Archive for November, 2015

Volunteer Opportunities in the Charlotte area that are close to TNT’s heart

Posted on: November 25th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

We have so much to be thankful for at The Network team.  As a company, we are grateful for the relationships we have with each other.  As TNT president Jeff Gaura says, “I am grateful that I have a good life, and I am glad that TNT is a big part of that.” We are also grateful for the numerous blessings we have, especially the ability to pay it forward.  In the spirit of the ‘season of giving,’ TNT would like to highlight some charities and ministries we are proud to be part of/partner with/support for those who are looking for volunteer opportunities in the Charlotte area.

The Nepal Project

After spending two years in the Himalaya with the Peace Corps, Jeff Gaura helped establish The Nepal Project.  The ministry builds schools and educated leaders in American education and Construction methods.  TNP recently raised money to add solar arrays to schools in Nepal.  This ensures power for the schools. In November, they raised enough money to send teachers to a training program.

Planning on doing your Christmas shopping online? If you use this link to shop on Amazon, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Nepal Project.

Charismatic Episcopal Church

volunteer opportunities in the Charlotte area.

Sales Manager Dan Whitt and his wife Deborah have made several international mission trips with their church, the Charismatic Episcopal church.  In October of 2015, they travelled to Brazil to support a church there.  As on many previous trips, Dan and Deborah ministered to new Christians, and prayed for the healing of many of those there.

You can listen to more details of their trip here.

Beds for Kids

One of the goals of Beds for Kids is summed up in this quote by Andy Stanley: “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”  They aim to do that by providing furniture to families transitioning out of homelessness.  They have provided thousands of pieces of furniture to help those families.  They accept donations of furniture in good condition, and will even pick it up.  You can also volunteer at their warehouse Saturday mornings to prepare the furniture for delivery.  You do have to register for volunteering here.


Vineyard Ministries Ukraine

volunteer opportunities in the Charlotte area.volunteer opportunities in the Charlotte area.

Senior Engineer Vitaliy Greben is originally from Ukraine. He currently co-leads the Vineyard Ukraine Partnership, which works with new and emerging churches to provide leadership and training.  Vitaliy helps organize and attend several mission trips a year to Ukraine and other countries they support.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Second Harvest supports people in the Charlotte metro region.  They have a distribution warehouse near Uptown Charlotte that provides food and grocery items to charitable agencies in the area.  There are several ways you can volunteer to help out at Second Harvest, including helping sort items at the warehouse.  Each volunteer hour provided saves Second Harvest $21.79 in labor. You can learn more about volunteering here.

The Master’s House

The Master’s House is a home for men recovering from alcohol, drug and prescription medication addictions.

Victorious Valley Homes

It’s almost unfathomable to imagine having nowhere to go this holiday season.  But for many boys and girls, that is their reality year round.  Victorious Valley Homes rescues them from the street.

The fact is, no matter where you serve, we all have the opportunity to ‘do for one what we wish we could do for everyone.’  We hope these suggestions give you a jumping off point to find volunteer opportunities in the Charlotte area.

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Get the Most Out Of Your Office 365 Download with The Network Team

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

I am one of the more than 1.2 billion people who use Microsoft Office for both personal and work tasks.  The Network Team performed our latest Office 365 download (Office 2016) about a month ago, and nearly every day I have a “Huh, I didn’t know it could do that,” moment.

Yes, TNT is a Microsoft Partner, but even if we weren’t, I would be an evangelist for their Office Suite.  In December, you have a unique opportunity to see why for yourself.

We are again hosting a Microsoft Office 365 Hands on Lab in Monroe December 1st and 2nd.  These small, two hour sessions give you an expansive view of the features and functionality of Microsoft’s most powerful apps.

  • This is not a generic sales presentation.
  • You don’t have to worry about death by PowerPoint… because you are in the driver’s seat, and can direct the demonstration to address your particular business pain points.
  • If you are have already performed your Office 365 download, you can learn how to use Office 2016 to its fullest potential.

More specifically, here’s what you can expect at one of the sessions.  TNT president Jeff Gaura will guide you through a ‘day in the life’ scenario of how employees from the CEO to marketing, sales and HR use Microsoft Office to be more productive.

You will take on the role of an employee. Each attendee will use the latest Microsoft technology including either a Surface or Windows enabled laptop to access Exchange, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Skype for Business and more.

The sessions are low pressure, and can be directed to the features and apps you use the most, or are the most curious about.  Even those who’ve used Office 365 for years come away from the sessions with new insights into the apps.

Noelle De Atley of the Creative Thinking Group had this to say after she attended a session:

“You rock. Your team is super awesome. Your session made 3 hours feel like 5 minutes. You all took a problem and turned it into solutions without blinking an eye. I was thrilled to gain insight and understanding of Microsoft and software. I have new ideas bouncing through my head for my clients and started implementing solutions as soon as I left..”

Sessions are being held December 1st at 9:00AM and 1:00PM, and December 2nd at 9:00 AM at the Holiday Inn Express 2505 W Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC 28110

You can register for a session here.  Each session is limited to 10 participants to ensure it is as beneficial as possible.

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New Information on CryptoWall 4.0 and Network Security Services

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

There’s a new version of CryptoWall, one of the most pervasive ransomware out right now, attacking your company’s network security.

The latest release is version 4.0. Security analysts are concerned it will be the number one threat to watch for in the next few weeks and months.

If you haven’t heard of CryptoWall yet, here’s a brief summary of how it works.  The virus enters a user’s operating system through infected email messages and fake downloads.  The program then encrypts files.  The hackers demand ransom in order to decrypt them.  The ransoms are usually small enough (around $500) that most companies feel it’s easier to pay the ransom to get their files back.  They pay the ransom with Bitcoins.  Research indicates the $325 million from tens of thousands of victims.

There are several changes in the latest version including:

  • A new name, “help_your_files ransomware.
  • The ransomware in version 4.0 encrypts the filenames of encrypted files as well.
  • The criminals are still using email targeting end-users. However, they have gotten extremely sophisticated, including files disguised as resume attachments.
  • The hackers seem to be growing in boldness, as seen in some of the verbiage in the newest ransom notes. They include phrases such as “Congratulations!! You have become a part of large community CryptoWall.”

Despite all those changes, the one thing that has remained the same is that the only ways to recover your files are to pay the ransom, or restore from a backup.

Even the most progressive of network security services can’t prevent every instance of the attack.  However, having the right network security services, as well as a strong backup and disaster recovery plan, can reduce the cost to your business.

The Network Team has invested many resources into growing our network security services as well as our backup and disaster recovery options.  Contact us to schedule a free two-hour network assessment to see where the security holes are in your network, and how we can help fill them.

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A Managed IT Service Provider’s favorite features of Office 2016

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by webadmin No Comments

by: Jessica Diehl
Marketing Director

“It’s more of an evolution versus a revolution.”

That’s how The Network Team IT Consultant Yan Greben characterized Microsoft Office 2016 after using it for nearly 2 months.

Remembering the outcry from the ‘revolution’ that was Windows 8, maybe evolving is the way to go.

As a Microsoft Partner and Managed IT Service Provider, TNT finds great value in evaluating the solutions we offer our clients.  There are a wealth of improvements to Office 2016, and we are continuously discovering more.  For those of you who haven’t made the move yet, we’d like to highlight a few of the features that have increased productivity around the TNT offices.


Attachment Amazement

Hands down, one of our favorite feature is the upgraded attachment options.  Who hasn’t done this dance?  Create a document, search for it to attach in an email, and send a copy to each member of your team for their thoughts.  Then, once you get all the replies back, compare each copy to update the document.

In Office 2016, attaching a document with the ability to assign permissions and track edits can be done in a few clicks.

If you’ve saved your document to the cloud, each team member can then edit the same document, and you will see who made what changes all in one place.  (This is connected to another of our favorite features, which I will get to in a bit.) But first, I want to highlight the recent items option.  When you want to attach an item to an email, Office 2016 gives you a drop down that includes all the most recent items you have been working on, no matter where you stored them. So, no more searching around for where you filed that spreadsheet.

Co-authoring Coolness

Another productivity improvement is the real time typing co-authoring.  Again, if a document is saved to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, you can invite multiple team members to edit it at the same time.  Colored flags show you who is working on which part of the document, and you are alerted when team members enter or leave the document.

Sharing is much quicker, too, with the ability to share a file right from the app, and invite team members to work on it together.


Invaluable Insights

Office 2016 comes with some incredible insight tools as well.  The new “Tell Me” box allows you to use natural language to look up how to perform tasks in the app, such as edit a header, or share a document.

Take a look at this video, to see the power of Tell Me in action.

Office 2016 has also added a Smart Lookup function.  When you right click on a word or phrase in the document, you will notice a new addition to the drop down. Clicking on “Smart Lookup” will give you access to top web searches related to the term as well as Wiki articles.

The team at TNT is enjoying discovering ways to work more productively with Office 2016.  What features have you found to be the most beneficial?

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The Network Team