Entries by Richard Reiffer

Should you handle IT yourself?

Should you handle IT yourself?

In todays business environment you can no longer rely on “my nephew does our IT” case!  With the issues of complex security and ever changing technology as the solutions move from the local desktop to the cloud, you need to have a better solution.

As a business owner, even if a small business, you don’t build a power plant to provide your building power or you don’t create a complete roof top rain collection system to get drinking water.  You don’t get legal advice from a neighbor (unless they happen to be an attorney and even then, are they in the right specialty), so why do we think we can get our IT solutions from Best Buy or from the same “nephew”?

As a company grows there is a point where in house expertise is needed but most small businesses focus on the IT person that can “fix my mouse” or “keep our antivirus up to date” when they really need an IT person that concentrates on the applications being used in the business (line of business apps).

So what happens next?  One of two things:

The IT person gets tired of handling the breakfix stuff and moves on to another company. You are then back to bringing on an entry level person to train all over again.
The IT person says “we need more help” and then you start to build your own internal IT company.

Building an …

Smart Hands, do you need them?

Many businesses today are utilizing managed services to keep their systems running at peak efficiency and performance or they tend to build large internal IT groups to handle all of their IT needs?  Is there something in between?  Smart Hands is one avenue to handle IT! 

Smart Hands basically refers to a technical support system wherein technicians stationed at the site can quickly respond to problems that may arise within your IT environment. In contrast to certified technicians, they are not necessarily trained nor duly recognized to specialize in a specific technology but have enough knowledge that under the guidance of certified technicians they can address many issues immediately!  Instead of needing the high end, expensive engineers at a given location Smart Hands can be used to work with a central team of certified staff to accomplish quickly and efficiently and at a reduced cost what normally would require expensive staff.  

How do Smart Hands work?  They are the onsite component of a technical delivery system whereby the certified “high end” engineering support can be remote and the onsite staff has enough knowledge to leverage the remote certified support.  Smart Hands make use of central certified resources and highly trained project management staff to accomplish local implementation and management tasks at a fraction of the price.  

Here are some of the advantages of Smart Hands: 

The onsite staff receives instructions from certified technicians and project managers to troubleshoot advanced issues.  So why use …

Twayne Howard, MSA, joins Fusion IT/Millennia Technology Advisors as Chief Financial Officer

Grand Rapids, MI, (March 30, 2023) – Leading MSSP, Cybersecurity and UcaaS technology companies Fusion IT and Millennia Technologies are pleased to announce the appointment of Twayne Howard, MSA, to the position of Chief Financial Officer and the appointment to its Leadership Team where (EOS) the Entrepreneurial Operating System disciplines are employed and practiced.
Fusion IT and Millennia Technologies client centric service platforms disrupt the conventional distributive model of years past by transforming its clients encrypted digital footprint and educating the employees to further insulate them from the evil perpetrated by bad threat actors who pose one of the greatest risks to the client’s asset portfolio. To continue to support the strong momentum it is seeing across key markets, Fusion IT is investing in and strengthening its senior leadership team as the demand for these strategic partnerships continue to grow at a 25-60% pace.

“Grateful to God for His providence, I am humbled and honored to welcome Twayne Howard to our companies and Leadership team. We believe his years of financial and operational prowess gained in the public sector will contribute to our profitable growth and scalability as we are called to serve and protect our clients and national security interests,”
said CEO Michael Waldschlager.

Twayne Howard joins Fusion IT from The Right Place, Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer. In 27 years with The Right Place, Twayne led finance, accounting, human resources, information technology, …

Is the premise phone system dead?

Is the premise phone system dead?
Once upon a time businesses had the only one choice for a phone system.  Direct to the Telco (AT&T).  Let’s look at the changes over the years of the Private Base Exchange (PBX).

Old Fashioned PBX: Then AT&T started producing the PBX that put some of the telco’s equipment in the local business. A traditional PBX phone system is a type of telephone system that connects an office to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). The traditional phone system is used for analog-based telephone networks. Traditional PBX systems are used in large business environments with multiple lines, and they require a dedicated phone line for each extension.  These were connected via T1 technology back to the AT&T office.

Digital PBX: A digital PBX phone system is a type of telephone system that connects an office to the PSTN using VoIP technology. Digital PBX systems are telephony systems that use IP-based protocols rather than analog signals to route calls. And these accounts are typically managed by software applications running on dedicated servers or virtual machines. These types of PBX were preferred by small businesses because they were less expensive than traditional PBX systems and easier to manage.

Onsite IP based PBX: In this type of PBX phone system, the hardware is installed on-premises and connected to an network that is capable of handling IP based traffic. The hardware typically includes a router, switch, and fax/modem. The IP PBX …

What is UCaaS and why should UCarE?

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud delivery model that offers a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services. UCaaS features include enterprise messaging, presence technology, online meetings, team collaboration, telephony and video conferencing. 

Let’s break it down even further. 

Unified Communications (UC) integrates many communications such as phone, chat, and video conferencing. It enhances productivity and provides ways to interact across different communication channels. 
“As a Service” (aaS) is a delivery model for cloud service and software. Unlike Software as a Service (SaaS), UCaaS is exclusive to communication tools and APIs. 

An obvious reason why companies adopt UCaaS is to let their employees work anywhere. But there’s more to it than that. The problem UCaaS solves is the uncertainty from many separate, disparate communication apps. UCaaS brings VoIP, video conferencing, instant messaging, and collaboration tools together as one. 

If you still have an on premise PBX you are living in the dark ages!  It’s time to look a UCaaS to replace what you have.  

Here are the primary components of UCaaS: 

Voice: Phone service that includes call forwarding, call recording, and advanced call routing. 
Video: One-to-one and multi-participant video conferencing for meetings with a personal touch. Guests can join via web conferencing. 
Messaging: Internal team instant messaging that allows for individual and group-based real-time chat. 
Collaboration: – Tools that enhance workplace collaboration with scheduling, messaging, and project management. 
Cloud-based: – Hosted over the internet in a dedicated private cloud …

SD-WAN – is it something you should look at?

SD-WAN stands for Software Defined – Wide Area Networks.   This system grew out of the routing technique called MPLS – Multiprotocol Label Switching.   MPLS is a routing technique in telecommunications networks that directs data from one node to the next based on labels rather than network addresses. Whereas network addresses identify endpoints the labels identify established paths between endpoints.   (Had enough tech talk?)

As internal networking has grown over the years the systems have become Software Defined Networks (SDN).  SD-WAN can be seen as SDN for the WAN. It represents, arguably, the most popular and widely deployed use case in SDN. The SDN model became popular for abstracting network infrastructure in the data center and other sections within the enterprise perimeter. SD-WAN played a similar role but needed to abstract infrastructure elements that were diverse in terms of link types, providers, and geographies. Since it crossed the enterprise perimeter, it needed a robust security component as well. 

The traditional model of backhauling all traffic from branch offices to the data center for robust security inspection is no longer optimal as it wastes a lot of bandwidth and adds latency, ultimately impairing application performance like VoIP. There is a real need for a better way to send traffic directly over the internet from branch locations to trusted SaaS and cloud-based applications while maintaining compliance with enterprise security mandates. 

An SD‑WAN assures consistent application performance and resiliency, automates traffic steering in an application-driven manner …

What Is the Difference Between WAN & SD-WAN?

Is your company stuck on whether you should go with a traditional wide-area network (WAN) or a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN)? If so, this article is for you!

We’ll cover what traditional WAN and SD-WAN are and what this technology can do for your business. If any questions arise as you read, please know that the SD-WAN experts at Millennia Technologies will be happy to consult with you so you can set up the most appropriate solution. …

7 Benefits of Microsoft Teams for Small Businesses

Is your small business considering Microsoft Teams? Or have you had it for a while and aren’t sure if your team is getting the most out of it? Microsoft Teams helps your business stay connected, even if you have a remote or hybrid team. The Teams platform also makes meetings more effective and reduces the usage of email.

Here are seven benefits of using Microsoft Teams for small businesses for you to consider.

Connecting Your Workforce Through UCaaS

Maintaining clear communication is a top priority in your organization. Accordingly, you and your colleagues have decided to look into UCaaS to see how it might benefit your team, help you work more effectively together, and communicate with other parties, such as customers, vendors, and partners.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a phone system that uses Voice over Internet Protocol to provide a cloud-based phone system for businesses.

What You Need to Know About SD-WAN for Small Businesses

SD-what? SD-WAN is a new, software-defined (SD) strategy and process to handle your wide-area network (WAN) function.

With more and more business processes and tools happening in the cloud or taking place via software as a service (SaaS) applications compared to being downloaded or stored in on-site servers, SD-WAN helps you manage access to the various parts of your network.

Getting started with SD-WAN may require more computer and software knowledge than your staff can currently provide. That’s why so many small businesses rely on Millennia Technologies to handle their IT requirements.

Small businesses that need to stay agile to meet customer expectations and head off the competition will want to learn more about SD-WAN before partnering with any third-party IT professionals.