The business landscape is becoming more competitive and having the right operational strategy in place can help organizations differentiate themselves, improve margins and free up resources to invest in core priorities. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in particular are realizing that they can adopt a managed services approach to many mission-critical operational functions, including technology training, cybersecurity/compliance strategies, workflow and process improvements, policy development and implementation, and onboarding new technologies. MSPs investing in professional services practices will be uniquely positioned to provide SMB clients with affordable, high-quality alternatives to trying to carry out these functions with thin or non-existent in-house expertise. For smaller companies that may not have dedicated staff, these unique, value-added services can complement managed IT, security, SD-WAN and other MSP wares.
The Internet of Things
The rise of connected devices has been spinning up for years now – but IoT devices are finally crossing the chasm into the mainstream, with 10 billion of them expected to be deployed by the end of next year, according to Iota. A full 22 billion are expected to be in the field by 2025. Much of the business investment will come from “smart manufacturing” deployments, logistics/fulfillment and transportation – but everything from connected video displays to product sensors to smart lightbulbs and thermostats will find their way into a range of offices going forward.
All of this promises to revolutionize how businesses collect, manage and use data to inform strategic operational decisions. However, as with any emerging technology, there’s a substantial gap between the possibilities and practicality. Among other things, implementing an IoT ecosystem requires a solid cybersecurity strategy, an end-to-end device management stack, and options for managing bandwidth and connectivity – a tall order for many resource-constrained SMBs. Fortunately, the right MSP can help businesses bridge the gap by designing and deploying IoT solutions that add long-term value to their operations.
Digital transformation is continuing for organizations of all sizes as they look to harness the power of virtualization, DevOps and on-demand everything to accelerate their businesses and gain competitive advantage. To support these efforts, the rise of multi-cloud architecture will be the most significant trend in cloud for 2020.
Multi-cloud refers to the strategic decision to use multiple private and public cloud providers to meet different technical or business requirements. More specifically, applications and microservices can be built using component services from different cloud providers, depending on their specific requirements. There are multiple benefits of this approach, ranging from avoiding vendor lock-in and building redundancy, to segregating for security and exploiting best-of-breed solutions.
However, building these new platforms takes expertise in planning, migrating, optimizing and securing infrastructure across multiple cloud vendors – and multi-cloud being a new area, many businesses are at loss for where to turn to acquire it.
Automation can dramatically reduce workloads in IT and server environments. As standard processes become increasingly automated, look for complex and proprietary automations to become new sources of competitive advantage for MSPs. From onboarding to helpdesks to billing – and everything in between – opportunities for automation scripts to drive new efficiencies abound.
MSPs are perfect partners to help companies through all of the stages of this digital transformation journey. Managed planning services include evaluating infrastructure needs, assessing vulnerabilities and planning for disaster recovery and business continuity; migration involves selecting applications and services to implement in the cloud; optimization requires evaluating tradeoffs between performance, agility and efficiency, on the right combination of platforms; and, security requires protecting apps and data from breaches, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and the remediation of malware threats.
2020 promises to provide plenty of opportunities for managed services to play a crucial role in companies’ growth trajectories through professional services, IoT and multicloud rollouts. If you are looking for a good company to join forces with, contact us today.
About the Author
Lori Hannan is the Product Manager for the MSx Managed SD-WAN Service for TPx Communications, a leading provider of UCaaS, Managed IT services and Managed Connectivity services, with approximately 30,000 customers and 53,000 customer locations across the U.S. Hannan has more than five years’ experience in SD-WAN technology and networks. She recently launched a second managed SD-WAN solution for TPx, which has been a great success. Previous to her network career, she worked with a variety of voice solutions and also launched a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) cloud-based managed solution.
A marvelous 75-year long study conducted by a group of Harvard researchers has shown that love is really all that matters. The participants’ lifelong experiences revealed that happiness and life fulfillment revolved around love or simply searching for love.
Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to reflect on what and who we love and show our appreciation. We took this opportunity to talk to a few TPx employees and ask them, “What do you love?” Watch the video to see what they said, and check out the short Q&A with our MSx Product team below!
1. Aside from family and friends, name the first three things that come to mind when someone asks you, “What do you love?”
Joe Royer, Product Manager, MSx Managed IT/Cloud:
Lori Hannan, Product Manager, MSx Managed Networks:
- 60-70 degree weather
Erik Nordquist, Sr. Product Manager for MSx Firewalls & Datacenters:
- Fishing (not phishing – hate that)
- Coaching girls’ soccer
Lucie Hys, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for MSx Services:
- Working out
- Learning new things
2. What do you love about your job?
Joe: “That I get to use my many years of industry experience to help others in the company achieve success.”
Lori: “The freedom to work from home, and the people that I work with are always willing and excited to help.”
Erik: “Being able to help customers and make their lives easier so they can spend more time with their loved ones.”
Lucie: “Everything. The work environment is challenging, flexible, and fun and people here are smart, passionate, and hard-working.”
3. How is MSx special?
Joe: “We bring products to market that create real value for our clients. We don’t just go for the next cool thing.”
Lori: “We are truly agile and keep a pulse on the market.”
Erik: “MSx isn’t about technology, it is about people. We have a great group of special people dedicated to helping our wonderful MSx customers.”
Lucie: “I agree with Erik. TPx is all about the people, since we are a service provider. We are dedicated to providing an excellent service, and really listen and adapt to the client’s wants and needs.”
Can you believe 2018 is almost over? The year has gone by so fast, but as they say, time flies when you are having fun! At TPx, we do a good job at working hard while having fun – as you can see for yourself in our New Year’s Eve inspired video.
What are our MSx product team’s end-of-the-year thoughts? Check out a short Q&A below.
When you look back on 2018, what comes to mind?
Joe Royer, Product Manager, MSx Managed IT/Cloud: “Change. Lots of personal and professional change in my life this year. I had a fresh start with a new career as a product manager.”
Lori Hannan, Product Manager, MSx Managed Networks: “New baby, new job, new house.”
Erik Nordquist, Sr. Product Manager for MSx Firewalls: “A year full of great new experiences and working with a bunch of great new people.”
Lucie Hys, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for MSx Services: “Getting a job I love at TPx.”
What is your favorite work-related memory from 2018?
Joe: “The first ‘Product Management Roadshow,’ training the TPx sales teams about our MSx services. That is when I realized that I can make a positive impact using my experience and expertise.”
Lori: “Getting hired at TPx.”
Erik: “The moment I realized I could implement a change that would ultimately have a positive effect for the company.”
Lucie: “Drinking from a fire hose when I joined the company, as I had to learn a ton during a short period of time. I really enjoy learning and tackling new challenges.”
Looking into 2019, what are your personal or professional goals?
Joe: “To develop my expertise and continue to make a positive impact on the business in my new role as Product Manager.”
Erik: “Personal: Spend more time outdoors with family. Professional: Add even more security offerings to the MSx line of services.”
Lucie: “Get more exposure for TPx from our marketing efforts, improve my Spanish, and visit a continent I have never been to.”
Where would you like to see TPx go in 2019? In the future?
Joe: “Continue to move toward becoming a national leader in all the MSP services that we provide.”
Lori: “Continue seeing more and more happy TPx customers.”
Erik: “I want us to become a premier trusted MSP for security products around the world.”
Lucie: “I would love to see the security service portfolio expand in 2019, and ultimately become a leading Managed Service Provider on an international front.”
How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
Joe: “With friends, telling stories and jokes and playing stupid fun games that will make memories for years.”
Lori: “In my new house, with my 2 daughters, 2 dogs, and my husband.”
Erik: “Either glamping or watching movies with the family.”
Lucie: “I will ring in the New Year in Prague with my best friends.”
Big thanks to all our clients, partners, employees, and friends for your continuous support. May 2019 be the best year so far for all of you.
There’s something to be thankful for every day of the year, but that sentiment is never stronger than it is on Thanksgiving. As we get ready to gather with our families and friends tomorrow, we’ve got much more than turkey and pumpkin pie on our minds.
Get to know our MSx team with a new Thanksgiving-inspired Q&A below!
What are you thankful for this holiday season?
Erik Nordquist, Sr. Product Manager for MSx Firewalls: “Spending time with my dad. Life is precious.”
Lori Hannan, Product Manager, MSx Managed Networks: “A healthy family.”
Joe Royer, Product Manager, MSx Managed IT/Cloud: “I’m thankful that my kids are all still local and we can spend time together beyond just a few hours here or there on a holiday.”
Lucie Hys, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for MSx Services: “For every day I get to spend with the people I love, being healthy, and for having a job I truly enjoy doing.”
What are you thankful for at work?
Erik: “Being able to work with people that really care about and take pride in their work. Being in a position now that I can work to make positive changes for the company.”
Lori: “It keeps me busy and I am always learning.”
Joe: “I’m thankful for the opportunity to take on a new challenge in a new role and begin the next chapter in my career.”
Lucie: “Waking up every day being excited about my workday, the flexibility, and great co-workers and managers.”
Why do you appreciate your colleagues?
Erik: “Because I know if I need something they will be there to help and they don’t expect me to be perfect.”
Lori: “Because they have helped me tremendously since I started about a month ago.”
Joe: “We have a great team of professionals who are hard-working, understand the value of teamwork and the role that every person plays in our company’s success and are therefore willing to help out whenever it’s needed.”
Lucie: “They all work hard, have high integrity, and really care about TPx succeeding.”
How would you answer these questions? Let us know in the comments.
Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving from all of us at TPx!
Considering a managed service provider? When it comes to the world of managed services, there’s a lot to like about implementing managed firewalls, endpoints, backups, LANs and more. The immediate benefits include only paying for what you need and a reduction in maintenance and overhead costs – not to mention gaining an entire team of trained, experienced, qualified and certified professionals to work on your behalf.
Managed solutions can also solve compliance issues, and, of course, allow you to focus the bulk of your time and effort on your core business. Add in the ability to quickly adopt new technology and a guaranteed ability to keep it up-to-date to maintain a competitive advantage, and making the shift to managed services becomes a no-brainer.
At TPx, our belief in the ability of managed services to transform and support businesses runs deep. We have steadily built out an industry-leading portfolio of world-class offerings that includes everything from SD-WAN to cybersecurity. One of our key elements is our Managed IT portfolio of services – MSx – which are designed to be flexible and simple for businesses of all sizes.
MSx is a suite of seven managed IT services that allows companies to mix and match the functionalities according to their business needs, all under one subscription umbrella – thus eliminating the need to add each function individually. Now, one monthly charge covers a wide range of tasks that go to the heart of today’s modern business environments.
Options within this forward-thinking subscription package include:
- Managed SD-WAN including hybrid WAN options, bring your own bandwidth with QoS, application-aware traffic routing and failover;
- Managed LAN Monitoring for troubleshooting of core network infrastructure and equipment;
- Managed Office 365 for technical support and escalations to Microsoft and unlimited cloud backups of Office 365’s Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint data;
- Managed Datacenter including direct access to TPx’s IP network and multiple layers of redundancy in seven geo-diverse SSAE 18 facilities;
- Managed Network Security including firewall monitoring and management, network intrusion detection and prevention, antivirus, web content filtering and application control, plus remote VPN options;
- Managed Endpoints including 24×7 remote monitoring, automated patch management and integrated anti-malware and antivirus technology;
- And, Managed Backups for data backup and disaster recovery in the event of a natural event, ransomware attack, system crash, fiber cut or other emergency.
Behind all of these is a national TPx team with deep experience providing managed IT services, including ex-military, Department of Defense and cybersecurity specialists. They staff our Network Operations (NOC) and Security Operations Centers (SOCs) to give your company peace of mind and act as your support team on a 24/7 basis.
Contact your TPx representative today to find out how MSx managed services can help you make the most of your resources and tech spend.
About the Author
Jared Martin has been in the Information Technology world for more than 20 years. He co-founded a managed services voice and Internet service provider in 2001 and grew the business to significant revenue. In 2008, that company was sold to Tel West Communications, which in turn was acquired by TPx in 2012. Jared has been a technology leader in driving change and adoption of new technologies, such as Software-Defined Wide Area Networking. He is always looking for new ways to use technologies that are outside of the box and to influence TPx to innovate and to be on the cutting edge. In 2016, Jared took charge of TPx’s new MSx line of business, formed as a result of the merger of TelePacific and DSCI. This brought Jared back to his roots of providing managed services and a consultative sales approach to customers.