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Internet of Things

Buzzword Breakdown: “Internet of Things”

August 10th, 2018 Posted by Cloud, Community, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services, Staff 0 thoughts on “Buzzword Breakdown: “Internet of Things””

What is the “Internet of Things”?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of devices that send and receive data through the Internet. Any stand-alone internet-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location is considered an IoT device.

Cars, appliances, lighting, fitness trackers, healthcare and home security can all be connected through the IoT since they contain sensing devices that talk to other machines and trigger additional actions. As smaller, more powerful chips are developed and integrated into devices, the IoT will continue to grow.

Internet of Things
There are 7 main IoT characteristics:

  1. Connectivity – Devices and sensors need to be connected to an item, to each other, actuators, a process and to the Internet or another network to be part of the IoT.
  2. Things – A connected device is only an IoT connected device when “things” (i.e., endpoints) are uniquely addressable, using an IP address or Uniform Resource Identifier.
  3. Data – Data is the glue of the IoT; the first step towards action and intelligence.
  4. Communication – Devices get connected so they can communicate data and this data can be analyzed.
  5. Intelligence – Intelligence is the ability of IoT devices to gather data analytics.
  6. Action – This can be manual action, decision-making or automation.
  7. Ecosystem – The place of the IoT from the perspective of other technologies, communities, goals and the picture in which the IoT fits.

The Internet of Things is Not a “Thing”

The IoT consists of many devices, but also an ecosystem of related processes and other technologies. The IoT includes the hardware, software, connectivity and communication protocols, middleware and much more. The IoT also encompasses many processes and technologies, including big data, analytics, cloud, edge computing or fog computing, IoT platform software, IoT gateways, and more.

Security & Privacy

As devices become more connected within the IoT, security and privacy are a primary concern. Despite these concerns, IoT adoption continues to grow. In fact, smart speaker adoption in the U.S. grew 54% from December 2017 to February 2018, according to a 2018 comScore survey.

4 Tips to make your IoT more secure:

  1. Evaluate your security settings – Examine the settings, especially security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk. If you install a new version of software or if you become aware of something that might affect your device, reevaluate your settings.
  2. Ensure your software if up-to-date – Patches are software updates that fix a particular issue or vulnerability within your device’s software. Make sure to apply relevant patches as soon as possible to protect your devices.
  3. Connect carefully – When a device is connected to the Internet, it’s also connected to millions of other computers, which could allow attackers access to the device. Consider whether continuous connectivity to the Internet is needed.
  4. Use strong passwords – Some Internet-enabled devices are configured with default passwords to simplify setup. These default passwords can be easily found online, providing limited protection. Choose strong passwords to help secure your device.

Questions?

Think Network Technologies offers IT Consulting services to can help your organization keep systems and information secure. For more information about this topic and how we can support your business, contact us.

Sources: US-CERT, Business Insider, i-SCOOP

Newest Team Members

A Look Behind the Scenes

July 19th, 2018 Posted by Cloud, Community, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services, Staff 0 thoughts on “A Look Behind the Scenes”

Meet the Team Members Who Run the Show!

At Think, we seek employees with a passion for IT and can deliver exceptional customer service. Our team members share our core values – one of which is teamwork. We approach our work as a team, we celebrate success as a team and we learn from failures as a team. Our company is structured thoughtfully – we maximize employees’ individual skill sets to promote synergy and benefit operations for our business and for our clients.

Our close-knit culture works in harmony with our innovative business solutions to fuel success. In order to take care of our business we must first take care of our employees and we believe that fostering a positive culture in the workplace will extend to positive interactions with our clients. We work hard and we play hard – we like to have fun!

We truly value our employees and it goes without saying that we also value our employees’ families – they are the force and support behind our talented team. That said, we want to introduce the Think team members that really run the show – our employees’ pets! If you stop by our office, you might even see some of them taking care of “business”…

Think Org Chart
brian skiing

Brian Turner Joins Help Desk

December 27th, 2017 Posted by Staff 0 thoughts on “Brian Turner Joins Help Desk”

Think is excited to welcome another fantastic team member! Introducing our newest Help Desk Specialist, Brian Turner!

Quick Questions with Brian

I know Brian’s busy helping Think customers with tech support questions, so I just took a minute to ask him a few quick questions.

Background in technology and IT support

Brian has 10+ yrs of experience in customer service and IT support. He also has an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Network Engineering.

Brian’s role at Think

Brian’s title is Help Desk Specialist, which means he provides help desk phone support, complete scheduling of resources, service ticket creation, and overall Level 1 technical support for our customers. In short, he brings additional awesomeness to Think South!

brian's dog

Life outside the office

Brian and his family moved to Durango from Birmingham, Alabama, in September 2016. They have been married for 12 years and have a 12 year old daughter. I asked him a few fun questions…

What do you miss about being a kid? – Indulging in all the candy, and the innocence of everything. Most adults are too uptight and too serious

What’s your favorite outdoor activity? – Snowboarding

What would you do if you won the lottery? – I would buy a house in Durango, because the rent is too damn high?, OR, I would pay off my debt and buy a house in the big mountains.

We’re excited to have Brian on our crew. If you have a tech support question, give us a call and you might get to talk to him!

Think End Of Summer BBQ Party!

September 13th, 2017 Posted by Community, Newsletters, Staff 0 thoughts on “Think End Of Summer BBQ Party!”

As a special thank you to our staff and clients we hosted an “End of Summer BBQ Party” that also celebrated the opening of our new help desk center.

Things weren’t looking so great an hour before the party. The forecast said 20% chance of rain, but you know how that goes. It was dumping at 3pm and it didn’t seem like it was going to let up. Fortunately, it did let up and the sun came out just in time for the guests to arrive.

We fired up the grill with burgers and hot dogs and people were already hitting up the keg (you can’t help it when it’s full of Mexican Lager)! Kids are usually left to entertain themselves at events like this, but our staff planned ahead just for them. We had a ton of games along with some fun gifts to bring back home and there was even a piñata! All the kids took turns… even some of the grown-ups did! Finally, one of the kiddos managed to knock it down and he showed no mercy since this piñata seemed unbreakable for everyone.

Thanks for joining us! Let’s do it again sometime!

Want to take a tour of our new facility? Go here to check it out!

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.

Volunteering at “Keys to High School Success” Girls Conference

June 6th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Community, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Services, Staff 0 thoughts on “Volunteering at “Keys to High School Success” Girls Conference”

On May 4th, the Women’s Resource Center hosted the 17th annual “Keys to High School Success” girls conference. Think Network Technologies volunteered to support this inspirational event by mentoring these young minds.

 

 

Lori Thibeaux connected with the 8th-grade girls to help them prepare for the transition and challenges of high school. The conference addressed topics such as media literacy, personal safety, career and life choices, interpersonal relationships and bullying intervention techniques. It also encourages for these young women to embrace their intelligence, strength and body image. The program also incorporates a separate conference for 8th-grade boys on the same day.

“Each adult volunteer was paired with an upper-class high school student volunteer.  Our duties were to get our assigned student group to their presentations and lunch,” says Lori, a Systems Administrator for Think. “We also got to participate a little in the activities they had each group perform.  It is such a great program put on by WRC for middle school girls going into high school.  I had a great day.”

 

 

About 250 girls and 315 boys attended the “Keys to High School Success” conferences at Fort Lewis College. Durango School District 9-R, the Women’s Resource Center, the ManKind Project and the Sexual Assault Services Organization coordinated the event. WRC would like to offer a program to all 5th-grade students in La Plata County to help them transition into middle school.

 

Help support the Women’s Resource Center by attending “Men Who Grill” on June 10th at Buckley Park! This is Durango’s summer kick-off party! Enjoy a variety of grilled creations by local participants! There will be live music and beer from Steamworks! Get your tickets right now by following the link – Men Who Grill.

 

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.

Melissa Glick of Think Network Technologies Recognized as One of CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel

May 18th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Community, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Services, Staff 0 thoughts on “Melissa Glick of Think Network Technologies Recognized as One of CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel”

Durango, CO, May 18, 2017 – Think Network Technologies announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Melissa Glick, CEO to its prestigious 2017 Women of the Channel list. The executives who comprise this annual list span the IT channel, representing vendors, distributors, solution providers and other organizations that figure prominently in the channel ecosystem. Each is recognized for her outstanding leadership, vision and unique role in driving channel growth and innovation.

CRN editors select the Women of the Channel honorees based on their professional accomplishments, demonstrated expertise and ongoing dedication to the IT channel.

Melissa was instrumental in increasing Think’s business year-over-year through organic growth, corporate restructuring, and community outreach.  She was able to increase face time wth customers to better deliver information about Think solutions and value-add opportunities.

“Beyond outstanding and forward-thinking strategy at Think, Melissa takes a leadership role that shapes both the industry as a whole and the community she calls home,” says CTO and Think Founder Matt Glick.

“These extraordinary executives support every aspect of the channel ecosystem, from technical innovation to marketing to business development, working tirelessly to keep the channel moving into the future,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company “They are creating and elevating channel partner programs, developing fresh go-to-market strategies, strengthening the channel’s network of partnerships and building creative new IT solutions, among many other contributions. We congratulate all the 2017 Women of the Channel on their stellar accomplishments and look forward to their future success.”

“I am grateful to be recognized by CRN and The Channel Company,” says Melissa Glick, CEO of Think Network Technologies. “None of this would be possible on my own. I have a talented team, a supportive family and a network of inspiring women all around me to credit.”

The 2017 Women of the Channel list will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine and online at www.CRN.com/wotc.

 

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@TheChannelCo names @ThinkNetTech’s Melissa Glick, CEO to @CRN 2017 Women of the Channel list #WOTC17 www.CRN.com/wotc.

About Think Network Technologies

Think Network Technologies is a provider of on-premises and cloud solutions for both the private and public sector.  Think excels at delivering technology solutions that optimize productivity, strengthen customer relationships, enhance data sharing and drive profitability.  Since 2002, the family-owned business has become the outsourced IT department and trusted advisor for hundreds of businesses.  With offices in Durango(CO), Denver(CO), Farmington(NM) and Scottsdale(AZ), Think is strategically aligned to better serve the greater Four Corners region. www.thinknettech.com

Copyright ©2017. Think Network Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

About the Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

©2017. The Channel Company, LLC. CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

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.

Lisa Parker’s Puppies’ Paws for Celebration

May 8th, 2017 Posted by Community, Newsletters, Staff, VTO 0 thoughts on “Lisa Parker’s Puppies’ Paws for Celebration”

If you know Jonell then you know that she has a special place in her heart for helping animals. That’s why it’s not surprising that she decided to use her Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to help the caring folks at Lisa Parker’s Puppies.

 

Paws for Celebration

On April 21st, Lisa Parker’s Puppies hosted the Paws for Celebration at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. This is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year and it helps rescue, foster and find permanent loving homes for abandoned dogs and puppies in La Plata County and the rural Four Corners, while also raising awareness for spay and neuter and the proper stewardship of animals.

Event coordinating is one of the many talents that Jonell has, so this was a great volunteer opportunity for her to use her skills for a wonderful cause. Lisa and Jonell have known each other from when Jo was the Marketing Coordinator at the La Plata County Humane Society. Lisa was more than happy to have Jonell’s expertise on hand since she knew Jo had years of experience with fundraisers just like the one she was about to host.

Creating signs, organizing the room layout, handling auction items, and managing decorations were just some of the tasks that Jonell assisted with. Since some of the volunteers came down with the stomach bug that’s been floating around, they were a little short-handed for the night of the event. Of course, Jonell couldn’t say no to helping out some more! After spending the whole day setting up she came back that night to help with welcoming guests and cashiering at the front. She was able to see a lot of familiar faces and enjoyed the food that was provided by Zia’s and drinks donated by Star Liquors and Ska Brewing. Most importantly, she was able to cuddle and love on some puppies!

 

A Successful Event to Make Some Tails Wag

We are happy to announce that Lisa Parker’s Puppies was able to raise over $15,000 thanks to all of the generous supporters in our incredible community. If you weren’t able to make it to the Paws for Celebration event, but you would still like to help out then you can go to www.lisaparkerspuppies.com and donate, sponsor, foster, or volunteer!

You can also support Lisa Parker’s Puppies this month by purchasing Tito’s Hadmade Vodka! For every bottle of Tito’s bought in partnering stores in Durango they will donate $1 to Lisa Parker’s Puppies!

Thank you Lisa Parker’s Puppies for everything you do to help the homeless puppies and dogs in the Four Corners area!

 

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.

Can You Achieve More by Doing Less?

April 5th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Community, Newsletters, Staff 0 thoughts on “Can You Achieve More by Doing Less?”

The eternal quest to achieve perfect work-life balance. We all know it. We all want it. None of us ever seem to get it. But maybe, just maybe, that’s not the point.

 

What if merely trying is?

We all have a tendency to throw ourselves into our work – time out to do the things we love slides further and further down the list as the real world demands that you ‘live your business’.

On the other hand, we all know that a more rested mind is a more productive mind – psychological studies have proven it time and again. And it stands to reason that more well-rounded individuals with a good social network are more resilient to the obstacles life throws our way.

The rub lies in how to (realistically) fit it into the busy schedule that is modern life.

However, taking a step back to give yourself some ‘me time’ can do a world of good. Here are a few tips and suggestions on how to charge those batteries.

 

Let it go

The first step to reclaiming your life – and maybe even growing your business – is to let others help. We’re all guilty of ‘de-delegating’, asking a team member to complete a task and then doing it ourselves ‘because it’s easier’, but trusting your team to look after things while you take time to focus on yourself is the only way to successfully build your business. Ask yourself if you really need to be doing repetitive tasks and try focusing your workload down to the essentials. If you don’t have a team, you might be surprised how many apps and cloud software solutions can help you move tedious admin work off your desk.

 

Face to face

Social media is a blessing and bane. It both widens and shrinks our world. Remember to take time each week to reconnect with those nearest and dearest in person, perhaps through hobbies, sport or just over a coffee. And make sure all phones are out of the way (first one to pick theirs up also picks up the tab!).

 

 

Just do it

An iconic line with a great deal of truth to it. However daunting the idea of a new exercise regime may be, moving your body can be one of the best ways to turn the mind off. It boosts moods, trims waists and helps you sleep better. Just 15 minutes a day can do wonders!

 

 

Silence the mind

Speaking of wonders – ever tried meditation? Think of it like defragging the hard drive of your brain. Meditation doesn’t mean chanting monotonously in some far-flung monastery somewhere; just five minutes (mid-commute even) of closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing will do. Let all other thoughts slip away and feel your breath. You’ll be amazed how focused you are after.

The modern world is packed with things that demand our time and energy, and it can be all too easy to get swept away. The next time you’re feeling daunted while planning your day, try to remember, time you enjoy wasting is never wasted time.

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 Network Technologies Named One of 2017 Tech Elite Solution Providers by CRN®

March 29th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Community, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Services, Staff 0 thoughts on “Think Network Technologies Named One of 2017 Tech Elite Solution Providers by CRN®”

Durango, CO, March 29, 2017 – Think Network Technologies announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has added Think to its 2017 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 vendors, 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. Solution providers that have obtained these elite designations—which enable them to deliver premium products, services and customer support—are then selected from a pool of online applicants.

Technology is evolving at lightning speed and to stay competitive, businesses and organizations require partners that are not just current, but cutting edge.  It is a top priority for Think to ensure staff maintain a strong command on the latest IT solutions. The company illustrates a dedication to training with a technical team rich in certifications from leading IT vendors.  The company encourages its technical team to follow an elite learning path that will continually enhance their skills and knowledge.

“This exclusive, ambitious group of solution providers boasts some of the most advanced IT certifications available from top technology suppliers,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “They have adapted impressively to major changes in the IT channel, especially the shift to a more services-driven market, by expanding their skill sets and sharpening both their technical and customer service expertise. Congratulations to our 2017 list, whose robust investment in their organizations has earned them yet another elite designation—the CRN Tech Elite 250.”

“We are grateful to be recognized by CRN and The Channel Company,” says Melissa Glick, CEO of Think Network Technologies. “Our growth and success over the years continues to be fueled by the talented team we have here and their commitment to their craft.  This award validates our promise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.  Our team’s deep level of expertise is a differentiator for Think, and we will continue to invest in training and education that enables our consultants to deliver leading edge solutions to our clients.”

Coverage of the Tech Elite 250 will be featured in the April issue of CRN, and online at www.crn.com/techelite250.

Follow The Channel Company: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

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About Think Network Technologies

Think Network Technologies is a provider of on-premises and cloud solutions for both the private and public sector.  Think excels at delivering technology solutions that optimize productivity, strengthen customer relationships, enhance data sharing and drive profitability.  Since 2002, the family-owned business has become the outsourced IT department and trusted advisor for hundreds of businesses.  With offices in Durango(CO), Denver(CO), Farmington(NM) and Scottsdale(AZ), Think is strategically aligned to better serve the greater Four Corners region. www.thinknettech.com

Copyright ©2017. Think Network Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

About The Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

Copyright ©2017. The Channel Company, LLC. CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

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.

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