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Archive for the ‘Network Services’ Category

What is technical debt?

“Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.” — Benjamin Franklin 

The thought of debt can be a scary one that conjures up images of credit cards, mortgages, car payments, and sleepless nights.  To most of us, it’s simple to define:  an amount of money you owe someone else. 

But, the concept of debt is not always related to dollars and cents.   

This was weighing heavily on my mind last week as I was looking at my end-of-year-calendar. 

In the IT field, the term “technical debt” is often used to describe the habit of taking technical shortcuts that, over time, accumulate and cause more work down the road.  Because it’s hard to quantify and often hidden from management until it’s out of control, the buildup of technical debt on a project is sometimes even more dangerous to a company than money owed on a balance sheet. 

Delaying IT infrastructure upgrades to save money, not testing software thoroughly because of a tight deadline, blowing off doing a disaster recovery plan—these are common examples of shortcuts that build up technical debts that will always come back to bite you if not paid off at some point. 

There are other types of debt as well.    

Some of us (me) eat too much and build up an “exercise debt” that we must pay off at some point if we want to maintain a healthy weight.   Some work too much, building up a “sleep debt.” Others play too much and amass a “work debt.”    

These non-financial “soft” debts are more difficult to measure than what we traditionally think of as debt, but they have real costs nonetheless.  And just like money debt, if you’re not careful, you can spend all your time and resources paying the interest instead of paying down the principal. 

Proactively managing different types of debt is an often overlooked but critical skill that determines the long-term viability of every business.  Soft debts should be tracked and managed in much the same way that financial debts are. 

In tech, we call it a “backlog.”  It’s simply a list of any tech-related shortcuts, band-aids or items we skimp on because of deadline or budget constraints, along with estimates of how much work (debt) it will take us to fix them down the road.  Some technical debts are intentional – a conscious choice to save time or money. Others are accidental, discovered in the form of bugs.   

As the backlog list grows, the key is to treat each item as a debt owed, the same way you would as if you were making payments on a bank loan.   This involves planning your “savings” (in the form of time) so that you can eventually make your “payments” (in the form of future work).    We basically mark off time on our calendars for every project to pay off our backlog debts. 

Earlier this year we began to explore this simple backlog approach to managing other areas of debt in our company.   As expected, just like tech, the constraints of time and budget created a backlog in everything from HR to marketing.  Things like updating our employee handbook and standardizing our email signatures made it to our backlog.  And just like tech debt, we have marked our calendars for our end of year payments to clear out the backlogs. 

Thinking of debt as something that is beyond a purely a financial metric has changed the way we operate.  It’s forced us to justify any shortcuts we take company-wide, because we are now tracking them as real costs rather than forgotten to-do lists that will inevitably come back to haunt us. Sleep well. 

JJ Rosen is the founder of Atiba.  A Nashville IT consulting and custom software development firm.  Visit www.atiba.com or www.atibanetworkservices.com for more info. 

 

 

Atiba Is A Google Fiber Tech Partner

Google Fiber Tech Partner logo

There has been a lot of buzz around Nashville over the last few years about the arrival of Google Fiber. There are T-Shirts, Twitter posts about fiber being installed in neighborhoods, and a general excitement about the potential what this high-speed network option has to offer.

Some small businesses can get overwhelmed at the thought of setting up a new network for the office, especially if they have been using the same provider for years or decades. Questions about data security and cloud computing hang in the air, and many businesses don’t know where to look for help.

That’s where the Google Fiber Tech Partner program comes in. Google has authorized small to medium sized businesses with IT capabilities to officially help businesses to make the most of their new Google Fiber connection. Google Fiber Tech Partners can help with:

  • VoIP
  • Virtualization
  • Email hosting and spam protection
  • Cloud computing
  • Enterprise IT architecture
  • Virtual data centers
  • Disaster recovery
  • Help desk services
  • General hardware consulting

Atiba is a proud Google Fiber Tech Partner. In fact, we were the first company in the greater Nashville area to be named to the program. If you need help or guidance setting up your Google Fiber network, call us at 615.353.1921, drop us a line at info@atiba.com, or fill out the Nashville Google Fiber Partner form online and we’ll let you know how we can help.

Should You Consider CIO To Go Services?

speed

Many established businesses that don’t provide technology services have an on-site IT team out of necessity. As a company grew, there were enough desktops, laptops, servers, networks to maintain that an IT staff was necessary to keep everything up and running smoothly.

However, times are changing, and with more and more computing and storage being moved to the cloud, some companies are finding themselves with fewer IT situations to have to keep up with. That’s where CIO To Go services come in.

arrowOutsourcing your IT services can be far more efficient and effective than having a dedicated full-time staff. There is little to no up-front investment involved, and no salaries and benefits to keep up with.

With CIO to go, you don’t necessarily have to completely eliminate your IT department if you don’t want to, but you can use a third-party company to handle specific aspects of your tech needs, and only pay for the time that you use. For example, if you have legacy systems that are still critical to your operation, you could keep maintenance and updates to that in-house and outsource everything else.

As you add new processes and start using the cloud more, outsourced IT services may begin to make more sense. Your CIO To Go service provider keeps up with the latest technology and trends, and can guide you and keep you up-to-date on all your technology systems.

It takes time to transition to a CIO To Go, also know as It as a Service (ITaaS), and it can create a cultural shift in your company, so weigh your options carefully. If you’re thinking of switching, call us at 615.353.1921 or send an email to info@atiba.com and we’ll be glad to go over your options.

World Backup Day

satellite dishes

lighthouse in a stormIt is estimated that 32% of all critical data loss is because of human error and 44% is from hardware or system malfunctions. No on expects massive data loss, and it can happen at any time and bring your business to a standstill.

Since 2011, March 31 has been declared to be World Backup Day. Now, we obviously recommend you backup your business data more often than once a year, but having a yearly reminder of the importance of backing your data up is never a bad thing.

If your data is stored on some type of hard drive, back it up to a separate physical drive, preferably in a different location, and as an additional safety measure, use a cloud based backup service. Also, you might consider migrating to the cloud entirely, where a company like Atiba that offers Network Management Services will make sure your data is always secure and available.

Your email is an easy target for hackers — here’s how to secure it…

In this week’s USA Today / Tennessean column, Atiba founder JJ Rosen provides tips on how to secure your email.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/tech/2017/05/15/email-easy-target-hackers-dont-make-easier-them/319953001/

Contact info@atiba.com as needed for your security needs.

Atiba partners with ServiceNow

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Atiba Holdings, LLC announced today that the company has entered into a new partnership with ServiceNow.

ServiceNow is a platform that is quickly growing to become the leading service management solution for enterprises to manage their entire business around.

With roots in IT, ServiceNow’s service management solutions address all the service domains of modern enterprises including human resources, facilities, and finance. IT started it for themselves, then went on to prove it is possible to apply service management to use cases outside of IT.  And by doing so, successfully deliver a modern service experience.

For more info on ServiceNow and Atiba’s expertise contact us today!

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Atiba serves as a one-stop shop for strategic web design, web development, CIO consulting services and business intelligence, custom software development, mobile app development, IT support, network services and security. Atiba’s service divisions include Atiba Network, Atiba Software and Wheelhouse Marketing.

An Atiba Assist at Studio A

Music Row’s famed RCA Studio A is teeming with history. Icons such as Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Keith Urban have recorded there since Chet Atkins opened the studio more than 50 years ago.

StudioA1But with a nod to its past Studio A is also forging ahead in the present. Producer-in-residence Dave Cobb is working with current stars such as Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton. And ensuring the studio has the best technology will only strengthen the lure for more artists to add their names to Studio A’s list of legends.

So when Cobb fired up a 4K video from YouTube on the computer next to his soundboard — and it played as fast and clean as an HD movie — Studio A took another step forward. Google Fiber had arrived.

(The video? Puppy races, in case you’re interested…who wouldn’t want to watch a puppy race?)

Also, Studio A’s tenants got a chance to see Google Fiber up close and sign up for the groundbreaking new service. As a Google Fiber Tech Partner, Atiba was also on hand to help answer questions about installation and network requirements.

gf-tech-partner-digital-newAtiba is currently offering its Fiber Assist Program to help businesses get their network ready for Google Fiber. Once you join the program, a member of Atiba’s Network Services team will come to your office for a full network assessment, which includes the following services:

  • Assess network and firewall
  • Assess network switch for gigabit optimization
  • Assess cabling for gigabit support
  • Assess server/wiring closet location
  • Generate official report

Atiba can then offer you our Fiber Bundle, which includes a gigabit switch and gigabit firewall optimized for Google Fiber. The bundle will ensure that your business is taking full advantage of all the high-speed services that Google Fiber has to offer. Which is music to the ears of any business.

Thanks to our friends at Google Fiber and the immensely talented folks at Studio A for letting us tag along. For more information on how Atiba can assist with Google Fiber call us at (615) 353-1921.

 

Atiba hires Brian Kelliher as VP of Network Services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Atiba Holdings, LLC, announced Friday that it has hired Brian Kelliher as its new Vice President of Network Services.

Kelliher has more than 30 years of experience in the IT space, the last 10 as a Chief Information Officer in the automotive industry for various manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers to Ford, Nissan, Kia, Subaru and others.

“As our network services division continues to evolve we felt it was the right time to bring in a seasoned IT veteran like Brian,” Atiba founder JJ Rosen said. “Brian has years of experience building technology tools, processes and systems solutions as well as managing large infrastructure and integration initiatives.

“He will do a tremendous job in assisting our clients, growing our product line and leading our network team.”

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Kelliher and his wife, Vanessa, life in Franklin with their two daughters.

Atiba Network Services offers a vast array of managed IT services, including hosting, network architecture, virtualization, security compliance and 24/7 helpdesk support. Atiba is also an official Google Fiber Tech Partner.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Atiba serves as a one-stop shop for strategic web design, web development, CIO consulting services and business intelligence, custom software development, mobile app development, IT support, network services and security. Atiba’s service divisions include Atiba Network Services, Atiba Software, Cabedge Design and Wheelhouse Marketing.

For more information visit www.atiba.com.

An Official Google Fiber Tech Partner

It’s official. Atiba is an authorized Google Fiber Tech Partner.

What This Means For You

As Google Fiber is laid out in local Nashville neighborhoods, Atiba will be in the loop and ready during and after launch to provide any needed technical support. If you are anticipating using this service, keep in mind you may contact the Atiba network services team to help set-up or troubleshoot issues for you during your service transition.

About Atiba

We’ve been in business for 23 years, offering project-based and comprehensive support to thousands of clients. Our IT support and network services include:

  • 24 x 7 technical support and managed services
  • 1-hour emergency support
  • Firewall / router setup and support
  • Windows / Linux support

If your technology needs span further than network services (as they generally do these days), Atiba offers: custom programming, web design and mobile app development. We also specialize in business intelligence consulting and digital marketing including social media and search engine optimization services.

Contact Us for More Information

We’re getting ready for Google Fiber, are you? Contact us if you’d like to be set up a Network Services client today for ground breaking new service.

Atiba Is the #105 Largest Global Managed Services Provider

Atiba is Among the World’s Top Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

We’re proud to announce that Atiba Network Services has ranked as #105 on Penton Technology’s eighth-annual “MSPmentor 501″ Global Edition, a distinguished list and report identifying the world’s top 501 managed service providers (MSPs).

Atiba has grown rapidly in the past several years by designing secure and scalable network infrastructures. From cloud architecture to cyber security and disaster recovery, Atiba integrates all layers of a network model.  The Managed Services team keeps our client’s IT infrastructure operating efficiently and reliably year-round.

“We’re delighted that our Network Services team has maintained a consistently high level of service for our growing client list,” said Whitney Blessington, SVP, Client Engagement.  “We are honored to be considered a reliable and integral part of our customers’ IT team and to be recognized as a leading MSP in the world.”

Interestingly, this year the top companies recorded higher recurring revenues than ever before. Combined, the total annual recurring revenues for all of “MSPmentor 501”  2015 companies reached a record high of $3.95 billion in 2014, up 26.5% year over year.

MSPmentor is the ultimate guide to managed services.  The complete 501 list is currently available on the MSPmentor.  MSPmentor features the industry’s top-ranked blog and research site and is the number one online media destination for managed service providers in the world.