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Howdy! Meet Serra

Yes, I dyed it to match the websiteNice to meet you. My name is Serra Boten and I am PEER 1 Hosting and ServerBeach’s new Community Evangelist.

A little bit about me – I spent the last two years learning the ins and outs of the internet while working as a Network Analyst in PEER 1 Hosting’s Network Operations Center (NOC). I live in Vancouver, Canada where I am an avid cyclist, aspiring hula hoopist and obsessive blogger.

People often ask me what exactly does a Community Evangelist do? Well, it’s quite simple really. I connect with people like you. And by connecting with you, I’m hoping I can get to know you a little bit better, and let you in on what’s going on inside the company. The more we share information and insight, the better PEER 1 Hosting and ServerBeach can serve your hosting needs, as well as be good citizen of the Internet. You’ll find me on our company blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn under the handle “Serra Boten”. Reach out to me at any time, would love to hear from you. And if you’re a customer, would love to share your business story here. Just ping me to get it started.

Now you might wonder – how exactly does a Network Analyst wake up one day and decide she wants to trade in routing protocols for trending topics? Well, the truth is when I finished high school my fascination with the internet motivated me to pursue a career in information technology. I did the helpdesk thing for a few years before coming to work in PEER 1’s NOC, but the part I enjoyed most about either job was always the communications aspect of things.

Blogging and social media have also been an almost obsessive hobby of mine since I first learned some basic HTML back when I was eleven years old.  Also, I may have kept myself amused during the quieter hours of night shift by maintaining an unnamed number of blogs, twitter feeds and/or facebook profiles (some of which may or may not belong to my cat) – so when the Community Evangelist position opened up I jumped at the opportunity to put my passion for online communications to work.

It still amuses me to no end that my new official job title is Community Evangelist. My job is to Evangelize… for PEER 1 Hosting, ServerBeach and the Interweb! Three of my favourite things! Anyone who knows me thinks the role is hilariously fitting, and I’ve got to agree. I like to pretend I’m like Tron – Fighting for the Users! I’m going to be busy writing articles for our blogs and tweeting up a storm, but please feel free to say hi, follow @PEER1 and @Serverbeach on twitter, and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on our blogs  – I can’t wait to connect. :)

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SXSW 2010 & The GeekyBeach Party

We had another amazing year at SXSW Interactive this year and finished it off with a “Geek” party that was off the hook!

If you attended SXSW this year you know that it was massive – the sessions, the traffic, the entire show this year was epic and we’re happy to be a part of it for the fourth year in a row. Each year, we get to meet more people, engage and create new relationships, and get the opportunity to speak with more and more of our customers. This year, we flew our entire Marketing team and Executive team from our Vancouver Canada office to Austin, TX to be a part of this experience and enjoy all that SXSW Interactive and Austin have to offer. It was great!

On Monday night, March 15th we held one of the biggest parties on 6th street at Ace’s Lounge – The GeekyBeach Party. From Go-Go dancers to a kick ass DJ and a surprise guest entertainer, local Austinite Neiliyo, we totally rocked geeked it! The turnout was amazing, the guests were awesome, and the staff at Ace’s Lounge made sure we all had a wonderful time.

Check out the photos from the SXSW Interactive show and our GeekyBeach party here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peer1/sets/72157623612713186/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peer1/sets/72157623481383877/

PEER 1 Marks Milestones and Looks Ahead to Next Decade

On September 9, 2009 PEER 1 and ServerBeach celebrated the company’s 10 year anniversary worldwide that includes 360 employees in 12 offices around the world. What an amazing day this was. The company was divided into two teams, “Orange” and “Lime” and played a series of 10 games over a 24 hour duration and prizes were given. At the end of the day, PEER 1′s legendary Beer O’Clock began.

Our employee spirit is incredible. Fabio Banducci, President and CEO of PEER 1 says,

“Ten years is a long time in hosting and our anniversary celebration is a testament to the strength of our business. Investing in leading-edge technology to support our IT infrastructure, and investing in our people to deliver remarkable customer support are integral to our success. I congratulate our customers in the ongoing success of their businesses which PEER 1 is proud to support and I applaud the talent and dedication of our personnel around the world.”

To take this celebration one-step further, 4 of our employees took it upon themselves to show their pride and spirit by getting company tattoos which we blogged about in an earlier post, including a video of them getting these tattoos.

To view and read about our 10 year events, celebrations, and press release, please visit the following URLs:

Press Release: http://www.peer1.com/aboutus/news.php?id=131

Employee Company Tattoo Video: http://vimeo.com/6504526

Employee Company Tatoo Photos: http://bit.ly/S0cTc

Company Celebration Day Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peer1/

PEER 1 10 Year Anniversary Company Pride

Today, 360 employees in 12 offices around the world celebrate the 10 year anniversary of PEER 1. Staff members in San Antonio, Texas show their company pride and take the celebration one-step further with…tattoos!

ServerBeach Attends WordCamp SF 09 & TWTRCON 09

A few of our employees spent this past weekend in San Francisco to attend WordCamp SF 09 and TWTRCON 09. What a busy weekend it was. WordCamp SF had another great turnout this year with another round of awesome folks to speak at the event.

PEER 1 - ServerBeach Staff at WordCamp SF 09

PEER 1 - ServerBeach Staff at WordCamp SF 09

ServerBeach is a proud sponsor of WordCamps and has sponsored the following 2009 WordCamps:

WordCamp SF 09

WordCamp Chicago

WordCamp Dallas.

Be sure to stop by our table at these events and say hello to our staff and pick up some cool “Beach” swag.

On Sunday, I attended the first ever TWTRCON 09 conference in San Francisco. Being the Community Evangelist for PEER 1 – ServerBeach and utilizing Twitter for both company and personal use, I was excited to see what this conference was about. I would just like to state that I was completely blown away with the entire event. Not only was it well organized, there were some major companies who spoke at the event – Guy Kawasaki – Alltop, Ed Terpening – Wells Fargo, Porter Gale – Virgin America, Jeremiah Owyang – Forrester Research, Richard Brewer-Hay – eBay Inc, representatives from Carl’s Jr, Comcast, PR Newswire, the Phoenix Suns and so many others. View the entire list of speakers here: http://twtrcon.com/

Talk about information overload. These companies spoke candidly about how they used Twitter for business and what they’ve learned along the way. I spent the day listening, learning, and of course…taking pictures, which you can view on our PEER 1 Flickr page.

HootSuite's Owly at TWTRCON 09

I’d like to share a few things that I took away from TWTRCON -

* Marketing – Influence (was): attracting attention to yourself. Influence (is): providing attention and value to others.

* How to measure Twitter success: Engagement. New relationships. Meet customers. Brand loyalty. Fun.

* Your company account needs to have a personality. Create your voice. Engage with personality.

* Twitter is dramatically changing era of top-down management of corporate communications, in real time.

and finally – “News no longer breaks…it tweets.”

If you’re already on Twitter, please give us a follow and let’s connect. We’re @ServerBeach and @PEER1. Which reminds me of another thing that I learned at TWTRCON – be totally transparent, both personally and professionally. With that note – I’m Charnell Pugsley, the Community Evangelist for PEER 1 – ServerBeach and @charnellpugsley on Twitter. Give me a follow, I’ll follow back and we’ll connect!

View pictures of our weekend of events in San Francisco – WordCamp SF 09 pictures & TWTRCON 09 pictures.

PEER 1 Finalist for Company of the Year Award

logo-tiaThe BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) announced the finalists for the 2009 Technology Impact Awards and our parent company, PEER 1 is one of two companies up for Company of the Year. Marking the awards’ 15th year, the 2009 finalists reaffirm British Columbia’s status as a global leader in innovative software solutions, mobile communications, and energy conservation technologies. We’re very excited and honored to be recognized by the association. More importantly, it is a testament to the hard work and tireless dedication of our staff throughout the years. Our congratulations to the other award finalist, Sierra Wireless. Winners will be announced on June 17th at the Technology Impact Awards Celebration, at the new state-of-the-art Vancouver Convention Centre, amongst 700 guest.

Read BCTIA press release

ServerBeach Flashback: Migrations and Medics

photo_ryan

Story by Ryan Murphey, VP, Data Center Operations.

Four and a half years ago I was hired by ServerBeach in the Support department. I was about the twentieth employee, started on a Monday, and the following Monday it was announced that ServerBeach was being sold to PEER 1. We are all given a choice about where we wanted to go. And, even though I’d been there for precisely five working days, I saw a great opportunity with PEER 1. And what I saw got down to the people. The leadership was strong. People really listened to each other. The choice was clear.

It was four years ago this month that we migrated ServerBeach out of Rackspace in the Herndon, Virginia center. And about two and a half years after that, we migrated out of Rackspace San Antonio and severed the last remaining ties with Rackspace as far as shared services were concerned. We moved 1800 servers over Labour Day weekend. It was a great showing of team work, really impressive. A lot of people put in twenty hour shifts to make it happen, and we overcame a lot of hurdles to make it seamless for customers. Even the office manager was hanging around until three o’clock in the morning.

We made two trips to the emergency room during that switchover. One of the techs from L.A. stabbed himself in the leg with a blade. Darren Fransella was cutting cables and cut his hand in the process — of course, this is why we should never let developers have the tools. But it goes to prove that we’ve got people who do whatever it takes – and they keep going. And that’s what I see here time and time again. We’re not afraid to work. Everyone pitches in, whether that means taking out the garbage, picking up the phone, or voicing your opinion.

PEER 1 and ServerBeach Pay New UK Employees to Leave

Dominic Monkhouse, Managing Director of PEER 1 UK.  

Dominic Monkhouse, Managing Directorof PEER 1 UK offers up £1000 to new employees.

Today, we announced PEER 1 and ServerBeach’s venture into the UK, with new headquarters in Southampton to support our European expansion. We’ve also launched a new recruiting drive to find “Sales Supremos, Technical Gods, Data Center Managers and a Network Guru”, and we’re damn serious about it. So much so, we’ll pay you to leave. We’re offering to pay all successful new employees £1,000 (approx. $1,400 US) if they want to give up their jobs in the first two weeks. We want to ensure we only employ those who are fully committed to delivering outstanding customer service.

Employees will enjoy benefits including ‘Dress Up Smart Day’ once a month and ‘Free Food Day’ the day before payday. We’ll also run ‘Cock-up of the Month’ (love the British slang), an opportunity to learn from and celebrate mistakes, as well as having PlayStations in the office and ‘Beer O’Clock’ at 4pm on Friday to let off steam. This is how my new British counterpart, Dominic Monkhouse, puts it:

“If you are the most driven, ambitious, enthused, charming and downright brilliant candidate out there, we’ll give you a great job in a cool office, pay you a good salary, and give you endless self-development opportunities. We get IT at PEER 1. PEER 1 is the Number One web hosting provider in Canada and we’re now on a mission to be Number One in the UK. We’re hell-bent on being the best B2B services company in any sector. For that reason I am offering any new employee £1000 cash to leave in the first two weeks. This way only those employees who really get it, who are thoroughly and wholeheartedly committed to raising the standards in hosting and service to the highest level will stay.”

You can listen to Dom talk about PEER 1 and ServerBeach’s new recruiting efforts in this hilarious interview with Radio Hampshire. Nice work, Dom.

If you are in the UK, near the UK, or want to move to the UK and know you’ve got what it takes, email your resume/cv to hiremenow@peer1.com

Official news release

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