One of the most notable attributes of a locally-owned business is the ability to be responsive to customer demands, making business and service changes that provide increased value. The managers at PEAK embrace this characteristic and each year we dedicate time to share insights from each department in a discussion of PEAK’s strategy as it pertains to providing a quality Internet experience.
In September we enthusiastically embarked on this process, and I am excited to see the different initiatives we have chosen to pursue. In the past we have seen speed upgrades for Internet service, application enhancements for email and new tools for our technical support agents. All of these outcomes have provided better service and I look forward to the outcomes that will benefit customers in the near future.
Upgrade your broadband and get a FREE Roku Player
The decision to explore online video (‘over-the-top’ video) as an avenue for PEAK customers was an outcome of strategy sessions from 2010. Last month we announced a promotion in partnership with Pioneer Telephone Cooperative making online video options available to customers. This promotion offers free Roku players to Pioneer Telephone customers who upgrade to faster speed broadband (6 or 16 Mbps), capable of a high-definition streaming video experience. This promotion is off to an encouraging start and I believe many people are beginning to find online video to be a great complement, or even a suitable alternative for traditional Cable or Satellite Television service.
PEAK Pro — IT support that works
The PEAK Professional Services group (PEAK Pro) is busy making the trade show and business expo rounds, from Albany in September to Eugene in October. PEAK Pro is narrowing in on enterprises and small businesses with an increased solution set and added staff, aimed at making IT better and business easier.
I’m pleased to report that since we announced the launch of the service we have provided technology support to dozens of local area businesses and we’re looking to help even more. If your business is struggling with technology, give our team of qualified professionals a call or visit http://pro.peakinternet.com for more information.
Join PEAK in supporting local benefits
PEAK’s support of charitable and non-profit organizations continues into October with three outstanding benefits. It all starts with the Safehaven Humane Society’s Annual “Diamonds and Dice, Martinis on Ice” event on October 1st (for more information: http://www.safehavenhumane.com/?q=node/14). In that same week on October 4th, representatives from PEAK Internet will be participating in the Centers Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) annual breakfast fundraiser event (for more information: http://cardvservices.org). Lastly for the month, enjoy a Fall jog and sign-up for the PEAK sponsored, Run Away Pumpkin Half Marathon on October 29th, which benefits the ABC House — Child Abuse Victim Assessment Center (for more information: http://www.runawaypumpkinhalf.org/). It’s another busy month with some great community activity, keep your feedback coming about which events you think need sponsorship support.
Have you been using PEAK’s new webmail?
Lastly this month, I wanted to point out that the “Webmail” link on the PEAK website will be directing users to the new email application, Zimbra, rather than the legacy interface. We made the official switch to the new application a few years ago and have been operating the two in tandem. If you prefer the older interface, you can continue to access it at the same URL — http://webmail.peak.org
The United States is a diverse nation made up of dynamic people and unique communities, all united under the common theme of freedom. Each year on July fourth, Americans celebrate that notion along with prideful sentiments of independence, in honor of the birthday of the United States of America. This year be sure to take an active role in observing the establishment of our nation, remembering all the sacrifices those have made before us to ensure we would have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
PEAK sponsors area events throughout July
Independence Day on the fourth of July ushers in a month filled with summer festivals and events. PEAK plays an active role in this special time of year, sponsoring numerous activities and supporting events with critical resources needed to continue. I’m excited to see the growing variety of events PEAK continues to sponsor and the wide range of communities they involve. As PEAK’s footprint continues to expand so will the support for community based events and activities. This is truly a display of our belief that strong communities foster strong business. So be sure to check-in at these locations and enjoy the festivities. You can also refer to the article in the PEAK blog to get updated information on each event PEAK is participating at: http://blog.peakinternet.com/marketing/summer-events-2011/
Following Independence Day is the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo, ranked as the “Best NPRA Rodeo in the Northwest.” The event is held in downtown Philomath, at the Rodeo grounds from July 7th to 10th. You can find more information about the event on their web site at: http://philomathrodeo.org. As a non-profit organization, PEAK is happy to support the Philomath Frolic with discounted web hosting service and call center support as the event date draws near.
Coming up after the Rodeo is the da Vinci Days Festival (July 15th-17th), “Oregon’s Premier Art, Science and Technology Festival,” featuring music by Bobby McFerrin, a keynote address by Michael Epstein and the signature Kinetic Sculpture Race. In addition to being a major sponsor, PEAK is also the provider of the festival Wi-Fi that enables on-site geo-caching demonstrations, exhibitor displays and attendee access. You can learn more about this unique festival at: http://www.davincidays.org/
Next up is the Linn County Fair on July 21st-24th, where it is “Rolling Back to the Renaissance,” featuring the Knights of the Realm, a medieval games competition, and the Renaissance rock band Wolgemut (along with other bands including Lonestar). PEAK is the provider of Wi-Fi service to the Fair and Expo center and an avid supporter of this annual Linn County event (http://www.linncountyfair.com/).
Don’t forget about the BBQ!
Capping off the month is PEAK’s annual Customer Appreciation Barbecue, held in coordination with the Corvallis Knights baseball team and as a part of the West Coast League All-Star Game on July 26th. PEAK is a long-time sponsor of the Knights and we’re happy to show appreciation to loyal customers by providing this evening of fun, food and fireworks. You can RSVP to the event now by visiting the event web site at: http://peakinternet.com/2011-bbq.
Are we missing a summer event that you think PEAK should help and sponsor? Send me a note and let me know. We are always looking to support worthy events, seeking the opportunity to become better members of our local communities.
PEAK Pen summer photo contest
As you visit and enjoy these summer events, remember your PEAK Pen. We have a summer photo contest in progress on the PEAK Pen website in search of the best location photos. With all these unique summer events occurring this month, I’m certain you can find a unique scenario to capture a photo of you and your PEAK Pen. Visit the site at http://peakpen.com and join the community; it’s easy to show, share and win!
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend and took some time to recognize our soldiers that have made the ultimate sacrifice during military duty. Memorial Day is a great time to pay your respects and to honor those serving in our armed forces, but don’t forget that this should be a year-round opportunity.
PEAK Customer Appreciation Barbecue – Bigger, Better, and all for you!
Focus on customer relationships is one of the most important aspects of PEAK’s mission as an Internet provider. We strive to provide better service through a personable approach and understanding of each customer’s unique needs. There are many examples of this notion each year, but the biggest display of this engagement is with PEAK’s annual Customer Appreciation Barbecue. This event draws hundreds of customers each year, where they are greeted with a welcoming appreciation event, information about PEAK services and most importantly, an avenue to forge relationships with our team of Internet professionals.
In 2011 we’re excited to expand the format of this event in a partnership with the Corvallis Knights baseball team. Through this affiliation, we will be hosting the customer appreciation barbecue as a part of the West Coast League All-Star game on July 26th at Goss Stadium (Oregon State University). We invite you to enjoy a barbecue hosted by PEAK Internet, along with an evening of entertainment including the game, a homerun derby and postgame fireworks. We hope you enjoy the added entertainment we have coordinated as a part of the event. This is a great way for PEAK to engage and show appreciation to loyal customers, as well as showcase the work of the Corvallis Knights.
This event will fill up fast, so please RSVP. If you and your family are interested in attending the 2011 Appreciation Barbecue, please visit http://peakinternet.com/2011-BBQ and reserve your spot.
Welcome Western University of Health Sciences (Comp-Northwest)
One of PEAK’s newest customers – Western University of Health Sciences (Comp-Northwest) — made news in May as it draws close to completion of its Lebanon campus location. In the fall, the inaugural class of 105 students will embark on their studies in Osteopathic Medicine. Based out of Pomona, California, Western University of Health Sciences will play an integral role in providing education to the next generation of doctors and provide an economic development boost in Lebanon.
PEAK is a proud service provider for the new university and I believe this is a great example of a regional educational/enterprise organization that was able to procure advanced network services from a local provider. Western University is the latest of several organizations of this type that PEAK has been able to serve as the Internet and network service provider. As the Lebanon area (and greater mid-Willamette Valley) continues to grow, PEAK will be positioned as a leader and partner, helping businesses with network and technology solutions.
PEAK Pro Website Launched
In June we will launch the website for PEAK Pro, PEAK’s new professional services division that officially debuted in May. By now many of you have read about PEAK Pro, however if you work for a local small or medium-sized business and have troubles managing office technology, give the new site a look. You can find it located at: http://pro.peakinternet.com.
Have a great June and remember to say thanks to your Dad on Father’s day!
Sunshine is starting to show signs of emerging; I hope you have all had an opportunity to enjoy this long overdue good weather. The spring season marks the beginning of a string of local events that PEAK supports and participates in, from county fairs to country and Christian music concerts and local art festivals. We encourage you to participate; you can find a calendar of these events on the PEAK blog. Take a look and don’t miss out.
April proved to be a busy month for all of us at PEAK Internet. We just finished the first fiscal quarter and are already immersed in the projects coming up for the rest of the year.
PEAK’s professional IT services division – aptly named PEAK Pro (find out more at http://peakinternet.com/pro) – is in its early stages of launch and has already been proven as a valuable IT service for small businesses in need of quality contracted support. We’re proud to be partnering with Intel™ to provide a hosted platform to deliver office productivity applications at an affordable monthly service fee. This service, called the Hybrid Cloud, is based on new technology from Intel and PEAK is an early-adopting vendor.
In April we added depth to our engineering team at PEAK with the hiring of Craig Collar, who will serve as PEAK’s new Chief Technical Officer. Technology leadership is a matter of great importance at PEAK and with the addition of Craig, we believe we captured the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that resembles the essence of PEAK Internet. You can read more about Craig and his background in the PEAK blog this month.
April has always proven to be a busy travel month for many of our staff at PEAK. We had people treading all over the country attending conferences, staying up to date on all the best practices in our industry. What did we learn and what are what are we working on? It is apparent that the broadband marketplace is changing and new technologies are emerging that will bring an increasing amount of home-based services direct to your internet-enabled devices. If you can, envision a world where your broadband connection delivers not only internet, television, and telephone, but also home security, electricity consumption information, and a host of other home applications via cloud computing delivery. I feel PEAK is well positioned to offer all these services in coordination with our affiliates in telephone and electric cooperatives. As always, look for these partnerships to provide the best value along with local service.
One recurring theme from the travels of the last month was the evolution of video and how the user experience continues to improve with broadband integration. Specifically, at the DirecTV dealer conference last month, we learned about all the new functionality being added to the already feature-rich TV platform. The most notable additions include a new channel guide interface that is easier to navigate and has an improved load time. DirecTV is also adding social media applications and YouTube, delivered directly to the DVR. All these features and more are all powered or augmented by one crucial component, fast and reliable broadband service. We’re delighted to be partnering with DirecTV to offer television service, where PEAK’s broadband is playing an ever increasing role in the delivery of video entertainment for your home.
Lastly, spring also marks a time for PEAK’s employees to celebrate another year of success and to honor our standout contributors at the annual PEAK awards banquet. Our goal is to honor those employees that best exemplify our ideals of quality service and those that innovate within their position. We have over 40 employees at PEAK and we need each one of them to help carry this organization forward. Each year I’m proud of what our award recipients have achieved to make PEAK a better Internet service provider.
There’s no doubt that some of you might recognize some of the award recipients from various interactions. David Placko, PEAK’s senior Network Engineer, won the prestigious Employee of the Year award. Newcomer Nico Bressler won the Rookie of the Year award. Nico, a Field Service technician, has been diligently working with our PEAK Pro launch and has contributed its early success. Derek Dunham, a long time Technical Support representative, was awarded the President’s Award, a special honor I specifically choose each year.
Have a great May, happy Mother’s Day!
Happy New Year!
The year 2011 starts with great anticipation for PEAK Internet. We had a positive 2010, made brighter by the goals we reached and by our ongoing involvement in the community. This year we look forward to even greater success, overcoming new obstacles and providing increasingly better service to customers. Like many other small businesses we have noticed the continuing effect of the current economic downturn, which makes it more important than ever to focus on the quality services that retain and expand our local customer base. In order to continue our success in this area, we will continue to invest in local infrastructure and add workforce to deliver the service our customers want.
Your feedback counts, take the 2011 Satisfaction Survey
Feedback is a crucial component in this effort to continually improve service. At PEAK, we actively solicit constructive comments from customers and apply changes when presented. We stand by this notion of openness and I include my email address on each of the newsletters as proof. Our largest formal effort to gather this input starts this month with the Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey. You can find the survey located at http://peakinternet.com/2011survey, if you get a chance, please fill it out.
This is your chance to sound off and tell us where we can focus our attention to provide the best service available. The internet industry is constantly evolving and information from the annual satisfaction survey is a basis for consideration as we make decisions about the direction of PEAK’s various service offerings. The insights derived from this survey will be particularly helpful, as 2011 marks the continuation of important broadband trends, a fundamental shift in internet regulation and the introduction of new technologies.
Internet and telecommunications trends in 2011
The trend of broadband consumption continues to grow into 2011 and keeping up with this demand requires investment in equipment and personnel. Like 2010 we plan extensive investments in PEAK’s network with the addition of bandwidth capacity and increased redundancy through multiple upstream providers. In the data center, new servers will augment PEAK back-up services and also improve the availability of hosted applications. As a result of these upgrades, PEAK’s internet traffic will flow with greater reliability and capacity for growth.
On the regulatory front, 2011 will be a significant year for Net Neutrality governance as announced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As a service provider, PEAK supports an open Internet free of prioritization and regulation. With that stance in mind, we also require the right to maintain the health of our network, protecting against abusive users and applications. This is a topic to watch and it will continue to develop throughout the year, shaping the broadband industry.
In the technology realm, the next version of the Internet’s addressing and routing protocol (IPv6) is set to be introduced worldwide in 2011. This is a major transition in the world of networking, though many typical end-users may not notice much of a change. We’ll have more detailed information regarding this transition in the blog, but it is important to know that the Internet industry has been anticipating this for several years and PEAK joins this group in preparedness.
Over the past year, streaming video content through internet service has become increasingly popular. Services like Netflix, iTunes and Amazon provide an excellent compliment, or competent replacement for your TV service. We encourage you to use these services, but please exercise caution in your choice of provider. Beware of scams and illegitimate companies that allow you to view content illegally. Downloading content from illegal sources exposes you to legal liability. We’re here to help, if you ever have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to let us know.
As we kick-off a new year, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of our customers for choosing PEAK as your internet provider. We appreciate your subscription to PEAK’s services and your dedication to living and buying locally. It is truly a compliment to know that we have so many customers who stay with PEAK and who share our passion for quality.