Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Aug 26

Cybersecurity in Education: Threats Are Going Back to School

By | Managed Services News

Many schools lack the resources to address cybersecurity in education, but MSPs can help.

As schools and universities prepare for a return to classes, they’re facing the challenges resulting from a recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases across the United States. As a result, many educators will have to support remote learning for their most vulnerable students. Also, a return to fully online classes is a distinct possibility in some regions.

The rapid shift to hybrid learning in 2020 revealed an array of cybersecurity vulnerabilities that colleges and school districts were not prepared for. From Zoom crashers, to identity theft and email compromise, schools faced myriad challenges–all while trying to ensure access for students with varying levels of internet service availability.

The recent EDTECH Leadership Survey Report from CoSN reveals how important issues around cybersecurity in education have become. (You can access the report here.)

According to the survey, cybersecurity is the top tech priority for IT leaders in education, followed by privacy and student data security. At the same time, these leaders report that specific cybersecurity in education risks are often underestimated.

These risks and threats are happening as schools simultaneously provide more online services (particularly during the pandemic), while facing bandwidth limits and budget constraints. In addition, 61% of districts said they were not prepared to provide remote technical support to students and families.

MSPs with clients in the education sector are uniquely positioned to help support these customers as they face mounting remote learning and online services requirements. MSPs can help secure educational networks and do so in a way that allows districts to make the most of their limited IT resources and budgets.

Underestimating the Threat

The report highlighted how many educational institutions have underestimated cybersecurity risks. When asked about perceived risks, most respondents (84%) did not rate any threats as high risk. Phishing was the incident type perceived as the greatest threat, but just 45% rated it as a medium/high or high risk. Even more distressing is the fact that 59% of districts did not have a cybersecurity plan.

According to the report, more than three-quarters (77%) of districts do not have a full-time employee dedicated to network security. Instead, most districts spread that responsibility across multiple positions. Additionally, roughly one-third rely on embedded network security monitoring, while 6% outsource this function.

How MSPs Can Help

There are several ways MSPs can help clients in the education sector address these issues. First, because the nature of specific threats is underplayed, training is critical for IT staff, as well as for educators and administrators. According to the survey, just half of districts require training for all staff, but 18% plan to do so. MSPs can aid these efforts by providing training for all stakeholders on current security threats and best practices, using phishing simulations to identify staff requiring additional training.  Click on Page 2 to continue reading…

Aug 26

Charlie Bell Leaves AWS for Rival Microsoft Azure

By | Managed Services News

Plus, there’s an up-and-coming contender for SMB cloud market share. And JEDI’s replacement is moving along.

News of the departure of Charlie Bell from Amazon Web Services earlier this month may have taken observers a little bit by surprise. The 15-year veteran of the world’s largest cloud computing provider had served as senior vice president, overseeing aspects including pricing and financial results. Now, he has moved on — and to AWS’ main competitor. How that will play out remains an open question. Check out our coverage below for more insight.

While you’re there, check out which company looks to be encroaching on the big three cloud vendors’ market share. In 10 years, this vendor could rule the SMB cloud market, if the predictions pan out.

Finally, while JEDI may be dead (long live JEDI), its successor appears to be on track. Recall that the multibillion-dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure got tangled up in the courts. The new project, JWCC, will lean on a number of cloud providers. Find out what’s new in this week’s roundup of the most interesting cloud happenings.

Charlie Bell, Out at AWS, Lands at Rival Microsoft

CNBC has confirmed that Microsoft has hired Amazon Web Services’ Charlie Bell.

Bell left AWS earlier this month. That came after Adam Selipsky took over as the cloud computing provider’s CEO. Bell had worked at AWS for 15 years. He was widely expected to be the top candidate for the AWS CEO role after Jeff Bezos named Andy Jassy head of Amazon. Instead, Jassy chose Selipsky. The two had worked together for 11 years, building AWS before Selipsky left to run Tableau.

Charlie Bell

Charlie Bell

Bell’s move is an interesting one. Microsoft Azure is, of course, in perpetual second place to AWS, even as it has gained market share during the pandemic. Having Bell on board can give Microsoft more competitive insight. After all, Bell served as a member of the Amazon S-team, a group of key leaders who guide the company’s strategy. However, AWS is known to sue employees who take jobs with rivals. Microsoft has deep pockets so executives might be willing to shoulder the cost of a legal fight.

Or, Big Red may be waiting out non-compete terms. CNBC reports that Microsoft’s corporate directory shows Bell under Kathleen Hogan’s organization. Hogan acts as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. Given the expertise and experience Charlie Bell has, that seems an odd assignment, which could point toward the theory about letting a non-compete contract expire.

Could DigitalOcean Rise to the Top in the Cloud Sector?

When it comes to cloud computing choices, most SMBs know the big three: AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. But those vendors tend to target large enterprises and global organizations. SMBs often feel left out or underserved.

DigitalOcean may be changing that. The company is making significant waves (pun intended) among SMBs, to the point that The Motley Fool predicts DigitalOcean “could become a top name in the cloud industry in a decade’s time.”

SMBs thrive when they receive the right strategic consulting and technology platforms. DigitalOcean appears to be taking aim at that segment. In fact, in an interview with The Motley Fool, the New York-based vendor cites IDC research that shows SMBs with fewer than 500 employees will fuel cloud computing purchases. Analysts expect those SMBs to spend $116 billion per year by 2024.

DigitalOcean’s tactics appear on target. The company went public earlier this year at a price of $47 per share. On Thursday, by noon ET, its shares were trading at almost $58.

Partners who work with SMBs will want to take note. DigitalOcean sells through the channel — with ISVs, cloud resellers, managed hosting platform providers and managed service providers, in particular.

If you’re wondering about the vendor’s stability, look no further than The Motley Fool’s praise: “By virtue of how it’s structured, DigitalOcean has a fantastically efficient business model. … Factoring in a balance sheet that features $577 million in cash and equivalents and zero debt as of the end of June, DigitalOcean is in exceptionally good shape to continue growing along with its SMB and aspiring entrepreneur users.”

JWCC on Track to Field Solicitations in October

The contract that has replaced the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project looks to be on schedule. The Pentagon’s top IT official said this week that the new cloud computing effort, called Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, will field its first solicitations in October. That’s according to C4ISRNET.

Unlike JEDI, JWCC will use multiple vendors. That was the biggest point of contention among providers including AWS, Azure, Oracle and IBM regarding JEDI. The $10 billion contract was to use just one vendor. And after the Pentagon awarded JEDI to Microsoft Azure, rather than to AWS, Amazon mounted a legal campaign that eventually led to the dissolution of JEDI.

JWCC will consider bids from both Microsoft and Amazon. Google, IBM and Oracle reportedly are in talks with the Pentagon, as the Defense Department seeks to confirm whether their capabilities meet its stringent requirements. The Pentagon intends to name its vendor awards by next April.

 

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 26

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

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