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Bits and Pieces
 
We've been busy at Portland Internetworks and there's much to report. Too much for this small space, though, so I thought I'd simply share with you some headlines!
  • Portland Internetworks was invited to the Cisco Small Midmarket Business Advisory Board. Of the tens of thousands of Cisco Partners worldwide, only a few dozen have been asked to help shape Cisco's SMB products, services, and strategy. Members of the SMB Advisory Board are also privy to new products prior to rollout and release, and meet twice annually. I can't wait to meet my new colleagues in Pinehurst, NC this May.
  • On the heels of a successful network project for 100 retail outlets across the U.S., we were engaged by the same European-headquartered multinational to expand the rollout to another 80+ outlets. We've got to keep the client nameless, but we were happy to meet our contact in Orlando FL recently and thrilled to keep working together!
  • We began deploying new security offerings to our managed IT customers recently, including Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS) and KnowBe4 (ransomware prevention training for end users). We have also begun to deploy Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility & Security on a limited basis for enhanced mobile device management and data rights protection. We held a Security Tech Talk at a recent Portland Winter Hawks game which was well-attended and well-received. If you missed it but are interested in learning more, please get in touch!
  • Our staff continues to grow, and to accommodate more people in the same physical space, we made investments in Jarvis Sit/Stand desks from Fully (formerly ErgoDepot). We learned a lot as we shopped around and I'm happy to share our experiences if you're looking to make a change in your office furniture strategy.
  • We currently have a few Sit/Stand desks to fill, including openings supporting our sales and service teams. Check out our current job postings on our website and tell your friends. Also, be on the lookout for refreshes to our web site this month as we update it to improve its mobile-friendliness!
  • 2017 marks our Twentieth Birthday! To celebrate, we are having the Mother of All Birthday Parties on July 20th. Plans are still coming together, but we expect it will be bigger and better than ever. Help us celebrate what only about 21.3% of businesses started in 1997 have achieved! Save the date and watch for your invitation.
  • I'm writing this article in Manchester, England in preparation for a performance with the Stockport Symphony Orchestra. To share some of my tools and tips for keeping connected with the business while out of state or on another country, I'm presenting a Lunch & Learn event at our office on April 26. RSVP today to exchange experiences staying productive while you're away.
Happy Spring, everyone! 
 
Doug Westervelt 
President/CEO
Hang Out With Us Offline
April 5th - Happy Birthday, Paul Nickila!
 
April 10th - Happy Birthday, Jason Moss!
 
Wednesday, April 12th
 
April 14th - Happy Birthday, Andy Zirkle!
April 16th - Happy Birthday, Joe Hamilton!
 
Wednesday, April 26th
 
Save-the-Date: Thursday, July 20th
Portland Internetworks now offers a Security Awareness service which includes phishing simulations to identify users who are prone to clicking links they shouldn't...
 
   

You will never see him show up with anything less than a friendly smile, a crisp shirt, and an attention to detail that he wields like a Jedi Master... 
 
   
After three generations of firm leadership and nearly 60 years of consistent innovation, Bora is still shaping the architectural landscape across the Pacific Northwest... 
 
   
Don't compromised your private business data with bad passwords. Take advantage of ShoreTel's Simple Password Detection Tools...
 
   
New Clients




Links Worth Sharing
BIM's 'Google Docs for buildings' is transforming architecture - but could it kill creativity? - Wired Magazine

Wi-Fi Security 101 - Malwarebytes Labs  

Cloud Computing - The MIT Press: Essential Knowledge Series 
 
9 Tips to Secure Your Unified Communications System - ShoreTel Blog

Did you know that Portland Internetworks has a resource page for all your billing and support needs? Get faster service here.  
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Resolve to Protect Your Business

 
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Resolve to Protect Your Business
Doug
Happy 2017, Faithful Readers!
 
Our team was busy the final week of 2016 working on proposals and projects for our many customers. My reading on our customers' business confidence and overall economic climate was largely positive despite all the political controversy and sad passings in the news. We, too, are optimistic for continued business growth in 2017 and look forward to helping our clients meet their business objectives in the new year!
 
One of my themes for 2017 will be the protection of all the hard work and investment we business owners and managers have put into our companies over the years. As the statistics continue to alarm us and point to greater risks and costs of data breaches, I plan to make IT security part of every business conversation. We will be discussing security more comprehensively and with greater priority with all customers to battle the increasing peril that small and medium sized businesses face every day.
 
Accordingly, we will begin featuring more information about data security that businesses should address in order to protect their people, property, and resources. Improving security in each of these areas will add up to a layered and comprehensive set of policies and improvements to greatly reduce threats to your business.
 
Of course, if improving your technology security position is something that can't wait for twelve months, let's talk. I'll share our comprehensive security plan that we will be offering to customers in 2017 and see how your company can benefit quickly.
 
Doug Westervelt 
President/CEO 
Did you know?
 
Portland Internetworks has a Customer Portal that allows you to access your ticket information, create service requests, print invoices, and pay your bills online? You no longer have to pick up the phone or search your inbox to get the latest status updates. We can even assign unique logins and privileges to each member of your organization. It's an efficient way for you to take control of your account information and stay informed.

For more on how to access this feature, contacts us at (503) 972-7272 or email us at support@pdx.net.    
Upcoming Events
  
Jan 3rd - Happy Birthday Derek

Jan 11th - Happy Birthday John!
 
Wednesday, January 11th
Meet Jeff & Jason at the Slammer Tavern
 
Jan 15th - Happy Birthday Brandon!
 
Wednesday, January 25th
10 Meraki Tips We Love - Lunch & Learn

 
Jan 25th - Happy Birthday Joani 
 
Send us your ideas for future events:
What topics pair well with lunch?
 
 
Meet us at our office on January 25th for a casual and informative Lunch and Learn with our Sr. Enterprise Network Engineer, Tim, and his team. They will be demoing their 10 favorite Cisco Meraki tips and tricks from 2016 and discussing how to get the most out of Meraki's Dashboard and cloud-managed networking devices. Make sure you RSVP today to save yourself a seat and a specially catered lunch from Elephants Delicatessen (our treat!). Food will arrive at 11:30 a.m., the talk begins at 12:00 p.m.
 
Where: Portland Internetworks 532 SE Clay St, Portland, OR 97214
 
When: Wednesday, January 25th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  
New Clients
Meet the Crew
 
Doug's Book Review
I've spent a lot of time traveling in the last couple months, and I find it much easier to tear through a stack of books while on the road than at home. Alain De Botton's book,
A Week At The Airport, was one of three books that came with me on a recent trip. Botton who writes non-fiction observations on the questions of ordinary life, is invited by the owner of London's Heathrow Airport to become its "writer-in-residence" to document the newly opened T5 terminal. His desk is a public workspace in the departures hall, he's billeted at the adjacent Sofitel hotel, and is prohibited from leaving the airport grounds during the week-long course of his employment. The result is a collection of conversations, musings, and photographs describing one place that generates so much anxiety for some travels and respite for others. As a frequent traveler that enjoys the hustle and bustle of traveler junctions and the promise of being whisked away to faraway lands, this short book was a refreshing accompaniment to my business flight.
 
If this review has inspired any thoughts or recommendations, I would love to hear from you. I will also send a copy of A Week at the Airport to the first 10 people who ask.    
  Joe's ShoreTel Tip 
  Joe Hamilton, ShoreTel Specialist
  971-717-6875

Making Servers Bright!

 
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86 Points of Light
Doug
One mantra I've been saying for years at Portland Internetworks is "We can solve nearly any problem that we know about". The sad obverse to this statement is that we rarely can solve a problem that's unknown.
 
I'm as guilty as the next person: I quietly stop patronizing a favorite restaurant because the service feels apathetic. A pair of newly purchased shoes sit in the closet, ignored, because they don't fit quite right. I stew in silence because a delegated task doesn't quite get done to my liking.
 
So, I'm highly motivated to elicit feedback from our customers as to the quality and speed of the services we provide. One of my peers once told me that they really liked negative feedback because it gave them the opportunity to fix a problem before it was too late. What's worse is to be fired or rejected for reasons you never find out!
 
To address this in 2016, we implemented a customer satisfaction tool called SmileBack whereby we send out the briefest of surveys upon completing user service requests. If you've seen the green happy face, red sad face buttons at airports, you get the idea. Of course, we also encourage written comments, but the idea was to increase the volume of feedback first, and then work on depth second.
 
The results of our surveys are posted in real-time on our office dashboard TVs and kick off automated processes if we get negative (or even neutral) responses. It's true that the mood sinks in the office when we receive negative or neutral feedback, but we've also now fully appreciate the opportunity to make corrective action when we don't meet our clients' expectations.
 
I'm happy to report that the effort is paying off: As I write this, we have received 86 feedback surveys in the last 20 business days. We're not perfect, but the current score shows 82 positive results, 3 neutral experiences, and 1 opportunity to correct a client that we let down. This calculates to a "Net Customer Satisfaction Score" of 94.2 which I'm proud to share with you. What's even better are the brief comments left by our customers recently, such as:
 
"It was fast and efficient with friendly service. Thank you very much!"
 
"Jeffrey was super helpful and knowledgeable."
 
"Simple solution to a seemingly complicated problem J"
 
"Response was immediate. Wesley was pleasant to work with."
 
"Excellent quick service, as always."

 
Now, I'm certain that we will have moments of disappointment, but I'm hoping that these rarities will be shared with us so we can make every other experience much like what we hear from other customers.
 
If you're interested in learning more about how Portland Internetworks measures its customer satisfaction performance, or if you're interested in learning more about the end user support services we offer, drop me a note and let's chat!
 
Doug Westervelt 
President/CEO
IT Security in the News
 
Yesterday, Yahoo's CISO announced a major security breach, whereby 1 billion users accounts were compromised in 2013. The announcement comes just months after reports of a smaller attack in 2014, which was, at the time, the largest corporate hack in history. As threats like these grow more frequent and more sophisticated, it is important to take immediate steps to improve our personal security. Try starting with these 3 today:
  1. Change your passwords.
  2. Adopt multi-factor authentication everywhere.
  3. Avoid clicking on links or attachments from suspicious emails.
Upcoming Events
 
Dec 26th - Closed for the Holiday!
 
Jan 3rd - Happy Birthday Derek!
 
Jan 11th - Happy Birthday John!
 
Wednesday, January 11th 
Meet Jeff & Jason at the Slammer Tavern
 
Jan 15th - Happy Birthday Brandon!
 
Jan 25th - Happy Birthday Joani!


 

 
Collaborate with us on events:  What topics do you think pair well with lunch?
Announcements
Congratulations Trevor and Karissa! Baby Kadence was born happy and healthy in the wee hours on October 26th. She's 8 pounds of pure joy. Just look at that face...So cute!
Are you on the Portal?
The customer portal is a great way to stay on top of your open tickets, pay invoices, and much more. Visit our support page to request a login and stay tuned for more tips!
 
Let it snow!
When the weather outside is frightful, we may have to support you remotely. The best way to reach us is by  visiting pdx.net/support or calling (503) 972-7272, anytime 24/7/365.
 
New Customers

Meet the Crew
Doug's Leadership Book Review
In November, the Portland Internetworks Leadership Team held its semi-annual strategy retreat in Orlando, Florida to coincide with the annual Managed IT Services Conference, IT Nation. After attending industry trend panel discussions, vendor booths, management breakout sessions, and inspiring keynote speeches, we got busy looking forward to 2017 and 2018 with big goals and SMART objectives. We are a team looking forward to next year with motivation and vigor!
 
As is our custom, the leadership team briefly morphed into a book club and we all discussed   Crucial Conversations - Tools for talking when stakes are high by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler. What constitutes a Crucial Conversation? The authors describe them this way:
 
"A discussion between two or more people where (1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong."
 
What are some examples? The discussion of fence placement with your volatile next-door neighbor. The discussion between employee and boss regarding a possible promotion. The choice of a new marketing strategy between four other coworkers each with disparate opinions on what will achieve the next year's goals. Some other gems included:
  • Ending a relationship
  • Asking a friend to repay a loan
  • Critiquing a colleague's work
  • Talking to a coworker about a personal hygiene problem
Yowsa!

I enjoyed the description of our typical behavior when facing a Crucial Conversation: "Silence or Violence" Silence describes when a participant avoids, withdraws or masks the controversial topic. Violence consists of a verbal strategy of controlling, labeling, or attacking the other party in order to compel others to a way of thinking. Yep, I've been guilty of both, and so had been everyone in our book club.
 
I won't reveal all the book's secrets but I will send a copy of the book to the first 10 people who ask! I will also say that each of us agreed that awareness, practice, and a second or even third read of the book would go a long way to improving our effectiveness in managing Crucial Conversations. In fact, several of us utilized recommended methods to navigate some prickly discussions for the rest of the weekend and later reported that the book had beneficial results in delicate conversations at home.
 
So, six thumbs up for Crucial Conversations from the Portland Internetworks team! If you're following along, our next Leadership Book Club book is The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you've read either of these books, let me know what you think!
 
Doug Westervelt 
President/CEO 
  Joe's ShoreTel Tip 
  Joe Hamilton, ShoreTel Specialist
  971-717-6875

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