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Now that we’ve officially ushered in the new year, it’s time to get back to work and focus on winning in 2017. From colossal M&A deals to some of the largest cyber-attacks in history, 2016 brought a lot of excitement to the channel, and we’re expecting more of the same this year. Last January, we made a few forecasts that turned out to be fairly accurate, so we decided to take another stab at it this time around.

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As one of the strongest master agents, we’re always racking our brains on what the next big thing in telecom and IT will be. At the start of the year, we made a few predictions on key trends that would shape the channel in 2016, and with the new year right around the corner, we’ve decided to look back at our forecasts to see exactly how accurate we were. 

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We are excited to announce Pete Shah's inclusion in CRN’s “100 People You Don’t Know But Should” list. Aside from overseeing accounting, commissions, HR, and financial planning and analysis, here is some additional information you should know about Pete:

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This article was originally published on Business Solutions.

Every industry is being affected by the convergence of technology in the marketplace as offerings broaden and shift to delivery as a service. According to Harvard Business Review, “IT-Driven innovation is reshaping industries and redrawing the lines of competitive rivalry.” Technology companies are rapidly expanding their portfolios through R&D or acquisition to provide new services to their clients. Facebook is developing Messenger to become its search platform. Google is architecting a fiber connectivity network. Dell bought EMC to create an end-to-end hardware and software powerhouse. Similarly, convergence is driving the VAR industry as telecom companies incorporate leading routing and security services into their connectivity offerings and now cloud service providers market solutions directly to the end client.

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BELMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE:RNG), a leading provider of enterprise cloud communication and collaboration applications, today announced its new Master Agent partnership with TBI, a leading distributor of data, network, cloud, voice and managed services. With the addition of TBI to its partner program, RingCentral continues to build in 2016 on the channel momentum it has already established.

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How Collaboration and Unified Communications Can Help

In PGi’s 2016 edition of The Future of Business Collaboration we get a preview of what is on the horizon in the era of the mobile workplace. Download the full eBook here.

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LEXINGTON, MA – March 2, 2016 – Nationwide business telecommunications services provider, New Horizon Communications (NHC), announces their partnership with TBI, the nation’s leading third party distributor of technology services.

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The staggering number of data breaches is shining a spotlight on deficiencies in healthcare security. Recognizing their mistakes many health organizations are creating a line of defense to protect confidential patient health information (PHI).

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The start of a new year brings promises of a brighter future and exciting new technology. Experts predict quite a few developments in the coming year as communications continue to grow. No one knows what exactly 2016 will hold but here are TBI’s top predictions:

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CHICAGO, IL - January 6, 2016 - TBI, the nation’s leading technology distributor, announces today that they achieved Elite Channel Partner status through the Level 3 Channel Partner Program.

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Cloud-based applications are being used more and more by businesses. Applications such as SalesForce.com and Microsoft Office 365 are helping to improve efficiency in their workforce and increase productivity. Many companies are also seeing financial benefits by reducing computing costs.  Check out the latest news on the growth of cloud-based applications and the large investments being made by cloud providers.

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Cloud-computing continues to shift the technology landscape, and the demand for cloud security seems to be growing. Still the debate continues as to whether the cloud is in fact secure. See how the experts are weighing in with these articles focused on cloud-based security and the protection it offers.

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CHICAGO, IL – October 15, 2015 – TBI (formerly Telecom Brokerage Inc.), the nation’s leading technology distributor announces today that they have achieved platinum level in Verizon’s tiered business partner program.

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As CTOs and CIOs look for opportunities to migrate existing workloads into the cloud and lower their total cost of ownership, security remains a growing concern as to what and how to implement. Forrester estimates that approximately $280MM is spent on cloud security and will increase to $2B within 5 years. The following are some articles to read up on the state of and future for cloud security.

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Microsoft has called Office 365 its “fastest growing business” in history. The company has seen nearly 150% growth in the number of small and medium sized (SMB) businesses that have adopted the platform, making it more successful than Office or Xbox.

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On July 14, 2015 Microsoft will cease to support or issue any security updates for Windows Server 2003. That means if your customers continue to run their Windows Server 2003 environment after this date they are going to be opening themselves to potentially disastrous security threats.

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The telecom landscape is constantly changing with new, more efficient technologies being introduced to the marketplace seemingly every day. The scalable access to cloud-based offerings, fast-expanding use of video beyond conferencing, and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) are just a few of the services changing the dynamics of telecom today. These offerings are redefining the essence of how businesses communicate both internally and externally.

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At MSP Alliance's Spring Conference last month the organization released its predictions for the managed services market. According to its research, in 2015 the managed services market in North America will account for $154 billion in sales.
 

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When pitching corporate clients, VARs need to go beyond the same old technical differences, strengths, and limitations of MPLS and Ethernet services. Instead, focus on the operational and business advances that are tipping the scales in favor of the LAN-turned-WAN technology.

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*This article was originally published on channelpartnersonline.

Cloud computing has been pitched hard to enterprises as a means to achieve a lower total cost of ownership and a higher ROI while still meeting IT service needs. What isn’t always factored in is in-house manpower savings — it’s an often overlooked benefit in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) justification equation.

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