Team Uber scored a fun night at the Shark’s game last night complete with toys (Bobble heads?! Yes please.) and a visit from the Shark’s mascot Sharkie, himself. “We’ve been to so many games but we never got to meet Sharkie!” said one of the seven Uber reps who attended. The night was a great way to let the two companies who have spent so much time working together remotely, finally let their hair down and celebrate the success of their business partnership.
Uber Technologies, a client of Peak Hosting, is an on-demand private driver company that allows users to reserve a ride using their mobile devices. Users can request a car via a text message, mobile app or mobile website m.uber.com. “Uber’s car service is faster than waiting in a taxi line and a lot nicer,” said Jeffrey Papen, founder of Peak Hosting who previously used the service to ride from LAX to his hotel. “The car was IMMACULATE and it was super cool to get a report of our path after the trip was done.”
Uber’s rapidly growing business has led them to rely on the veteran engineers at Peak Hosting who handle ‘everything but your code℠.’ “They get the value of Operations-as-a-Service. They are good at writing code and growing their business,” said Jeffrey. “They appreciate the fact that we’re good at internet plumbing. We’re meant to be.” While Uber writes and manages their code, Peak Hosting remains equipped to take care of everything in the data center through their Peak Total Operations℠ (PTO) offering, a complete outsourced hosting solution.
Uber and Peak Hosting enjoyed a fun filled night of intense competition as the Sharks battled the Detroit Red Wings. At intermission the scoreboard lit up with a welcome message for the Uber team, a meet-and-greet with the Shark’s mascot Sharkie, and an opportunity to connect Uber with their trusted account manager Steve Auerbach. Jeremy Grosser of Uber said that it was great to meet Steve, his main contact with Peak Hosting and put a face to the voice after so much time on the phone. It’s amazing what you can accomplish virtually. The two were able to finally chat in person and (more importantly!) have a blast at the game.
Like Jeffrey Papen said: “We wanted the scoreboard’s intermission message to say 'Peak Loves Uber!' but HP Pavilion only allows certain messages. But I think they got the picture. Our customers mean everything to us.”
Dale Wilhelm grew up around computers. Over time he has amassed over seventeen years of experience in the system and network administration fields, along with operational management. During the early 90’s, Wilhelm realized that companies that were going to thrive in the marketplace were the ones that focused on the Internet as a means for generating revenue. He understood that his background in managed services would serve him well as the technology industry gained momentum for this niche. His foresight allowed him to pursue opportunities that would lead to his current position as Peak Hosting’s Director of Operations
“What makes us good at what we do is that we sit down with the customer and solve the problem,” said Wilhelm. “We want to help customers be successful, which is why when they call us, they are actually reaching a qualified system and network engineer instead of a phone operator.” Wilhelm understands that within the managed services
environment, support is everything. He started his three years at Peak Hosting by developing a highly-experienced support team combined with high-touch customer service—attributes that distinguish Peak Hosting from other leaders in the managed hosting services
His ability to lead the solution architects and technical operations staff at Peak Hosting is due to his experience as an operations professional himself. “In order to manage an operations team the leadership needs to possess an operations background so that one can direct the team effectively,” said Wilhelm. “Our product is centered around the people we have in Operations. We choose to select seasoned veterans to manage our customers’ unique needs, so they have engineers working for them who are reliable and also backed by reliable leadership.”
Wilhelm knows that what separates Peak Hosting from other countless hosting companies is the way it uniquely defines “managed services.” The team seeks to develop all-inclusive, built-to-suit solutions that scale easily and ensure up-time through a duplicate, 2N data center design.
Peak Hosting calls this Operations-as-a-Service. A team of highly specialized engineers led and managed by Wilhelm provides the areas of expertise needed to run a data center including operating system management
, application support, networking, security, database administration, monitoring, and virtualization.
Wilhelm admires the resolve of his CEO and founder Jeffrey Papen. “He’s committed and willing to sacrifice. With this type of example, the rest of the team can follow suit.” Wilhelm sees a tenacious trio between himself, Jeffrey Papen, and Matt Lewin, Peak Hosting’s Chief Operating Officer. “Jeffrey is the vision and the mastermind behind Peak Hosting; Matt takes the vision and frames the process, and I feel honored to be the nuts and bolts helping it run smoothly.” Wilhelm believes that as time progresses, Operations-as-a-Service will be greater distinguished within the marketplace. His continued foresight allows him to lead his team with knowledge and expertise.
Visit the Peak Hosting About page
for more information about Dale Wilhelm and other Peak Hosting leaders.
AngelLaunch, a new brand created by the producers of iHollywood, hosted a summit on November 28, 2012, with a new take on mentoring. Startup Venture Summit in Los Angeles featured a “Venture Forum,” where startups had the opportunity to present five-minute pitches to angel investors, followed by five minutes of advice in a forum-style setting.
The top three startup companies were given the chance to present a revised pitch to the same audience later in the program while utilizing the advice they’d been given from the panel. Pasadena Labs, a Peak Hosting client, presented and received great reviews from investors. Hive Lighting, winner of TCVN Survivor and $12,000 worth of hosting services furnished by the Peak Startup Act, was also a top vote-getter in the pitches to the panel. The forum was comprised of roughly fifteen investors who provided meaningful advice garnered from years of professional experience.
Steve Auerbach, vice president of account development for the investor community and startup programs at Peak Hosting, attended the event to support the cause.The goal of the summit was to show the startup community what funding really means through discussions like, “Getting Funding: Pitfalls and Challenges from Entrepreneurs that Got Funded,” and “Crowdfunding Donation Platforms: Best Practices to Raise Funds.” Both the lecture-style and pitch-and-critique style of mentoring were used at the Startup Venture Summit. The pitch-and-critique style was unique in comparison to typical pitch events. The one-on-one attention benefitted each startup greatly, resulting in a deeper level of learning from constructive criticism.
Peak Hosting would like to acknowledge its partners that were present on the panel: Howard Marks at Start Engine, Ray Chan from K5 Launch, and the National Discount Merchant Services (NDMS) team. Read up on other tech events within the Peak Hosting Technology Events Series on our blog.
The Tech Coast Venture Network (TCVN) hosted its seventh annual fast-pitch competition on November 15, 2012, at Chapman University. The dinner event, called Survivor 7, had approximately 200 participants and was the largest investment and prize competition in Orange County. The grand prize winner took home a $25,000 cash investment along with additional prizes.
Public online voters helped select the thirty quarterfinalists who competed onstage at the event in a thirty-second pitch to earn ten semifinalist spots. Semifinalists gave three-minute pitches to the judges and the on-site audience. Five finalists were selected to compete in a lightning-round Q&A with the judges.
The five finalists were Rode Dog, Hive Lighting, SWAV, Relecom, and AutoJudo. Relecom recently signed up to utilize Peak Hosting’s Private Enterprise Cloud solution after transitioning from a website hosting vendor. One of the most exciting presenters was SWAV, the intimate apparel brand. The men's clothing line is aspiring to be the gentleman’s version of Victoria’s Secret. It got the crowd going with its provocative innuendos, between-the-lines verbiage, and vivid fashion show.
Steve Auerbach, vice president of account development for investor community and start-up programs at Peak Hosting, attended the event to support the cause. Auerbach had the opportunity to sit with Rode Dog, the third place winners of the event, who presented its anti-text and drive mobile application. The Rode Dog team utilized the secure nature of Peak Hosting’s private cloud through its Private Enterprise Cloud solution to host its application. This gave the company the support it needed to place well in the competition.
The winners of the event were as follows:
First – Hive Lighting
Second – SWAV
Third – Rode Dog
TCVN is one of about ten groups working hard to develop a regular gathering of technology enthusiasts in the Orange County area. The vision is to create an environment much like the existing one in Los Angeles that fosters the technology start-up community. The event was a step in the right direction towards a hip and innovative environment for these technology enthusiasts to mingle, make connections, and see what's on the horizon. Check-out other Peak Hosting technology event recaps such as the Pasadena Demos.
The Cloud is generally thought of as being easily accessible and user-friendly for personal things like music storage or photos. However the Cloud can be seen as unfriendly due to high cost and lack of customer service.
Many people enjoy the Private Enterprise Cloud because it’s easy to set up and has a convenient, buy-as-you-go pay structure. Hosting companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Rackspace both advertise this. But what are people really getting for their money? With Cloud, everything is charged based on usage. If a company expands while using the Cloud, they’re charged more for growth and success. With managed hosting services, prices are negotiated ahead of time.
The managed hosting services industry has been reminded of the Cloud’s limitations and shortcomings in recent months, prompting a shift to more customized, “built to suit” solutions with fully managed, dedicated hardware. It’s called “Operations-as-a-Service,” and it frees companies from the hassles of Internet plumbing so that they can focus on what core competencies like managing their code and their product.
It’s called “Operations-as-a-Service,” and it frees companies from the hassles of Internet plumbing so that they can focus on what core competencies like managing their code and their product..
Operations-as-a-Service (OaaS) is the new alternative to self-hosting. It is the employment of highly trained engineers who provide the areas of expertise needed to run a data center including operating system management, application support, networking, security, database administration, monitoring, and virtualization.
Operations-as-a-Service allows companies of any size to grow and advance while scaling with ease and profitability. In fact, the best part about OaaS is that growth should never be a problem. OaaS gives companies the ability to take advantage of industry experts that usually only the biggest companies can afford. Instead of taking matters into one’s own hands such as with Cloud, everything is in the hands of experienced technical analysts and Solutions Architects – all with a lower cost of ownership.
Through Operations-as-a-Service, Peak Hosting has taken managed hosting services one step further. There is no need for a company to hire an entire team of operations experts. That means that while business grows, companies can focus on their applications, on their product, and not on the technical issues that bogs them down. It’s so successful, in fact, that big names such as MindJolt, Shopinterest.co, and EdgeMAC all prefer it.
“We don’t have a large IT staff, and we don’t have the expertise needed to bring up and monitor all of the necessary servers,” said Paul Mazurk, Chief Technology Officer for EdgeMAC. With Operations-as-a-Service, this is not a problem. Peak provided EdgeMAC with a custom end-to-end hosting solution built specifically to meet the needs of their Microsoft-based application stack.
Compared to the Cloud, managed and dedicated hosting has a lot to offer. Architectural design is customized to the specific needs of the client, and the price is explained up front so that there are never any hidden charges. The Hosting industry will always look for the fastest, most comprehensive way to do business, which used to be the Cloud. These days, it appears to be Operations-as-a-Service. This change has the potential to be the best alternative to in-house Operations that the Industry has ever seen.
For more information about Peak’s managed hosting services and Operations-as-a-Service offering, visit peakhosting.com.
The Pasadena Demos and Cocktails: Fall Edition event featured the topic of ‘Big Data.’ The eighty-nine technology enthusiasts that arrived on the evening of November 14th 2012 were intrigued by the business announcements made from both Wallaby Financial and Pasadena Labs.
Todd Zino, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Wallaby Financial was in attendance to show off his latest product. The managed hosting services customer of Peak Hosting, is backed by a lineup of venture capitalists. The brand’s mission is to provide customized financial services products to their growing lists of clients. Zino talked vividly about the launch of their new application and gave Peak Hosting praise for top notch managed hosting support needed to execute the function.
The brand switched from Amazon Web Services and Co-founder Mr. Debajyoti Ray, reported huge improvements on performance.
The excitement surrounding the launch allowed Zino to be at the forefront of many introductions and conversations. Steve Auerbach, VP of Sales for Peak Hosting was instrumental in connecting company leaders to each other. “I spent most of the evening making introductions, especially non CalTech people to CalTech people,” said Auerbach. Since the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) is known for the creation of ‘Big Data’ with regards to science, having a large presence of graduates made it a hot topic for the evening. Pasadena Labs also had important updates. This ‘Big Data’ company is using Peak’s premiere private cloud offering, Peak Lightning in the Cloud for data scraping. The brand switched from Amazon Web Services and Co-founder Mr. Debajyoti Ray, reported huge improvements on performance.
Peak Hosting congratulates the 106mile Southern California co-organizer, Dennis Cabarroguis. Through this event, they have continued to carry out their mission, which is to educate and empower entrepreneurial engineers.
For more info on ‘Big Data’, see how MemSQL loaded in data in no time, using Peak Lightning in the Cloud.
Digital LA hosted a successful 3-day Silicon Beach Fest on November 9th in Hollywood, CA. The gathering took place at io/LA and wework and included panels followed by pitching sessions for selected companies.
Attendees of the Digital LA event included accelerator heads, start-ups, social media gurus, developers, film artists and more. People from all over California participated in the festivities, which comprised 17 info-packed sessions and 6 parties.
Peak Hosting’s VP of sales, Steve Auerbach, was also in attendance to offer resources to startups and greet accelerators that are supported through the Peak Hosting Startup Act “Accelerators are realizing the amount technical talent that exists in the LA community,” said Auerbach. “Overall, a lot of consumer applications are shifting to mobile, a trend that was highly anticipated.”
The 10am panel hosted by Aber Whitcomb of MindJolt, discussed the emergence of mobile gaming, mobile applications and entertainment. Whitcomb encouraged attendees to make their mobile app suitable to fit the platform of their business model. Concepts of app marketing and Apple Store placement were also discussed.
As CTO of MindJolt, Whitcomb oversees the largest platform for the social distribution of games. He is a recognized expert in large scale computing, networking and storage. As co-founder and CTO of MySpace, Whitcomb has built one of the largest high-traffic web environments.
The PR for Startups forum emphasized the importance of telling a good story that focuses more on personality rather than new product features. Panelists encouraged the crowd to keep multiple pitches with different angles, so if a reporter doesn't like one, there’s another angle to choose from. Other panels addressed topics like Digital Content, Women Developers, Social TV and Film Finance.
The theme for the Silicon Beach Fest was, ‘Pitching,’ a concept taught to Peak accelerators through consultations and the Peak Hosting Startup Act. Each panel session consisted of a 30 minute discussion, followed by a 30 minute pitching segment. There were pre-screened companies who had one minute to give a pitch of their startup, web series, app or film. The panelists then picked their favorite company to give a 5-minute pitch, thus featuring them at the event.
This process went very smoothly. “They did a great job at keeping pitches under a minute, many conveyed idea in 40-50 sec,” reported Digital LA. “Panelists gave smart, quick advice. Most feedback reminded pitchers to include what's novel or different about the idea.” After the panels, attendees networked at six parties while enjoying some of the best of Hollywood nightlife.
Peak Hosting will continue to attend mixers and events to remain on the cutting edge of technology innovation. Their commitment to helping start ups through scalable managed hosting services is exemplified in their Peak Hosting Startup Act.
Peak Hosting, the industry’s most trusted leader in Operations-as-a-Service, managed hosting services, and Private Enterprise Cloud, today announced that the fastest growing website in history to reach 20 million users, has a new resource that allows members to put their money where their pins are. New customer, ShopInterest, a highly integrated ecommerce application, is set to deliver ongoing economic activity for the third most popular social media network, Pinterest.
Francisco Guerrero, co-founder of Pintics, a successful Pinterest analytics resource company has launched a Do-It-Yourself service that allows Pinterest members or anyone to turn their pin collections into virtual web shops. ShopInterest, a team effort between Pintics’ co-founders Francisco Guerrero and Liang Huang, along with designer Tom Hodgins, Yisha Peng, Daniel Neumann, and Jianqing Sun, comes equipped with an integrated shopping cart application and click-to-buy features for buyers and sellers to do business within the comfort of customized, social accounts.
According to a recent ShopInterest blog post, the ShopInterest team, whose first service was building a Pinterest analytics suite at Pintics.com has decided to focus on ecommerce, and plans to offer their current Pintics users a transition to Pinfluencer.com. Pinfluencer's CEO Sharad Verma said "We are excited that Pintics chose Pinfluencer over other providers. We welcome all Pintics customers and are pleased to offer our enterprise suite of Pinterest Analytics and Marketing Products."
Shopinterest creates a total ecommerce experience catered specifically for those who love the look and feel of Pinterest. The application allows users to monetize their pinned items with ease, inducing a chain reaction of socialized, profit-worthy activity.
Pinterest has already become a huge player within the realm of ecommerce due to its referral power. According to Shopify.com, referral traffic from Pinterest to Shopify stores is equal to traffic coming from Twitter. Of that traffic, shoppers are 10% more likely to make a purchase compared to those who arrive from other social sites.
Guerrero recognized that Pinterest had power to influence purchase decisions and made it even easier for Pinterest users to shop online. Now, members don’t have to leave the site when they spot a unique find. A few clicks through the checkout process saves time and eliminates the need to navigate a different shopping portal.
To begin, sellers can request an invitation to start a Shopinterst account. Once they’re in, they can choose a Pinterest board as the object of their virtual marketplace or add their own images of their products. They can add prices and descriptions for their products, and specify start and end dates for their listings. Followers of your account can view your inventory and pay on the spot. Shopinterest offers payment through PayPal. Buyers can shop by selecting the items they want from a Shopinterest store and follow the prompts as they proceed to checkout.
The ShopInterest team received a new investment by 500 Startups, a well known accelerator that has invested in startups like universal translator Babelverse and Chen's Monogram app."We are extremely happy to join Mexican.VC and the 500 Startups family, and with their support, we plan to make ShopInterest.co the best eCommerce solution for anyone using Pinterest," the startup noted on its blog.
Pintics was one of the 10 finalists for the Crowdfunder CrowdStartLA nationwide finals, sponsored in part by Peak Hosting. The event gathered together new entrepreneurs and start up companies who had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to angel investors and venture capitalists. Pintics won a hosting package from Peak Hosting which includes $12,000 of free hosting over a period of a year via the Peak Premium Cloud Solution. After the first year, the company can switch over to managed hosting services through Peak Total Operations. The $12,000 award also included architectural design and consultation and anytime access to the technical support staff for the year.
To learn more about ShopInterest, visit their website at shopinterest.co.
EdgeMAC, a privately-held advisory firm providing a suite of mortgage related and loan-level solutions contacted Peak Hosting, industry leader in Operations-as-a-Service
, when they needed a total Operations infrastructure overhaul. Designed to help clients manage risk and identify opportunities, EdgeMAC quickly became a leader in advisory services for the mortgage community. With this success came the need to scale.
When EdgeMAC came to Peak Hosting, they were looking for a quick ways to significantly increase their infrastructure with the help of professional engineers. “We don’t have a large IT staff, and we don’t have the expertise needed to bring up and monitor all of the necessary servers,” said Paul Mazurk, Chief Technology Officer for EdgeMAC.
Peak provided EdgeMAC with a custom end-to-end hosting solution built specifically to meet the needs of their Microsoft-based application stack.
Peak provided in-house consulting expertise to help EdgeMAC ensure that what they were building was:
- Something that would work well while meeting the requirements of the application
- A solution that would scale
- Delivery in a very short timeframe to put them ahead of schedule.
In order to be a great help in establishing a high speed private network between the EdgeMAC office and the Peak infrastructure, Peak worked with EdgeMAC’s connectivity provider. “The Peak staff also helped us through the maze of Microsoft licensing to make sure we were in compliance but did not over-buy licenses,” Mazurk added. “The project had a lot of moving parts. Peak made the infrastructure piece easy.”
The server environment was built and delivered to EdgeMAC within 2 days of receiving their hardware. Equipment that was used:
- Servers: Dell PowerEdge R715 and R410 servers
- Storage: Hitachi AMS 2500 Series SAN
- Firewall Appliances: Juniper SRX Series
Lead engineer on the account Colin Cooper, relied on his expertise to get the job done. “From a technical perspective, my experience with some very closely related business verticals gave us a bit of an advantage as I already knew the right questions to ask their software provider during the consulting phase. This considerably sped up the process of deciding what should be built, and how,” Cooper mentioned. “All of the Microsoft technologies that they implemented are already specialties of mine so that was an advantage as well.”
EdgeMAC continues to enjoy faster network activities without the concern of scheduled downtimes or service failure stemming from component failure. Peak Hosting’s 100% AlwaysUpSM SLA means that only Peak Hosting is able to maintain, repair, and upgrade their environment with zero interruption to the customer’s service.
Learn more about Peak Hosting’s 100% AlwaysUp SLASM or Operations-as-a-Service offering which lets you outsource your entire hosting infrastructure to the experts, freeing up your time to focus on core competencies.
Vak Sambath and Denise Walker work together daily to provide startups with the tools they need to launch profitable businesses. When the PivotHQ business developers began to experience success for their own initiative, they owed their huge victory to a little inspiration.
Eleven-year-old Viktoria Walker came up with the original concept that ultimately won the first place, $20,000 price at the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon in Los Angeles. The event hosted small technical teams who assembled throughout the weeks in September to develop mobile apps that promoted driver safety. The initiative was a part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait,” Don’t Text and Drive campaign.
The award winning mobile app was called RodeDog due to the nature of the alerts sent from a predetermined social network of family and friends. Viktoria’s mother, Denise Walker, along with Vak Sambath and a creative director and designer at WLDG, an interactive agency in Santa Ana, David Austin Grau, joined forces to execute Viktoria’s vision, which resulted from concern about her parents who would occasionally send a text message while driving.
When asked how her daughter was able to handle the pressures of the competition, Denise said that she had been trained for moments like this. “I wanted her to be comfortable at a young age to talk to people, so I would tell her to go and pitch her ideas to developers.” Viktoria drew from her experience as President and Vice President of her school government as she was already comfortable with public speaking. “She saw how easy it was to connect to people and she wasn’t even nervous before the final presentation.”
Beating out other anti text-and-drive apps, RodeDog was highly acclaimed for its ability to keep the driver accountable by friends and family even when they were not around. “Through the act of unlocking the phone, determining miles per hour using the GPS feature, and identifying the orientation of the phone, a signal would be sent to the contact when someone was breaking the rules,” said Vak. The RodeDog app can detect when a person is texting and driving more than 5 miles an hour. That person’s app network is made aware of the violation and they are able to send a bark and push notification to alert the driver to stop.
Steve Auerbach, VP Account Development: Investor Community & Start Up Programs at Peak Hosting, leader in Operations-as-a-Service, attended the event to support the cause. The RodeDog team utilized the secure nature of Peak’s private Cloud through their Private Enterprise Cloud solution to host their application. This gave them the support they needed to seize the win.
The RodeDog team experienced a worldwind of media attention, including being featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, and on the Steve Harvey Show.
When asked what’s next for the app, Vak mentioned that they are developing RodeDog to work with various mobile providers. “We are building out the app for Google’s Android and Windows mobile and we hope to get the app in iTunes in spite of Apple’s restrictions.”
Peak Hosting wishes the RodeDog team well and continues to support startup tech communities globally. For more insight about the Peak Hosting Startup Program or Peak Hosting’s accelerator initiative visit us online for details.