Communication for Carriers, Consultants & VARs
By Mark Stackpoole | June 24, 2020
Welcome to this edition of GTS DIRECTIONS, the monthly newsletter with updates and information for our family of
over 200 VARs and referral partners, key carrier partners, and dedicated team of in-house solution consultants. This
month’s edition includes information on …
- Webinar Review
- What Reopening Looks Like
- Carrier Spotlights
We had a wonderful turn out for our last webinar, where Mark Stackpoole broke down the most popular and talked about tools for reopening after lockdown. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us! For those of you who missed
it, we’re breaking down the highlights here. If you want more information, contact GTS.
What Reopening Looks Like
It’s probably no surprise that right now, every business is taking a long look at how they do business and what needs
to change moving forward in a post-COVID-19 world. Telecom is going to continue to play a huge role in day-to-day
business as more industries shift to a more remote workforce. Expect a lot of UCaaS and SD-WAN solutions to come into
play. This will also increase the need for cybersecurity
But what about businesses that can’t or won’t go remote? They need solutions as well. Thermal imaging is thought to
be one such solution, and vendors are lining up to offer it, including AT&T, CBTS, Your6, and Konica Minolta. But the truth is
there’s not a lot of compensation here, as it’s out of scope for most partners. That said, options exist for interested partners.
Our carriers have really stepped up their game to offer clients the solutions they need in today’s business climate. We
wanted to highlight a few of them here. But these are only a small selection of the carriers offering robust solutions,
so get in touch with GTS for more details.
Everbridge has been around since 2002 and is active on the NASDAQ exchange. Their mass notification system works
for all use cases: active shooter, severe weather, I/T outages, cyber-attacks, and product recalls are just a few popular
use cases. For clients looking for cybersecurity, this is a powerful solution.
unprecedented challenges for organizations
everywhere. Hundreds of millions of people are still
working from home due to nationwide lockdowns and
returning to work has its own set of unique security
risks. Now more than ever, it’s important to understand
the needs of employees, carefully coordinate their
return to the workspace, and reestablish pre-crisis
levels of safety and operations with risk assessment
and contact tracing, all through a single pane of glass.
Know your Risk Landscape
As employees return to work, COVID-19 remains a
constant presence with new outbreaks every day, not
to mention other disruptions, natural or man-made,
which can also impact your business operations. Stay ahead of all potential risk developments with visual,
real-time, hyper-local, rich, contextualized data on:
+ Severe weather and natural disasters
+ Civil unrest, protests
+ New COVID-19 outbreaks
+ COVID-19 declared quarantines
+ Travel restrictions and bans
+ Production stoppages
+ Local regulations and restrictions (PPE, etc…)
Keep Your Employees, Visitors and People Safe
You want to maintain a strong link with your people,
wherever they are, and share with them what’s
+ Survey employees to assess their health and needs
+ Conduct regular wellness checks
+ Determine employee’s readiness for returning to work
+ Notify specific employees with rich, relevant, hyperlocal information
+ Provide access to your organization’s employee
KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES, VISITORS AND PEOPLE SAFE
Reach out to your people, anywhere they might
be at any point in time, with end-to-end Contact
Tracing capabilities which include current, past and
expected locations, potential exposure, and follow-up
management. Should they be:
+ In your company’s facilities and buildings (via
integration with building access system, Wi-Fi hot
spots, facility security equipment, and more)
+ Moving between buildings or campuses
+ Working remotely via GPS localization or self-check-in
+ Traveling (via integration with your travel
Capturing location data from different sources in
addition to proximity data, while fully adhering to
privacy regulations and restrictions constitutes the
richest information that helps you understand the
potential exposure of your employees and therefore
take appropriate actions.
Recover Your Operations
Everbridge’s purpose-built solution helps you navigate
and manage the multiple dimensions of the recovery. The
solution helps automate flexible task lists and workflows
based on phased approach to returning to work safelyIn the event of new COVID-19 cases, the solution
can rapidly identify people who may have been in
contact with the infected person, and can communicate
specific, confidential instructions to contain the spread
and keep other employees safe and healthy. Leveraging
Location History, the solution identifies possible past
exposure when people were asymptomatic.
Every Organization is Different
Because clear, concise, and centralized information is
paramount to keeping your employees safe and your
operations running, the Everbridge mobile app offers
custom widgets which can easily be configured so that
employees get the following at their fingertips:
+ Be directed to a repository with your company’s
important news and resources related to COVID-19
+ Access their country’s department of health symptom
+ Self-report COVID-19 symptoms or infection
+ Receive information on the closest testing locations
Everbridge, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBG) is the global leader in critical event management and enterprise safety software applications that automate and accelerate
an organization’s operational response to critical events in order to keep people safe and businesses running. Everbridge is based in Boston and Los Angeles
with additional offices in Lansing, San Francisco, Beijing, Kolkata, London, Oslo, Singapore, and Stockholm.
We’d argue that Command Link is the most impressive, full service nationwide service provider up and coming right
now in the country. For a customer looking for single bill consolidation for dual diversity WAN, or UCaaS +bandwidth,
or SD-WAN + Security, CommandLink should be bidding on your opportunities. They also offer Direct Teams voice
integration, Tier 3 support, rock star channel management and project manager support.
Bandwidth/ISP Aggregation for Enterprise Customers
- 100% U.S. coverage of all LEC,
Cable, & Regional providers
- Serviceability checks done in the
- Pre-sale vendor management
including build allowance nego.
- Knowledge on how to verify true
diversity to tertiary/quad levels
- Reduced fall out, with efficient
- Usually works with largest ~15
- Trusting flawed APIs and Zip
- Often skip build negotiations,
hitting less sites as a result
- Often quote the same last mile
thru different vendors
- Fall out usually means customer
is on their own
BigLeaf is a preferred SD-WAN provider of GTS, and one of the top work from home SD-WAN solutions in the market
place. By providing remote workers with reliable communications and application performance, BigLeaf has situated
itself as a must-have for any business looking to transition to longterm remote work.
True Internet continuity
for today’s Cloud-enabled business
Global Telecom Solutions uses Bigleaf to provide a software-defined WAN solution built with a Cloud Access
Network that enables you to ensure performant uptime for any Cloud-based technologies across all sites
and users. Unlike policy-based solutions, Bigleaf auto-detects application needs and network conditions and
intelligently adapts traffic in real time. With Bigleaf, you can easily provide Enterprise-grade connectivity for all
of your Cloud applications, improve visibility into your internet usage, and simplify your network.
“After nearly three years of running our first Bigleaf SD-WAN service,
there’s been zero Internet downtime.”
VP of IT, New Seasons Market
How It Works
Bigleaf’s infrastructure connects your business to any Cloud technology, using
intelligent software to ensure a high-performance connection to the Cloud
Upgrade to a true Site-to-Cloud architecture
Optimize all your Cloud-critical technologies, including…
Bigleaf provides a software-defined WAN solution built with a Cloud Access Network that enables you to ensure performant uptime for any Cloud-based
technologies across all sites and users. Unlike policy-based solutions, Bigleaf auto-detects application needs and network conditions and intelligently adapts traffic
in real time. With Bigleaf, you can easily provide Enterprise-grade connectivity for all of your Cloud applications, improve visibility into your internet usage, and
simplify your network.
This is one of the most distinct new vendors GTS has added in 2020. Not only is this a fairly unique (and needed)
product suite, DarkWeb has stepped up with a compelling channel offer that helps create or revive sales and marketing
opportunities for GTS partners. With Employee Security Training / Dark Web Monitoring, Endpoint Protections and Email
encryption, DarkWeb offers important tools for the post-COVID-19 business landscape.
THE BEST CUSTOMER
EMPLOYEE THREAT MANAGEMENT PLATFORM
Helping Business Owners Improve Their Security Posture Through Employee Security Awareness Training
INNOVATIVE CYBER-SECURITY SOLUTIONS</strong
Manage the weakest link in security, Humans.
Unparalleled insight with our Employee Vulnerability Scoring System.
Verge.IO is a Michigan based entity with a new, proven leadership team now running the ship for an awesome SaaS
solution. We helped carve a unique relationship so that GTS partners can offer their Cloud Network Infrastructure
solution via retail (on Verge billing); or, you can integrate it into your direct service offerings as a MSP if you prefer.
Contact GTS for a demo and more details today! Here is a case study to help visualize the offering:
ZebraHost Success Story
ZebraHost Offers Cloud Solutions and Services with Verge.io Software
ZebraHost is a leading hosting and technology consulting company which specializes in
disaster recovery, backup and migration solutions. Since its founding in 2000, ZebraHost has
continuously expanded its server management solutions and now has servers in data centers
worldwide. With Verge.io software, ZebraHost transitioned from a legacy architecture
comprised of disconnected pieces and disparate vendors to a simplified IT infrastructure with
improved reliability and scalability
Prior to implementing Verge.io’s cloud-building software, ZebraHost struggled with the
- Heavy reliance on IT consultants to help with setup and ongoing maintenance of its
legacy 3-2-1 architecture
- Utilization of a legacy Hyper-V system alongside Veeam licensing costs in additional to
recurring support contracts with a SAN vendor
- Disruptions to IT infrastructure as the company began to grow: ZebraHost staff were
diagnosing iSCSI drops, managing LUN sizes, and routinely maintaining Windows
updates on all of its hosts and SANs.
“Recommendations to remedy the problems we were experiencing [before Verge.io] were
costly,” said Nate Battles, Managing Partner at ZebraHost. “We were told to do one of three
things: drop Hyper-V and move to expensive VMware; keep Hyper-V, but add expensive
SCVMM; or spend more on a totally new SAN.”
ZebraHost knew it needed to pivot from these recommendations. The company did not want
to spend more money on more licenses or hardware with no real guarantee that it would solve
the company’s IT problems. ZebraHost wanted a solution that wouldn’t require significant
increases in both internal and external IT support, a solution that offered improved stability
and security, and a solution that would allow quick deployment of POC services to potential
Nate Battles, Managing Partner at ZebraHost, and Clive Swanepoel, Owner of ZebraHost,
evaluated their options. Though the quest for improved hyperconverged IT infrastructure
services began with hardware in mind, Battles and Swanepoel ultimately decided on
Verge.io’s intuitive private cloud building software to fulfill the company’s IT needs.
Battles and Swanepoel agree that Verge.io’s nested multitenancy was one of their key
reasons for choosing Verge.io. Using nested multitenant virtualization, ZebraHost is able to
run a single instance of Verge.io software that serves multiple, isolated tenants.
Within each tenant, there are built-in features like virtual desktops, cloning, disk monitoring,
and performance; all were welcomed and needed features that led ZebraHost to their
According to Battles, “Beyond improved stability and security, Verge.io brought efficiency to
our daily operations. With Verge.io, we have the ability to clone not only individual servers, but
an entire tenant, which has been a great addition to our service offerings.”
Business Results & Benefits
Since installing Verge.io software in two of their data centers, ZebraHost has reduced their
number of support requests and increased customer satisfaction.
“The security, resilience and scalability of our Verge.io Cloud has resulted in reduced support
requests from customers,” said Clive Swanepoel, Owner of ZebraHost. “The intuitive
dashboard and the speed with which tasks can be completed is groundbreaking.”
Battles and Swanepoel estimate that since installing Verge.io, they’ve seen a 50% + reduction
in hardware and software costs, twice the monthly margin on each customer that converts,
and at least a 20% reduction in daily support tasks for their customers.
With Verge.io, ZebraHost was able to custom-design the brand, look, and feel of their private
clouds and hand over the keys to POCs for existing and potential customers. Prior to Verge.io,
ZebraHost was unable to provide their customers with their own private clouds.
“We could never provide our customers their own private clouds with access to control their
servers whenever they wanted to,” explained Nate Battles. “Verge.io enabled us to speed up
the introduction of new services, to offer quicker POCs for potential customers, and to
embrace site-to-site syncing. We never had a solution that was as scalable as Verge.io.”
Installing Verge.io helped ZebraHost solve its disconnected legacy architecture pieces. It
eliminated many of the variables that often require different specialists and IT silos (the
SAN/storage expert, the network expert, the Windows system administrator, and the backup
expert). Verge.io simplified management, improved reliability, and reduced cost for ZebraHost.
So what’s next for ZebraHost? Scaling.
Though Verge.io is already in two of ZebraHost’s data centers (one in Kansas City, Missouri
and one in Altoona, Iowa), the company intends to add a third Verge.io stack in their data
center in Toronto, Ontario by 2020.
Beyond that, ZebraHost hopes to continue to increase their private cloud customer base.
Swanepoel and Battles are confident that Verge.io will help ZebraHost scale, attributing their
confidence to the experiences they’ve had so far with Verge.io.
“Our experiences with Verge.io have been incredible,” said Nate Battles. “From the mindboggling fast set up, to racking, installing and spinning up our first Verge.io cluster within half
a day, to the fast response time from the support staff… Our experiences have been fantastic.”