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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: 2017 in Review

As 2017 now fades into the history books, we’re reflecting on the best and worst advances (or rollbacks) in technology.

THE GOOD - Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)
2017 brought the explosion of SD-WAN, an amazing technology that provides high availability, failover, optimized traffic and in some cases a replacement for expensive MPLS.  SD-WAN is an affordable tech option for small and medium sized companies providing benefits once only available on an enterprise class budget.

THE BAD - Ransomware and Cyber Hacking
The worldwide pervasiveness of hacking has continued to dominate the headlines. No one is safe, whether you are a person checking your email and getting ‘spear phished’ or the Pentagon or UK National Health Service disabled by state sponsored cyber terrorism. In 2017 there didn’t seem to be anywhere safe from cyber criminals. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care, so in 2018 we’re doubling down on our vigorous backup and security regimens. While you can never be 100% safe, you can put a plan in place to mitigate disaster.

THE GOOD – Cloud Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
2017 was the year the cloud really took off! Many companies have invested in comprehensive backup programs, but have not addressed what to do when disaster strikes. The ability to spin up servers and production networks in minutes as opposed to days or weeks, is now a reality with cloud solutions, making disaster recovery a minor headache instead of a full blow migraine.

THE BAD – Disrespecting The Technology
Computer networks are an integral component of every business, and you need to make sure you’ve got the tech that can do the job properly. In 2017 we still found companies buying technology that is just not suitable for business needs. From trying to get by with residential routers, or computers bought off the shelf at Best Buy. You’ve got to have the right tech to keep your company running. In 2018 don’t risk your business because you thought you were saving money. Remember the old adage: you get what you pay for.

THE GOOD – Internet of Things (IoT)
If you loved sci-fi as a kid you’ve probably been stoked by the advances in the IoT over the last several years. From vehicles with connected technology that allows manufactures and drivers to know when they need to be serviced or provide directions to the nearby gas station when the tank is running low to paying your mortgage by voice on your digital home assistant. This year was the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the IoT can bring to businesses. In 2018 watch these connected goodies for even more exciting innovations. 

THE UGLY – Dismantling Net Neutrality
The big fight for the web in 2017 was certainly a low point. The current administration’s FCC has begun the process of removing the laws protecting Net Neutrality, paving the way for ISP’s to preference their own content and throttle competitors. With Net Neutrality rules in place you the consumer can load every website, app, video, .gif, etc., equally, regardless of where the content is hosted, or what its message is. Accessing Netflix is the same as sending a tweet. Without Net Neutrality there’s nothing to stop ISP’s from demanding premium prices for “premium” services like video streaming, or social media, or blocking content they disagree with entirely. The open internet is vital to small businesses, and freedom of speech so this threat is very unsettling. Here’s to hoping in 2018 congress can get behind a bipartisan effort to save the open internet.

What were the trends you were most fascinated by in 2017? Tweet us with your top hits and misses, and what you’re most anticipating in 2018.

Tech Trends for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, most of us start looking forward to what 2018 holds in store for us tech obsessed. So, what’s on its way to the top in 2018?

In the future, we’ll need to make smarter decisions more quickly, and that means bringing Artificial Intelligence (AI) into mainstream business practices. Customized machine-learning systems that can target a specific job using algorithms that are optimized the task are the next tech wave. A perfect example is the new driverless vehicles we’re seeing just beginning to pop up.

With the rise of AI apps will need to be more intelligent, so we should all be asking software and app vendors about the artificial intelligence strategy for their products.  AI will bring business analytics to a new level and ultimately enhance user experience. Look for AI to become pervasive in everyday life as well, we are already seeing vacuum robots that maneuver around your home and lawn mowers that cut just the grass and not your prize roses.

Also look for Virtual Reality (VR) to become more common in business. With VR you’re no longer limited to one or two monitors on your desk, but instead can have an almost limitless display that you can manipulate with the swipe of your hand in the air. All signs point to 2018 being an exciting year for technology and business, but it’s going to be a wild and bumpy ride, with new developments coming so quickly. Make sure you hang on tight!

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Tech Mergers and Acquisitions

In one week, two of our key vendors announced major acquisitions!

Telarus, our master agent for voice data and cloud solutions, acquired another Utah based master agent CarrierSales. From a customer standpoint, this means several things:

  • Increased support with industry veterans.
  • Contact center expertise and providers (InContact, Five9, and more).
  • Mobility expertise and providers (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint).
  • Direct access to every major ILEC at top-tier commission (AT&T, Verizon).
  • Diamond-level support with CenturyLink.
  • Access to cloud compute and cyber security engineers.

We will also have access to new providers such as: Cox, AT&T (direct), Verizon (direct), Bullseye, Fuze, Netfortris, CallTower, Intelispper, PGi, Sprint, and more. So, your options are about to expand exponentially!

Also last week Autotask, the platform we use to manage our ticket system, announced that it has acquired Datto; a world-renowned company providing solutions in business continuity, backup, disaster recovery, networking, etc. We are excited about being able to access this new range of products, and that it will now be part of the Mannassi IT Solutions managed products portfolio!

Sometimes acquisitions can sound a little scary, but they can end in much higher quality of service, and a wider range of options for you and your business.

As always, stay in the loop with Mannassi IT Solutions by following us on Twitter and Facebook.