Some people might wonder what a semi-automatic espresso machine is doing in the office of an IT company. The truth is, that silver beauty says as much about our values as a company as it does to our roots as an Atlanta startup.
During Ripple’s formative years, Mike met Tony Riffel, a fellow transplant to Atlanta who was starting his own small business: Octane Coffee Company. Mike approached him about Octane being an early adopter of Ripple’s Free WiFi campaign, and explained that it would benefit Octane as much as it would Internet-hungry Atlantans, who were eager to have more WiFi-enabled places from which to work. As a former employee of Octane myself, and a current Rippler, I was able to get Tony to spill the beans (horrible pun intended) on those early years.
Being in a Results-Only Work Environment company means that the lines of communication between coworkers must always be open, particularly when people are working both in and outside the office. Ripplers not only have to stay in communication with each other, but we’re always aiming to improve our processes for finding information and solving problems.
Part of how we do that is by using applications that inform other Ripplers of where we are, what we’re working on, and when we’re done for the day. One tool we’ve really taken to is the social networking application Yammer.
First, a rebrand with new logo and site design. Then, a billboard in Midtown, Atlanta. Now, the first Ripple-branded MINI® is on the road! You just might spot our field tech, Alfredo, driving this slick piece of modern machinery around town, but please hold off on getting him to come out until there’s a naturally occurring IT problem at your office. Until then, we’ve got some pretty pictures to satisfy the curious. No need to spill kool-aid on your keyboard just to get a peek.
We mentioned Adobe’s push into the subscription pricing model when they released Creative Suite 5.5. At the time they also announced that they were going to be releasing new full releases every 18 months and half releases every 9 months, and true to their word this month they announced Creative Suite 6. With CS 6 they have also announced Adobe Creative Cloud, which I think is one of the best developments to come out of Adobe since they added transparency to Illustrator.
If you haven’t seen, Pardot was awarded the Best Workplace in Atlanta by the AJC last week. It was no fluke – they earned it.
I have known David Cummings (one of the Pardot co-founders) since 2007. I’ve watched as he built – with great discipline, the culture that makes Pardot such a great place to work.
Most companies are aware by now that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) exists and that they should probably try to do something about getting their companies as well-ranked as possible. For business, there are plenty of SEO firms and inbound marketing tools to chose from.
But what about for people? Do you see what you want to see when people search for you personally? Does your LinkedIn profile show up? Your website? Or do people find some other person or worse yet, inaccurate information? continue reading
Marketing carries with it the baggage of being a one-way conversation. So, the question for those in the field becomes, “How do I make people aware of something without it seeming like a blatant ad?” For me, personally, I had always assumed that the key was dressing up promotion in flowery descriptions and big words. But what I thought made me seem like an authority on the subject was actually keeping people from connecting with my writing.
When I started at Ripple, my boss (he hates it when I call him that — sorry Mike) knew that I had been raised in a sales-friendly family. More specifically, my parents were self-employed insurance agents for over 30 years. They had always told me that sales were the reason we could go on camping trips, vacation at the beach, and watch cable tv. And that’s definitely true. But what I didn’t quite get until I started working at Ripple, is that the sales they brought in weren’t what made them successful. It was their attitude toward their clients that created loyalty, and kept food on the table. continue reading
We’ve already talked about IT in the lean years (Part One), and discussed some of the more traditional options for startups and small companies (Part Two). So, this is where we get right down to what makes the most sense to us Ripplers. That is, providing IT services that are proactive about potential problems, upfront about costs, and most importantly, humanizing.
Eight to ten years ago many businesses added WiFi networks to their offices using what was ubiquitous at the time. Namely, inexpensive access points like the Linksys WAP54G (don’t take that the wrong way, it’s a great WAP and we still have love for this venerable old workhorse). Many people had similar devices installed at home, and since they worked fine there, well why not the office too? And for most folks they did work fine at the office. If you had 30 people in the office but only 3 of them had laptops, an inexpensive consumer-grade wireless access point could keep up just fine.
Fast forward to 2012 and these days most small businesses (well the majority of small businesses we service anyway) run predominantly on laptops. Some are 100% laptops, with no desktop computers in sight. Heck some of our clients don’t have assigned desks, they just have work spaces that employees float into and out of, and in places like that everyone is all wireless, all the time.
In Part One of The Stages of IT, we discussed the options for very small businesses and beginning startups. But what’s best for those companies that have made it past the lean years? Well, there are two traditional options:
1. Hire an IT technician that can be in the office all the time.
2. Pay hourly for call-in IT consultants to fix problems when they happen.