Join Us! For our bimonthly Educational Series Workshop-Cybersecurity

Each online workshop focuses on technology that impacts your business the most.  Through this online workshop, you will get a chance to interact with other business owners and executives, and have direct access to our top engineers.  AND we will buy a “virtual” lunch through GRUB HUB!

 

Cyber Security

ARE YOU SECURE?

Are Your Employees Secure?

Are Your Customers Secure?

Is your Data Secure?

HOW SECURE IS YOUR IT PROVIDER?

Having answers to these questions is imperative for today’s business owners and professionals.

Join us for answers

Thursday March 11th

12:30 – 1:30 Mountain Time

Register HERE:

Workshop Registration

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Expand Your Desktop

Windows 10 allows users to expand their desktop by using additional desktops.

expand-desktop

Click on the icon to the right of the search bar, what looks like stacked boxes. This is the Task View.

At the top of the Task View screen, select New Desktop.

Once there are multiple desktops, they can be cycled through by holding the Ctrl+Win Key and pressing the Right or Left arrow keys.

Owner Interview

Joe Turnbough:

  1. What helped you decide to found/become an owner of Optimum Networking?

I decided to found Optimum Networking because I always wanted to become an entrepreneur. When I was a Marine, I used to build PCs and sell them on base to various other Marines. I really enjoyed that and I kind of had a bug for it. I realized when I got out of the Marines that bug never left me. I started working in engineer

ing at CH2MHill as my first civilian job and met another gentleman named Tracy who also had an entrepreneurial bug.  He and I decided to start Optimum Networking and get into the IT business. IT has always be

en a passion of mine and business has always been a passion of mine. Coupling those things together seemed like the right thing to do.

  1. As an owner of Optimum, what are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the company we built over the past 26 years. We started with hardly any capital whatsoever and we’ve been able to build up a great team of professionals.  We have a great culture here; it is like a family where everyone cares about everybody and get along very well.  We all work hard to service our clients and provide tons of value for them. That’s what I’m most proud of.

  1. What are some of your favorite memories over the years?

My favorite memories have to be around some of the tough challenges we’ve taken on.  We have managed several mergers and acquisitions (for our clients) over the past several years. We had a client who would purchase assets from another company, and we would have to untangle all those assets and put a solid design together to put in new pieces and integrate old pieces, migrate all the data and get them up and running on their own environment— all within a short period of time, usually withing 90 to 120 days.  There was a contract and budget we needed to work with called a Transition Service Agreement (TSA) where they have a requirement to get off the systems within 90-120 days. We’ve always been up to the challenge to get the work done in that time frame. That is one of the things I’m most proud of, to be nimble enough to work through that and have enough knowledge and experience to pull that off without a hitch.

  1. You’ve been doing this a long time. What keeps you fresh and “in the game?”

One of the things that keeps me fresh is always looking at the new technologies out there and the tools that we need to keep us sharp.  To accomplish this, I joined a peer advisory group a couple of years ago. This allows me to sit down with other professionals across the country that are also in the MSP space and we openly talk about things that work well and don’t work well and different tools we’ve tried that are beneficial or not so beneficial and it helps us decide about the things we should be thinking about and validates what we are doing well or not so well.  Also, it helps identify where we should be long term.  It makes us work on the business instead of in the business.  Otherwise, if I wasn’t in a peer advisory group, I would be working tactically inside the business. This forces me to step away, give a 30,000-foot view which is another angle to work “on” instead “in” the business. Also, the nature of IT is always changing.

  1. If current of future clients need to know one thing about optimum, what would it be?

I would say it is the care factor. We absolutely care about our clients and we really want to partner with them. We don’t want our clients to feel like we are just a vender to them. We are part of their IT team and we bring a lot of value to the table with many years of investment in the various tools and processes we’ve put together.  So, I would like our clients to know that we are a partner with them, and we care about their data, information and business as much as they do.

Service Tag

If a user needs the service tag (serial number) of a device, yes they can flip over the device and read the sticker. But what if the sticker is faded or missing? Or what if the device is buried on a desk? Or what if the technician is just not crazy about flipping over a chassis to read tiny characters?

  • Open a PowerShell window (does not need to be admin)
    serial number
hostname

Hostname Directory

Often when working with users, the need may arise to have the name of the computer (hostname). Users may not know where to find the name of the computer easily. This is a simple function to paste the hostname on the taskbar, which can also be used as a directory to store commonly used files or tools.

  1. Open a PowerShell window (does not need to be admin)
  2. Enter the following commands:

    • This sets the variable “dirName” with the path to the folder to create. The Env:ComputerName is an environmental variable which pulls the NetBIOS name.
    • The second command is a conditional statement that checks the filepath for a directory with a name that matches with the name set in the previous command. If there is no directory found, one is created.
  3. To paste it to the taskbar, right click on the taskbar >> select Toolbars (at the top) >> New Toolbar >> navigate to the directory just created, select it, and click Select Folder.
  4. The directory will be saved as a supplementary toolbar on the taskbar.
  5. To access the directory and save files there, right-click on the name (ON-ROC-LT30) and select Open Folder. That will open a File Explorer instance and allow the user to save files there.
  6. The name of the directory will not be automatically updated if the name of the computer is changed, the whole process would need to be run again.
Battery Report

Battery Report

When troubleshooting a battery or charging issue on a laptop, it can be helpful to have a report on the health of the battery itself. This can help determine if the failing component is the battery or the power brick.

  1. Open Command Prompt (does not need to be admin)
    • WinKey + R >> type “cmd”
  2. Enter command

  1. The command will create a Battery Life Report and save it to C:\Users\<username>\battery-report.html.
  2. If the battery is fully discharged and cannot hold a charge any longer, the report will indicate that.

Tech Tip – Use Taskbar Settings to Configure the Taskbar to Show all Icons in the Notification Area

Here’s a good tip for the savvy computer user.  Use Taskbar Settings to configure the Taskbar to Show all Icons in the Notification Area.

The Icons displayed on the Taskbar are not static, they change over time to reflect the current status of the associated applications.  So if you let Windows Hide some of these Icons, which is the default setting, then you will potentially miss when an application tries to alert you to an issue via the taskbar icon.

Here’s how my taskbar looks with the default settings…

If I click on the ^(caret symbol) above I will see that Windows has hidden a lot of information from me.

All of those icons are associated with programs currently running on my computer, and do you see how some have green dots by them?  Well those green dots can become red dots, indicating there is a problem, or some other status.  If the icons are hidden, we will completely miss that there is an issue that should likely be addressed.

So I think it is important to have full visibility into these icons.  To do this, right click on the taskbar and go to Taskbar Settings.

Scroll down to the Notification area, and click on “Select which icons appear on the taskbar.”

Turn on “Always show all icons in the notification area”

Voila!  Now all of the notification icons will be at a glance away in your taskbar and you will be the better informed computer user that has taken proactive steps to improving their computing experience!

Congratulations!

-John

Optimum Networking is Smiling Back at YOU!

Technical support is at the core of what we do at Optimum Networking.  We utilize the latest technologies, the best tools and best of breed hardware and hosted platforms.

When it comes right down to it, technical support is not only about technology.  It is about people supporting people. As a business owner, you want to be assured that in your company’s darkest IT hour, your IT support team will not only be competent and efficient, but they will also genuinely care about resolving your problem.

 

Optimum Networking is built around our Support Desk. The talented engineers on this team are broken into pods, each of which support a dedicated client list.  Engineers are trained to raise their hands if they are not able to resolve an issue quickly and ask their team members for support.  Our Support Desk hours are Monday-Friday 6AM-6PM with the on-call engineers filling in evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Our Support Desk engineers are handpicked for both their technical and people skills, and we implement ongoing training in both areas. They are also full-time employees.  We do not outsource our Support Desk offshore or to a generic call center. Because we do not outsource, we maintain the highest level of quality and the fastest communication to resolve some of the trickiest technical calls. Quality local support for our valued clients is our top priority when it comes to Support Desk services.

 

To ensure that our team is meeting and exceeding our goal of service excellence, we listen to our clients through the Smile Back Program.  Smile back is a tool we implemented in March of 2016.  Since then, we have been encouraging our clients to give us feedback on each service ticket we work on with them.  The results have demonstrated our commitment to excellence.

A recent report showed that our response rate for this program is at 65.5%.  That number is remarkable, if you consider how busy our clients are on a day-to-day basis. Despite this, they take the time to give our team the feedback it needs to continually improve.

 

And how did our team do?  The same report revealed that our positive responses are at 97.7 percent, 2.7 percent above the industry benchmark.  We also revived many positive comments like:

“Jim was so, so professional, smart pleasant and problem solved our long-winded problem until it was completed. The next day Ryan followed up to make sure we were happy”

“Miriam had an idea of what the problem was and quickly resolved the issue!  Thank you!!

“Nate was very helpful in resolving my issue and explaining why it happened and what to do if I experience it again. He was kind and courteous!”

And these are just a few of many.

 

The men and women on the Support Desk work hard to resolve our clients’ issues, so this type of feedback really makes their day.

Of course, nobody is perfect. We need to hear from our clients even when things are not going well.  In these cases, we have our Support Desk Manger and Account Managers who quickly follow-up to resolve any outstanding issues.

With our dedicated team, best of breed technologies, Smile Back program and dedicated Account Managers, Optimum Networking stays focused on what is most important—People supporting People.

PCs for People Partnership

You’ve heard about a “win-win” right?

Well, how about a win-win-win-win-win?

Optimum Networking’s partnership with PCs for People is just that.  Let me explain…

Win #1: Optimum’s Service

As a Managed Service Provider for over 160 clients, our customers have IT equipment they no longer need or can use.  This includes old desktops, monitors, laptops–even servers, switches and battery backups. As we do with all areas of IT, we solve these problems by providing our clients with a safe and efficient method of disposing of this “e-waste”. For Optimum clients, their IT problem is our opportunity for a solution.

Win #2: PCs for People

PCs for People is an e-waste recycler Optimum partners with.  They provide safe, responsible disposal of e-waste:

PCs for People provides free pick up and recycling* of electronic waste from businesses, educational and governmental organizations. PCs for People has both NAID AAA and R2 certifications, meaning your data is protected through strict adherence to the highest standards of information destruction, hard drive sanitization, and all recycling is environmentally responsible. Since PCs for People accepts nearly all electronic waste – including computers, peripherals, monitors, cables, drives, and more – you need just one company.  Read more about their awesome program at: https://www.pcsforpeople.org/recycling/.

Our primary concern at Optimum Networking is the safe, secure management of all our clients’ equipment–including equipment they no longer need.  But PCs for People goes far above and beyond just recycling e-waste, which leads to…

Win#3: Giving Back

PCs for People gives back to the community. Once the critical data is disposed of, PCs for People repurposes the equipment they harvest when possible, and they become a critical resource to nonprofit businesses and deserving individuals who need technology to help themselves and others.  They also provide low-cost internet for adults and children in need.

In addition, PCs for People has been recognized by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (also an Optimum Client) for their Impact Denver Program.  This program recognizes leading nonprofit organizations that impact our communities and assists them with leadership development and exposure. Read more at: https://denverleadership.org/impactdenver/ .

 

 

Win #4: The Current Demand

We are in the middle of a crisis that most of us have never experienced in our lifetimes.  For many of us, we have access to technology so we can quickly pivot and work from home.  While this is not ideal, our children can school from home on their parent’s equipment or learn on their own computers.

But we are not all so fortunate.  Think about men and women who have lost their jobs, and do not have computers and laptops they can use to work (or look for work) from home.  In the future economy, working from home on computers will be critical if not required. Due to our current crises, this has quickly become the new reality.

Children are also in desperate need. School districts are doing all they can, but the demand for computers so students can safely school from home is out of control. This may not change either once the pandemic is under control.  Now that the districts know they can do more remote learning, they may require more home engagement on snow days and other days kids would otherwise be in the classroom.

Joe Turnbough—founder, co-owner and CEO of Optimum Networking—is proud our partnership with PCs for People. Joe believes in giving back whenever possible, and relationship offers a natural way to accomplish this.

Win #5 Give Back to build a better world…

It is currently winter, and it is cold outside.  Most of us have a jacket, hat, gloves to keep us warm.  If we had an old coat or other warm clothing we no longer use, we would gladly share it with the less fortunate.

Computers are no different.  Look in your homes, offices and other places you use technology.  There is undoubtedly old equipment including desktops, laptops, tablets or cell phones that is doing you no good, is taking up space, and if there is data on them, may be a liability for you personally and professionally. According to John Sharer—Regional Account Executive for PCs for People–Over 60% of PC for People clients have never owned a computer in their lifetime.  Think of what a difference you could make in someone’s life.

Contact Optimum Networking or PCs for People today by clicking the link below or giving us a call.  We will help you donate your equipment in a safe environmentally friendly way.  A burden for you could prove to be a lifeline for a child or adult in need at this critical time in their lives.

Thank you.

https://optimumnetworking.com/

https://www.pcsforpeople.org/denverco/

 

Optimum Networking

Grateful Thankful

During this holiday, at a time when things we once took for granted are now often inaccessible, it is an even more crucial time to express thanks.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful thing to do, and “thanks-getting” is a wonderful thing to receive.

Here at Optimum Networking, our engineers and staff are focused on our clients’ success. Busy professionals who are stressed out about their computer issues call us for a quick resolution so they can get their jobs done.  This can be a thankless job some days, but other days, our engineers get amazing feedback.

For example, here are a few of the testimonials we have received:

“I contacted Optimum Networking when my previous provider was falling short both in project and ongoing support.  I’m the IT Manager of a growing company and my team and I needed reliable support.  Optimum Networking worked with us on a migration, SharePoint project and helped us integrate the technology of a company we acquired.  We then contracted them to support our network and servers and they are on call for when my team and me need additional advice or assistance.  They have been professional, well organized and efficient. It is a relief compared to previous vender experiences.  The biggest complement I can give Optimum is the degree of personal trust and integrity they put forth in every interaction.  Calling them with a problem is like calling a trusted friend who really cares about your issue.”

“As the office manager for a small but growing business, I’ve done my best to leverage our employee’s expertise and have called in some ‘one-off’ contractions, but in the end, our IT needs got too much.  We were having persistent networking issues that limited our productivity, and then we had major issue with our Microsoft 365.  Optimum Networking was able to quickly address the issue, clean up our network, and will provide the proactive support our company needs to function at peak performance.  The ownership was very grateful that I found Optimum Networking, and I am too.  Thanks Optimum!”

“To all of you (Regarding making an emergency stop after a power outage) –That was stellar customer support and I really, really appreciate it!”

“This is an overdue thank you note.  I want to personally thank you for the excellent customer service and account support you have provided to FDG Products. Your special attention began from the very inception of the services provided by Optimum when we had an “IT crisis” with a viral email. You responded immediately to give us the proper technical support.  My Administrator has informed me that you personally follow up on all issues that require special attention. We are pleased with the services provided by Optimum Networking and I can say that much of that customer satisfaction comes from the fact that we have the ideal Account Manager.”

“Optimum Networking has been the best information technology addition to our company since the advent of the personal computer!”

When our hardworking engineers hear feedback like this, it makes everything they do worthwhile.

Not only are our clients thankful for us, we are deeply grateful for our clients.  We know everyone has a choice of IT providers, and we will continue to earn your business and trust through hard work and dedication to our core values:

Gratitude      Integrity          Trust          Optimism           Commitment          Service Minded

I would like to personally thank all of our clients both for what you do to make our world a better place, and for continuing to trust Optimum Networking with your IT Support.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jonathan Defez
Business Development Manager
Optimum Networking