• The Pathfinder

    For quick answers on the best vendors fill out the appropriate IQAs below and we'll get back to you with the best three to five providers that match your criteria, and why. We'll provide documentation to validate our findings and help you continue to evaluate all options in order to find the winner quickly.

Pathfinder:  ‚ÄčInteractive Quick Assessments

Pathfinder is our proprietary IT decision-making platform, a suite of software designed to help you make smart IT investments and solve problems quickly and confidently.  We use Pathfinder to guide our clients through a variety of IT projects. Our system, engineering staff, and proven process will shave tons of time identifying and researching suitable service providers. One of the first steps is learning more about you and your needs. The Pathfinder Interactive Quick Assessments (IQAs) found below will help make that easier for everyone. 


Browse by category and solution set or see the full list below to find the right IQA to fill in for your project. 


Once submitted our vendor-neutral engineering team will review and have an initial recommendation of 3 to 5 of the best vendors, based on your answers, within 48 hours. The more you share with us here the better and faster we'll be able to help you.

All
Cybersecurity
Communications
Connectivity
Cloud
All

Discovery: Start here!

The Discovery assessment is designed to take a general inventory of your current technology and provide more context to your adviser. It's also a great first step if your not exactly sure where to start. The Discovery IQA will give us a broader perspective of your environment allowing us to keep the bigger picture in mind while we focus on specific projects. Always best not to make decisions in a bubble. We may also be able to uncover other areas of value, improvement, and cost savings that you hadn't thought of before.  

Cybersecurity

Security, Risk, and Compliance

This IQA covers a broad range of cybersecurity solutions, services, and point products. Consisting of everything from managed firewall solutions, SASE, and IDPS to EDR, DDoS mitigation, and Managed SIEM/Logging services. Leading solutions do far more than just monitor and alert but will analyze behavior to detect ever-changing threats, communicate with multiple systems to provide a comprehensive view into the environment, and include: 24/7/365 Security Operations Center (SOC) support for detection, event notification, and remediation. 

Backup & Disaster Recovery

Backup as a Service (BaaS) protects the data, and typically allows for recovery of a file or server back to the customer's on-prem environment. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) protects the business, and allows for recovery of the entire IT environment (servers, storage, networking, apps, data) in the cloud.


Healthcare Security

Healthcare companies are the fastest growing target for malicious cyber attacks. The healthcare industry is especially vulnerable to ransomware attacks, perhaps due to the often less technical user-base and generally faster-paced environment. As a result cyber insurance is becoming increasing difficult to underwrite as insurance companies tighten their belts. This Interactive Quick Assessment is designed to gather IT Security requirements for healthcare companies that see patients and healthcare support companies like biotech and pharma. 

SASE & SD-WAN

Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SDWAN) is an revolutionary approach to connectivity and quickly becoming the de facto standard. SDWAN offers companies of all sizes a bulletproof connection strategy. Plus offers simplified management, quick turn-up, prioritized & optimized application performance, improved resiliency, and cost savings when compared to traditional WAN technologies. 


Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), represents the convergence of SDWAN and a next-generation security functionality. A full SASE stack generally will consist of a next-gen firewall (NGFW), cloud access service broker (CASB), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), software web gateway (SWG), and of course, SDWAN. 

Communications

SIP Trunking

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking is a method of delivering voice over the Internet (VoIP), replacing legacy solutions such as analog lines (POTS) and digital PRIs. SIP trunks are delivered to a companies PBX system over dedicated circuits or over 3rd-party, existing connectivity, which is often referred to as "over-the-top".



Unified Communications

It goes by many names, acronyms, and a variety of flavors. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based system, software, process, platform or solution that unites and integrates multiple media of business communications (e.g. voice, video, chat, SMS/text, fax, etc.) into a single intuitive platform often allowing users to both choose their preferred medium and seamlessly switch between them. Most UC solutions also allow users to choose between their preferred device or virtual mode allowing users to seamlessly switch between their mobile phone, deskphone, computer or web-based softphone, or other compatible device. 

Contact Center

Contact Center as a Service is a cloud-based contact center solution that replaces traditional on premise call centers and allows smaller businesses to take advantage of advanced omnichannel features. Seasoned contact center professional, will notice right away this IQA, while in-depth, only scratches the surface for larger and highly sophisticated needs. And at the same time this will be more than enough for those starting to explore contact center possibilities. In either case, complete the Contact Center IQA and we'll be in touch with answers within 48-hours.

Hosted Fax

Hosted Fax, virtual Fax, or eFax is a scalable, highly available Internet service that replaces fax machines and fax servers. Users are able to securely send and receive documents using their phones or laptops. Most dedicated Fax services have cracked the SIP to Analog code so if large volume faxing is still important to you, this is the way to go. 

Microsoft Teams + Voice

Microsoft Teams is a workstream collaboration tool bundled with M365 / O365 licensing. Its features include persistent individual/group chat, presence, audio/web/video meetings, file sharing, and an optional cloud voice solution to replace or augment an existing phone system. Microsoft has a large ecosystem of partners and cloud service providers (CSPs) who offer multiple ways to enable the Microsoft Teams Phone System as flexible alternatives to the basic Calling Plans available directly from Microsoft. 

Mobility / Cellular / Wireless

Broadly speaking, Mobility may include cellular voice & data plans and devices, mobile telecom expense management (TEM), mobile device management (MDM) software, enterprise mobility management (EMM), and managed mobility services (MMS) which include device ordering & management, kitting, repairs, reporting, inventory mgmt., and more. Mobility device are used for a variety of reasons. Most obvious being smartphone and tablet use for staff. Additionally, an endless and innovative list of IoT devices, sensors, and data logging solutions exist for everything from fleet management to smart buildings and even smart cities. 



Connectivity

Connectivity (Bandwidth, Broadband, Internet, WAN, and more)

Connectivity encompasses all types of WAN (SD-WAN, MPLS, VPN), Internet (copper, coax, fiber, broadband), point-to-point, traditional voice (a.k.a. "dial-tone"), and just about any other type of bandwidth connectivity needed. It includes services from both traditional telecom, local and national cable companies, and global, international, and regional fiber carriers.

Connectivity Lite

This lightweight version of the Connectivity IQA captures only the most essential fields needed to obtain pricing fast. For a more detailed assessment, consider completing the full Connectivity IQA.

SD-WAN

Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SDWAN) is an revolutionary approach to connectivity and quickly becoming the de facto standard. SDWAN offers companies of all sizes a bulletproof connection strategy. Plus offers simplified management, quick turn-up, prioritized & optimized application performance, improved resiliency, and cost savings when compared to traditional WAN technologies. 

SIP Trunking

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking is a method of delivering voice over the Internet (VoIP), replacing legacy solutions such as analog lines (POTS) and digital PRIs. SIP trunks are delivered to a companies PBX system over dedicated circuits or over 3rd-party, existing connectivity, which is often referred to as "over-the-top".

Telecom Expense Management (TEM)

Telecom Expense Management (TEM) involves the analysis, management, and expense reduction of all sorts of telecom carrier and other technology service provider solutions. orders, inventory, bills and disputes, in order to reduce telecom spend. Telecom Management includes a la carte outsourced services across a business's entire telecom lifecycle, from initial orders to ongoing management to contract terms. It can include auditing, inventory creation, project management, trouble ticket management, and escalation management. Ideal for any company with numerous locations, corporate mobile accounts, or with a large volume of various vendors and services. 

Cloud

Infrastructure

Cloud Infrastructure or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides virtual or even physical servers on demand at the providers data centers. The compute, storage, and network hardware are located in the provider's data center and abstracted from the customer, meaning all you need to plan for is security, access, and your virtual server and environment instance. Flavors include; Private, Public, and Hybrid. For Hyper Cloud / Hyperscale, see the Managed Hyper Cloud IQA.



Email & Productivity Suites

Business productivity software comes in a suite of multiple softwares and includes word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software among many others. There are a few options for a great business productivity suite, but two really stand out; Microsoft 365 (or Office 365) and Google Workspace (or G Suite). The only real way to get anything it seems these days is through an ongoing subscription. They both come as cloud-based solutions providing all of the above plus, hosted email, file storage and syncing, notebook, intranet, and forms. Microsoft offers some things as both web and desktop versions. Both also include online meetings for each user and can even add business phone solutions as well. Use this IQA to find a great certified partner to manage, administer, and migrate. Also check out our Google vs. Microsoft comparison guide.

Managed Hyper Cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are the top three hyper/public cloud platforms. Other contenders include IBM and Alibaba. When building, migrating, and maintaining a hyper cloud environment, businesses often turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for help.  Services include assessments, migrations, ongoing security, compliance, backup, disaster planning and recovery, DevOps, other professional services, and just about everything else under the sun. If you're coming from an on-prem or even colocation environment, jumping right into hyperscale may be a bigger move than you think. You'll certainly be grateful for the help and support these MSPs can provide. Complete the IQA and we'll reach out with answers, help, and more information. 

Colocation (Data Center)

Colocation provides a secure data center environment for your IT infrastructure. The provider takes care of power, cooling, rack space, and bandwidth. Some will even provided on-site services, called "smart-hands". Our portfolio contains over two dozen col providers that cover more than 1,600 data centers across the world. Complete the IQA, then reach out to us so we can take you on a virtual Pathfinder tour of your new data center.


Help Desk Services

As a subset of the IT department, Help Desk consists of outsourced services and staffing. Usually for enterprises with established internal IT teams, help desk services can replace an internal help desk entirely, or provide augmentation during peak hours or other specific needs. Help Desk Services can reduce overhead, improve service, and increase productivity. If you're seeking a Manage IT provider or other services go straight to the Managed Services IQA. 

Managed Services

Managed Services are generally remote, 24x7 services for IT infrastructure. They include proactive monitoring and alerting, patch management, engineering support, reporting and metrics, help desk for end users, and related maintenance and support. Managed Services support various IT environments, including on-premise, colocation, private cloud, public cloud, and hyper cloud (AWS, Azure, Google, etc.). Managed Services can include a somewhat all-inclusive Managed IT service, or be more specific and contained to certain systems that need additional attention.

Cloud Desktop / Workspace

Desktop as a Service (DaaS), sometimes also referred to as Cloud Desktop services, provides virtual desktops to end users, where the computer, operating system, and all applications are virtualized and in the cloud. This allows users to access their corporate desktop asset using any device of the user's choosing (laptop, tablet, phone, thin client). DaaS differs from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in that the provider hosts and manages the desktop virtualization platform.

All Assessments

Backup as a Service (BaaS) protects the data, and typically allows for recovery of a file or server back to the customer's on-prem environment. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) protects the business, and allows for recovery of the entire IT environment (servers, storage, networking, apps, data) in the cloud.

Colocation provides a secure data center environment for your IT infrastructure. The provider takes care of power, cooling, rack space, and bandwidth. Some will even provided on-site services, called "smart-hands". Our portfolio contains over two dozen col providers that cover more than 1,600 data centers across the world. Complete the IQA, then reach out to us so we can take you on a virtual Pathfinder tour of your new data center.

Connectivity encompasses all types of WAN (SD-WAN, MPLS, VPN), Internet (copper, coax, fiber, broadband), point-to-point, traditional voice (a.k.a. "dial-tone"), and just about any other type of bandwidth connectivity needed. It includes services from both traditional telecom, local and national cable companies, and global, international, and regional fiber carriers.

This lightweight version of the Connectivity IQA captures only the most essential fields needed to obtain pricing fast. For a more detailed assessment, consider completing the full Connectivity IQA.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a cloud-based contact center solution that replaces traditional on premise call centers and allows smaller businesses to take advantage of advanced omnichannel features. For any seasoned contact center professional , you'll notice right away that while this IQA, while in-depth, only scratches the surface for larger and highly sophisticated solutions and needs. And at the same time may be too in-depth for those exploring contact center possibilities.

Distributed Denial of Service Mitigation solutions protect circuits, websites, and other infrastructure from being overrun with too many requests. Many companies attempt to scrub traffic with their own appliances, which helps against small attacks, but adversaries can easily overwhelm the whole circuit (it only costs bad guys just a couple hundred dollars). DDoS scrubbing services screen all traffic, returning only that which is desired to the client, allowing operations to continue even when under attack.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS), sometimes also referred to as Cloud Desktop services, provides virtual desktops to end users, where the computer, operating system, and all applications are virtualized and in the cloud. This allows users to access their corporate desktop asset using any device of the user's choosing (laptop, tablet, phone, thin client). DaaS differs from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in that the provider hosts and manages the desktop virtualization platform.

Business productivity software comes in a suite of multiple softwares and includes word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software among many others. There are a few options for a great business productivity suite, but two really stand out; Microsoft 365 (or Office 365) and Google Workspace (or G Suite). The only real way to get anything it seems these days is through an ongoing subscription. They both come as cloud-based solutions providing all of the above plus, hosted email, file storage and syncing, notebook, intranet, and forms. Microsoft offers some things as both web and desktop versions. Both also include online meetings for each user and can even add business phone solutions as well. Use this IQA to find a great certified partner to manage, administer, and migrate. Also check out our Google vs. Microsoft comparison guide.

This Interactive Quick Assessment is designed to gather IT Security requirements for healthcare companies that see patients and healthcare support companies like biotech and pharma. Top of mind for many in the healthcare industry are HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity insurance. Healthcare companies are the fastest growing target for malicious cyber attacks and ransomware, of which the healthcare industry is especially vulnerable. This is perhaps due to the often less technical user-base and generally faster-paced environment in healthcare. As a result cyber insurance is becoming increasing difficult to underwrite as insurance companies dramatically increase minimum standards and requirements. 

As a subset of the IT department, Help Desk Services consist of outsourced services and staffing. Usually for enterprises with established internal IT teams, help desk services can replace an internal help desk entirely, or provide augmentation during peak hours or other specific needs. Help Desk Services can reduce overhead, improve service, and increase productivity. If you're seeking a Manage IT provider or other services go straight to the Managed Services IQA. 

Hosted Fax, virtual Fax, or eFax is a scalable, highly available Internet service that replaces fax machines and fax servers. Users are able to securely send and receive documents using their phones or laptops. Most dedicated Fax services have cracked the SIP to Analog code so if large volume faxing is still important to you, this is the way to go. 

Cloud Infrastructure or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides virtual or even physical servers on demand at the providers data centers. The compute, storage, and network hardware are located in the provider's data center and abstracted from the customer, meaning all you need to plan for is security, access, and your virtual server and environment instance. Flavors include; Private, Public, and Hybrid. For Hyper Cloud / Hyperscale, see the Managed Hyper Cloud IQA.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are the top three public cloud platforms. Other contenders include IBM and Alibaba. When building, migrating, and maintaining a hyper cloud environment, businesses often turn to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) for help.  Services include assessments, migrations, ongoing security, compliance, backup, disaster planning and recovery, DevOps, other professional services, and just about anything else you can think of under the sun. If you're coming from an on-prem or even colocation environment, jumping right into the hyperscale world may be a bigger move than you think. You'll certain be grateful for the help and support these MSPs can provide. Complete the IQO and we'll reach out with lots of help and more information. 

Managed Services are generally remote, 24x7 services for IT infrastructure. They include proactive monitoring and alerting, patch management, engineering support, reporting and metrics, help desk for end users, and related maintenance and support. Managed Services support various IT environments, including on-premise, colocation, private cloud, public cloud, and hyper cloud (AWS, Azure, Google, etc.). Managed Services can include a somewhat all-inclusive Managed IT service, or be more specific and contained to certain systems that need additional attention.

Broadly speaking, Mobility may include cellular voice & data plans and devices, mobile telecom expense management (TEM), mobile device management (MDM) software, enterprise mobility management (EMM), and managed mobility services (MMS) which include device ordering & management, kitting, repairs, reporting, inventory mgmt., and more. Mobility device are used for a variety of reasons. Most obvious being smartphone and tablet use for staff. Additionally, an endless and innovative list of IoT devices, sensors, and data logging solutions exist for everything from fleet management to smart buildings and even smart cities. 

Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SDWAN) is an revolutionary approach to connectivity and quickly becoming the de facto standard. SDWAN offers companies of all sizes a bulletproof connection strategy. Plus offers simplified management, quick turn-up, prioritized & optimized application performance, improved resiliency, and cost savings when compared to traditional WAN technologies, like MPLS. 


Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), represents the convergence of SDWAN and a next-generation security functionality. A full SASE stack generally will consist of a next-gen firewall (NGFW), cloud access service broker (CASB), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), software web gateway (SWG), and of course, SDWAN. 

Security covers a broad range of cybersecurity solutions, services, and point products. Consisting of everything from managed firewall solutions, SASE, and IDPS to EDR, DDoS mitigation, and Managed SIEM/Logging services. Leading solutions do far more than just monitor and alert but will analyze behavior to detect ever-changing threats, communicate with multiple systems to provide a comprehensive view into the environment, and include: 24/7/365 Security Operations Center (SOC) support for detection, event notification, and remediation. 

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking is a method of delivering voice over the Internet (VoIP), replacing legacy solutions such as analog lines (POTS) and digital PRIs. SIP trunks are delivered to a companies PBX system over dedicated circuits or over 3rd-party, existing connectivity, which is often referred to as "over-the-top".

Telecom Expense Management (TEM) involves the analysis, management, and expense reduction of all sorts of telecom carrier and other technology service providers solutions. orders, inventory, bills and disputes, in order to reduce telecom spend. Telecom Management includes a la carte outsourced services across a business's entire telecom lifecycle, from initial orders to ongoing management to contract terms. It can include auditing, inventory creation, project management, trouble ticket management, and escalation management. Ideal for any company with numerous locations, corporate mobile accounts, or with a large volume of various vendors and services. 

It goes by many names, acronyms, and a variety of flavors. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based system, software, process, platform or solution that unites and integrates multiple media of business communications (e.g. voice, video, chat, SMS/text, fax, etc.) into a single intuitive platform often allowing users to both choose their preferred medium and seamlessly switch between them. Most UC solutions also allow users to choose between their preferred device or virtual mode allowing users to seamlessly switch between their mobile phone, deskphone, computer or web-based softphone, or other compatible device. 

Microsoft Teams is a workstream collaboration tool bundled with M365 / O365 licensing. Its features include persistent individual/group chat, presence, audio/web/video meetings, file sharing, and an optional cloud voice solution to replace or augment an existing phone system. Microsoft has a large ecosystem of partners and cloud service providers (CSPs) who offer multiple ways to enable the Microsoft Teams Phone System as flexible alternatives to the basic Calling Plans available directly from Microsoft.