Friday, April 30

QeH2 Fulfills Sponsorship Agreement with New Website!

by Eric Pratt

Rocky Mountain Spine & Sport has been a client of ours for a long time so when they came to us with an offer to sponsor their Cycling Teamwe jumped at the chance to help Vint Schoenfeldt and his team.

When they chose us to build their Cycling Team website we were determined to provide them with a great product they could use not only to promote their team and recent events but to provide a resource for team members to communicate.

The site went live yesterday and finishing touches are still being applied, the Rocky Mountain Spine & Sport cycling team finally has a home!

As one of 13 great team sponsors including Giant Cycling World, Skullcandy, Jumex, Power Bar, Max Muscle, Harvest Group, BioFit Cyclist, Practical Coaching, Giro, Spinal Solutions, Aveda Institute of Denver, and of course Rocky Mountain Spine & Sport we are honored to be included in such a prestigious lineup.

As an added bonus we were selected to be featured in the first Monthly Sponsor Spotlight, please check us out there, on Facebook, LinkedIn, or at our website.

Thanks again to Vint and the Rocky Mountain Spine & Sport Team, we appreciate our relationship and thank him for this great opportunity.

Wednesday, April 28

QeH2, What’s That?

by Eric Pratt & Alex Repola

This is a question we always enjoy answering. It’s an acronym for the four owners of the company (Quentin Jaksch, Darrin Eisele, Ian Holt and Jim Holt), that’s how we got our name.

As for what we do, we are an IT company in Colorado. We provide a level of service that small-to-medium businesses here locally have never experienced. We use technology to help companies create a better product or service, at lower costs, higher efficiency, and with better overall results. We follow through on what we say we are going to do and standing behind our work to ensure your company runs at an optimal level, all day, every day. . By Focusing on solutions instead of symptoms, implementing Intelligent solutions that produce extraordinary results, operating within a Revolutionary business model, and Empowering our clients to make critical decisions that provides a positive return on investments we become much more than your IT contact when something breaks, we become your partner and information source. That’s Revolutionary, that’s QeH2, and that’s our F.I.R.E approach to help you Ignite Business.

Are we a fit for your Organization?

Ever wish your IT support provider was there when you needed him? Feel like you don't have control of your environment and data? Worried you have gaps in network security, putting your systems and data at risk? Tired of paying by the hour for service that never solves the issue? Are your IT costs an inconvenient expense to your business, growing every year?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then QeH2 is the answer. There is a better way to do business.

Our History

It was almost five years ago that Q, Darrin, Ian, and Jim sat down and came up with a business plan, combining over a century of true business knowledge and real word experience as business owners and technology specialists. With Q, Ian, and Jim’s IT experience ranging from help desk support and system administration to large company CIO, network engineering and consulting services coupled with Darrin’s entrepreneurial expertise in building multiple successful companies they built the foundation of putting technology at the forefront of your organization. The result is a company that can leverage your technology to bring extraordinary value and return on investment.

The Solution

Our revolutionary business model and the realization that people are one of our biggest assets keeps ownership’s focus on providing training and insight with real life experience. Prescribing to best practice methodologies to ensure that we outperform our competition in addition to allowing time to build and nurture our people, helps to balance QeH2 team’s lives in and out of the workplace with on the job performance. We work with each individual in the organization, focusing on the things that they wish to pursue and the initiatives that drive business forward.

Through an innovative approach to IT support, we considers ourselves geeks with social skills. Having experienced real life business pains in a rapidly growing company we understand the necessity of information technology in the workplace. If your business needs IT solutions instead of excuses, call us today for a no obligation analysis of our systems.

Wednesday, April 21

10 Tech Certifications That Mean Something

Presented by TechRepublic


The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification suffered a bad reputation several years back when numerous people were memorizing the answers to exam questions from “brain dumps” posted by test-takers on the Internet and obtaining the certification without any real understanding of the technology.

Microsoft responded by replacing the knowledge-based multiple-choice questions with a variety of performance-related scenario questions that make it much more difficult to cheat. The difficulty level of the questions was escalated, and the number of exams required to obtain the certification was increased to seven.

The MCSE has consequently regained respect in many corners of the IT support community and is a useful certification for demonstrating your expertise with Microsoft server products.

#2: MCA

In addition to making the MCSE exams more difficult, Microsoft has created many new certifications. The Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) is the premiere Microsoft certification, designed to identify top experts in the industry. To obtain the MCA, you must have at least three years of advanced IT architecture experience, and you have to pass a rigorous review board conducted by a panel of experts.

There are a number of MCA programs. The infrastructure and solutions MCA certifications cover broad architecture skills, but there are also more technology-specific programs for messaging and database skills. There are currently fewer than 100 MCAs in the world, making this an elite certification.

#3: CCIE

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is widely recognized as one of the most difficult to obtain (and expensive) IT certifications. Like the MCSE/MCA, it’s a vendor-sponsored certification, focusing on Cisco’s products.

The CCIE requires that you pass both a written exam and a hands-on lab. To sit for the written exam, you must pay $300 and choose from one of several tracks: Routing and Switching, Security, Storage Networking, Voice, and Service Provider.

You must pass the written exam before you’re eligible to take the lab exam. This is an eight-hour hands-on test of your ability to configure and troubleshoot Cisco networking equipment and software. The lab exams cost $1,250 each. This does not, of course, include travel expenses that may be necessary since the labs are conducted only in certain locations.

As if all that weren’t enough, you don’t get to rest on your laurels after obtaining the certification. CCIEs must recertify every two years or the certification is suspended.

#4: CCSP

Another Cisco exam that’s popular with employers in today’s security-conscious business world is the Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP). It focuses on skills related to securing networks that run Cisco routers and other equipment.

You’re required to pass five written exams and must recertify every three years by passing one current exam. Before you can take the CCSP exams, you must meet the prerequisites by obtaining one of Cisco’s lower-level certifications, either the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or the Cisco Certified Internetwork Specialist (CCIP).

Tuesday, April 20

10 Free Or Cheap Mobile Marketing Tools

April 19, 2010

by iphonejim

In case you didn’t already know, mobile is without a doubt ‘the next big thing’ when it comes to marketing and advertising. As smart phones like the iPhone and Nexus One become more and more popular among consumers, the potential for marketers is also growing rapidly.

The smart phone is like all of the other advertising mediums rolled into one pocket sized device. It’s a television, a web browser, a radio, a newspaper, a magazine, a yellow pages, a catalog and of course a telephone, and it goes wherever the consumer goes.

No matter which way you look at it, the mobile phone simply can’t be beat from a marketer’s stand point so I’ve put together this comprehensive list of mobile marketing tools that won’t break the bank.

1. SMS Text Messaging

The oldest and most widespread from of mobile marketing is the humble text message. By collecting the mobile phone numbers of your customers using surveys or competitions, you can build your own SMS mailing list and send your customers text based coupons, offers and incentives to visit your business again and again.

Star Mobile offer a Free Trial or alternatively you can download bulk SMS software such as Mobile Marketing Pro and manage the whole thing yourself.

2. Social Networking

facebookThese days, Social Networking is a huge component of most business’s online marketing strategy, and as the internet becomes more and more accessible to mobile devices, so too do the popular social networks. By creating profiles, networking and connecting with your customers you can stay in constant communication with them and build rewarding relationships.

Update your Facebook page regularly with offers, info, fun facts, videos and event information to keep your customers entertained and in the loop.

Use Twitter to send out tweets to your followers with promo codes, discounts and links to good reviews or articles about your business. You can also search particular key words relating to your business and respond to anyone tweeting about those topics. E.G. If you sell car tires, search for keyphrases like “flat tire” then respond to those tweets with a special offer.

The following social networks may also be worth building a presence with: Meebo, Fring, Nimbuzz and Ebuddy.

3. Mobile Directories

There are hundreds of mobile directories out there, most catering to a particular niche. The most popular of these niches are restaurant guides. If you are promoting a bar or restaurant, make sure you list your business with the following directories. For other types of businesses there is bound to be a directory to suit you, but there are way too many to list here.

4. Check-in Apps

The latest fad in location-based apps are check-in apps like Foursquare, Gowalla and Whrrl. These applications for GPS enabled phones like iPhones, Blackberries and Android-based handsets enable users to check in at certain locations such as businesses and landmarks to earn virtual badges and honors. These apps also allow users to network with one another and share their locations. Businesses can include their own offers to users as incentives for checking in.

5. GPS Treasure Hunts

dreamwalk mobile treasure hunt

A close cousin to the check-in apps, GPS treasure hunt apps such as DreamWalk also allow businesses to reward users for visiting certain locations. DreamWalk enables brands and businesses to create their own branded treasure hunts and place them on the DreamWalk prize map for consumers to participate in. The ‘treasures’ are real free products which can be collected by users and redeemed in store or via email. You can use DreamWalk to give away samples of your products or bigger prizes, entice consumers to specific physical locations and advertise your brand in the process. Branded treasure hunts are also highly interactive and entertaining and can be set up free of charge via the DreamWalk website.

6. Email

While more and more people are beginning to use mobile devices for web browsing, mobile emailing is far more common and has been popular ever since the advent of the Blackberry. By collecting customer’s email addresses you can build your own email mailing list, then send out mobile friendly emails and incentives. Use software such as Constant Contact to produce weekly newsletters or promotions and manage your mailing lists.

7. Competitions

Run competitions whereby people must text certain words or codes to a particular number to enter a draw or claim a coupon. You can advertise these contests using posters, flyers or even drink coasters in your stores or promote them in emails or even in your print advertising.

8. Blue Tooth Proximity Marketing

Broadcast SMS messages to passers by, using a bluetooth broadcasting device. When someone enters the vicinity of your business they are sent a predefined text massage which can contain a time sensitive offer or discount to attract them inside. Bluetooth broadcasters can be bought relatively cheaply from suppliers such as Blueblitz.

Please keep in mind, the messages you send may be deemed SPAM by some mobile users, so make sure you weigh up the pros and cons before using this technology.

9. Video

Many mobile devices available today have the ability to play and even record live action video. Just as viral videos are great internet marketing tools, they are also just as powerful when delivered on mobile screens. In fact, devices like the iPhone come pre-installed with the YouTube app on the home screen, allowing instant access to YouTube content. Producing a video can be a dirt cheap way to entertain an audience while promoting your business or product at the same time. Generally, funny or weird videos tend to fair the best and make sure you keep the mobile screen size in mind when producing videos intended for mobile display. Sites like TinyTube gather videos from all over the net and display them in a mobile friendly format.

10. Mobile Optimized Websites

By now you almost certainly have a website for your business, but how will it look when viewed in a mobile web browser such as Safari or Opera? Well, unless you have optimized it for mobile, chances are it’ll either look really small or really bad. Use a tool like Instant Mobilizer to convert your existing website into a mobile-friendly one free of charge.

Well, that's my top 10 list of cheap or free mobile marketing tools. I hope you can utilize these techniques to promote your business. Please feel free to add your own suggestions or experiences in the comments section.

Good Luck!,

Jim T Brown

Mobile Marketing Consultant.

QeH2 can help your company implement these technologies, to come up with a plan that works for your business contact us today.

Wednesday, April 14

Small to Medium Businesses Expected to Increase Tech Spending

Presented by the Austin Business Journal

Spiceworks Inc., an Austin-based IT software company, surveyed more than 1,200 professionals with small and medium businesses and found across the board technology spending increases.

On average, businesses reported elevating tech buying 9 percent this year to $117,200, with at least 43 percent of small enterprises expecting to buy more. About 80 percent of those surveyed said the money would buy new desktop, laptop and servers in the first six months of 2010.

Read more.

Finding the right business IT solution that meets the specific needs of your organization is what QeH2 has been doing for over four years. From implementing new hardware or software to maintaining a secure environment, we have the knowledge and expertise to help businesses put technology at the forefront of their organization, creating a more efficient and streamlined IT infrastructure.

Wednesday, April 7

QeH2 Interviews Strategic Local Partner Castle Rock Economic Development Council

by Alex Repola

Have you heard of the Castle Rock Economic Development Council (Castle Rock EDC)? No, you’re not alone. Playing a behind-the-scenes role, Castle Rock EDC is a full service, membership-driven economic development organization that partners with both private and public entities to serve the 2,500 businesses and roughly 50,000 residents here locally.

Economic development refers to social and technological progress through local business relationships, including both new and existing organizations. Castle Rock is situated between two major markets, Colorado Springs and Denver, and businesses are finding lots of support and encouragements from organizations including Castle Rock EDC. I had the pleasure of sitting down with CEO of the EDC here in Castle Rock, Frank Gray, to talk about the growth he is seeing not only for businesses, but between the Castle Rock EDC and Board Member QeH2.

Q; Tell me a little about yourself Frank?
A: Most recently I served as the Vice-President for Adams County Economic Development Corporation. I came here in September because I felt like Castle Rock was a place that was going to explode. The intelligent move that I made is picking the right spot, and I picked a spot based on knowing things were going to happen, and that’s what we’re seeing. The other thing that’s happening, even with our tough economy and the loss of jobs, Castle Rock itself is doing well. I was at Adams County EDC for six years. Prior to that, I was a volleyball coach at Baylor University and at the U.S.A. Volleyball team. I live in Broomfield making the commute down here. Ultimately, I would like for my family and I to live down here. My wife is a teacher and effected by the state budget cuts. She can’t really leave her job right now and expect to just find a new one like she could have three or four years ago.

Q: What led you to work in the non-profit sector?
A: The Castle Rock EDC is really a business organization, not really a non-profit. Technically, we are a 501(C)(6), a not-for-profit, but we are a business organization with members from the business community making us a much more effective organization. The cool part about it is that we have public and private sector funding; we can act as a mediator between the business community and town. We have long-term relationships with the community and the town that we need to consider when making decisions. We are very invested in being partners with both parties.

Q: Take me through the process of a new business coming to town and wanting to use the EDC’s services.
A: Generally, we’ll get a call from a broker, the Metro Denver EDC, or the state saying they have a client who is interested in moving to the area. We then go through all the different real estate and availability depending on the type of organization they are, we may be able to offer them incentives to move to Castle Rock. Once the deal is wrapped up, we would make an announcement that so-and-so company is coming to Castle Rock. They generally will have a lot of questions about demographics to make sure their company will thrive here. We provide a lot of information and data to these organizations to help them with the transition.

Q: Do you have a specific size or type of company you cater to? Do you work with international organizations that are interested in opening up shop in Castle Rock?
A: We see a little bit of everything. One thing we want to do is make sure we are assisting our local businesses, making sure we are taking care of our existing businesses as well as the new businesses. One of my big pitches when talking with new companies is, ‘We’re not just going to get you here; we’re going to take care of you once you’re here.’

Q: How important is it for the EDC to have a trusted position within the local business community?
A: I think the Economic Development Councils that are doing it right are like the Northwest Mutual’s of the World. The quiet company, that’s what we strive to be. We’re not out seeking the press; we don’t need to be in the spotlight. We help get things done behind the scenes and we value the confidentiality of our clients. Our job is to help educate folks on what we do, how we do it, and why it’s important.

Q: What things have the EDC felt from the past few years of tough economic times?
A: Some of our funding comes from the town, and we’ve seen a decrease in our funding. This organization works because of private and public sector funding. The reality is that when something affects the economy, you can see it as a catastrophe or as an opportunity to change. I think that Castle Rock has taken the right approach and that’s admitting that the way things were done before weren’t necessarily the correct way to do it. We can use this opportunity and downturn in the economy to do it things better. Through our partnership with the town, we are seeing them take care of relationships with developers, making things better.

Q: What other local organizations do you partner with to promote economic development?
A: The Town of Castle Rock, the Downtown Development Authority, the Castle Rock Merchants Association, the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce all work within the Community Economic Partnership (CED) working together to give business a single point of contact.

Q: How did you hear about QeH2?
A: I think I ran into Eric Pratt pretty early on when I started here, and we had discussions about our I.T. needs and the fact that you guys wanted to meet more local businesses. We helped each other and discovered that this was a great relationship and took it to the next level. QeH2 became members of the EDC and received some referrals from us on jobs and connected you with some community organizations.

Q: From the EDCs point of view, how is QeH2 different than other I.T. guys?
A: The experience behind QeH2 is not just the technology side. It is, ‘We’re business guys who know how to utilize technology.’ You understand how business works and can relate it to how technology can help in facilitating the processes. Business owners can call up some other computer repair company with the guy who has the technical degree that will come fix your computer, but that’s not really what your clients are looking for. They are looking for in-depth, business knowledge on company processes and how it relates to technology and making things more efficient.

Q: What do you see as the future partnership between the EDC and QeH2?
A: Ultimately, it’s a partnership. If it’s not a partnership, one side is seeing the good side and the other is confused about their role. Both sides need to feel like they are getting something out of the relationship for it to continue. Not only is QeH2 a member of my Board of Directors, acting as decision-makers here in Castle Rock, shaping the community here locally, QeH2 wants to be connected to their community, see where they can really help organizations.

Q: What is your view on social media in the business place? Does it play a role in your marketing and advertising efforts?
A: Social media plays an interesting role in our society right now because anyone 30 years and younger are expected to have some sort of social-media interaction. The 30-45 age groups saying they know what it is but don’t use it or think it’s a waste of time. The 45 and up age group, think this is the dumbest thing out there and completely useless. They want to stick with what they know in relationships and face-to-face contact. Most of the decision makers right now that we deal with are not 25 and 30 years old, social media doesn’t really necessarily play a very big role in our marketing efforts. The longer we go the 30-year olds become 35 and 40-year olds become 45 and so on and so forth, and you begin to see the line between business and social get more and more blurred every day. Is Facebook more business-oriented or for personal use? Is LinkedIn more business or social? The reality is that more people are connected on Facebook. More companies are saying, if we want to be more hip and cool, we’re going to need to hire someone that’s hip and cool that can do these types of things.

Q: Closing thoughts?
A: The thing that I have been very impressed with is the fact that you guys really stick with things. We recently did a move and ran into problems that QeH2 or the EDC didn’t anticipate, but our tech Danny keeps things moving forward and has spent a lot of time getting us on track and we don’t get a huge bill for it. You stick to what is agreed on and you do it right and follow through every time.