Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Secret Weapon Of The Smart Global CIO Is......

How do you search for telecommunications services when you need them?
If you are like most companies, you might go online to see which service providers can service your area, realizing that not all of them present accurate information about your specific location online at their web sites.
If you have multiple offices across the country or even across the world and want to standardize on one carrier, what are your network service provider options?
When you find one, then you play telephone tag with that carrier for several days until you find the right person there that can answer your questions about service, availability and price.
And all this assumes that you already know exactly what you’re looking for … don’t expect them to take the time to ask and fully understand your application or requirements, or in doing so, to suggest a better approach, perhaps even with a less expensive option. Then a few more days pass before you finally get a price from them for something that hopefully, maybe, with any luck, will meet your needs.
Then you repeat the process for the next carrier that can service your location while another week passes, and so on.
So say you found four service providers who could service your location with your requested service. Given about a week to get a price from each one, now a full month has passed since your first phone call to find out if this will fit into your budget. In the meantime, your competition is passing you by and business continues to be prosperous … for your competition, who found a better way of doing this mundane and arduous task. More on that in a minute.
Do you see the fundamental problems here? Let’s outline them:
Problem #1: It’s now a month later and you are still at basically the same place you were a month ago with no circuit on order.
Problem #2: Are you really comfortable that you have contacted ALL the first tier carriers that can service your location? Could there be others?
Problem #3: If you found a “super price” from a second or third tier carrier, are you comfortable they can really provide what you need; comfortable enough to not use a first tier carrier? Yes of course you search for reviews online but is what you find fact, fiction, marketing hype, or even comments from an isolated eternally-disgruntled customer?
Problem #4: How comfortable are you that the prices you were given for the circuit are as aggressive as the carrier is willing to be with them? How do you know if better pricing is possible with a first tier carrier?
Problem #5: If you order the circuit, sure they have 24×7 tech support but who’s going to go to bat for you if the carrier is not resolving the problem or the people in billing don’t understand why your invoice is wrong … again?
Problem #6: You’ve got a business to run, and taking time to deal with the problems above are not allowing you to focus on much more important tasks to make and keep your company as competitive and profitable as possible.

We Have A Solution To These Problems For You

We are telecom professionals with many years of experience in the world of telecommunications and circuits, and we work with 90+ first tier and top tier carriers every day.
Use us as your telecom go-to people when you need telcom services!
You don’t have to (and should NOT have to) wait weeks to get pricing back from all the first tier carriers that can service your location. With our patented software and technology, we can provide you with that information in a matter of minutes, showing all your reputable carrier options on one page.
And since we have taken the time to talk with you to fully understand your application and requirements, both for today as well as in the future, we can suggest alternate technologies and other possible solutions that could save you money, perhaps approaches that you weren’t even aware of or didn’t realize could be provided in your area.
Price? We have a Low Price Guarantee for you. For any quote we provide you, we guarantee that the pricing shown for each carrier is the lowest price that that carrier will offer, even if you go to that carrier directly. The reason we can do that is because of the volume of business that we provide to our partner carriers every month, which allow them to enable us to give you that lowest price, guaranteed.
Can we also resolve problem #5 above? Again we are there for you. Based on the volume of business that we do with our partner carriers, we have a direct line into senior management at each of those carriers. If you are ever having a problem with your circuit that the carrier is not resolving, please let us know, because we are happy to go to bat for you to make things happen on your behalf for the entire life of your circuit.

 Let Us Be Your Telecom Broker

You are not charged a penny for our services, so use us as your telecom broker. You’re getting the guaranteed lowest price from 90+ first tier and top tier carriers, and you are getting service after the sale for as long as that circuit is active.
It doesn’t get better than that.
Visit us today at.... NETWORK SOLUTIONS

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Benefits Of SDWAN With Case Studies


Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SDWAN) solutions are highly appealing for their efficiency, flexibility, and security benefits. Although still emerging, SDWAN solutions are integral in shaping the future of WAN management. Below are 3 case studies which help illustrate the current and future benefits of SDWAN for enterprise network management.

BIGLEAF

Bigleaf Cloud-first SD-WAN is the next generation of internet optimization – based on the natural redundancy found in leaf veins. They connect you through our plug-and-play router in your office, to their gateway clusters in the Cloud, providing end-to-end visibility and control. Their Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology ensures that your business-critical applications are prioritized across your internet connections and that all traffic flows are routed over the best connection in real-time
New Seasons Market is a high-end grocer similar to Whole Foods, with locations up and down the west coast. The reason BigLeaf likes to talk about New Seasons Market is they are not unique relative to a lot of potential SDWAN users. They are a mid-market business who is going through rapid growth; they have a lean and somewhat overworked IT organization. What they are looking to do is leverage the cloud to continue to scale and gain a competitive advantage in their given market.
Each store got its internet from a local ISP and had a dial up connection designated as the backup system. Sean Teisher, VP of IT for New Seasons Market, explains that as the company began to scale the number of stores, they started to notice slower internet speeds and overall network congestion. The IT team was also looking to move critical applications to the cloud. Looking for a better alternative, New Seasons Market reached out to Bigleaf for help. For the initial deployment, New Seasons Market installed Bigleaf Networks’ plug-and-play SD-WAN routers at 10 of the company’s grocery store outlets with the plan to roll out additional routers over several months. The routers came pre-configured and sat outside the firewall, so installation was extremely simple and fast. The New Seasons Market IT team was also pleased that they got to keep their preferred firewall solution which includes, anti-virus, content filtering, intrusion detection, and VPNs for private networking, while Bigleaf was able to provide support and traffic shaping capabilities all in complete solution. Unlike other multi-WAN solutions that monitor only a tiny subset of internet paths, Bigleaf measures each internet connection from the store’s location, all the way across the internet path, to Bigleaf’s network. This provides a complete picture of the performance of each circuit and helps insulate internet experience from common ISP issues such as peering disputes, unplanned maintenance, traffic congestion, and more.
Bigleaf provides 100% uptime and reliability from their internet connections. This is the cloud migration story that a lot of mid-market users are facing today, and where Bigleaf excels. As the SD-WAN market continues to evolve, you will continue to see more and more differentiation in the market. 

SIMPLEWAN

SimpleWAN is a provider of cloud-based networking solutions for branch offices, service centers, stores, and franchises. They believe networking should be simple, efficient, and innovative, and they created an all-in-one solution to make IT secure, smart, and smooth.
 One of the case studies SimpleWan likes to highlight is a nationwide deployment which they started about a year and a half ago for a nationwide pizza chain. This pizza chain was relying on a slow network of MPLS and VPN; they were utilizing commodity broadband for those VPN deployments and T1s on all their sites. They had absolutely no visibility into the network for each location and very little to no IT support at each of the sites. Bringing new locations required either one lengthy MPLS install or expensive equipment because of this it took them way longer to open a new restaurant than corporate would have preferred. They also wanted to standardize the technology for all of the franchisees and make sure their security vulnerabilities were locked down. Also, their disaster recovery solution was extremely expensive and lacked flexibility. This pizza chain was trying to tie multiple providers together while having a secure WAN and ensuring that all locations had access to inventory management, online ordering applications, and point of sale. This company has made a huge transition to online ordering so much that they incentivize customers with free pizzas after so many online orders. They found running those applications over their tired MPLS network was problematic.
Being able to optimize certain applications is the highlight of going with an SD-WAN deployment. This company wanted something more holistic where they could look at the entire view of every single location, see what sites were online, and be able to communicate with unified communications between all the locations. If the calls are not able to come into the locations they will not be able to receive the order. This customer wanted one provider who could meet all of their demands, and the solutions had to be simple. When SimpleWan rolls out customers, they make sure that the store manager or somebody who has very little to no IT experience can understand the environment. In this case, the customer was able to displace not only their sole MPLS network and aging firewalls but also multiple boxes that were stacking up at every single location like caller ID boxes and Wi-Fi controllers. The customer had roughly a 37 percent reduction in MRC, and they now have the ability to manage all of their sites with a single pane of glass.
Why SimpleWAN? 
  • One way to manage all their locations
  • One magic box that takes care of all their networking
  • Flexibility to change and add to their networks
  • A trusted partner that keeps their networks running and secure

ECESSA

SD-WAN is broad regarding terminology, and it applies to a lot of different business in very different ways. Ecessa takes a little bit of a different approach, if Bigleaf is cloud-first, then Ecessa is premise first. What this means is that a lof of the customers they work with have been on a path to cloud leveraging; they’re starting to migrate a few critical applications to the cloud, but they still have legacy applications and components that they have to host locally. Due to this, they still need some connectivity and some resiliency to their internal networks as well. Ecessa is premise-first for companies who are migrating to the cloud but are not there yet or are never going to be completely there regarding 100 percent applications to the cloud.   
Ecessa has been working with Trans States Airline for several years now, Trans States is based out of St. Louis, and they do carrier support for United and American. As you know, the airline industry has been rife with failures from an IT perspective and outages. Ecessa has been able to help them build backups and resiliency to their infrastructure across multiple locations around the world including data center and remote locations. The most important piece for them was for Ecessa to be able to integrate into their network, which is one of the benefits of an Ecessa approach. A few of the questions Ecessa likes to ask are:
  • Does the customer have multiple sites that need that never down connectivity between locations?
  • Do they need to support a mesh network?
  • Is real-time traffic important to them?
  • Do they want to leverage their existing connectivity including their IP addresses that are coming from their ISPs?
Ecessa prides itself in being agnostic to carrier and technology; they will integrate any connectivity that people need to bring along. These are some of the really important pieces when it comes to identifying a good Ecessa opportunity. Trans States Airline had multiple MPLS they purchased that they weren’t able to use actively; they had them as emergency failover only. By integrating an Ecessa product into their different locations, they were able to help them create and active network, also helping them never lose a ping or access to their applications. They also helped them achieve a 100% uptime for the last several months.
THE BIG PICTURE
So where does SD-WAN fit in general? Start with the concept of resiliency, be it to the cloud or be it within an organization on-premise like the type of applications Ecessa prides themselves on. This technology gives you back control, for organizations that are stuck in contracts with existing connections and you want to replace MPLS....you have that capability. Today you can insert an Ecessa, a Bigleaf, or a SimpleWan device and integrate additional bandwidth. There’s a lot of freedom that comes with leveraging the technology as well as building out that resiliency. For example when you think Ecessa, think flexibility. They can integrate into those existing customers, they don’t require large architectural changes, and they can fit into any network.
Free SDWAN Design Help.......
To take advantage of free assistance to engineer and design a SDWAN solution for your enterprise network...including a comparison of available providers with rate quotes...simply ask us at the following link:
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Cybersecurity....Get It Wrong And You're Doomed



If your organization doesn't take Cybersecurity seriously for your network you'll end up as the next embarrassing news headline.  Here's how to get it right.

Why is cybersecurity such a big deal? That is a question that gets asked a lot, and sometimes it might be hard for people to formulate an answer around that. There’s a general lack of knowledge and awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Think about all of the connected devices that we have today, all of these devices have potential vulnerabilities. It’s not if, but when you will be breached. It’s a misconception that people think that they are safe. A lot of this stems from companies that are in transition. We have a lot of old technology that customers are having a hard time getting rid of, while at the same time introducing new technology. It is always the weakest link that breaks the chain, so if you have one old technology sitting in your environment that is not secure, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your secure technology is. So who’s really out there taking advantage of these cybersecurity problems?
  • Cyber criminals - Attack and steal information for profit (example: Equifax breach)
  • Hackers - Some are pros that do it for research, others are malicious
  • Hacktivists - Politically or socially motivated
  • Cyber terrorists - Not common today but could become soon
  • Nation States - Launching cyberattacks against other countries
A lot of the things we see today in the current environment can be boiled down into a few major problems. Distributed denial of service attacks is one of the major issues. They are continuing to grow in sophistication and the solution to this is a managed DDoS platform. We’ve all heard about Ransomware as well. It is now becoming harder to catch and more prevalent and causing more financial harm. There are actually several solutions to this:
  • Endpoint protection
  • Email security
  • Patch management.
Another problem is traditional malware which is the same stuff we’ve been hearing about for decades now. Endpoint security solutions are what’s responding quickly to that. Lastly, there are routes to malware sites from redirects in ads, the fix for this is a managed secure DNS solution. Below you can view TPx’s security roadmap, which addresses these problems and solutions.

QUESTIONS TO ASK 

There are some questions you should be asking when you’re assessing your network ecosystem security. Security audits help identify vulnerabilities in the system, so asking when the last security security audit or assessment was done is pertinent. If your organization has gone through an audit you will want to find out if they’ve developed a plan to treat the security risks. A cybersecurity report needs to be understood by the organization in order for them to begin mitigating the risks. Knowing the difference between a threat, vulnerability and a risk is very important. A threat is from an attacker that will use a vulnerability that’s not mitigated because someone forgot to identify it as a risk. As you look at limits of perimeter oriented security posture, you need to tell your organization leadership that you must have a multi-layered security approach. We don’t live in a world where perimeter-based security is effective anymore, although it is one part of an effective security strategy. Firewalls are definitely important, but today you have to have a multi-layered approach. Let's discuss some common misconceptions:
  • Compliance equals security - Many executives believe that a compliant organization equals a secure organization. They may think, “If I’m aligned with the ISO framework and compliant with regulations like PCI, SOX and GLBA, I must be secure, right?” Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Companies that have been breached are often seen as negligent, and the government steps in with more calls to regulate. The pressure to comply with policy-based frameworks increases, and companies use those frameworks to help fund and drive improvements in security. While this is good, it teaches executives to aspire to a low bar. Just as passing a health inspection doesn’t guarantee that a restaurant will serve good food, compliance doesn’t guarantee security. It is a minimum requirement, and is not enough to protect an organization from the strategies and tactics being used by hackers today. 
  • Only a sophisticated hacker can breach your IT - High-profile cyber attacks are often thought to be sophisticated, but many are caused by attackers taking advantage of basic, often unnoticed security vulnerabilities or failures in IT operations. Additionally, the “bad guys,” whether they are nation states, cybercrime rings, or malicious insiders, are professionalizing and building success in attacking companies. They have developed an entire ecosystem, organizing around the steps they go through to break in and steal data, and buying and selling services to one another. If the malicious actor that has targeted your organization doesn’t have the skills they need to breach your network, they can easily go out and buy them.

CYBER SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER

TPx launched their Cybersecurity Operation Center (SOC) earlier this year in St. Louis, Missouri. They will also be launching a secondary site in Portland in early 2018. TPx made a heavy investment and spent many hours researching and discussing the state of the art technologies they wanted to implement, their highly trained and experienced staff is involved with their heavy investment. With over forty years of combined cybersecurity experience, TPx is concentrating in using the most modern detection techniques and threat intelligence. TPx is the nation’s premier Managed Services Carrier, delivering unified communications, managed IT, and network connectivity to 80,000 customer locations across the country. Nearly two decades of proven, industry-leading customer service focus embedded deep in their corporate DNA has powered more than 15 years of uninterrupted growth for TPx – all driven by earned referral, not advertising.

To learn more about what TPx specifically can do for your enterprise security efforts...and to learn what other options may be a good fit for your needs...simply ask us at the link below. Our assistance is free...and as easy as 1, 2, 3.



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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

How To Optimize Your Entire Wireless Telecommunications Infrastructure



Advantix offers premium mobile and fixed telecommunications lifecycle management solutions to a wide range of enterprises, from start-ups to publicly traded companies across multiple industries. Advantix Service offerings encompass the entire lifecycle of an enterprise's telecom assets and services.
Advantix Solutions Group is a global leader in Mobility Telecom Optimization and Management Services. Advantix delivers unparalleled solutions that empower customers to take control of their entire mobile telecommunications infrastructure. 
Advantix Solutions
Advantix Solutions' dedication to offering comprehensive, managed solutions is unique in our industry. As you will discover, they provide solutions, not software; solutions that are designed to eliminate the time you spend on wireless telecommunications management. Experience has shown that success in telecommunications management is determined as much by resources and expertise as tools. If you are evaluating a solution that emphasizes tools over resources, consider Advantix and see what sets them apart. 
** Mobile Optimization
With Proactive mobile optimization, we can identify areas of excess spending and guarantee savings
** Mobility Management / MMS 
We integrate control and simplify day-to-day administration for mobility
** Mobile Device Management
Secure and enable mobile devices, applications, content, and users
** Telecom Audit & Recovery
Identify and recover billing errors and overpayments for your communication services portfolio
** Telecom Expense Management / TEM
Enhanced control and improve efficiency of fixed voice and data services. 
** Strategic Consulting
Provide on-demand consulting solutions for the challenges of evaluating and managing your mobile and telecom infrastructure
** Corporate Performance Management / CPM
Making key business decisions and identifying growth opportunities begin with data
** Application Development
Expert developers of leading enterprise apps bring you the Advantix App development center
Advantix Takes Care Of Your Wireless Telecommunications Headache
Advantix Delivers 
Advantix offers services to fully manage the entire mobility telecommunications lifecycle. They focus on reducing the time and expenses associated with these programs so you can apply critical resources towards other key business objectives. 
By allowing Advantix to manage your telecommunications, you'll realize lower internal administrative costs, expedited support and trouble ticket resolution for users, decreased spend, and greater accountability and visibility across your organizations 
Advantages of Advantix’ Wireless Optimization and Mobility Management services: 
* Projected customer savings 25-40% with a risk-free, no-obligation wireless analysis 
* Reinvestment of customer savings into emerging telecom services 
* Reduced or eliminated time spent in administration of wireless accounts 
* Increase in mobility device counts 
* Customized reporting and consulting, configurable to meet your specific requirements 
* Ongoing management to maintain optimal service, support and savings 
* Identification and elimination of billing errors and wasteful spending 
* Contractually Guaranteed Savings
Advantix Products: 
* Wireless Optimization
* Enterprise Mobility Management
* Consolidated Billing
* Customized Reporting
* Help Desk
* RFP Management
* Data Strategy
* Carrier Contract Negotiation
* Assets & Inventory Management

To take advantage of any of the services offered by Advantix Solutions Group simply request a free rate quote here ....
Advantix Telecom Lifecycle Management
Understanding the majority of today's enterprise mobility challenges requires a firm grasp on the implications of "the consumerization of IT". There are 2 tempting but ultimately incomplete solutions for this phenomenon ... BYOD and MDM/MAM. However, there is also a legitimate Telecom Lifecycle Management solution that works.

To take advantage of Telecom Lifecycle Management services from Advantix simply request a free quote here ....

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Saturday, December 02, 2017

How Strong Is YOUR Data Security?



In 2012, the U.S. stationed several new AH-64 Apache choppers in Iraq. When the Apaches arrived, some of the soldiers posed for pictures and posted them to the internet.
Unbeknownst to them, the enemy got ahold of the pictures and examined the geotags — the embedded data that showed when and where the picture was taken.
“When a new fleet of helicopters arrived with an aviation unit at a base in Iraq, some soldiers took pictures on the flight line,” he said. “From the photos that were uploaded to the Internet, the enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches.”
Data is being collected, analyzed, and weaponized. Business, now contingent on safe and stable networks, is at more risk than ever before. With so much information out there, it has become increasing easy for a bad actor to cause immense damage.
Gary Miller of the Denver Post wrote this:
“The U.S.’ National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyber-attack. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and, for middle market companies, it’s over $1 million.
Recent events have proven that nobody is safe from the threat of cybercrime – not large corporations, small businesses, startups, government agencies or even presidential candidates.
Small and mid-sized businesses are hit by 62 percent of all cyber-attacks, about 4,000 per day, according to IBM. Cybercriminals target small businesses because they are an easy, soft target to penetrate. They steal information to rob bank accounts via wire transfers; steal customers’ personal identity information; file for fraudulent tax refunds; and, commit health insurance or Medicare fraud.
Clearly, we need to better protect ourselves. How can we do that?
Personally, I have been curious. Recently, my colleague Bryce Hayes of Telarus took the opportunity to tour the TPx Security Operations Center (SOC) in St. Louis, MO to see what they do.
TPx has put together an amazing team to proactively identify, isolate risks, and respond to threats. The SOC is supported by security analysts, all hand-picked because of their military background and intelligence. Many of these staff members have top secret clearances. More importantly, these folks have been on the front lines and have seen the worst of the worst.
The TPx SOC provides 24/7/365 protection. As Bryce toured the facility, he learned the site was built, from the ground up, to become the first line of defense against the exponentially growing threats to business networks. 
Jared Martin, VP of ITx managed services for TPx, was his host. He started out with this statement: “Everyone is going to be breached. It is not if, but when. Every business needs to ask themselves two questions – First, are you minimizing your exposure? Second, are you prepared to react? Our SOC is built to help any customer do both.”
The SOC Command Center is seriously impressive. It looks like something out of a movie. The room is back-lit in blue. There are a dozen large screen TVs placed around the room. Some are tuned to CNN, the Weather Channel, and other news sources. Others show network traffic and threats currently being monitored. Due to security, all customer data was removed from the screens before Bryce could enter the room.
As expected, it’s a challenge to even get into the center. There are several physical protections – fingerprint and facial recognition, switchable glass (which clouds when current is run through it), and shielded cabling throughout. The entire center meets HIPAA, PCI and CPNI standards.
Bryce spent a few hours discussing security. A few takeaways from the meeting:
  1. Most customers don’t understand cyber security. Data shows most customers believe it is the carriers who will be attacked. As such, when a business is targeted, their first response is usually to blame the carrier. At that point, it may already be too late.
  2. Carriers will protect themselves. Often, during a DoS attack, a carrier will redirect that traffic to a specifically designated path. This is so other customers do not see a slowdown. What does this mean? Your business is purposefully quarantined. Yes, the carrier will take over and choose how to respond. What is easier to deal with? 1 angry client or 100?
  3. School districts are the #1 targets for attack. Most of these attacks are DoS by students. For whatever reason, students in Texas seem to have it out for district administrators.
  4. Most breaches are caused by employee negligence. These tend to be the most dangerous and the hardest to prevent. When you align with a security company, they can close many loops related to patching and updating. This stops attacks like Wannacry and other attacks that target specific weaknesses.
  5. Cyber insurance is a booming industry, but it is still young. What is the value of data, and, more importantly, can you afford to find out?
The business world needs to start paying serious attention to security. How can you approach your leadership about security?
One thing we know for certain, selling fear is a mistake. It’s unquantifiable. Joshua Dinneen, president and CEO of Norwell Technology Group (and a security expert himself) said it best - "The customer’s security needs can be found at the intersection of risk and budget."
A simple conversation can help you find that intersection:
  1. Who has access to your data?
  2. How is the data protected?
  3. Where is the data located?
  4. What would it cost you if your data was leaked?
Security is under appreciated, underutilized, and often ignored. It should not be. While security is a great catch phrase when discussing business continuity or disaster recovery, it is much deeper than that. It is a need that most people don’t know about until they stop to consider the alternative to security – exposure.
The good folks at TPx have built a phenomenal data center to help mitigate security risks. They offer a variety of packages ranging from basic to full-service. Their business continuity, managed security and range of other on-premise and cloud-based services are designed to protect and ensure ongoing operations from human error, inclement weather and natural disasters (and ensure the survival of your business).
If you haven’t looked at what TPx is doing, it’s a great time to reach out to your organization's leadership and encourage them to do so (or do it yourself)...unless of course you think your network security efforts are already perfect.
To learn more about what TPx specifically can do for your enterprise security efforts...and to learn what other options may be a good fit for your needs...simply ask us at the link below. Our assistance is free...and as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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