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4th Annual Virtual Open Golf

Who plays golf in February? We do! TBL Networks has cracked the code on successful golf in February, just like we design and implement successful virtualization strategies for our clients. Wear your best golf attire to complete the experience. No coats, sweaters, or rain gear will be necessary. Food and drink will be provided throughout your round of golf. Finally, it’s completely free!

In addition, TBL will be making a donation for the event to benefit CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation, a local non-profit that raises funds to assist families of children with chronic and life threatening illnesses.

To register for the event, please click HERE.

Friday, February 8th: 1PM – 5 PM

TBL Networks Office: 1801 Bayberry Court, Suite 202, Richmond, VA 23226

Wii Golf Foursomes
Shotgun Start, Two Heats

Entry: $0 – Just come have fun!

Top 3 Finishers
Longest Drive
Closest to the Pin
Longest Put

Going Mobile

As the year comes to a close, I realized that I had not accomplished one of my personal goals – working more references to legendary rock band The Who into my blog. I had pondered blending references to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) with Who song titles (potential candidates included “My BYOD Generation,” “BYOD O’Reily,” and my personal favorite –  “You
BYOD, You Bet.”), but I could never pull the trigger.

Fortunately, Mary Meeker’s December 2012 Internet Trends Update rescued me from pushing the limits of taste and puns.  This year’s report highlighted the tremendous progress of mobile and potential for further growth in the near future.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Mobile traffic growing to 13% of all Internet traffic as of 11/12; up from 1% in 12/09
  • Smartphone and tablet shipments installed base estimated to surpass PCs by mid-2013
  • More smartphone users to come –  While there are 1 Billion Smartphone users, there still remains five Billion mobile users who have not upgraded.

These finding are intriguing when combined with the results from a recent survey by Cisco Internet Business Solution Group entitled BYOD and Virtualization, the findings of which included the following:

  • Seventy-eight percent of U.S. white-collar employees use a mobile device (e.g., laptop, smartphone, tablet) for work purposes.
  • On average, mobility initiatives will consume 20 percent of IT budgets in 2014, compared to 17 percent in 2012.

With the growth of mobile, the question is no longer “If” but “When.”  Cisco solutions including Jabber and WebEx allow businesses to stay at the forefront of mobile trends and productivity, allowing employees to collaborate and work regardless of location. They also prove the lyrics to The Who song “Going Mobile” prophetic.

Out in the woods

Or in the city

It’s all the same to me

When I’m drivin’ free, the
world’s my home

When I’m mobile

Build Your Own Private Cloud: TBL’s April Lunch and Learn

Join us for lunch to learn more about how you can build your next
generation data center with building blocks from industry leaders Cisco,
EMC and VMware with the VCE Vblock.  In our April Lunch & Learn series – “Build Your Own Private Cloud” – Cisco’s Sara Reed will lead the
discussion and allow you the chance to ask questions.

These events will be held on Wednesday, April 25th in Richmond, and also on Thursday, April 26th in Virginia Beach.  Please use this link to register for either event.

  • UCS architectural overview
  • Stateless computing service profiles
  • Whole offer solutions Vblock – data center in a rack
  • Intelligent Automation for your Vblock environment

Who should attend:

Anyone interested in data center and how to transform your computing infrastructure.

Maximum of two attendees per organization.

Save your spot! Register now!


11:30 AM – Registration

11:35 AM – Order Lunch

12:00 PM – Discussion with Sara

1:30 PM – Event Close

TBL in CRN’s Tech Elite 250

Second Annual List recognizes TBL Networks’ deep technical expertise and premier certifications


TBL Networks announced today it has been named to CRN’s second annual list of the Tech Elite 250. Companies on the 2012 Tech Elite 250 list represent an elite group of IT Solution Providers that have invested in the training and education needed to earn the most technical certifications in the IT Channel.

 In compiling the list, CRN editors worked with the UBM Channel research group and a team of outside experts to define the most customer-beneficial technical certifications in the IT channel.  These technical certifications have enabled solution providers to deliver the most premium products, service and support to their North American customers.

 “TBL Networks is very honored to be named to CRN’s 2012 Tech Elite 250,” said Alan Sears, President and CEO of TBL Networks, Inc.  “This recognition is especially appreciated as it reflects our dedication to providing our clients with impactful technology solutions and unmatched customer service.”

TBL Networks’ dedication to training and certifications were instrumental in their selection.  Founded by three Cisco Voice CCIEs, TBL’s staff also includes the only VMware VCDX in Central Virginia, in addition to two 2011 VMware vExperts. TBL Networks is a Cisco Certified Gold Partner, a VMware Enterprise Solutions Provider, an EMC Premier Velocity Partner, and a VCE Vblock Qualified Partner.

“The 2012 Tech Elite 250 list recognizes an exclusive group of Solution Providers that have shown a dedication to helping customers innovate while reducing costs,” said Kelley Damore, Vice President, Editorial Director at UBM Channel.  “By identifying and adapting to the skills and training needed to best serve today’s customers, members of the Tech Elite 250 have proven their commitment to delivering the products and services that today’s end-users value most.”

A sample of CRN’s 2012 “Tech Elite 250” list is featured in the February issue of CRN Magazine and online at

About TBL Networks, Inc.
TBL Networks is about moving forward with innovative technology. With over 60 years of combined technical expertise, we empower clients’ collaboration, virtualization and data centers to do more with less. TBL delivers these advanced solutions directly where it counts the most – the desktop. Building secure and reliable solutions that introduce efficiencies in human interaction is how we see the future. Let us take you there at



TBL 3rd Annual Virtual Open Golf Tournament

On February 10th, TBL Networks brought the thrills of playing TPC Sawgrass, including the legendary 17th hole , right inside our headquarters here in Richmond, Virginia.  With this help of our friends and the power of Nintendo Wii, TBL Networks hosted our 3rd Annual Virtual Open Golf Tournament.

In addition to great climate controlled golf, our tournament featured live demonstrations of TBL’s solutions, including a live leader board powered by Cisco WebEx,  our Cisco TelePresence 1100 rooms, a demonstration of the EMC VNX line and the future of VDI powered by VMware.  In addition, we were able to show the intersection of VMware, Cisco and EMC in the converged infrastructure of VCE’s Vblock.

As we did last year, TBL Networks was privileged to benefit a great organization in CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation.  CJsTUF mission is to provide financial assistance to families of children with chronic and life-threatening illness.

To learn about CJsTUF, check out their websiteblog, FaceBook and Twitter pages.  Also, TBL Networks Blog Home will have more information about this great organization in coming weeks.

Finally, special thanks to our corporate partners Cisco, VMware, EMC and VCE for helping make our day possible.

Check out more pictures from this event at

TBL Achieves Cisco ISE ATP

Becomes one of only 50 resellers invited by Cisco to achieve this certification

TBL Networks announced today that it has received for the designation of Cisco ATP – Identity Services Engine Partner in the USA.  To earn this designation, TBL Networks has met all ATP program requirements and criteria, including the rigorous Cisco certified personnel levels required for an ATP – Identity Services Engine Partner. 

“TBL Networks is honored to be named a Cisco Identity Services Engine ATP Partner,” said Alan Sears, President and CEO of TBL Networks, Inc.  “With this certification, TBL will continue to provide its clients with the most advanced solutions in Borderless Networking, Collaboration, and Data Centers.”

TBL Networks is one of only 50 resellers in the United States invited by Cisco to achieve the ISE ATP. Already a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, this designation allows TBL Networks to sell, design, install, and support the new Identity Services Engine security solutions from Cisco.  TBL’s achievements include VMware Enterprise Level Solutions Provider Partner, EMC Premier Tier Velocity² Services Partner and VCE Vblock Qualified Partner.

TBL Networks is a major source of expertise for the technology sector in Central Virginia. Recently, TBL was included on CRN’s Next-Gen 250 channel partner list. In addition, TBL was ranked 406 on the 2011 Inc. 500 list, becoming the only firm in Central Virginia to make the list, and ranked 34th overall in IT services.

TBL Networks Partner status can be found in the Cisco Partner Locator at

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at  For ongoing news, please go to

About TBL Networks, Inc.
TBL Networks is about moving forward with innovative technology. With over 60 years of combined technical expertise, we empower clients’ collaboration, virtualization and data centers to do more with less. TBL delivers these advanced solutions directly where it counts the most – the desktop. Building secure and reliable solutions that introduce efficiencies in human interaction is how we see the future. Let us take you there at

You’ve Got the Touch

One of the exciting technology trends as we enter 2012 is the increasing ubiquity of touch technology.  Introduced to most of us via  Apple’s iPods, iPhones and iPads, touch has quickly expanded to non-Apple consumer technology such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and various other Android devices. In addition, the use of touch technology continues to expand into the enterprise and beyond. 

In a recent blog post “The Power of Touch,”  Dannette Veale discussed how researchers at the University of Munich are developing “a solution that enables anything to be touch driven.”  As the video demonstrates, you can finally use your spare bucket as steering wheel for video games.

For more practical and immediate use, the Cisco TelePresence Touch 12 allows you to integrate touch technology into your TelePresence solution.  This 12-inch device works with the entire end point line of Cisco TelePresence line.

As touch technology continues to progress into the enterprise, it’s novelty will fade as it becomes commonplace.   The truth is simple.  You’ve got the touch.   You’ve got the power.


TBL Relocates Headquarters

New Richmond, Virginia office location provides more facilities to demonstrate advanced technology solutions

TBL Networks today announced that they have moved their headquarters to a new location at 1801 Bayberry Court, Suite 202, Richmond, VA 23226.  With this move, TBL Networks, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, becomes suite neighbors to the Richmond Cisco office.

“We are very fortunate that our growth has necessitated this move,” said Alan Sears, President and CEO of TBL Networks, Inc.  “This new office will allow us to continue to provide the highest level of support to our clients, in addition to providing more facilities to demonstrate the advanced solutions that TBL provides.  These advantages will help TBL continue to bring the best information technology solutions to businesses in Central Virginia, while never forgetting the importance of customer service and community.”

TBL Networks is the only technology integrator in the Commonwealth of Virginia with five Cisco Voice CCIEs.  TBL’s Voice Engineers have personally deployed over 30,000 IP Phones and more than 2,700 Call Center Call Seats. In addition, TBL Networks employs Central Virginia’s only VMware VCDX, and two EMC Technical Architects.

In 2011, TBL Networks was named to the CRN’s Next-Gen 250 and the Inc 500.  In addition, TBL’s CEO Alan Sears was recently named as one of Richmond’s Top 40 under 40, and two TBL Datacenter engineers were recognized as VMware vExperts.

TBLpursues the goal of techumanity, the positive synergy between technology and humanity.  TBLlives this ideal by working with the international World Community Grid for cancer research and local charity CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation, which supports families with children facing chronic and life threatening illness.

TBL’s new office space will provide more room for examples of the latest technology in Voice, Virtualization, Storage and Disaster Recovery.  The new office will have two Cisco TelePresence System 1100s, a 65″ plasma display, camera, microphones, and integrated lighting system for immersive video meetings. Also, TBL’s new office will house a VCE Vblock, the world’s first completely integrated infrastructure for rapid virtualization deployment offering that is comprised of technology from VMware, Cisco, EMC and Intel.

About TBL Networks, Inc.
TBL Networks is about moving forward with innovative technology. With over 60 years of combined technical expertise, we empower clients’ collaboration, virtualization and data centers to do more with less. TBL delivers these advanced solutions directly where it counts the most – the desktop. Building secure and reliable solutions that introduce efficiencies in human interaction is how we see the future. Let us take you there at

Mobile Apps For Which I Am Thankful

Thanksgiving means many things to me.  Turkey. Family. Stuffing.  Pie.  More Stuffing.  Football. Napping (also stuffing).

In addition, Thanksgiving marks the time to remember the things for which you are thankful.  On this day, I celebrate the mobile applications that make my life better.

Flashlight by Latter-Day Apps (Free)

With all the things that a smartphone can do, it is important to not forget the simple things.  Case in point, this flashlight application, which allows you to use your phone’s camera flash as a flashlight.  As a father of a two-year old, this application has increased my proficiency at quietly moving through the house, while still providing me access to crucial applications for business like …

Cisco WebEx Meeting Center By Cisco (Free)

With Cisco’s WebEx application, you can take your WebEx with you wherever you are.  You can host meetings and presentations, or just attend them if you are out of the office, with a click of a button.  This application is if you often travel by car, but still need to attend meetings.

Nike+ GPS By Nike, Inc. ($1.99)

I recently downloaded this application in anticipation of my holiday binge eating.  Nike+GPS uses your smartphone’s GPS capability to help you keep track of distance and time.  Unlike other applications that  I have used, this one does not lock up. This application easily integrates with your music playlists, and also keeps your history so you can chart your progress. 

Cisco Mobile By Cisco (Free)

Cisco Mobile allows  you to take your office phone with you, without the downsides (lost voicemails, sending calls from your cell phone number) that come with using just call forwarding.  This application allows you to achieve single number reachability – the ability place and receive calls using  your work number only.  Also, you can use the Wi-Fi feature to make calls without using your mobile minutes.

ooTunes Radio By Oogli LLC ($4.99)

ooTunes allows you to listen to most radio stations across the US from your smartphone.  You can search for stations by location, format or name.  I find this application a great alternative to the iHeartRadio application, which limits you to Clear Channel stations and requires to you use your Facebook account.  ooTunes also provides you the ability make recordings, and to integrate your account.

Papa John’s Pizza by Papa John’s International Inc. (Free)

Turkey. Family. Stuffing.  Pie.  More Stuffing.  Football. Napping (also stuffing).  At a certain point (or as I call it, Friday), you have to eat something else.  This applications allows you to break up the monotony of turkey with the power of pizza.

Social Media and Mobility: The New Workplace Currency

Cisco recently released their 2011 Connected World Technology Report. In this report, Cisco used college students and recently employed college graduates as their sample group to gauge the importance of technology to their lives.  TBL President Alan Sears discussed the findings regarding the importance of the Internet to this group. When I read the report, I was stuck by the value that the respondents placed on social media and mobile devices.

  • Two-thirds of college students will ask about social media policies during interviews.
  • 56% will not accept a job from a company that bans social media, or they will circumvent the policy.
  • 50% would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smartphone or mobile device.
  • More than two of five would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
  • At least one in four said the absence of remote access would influence their job decisions, such as leaving companies sooner rather than later, slacking off, or declining job offers outright.
  • Three out of 10 feel that once they begin working, it will be their right- more than a privilege -to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule.

My initial thought was to see if Cisco planned on polling these same people in 10 years when they have 2.3 kids, a minivan and mortgage to see if they changed their position on social media access versus higher pay.  However, after my old man rage subsided, I wrote down some productive thoughts based on these findings.

Embrace social media

While it will continue to evolve, social media is here to stay. Companies need to embrace it in a manner that allows employees to use it, but with guidelines that maintain professionalism and brand integrity.

At TBL Networks, we embrace social media via blogs (like the one you are reading right now), in addition to using various channels like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.  However, if your company is not ready to embrace social media externally, you can reap the benefits of social media by using it internally.

Cisco Quad is a tool developed to combine the four cornerstones of the modern workforce: social, mobile, visual, and virtual.  With Cisco Quad, your employees can collaborate internally, in a secure yet mobile environment. Cisco Quad comes with Cisco Enterprise Policy Manager, which help you enforce security and compliance while allowing mobility and flexibility in your collaboration environment.

Foster SECURE mobility

Remember when mobility meant that you had a laptop?  Perhaps even more so than social media, mobility is driving the changes in technology. Smartphones and tablets empower your employees to work more effectively and efficiently when away from the office. However, unlike times past when business first provided employees with new technology, odds are that your employees are going to have, and also want to use, their own tablets and smartphones before you provide these devices.   The “Bring Your Own Device”  (BYOD) trend raises mainly new issues for employers, with security challenges at the forefront.

To deal with issues brought forth by BYOD, Cisco has introduced Cisco SecureX architecture. Cisco SecureX  enforces security policies across the entire distributed network, not just at a single point in the data stream.  Also, according to this video, this service also comes your own referee!
While seeing the demands of the younger generation might release your inner Judge Smails, the fact is that social media and mobility are driving changes in technology.  However, the good news is that  you get to choose the vehicle.