CTI News and Events
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From Ransomware to Data Recovery, Learn What to Expect in 2018
Join Senior Cyber Security expert Scott Croskey (from SkOUT Secure Intelligence) and CTI’s Director of Managed Services, Harry Abt, for an informative discussion on the latest cyber strategies and best practices that organizations should be implementing to help mitigate risk and stay ahead of emerging threats.
Avaya Goes Public
On January 18, 2018, Avaya celebrated another major milestone when they rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the public trading of Avaya (AVYA). This significant event marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Avaya, its partners and customers. CTI and its President, Kenny Heitner, were excited to be there taking part in the festivities.
ALERT ABOUT MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE — PATCH, DON’T PANIC!
As you have undoubtedly heard, a set of vulnerabilities was recently discovered that affects systems everywhere. What makes this different than most security flaws is that the current fix will cause computer systems to decrease in speed to some degree. We’d like to share with you some information about this issue from CTI’s Premier Cyber Security Strategic Partner, Oxford Solutions, and some considerations over the upcoming months.
Bottom line: Focus on patching your systems and don’t panic based on what you may be reading in other news sources.
Question: What is the issue?
Answer: Processors in most computers use techniques to speed up their operation. The “Meltdown and Spectre” vulnerabilities allow some of these techniques to be abused and allow someone to obtain sensitive information on the computer system.
1. Personal Communications Systems Are Affected. Your smart phones, tablets, home computers and other electronic systems will likely slowdown in their performance once you apply the next security patch. Current estimates are a decrease in speed anywhere from 5% to 30%, depending on the make/model/age of your device. Since the issue resides on the physical CPU (chip) in your electronic systems, you won’t be able to get back to normal speeds until the next wave of electronics comes out with new physical CPU units.
2. Cloud Service Providers & Managed Technology Providers Are Affected. If you use cloud services or a 3rd party managed service provider, you can expect they are rapidly addressing this security vulnerability to keep your information safe and secure. If you have concerns about the confidentiality of your data based on this vulnerability, don’t hesitate to ask them their status on addressing this security issue. Keep in mind that they are balancing security patches and ensuring their systems keep up their performance. This will undoubtedly be a difficult task for many of these companies in the coming days and weeks.
3. Have a Company Plan to Address Your Own Equipment. If your company owns and operates the majority of your IT infrastructure, be sure to reach out to your IT staff and track this as a project. Each company will have their own internal challenges to ensure their networks are secure and capable of meeting the demands of your network.
CTI will continue to provide updates as they become available on this threat. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss how we can partner together to help enhance your business’s security posture.
The CTI Story: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
To celebrate CTI’s 20th year in business, the four partners and members of the team share the origin of the company, what it’s like to work at CTI, and where the company is going in the future. Created by CTI Marketing Manager Michael Latshaw for the company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, the video provides a great overview of the company and its people.
Christian Slater Reveals a Printer Security Threat
Nothing is safe these days when it comes to a security breach. Even your office printer. Less than 2% of them are secure. If you’re not taking your printer security seriously, someone else might be. Check out The Wolf, an entertaining and informative video from HP starring Christian Slater that shows you just how vulnerable your printer may be.
How to Defend Office 365 Data from Ransomware
For small to midsized businesses Microsoft Windows based systems remain dominant. Windows continues to be the operating system most widely used on desktops and laptops. And Microsoft Office remains the most widely used work office suite. So it’s no surprise that Windows systems remain the top target for ransomware, too. Ransomware typically encrypts your files and promises to decrypt data after a ransom payment.
The collaborative capabilities of Office 365 make ransomware defense more challenging. Thanks to shared files and OneDrive sync, your files may be in more places than ever. A user that shares a document with colleagues can end up with copies on multiple laptops. Each person with editing access might sync a copy to their system. When one person gets ransomware, files get encrypted — then the encrypted versions sync through to everyone else.
To learn the strategies that will help reduce your ransomware risk and help you recover your data when a ransomware event occurs, click here.
Learn Why Hackers are Targeting Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Larger organizations dominate the headlines when it comes to cybercrime, but it is the small and medium-sized business (SMBs) that are becoming the primary targets and are bearing the brunt of most attacks. 60% of all targeted attacks strike SMBs. In 93% of cases, it took attackers minutes or less to compromise systems and data exfiltration occurred within minutes in 28% of the cases.
So, why are hackers targeting SMBs and what can they do to protect themselves from this growing spectre of cybercrime?
Get a 360° Degree View of Your Customer’s Experience with Avaya Oceana™
Deliver the experience your customers expect. Take a 360° look at your customer contact world. Address channels, customer routing, resource matching, data captures—every detail. Get real-time, fully meshed insights into what’s going on with your customers: Manage engagement across any device or channel. Gain omnichannel awareness and collect context from each customer interaction.
To demonstrate the remarkable capabilities of Avaya Oceana, Avaya created a new video showing a typical buyer’s journey. See people engaging from three perspectives: the customer’s experience, the agent’s experience, and the business manager’s experience. Grab a cup of coffee and take a look. And talk to your CTI representative about using Avaya Oceana in your business.
5 Reasons You Really Can’t Ignore the Mobile Revolution
The average user engages with their devices for three hours and 16 minutes each and every day.
We’ve passed the tipping point. The consumer usage of mobile devices has reached a level we can’t ignore. The mobile revolution is here. According to Gartner, there were 5 billion connected devices by the end of 2015—that number will swell to 25 billion by 2020. That’s more than three devices per person on Earth.
You can’t ignore mobile. Your competitive position and differentiation in the marketplace depend upon embracing it. Enterprises that fail to develop and implement mobile strategies will lose customers, and winning those customers back will be very expensive.
Need help with system administration or training new hires? CTI Insight has you covered.
CTI’s Training Program, Insight, is committed to the development of high quality onsite training, documents and distance learning. Using adult learning principles, Insight’s goal is to inspire and educate your staff on how to use and administer your technology. Our goal with the Insight offering is to make you a better consumer of the technology you rely on to power your business. Learn more
Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Business
In a recent report from AT&T, 62% of businesses acknowledged they experienced some sort of a cyber attack. In 2016, these incidents became even more common. For today’s companies, falling victim to one of these attacks is no longer a question of “if” but “when.”
Today’s employees are connected to the Internet all day every day, communicating with colleagues and stakeholders, sharing critical information and jumping from site to site. With hackings, data breaches and ransomware attacks on the rise, it is essential for all companies to plan for the worst, with mandatory cybersecurity trainings for all employees and with the recommended solutions for mitigating the risks.
Make sure you’re prepared with our Cyber Security Checklist. Learn more!
Instead of spending time on hold, let CTI act as your Agent to help you take care of all your Verizon questions/issues. CTI is here to help you navigate through the sometimes confusing and intricate details of the complex Verizon system. As your Agent, our Carrier Service specialist can help you with the ordering process, implementation, and ongoing support, so you can spend your valuable time doing things to help your business.
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. Named to CRN’s Elite 150 in 2017 Managed Service Provider List
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. (CTI) is pleased to announce that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named CTI to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 List in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. and Fidelus Technologies Announce a Strategic Partnership
NEW YORK CITY, January 19, 2017 — Consolidated Technologies, Inc. (CTI) and Fidelus Technologies, two New York City based Unified Communications & Collaboration services providers, announced a strategic Partnership to broaden their product and service offerings.
The two market leaders, known for their domain expertise and fanatical approach to customer service, are partnering to provide their customers an expanded portfolio of solutions focused on the delivery of advisory, design, planning, implementation and managed services for Avaya, Cisco & Microsoft solutions.
Learn 7 Ways Amazing Customer & Employee Experiences Power Your Business Goals
Today is the Age of Experience. It’s so much more than being there for your customers when they pick up the phone. It’s so much more than your employees’ ability to effectively collaborate across distances and across devices. Because when it comes to unforgettable customer service and unquestionable employee satisfaction across every industry, EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING.
To learn more, view our Infographic.
CTI Achieves Diamond Avaya Accreditation
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. (CTI) was awarded Diamond Enterprise accreditation from Avaya as part of their newly launched Channel program, Avaya Edge. The company has also been honored as Partner in Customer Excellence and is currently the only Diamond Enterprise partner Headquartered in New York City with this accolade.
CTI is one of the elite channel partners in the US to have been awarded the prestigious Diamond Enterprise accreditation for delivering complex multi-vendor projects around the world. Avaya introduced the new streamlined channel program to enable partners to thrive in a software and services industry by providing greater rewards for partners who have achieved accreditation gem levels.
“We are delighted to have been awarded the Diamond accreditation and Partner in Customer Excellence by Avaya for achieving consistently strong customer satisfaction results over the past year and for successfully deploying complex international projects. The Edge program is a great initiative that has been created to support performance and the ability for channels to differentiate in the evolving digital market. We found it easier to complete the necessary qualifications in this program and we are now rewarded with sales in recurring services and software. With Avaya’s support we will continue to deliver a superior service to our customers around the world,” stated CTI’s President, Kenny Heitner.
To learn about Avaya’s latest innovations, click here.
10 Tips to Help You Defend Your Business from ID Theft
Businesses should take stock in their cybersecurity best practices and commit to new and improved information security and governance practices.
With 2017 upon us, you’re likely reflecting on your business triumphs, challenges, and opportunities over the past year and planning ahead. While doing so, make sure to include cybersecurity best-practice resolutions along with increasing profits, as ID-theft criminals are working hard to take those profits from you.
Does Your Wi-Fi Match Customer Expectations?
Did you know 67% of small to midsize businesses view mobile solutions and services as critical to their business? You need your network to provide the quality experience users expect, to be affordable, and to grow with you.
The undisputable need for users to be productive on their mobile devices is driving organizations everywhere to look for ways to cost-effectively build and support Wi-Fi networks that deliver the best connectivity and user experience.
Is your network ready to support a mobile workforce?
Remembering Tim DeRosa
It is with great sadness that CTI shares the passing of beloved company member Tim DeRosa with our customers, partners and friends.
In 2005, when Tim joined CTI, he was already an industry veteran who had run his own company. Tim ran CTI’s NYC office and quickly established himself as a reliable and trustworthy member of the company. Tim built a loyal following of sophisticated customers that counted on him for steadfast advice and support on a regular basis.
He impressed customers with his upbeat attitude, deep knowledge and dedicated work ethic. Always ready with a smile, he was a valued member of CTI and will be greatly missed.
Tim was unquestionably a great teammate and friend to all at CTI. Tim was and will always be an inspiration to all of us. His generosity and positive attitude was remarkable and second to none.
He will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. With heavy hearts we cherish the memory of the many years we enjoyed his presence at CTI. Please join us in sharing our condolences to his family.
Avaya Continues to Revolutionize the Communications Experience for Next Generation Digital Business
In a world where experience is everything, Avaya recently announced its newest innovations that create true multi-touch communications capabilities with a contextual, 360 degree view of the customer. The latest innovations include new products, common client SDKs, networking and security enhancements, and a new subscription pricing model.
As 89 percent of businesses today expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience—up from 36 percent just four years ago—these same businesses are increasingly looking to map their customer journeys as part of the strategy to win the customer experience battle.
How CTI’s Tier II Support Team Helps Technical and Non-Technical Customers Become Communications Experts
Whether you’re a trained Telecom Administrator, IT Manager or non-technical Office Administrator and you’re in charge of your company’s communications, the CTI Tier II Support Team is here to handle CTI’s customers’ issues from simple to complex. Led by 20+ year veteran Cristina Goldberg, the Technical Services team can help clients with most issues quickly and remotely right over the phone.
“We have an array of customers, some are extremely technical, but many are either not experienced or just not technically savvy,” Cris explains. “They have other jobs, but their office requires them to take on some pretty complicated issues dealing with their phone systems. That’s when the Technical Services Team comes in handy.”
The Technical Services Team are able to diagnose most problems in less than twenty minutes, so generally it’s a fast process to get customers on their way to a resolution. The CTI Tier II Support can also monitor your systems 24/7, delivering proactive notifications of any potential problems. Many CTI customers rely on the team for everyday modifications like password and names changes, along with more complicated auto attendants and vector programming. They also help customers that purchase carrier services through CTI, or are subscribed to CTiQ Carrier Resolution services, work with their carrier service providers when additional insight and knowledge is required to troubleshoot problems beyond their physical telephone systems.
“My team is very personable and builds great relationships with our customers,” Cris adds. “They’re not just voices on the phone. They really care.”
That sentiment is supported by a recent letter Cris received about her department “You have put together a great team that makes your customers feel respected and valued. They are always ready to jump in and go above and beyond. That’s what truly separates CTI from the rest.”
To learn more about how the Tier II Support Team can help you, please contact your CTI Account Manager or Harry Abt at 914-935-6051 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CTI Makes a Big Move for 2016
On December 14, 2015, CTI officially moved the company’s Port Chester NY headquarters into a newly renovated office space at 8 Slater Street (just across the road). The move came after months of planning and hundreds of hours of teamwork, and reflects CTI’s commitment to providing customers with a streamlined experience. The configuration of the office was designed to encourage collaboration among various groups within the company. Everyone is on the same floor in a large open space, so people can easily get together to discuss a customer’s needs.
“The space is very open and airy,” says CTI President Kenny Heitner. “It allows us to all be close together and collaborate. There’s a whole new energy, a whole new excitement among the staff.”
The transformation also symbolizes the change CTI has made over the last several years, expanding on its traditional voice offerings to now being recognized as a full-service Systems Integrator and Managed Services Provider.
“We’ve moved well beyond voice,” says Heitner. “We provide Server Care Monitoring, Carrier Management, as well as Help Desk and Desktop Support Services. Customers also love that we can now manage their PBX and IT systems — from one
“We’re taking the best of what the technology world has to offer and making it available to our customers,” says Harry Abt, CTI’s Director of Managed & Integrated Services.
All the new changes at CTI are chronicled in “BANDWIDTH,” a reality show parody that was first shown at the company’s annual end-of-year party. The first episode, titled “Beyond Voice,” combines real-life footage from actual CTI meetings with “diary room” confessions of the various meeting participants. It’s all done with a light touch and features company members basically playing themselves.
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. Named to Managed Service Provider 500 List by CRN
Company Recognized for Exemplary Approach to Delivery of Managed IT Services
February, 2015 – Consolidated Technologies, Inc. is pleased to announce that the company has earned recognition on The Channel Company’s 2015 CRN Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list as one of the MSP Progressive 250. This annual list distinguishes the top technology providers and consultants in North America whose leading approach to managed services enables their customers to improve operational efficiencies, elicit greater value from their IT investments, and successfully leverage technology to achieve greater competitive advantage.
In today’s world of outsourced IT, the expertise of MSPs has become increasingly important to organizations. The plethora of choices in terms of consumption and procurement of technology can become overwhelming. To help facilitate companies’ selection and adoption of managed services and providers, CRN, the leading media outlet for technology vendors and solution providers who serve end-user customers, has identified the top 500 MSPs.
“CTI’s recognition on this list is reflective of the accelerated adoption of Managed Services we are seeing with our customers,” says Harry Abt, CTI’s Director of Managed & Integrated Services. ”CTiQ’s suite of services offers clients a comprehensive range of Managed Services for Unified Communications, Corporate IT Network Management and Desktop Support.
Abt adds, “Especially popular is CTiQ’s “ProActive” program which has been designed to supplement internal IT staff or completely service those businesses which do not have an IT department. Our clients tell us they see demonstrable value with CTI delivering highly effective Proactive and Service Desk support – with proven cost efficiencies that help them keep up with the technology demands of running their businesses.”
This year, CRN’s industry‐focused directory highlights the Top 500 MSPs in three categories: 100 Hosting Providers who are experienced in providing mainly off-premise, or cloud-based, services; 150 Elite Service Providers who are large data center-focused solution providers with a strong mix of on-premise professional services as well as off-premise services; and 250 Progressive Service Providers who have a business model heavily weighted toward managed services geared toward the small and midsize business market.
“The allure of Everything-as-a-Service to organizations is largely rooted in the appeal of predictable operational expenses, cost-cutting, resource allocation and access to on-demand/pay-as-you-go technology. Therein lies a great need for the expertise of managed service providers,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “We congratulate the managed service providers who have engineered, or re-engineered, their businesses to deliver the services their customers rely on for future growth and ongoing success.”
Coverage of the MSP500 will be featured in the February 2015 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com.
About the Channel Company
The Channel Company, with established brands including CRN, XChange Events, IPED and SharedVue, is the sales channel community’s trusted authority for growth and innovation. For more than three decades, we have leveraged our proven and leading-edge platforms to deliver prescriptive sales and marketing solutions for the technology sales channel. The Channel Company provides Communication, Recruitment, Engagement, Enablement, Demand Generation and Intelligence services to drive technology partnerships. Learn more at www.thechannelcompany.com.