Starting ten years ago, the cutting edge concept in addressing the biggest wide area (“WAN”) network problems for midsize, multi-location businesses was getting CxOs and IT directors to consider replacing their MPLS networks with a virtual private network (“VPN”) supported by SD-WAN and cloud based firewalls.

As you can imagine, it took awhile for a telecom agent and “trusted technology advisor” like myself to 1) wrap my head around the concept itself, and 2) distill the technology migration cost/benefit argument down to a short enough sound bite so that I could get a busy IT director to consider the concept.

Fast forward to 2022 and the emerging technology landscape has gotten ten times more complicated. Fortunately the ICT vendors have allocated enough funds from their sales and marketing budgets to support “Emerging Tech Bootcamps” like the one I’m currently attending in San Diego hosted by TBI, a technology services distributor known for their heavy emphasis towards addressing new CxO & IT director challenges – not with a sales team – but with a “solutions engineering & architect” team – AKA “tech gurus”!

To illustrate why I titled this blog post “How TBI’s Tech Gurus Stole the Show at Emerging Tech Bootcamp” consider the situation I found myself in yesterday afternoon three hours into trying to absorb and understand all the new “emerging technology” terms and concepts that have replaced MPLS and VPN in the past several years.

The bootcamp started with EPIC iO sharing how their artificial intelligence (“AI”), internet-of-things (“IoT”) and 5G wireless technology applications deliver unique emerging technology solutions to businesses. The next presentation, delivered by Verizon must have been titled “How Ransomware is Definately Going to Find Your Business” and effectively prepared attendees for the eventuality of responding to a cyber attack through a very useful 10-minute attendee roleplay exercise. The last bootcamp presentation of the first day was from Appgate and it had my head spinning due to their seemingly brash suggestion that just as VPN had replaced MPLS, now the time has come to replace the VPN with ____???

I truly thought my head was going to explode from all the acronyms (MPLS->VPN->ZTNA) and concepts (“kill your VPN“) when a very nice fellow named Andrew Marshall sat down at our breakout group table to help shepherd us through our analysis exercise. One of TBN’s division of “tech gurus“, Andrew helped us understand how Appgate was one of several emerging technology vendors helping midsize, multi-location businesses understand the pros and cons of migrating their VPN to a more flexible and secure solution.

I then described to Andrew a VPN and hardware situation a current client was experiencing and he advised that Appgate might be the best vendor to solve the problem but that Zscaler and Cato Networks also had Remote access, VPN replacement or SASE, SSE, ZTNA, SD-WAN solutions that should be considered.

It was right about then that Andrew suspected that I’d reached acronym overdose and prescribed a remedy to my problem – how to explain any of this to my CxO and IT director clients. Andrew said, “Just send an email to” He let us know that by sending an email with any sort of problem description and background would cause TBI’s Tech Guru team of vendor neutral solution engineers and architects to turn the email into an “solution analysis request ticket” and not one but six engineers would roundtable the situation and initiate the process of outlining a solution migration path that would ensure the challenge was vetted against all the top emerging technology vendors.

So that’s how “TBI’s Tech Gurus Stole the Show at Emerging Tech Bootcamp” yesterday – they gave me an “easy buton” when they gave me permission to turn my client’s problem opportunity into a potential solution – without having to first learn and understand dozens of new emerging technology acronyms – “just send an email to that describes to problem environment in any way and let our vendor-neutral engineer & architect staff ticket and address the challenge”.

That’s what I want and that’s certainly what my CxO and IT director clients need!

I feel alot better now as I head off to the beginning of “Emerging Technologies – Day 2” – six more vendor “solution information fire hoses” to get hit by. No problem – I’ve not got my own personal “easy button” (or easy email) (Thanks, Geoff!)

Author Dan Baldwin

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