January 26, 2017 Elizabeth Schneider

These days you can’t send a text or any written form of communication without including some sort of abbreviation.  Whether it be LOL, TTYL or JK on a tweet, text or Facebook post, the way we articulate is laden with this type of rhetoric.  Let’s face it, we at MNJ (Max, Nick and Jake), love our acronyms too.  The technology realm is no different.  For the seasoned technology professional, the day-to-day telco-jargon is easy to decipher.  However, many business owners aren’t “in the know” on many of these terms.  Below are the Top 10 telecommunication acronyms you need to know.  BTW (by the way), did you know that MNJ is equipped to provide all of these services to our customers?

1)   MPLS (multi-protocol label switching)  Does your company have more than one office?  If so, as an organization, how do you connect your locations?  An MPLS network allows businesses the ability to create a private network between all sites.  This enables them to direct their data (or voice) from one network node to the next prioritizing based on importance.

2)   SIP (session initiation protocol)  Over the last decade the voice industry has endured many changes.  We have seen the analog and digital phone age come and go.  However, as we shift towards being reliant on high-speed data networks, we find that voice is making that transition as well.  SIP is the protocol for signaling of multimedia communications utilizing an IP or data network.

3)   VoIP (voice over internet protocol)  SIP is the foundation of a VOIP network.  These two acronyms can be interchangeable.  As companies move away from a digital infrastructure that can be costly, they find tremendous cost savings by switching to SIP or VOIP.  Since the voice traffic passes over the internet, the cost for an additional circuit at each site is not necessary to provide dial tone to the business.

4)   UCaaS (unified communications as a service)  Unified Communications is taking over the way we communicate.  As companies shift to more of a work from home mentality, the need to collaborate is of utmost importance.  From Jabber, single number reach, voicemail to email, and conferencing, UCaaS allows companies and their road warriors to stay connected on any device, over any medium at any time.

5)   IaaS (infrastructure as a service)  With the era of virtualization, companies no longer need to have their networking equipment in house.  IaaS allows companies a computing infrastructure, to utilize resources on-demand from their large pools of equipment located in data centers.

6)   SD-WAN (software defined wide area network)  As MPLS can be costly, SD-WAN can be the answer to organizations looking to decrease costs, but also increase redundancy and reliability.  The SD-WAN appliance can bond two internet connections together.  It brings redundancy by introducing an alternate data network, but decreases costs by allowing companies to use two bulk internet connections (DSL or Broadband).  In the past, a company wouldn’t want to risk running mission critical data over a public bulk internet option.  However, with the SD-WAN solution, it creates an MPLS-like environment for a fraction of the cost.

7)   DIA (direct internet access)  A wired dedicated symmetrical internet access.  Where broadband and DSL can give you fluctuating speeds, a DIA will provide a secure reliable connection that maintains the same speed at all times.  These circuits offer both QOS and an SLA.

8)   QoS (quality of service)  Have you ever picked up the phone and felt that you were reliving your youth talking into a tin can?  Jitter, Packet Loss, and Latency are many of the reasons voice quality is subpar.  By running voice over an MPLS or DIA, QOS can be guaranteed to meet industry regulated standards on voice.

9)   SLA (service level agreement)  You just signed an industry standard three-year agreement with a company that will be providing the life source of your business – your voice and data network.  Many thoughts might run through your head at that exact moment.  The first one being, “What happens if the service is not good?”  Well my friend, meet your best friend, the SLA.  This agreement ensures that your network is up and running 99.999% of the time (also referred to as the “5 nines”).  If it does not hit the federally regulated requirements, this document will legally allow you to get out of your contract.

10)   VPN (virtual private network)  For some companies, an MPLS network might be overkill.  They need the ability to connect to their network, but they don’t require all of the nuances an MPLS network might bring them.  A VPN can create a private network across the public internet.  This allows applications to function outside of the main site with the utmost security.

July 11, 2016 Elizabeth Schneider

In an industry laden with acronyms, buzz words and an ever changing technological landscape, business owners often find it difficult to navigate the tech terrain. Companies find themselves relying heavily on their IT resources to keep their internal infrastructure current, with little monitoring or qualification process for the team or person brought in to do so. In many cases, inexperience or complacency in this position can put your business in a technological deadlock.

How can you tell if you have an IT trailblazer, or you need to start looking for one?
Here are a few questions to chomp on:

Have new technologies been introduced to you? Your IT provider should be constantly bringing new ideas to the table with the latest apps, security features, cloud solutions, etc. Implementing new technology that streamlines processes within your business should be an ongoing discussion between you and your IT people. While slight prudence is a good thing, it is impossible to stay ahead of your competition if your internal resources are outdated.

When deciding on a project, do you get a variety of options? In this industry, relationships are key. When you find a good partner to work with, it’s easy to get comfortable. When this happens, important decisions regarding your IT architecture usually start to go to the same vendor every time. This methodology is limiting to the growth of your business. An exceptional partner will present you with more than one option that they feel will move you towards a solid solution.

Are the solutions being presented fiscally responsible? There are many “hot” new models out there. Implementing a new solution should not be taken lightly, and the financial impact both short term and long term should be explored and given thought. Your IT team should be bringing you options that build your business up, while keeping you out of the red.

Is your IT guru interested in the end game? Have you received a network roadmap for long-term network sustainability and performance? It is important to not just focus on the latest project at hand, but rather, how that project is going to play into the technological advancement of your organization. It’s ok to ask for short and long term IT related goals.

If your answers to all of these questions were yes, then congratulations, you have found yourself an IT TRAILBLAZER! If you, like most, said no, please check out MNJ Technologies. You will find yourself building a partnership with a team of IT experts focused on architecting a custom built technology solution that fits your vision, your budget and your business.