VNET Chief Talks Tech, Tips for IT Investments

Technology plays a vital role in business survival. It can help an organization increase productivity and save time and money. Here, Joel Deuterman, president and chief executive officer of Velocity Network (VNET) in Erie, Pennsylvania, discusses the importance of staying current with technology, the growing need for cybersecurity, and how to make the most of technology investments.

Since 1990, VNET has been providing IT support, hardware support and consulting to businesses in the Erie area. Please describe your presence in the northwest PA market today.

More than 32 years ago, it was almost a novelty to have one PC introduced into a small business. Today, computer hardware is ubiquitous. VNET is not only a trusted consultant and hardware procurement partner, but we also are a dedicated 24/7 IT helpdesk, a provider of state-of-the-art fiber Internet services, and a trusted partner for cybersecurity against the latest threats. We have become the largest IT and fiber Internet services provider in northwest Pennsylvania — with no signs of slowing down.

In your opinion, what are the biggest technology trends that should be on employers’ radars in 2022?

If the last few years have shown us anything about technology, it’s that the work-from-anywhere model is viable for many businesses. For some, the transition to home offices was necessary to keep their business going. Investments in cybersecurity, VoIP, and reliable fiber-to-the-home Internet are key to staying agile in uncertain times and remaining relevant when trying to hire new staff.

We recognize that cyber attacks are a growing threat for small businesses and the U.S. economy. What’s the best way to protect small businesses on a budget?

The key to any budget is to have predictable expenditures and avoid costly emergencies. Proper cybersecurity cannot contain any shortcuts. However, because of our size and experience, we provide a service plan called TITAN that, for a fixed fee, offers a whole suite of cybersecurity services and protections.

When it comes to investments, how critical is it for operations to stay current with their technology?

In the “old days,” staying current usually just meant an increase in speed and storage. Moore’s law stated that the number of transistors in a circuit would double every two years. However, this isn’t the case anymore. Today’s new microprocessors provide security and biometric capabilities that are arguably more important than just incremental speed increases. Bad actors who are out to steal or ransom your data are very cunning and sophisticated, so having a team like Velocity Network watching over your cybersecurity needs is invaluable.

What’s your best advice for businesses when it comes to assessing their technology needs?

Make an honest assessment of the costs to your business in the event of data loss or data theft. If the unthink- able happened to your office, such as a fire, would you have a way to transition to a temporary office with your data intact? How long would such a transition take? Taking this approach will help to determine what services, safeguards and technology are needed to minimize the risk to your business today while also having a plan for improvement going forward.

Our team would be glad to help you through such an assessment.

How can our members learn more about VNET and its services?

Call us at 888/833-9111 or email us at We are passionate about technology and cybersecurity, and we look forward to starting a partnership with your business soon.