The Network Team is proud to introduce you to our newest network engineer.
Raymond Thomas joined The Network Team in 2017. Like many TNT employees, his career history is a rich and varied one.
He worked in a variety of jobs revolving around construction like painting residential areas, granite counter tops, and emergency disaster repair for flooding and fire.
In 2006 he joined the National Guard as an Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems Specialist. Raymond spent most of the last decade supporting the National Guard and growing as a computer operator.
According to Ray, “The military taught me how to manage a small network and use highly specialist software for Artillery, but I have been fascinated with computers since Windows 95. I got into IT because I believe that the internet is a place that can bring the human species together through collaboration and if I can help make that happen I will.”
The Network Engineer - Outside of Work
Raymond counts his wife Beth and two children as his favorite thing in life. His daughter is starting to code with Scratch and can use the CLI for Linux better than some adults. “My son is also into technology and gaming, but at 6 years old he mostly breaks stuff.”
In his free time, Ray enjoys playing disc golf and restoring old furniture to re- purpose.
TNT president Jeff Gaura is eager to let our clients meet Ray. “Ray is the most enthusiastic technical hire I have ever made. He is engaging, knowledgeable and ready to take on the task of caring for our customers' technology needs. I look forward to introducing him to our customers and them getting the chance to be served by our newest network engineer," he said.
Ray joins our strong team of experienced and expert engineers. Learn more about each of them by going to our Team page.
The Network Team celebrated our Christmas party December 7th. Employees enjoy the annual gathering, as it gives a chance for us, who all work remotely, to come together and fellowship as well as enjoy each other's company as well as the wonderful hospitality of TNT owner Linda Gaura. The party always includes a time for employees and managers to share what we are grateful for. This year, we expressed gratitude for spouses, the 'community' feel of the company, and our willingness to serve each other.
In a tough fought battle this year, TNT Salesman of the Year was awarded to Tim Sullivan. Tim has been with the company since its inception. He focuses on the Charlotte, Hickory and NC mountains areas.
Project Manager Mike Wilson handed out special awards to the Engineers as well this year.
Dylan Clifford has been promoted to Senior Network Engineer, and awarded the Mountain Mover award. Dylan has been with TNT since 2013 and is known for his strong work ethic, immense networking knowledge, and willingness to 'tell it like it is.'
Joey Grissom received the Dedicated servant award. Customers know Joey is dependable, loyal, and hard-working. Joey joined TNT in 2014, and continues to grow his skills each year. He, too has stepped up in major ways this year to improve the engineering functions of TNT.
Vitaly Greben was awarded the "Consider It Done" award. As Mike likes to say, he only has to mention a task to V, and he can 'consider it done.' V has been with TNT since its inception, and has worked with Jeff Gaura in Networking for more than a decade.
Courtney Jessamy, who joined the team just a few short months ago, earned the "Rookie of the Year" award. In her short time with TNT, she has impressed managers, co-workers and clients alike with her
The Department of Homeland Security says Cyber crime is the biggest threat to the American Economy. Networking Security can help keep your network safe.
A burglar alarm on your building tells you in real time if and when someone is trying to break into your business. And a security officer can help stop the attack while it's happening, before the thief gets away. But burglary and theft are not the biggest threats to your business.
The Department of Homeland Security claims the greatest threat to the American economy is not the theft of money and property, but cyber crime. It is attackers with no face, name or even traceable citizenship attacking our digital assets. They take our customer information, employee confidential info, and trade secrets and convert the commodities in a market that we don’t know anything about. We never get to see a face, and we get little to no help from law enforcement in finding and prosecuting them. They attack daily, and we don’t even know they are there on most days.
In this video, TNT president Jeff Gaura explains what networking security you need to protect your data using the example of a planned Walmart Heist.
Find the holes in your network, and engage The Network Team to help close them. Contact us today to learn more.
The City of Charlotte is working to ensure it's supporting minority owned businesses to the best of its ability. As part of their efforts, they are studying what percentage of the City's business is routed through minority owned businesses, as well as how many minority owned businesses are available in Charlotte.
The Network Team president Jeff Gaura spoke at the meeting about the challenges TNT (as a woman/minority owned business) has had working with the city. Representatives from construction, pest control, LED lighting, and temporary staffing echoed the same issues.
Here is a transcript of Jeff's talk.
"Thank you for creating a forum for business leaders who represent the under-represented to get a chance to voice their concerns. None of the messages that I am presenting to you today are unique to Charlotte or our region. Indeed, conversations such as this one are being held in municipalities around the country where there are disconnects between what we have always done and what we need to do.
It has been our experience that the City of Charlotte has spent time on trying to include MWSBE (Minority, Women, Small Business Entities) people like The Network Team via construction projects. Construction represents a large portion of the total outlays on expenditures, and we are all grateful that the City has been able to create a program that gives us an opportunity to level the playing field. Thank you for this.
That said, we believe that 20th century thinking with regards to information technology needs to be addressed. Upon a recent conversation with a local project manager for a city project, we posed the question, “why isn’t information technology included in the RFP?” Their answer was by no means scripted, but it accurately describes the geriatric culture in how IT is still viewed through 20th century glasses.
We were told that wiring in the walls is included, but nothing else. We were told that IT, “is like furniture and wall hangings and the occupant is responsible for all of those sorts of things.”
Construction projects include all sorts of trades that are expected to be present and operating before the first full time employee enters the facility to report to work. It is assumed that before anyone enters the building, water is running, there is power available for appliances and systems, heating and cooling are keeping the temperature regulated and the sprinkler systems that keep people safe are working.
All of these assumptions are smart and take public safety into account, but they are also very outdated. Information technology is expected to work, Day Zero, and it is expected to be there, instantly. Communications to support everything need to be a part of all new projects.
Can you imagine a new structure that didn’t have an Internet connection and a firewall in front of it, protecting all computer and mobile phone users from adware, ransomware and viruses? Can you imagine a new facility that is expected to support employees for potentially multiple generations not having wi-fi in the building, all of it using a monitoring application to keep users safe? Lastly, can you imagine a structure without a security system that includes video in appropriate locations and monitoring of key areas where access needs to be controlled?
The City has shown that they can imagine this. These are critical Day Zero technologies that need to be in place before the first worker shows up. However, they are not currently a part of the RFP process nor are they part of INClusion.
Well, they need to be. Other cities have modernized their construction process to include adding critical IT services in their new construction RFPs. Charlotte should do the same.
My 2nd point is in regards to how procurement is done. TNT recently submitted a bid for $200K worth of networking equipment for a county entity. We were told by our contact that we had the lower bid. We had experience with the public entity and had proven our ability to assist with complicated networking issues. Unfortunately, someone decided that all procurement of this nature had to use a State Level IT contract. With good reason, public entities like the predictability of a state contract that requires no bidding. However, this state contract discriminates against small businesses and minority owned businesses. Most importantly for all taxpayers, the state contract created a price that was approximately $40K more than our fixed price bid.
Indeed, today, there are no small or minority owned businesses on any of the state contracts that cover the technology in question. We recommend that the City have its own IT contracts that include opportunities for The Network Team and other MWSBE to provide requested services."
We're eager to learn the findings of the study, and will share them once they are available.