Posts tagged "thinknettech"

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 Maybe you’re a startup business with an ad hoc solution, or you have an outdated key system or PBX and want to upgrade.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.

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 .

Ask the Engineer – Online or Desktop?

July 19th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Disaster, Internet, Networks, Newsletters, Security 2 thoughts on “Ask the Engineer – Online or Desktop?”

In our last newsletter, we asked our readers about what topics they had the most questions about and we shared those questions with our technical team.  This month is about online bookkeeping programs.

Reader Question:  Online bookkeeping programs – how secure are they? What is the probability of someone hacking into your personal or business information through them vs. the probability of a desktop bookkeeping solution? Are there minimum security requirements across the board for online bookkeeping providers and, if so, are they realistic and effective at protecting information?

Ask the Engineer Response:

Software that you run online or through your desktop is vulnerable to security threats, so the real question is, “Is online software more secure than desktop software”?

For most SMBs, the answer is yes.  To understand why, we’ve compiled some information about all the vulnerabilities of using software.

 

Desktop Software:

Desktop software vulnerabilities are all located in one place, on your desktop or laptop. This is your point of access for everything; the point of storage for your accounting software, your data files, and your point of connection to the internet.

Sadly, many businesses don’t realize the importance of security. From technical measures such as anti-virus and firewalls to physical means such as locked doors and anti-theft cable solutions. Businesses also spend little or no time/money on educating their staff about best security practices.

Your office computer is faced with a greater range of internet-based attacks than online software would. Keep in mind that it is also much more susceptible to physical dangers such as fire, flood or theft.

If an emergency does happen, do you have a game plan to restore your software? Probably not, according to most SMBs. Backup is treated as an afterthought for many businesses, but this process could save you many hours or days when you need to return to full operation. Check out our other article to read more about backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity – Fire is a Real Threat.

 

Online Software:

Online software points of vulnerability are shared between the vendor and the user. It is still the user’s responsibility to secure the point of access while viewing the software though.

The good news is that the storage of the accounting software and the data file is not the user’s responsibility, but the vendor’s. These software companies have enterprise grade data centers with highly advanced defenses that run your online software.

Behind the scenes at one of these data centers would make any SMB server room look like a kid’s playroom.  The facility would be protected by guards while access would be regulated by key cards, fingerprint recognition, and iris scanners. There would also be a physical protection system that would include firefighting defenses, generators in case of blackouts, and flood resistant areas.

These data centers would have numerous, lightning fast high-speed internet connections. Their networks would be protected around the clock by current security technologies with a team of IT security specialists.

Online software companies store your data on the same server as hundreds of other businesses, so there is also security in anonymity.  If a server fails it can automatically push your data onto another server. You can imagine the detailed backup procedures that these companies have in case a software bug causes a crash. The best known online software programs only have several hours of downtime in a whole year.

No matter what the threat is, going with online software is usually a safer bet than a desktop program. Hackers are intelligent and have sophisticated methods for penetrating files.  They have two main ways of hacking into online software from the user’s computer. One is a password guessing program that cycles through billions of sequences until they get a match. Otherwise, they nose around on a network until they can grab a password that passes between the desktop and the data center.  The most successful forms of hacking have nothing to do with online software itself. The weakest link in the chain is usually the user.

But, these advanced attacks are practically impossible against online accounting software that’s distributed by mainstream vendors.

You can minimize the risk of a breach by:

  • Using a complicated password and keeping it somewhere secure.
  • A password manager is great for storing difficult passwords.
  • You should never, ever reveal your password. If someone asks, there’s a good chance they don’t have the best intentions.
  • Don’t use public computers, stick with your own laptop or computer.
  • As tempting as it is, don’t use public wifi networks. These public wifi networks can be compromised.

For more information, please contact our engineers at 888-98-THINK.

Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies in CO

July 6th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies in CO”

Durango, CO – Think Network Technologies ranked 91 on ColoradoBIZ magazine’s Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies this year. Melissa Glick is CEO/Co-Owner of Think, an IT consultant and network integrator.

“The women led companies on this list bring innovative products and services to the market, create jobs, drive economic growth and provide for families and communities,” says Melissa Glick, CEO of Think. “My hope is that recognizing women for their contributions will help to close the gender gap and inspire more women to be bold and courageous and to stop underestimating their professional capabilities.”

“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.” – ColoradoBIZ magazine

 

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

Think Ranked as Top 501 MSPs

June 19th, 2017 Posted by Awards, Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Hosted Services, Managed Service Provider, Services 0 thoughts on “Think Ranked as Top 501 MSPs”

June 19, 2017: Think Network Technologies (Think) ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier.

The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net. In addition to honoring Think, this year’s MSP 501 list and study showcases the top ranked MSPs worldwide. Over the next few weeks, MSPmentor will unveil additional lists showcasing:

  • The top MSPs in Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • The top MSPs in Asia, Australia and New Zealand
  • The top Small Business MSPs’ list, comprised of organizations with 10 or fewer employees
  • The top vertical markets pursued by MSP 501 companies
  • The leading tools they leverage to run their businesses
  • And the top technologies they provide to customers

 

“Think is honored to be included on this prestigious list of the most progressive MSPs,” says Melissa Glick, CEO of Think. “Our team works extremely hard, shows passion and dedication, and it is great to be acknowledged by our industry for our efforts.  We will continue to offer innovative technology solutions to our customers and are excited about the positive impact we have on their business operations.”

“On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Think for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree,” said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. “The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry.”

The 2017 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by MSPmentor and its partner, Clarity Channel Advisors. Data was collected online from Feb. 16 through May 15, 2017. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, growth and other factors.

 

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 Penton Technology’s Channel Brands

Penton Technology’s channel brands define emerging IT markets and disrupt established IT markets. They are a division of Informa. The channel brands include: MSPmentor (www.MSPmentor.net), The VAR Guy (www.TheVARguy.com), Talkin’ Cloud (www.TalkinCloud.com), the WHIR (http://www.thewhir.com) and WebHostingTalk (http://webhostingtalk.com).

 

About Informa

Penton Technology, Think Tank, MSPmentor, The VAR Guy, Talkin’ Cloud, the WHIR, WebHostingTalk, Channel Partners Online, Channel Partners Conference & Expo and Channel Partners Evolution are part of Informa, the international business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events group. Informa serves commercial, professional and academic communities, helping them connect and learn, and creating and providing access to content and intelligence that helps people and businesses work smarter and make better decisions faster.

Informa has over 7,500 colleagues in more than 20 countries and a presence in all major geographies. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100.

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

Fire is a Real Threat

June 6th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Cloud, Data, Desktop, Disaster, Hosted Services, Services 0 thoughts on “Fire is a Real Threat”

By Darrell Brooks

 

On Sunday, May 21, a fire engulfed the building at 1111 Camino del Rio in Durango.  This building was the previous home of Think Network Technologies.  Fire is a real threat.

With the Camino del Rio fire, along with the Western Excelsior fire in Mancos, and global events such as the proliferation of the WannaCry crypto malware through many small and large business networks, there is no better time than the present to review or start putting together your backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans.  Threats are out there and business owners have enough worries on their mind to have to additionally worry about critically hurting or losing their business due to loss of important data or not being able to continue business operations during a disaster.  So what can be done to ease your mind that you have done everything you can do to protect your business before disaster strikes?

First, one should understand what data backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity actually mean and how they relate to their business processes.  After this, they should work with a highly qualified IT partner to work on coming up with a comprehensive strategy and plans that fit their individual business.  A lot of times the terms data backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity are used interchangeably, but it is important to note they are actually three different, but equally important and interconnected facets to protecting your business.

What is “Backup”?

In simple terms, 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.

Several key points are:

  • Your backups should include all important business data.
  • At least one up-to-date copy should be stored off-site.
  • Backups should be monitored regularly to make sure they are working properly.
  • Restoration tests should also be conducted to make sure you can actually recover data from the backups when needed.
  • Periodic reviews should be made to ensure that you are backing up all critical data. 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.  Sure you have backups of your data, but do you have a plan for how to use those backups in the event of a server failure, or building being destroyed by a fire? Unfortunately, most small business would have to answer “no” to this question, and that would lead to them having a copy of their data, and not knowing what to do with it, or running around haphazardly instead of being calm during this trying time.

 

What is “Business Continuity”?

Business continuity is the plan and processes that a business has in place to be able to continue business as close to normal as possible 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 on how to continue to effectively operate your business while your IT systems and data are being recovered.  A business continuity plan should at the very least answer the following key questions:

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

 

A Car Without Brakes

As you can see by looking at the definitions, all three of these are important, and having one without the others, is like having a car with seatbelts, but no brakes, or airbags without seatbelts.  All of these help to properly protect you during a car accident, and likewise, having backups, a complete disaster recovery process, and a business continuity plan in place can help protect your business during a disaster.

Think Network Technologies can help you develop a backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity strategy that is tailored to your business, systems, and processes.  We can also help you execute them when disaster does strike.

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

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.

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