Tag Archives: IT

Calfee06

Cassidy Turley Completes 69,471 SF Lease for 1st United Door Technologies

Cassidy Turley announced it completed a lease for 69,471 square feet for 1st United Door Technologies, LLC at Geneva Industrial, 1016 W. Geneva Drive in Tempe. Senior Vice President Bruce Calfee and Vice President Josh Wyss, of Cassidy Turley’s Industrial Group, represented the Tenant while Executive Vice Presidents Steve Sayre and Pat Harlan represented the Landlord, CLPF Geneva Industrial, LP (Phoenix).
1st United Door Technologies is a Tempe, Arizona based garage door manufacturer. The company specializes in steel and wood doors for both commercial and residential use. Ownership is comprised of the former owners and senior management of Anozira Door Systems. Since 1982, 1st United Door Technologies has been serving Homebuilders across the Nation with unique and distinctive garage doors that enhance the beauty and value of the Builders homes. With over 150 years of door installation and manufacturing experience, the management team is known for providing innovative and quality products at very competitive prices. The new Geneva Industrial location is part of a company expansion.
Built in 1981, Geneva Industrial is a ±69,471 square-foot, industrial manufacturing building. The property is part of the South Tempe Industrial Corridor and is in close to the I-10 and US-60 Freeways. The building is currently 100 percent leased.

networking

Survey: Quality Trumps Quantity When Networking

The more business acquaintances you have, the merrier you might be. But the quality of those contacts has a bigger impact on your career success, a new Robert Half Technology survey of information technology (IT) professionals suggests. Sixty-three percent of IT workers polled recently rated the quality of their professional network as “very important” to their overall career success, compared to 46 percent who felt the same way about the size of their network. When it comes to making new connections, (44 percent) of IT professionals surveyed prefer to network online and 22 percent favor doing it in person.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. The responses are from over 7,500 IT workers to a Web survey conducted by Robert Half Technology in February 2013.
IT professionals were asked, “How important is the quality of your professional network to your overall career success?” Their responses:

Very important: 63%
Somewhat important: 33%
Not important: 4%

IT professionals also were asked, “How important is the size of your professional network to your overall career success?” Their responses:

Very important: 46%
Somewhat important: 47%
Not important: 7%

“Knowing someone professionally and being willing to go to bat for that person are two different things,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “You may have hundreds of LinkedIn connections, but if the relationships are superficial, your contacts may not be very helpful when you’re seeking professional advice or assistance with a job search.”

Reed added, “Quality connections take time to establish, but they are a valuable career safety net, whether someone is just starting out or has many years of experience.”

Robert Half Technology provides five pitfalls to avoid when networking:

1. Losing touch. Keep the lines of communication open by offering a note of congratulations to a contact who was recently promoted or asking to meet for lunch. Set aside time each week for these types of networking activities.

2. Exhausting your resources. Most people are happy to help on occasion, but avoid overburdening one contact with repeated requests. Broaden your efforts and tap others in your network if you have trouble overcoming a particular career challenge.

3. Forgetting your p’s and q’s. A little gratitude can go a long way toward maintaining positive relationships. Always show appreciation to those who act on your behalf, even if their efforts don’t result in the desired outcome.

4. Taking a generalist approach. Instead of sending a mass email to everyone in your network asking for assistance, try customized, targeted messages to specific contacts.

5. Failing to return the favor. Networking is a two-way street: Look for opportunities to help your contacts whenever possible, and you’ll find that others are happy to do the same for you.

Broadway Health Center, 6550 Broadway, Mesa

Multi-Million Dollar Renovation Begins on 2 Medical Office Buildings in Mesa

 

Renovations have begun on Baywood Health Center and Broadway Health Center, two, 2-story medical office buildings in Mesa across the street from Banner Baywood Hospital.

Archway Holdings Corp. of Beverly Hills, Calif., which purchased the properties in February 2012, is implementing significant exterior and interior upgrades. Improvements to the properties include a complete redesign of their exterior façades, renovations to the interior lobbies and common areas, new garden and monument signage and water saving landscaping features.

Construction started in December 2012, with completion in March 2013. LGE Design Build is the general contractor; Cawley Architects will handle the design work.

Kelley Ahrens of CBRE’s Phoenix office will handle the leasing assignment for the property owner.

“In addition to repositioning the buildings into class A assets, Archway is providing tenants with generous improvement dollars to perform renovations to their individual office suites in order to keep up with the improvements to the buildings,” Ahrens said.

The assets are located directly across the street from Banner Baywood Medical Center, a 342-bed hospital providing complete acute care services to the East Valley communities of Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Fountain Hills and areas of northeastern Pinal County. The assets are also close to Leisure World, the largest retirement community in Metro Phoenix.

Baywood Health Center, a 36,127 SF medical office building is at 6553 E. Baywood Ave. Broadway Health Center, a 25,277 SF medical office building is at 6550 E. Broadway Rd. The properties are 83% and 19% leased, respectively.

“The renovations will not only add value to these properties, they will add significant value to the surrounding community too,” Ahrens said. “The new look and upgrades will attract additional healthcare professionals to the area, which, in turn, provide more medical services and create more jobs.”

 

Funding Startup Companies Jumpstart Economy

GPEC boosts state’s economy by attracting more foreign direct investment

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s California 50 program — which aimed to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to Phoenix for an opportunity to tour and explore the region’s business-friendly environment — proved to be so popular that they expanded it to 100 a week after its launch.

But it may be GPEC’s pitch to CEOs even farther away that makes the biggest impact on Arizona’s economy.

“GPEC is focused on a specific region in China, defined by Shanghai and 10 other cities connected by high-speed rail,” says Ron Butler, managing partner at Ernst & Young in Phoenix and co-chair of GPEC’s International Leadership Council. “This region (known as the ‘Z Corridor’) features China’s largest concentration of industries, including solar, medical device, IT, pharmaceuticals, high-tech manufacturing and chemicals. GPEC has made tremendous strides over the past several years in China, particularly with solar and renewable energy companies. Now, the organization is looking to leverage those relationships and expand into other, capital-intensive industries.”

GPEC’s effort is significant, Butler says, because export industries and foreign direct investment (FDI) drive economic growth, create wealth within the region, and tend to be capital-intensive operations that pay higher-than-average wages. Currently, FDI accounts for 73,000 jobs in Arizona and the state saw a 235 percent increase in FDI from 2005-2010, from just over $270 million to more than $904 million.

“By focusing on the Z corridor, a zone known for its solar, high-tech, bio-medical, and chemical industries, GPEC has identified a region that can appreciate what Arizona and — more importantly Arizona workers — can do well,” says Ilya A. Iussa, assistant professor of law at Phoenix School of Law.

But it’s not just investment from China that is giving Arizona an economic boost within the solar and renewable energy industries. In addition to China’s Suntech, the region has seen investments from Spain’s Rioglass and Abengoa, England’s Faist, Germany’s Solon, France’s Saint-Gobain, and Canada’s Cosma International.

“GPEC smartly targets the regions and countries that represent significant growth opportunities, like Canada, China and Western Europe, and works these markets with effective marketing and business development strategies,” Butler says. “Now, with a more concentrated effort underway in China and successful positioning as both a leader in the U.S. solar market and an on-the-record supporter of expanded free trade with China, the Greater Phoenix region is poised for amplified growth in FDI, particularly from China.”

Despite its success, experts says Arizona still has some work to do.

“Our neighboring states and biggest competitors far outrank us in national FDI and export-trade rankings,” Butler says. “California is first for FDI and second for exports, while Texas is second for FDI and first for exports. As such, we must continue evaluating our market for additional FDI and export industry opportunities, and look for ways to increase our competitiveness in these areas.”

Lawmakers have identified one area that needs to be addressed to gain a competitive edge on other states.

“One of the first things we should do is focus on developing a highly educated workforce that will attract companies and businesses looking to move their headquarters,” says Rep. Matt Salmon, R-5. “In addition, it is equally important for us to create a pro-business environment and that comes by reducing harmful regulations that hamper economic growth. Both would increase Arizona’s role in the global economy.”

In order to be increase its global presence and become more competitive with neighboring states like California and Texas, Butler says Arizona must increase the number of export industries operating in the state.

“We can increase our competitiveness for these types of investments,” he says, “with a targeted economic development program for export industries, similar to the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program (SB1403), which has brought significant investments to the region and the Qualified Facilities Tax Credit (HB2815), which expanded the successful renewable energy program to include qualified, export-based investments.”

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: What is cloud computing?

Question: What is cloud computing?

Answer: Everyone is talking about cloud computing.  So, what exactly is it and it is right for your business? Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

The real question is should you use a hosted or non-hosted cloud? In other words, does your company want to own the system or lease it?

We’re firm believers that owning is a better solution. There are so many variables in cloud computing that no one takes into consideration. Where are you geographically located? How reliable is your internet connect? Can you survive without access to your cloud system? These are just a few things to think about.

Some benefits of cloud computing are lower overhead and system maintenance. Lower cost of ownership and upgrades. To determine which solution is best you really need to sit with a IT consultant and map out the big picture of your company.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: Outsourcing vs. consultant

Question: In this economy, does it make more sense to outsource IT or utilize a consultant?
 
Answer: Outsourcing is more cost effective than a full time person and you gain 24/7 support, whereas an employee only works a certain shift like 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Outsourcing means you are getting more than just a single person who manages your network. You are a getting a team of experienced technicians who can handle all areas of telecommunications and technology.

Let’s say you have an IT issue in the middle of the night, Marcus Networking has the ability to connect remotely to most computers and take control of the user’s session and see what’s going on.  We can provide hands-on support without being onsite. Most issues are resolved within 15 minutes and that’s faster than it would be to wake a sleeping employee, have them get dressed and drive to the office.

If we find a problem with parts or equipment, we can generally purchase a replacement component and be on-site and have the issue fixed within an hour or two of the diagnosis.  Again, much more efficient than waiting for the employee to get to work and diagnose what’s going on.

In today’s marketplace, outsourcing is about 45 percent less than the cost of a full time employee.  When you consider salary, benefits, payroll taxes, mandatory workman’s compensation, vacation days, sick days, 401K’s or a bonus plan it adds up quickly. Outsourcing is an affordable option for many businesses who wish to get a higher level of work.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

87690275

Insight Names Dodenhoff as President

Insight Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:NSIT), a leading worldwide technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions, announced today that Steve Dodenhoff has been named president, Insight United States. Dodenhoff will report directly to Ken Lamneck, president and chief executive officer, Insight Enterprises.

In this new role, Dodenhoff will lead all aspects of the U.S. business, including sales, marketing, operations, services and profitability.

“As we continue to strive for growth and operational excellence globally, it is important that we remain focused and aligned with our partners and clients in the U.S.,” said Lamneck. “Steve has demonstrated an exceptional ability to build relationships while maintaining trust and transparency. His collaboration with the senior leadership team has already led to significant contributions to our business strategy. Steve’s background and experience complements our team and aligns to our key growth initiatives.”

Dodenhoff joined Insight in January this year as the senior vice president of human resources and business development. With over 20 years of experience in building and leading growth-oriented technology companies, he has brought a wealth of sales, service delivery and talent development skill to Insight. Before joining Insight, Dodenhoff was president of Enghouse Interactive and held senior leadership roles with Integrated Information Systems and MicroAge.

“It’s an exciting time in our industry and our clients are increasingly looking to Insight to provide the consulting, implementation and managed services that complement our world class IT product and software sales capabilities,” said Dodenhoff. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation in place with our teammates and our partners and ensuring we are well positioned to meet our client’s IT solutions needs going forward. “

The move  is effective immediately. Dodenhoff is based at Insight’s headquarters in Tempe.

Cloud Space

CX Claims Its Space In The Cloud

CX Inc. has declared its emergence in Cloud Space.

The company, whose initials stand for “cloud experience,” is a consumer-focused cloud computing company backed by TomorrowVentures and Hanna Capital with offices in Phoenix/Scottsdale; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. TomorrowVentures is the venture capital enterprise of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

“The Cloud” is a term that essentially refers to the Internet as a whole. When users access data on the Internet, Cloud Service data centers, managed by a third party, store and access that data. The data is securely stored and becomes available through the Internet itself, independent of what users have stored in their personal computers’ hard drives.

With CX Inc.’s cloud storage and data file management system, users have access to a safe platform in order to backup, synchronize, share and manage documents, photos, music and videos across various devices – including desktop computers, laptops, netbooks and mobile devices.

Brad Robertson, who has had 20 years of experience with technology startups, is the CEO of CX Inc. He says he hopes to offer users the most comprehensive and intuitive cloud management platform “bar none.”

Robertson says social networks, at the center of the digital universe, have irreversibly changed communication and group social dynamics. He says he believes the current model is imperfect, though, because users and files rely on the “Masters of the Universe.”

“At CX we intend to change all that,” said Robertson. He says he believed the future of social networks will be designed so that users are the “master of their own universe” and will dictate how their files are used and shared, taking control away from a “social hub behemoth.”

Provided By Flickr

Five Monopolies, Methods of Communication Losing Their Hold

1.

Landlines

According to CITA, an International Wireless nonprofit organization, 91% of Americans carry a cell phone as of 2009, and those numbers have continued to expand.  Now more than ever, with the growing popularity of the iPhone and Droid, cell phones have become both a necessity and an addiction.

In past decades, landlines were an essential part of the home, but with cell phone giants like Apple, wireless communication is quickly eliminating the need for both a home phone and cell.  Now, phones do much more than dial, and let’s be honest — landlines don’t have Angry Birds or Restaurant Finder Apps.

Landline Phones No More

2.

“Snail” Mail vs. Email

Once a monopoly on long-distance communication, mailing letters to friends or loved ones has been virtually phased out of everyday conversation and proven to be the least efficient means of interaction.  What was once a necessity for love notes, bank statements, and college acceptance letters, “snail” mail is quickly becoming replaced with the popularity of social media platforms and widespread use of email.

Since cell phone’s and the internet explosion in the early 1990’s, this generation’s lack of composition skills have been harshly scrutinized.  In 2009, The United States Postal Service stated that 177 billion pieces of mail were delivered in the US, compared to 14.4 trillion by email.  Now, young people rely heavily on a keyboard, 140 characters and auto-correct spelling.

"Snail" Mail Replaced by Email

3.

Newspapers

Electronic tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Pad, Amazon’s Kindle or the BlackBerry Playbook, have been 2010’s newest toy.  According to the Washington Post, “average daily circulation of all U.S. newspapers has been in decline since 1987″ and “has hit its lowest level in seven decades.”

Newspapers have been undoubtedly hit hard — as major stations are reporting record losses, cuts and even closures across the country.  Despite the change in the medium which news is delivered, there will always be a desire and need for the public to be informed and educated on current events.  It’s just that now news is viewed on a 9 x 5 LED screen — not paper.

Physical Newspapers Moving Online

4.

Video Rental Stores

Some of my fondest childhood memories include “Power Rangers:  The Movie” and the newest Nintendo 64 game — both of which were rented from the local Blockbuster.  Video rental stores, like Blockbuster, have been slowly declining in business over the past 6 years as online sites such as Netflix and RedBox have stolen much of the business which these stores once had.

Having closed over 600 stores in just the past three years and reported record losses in the hundreds of millions, it’s no wonder Blockbuster is struggling to stay afloat.  According to an article by MSNBC.com, “Blockbuster Inc. may close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year,” primarily in response to appeal and ease of online streaming — in a society glued to their computer screens.

Video Rentals Like Blockbuster Replaced by Nexflix, Flickr, Scott Clark

5.

In-Person Classrooms

As a current student at ASU, I recognize that most classes still meet in a physical room with a paper syllabus and wooden desks from the Jimmy Carter administration.  However, as technology of educational tools increases, so does the medium with which it is taught.

Arizona State University offered over 700 online classes this spring, which range from Managerial Economics to History of Hip Hop.  It’s not just ASU, but virtually all major universities across the country offer online classes and degrees, and sites like Blackboard allow professors to post assignments and readings for the week online.

Classrooms Moving Online
Arizona's Unemployment Rate Drops in October 2010

Arizona’s Unemployment Rate Drops in October 2010

The state’s unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent to 9.5 percent in October, as the economy added 27,400 jobs. This is the largest October job gain since 2004. The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) reports today that the private sector generated 93 percent of those jobs, or 25,600.  Year-over-year, total non-farm employment was up 1.1 percent last month.


Oct. 2010Sept. 2010Oct. 2009
United States9.6%9.6%10.1%
Arizona9.5%9.7%9.3%

This is the third consecutive month of over-the-year gains in total nonfarm employment, and the rate of gains has been increasing each month. According to the ACA, Arizona now ranks 18th in the nation in over-the-year employment growth. The state was ranked 32nd in September. Significantly,  Arizona’s construction industry continued to show signs of improvement, and in October posted its first over-the-year increase since December 2006.

“Overall, Arizona’s employment situation is beginning to show indications of welcome improvements,” according to the ACA employment report.


Oct. 2010Sept. 2010Oct. 2009
Overall2,432.42,405.02,408.0
Monthly  Change1.1%0.7%0.7%
Annual  Change1.0%0.5%-7.2%

Over the month, 10 out of the state’s 11 major sectors saw job gains. The sector that had the most gains for the month was trade, transportation and utilities, with 7,100.

Gains were reported in: professional and business services (1,700); financial activities (600); educational and health services (6,400); natural resources and mining (100); construction (5,100); leisure and hospitality (3,300); government (1,800); other services (1,400); and manufacturing (200).

The only sector to lose jobs was information (-300).

The unemployment rates dropped in almost all of the state’s largest metro areas.


Oct. 2010Sept. 2010Oct.2009
Phoenix Metro8.5%8.7%8.8%
Tucson Metro8.3%8.6%8.6%
Yuma Metro25.8%23.9%21.9%
Flagstaff Metro7.9%8.1%8.4%
Prescott Metro9.7%10%9.9%
LHC-Kingman Metro10.9%10.8%10.8%
Multi-State Medical Office Building Portfolio

Healthcare Trust Of America Acquires 960,000 SF Multi-State Medical Office Building Portfolio

Scottsdale-based Healthcare Trust of America announced the execution of agreements to acquire a portfolio of nine medical office buildings in New York, Massachusetts, and Florida for approximately $196,645,000. Each closing is subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions.

The 98% leased, nine-building Class A medical office portfolio consists of approximately 960,000 square feet of both on and off-campus MOBs with a weighted average remaining lease term of seven years. The portfolio includes both single-tenant and multi-tenant properties in Albany, N.Y.; North Adams, Mass.; and Temple Terrace, Fla.

The portfolio has an average building age of eight years and includes prominent tenants such as: Catholic Health East (Moody’s: ‘A1′), Health Quest (Moody’s: ‘A3′), The State University of New York (Moody’s: ‘Aa3′), Berkshire Health Systems (Fitch: ‘BBB+’), LabCorp of America (Moody’s: ‘Baa2′), US Oncology, and Community Care Physicians.

“This transaction continues our corporate focus to acquire high quality MOBs with significant occupancy and strong credit tenants located in strategic locations with dominant healthcare systems,” said Mark D. Engstrom, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions for HTA. “We have worked hard at establishing strong relationships in the healthcare industry. With such relationships we have been able to timely identify and act on opportunities to acquire quality portfolio assets.”

Since January 1, HTA has acquired approximately $344.5 million in medical office and health care related assets based on acquisition price. These acquisitions involve approximately 1.5 million square feet of gross leasable area, which is approximately 98 percent leased.

Fifth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference

Fifth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference

Arizona Entrepreneurs Hold Fifth Annual Meeting Of The Minds

Join in for an exciting opportunity to connect, share ideas and be inspired at the fifth annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference.

This year’s conference, which will take place Wednesday Nov. 17, 2010 at the Desert Willow Conference Center, will feature tips and ideas from expert CEOs while also providing allotted time for networking with fellow entrepreneurs.

Over the course of the day several topics will be discussed including everything from effectively using social media and creating an eco-edge to conquering the chaos of entrepreneurship and engaging in top-notch customer service.

Attendees will not only get the chance to learn from local leaders on what it takes to get funded in Arizona, but will also see a showcase exhibit of Arizona companies and organizations that provide services that support entrepreneurs.

Additionally, this year AZEC will be addressing five of the most important needs to consider when reaching out to Arizona communities: collaboration, civics, education and training, arts and culture, and investment capital.

A variety of keynote speakers will accentuate the conference by providing their knowledge and expertise of the entrepreneurship field.

Debra Johnson, founder and CEO of EcoEdge will share how her passion for reducing environmental impact and being frugal created her award-winning company.

Jeremiah Owyang, a web strategist for Altimeter Group will discuss useful approaches to entering the digital world.

Dr. Paul Bendheim, founder and CEO of BrainSavers, a company that provides assistance in reducing the risk of memory disorders by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, will speak about his entrepreneurial experience.

For those who are just starting out or who have been lifelong entrepreneurs, this year’s conference will provide abundant opportunities to foster new ideas and learn how the experts first got started.

To register and for more information, visit azentrepreneurship.com.

Groupon success with business owners and consumers

Bargains Fuel Groupon’s Success With Business Owners And Consumers

Since its launch in Nov. 2008, Groupon.com has grown to become a phenomenon – both in the business world and among people searching for a steal.

Groupon.com uses the power of a group to get products and services at a 50- to 90-percent discount for its users. The discounts can be on anything from salon and photography services to deals at restaurants.

In order to be valid, the Groupon discount must reach a tipping point. The tipping point is the amount of people that must buy the Groupon in order for the retailer to make the discount valid. The tipping point is different for each discount.

Groupon offers Phoenix deals, and a separate venue for Scottsdale deals is on its way.

Groupon expanded rapidly. In less than two years the company has gone from seven employees at their headquarters in Chicago to 2,600 employees worldwide. Although Groupon has grown steadily since its inception, the company hit its stride in 2010, says Julie Mossler, Groupon spokesperson. In August, Forbes Magazine named Groupon the fastest growing company ever, Mossler says.

Harnessing Groupon’s power for your business is easy, Mossler says. The company started GrouponWork.com to help businesses learn how to work with Groupon. The site provides case studies on Groupon’s success and tips on how to successfully structure deals.

Dolce Salon & Spa is one Phoenix-area business that has taken advantage of the new marketing potential behind Groupon’s deals.

Dolce has offered two deals through Groupon.com and has seen a big return from it, says Dynelle Rodriguez, spokesperson for Dolce Salon & Spa.

Rodriguez said Groupon called them and suggested they strike a deal. The opportunity to market the salon and spa in a unique way intrigued her, she said.

Each day Dolce has a customer using a Groupon discount, Rodriguez says. Although the result has been greater than the company expected, Dolce isn’t looking to do another Groupon discount in the near future because of the long expiration dates on the company’s Groupons, she says. However, Rodriguez says she recommends Groupon to all businesses she deals with.

If you want to use Groupon for personal use, Mossler offers a few tips.

1. Let the excitement die down and wait a week before using the Groupon.
2. Tip on the full amount of the Groupon to thank the business for offering such a great discount.
3. If there are any problems, even if the merchant is the problem, give Groupon a call.
4. Connect with Groupon’s individual cities on Facebook or Twitter. Example: @GrouponPhoenix and facebook.com/grouponphoenix

In the future, Groupon is hoping to customize its bargain offerings even more than the gender- and location-specific deals the company currently offers.

If you think Groupon is going to save you tons of money, meet Josh Stevens, the Groupawn. He is living solely off of Groupon’s coupons for one year – and he applied for this job. He has to barter to pay for tax and tip and he must rely on strangers for transportation and lodging.

If Stevens is successful he will receive $100,000 at the end of his year. Stevens is about halfway through his journey and has yet to visit Arizona.

Mossler says Stevens’ plan was to venture West when freezing temperatures set in back East.

Keep your fingers crossed that Stevens sticks to his plan and hopefully we’ll see the Groupawn in Phoenix soon. It appears as if it’s getting cold in those northeastern states.

www.liveoffgroupon.com | www.facebook.com/liveoffgroupon | @groupawned

Cubicle

Jobs Grow Modestly; State’s Unemployment Rate Is Unchanged

The state added 16,000 jobs in September, mostly due to the start of the new school year. Despite the modest gains, the Arizona Department of Commerce reported today that the state’s unemployment rate remains at 9.7 percent


Sept. 2010Aug. 2010Sept. 2009
United States9.6%9.6%9.8%
Arizona9.7%9.7%9.4%

Year-over-year, total non-farm employment was up 0.5 percent last month. August’s year-over-year numbers were revised from a loss of 0.1 percent in total non-farm employment to a gain of 0.3 percent. The August gains broke a 30-month streak of over-the-year job losses for the state.

For the month, the state’s employment gain of 0.7 percent were below the 10-year average, but was better than the previous two years, when the economy generated job growth of 0.2 percent in September 2008 and 0.5 percent in September 2009. The private sector had an anemic net gain of 700 jobs last month. However, for the past three Septembers, the private sector has lost jobs.


Sept. 2010Aug. 2010Sept. 2009
Overall2,403.82,387.82,392.1
Monthly % Change0.7%1.6%0.5%
Annual % Change0.5%0.3%-8%



Over the month, six sectors gained jobs and five lost jobs. The sector that had the most gains for the month was government, with 15,300. But those jobs came primarily from local and state education, with losses in the federal government offsetting some of the gains.


Professional and business services added 2,900 jobs; financial activities gained 1,700; educational and health services rose by 1,200; natural resources and mining generated 200 jobs; and construction also saw job gains of 200 in September

The professional and business services sector boasts the highest over-the-year job gains with 13,800. Over the year, trade, transportation and utilities was up 10,100 jobs; educational and health services gained 8,800; leisure and hospitality had a 1,500-job gain; and natural resources and mining generated 1,200 positions.

Over-the year losses were recorded with government (-7,300); construction (-6,100); other services (-4,000); financial activities (-2,500); information (-2,000); and manufacturing (-1,800).

The unemployment rates in the state’s largest metro areas mostly held steady or dropped slightly in September.


Sept. 2010Aug. 2010Sept.2009
Phoenix Metro8.7%8.8%8.8%
Tucson Metro8.6%8.7%8.6%
Yuma Metro23.9%23.7%21%
Flagstaff Metro8%8%8.2%
Prescott Metro10.1%10.2%9.9%
LHC-Kingman Metro10.8%10.9%10.8%

Data Centers

i/o Data Centers Raises $200M In Two Integrated Financings

i/o Data Centers today announced the closing of $200 million in two financings, including a senior long term credit facility of up to $130 million led by Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Securities and a $70 million secured facility led by Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation.

“Demand for data centers as a service continues to be strong,” said George D. Slessman, CEO of i/o. “This new long term capital enables i/o to execute its Enterprise Class Data Center Roadmap. We will add 35 megawatts of data center capacity for our customers within the next 12 months.”

In addition, Jonathan F. Mauck, CFO of i/o, noted that “The next phase of our growth plan is fully funded.”

Steven Reinhart, senior vice president of Wells Fargo, said that “The strength of i/o’s customer base, balance sheet and cash flow are a testament to the strength of its business model and management. We look forward to a long term relationship with i/o.”

William Luetzow, managing director of Caterpillar Financial Services’ Global Power Finance-Americas, added, “We’ve enjoyed a long-term financing relationship with i/o since its inception. The high quality i/o power systems and their customer base of multi-national enterprises are an excellent fit with Caterpillar’s worldwide finance and distribution capabilities.”

i/o has grown rapidly over the past three years and recently announced the launch of i/o ANYWHERE, a modular data center service that allows it to deploy data center capacity anywhere a customer requires it.

“This latest financing, key additions to our management ranks, and our world class customer base position i/o for additional growth and success as the industry’s leading provider of enterprise co-location and data center solutions,” Slessman said.

Paper-To-Pencil Machine

Green News Roundup-Green Advertising, Products & More

Welcome back to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve decided to focus on introducing you to some green advertising campaigns and green products.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing kasia@azbigmedia.com

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

G.E. Says, ‘Eco! Eco! Hello! Hello!’
General Electric has been revealing its innovative “ecomagination” ads since 2003. The newest ad campaign titled “Tag your green” is making its rounds through the viral landscape on Flickr, Howcast and YouTube. The goal is to encourage fresh ways of thinking about the environment.

DBA 98 Pen
While perusing the Web I came across two really exciting products that will make you look at office supplies in a whole different way.
The DBA 98 Pen is a 98 percent biodegradable pen, the only one in the world. The ink is made of simple, environmentally friendly ingredients and it was also produced in a wind-powered facility in the U.S. Talk about a green way to write!

Paper-To-Pencil Machine Repurposes Printed Pages
If your office looks anything like mine, there is always plenty of papers floating around. We do our best by recycling all our used paper, but this machine takes it to a whole new level! This concept was created by designers Chengzhu Ruan, Yuanyuan Liu, Xinwei Yuan & Chao Chen and it basically takes old paper and pops out whole pencils. The pencils core is fed in and then as the paper is put in the machine, it wraps around the core and is compressed. And voila! you’ve got yourself a pencil. Now will this make it to production? Who knows. But I think it’s a great tool. Even if the office doesn’t have much use for pencils, I’m positive local schools would be more than happy to accept them.

Image courtesy of: Yanko Design

Insic Wall Socket

Green News Roundup- Green And Sustainable Retail Products

Welcome back to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve decided to focus on highlighting green products, some are available now and some are still in prototype stage. Either way, they point to an exciting new direction for the retail industry and their involvement with sustainability.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing kasia@azbigmedia.com

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

Insic Wall Socket is an outlet product created by Designer Muhyeon Kim that lights up and displays how many watts are being used by whatever device is being plugged into it. The idea behind it is that users will see just how much energy their devices are using and will become more aware of unplugging things when not in use to save energy.

Simple Shoes based out of Flagstaff, Ariz. is committed to making sustainable footwear that is vegan and eco-friendly. Products include bamboo, organic cotton, crepe, jute, hemp, cork, water based glues, recycled car tires, and PET recycled plastic. Not only are the shoes sustainable but the entire manufacturing process is as well.

Healthy Baby Happy Earth is a store in Glendale, Ariz. that sells environmentally friendly items for babies including cloth diapers, organic cotton clothing and a food processor that allows parents to make their own baby food. A lot of their products also provide long-term purposes like the cloth diaper which can serve from newborn to potty-training age.

Yumberi Yogurt is serving up frozen treats in Glendale, Ariz. while also supporting a sustainable environment. All of the yogurts at Yumberi are served in biodegradable bowls made from corn oil and plant fibers and the spoons are made from potato skins. The company also supports eco-friendly events such as their monthly contest that asks kids to write a letter explaining what they are doing to help change the world.

Image via Yanko Design

Eco Tourism - travel green

Ecotourism – The Green Way To Vacation

The United Nations designated 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism. Well it’s 2010 and I bet that the majority of people haven’t taken an eco-vacation.  I know I haven’t.

We try to be eco-friendly.  We buy reusable water bottles and lunch pails.  We turn off the lights more often and take shorter showers.  But what if we could reduce, reuse and recycle while having an amazing vacation?

I’d say, “Sign me up.”

I did some Internet research and I found out some major and minor ways you can be an eco-tourist.

Minor Ways to Help Mother Earth

The International Ecotourism Society has 10 energy saving tips for travelers.

Here are three of them:

Stay longer at your destination to avoid frequent air travel. I think we could all stand to stay a little longer at our chosen destination. This way you can discover, learn and play more while reducing your carbon footprint.

Travel light. Every extra, unneeded item in your bag adds to the weight of the plane, which increases the carbon emissions of your flight.  Travel light and leave a light carbon footprint behind.

Just like at home, turn off water and unplug electronics when you leave. When you’re on vacation, you’re most likely not spending too much time in your hotel room.  It’s easy to forget that just because you’re not paying for the electricity that doesn’t mean that Mother Nature should have to pay too.

Major Ways to See and Save the Earth

Travel somewhere that involves more hiking and less traffic. Hiking, kayaking, biking and other similar activities involve little to no adverse impacts on the Earth.  Plus, it’s a great way to explore the beauty and diversity of nature.

Stay at eco-friendly hotels. Although it may be a bit more expensive it is doable.  Some hotels claim to be green simply because they ask you if you want to reuse your towels and sheets.  Hopefully these websites will help sort out the imposters from the true blue “green” hotels.

Be a voluntourist. A voluntourist is a combination between a tourist and a volunteer.  He or she travels a location and gives back to the community, whether it be through developing wildlife and plant life or helping at a local school.  Being a voluntourist might sound like something college students do, but anyone, at any age can do it.

Ecotourism covers a broad range of vacation destinations and activities to help preserve the Earth, which is one of the reasons why eight years ago the U.N. made an effort to promote it.  Along with the range of ecotourism choices comes a range of things tourists can do – from giving their time to leaving that tenth pair of shoes that probably won’t get worn anyway at home.

Walking to Work

Greenway Health Goes Green In July

Most people would think you were crazy if you walked to work in Arizona’s July heat.  But at Greenway Health, that shows a commitment to the company’s green efforts.

Some employees at Greenway Health are so committed to the July “Greenway Goes Green” month that they’re braving the scorching summer temperatures to bike and walk to work.

About five employees are using transportation other than a car, including bicycles and the bus, while other employees are carpooling to work.

These aren’t the only green choices Greenway Health employees are making. They are also bringing reusable water bottles to work, using desk lamps instead of overhead lighting, recycling and using “treeless” paper.  The company is offering incentives to employees who make eco-friendly lifestyle changes.

The company decided to go green to show “employees the benefits and ease of going green,” says Mike McKenzy, of Greenway Health, a direct marketing health and nutrition company.

McKenzy says the young staff, most of the employees are in their mid-20s to early 30s, wasn’t well versed in green solutions.  Company officials wanted to show the employees easy, cost-effective ways to help conserve and preserve.

But, they are “amazed by what little things, if adopted by large numbers of people, can do,” McKenzy says.

The feedback has been great and McKenzy hopes the employees won’t ditch their new habits once July is over.  He says the chances of the green efforts continuing year round are pretty good.  When the company initiates programs like this one, “it sticks,” he says.

Greenway Health’s employees set an example for everyone. Just a little change can make a difference.

Green News Roundup- Helping The Environment From The B Side

What do “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen and “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart all have in common? These classic tunes all came from the B-side.

When an artist released a single, there were two sides: the A-side, the assumed hit, and the B-side, the filler track(s). And even though the songs mentioned above were found on the B-side, they went from obscurity to stardom.

So how can the B-side help the environment? Well, using the other side of paper can make a huge difference. Especially since the average office worker in the U.S. uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website. 

By using only one side of paper, we are never giving the B-side a chance. And if others had overlooked the other side, it’s possible that we would never have heard “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers or “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys on the radio or at all for that matter.

So “B”-fore you use another sheet, get “Into the Groove” (Madonna) and write or print on the B-side. It is not only better for the environment, it will save your company money on both sides of the waste equation (buy less and dispose of less), but it will also save ink and energy. Who’s to say the next big hit for your company won’t come from an idea on the B-side?

So tell your staff that it’s time to discover the B-Side!” Besides saving money, it will have the office supply store singing “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (a Hank Williams B-side hit).

Source: http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/materials/paper/faqs.htm


When an artist released a single, there were two sides: the A-side, the assumed hit, and the B-side, the filler track(s). And even though the songs mentioned above were found on the B-side, they went from obscurity to stardom.

So how can the B-side help the environment? Well, using the other side of paper can make a huge difference. Especially since the average office worker in the U.S. uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website. 

By using only one side of paper, we are never giving the B-side a chance. And if others had overlooked the other side, it’s possible that we would never have heard “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers or “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys on the radio or at all for that matter.

So “B”-fore you use another sheet, get “Into the Groove” (Madonna) and write or print on the B-side. It is not only better for the environment, it will save your company money on both sides of the waste equation (buy less and dispose of less), but it will also save ink and energy. Who’s to say the next big hit for your company won’t come from an idea on the B-side?

So tell your staff that it’s time to discover the B-Side!” Besides saving money, it will have the office supply store singing “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (a Hank Williams B-side hit).

Source: http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/materials/paper/faqs.htm


Energy Efficiency

Green News Roundup – Energy Efficiency, Green Organizations & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about energy efficiency auditing, promoting your company as a green organization and more.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see in the roundup to kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles about sustainability efforts in the Valley and state.

REEis Provides Independence From High Energy Costs
REEis, a local Valley company that specializes in energy efficiency auditing and contracting is hosting an Independence Day promotion in hopes to get more efficient homes on our streets. Utilizing low cost, energy efficient improvements to our homes and commercial buildings can greatly reduce energy consumption and our dependence on oil and foreign energy sources. “America’s Energy Independence Day Promotion” will be offered for one week starting June 26. REEis is also offering Arizona homeowners a $29 comprehensive energy audit if booked by July 4th. If interested please call (480) 969-7500 or visit the company’s website at: reeishome.com

Is it Energy’s Turn Now?
The New York Times Green Blog looks at the possibility of energy and climate change legislation being in the works for the government. As the financial regulation nears completion, some Democrats are hopeful that this next challenge can be met before Congress leaves town in August.

June Education Forum: Green Marketing
The Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce is hosting their monthly education forum at Rio Salado College on Monday, June 28th at 5:30 p.m. The topic for this month’s forum is exploring best practices for promoting your company as a green organization. Learn about effective strategies to maximize your green marketing efforts and minimize impact on the environment. RSVP to the event here. For full details visit: www.arizonagreenchamber.org/Phoenix/

First U.S. offshore wind energy project faces lawsuit
Environmental groups plan to file suit in federal court against the Obama administration regarding the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound. The groups accuse the administration of violating the Endangered Species Act with the approval of the project. The suit states that the project, which calls for a set of 130 wind turbine generators to be installed on Nantucket Sound, would fail to protect endangered birds and whales. Yikes, don’t know how this will pan out but I hope the Obama administration finds a way to work this out amicably.

IT Leaders Are Taking On A New Role As Companies Gear Up For Recovery

Who should CEOs increasingly turn to when they need to formulate modern business strategies that can generate new service revenues, cut across organizational boundaries, reduce costs, enhance productivity — and reach out to customers anywhere in order to deliver anything?

There’s a strategy Dream Team that likely exists right under CEOs’ noses. It’s a team primed to deal with what is being frequently called the emerging “freedom economy.”

Leaders in the areas of services marketing, IT and supply chain management comprise this new Dream Team, although they’re all often so busy they don’t have much time to have a meeting of the minds. But it is high time for CEOs to empower this team and engage their talents as new strategies are being formulated.

It’s pretty obvious to most product-oriented companies that services are an increasingly important revenue stream, so their services marketing leaders have to be front and center with their customer-centric focus. And it’s commonsense that agile and cost-effective supply chain leadership is a key to profitability, so new deployment and delivery issues related to goods and services should be placed in their trustworthy hands. But putting an IT leader on the dream team? Why now?

IT has been going through some major changes lately. IT leaders’ pain points already have generated calloused understandings of what it takes to deliver service (both internally and externally), leverage interorganizational relationships (some of them off-shore), reduce costs, improve the organization’s productivity and get information to where it needs to be to support company agents and customers before, during and after a product sale or a service encounter.

What most people don’t know is that the very systems and applications IT leaders are managing are undergoing significant change. Computing cycles are becoming virtualized, which means raw computation horsepower is now being outsourced. Even data is being managed and massaged in outsourced clouds. And the software itself is becoming service-oriented, meaning that applications are becoming compositions of interleaved executions — some internal to the organization and some running externally that are being out-tasked at the blink of an eye.

The new cell phone mantra — “I’ve got an app for that” — has become a rallying cry for what internal and external customers of IT capabilities expect today, and IT leaders are rapidly learning to respond. IT leaders are accustomed to managing relationships where the choice to switch, engage, disengage and negotiate are time dependent and customer-driven; i.e., they understand the emerging freedom economy.

The environment for IT leaders has changed so much that many now describe their role as serving as a “conductor.” This conjures images of a person standing on a podium waving a baton to orchestrate an ensemble of various instruments to deliver a classical masterpiece. It’s similar, but for the IT leader, the instrumentation has different levels of granularity. For example, an entire division’s IT operations might be outsourced or just one code component might be out-tasked. The conductor’s baton must be able to address broad and sweeping changes and relationships — and still be able to focus on even the smallest atom of syncopated execution. With this complexity, the IT leader role has emerged as one where partnerships are in a constant state of flux, governance processes must be correspondingly agile, and high levels of service must be maintained.

Calling on a Dream Team of leaders from services marketing, supply chain management and IT may not be all that new to many organizations that have been figuring out ways to cut costs to deal with today’s economy. But calling on the same team to help a company emerge successfully in the new market climate characterized by the freedom economy will be a long term make-or-break fact of organizational life.

Consider that latest app you just downloaded to your iPhone or Droid; you’re defining its context for value based on when you want it and where you are using it. You expect an excellent service encounter that will put a smile on your face when your app does its thing, and you expect the freedom to deal with a provider that in reality may be a complex chain of organizational collaborations. And another thing; You expect the execution of that app to be conducted in such a manner that the response is instantaneous, while the intricacies are hidden so you can delight in what the service does for you right now.

Underneath the marketing and chain management that is required to bring you that delight, there’s an IT conductor who has orchestrated the capability to jam out the behind-the-scenes core. That leader is sort of like the unsung hero of the Dream Team, but it’s an essential role that must be revered in order to engage in the harsh realities of the freedom economy.


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

Climate Change Talks

U.S. Commits To Change At Copenhagen Climate Talks

As some of you may be aware of, the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference is underway right now in Copenhagen. The conference began on December 7 and will continue till the 18th. It is the largest international political conference ever to be held in Denmark, with participants from 192 countries meeting to reach an agreement about how to combat global warming.

Despite some clashes with protesters that that essentially ceased all talks on Dec. 16, the conference pressed on. President Barack Obama is expected to appear on Friday, along with 100 other national leaders hoping to come to a historic agreement between nations.

On Thursday, Dec. 17 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced that the United States would participate in a $100-billion-a-year fund that will help poor nations combat climate change through the end of the decade. Though Clinton did not specify how much the U.S. would be contributing, it is still a huge move for the country and sends a strong message about the nation’s stance on environmental issues.

However, U.S. participation was contingent on reaching an agreement this week, as well as a commitment from China about more transparency in its emissions reporting.

Clinton’s announcement is a high point in the conference, which has been plagued by delays and deadlocked over several issues. Hopefully, discussions will end on a good note and firm plans for progress will be put in place.

en.cop15.dk

Dell Mini Notebooks

Netbooks Are Becoming A Crucial Device For Business Executives

Less is more. While the adage might not apply to the appeal of an all-you-can-eat buffet, it certainly explains the recent netbook phenomena. Netbooks are small portable computers designed specifically for Web access and word processing. With screens between 7 to 12 inches, the mini-PCs typically weigh around two pounds at a price averaging around $400. These miniature computers have stimulated a previously lethargic PC market and enhanced electronic usage for users.

The power, portability and price have supported the mainstream adoption of netbooks, which expect to reach nearly 22 million in shipments in 2009. In fact, a survey conducted by Retrevo, a technology review Web site, reported that one-third of students plan to purchase a netbook. With the anticipated sales from students, the netbook would dethrone Apple’s Macbook, a product that has traditionally dominated the education market.

Students are not the only ones using netbooks. The lightweight and sleek design of the netbook has attracted business executives. The product has fallen into the laps of business executives who log onto their netbooks as a practical and portable electronic companion. The growing adoption of netbooks by business executives has shown that this device is more than just a fad. Some business executives believe they have not even scratched the surface of the netbook’s capabilities and are eager to include them more often in their business practices.

Alan Farber, CEO of Scottsdale-based Buildproof, recently purchased and fell in love with his netbook, an 11.6-inch Aspire 1 by Acer. Farber’s company provides a secure payment and project management system for home remodeling and construction projects. Lately, Buildproof has been working with governmental agencies to provide its system for managing contractors. While traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet government officials, Farber relied on his netbook for its dependability and flexibility. His travel preparations have become much simpler. Farber says he can grab his 8GB memory stick, load his files, and toss his netbook in his bag.

At first glance, netbooks seem like dwarfed versions of notebooks; however, netbooks feature unique functions that distinguish them from notebooks. Netbooks contain built-in Wi-Fi and standard Bluetooth connections to support Web access on the go. Installed with either Windows XP or Linux, netbooks allows users to perform basic functions such as checking e-mail, using Skype, creating documents and organizing spreadsheets. In addition to Web access and word processing, netbooks offer convenience with their element-resistant design.

With a low RAM, netbooks are not suited for complicated graphic processing. Most importantly, netbooks do not include an optical drive or Ethernet port, so users will need to invest in separate hardware such as a USB connected drive to use CDs. Netbooks also require some technical skills to adopt external drives to replace the nonexistent optical drive.

The size and power of the netbook can also be a setback.

“The screen size can make it difficult. I squint a lot while viewing e-mails,” Farber says. The miniature size limits the power of the speakers, which makes using Skype challenging for Farber. He also notes that battery life seems limited.

“You can get an extended battery, but that seems to defeat the purpose,” he says.

Accustomed to traditional notebooks, Farber expected his netbook to be difficult to configure. His netbook quickly challenged his expectations.
“It was a piece of cake to set up,” he says.

Farber also anticipated floundered typing due to the cramped size of the keyboard, and yet again he was corrected.

“It was an easy transition from a full notebook,” he adds. “I was quite surprised.”

Nearly every PC maker has incorporated netbooks into their product lines. In 2008 alone, netbooks garnered approximately 16 million sales in North America, which is not bad for a two-year old category. In order to expand the market, PC makers have developed netbooks with ambiguous distinctions between netbooks and notebooks, such as a larger size and more power.

Additionally, the distinctions between the smart phone and netbooks are also vague. Critics of netbooks often note that smart phones have similar features and more functions than netbooks. Although they enable Web browsing, document editing and the useful phone call, smart phones do not have the same comfort and power of netbooks — and mobile phone manufacturers definitely have noticed. In January, AT&T announced the development of a netbook that can access the Web with just a cell signal. With a two-year contract, AT&T’s netbook could cost as low at $99. The convergence of netbook and mobile markets also has interested Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who announced in August that Nokia plans to explore the netbook market. The interest from mobile phone producers such as AT&T and Nokia suggests greater potential for netbooks to become an integral device for business executives.

Farber recommends the netbook to any business executive.

“It is an absolutely fantastic resource to supplement a regular notebook or desktop,” he states, but he advises against replacing a notebook or desktop with a netbook due to the limited memory and battery. “For an executive, the netbook is an excellent supplement for travel.”