Archive for May, 2016

Cloud Computing Considerations for Small Businesses

Posted on: May 18th, 2016 by Jessica Diehl No Comments

Cloud computing is hailed as the great cost saving, security ensuring, magic bullet to take your business to the next level.

Even here at TNT, we often hear from our vendors urging us to bring more customers further into the cloud.  They share promises like, ‘going to the cloud saves you money,’  and ‘the cloud is more secure than your IT department.’  While there are some obvious benefits to cloud computing, going ‘all in with the cloud is not the right option for everyone.  In fact, many small businesses could find moving fully to the cloud to be damaging to their business.

The Network Team is hosting the informal, educational event Tech Brews: Finding Your Best Route to the Cloud to help small business owners think through their best approach.

Let’s start with a dispute of one of the greatest promises: Going cloud will save you money.  The truth is, going cloud could save you money. But in many cases, for small businesses, cloud computing can actually cost more, month to month.  Also, with moving to the cloud, there are upfront costs many of those promises don’t mention.

So although it could cost more, the value you get more than makes up for it.  Moving some apps, systems, or data to the cloud eases many hassles and headaches for your IT department.  Think of it as hiring cleaners for your house. Yes, it costs you more than cleaning the house yourself, but you don’t have to be the one scrubbing up all the casualties of missed targets in the bathroom.

 

Hybrid Cloud

Most companies who decide to move to the cloud do so with the hybrid model.  The Hybrid model is where you keep some data, apps and processes local, while sending others to the cloud.  This approach is best for companies who have portions of their business that are near and dear to their heart… or proprietary apps and processes.

Local vs. Cloud

Many business owners still have trust issues with the cloud.  They are unsure of the security (which we will address later), or they don’t want to lose control of certain aspects of their business.  That’s where the hybrid model comes in.

Systems where you have dynamically changing information, like email or your file systems, make sense to move to the cloud.  However, those proprietary systems are most likely better served by staying on your local servers.  Other systems you can keep local are those where moving to the cloud would serve no benefit.  For example, a manufacturing firm makes cabinet doors using technology associated with their assembly line.  They don’t need the internet for the assembly line, and therefore it would not make as much sense to move that system to the cloud.

Full Cloud

For whom does it make sense to move fully to the cloud?  That approach would be best for businesses that don’t have proprietary systems…or perhaps franchises who don’t really have a lot of unique processes in their business.  Going full cloud also makes sense for small businesses who don’t have IT resources, or staff that is not well trained in IT.

The Trump Card

Whether you go hybrid or full cloud, security is the trump card.

Here is where TNT agrees with the hype: the cloud is more secure than you are.  It is more up to date with security than your systems will ever be.  The network is more monitored than yours will ever be.  Think about the following information related to cloud providers:

1. Their firewalls are more up to date than yours
2. Their servers are more monitored than yours
3. Their endpoints have more protection than yours do
4. It's more difficult to get into the rooms that house their servers than it is to get into most small business server rooms.

Learn more about what you need to consider in regards to moving your business to the cloud, network with others who have similar questions, and enjoy drinks and appetizers on us by registering for Tech Brews: Finding Your Best Route to the Cloud.  Seating is limited, learn more and register today.

Systems Engineer Job Opening

Posted on: May 5th, 2016 by Jessica Diehl No Comments

The Network Team is currently looking to hire a Systems Engineer.

TNT is a dynamic IT Services company, offering both managed services in the form of monthly contracts as well as project work, completed using a time and materials model.  TNT is seeking a network engineer both with experience and a hunger to learn as much as possible regarding the offerings of Microsoft, Citrix and Cisco.

The ideal candidate has a great blend of work styles.  S/he needs to be able to work alone and/or remotely on customer issues for hours at a time, as well as be comfortable operating in a group situation for consecutive days while maintaining a focus on the technical tasks at hand.  S/he need to be able to adapt both spoken and written language to appropriately communicate with audience.

The most successful candidates are able to discern between technical problems and business problems and can help bridge the gap be concisely explaining the cause of and solution to problems that our customer community is facing.  Exemplary candidates can present solutions that create new revenue opportunities for the entire organization.

Description of Duties:

Technical Tasks:

  • Customer service: Establish and maintain relationships with customers. Prior to commencing any work, briefly speak with the customer contact and inform them of your objective.
  • Troubleshoot: Install, configure, and maintain networking devices, per manufacturer and/or company standards, ensuring that customer applications and data remain accessible.  Apply basic troubleshooting skills of problem isolation and single change corrections to ensure problems are resolved in a timely manner.

Administrative Tasks:

  • Account for their time. Enter spent time daily into the Time Management system (as of this writing, a web enabled application).  Charge customers for fair amount of time spent on tasks, not necessarily actual time spent (educational time is not charged to a customer).
  • Integrate with sales staff to formulate and present solutions to customers that are both in line with what the customer needs and within the scope of the offerings of The Network Team, Inc.
  • Follow-up with customers both before a project starts and after it ends to ensure that customers’ requirements have been met. Make sure tasks are complete.
  • Be comfortable while working from home. Maintain a car, telecommunications equipment and tools necessary to complete your job in at least a satisfactory manner.
  • Bill a minimum of 28 hours per week, coordinating schedules with customers and company tasks.

 

Professional Expectations:

  • Dress appropriately for each engagement, wearing company provided logo clothing on any new engagement.
  • Continuing education is a job requirement. Read and discuss current trends in the industry with other TNT staff and business partners to ensure cohesive direction and presentation.  Attend seminars and pass written exams, as is deemed appropriate to ensure that TNT quality is above industry average.
  • Honesty with customers and staff.
  • Vision of stewardship of both customers and company property.
  • The first 90 days of employment are a trial period. At the end of this period, both employee and employer reserve the right to terminate this contract without justification.

 

Pre-requisites:

  • Manufacturer based entry level certifications. This includes Cisco CCNA, Microsoft MCP, VMWare VCP, Citrix CCA, et al.
  • 2 years or more experience working with home PC hardware or equivalent, demonstrating competence to change out PC Hardware, Software and networking devices.
  • Entry level knowledge of Networking Essentials, including telco products and services. Although this is a part of the CCNA cert process, we include it here to stress its importance.
  • Entry knowledge of Windows servers and desktop products, with the ability to work on these devices unsupervised.
  • Ability to troubleshoot any networking problem, given the right resources.

If you are interested in applying for the network engineer position, please email your resume and cover letter to info@thenetworkteam.co.