelines, and in some cases can actually be a breach of attorney-client confidentiality. Take a moment to consider your own methods. How do you handle potentially sensitive information? Are you sending personal health information over an insecure connection? Are your client phone calls secure?

encryption email phoneVOIP and Phone Encryption

The key to ensuring secure voice communication is to use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Even using VOIP it is very important to understand the difference between transport encryption, and end to end encryption. Popular services like Skype and Google Voice can’t guarantee compliance and privacy. They may be cheap and easy to use, but you need to consider the consequences of having those communications intercepted. Would the cost of a privacy breach be worth the “convenience” of using a free service?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a simple and short guide detailing secure communications. You can read the details here. No time for that? It’s okay, because we have you covered.

Secure Communications Solutions

Think Network Technologies has a full suite of cost-effective solutions for health care providers, legal firms, manufacturing, financial organizations, and many other companies who are mandated to utilize encrypted communications. We also have options for our clients who want to be responsible when sending client, employee, and confidential information via email. Let Think Network Technologies secure your communications today with our Secure Communications Suite of products.

Get in Touch!

Are you not sure whether you are in compliance? Are you interested in an audit of your business practices? Call or email today for a consultation.

Cisco Spark Demos

September 13th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Communication, Data, Devices, Networks, Newsletters 0 thoughts on “Cisco Spark Demos”

Communication is about more than simply being able to dial or send a message to employees or partners. It’s about being able to message, meet, and call instantly in a way that strengthens relationships and increases productivity.

And now communication needs to be agile. Mobile. Collaborative. All thanks to mobile devices and evolving innovations in infrastructure and applications for voice, video, messaging, and content sharing. The Cisco Spark service makes instant communications and live meetings possible through a deeply integrated set of industry-leading communications tools for an unmatched collaboration experience—that only the Cisco cloud can deliver.

Message. Meet. Call.

With the Cisco Spark solution, you can:

Message: Business messaging lets you prepare, share, and iterate on content. Enjoy 1:1 and team messaging in virtual rooms with persistent content and context for team interactions. Cisco Spark services break down communication barriers and make it incredibly simple to work with anyone.

Meet: Connect teams and meet customers easily with the added benefits of messaging and content sharing before, during, and after the meeting. It’s easy to schedule or join a meeting at the main office, a branch office, at home, on the road, or from a room-based video system. Every meeting is video-centric. Users shouldn’t have to think about what type of conferencing they need before scheduling; after all, it’s just a meeting.

Call: The service enables voice and video communications via mobile, desktop, and room-based devices. Simply connect your existing PSTN1 services to Spark to enjoy one-touch directory dialing and join meetings from anywhere on any device. Mobile users get features such as single number reach, single voicemail service, video services, and the ability to seamlessly move between devices during a call.

 

Designed for the Way You Do Business

The Cisco Spark service delivers a powerful set of communications services for all the ways you need to communicate. Maybe you’re a startup business with an ad hoc solution, or you have an outdated key system or PBX and want to upgrade. Perhaps you’ve already made the move to IP or deployed a cloud-based service and want to expand your capabilities even further. Cisco Spark will take your communications to the next level by providing the benefits of a complete business collaboration service for everyone in your company: one service, one experience, for everyone.

 

The Next Step

To learn more about how the Cisco Spark service can transform your communications, please contact the Think specialists to schedule a demo! Contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like to schedule or hear more about the Cisco Spark Board.

Tech is Changing the Way Our Kids Learn

September 13th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Community, Data, Networks, Newsletters 0 thoughts on “Tech is Changing the Way Our Kids Learn”

Digital technology is revolutionizing many parts of our lives, whether it’s communications, transport, entertainment, personal finance or even shopping.

Education is no different, with advancements in digital tech transforming the way students learn in schools around the world.

While Chromebooks have become commonplace in many classrooms, there is a range of other cutting-edge technologies that also have the capacity to radically alter the way schoolchildren learn.

 

Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Virtual reality (VR) is tipped to be a breakthrough technology in the entertainment industry, but it’s also forecast to have a big impact on education.

That’s because the release of relatively low-cost VR headsets has enabled teachers to create unique and interactive 3D environments that can bring classroom lessons to life.

For schools, one major application of VR is that it allows teachers to transport students to locations where they are studying, including for a diverse range of subjects such as history, geography, and science.

VR also has particular utility for science subjects, since VR can make difficult concepts comprehensible via its unique visual and immersive qualities.

However, like any disruptive technology, there remain barriers to VR becoming an everyday fixture in classrooms, with one of the largest being its relative unfamiliarity to students and teachers.

 

More 3D Printing in Schools

3D printing, which turns digital 3D models into solid objects, is another emerging technology touted as having a bright future at schools across the globe.

In particular, 3D printing has the potential to assist teachers by providing them with 3D visual aids to illustrate complicated concepts, improve interactive learning and boost class engagement.

It also has applications in design, fashion, and engineering faculties within schools, particularly since those industries are already making use of – and being impacted by – the exciting technology.

Like many cutting-edge technologies, 3D printing faces challenges before it becomes an accepted part of classrooms. Likely obstacles include justifying the return on investment, managing access to a limited resource and incorporating 3D printing projects into the classroom.

 

Cloud Computing and Smarter Classrooms

In addition to VR and 3D printing, cloud computing is on the rise within classrooms. The practice involves storing and accessing data over the internet, instead of via a local hard drive.

Cloud computing has several positive educational outcomes because it cuts IT costs, increases accessibility and fosters collaboration between students.

It has become popular with teachers and students, especially in science, social studies, and languages fields, where the sharing of information between students over the internet is important.

Meanwhile, schools have adopted interactive, or “Cisco Spark”, boards in the classroom in recent years. These interactive tools usually include touch-sensitive screens, making them ideal for children. The boards can also be linked to tablet devices and computers.

Already used in many developed nations, proponents of this technology say it leads to a more interactive class environment, with a teacher able to build a lesson plan into the board’s software, while children can rewatch the lesson at home. It’s a long way from blackboards and chalk.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

How Secure Is Your BYOD Policy?

August 8th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, byod, Data, Devices, Networks, Newsletters, Phone, Security, Staff 0 thoughts on “How Secure Is Your BYOD Policy?”

It only takes one unsecured device that’s plugged into your network to lead to a network breach. That’s why it’s so important to have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy.

BYOD has its pros and cons, and organizations that already have a policy in place or are contemplating implementing one need to tick some boxes to make sure it runs as smoothly and securely as possible.

 

The Upside

BYOD has obvious advantages for staff who like the convenience and familiarity of working on their own devices. It could also lead to productivity gains, as users have an affinity for their own personal devices and how they use them.

Personal laptops, tablets and smartphones are usually more cutting edge, given that companies often don’t update their desktops for years on end. BYOD also allows staff to carry only one or two devices around with them, rather than different ones for work and personal use.

BYOD policies can save organizations money, as they don’t have to spend as much on their IT hardware while allowing workers increased mobility.

 

The Downside

Having said that, BYOD practices are not free from security concerns. More and more mobile devices provide greater scope for ways to breach a company’s IT infrastructure.

Some employees may not be as stringent as they should be about the information they bring home that could be highly sensitive or confidential. Once they take it out of the office, there’s nothing stopping them from sharing it across devices, networks, emails or even showing it to their family and friends.

Disgruntled employees about to walk out the door pose an even bigger threat. If they are leaving to work for a competitor, BYOD makes it easier for them to take intellectual property with them. Alternatively, if an employee uses a smartphone to access the company network then loses it or it’s stolen, an unauthorized person could retrieve unsecured data on the device. Staff can also sell their devices or give them away and forget to wipe company data beforehand.

 

And the Essentials

A good BYOD policy should contain two critical components: an application or software program for managing the devices connected to your organization’s networks, and a written agreement that clearly states the responsibilities of employers and staff.

For example, IT departments wishing to monitor the use of personal devices must ensure that they only monitor activities that access company information.

Software developers and device manufacturers are constantly releasing security patches and updates for threats such as viruses and malware. BYOD policies should have the necessary processes in place to automatically apply those patches across all the agreed BYOD devices.

Additionally, organizations can simplify the whole process by limiting the number or make of devices allowed in their BYOD programs and the systems they have to support. Supporting a broad range of devices could become an administrative nightmare.

The IT department should also have permission to remotely wipe the device if it’s lost, the employee leaves or if it detects a data breach, virus or any other threat to its infrastructure.

BYOD should satisfy employees and management alike, as long as there’s a clear understanding of everyone’s responsibilities. Before settling on the best BYOD policy for your organization, it’s worth getting input from HR, IT, finance, legal and anyone else who has a stake in the matter.

 

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Think Named 2017 CRN Fast Growth

August 3rd, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Think Named 2017 CRN Fast Growth”

Think Network Technologies Named to 2017 CRN Fast Growth 150 List

List Recognizes Thriving Solution Providers in the IT Channel

Durango, CO, August 8, 2017 – Think Network Technologies, announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Think to its 2017 Fast Growth 150 list. The list is CRN’s annual ranking of North America-based technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants with gross sales of at least $1 million that have experienced significant economic growth over the past two years. The 2017 list is based on gains in gross revenue between 2014 and 2016, and the companies recognized to represent a total, combined revenue of more than $16,717,688,643.

 

“The companies on CRN’s 2017 Fast Growth 150 list are thriving in what is now a very tumultuous, demanding IT channel climate,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “This remarkable group of solution providers has successfully adapted to a landmark industry shift away from the traditional VAR business model to a more services-driven approach, outpacing competitors and emerging as true channel leaders. We congratulate each of the Fast Growth 150 honorees and look forward to their continued success.”

 

The Fast Growth 150 list is highlighted in the August issue of CRN and can be viewed online at www.crn.com/fastgrowth150.

 

To start the conversation, call (970)247-1885 or e-mail sales@thinknettech.com .

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