Posts tagged "dgo"

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

Channel Futures MSP 501 2018 Winner

Think Ranked Among Top 501 Global MSPs

August 8th, 2018 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Think Ranked Among Top 501 Global MSPs”

Durango, Colo., August 8, 2018 – Think Network Technologies (Think) ranks among the world’s 501 most strategic and innovative managed service providers (MSPs), according to Channel Future’s 11th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings.

The MSP 501 is the first, largest and most comprehensive ranking of managed service providers worldwide. This year, Channel Futures received a record number of submissions from companies in Europe, Asia, South America, and beyond. Channel Futures teamed with Clarity Channel Advisors to evaluate these progressive and forward-leaning companies. MSP’s revenue figures are weighted according to how well the applicant’s business strategy anticipates trends in the fast-evolving channel ecosystem.

“We are proud to be recognized amongst other outstanding MSPs throughout the world. This honor is a testament to the expertise, hard work, loyalty, and dedication of our team,” commented Melissa Glick, Think CEO.

“This year’s applicant pool was the largest and most diverse in the history of the survey, and our winners represent the health and progressivity of the managed services market,” says Kris Blackmon, Channel Futures content director and editor of the MSP 501. “They’re growing their revenue, expanding their customer influence and exploring new technology that will propel them for years to come.”

The 2018 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by Channel Futures and its sister site, Channel Partners. Data was collected online from Feb. 28 through May 31, 2018. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors. The complete 2018 MSP 501 list can be viewed online here.

Think Network Technologies is an award-winning IT solutions provider based in Durango, CO and servicing the Four Corners, specializing in managed services, enterprise solutions, cloud solutions, and IT consulting. Since 2003, our local, family-owned business has become the outsourced IT department and trusted adviser for over 100 businesses. With offices throughout the Southwest, Think is strategically positioned to serve the Four Corners region.

For more information about this topic, please email us.

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
ColoradoBiz Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies 2018

Think Recognized on Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies 2018 List

July 11th, 2018 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Think Recognized on Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies 2018 List”

Durango, Colo., July 2, 2018 – Think Network Technologies (Think) ranked 91 on ColoradoBiz Magazine’s annual Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies list for the second consecutive year. Melissa Glick is CEO and Co-Owner of Think, a Southwest Colorado IT solutions provider.

“I hope the female leaders recognized on this list will inspire more women to be courageous and to pursue their professional goals,” said Glick. “I am proud that Think was listed amongst other female-led companies that bring innovative products and services to the market, create jobs and contribute to their communities.”

Glick credits past mentors as well as family, in providing her with solid values and strong business acumen that have contributed to Think’s business success.

“Women in Colorado are making an impact in every industry, enterprise and workplace role imaginable. They are CEOs, startup founders, strategists and irreplaceable employees who not only are instrumental in their own organization’s success; through their daily actions and achievements they set a precedent of possibilities for the next generation of women in business to build upon,” said ColoradoBiz Magazine.

The full ColoradoBiz Magazine Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies 2018 list can be viewed online here.

Think Network Technologies is an award-winning IT solutions provider based in Durango, CO and servicing the Four Corners, specializing in managed services, enterprise solutions, cloud solutions, and IT consulting. Since 2003, our local, family-owned business has become the outsourced IT department and trusted adviser for over 100 businesses. With offices throughout the Southwest, Think is strategically positioned to serve the Four Corners region.

For more information about this topic, please email us.

Disaster Readiness

Disaster Readiness: Are You Prepared?

May 16th, 2018 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Disaster, Hosted Services, Services 0 thoughts on “Disaster Readiness: Are You Prepared?”

Fire is a Real Threat

On Sunday, May 21, 2017 a fire engulfed 1111 Camino del Rio in Durango, CO.  This location was the former home of Think Network Technologies.

Disasters are real and business owners should have a disaster readiness plan in place to continue business operations during and after a disaster. There is no time like the present to review and/or implement data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity plans. So what can you do to ensure you’re prepared before disaster strikes?

First, it’s important to understand the definition of data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity and how they relate to business processes. Data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity are used interchangeably are different, but equally important and interconnected facets to protecting your business. Second, it’s important to employ an IT partner to develop a comprehensive strategy and plans that fit your business.

What is “Data Backup”?

Data backup is the process of creating copies of your important data and storing in another location that would not be affected by the same factors that could affect your primary copy of data.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Your backups should include all important business data.
  2. At least one up-to-date copy should be stored off-site.
  3. Backups should be monitored regularly to make sure they are working properly.
  4. Restoration tests should be conducted regularly to make sure data can be recovered from the backups when needed.
  5. Periodic reviews should be made to ensure that all critical data is being backed up. A set-it-and-forget-it approach can lead to future important data not being backed up.

What is “Disaster Recovery”?

Disaster recovery is the concept and strategy for recovering key IT systems and processes in a timely manner in the event of some form of disruption to these systems.  It’s critical to have a plan for how to use data backups in the event of a server failure or physical destruction of property, e.g. fire or flood.

What is “Business Continuity”?

Business continuity is the plan and processes that a business has in place to to continue business while key IT systems are unavailable or are being recovered. While disaster recovery is focused on how to recover key IT systems and business processes, business continuity is the plan for how to continue business operations while IT systems and data are being recovered. A business continuity plan should answer the following key questions:

  1. What people, equipment, resources, and information need to be available so that business can continue without key IT systems?
  2. What steps can be taken to manually complete normal, day-to-day business processes with impaired IT systems or completely unavailable IT systems?

We Can Help…

As you can see from the above, data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity are equally important. Having one of these processes without the others, is like having a car with seat belts but no brakes. Having strategies for backups, disaster recovery and a business continuity in place can help protect your business during and after a disaster.

Think Network Technologies can help you develop strategies tailored to your business, systems, and processes.  We can also help execute these strategies if and when disaster strikes.

For more information about this topic and how we can support your business, contact us.

STEM Education

Think Makes a Difference in STEM Education

May 16th, 2018 Posted by Community, Hour of Code 0 thoughts on “Think Makes a Difference in STEM Education”

Durango, Colo., May 16, 2018 – Think Network Technologies (Think) partnered with Mountain Middle School to sponsor materials for two week-long computer programming education sessions, “intersessions”, the week of May 7-11, 2018.

Think’s intersessions partnership with Mountain Middle School stemmed from a previous partnership in December 2017 to execute the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a global educational event designed to demystify “code”, to show that anyone can learn code, and to broaden kids’ interest in computer science. As a result of Think’s support in December, Mountain Middle was able to provide its students with Sphero robots and Raspberry Pi single-board computers that can be re-used for additional educational projects in the future.

“As a technology company and as members of the community, we at Think feel a responsibility to motivate and enable children to learn STEM because it helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. We are excited about this learning opportunity for the Mountain Middle School students, but more importantly that the students are excited about learning technology. We believe that small efforts like ours can have big impacts. Going forward we hope even more schools will catch on and provide STEM education resources,” said Melissa Glick, CEO of Think.

STEM education is a national issue. There is a disconnect between the number of STEM jobs available and the number of STEM-educated candidates. Currently there are over 520,000 open computing jobs in the United States, but less than 50,000 computer science students graduated into the workforce in 2017 – the issue is getting worse every year. Computer science graduates enjoy the second-highest starting salary and the highest full-time employment rate (76%) within six months of graduation, yet there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill open positions.

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 on the Hour of Code, click here. For coverage from The Durango Herald, click here.

For more information about this topic, please email us.

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.

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!

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.

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