AUG 2017 EDITION
From Typewriters to Servers
Microtech’s 47 Years in the Treasure Valley
to be my long term career, looked at my dad’s predicament, and figured I’d take a crack at it and see how it went. I joined the team in 1998.
My dad and his business partner started Microtech Systems way back in 1970, right here in Boise, Idaho. As you can imagine, technology was pretty primitive by our current standards back then. The company mainly dealt with typewriters and clunky mechanical adding machines, the kinds of things your kids probably wouldn’t recognize if they saw them in the bargain bin at a local thrift store. Years later, I was majoring in business administration and marketing at BSU. I enjoyed the intricacies of business, especially when it came to the granular aspects of finance. I graduated from school looking for work in that vein, but at the time, the only job a finance focus could get you was “stockbroker,” and that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. Instead, I found
My father and I immediately made a push to update our services, moving into computer networking and more complicated technical fields. At first, it was the classic school of hard knocks situation, learning the ins and outs of the technology as we went. I took a bunch of Microsoft classes, striving to master the technology at every level. When my current business partner, Stuart, joined on in 2004, we had come a long way, but with his efforts, we were able to fully renovate the company. For years, we both wore every hat we possibly could in the company. We were technicians, sales reps, administrators, working all day and night for years to make Microtech the best IT company in the Treasure Valley. These days, with our full team of friendly IT experts, Stuart and I have moved to primarily management roles, but I can look at what we’ve built so far and say we continue striving to accomplish our goals. We know when it comes to IT, every company provides basically the same solutions. The difference comes in the way we deliver that service. With Microtech, you’re working with a company that’s been in the Treasure Valley for nearly double that of our competitors. We take a never-say-die approach, going far above and beyond for our clients, doing what’s right regardless of the short-term cost. It’s been a long, winding road to managing Microtech, but I have to say, when I take a look at all we’ve accomplished, all the clients we’ve helped throughout the years, I’m proud. I truly couldn’t ask for a better, more professional team to work with.
a job doing marketing research for a local company. It was a great first job, granting me the stability I needed to start a family with my wife, whom I met in our junior year at Centennial High.
“We take a never- say-die approach, going far above and beyond for our clients,
Really, though, the Marketing Research Job wasn’t a long term interest, and I began to look elsewhere.
doing what’s right regardless of the short-term cost.”
In the late ’90’s my father’s business had begun to struggle.
The company was, in many respects, still in the dark, repairing printers and
providing other relatively low-tech solutions. He had done a great job providing valuable services for many years, with a level of customer care that you just don’t see often in the field, but was thinking that it was time to hand off the reins to somebody new. I took a hard look at my own circumstances, working a marketing research job that I knew wasn’t going
com/add-captions-and-transcripts-to- youtube-videos .
Businesses spend a lot of time creating videos to inform and attract prospects, yet many of these videos barely break 60 views. Obviously, quality content is a must-have if you hope to gain any views, but even the most entertaining and informative videos will be forgotten in the dusty corners of the internet if you don’t remember these important steps. Nail the Intro YouTube statistics show that 20 percent of people who start watching your video will leave after the first 10 seconds. This is a huge problem, because YouTube doesn’t count a video as being viewed until the 30-second mark. The key to getting people to keep watching is a great intro. Vlog Nation points out that the best video intros are brief, but they let viewers know what to expect and spark interest. You can find their full guide to creating great YouTube video intros at www.vlognation.com/make-good- youtube-intro. Transcribe Your Video Transcribed videos rank well with SEO and show up if a viewer turns on subtitles/CC filters. Writing a transcription for your entire video sounds like a lot of work, which is why many people rely on YouTube’s automatic transcription tool. However, this program is famously bad and isn’t as SEO-friendly. Rather than let the reputation of your company’s online videos suffer because of poor transcription, check out Gravity Search Marketing’s easy tips for uploading video transcripts at www.yourseoplan.
Strategize with Social Media Just uploading your video to YouTube isn’t the end of the line. If you want to attract viewers, make sure your video is as readily available as possible. Remember to share your video to Facebook, tweet about a new upload on Twitter, or create a blog post related to the topic in your video and direct readers to the video so they can learn more. If possible, you also want to embed your videos on your company website so all visitors have easy access to your content. Your latest informational video may not become the next viral hit, but you don’t have to go viral to be effective. With these tips, you will be able to boost your views and make sure your videos aren’t going to waste.
No More Buffering Turn Your Video Into an Online Success
Sorting Food at the Idaho Foodbank Giving Back to Our Idaho Community
all across Idaho every day. According to one staff member, the foodbank can provide four meals for only a dollar, solely from the donations and time everybody gives to the organization. It was eye-opening to see the sheer need of the community for an organization like the foodbank, the thousands of pounds of food they provide to those who have no other option. Then they put us all to work, sorting frozen meat into different categories for shipment. We were all on what essentially amounted to a production line, with everyone chipping in and working together to get the food out at a rapid pace. As we continue looking for ways to serve the community we are making serving it a quarterly, or even monthly event. It felt good to give back to the community that has served us for so long.
All of us at Microtech are constantly looking for new ways to serve our Treasure Valley community. We’ve been in Boise for nearly 50 years. It’s only right that we seek to aid our fellow Idahoans as we can. That’s why, on June 24, we gathered to volunteer at the Idaho Foodbank to help organize outgoing food shipments, sorting over 5,500 pounds of food in total. The outpouring of support from our staff and their families was incredible. Spouses, kids, and friends showed up to help. Everyone banded together to get the job done. It was encouraging to see not only our employees, but the young kids from age 8 to 14, really understanding the necessity of the work that organizations like the Idaho Foodbank provide. We started off with a tour of the facility, jam-packed with donations from throughout the area. Though it’s not the biggest building — the Foodbank has been trying to move into a larger building for some time now — the entire process is incredibly streamlined, shipping huge quantities of food
Thank you to Idaho Foodbank, who showed us the ropes and let us help out for a couple hours. Hopefully we’ll see you again soon!
Should I Use Cloud Services for My Small Business?
The Cloud Is Here to Stay.
Companies that use cloud services leverage the huge infrastructure of the cloud providers, getting 99.9 percent uptime, system redundancy, access from anywhere, and lower ongoing maintenance costs. In deciding whether or not the cloud is right for your business, we recommend evaluating whether or not you need a server. For example, if your industry-specific application doesn’t offer its software in the cloud and requires you to have a server, then you already need a server and should take advantage of it. You probably don’t need the cloud. Another thing to take into account is whether you’ll be storing very large data files, which most cloud environments struggle to accommodate. In calculating your business’s cloud viability, compare the cost of a six- year server to the cost of comparable cloud services for those six years. It’s also important to consider what type of support will be needed for both solutions over that same period, which can be difficult. The cloud may seem like a trend, but it doesn’t show any signs of going away anytime soon. Whether or not it’s right for your business is dependent on many factors, but it’s certainly worth considering.
These days, the “cloud” is all the rage. As cloud services expand and proliferate, more and more business owners are transferring line of business applications to the cloud. This has many people wondering, “Should I be hopping on the bandwagon? Do cloud services make sense for my small business?” The answer depends on your business environment, the size of your company, and what types of applications your business uses in its day-to-day operations. When a company decides to implement cloud services into their workflow, it essentially means that, instead of having an application that you use hosted in your office, you use the same application hosted by an outside provider, through the internet. The simplest example is email. Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Office 365 are all examples of popular cloud services for mail. You access these programs through your browser or email client, but the back-end servers running the programs are hosted by the providing companies in a remote location.
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Bacon and Spinach
Recipe inspired by paleoplan.com. FRITTATA
• • • • • •
12 large eggs
½ cup full-fat coconut milk 6 slices bacon, chopped 4 cups spinach, chopped ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
4. Add the spinach to skillet and cook until just wilted. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. 5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until eggs are set. 6. Top with cooked bacon before serving.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Whisk the eggs with the
coconut milk in a large bowl. Set aside. 3. Cook bacon in a skillet till crisp.
Remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Leave fat in skillet.
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From Typewriters to Servers
How to Break 1 Million Views
Sorting Food at the Idaho Foodbank
Should I Use Cloud Services for My Small Business?
Bacon and Spinach Frittata
Book Review: ‘Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You’
Book Review: ‘Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You’ The DOC Method’s Practical Guide for Professional Growth
When Clay Mathile, owner of the Iams pet food company, sold his business for $2.3 billion, he still had decades of business experience to offer. Eager to share the professional management system he developed in the face of owning a private business, Mathile founded Aileron, a nonprofit dedicated to helping private businesses establish sustainable growth. “Thinking and planning is an ongoing business process,” Mathile states. “And it requires a leader to focus on three key areas: direction , operation , and control [the DOC method].” • Leadership: To start, a business manager must always be transforming themselves into an effective leader. They do this by being self-aware, staying respectful of others, and holding to their personal values. • Strategy: Rather than follow a strict process, true strategic planning relies on in-depth thinking, talking, reviewing, and learning to “prioritize resources and retain a sustainable, competitive advantage over the competition.” DIRECTION
• People Development: Employees are the driving force of every company, and by fostering talent through expanded responsibilities, educational opportunities, and accountability, leaders can create a passionate workforce more aligned with their vision.
• Culture: An important step in creating a team, specific choices must be made to foster a unique and cohesive environment to build “a respectful workplace setting and provide a sense of purpose to workers.” • Performance Management: An outside board comprised of impartial, third-party individuals can focus on “big picture” issues, monitoring individual and collective performances that can be improved when needed. “Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You” is a valuable resource to all business leaders, regardless of industry or the current size of their business. Mathile’s blueprint for long-term goals offers strategies for greater focus, sustainable growth, and an end to 16-hour work days.
• Business Structure: An amazing strategy means very little without effective operations to manage resources.
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